PG Lab: Wedge Spin Rates
PG Lab: Wedge Spin Rates
Do Some Wedges Spin More Than Others?
There’s plenty of Wedges in the market today all claiming to have the highest spinning, most ‘grippy’ grooves, and softest feeling wedges out there but how can you distinguish between what’s marketing ‘spiel’ and how they actually perform, and is a high spinning wedge actually better for you then a lower spinning one?
The feel of a wedge is difficult to measure and something that is incredibly specific to an individual, but the spin rates can be measured accurately using launch monitors, so we thought we’d test some of the latest wedges to see how they performed relatively to each other.
PG club fitter Simon hit shots with each of the 56 degree test clubs and recorded average spin rates for each based upon an approx. 60 yard shot and a full wedge shot. The test wedges were all set up with the manufacturer’s chosen standard wedge shaft and loft and lies of wedges were set to exactly the same across the board.
*It’s important to note the absolute spin number themselves are not what’s important here, it is their relation to one another that illustrates the difference in spin generation. It’s vital to acknowledge that all players generate differing spin rates to each other based upon their own individual swing characteristics, hence why it’s not the numbers that are important it’s their relation to each other.*
Wedge Spin Rates – Ranked in Order of 60 Yard Shot Spin Rate (RPM High-Low):
Here the Vokeys, Vega, Miura, and Epon wedges were all within a few hundred RPM of each other and there was only 1,200RPM between the Vokey and Wishon wedges. As this is a shorter shot of approx. 60 yards you would expect the spin numbers to be lower than full shots as there is less club head speed and therefore less spin.
Full Shot spin generation was lead by the Callaway X Jaws wedge, however, all the wedges were within just over 1,000RPM of each other, which was more consistent than you might expect. In theory the difference in spin generation would be greater when more club head speed is applied to shots (and therefore greater possible differences), but this goes to show that wedges generate spin fairly consistently throughout distances.
Total Spin Generation showed the Vokey produced the most spin across the two tests. However, the differences in Total Spin between all the wedges were minimal, ultimately showing the wedges were all generating spin at a fairly consistent amount compared to each other.
So What Does This Tell Us?
Just because a Wedge spins comparatively more with a full shot doesn’t mean it will with a shorter distance shot –
Wedges can be comparatively higher spinning than others for longer distance shots than for shorter distance shots – for example, the Snake Eyes wedge generated the 4th highest spin rate for the full shots, but only the 9th highest spin rate for 60 yard shots. A Wedge that is promoted as ‘the highest spinning wedge yet’, or as having the most ‘spinny grooves’ out there won’t strictly produce higher comparative spin rates for all types of shots.
Higher spinning wedges won’t necessarily be the ‘best’ or suit you best –
Just because a wedge is comparatively higher spinning than others doesn’t mean it’s going to be the best for everyone. Each player will have their own swing characteristics and shot preferences that will dictate what sort of spin level will be desired. For example, a player that generally hits highly spinning shots that uses a higher spinning wedge might find they lack control of the spin and are having to alter how they play shots to account for this. Or perhaps a player might be more inclined to hit pin-seeking wedge shots that check/spin back but are playing a wedge that isn’t necessarily going to be able to generate sufficient spin to do so, and subsequently end up frequently hitting long with lacking control.
Wedge choice should be based upon your own characteristics – not on the manufacturer’s reports of the ‘highest spinning wedges out there’ –
It’s important for your wedges to reflect how you do play, or how you want to play your wedge shots – just because a manufacturer says they have the highest spinning wedges doesn’t mean that’s a good thing FOR YOU.
During all our wedge fittings here at Precision Golf, we take in to account all the individual shot preferences and swing characteristics that someone might have in order to establish what sort of wedges might be appropriate for them. These preferences combined with the raw data generated by Trackman can help to produce highly customised recommendations to get the optimal performance from your existing or new Wedges.