Explaining Wedge Bounce
Explaining Wedge Bounce
How the Bounce Can Affect Your Performance
Definition: Bounce is the measurement in degrees of the angle from the front edge of a club’s sole to the point that rests on the ground at address.In wedges, the back half of the sole is lower than the front edge, cushioning the contact of club head and turf/sand and can greatly affect the way a club plays. More bounce will keep the club from digging too deeply into turf/sand whereas a low bounce angle allows the club to get into the turf/sand more easily. The amount of bounce a player requires depends on both playing conditions and technique. Broadly speaking, if you play on courses with soft turf and soft, fluffy sand in bunkers then you will tend to need more bounce. If you tend to play on tighter, firmer turf or a course with firmer sand in bunkers then a lower bounce angle tends to work better.
From a technique point of view, if you play your wedge shots back in your stance and punch them in or hit down steeply into the back of the ball, either on the fairway or in the sand then a greater bounce angle tends to cushion the contact better and gives a more consistent strike.
Taking this image as an example, the wedge on the right has a lower bounce angle than that on the left, being more of a “digger” with a steep angle of attack will get the club more stuck in to the ground if there is not sufficient bounce. The higher bounce head on the left cushions the strike more and produces a far more consistent contact and divot depth. If you tend to pick the ball off the turf or slide the club head under the ball with a relatively shallow depth, then a lower bounce angle will help get a cleaner and more consistent strike.
Taking the lower image on the right as an example, the wedge on the right still has a lower bounce angle than that on the left, but because of the shallow angle of attack “slider”, the club is able to get under the ball more neatly.The higher bounce on the left contacts at the back of the head and kicks the club away from the turf making a clean strike very hard to achieve. The lower bounce angle will therefore aid in gaining a more consistent contact with ball & turf.
Many sand wedges are set up for US turf and sand conditions and as a result have 14 degrees of bounce or more. In the majority of cases, this is just a little too much for the conditions we have in Britain where the sand tends to be a lot firmer and the grass tighter to the ground. Keeping the bounce generally speaking at a maximum of 12 to 14 degrees helps the versatility of the wedge.
On the flip side it is possible to go too low in bounce and for many players the wedges with only 4 degrees of bounce tend to make it very hard to get a clean contact, as there is no resistance to the club entering the turf. This results in needing to be very exact with your strike meaning it is easy to hit either a thin or a fat shot, particularly with a short 30 or 40 yard pitch. Keeping a minimum bounce angle of 6 to 7 degrees gives a slightly larger margin for error.
It must be remembered that bounce can always be ground off the sole of a wedge to reduce it, but if it is too low to start with it is impossible to increase bounce so it is better to start with too much bounce than too little.
Wedge Bounce and the grinds involved in achieving these bounce angles are al taken into account in any of our fittings that include a focus on wedges, and we can even carry out grind alterations and bounce measurements to suit as well. For more information on Wedge-specific services, or any of the services PG can offer then don’t hesitate to contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on +44(0)1784 470088!