Wedge fitting may not be on your radar when you’re looking to get fitted for new clubs, but it’s certainly an advantage. With the short game constituting a fair share of your strokes, isn’t it important to find wedges that align with your game, too?
The best golf wedges are the ones that fit your game. Going through a golf wedge fitting is an easy way to improve your short game and, in turn, lower your score. When you go through this process, PGA Professionals evaluate grips, golf shafts and clubheads in-depth.
With plenty of options out there, it’s important to know how to determine what works best for your game. If you want a headstart on learning which golf wedge sets are best for your game, check out our wedge selector tool, USelect®. Our tool instantly generates personalized recommendations from our staff of PGA Professionals based on your game, and you can then filter by your preferred brands, budget and more.
Let’s dive into what fitting decisions will lead to the best wedge for you, starting with the grip.
1. Choosing the Right Golf Grip for Your Wedges
The golf grip game has certainly increased over the last decade. A growing competitive industry, there are plenty of options for you to choose from; and you may want different grips here than you do on the rest of your golf clubs.
Some of the biggest golf grip manufacturers including the following:
- Golf Pride
While the majority of golf grips were made with rubber, there are new manmade materials that can improve your feel and comfort. It may be easy to think you should choose a grip based on how it feels and looks – and those are huge factors – but there’s more to consider.
Knowing your grip size can take your game to the next level. Accomplished golf club fitters and PGA Professionals can measure your hand and recommend the correct size. You can also get some early insights with our golf grip selector tool.
Proper grip sizing is important because it regulates the amount of pressure you have on the golf club. To properly execute a chip, pitch or even a full golf swing, you need to be applying minimal pressure (hence proper grip sizing). Most grip and golf club manufacturers have charts that can steer you in the right direction of a proper grip size.
2. What Is the Best Wedge Shaft for You?
There are two materials from which golf shafts are made: steel and graphite. Both of these options are available for wedges, too. So how do you figure out the best shaft for your wedges? Let’s compare and contrast graphite vs. steel shaft wedges.
Steel Shaft Wedges
Steel shafts are the predominant shaft material found in most wedges. A steel shaft is heavier, leads to more consistency and provides feedback. If you’re an experienced player and/or have a fast swing speed, you’ll likely have steel shafts for your wedges.
A fun fact to keep in mind is that your golf swing with a wedge is usually slower compared to any other golf club in your bag; this may put you on the line between a steel vs. graphite wedge, so it’s important to talk to a PGA Professional about next steps. In most cases, you’ll find a steel wedge with softer flexes that allow for a higher launch and more spin, a must for better control around the greens.
Graphite wedge shafts are typically lighter and produce less pain on the hands and body by absorbing the shock produced from off-center hits. While you won’t see wedges with graphite shafts in the bags of tour players, that doesn’t mean these aren’t other benefits to having them.
If you’re looking for more distance or height on your pitch shots, you should consider a graphite shaft. With the extra flex that comes into play, you can gain more launch; however, you don’t want your graphite shaft to get too flexible because that would make it difficult to stay consistently accurate.
How Golf Shafts Play a Role in Wedge Fittings
Receiving a static shaft fitting (e.g. relating to your anatomical features, like height, arm length, shoulder width, etc.) is a good starting point. It is important to remember that a dynamic fit, found while swinging the golf club at impact, is also crucial.
Golf shots with your wedge can be measured using impact tape to view results. When looking at these marks, golf shots off the toe could indicate the golf club is too short, whereas golf shots off the heel could mean the golf club is too long. Likewise, golf shots off the bottom or top of the club may indicate a shaft length issue.
Looking at these factors can help club fitters know if steel or graphite is better for your wedges.
3. Integrating a Company’s Technology Into Your Wedge Clubheads
Before we dive into some brands that are known for the wedges, let’s look at the clubhead components in general. Wedges are typically forged or cast from softer materials and designed with little to no offset due to the fact that they already have plenty of loft.
Here’s what you want to pay attention to on a wedge’s clubhead:
- Bounce angle
- Sole width
- Lie angle
Grooves, bounce angle and loft are ones you’ll want to focus on the most.
1. Wedge Grooves
Grooves have been a hot topic the last few years, with regulations coming and going. That’s another reason you want to get your wedges fit by a professional – you’ll want to make sure they’re legal should you participate in any sort of sanctioned tournament or want a valid handicap. The USGA, golf’s governing body, specifies which wedge grooves are appropriate.
Bounce describes the ability of the golf club to come out of the ground after the interaction with the turf and golf ball. If you have the tendency to take large divots, you’ll want more bounce. It will keep the club from digging too deep into the ground.
Bounce can be affected by the grind, sole width and camber of the golf club. All of these characteristics create effective bounce, which is critical for playing various shots. Determining the bounce is the hardest component to configure because golfers use wedges in a variety of situations.
3. Wedge Loft
Some companies are known for their golf wedges, so you’ll likely see these at your wedge fitting:
With so many brands at your fingertips, don’t forget we have a wedge selector tool that can narrow down your options based on your preferences for look, feel and performance. If you want to try these wedges before you buy them – as graphite or steel wedges – GlobalGolf’s UTry® is the perfect opportunity to take these wedges to your home course or even a golf lesson for 14 days.
Hopefully these great tips will improve your scores and enjoyment. Should you come to realize you need new wedges customized to your individual swing take a look at the custom wedge options we offer. And remember, when it comes to fitting, using the trained eye of a PGA Professional or professional fitter never hurts.
Let’s answer your steel or graphite wedge question once and for all and start shaving strokes off your score. We have some great chipping games and wedge drills to help make the process even more fun.