In-depth: 2012 TaylorMade ATV Wedges
Recently TaylorMade Golf invited GolfWRX to Bandon Dunes for the launch of the TaylorMade ATV Wedge. Dubbed ‘The TaylorMade Short Game Experience,” it truly was that. Featuring a Short Game Clinic with the legendary Jim Flick, a round at the brand new (and not yet open to the public) 13-hole Par 3 course called ‘The Preserve’ and topped off with a round at Bandon Trails, it didn’t disappoint. Getting to Bandon Dunes is not easy, but the decision to go certainly was.
We had the opportunity to try 360 Tour ATV shoes, PENTA TP5 balls, Ghost Manta putter and a set of ATV Wedges at one of the premier golf resorts in the US. The ATV in ATV Wedge stands for All-Terrain Versatility, and if you want to put it to the test, Bandon Dunes is the place. Down time on arrival day allowed some playing time at Shorty’s, a small Par 3 course adjacent to the practice range. You may think the a wide-soled wedge and a tight lie don’t mix, but the ATV performed beautifully. Shorty’s has the tightest lies this side of your kitchen floor. Surprising and impressive.
The next day was a short game clinic with the Mr. Jim Flick. Jim taught us how to hit all the shots and the crew TaylorMade showed us why we could. Don’t be fooled. Thanks to the concave sole (lack of camber) and ‘ski-like’ leading edge, the ATV can handle it. Dubbed the ‘Wonder Wedge’ in early prototyping due to performance, this ATV is not a one trick (or even two trick) pony. From sand, the wider sole seems to provide added forgiveness and ‘float’ through. I found you don’t need to open it up quite as much as you think. The club head will glide a bit, providing extra forgiveness.
There’s plenty of versatility in the ATV wedge, but what you won’t find is a bounce number. “We don’t put bounce on this wedge for a reason,” said TaylorMade’s Brian Bazzel, Manager, Iron, Wedge & Putter, Product Creation. “There’s different bounces on different parts of the sole, and those different bounces are used to hit all these different shots.”
The video illustrates some of the uses of the ATV Wedge and includes plenty of tech talk. It’s a short portion of the clip, but be sure to check out the proper use of a C-Grind for a shot off a fairly tight lie. You would not think a wide sole wedge could do this, but the ATV can. Of course, all this is great, but the true test is on course. Bandon Trails, especially first time seeing it, is a pretty tough track. I went with KBS Stiff in 50*, 54* and 58* lofts and the TaylorMade ATV Wedges performed well from all lies, all day.
As a rule, I dislike putters with insert, but I can’t discount the performance of the Manta putter and PENTA TP5 Ball. Three birdies on a tough, unfamiliar layout is not typical for me.
My last full shot of the day was a 90-yard ATV sand wedge uphill approach to about 15 feet setting up my last birdie of the day. A great ending to a great experience.