Wedge Bounce may be one of the most simple, yet misunderstood or at least underrated concepts in golf – many frequently overlook or underestimate this variable. Ensuring you have the proper bounce for course conditions and your skill level is vital to achieving a consistent and reliable short game.
What is bounce? Wedge Bounce or Bounce Angle, is the measurement in degrees, of the angle from the leading edge of the club to the lowest point of the club, which rests on the turf or ground. In essence, the more bounce, the higher the leading edge is off the ground. There are two factors that affect bounce angle, sole width and sole camber or “rounding.” A wider sole increases bounce. More camber or rounding of the sole on the other hand, reduces bounce. These two characteristics should be taken into consideration.
So, what bounce do you need for various course conditions? High bounce is desirable for tall grass, deep rough, and fluffy sand or any condition where you want to reduce the “digging effect.” Low bounce on the other hand, is needed for tight lies, hard turf, firm bunkers, fairway shots. Wedge bounce ranges from 0, up to 14 degrees or greater. Standard bounce varies by wedge so you will want to look at each wedge manufacturer for more information.
So what does this mean to the average golfer? Well, using the right bounce will allow you to hit cleaner shots for any given situation. Using the wrong bounce can contribute to skulls, fat, and thin shots. The better player may want to use multiple bounce angles depending on the conditions of the course. The beginner or high handicap golfer on the other hand, may want to stay with more of a standard bounce for the wedge. In either case however, bounce experimentation is the best way to determine what works best for you. Don’t be afraid to experiment on the range or even during rounds to determine the best bounce for your game.
There are many golf wedge manufacturers. Cleveland and Titleist, probably two of the bigger names in wedges have different ways of identifying bounce. Cleveland offers the popular 588, CG12, and CG14 series and employs the red dot method to identify bounce – one dot equals low bounce, two dots standard bounce, and three dots high bounce. Whereas Titleist, maker of the classic Vokey Design, identifies bounce in the suffix of the model name. For example Vokey 256.14 is the 200 Series, loft 56, bounce 14. Another wedge gaining in popularity is the Solus wedge. Solus incorporates something called a crescent cut sole contour which supposedly allows as little as 4 degrees of bounce with a closed club face, to as much as 18 degrees of bounce with an open club face.
Hopefully this will allow you to see the importance of wedge bounce and how it can contribute to properly executing golf shots. Selecting the right bounce really comes down to course conditions and experimenting with different wedges to suit your game.
Written by Dan DeRoeck
Did you enjoy this article? If so, please take a few moments to bookmark for others to enjoy!