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Chikara Designs Wedge Review



You may not know the name Carlton Masui, but chances are good you’ve run across his products.

Masui has worked for Gauge Design in Japan and helped design wedges and putters. He left the company in the late ’90’s but has opened a shop in Hawaii and has been doing quality club work since 2006. Masui has become famous for building clubs and grinding wedges for teen phenom Tadd Fujikawa. Masui’s most recent adventure – releasing the Chikara Designs line which begins his own line of production wedges. This is not your typical run of the mill sand wedge. Everything about the club is performance oriented, from the forging process it’s made from to it’s pronounced sole grind and head shape. So exactly what makes Carl’s Chikara wedges that much better than other wedges on the market?


Chikara has a very clean look at address. The round, high toe is very reminiscent of the tried and true Cleveland 588. When set down behind the ball, the club has a very thin topline and a leading edge which blends perfectly into the hosel to give the look of minimal offset, but still providing quite a bit of confidence at address. The top line has an incredibly thin appearance due to a beveled edge which gives it a very thin look from address without sacrificing the feel of actually losing material high on the club. The graphics of hte club are very clean, with the number of dots denoting the loft of the club (three dots means 57) and the Japanese Kanji “Chikara” which means power on the toe.

The Chikara wedge comes in two flavors, the standard retail and the prototype. The prototype is hand ground, features a black finish, and has less bounce along with milled grooves. The retail clubs are available only in satin chrome, have slightly more bounce, and have grooves that are double punched rather than milled. Dynamic Gold is the standard shaft for both models, although various others are available.


How much technology can there be in a wedge? Well, the Chikara finds a clear way to seperate itself from many of the other wedges on the market, yet does it subtly and without any gimmicky packaging. Looking over the wedge and the most prominent feature is the impressive sole grind. The combination of heel, toe, and trailing edge relief allow for the club to lay flat on the ground even if the face is wide open. Also, the CNC milled channel cut into the sole allows the club to play with minimal bounce when square but still keeps the full width of the sole intact for times when more bounce is needed.

Also, the transition from the club face to the hosel has received special attention. The hosel is very slightly offset but progresses forward to keep the leading edge directly inline with the shaft to give the appearance of no offset. It’s something you would probably not notice unless told to look for but was purposely designed that way by Masui to add forgiveness but maintaining a look even the most skilled players will love.


More and more companies these days are incorporating sole grinds into their retail wedge line. However, none of these can compare to the grind on the Chikara. Although the club officially has fourteen degrees of bounce and a fairly wide sole, it does not play that way at all. Quite the contrary, even if the face is opened wide up, the club plays with much less bounce than advertised. The advantage of having that much bounce is very apparent on full swings though. Going through the turf, the wedge is incredibly stable and is great for players who like to hit down on their wedges. Feel wise, the club is very soft. The S25C metal and the unique forging process yield a very soft feeling wedge that still retains quite a bit of durability. Fans of Mizuno forgings will notice a great deal of similarity in feel in the Chikaras. The channel cut in the sole allows it to sit square and brings the leading edge closer to the turf. The combination of wide sole with reduced camber helps prevent skipping even in hard conditions. However, the bounce does not get in the way around the greens since the heel and toe relief allow for the club to sit low to the ground when the club face is wide open. Sliding the club face under the ball even from tight lies is really not a problem at all with this wedge.

Although the grooves on the retail club are not milled, this was a calculated move since the double punched grooves on the retail provide more than enough spin. The large groove volume and sharp edges mean that sucking golf balls back is no issue at all and getting short shots around the greens to check is very easy. It has taken about a month to get the club broken in, but now it provides quite a bit of spin and is still pretty friendly to premium golf balls, with only minor cover damage. One of the biggest advantages of the club is found in bunkers. The club is simply automatic out of the sand. If you enter the sand a little too close to the ball, the leading edge seem to just dig enough to allow the club to slide under the ball. A little fat and the bounce works to prevent digging. Few other golf clubs can make this claim, but with this in your bag, you will become a better sand player.

The club also very playable whether the conditions are soft or firm. I’ve played the club in deep rough and the extra bounce available makes it very easy to keep the club from digging even in deep rough with a semi-buried ball. Also, thanks the channel in the sole, picking the ball clean off the tightest bent grass lies hasn’t been a problem since the club plays very low bounce when square. Golfers who carry multiple bounce configurations for different conditions can easily replace their entire collection with the appropriate lofts in the Chikara.


With the exception of the putter, the sand wedge is of paramount importance to golfers. Increase their handicap, and this value seems to grow exponentially. With all the options on the market today, it might be difficult to choose a product like the Chikara, especially since many golfers have come to trust their Clevelands and Vokeys over the years. However, if you can get past the lack of an established name, you’ll find the Chikara wedge to surpass any other on the market in terms of playability, feel, and spin. Whether it is the narliest blue grass rough, or the driest hard pan lie, there is not a single shot the Chikara can’t tackle.

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  1. Jebb

    Nov 26, 2007 at 4:42 am

    Fantastic review of a fantastic product.

    Love the grind explanation. Sharp, effective and to the point- just like the product.

    Love the unfussy look and the Chikara/Power stamp. Beautiful, clean looking aesthetics.

    Good work guys.

  2. tjschill

    Nov 25, 2007 at 9:04 pm

    I like the Tadd Fujikawa grind far better than the proto or the production… Carl… leave it to a pro (even one at age 17) to hit the nail right on the head… listen to the market and offer a TF grind…

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Tour Photo Galleries

WRX Retrospective: Interesting photos from the 2019 Masters



As of now, we know the 2020 Masters is going to have to wait until November. The tournament will be as exciting as it will be interesting since it will be the first modern glimpse into Augusta National beyond April.

It has also given us the great opportunity to look back with hindsight 20/20 (that was very much an unintended pun) at our pictures from 2019 to showcase some of the most noteworthy and interesting, including some potential foreshadowing of the week that was to come.

2007 Masters champion Zach Johnson isn’t one to change putters too often, but he must have been searching for something last year when testing out this TaylorMade Spider.

This was Viktor Hovland’s last Masters as an amateur. He won low amateur honors and went on to capture the same distinction at the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach.

TaylorMade always does a wonderful job with major-themed accessories and bags. 2019 was no exception.

Little did we know at the time this was taken, this man would be leading heading into Sunday’s final round. How the tables turned so quickly.

Callaway’s collab with Seamus Golf lead to these flower-themed headcovers.

We can’t forget that Tuesday practice day was rained out and the course was closed at 10 a.m. to both players and spectators. It wasn’t the warm spring kickoff many had hoped for!

Although it was short-lived, it was a rainy Tuesday for all, including caddies.

The weather broke on Wednesday and the view up the 10th hole never gets old.

Did you realize two-time Masters champ Bubba Watson’s Flightscope has a custom pink paint job?

Inexpensive snacks and beverages are always a highlight of any Master’s visit.

The 2019 Masters featured pre-bulked Bryson, who also happened to have a custom FlightScope X3. He looks like a veritable stick!

They say a picture says 1,000 words, but in the case of Tiger Woods, we had no idea how many words would be written come Sunday.

A peek into the bag of Gary Woodland, who would go on to become the U.S. Open Champion only a few months later.

Special shoutout to Gary Woodland’s caddy Brennan Little, who hails from St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada, and is obviously a big Toronto Blue Jays fan. He was also on the bag for Mike Wier’s win in 2003.

Although the relationship was short-lived, Sergio used some very cool custom Toulon putters while on staff with Callaway Golf.

The eighth green is one of the most interesting and mounded on the course, there’s not a bunker to be found but danger lurks everywhere.

Undulations at No. 1 are a sight to be seen at ground level.

The iconic, understated clubhouse of ANGC.

The tucked-away first tee spike cleaner is something every course should have.

And of course, the iconic 12th, where so much would be decided come Sunday.

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2020 Open Championship canceled; PGA scheduled for August, U.S. Open for September, Masters for November



The R&A has officially scratched the 2020 Open Championship due to the current Coronavirus pandemic in a statement today.

While this seemed poised to be the professional golf schedule news of the day, shortly thereafter, the Augusta National Golf Club, European Tour, LPGA, PGA of America, PGA Tour, The R&A, and USGA released a joint statement regarding the fate of the other three major championships as well as play on the LPGA and European Tour. 

First, the canceled major: The 149th Open Championship will now take place in 2021 from 11-18 July, and the R&A will transfer over tickets and hospitality packages purchased for the Championship to next year’s event.

St. Andrews, which was due to host the 150th Open Championship next year, will instead host the event in 2022.

In a statement published on the R&A’s website, Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A, said

“Our absolute priority is to protect the health and safety of the fans, players, officials, volunteers and staff involved in The Open. We care deeply about this historic Championship and have made this decision with a heavy heart. We appreciate that this will be disappointing for a great many people around the world but this pandemic is severely affecting the UK and we have to act responsibly. It is the right thing to do.

“I can assure everyone that we have explored every option for playing The Open this year but it is not going to be possible.

“There are many different considerations that go into organising a major sporting event of this scale. We rely on the support of the emergency services, local authorities and a range of other organisations to stage the Championship and it would be unreasonable to place any additional demands on them when they have far more urgent priorities to deal with. In recent weeks we have been working closely with those organisations as well as Royal St George’s, St Andrews Links Trust and the other golf bodies to resolve the remaining external factors and have done so as soon as we possibly could. We are grateful to all of them for their assistance and co-operation throughout this process.

“Most of all I would like to thank our fans around the world and all of our partners for their support and understanding. At a difficult time like this we have to recognise that sport must stand aside to let people focus on keeping themselves and their families healthy and safe. We are committed to supporting our wider community in the weeks and months ahead and will do everything in our power to help golf come through this crisis.”

Shortly therafter a joint press release from the Augusta National Golf Club, European Tour, LPGA, PGA of America, PGA TOUR, The R&A and USGA was circulated by email, which revealed the PGA Championship is now slated for August, the U.S. Open for September, and the Masters for November.

From the press release.

USGA: The U.S. Open, previously scheduled for June 15-21 at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, New York, has been officially rescheduled for September 14-20 and is confirmed to remain at Winged Foot. 

The R&A: The R&A has decided to cancel The Open in 2020 due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, and the Championship will next be played at Royal St. George’s in 2021. The Open was due to be played in Kent, England, from July 12-19, but it has been necessary to cancel the Championship based on guidance from the UK Government, the health authorities, public services and The R&A’s advisers. 

PGA of America: The PGA of America is announcing today that the PGA Championship is now scheduled to take place August 3-9 and will remain at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco, California.  The PGA Championship was originally slated for May 11-17 but was postponed on March 17.

Augusta National Golf Club: Augusta National has identified November 9-15 as the intended dates to host the 2020 Masters Tournament, which was previously scheduled for April 6-12 and postponed on March 13.

Additionally, the release noted the Ryder Cup will still be contested September 22-27, at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisconsin.

For those updating their schedules at home, the release also included this handy summary.

  • TO BE CONFIRMED: June 15-21 (formerly U.S. Open week) – potential PGA TOUR event
  • CANCELED: July 13-19, The Open Championship, Royal St. George’s GC, Sandwich, Kent, England
  • TO BE CONFIRMED: July 13-19 (formerly The Open Championship week) – potential PGA TOUR event
  • TO BE CONFIRMED: July 27-August 2 (formerly Men’s Olympic Competition week) – potential PGA TOUR event
  • CONFIRMED: August 3-9 – PGA Championship, TPC Harding Park, San Francisco, California
  • CONFIRMED: PGA TOUR’s season-ending event/FedExCup Playoffs
    • August 10-16 – Wyndham Championship, Sedgefield Country Club, Greensboro, North Carolina
    • August 17-23 – THE NORTHERN TRUST, TPC Boston, Norton, Massachusetts
    • August 24-30 – BMW Championship, Olympia Fields CC, Olympia Fields, Illinois
    • August 31-September 7 (Labor Day) – TOUR Championship, East Lake Golf Club, Atlanta, Georgia
  • CONFIRMED: September 14-20 – U.S. Open, Winged Foot Golf Club, Mamaroneck, New York
  • RECONFIRMED: September 22-27: Ryder Cup, Whistling Straits, Kohler, Wisconsin
  • CONFIRMED: November 9-15: the Masters Tournament, Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta, Georgia
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GolfWRX Spotlight: Golf Drawn’s custom golf art



I recently converted an extra bedroom in my house into a home office (golf-themed, of course). In my search for stuff to put up on the walls, I came across a company that was doing something different. They had a booth at this year’s PGA Show showing off some of their unique work, and when I dug in a bit more, I realized it was a really innovative product for the golf community. So, I reached out to the people at Golf Drawn to see if they could help me create a piece for my office.

Golf Drawn is a custom design and illustration service that specializes in creating original, hand-drawn course routing designs of your favorite club. Any club. That’s the best part. They can draw any course in the world using the wonders of satellite imaging.

Goat Hill Park

Brooklawn on Wood Canvas


“We began just as we still do now, by drawing up folks’ home tracks,” said Anthony Malky, Owner and Creative Director at Golf Drawn. “Whether it was a par three, municipal course, top-100, or whatever. Our whole deal was that we would draw any course….and we still do. There’s yet to be one that we couldn’t execute.”

If you’ve spent any time looking around for golf art or memorabilia, you realize how big a deal that actually is. The top-100 courses get all the love. Golf Drawn is filling a void out there and providing custom art focused on your favorite local course.

“We receive the course request from you and get to work on creating the design,” said Malky, “Once the design is complete, we send you proofs, and then you choose background color, labeling, frame and any additions.”

Popular additions to the framed prints include images of the scorecard table, compass to show direction of the course routing, alternative club logos, etc…

And Golf Drawn can then put that routing design or logo on a tee-shirt, sticker or other items if you like as well. Every new design requires a one-time design fee to get the work completed. But once that design is done, it is free to put on any framed print or tee in the future for anyone. Tee-shirts are becoming a rather popular item on the website.

If a course has been renovated or simply no longer exists, Golf Drawn has worked directly from old photos or original course plans to recreate the old track you remember. And, of course, Golf Drawn can do the famous courses as well. It’s a great way to commemorate a favorite round, hole in one, or once in a lifetime score.

My local club is Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas. They already had a design drawn of Colonial, so it wasn’t hard to customize what I wanted and finish the order. I added the columns logo to the top left corner and script location on the bottom right.

So how did this all begin? Anthony Malky grew up in Oakmont, Pennsylvania. He caddied at Oakmont Country Club for over a decade…and even got to play the course on some Mondays. He loves golf, just like we all do. And he started drawing courses as a hobby.

“I began drawing up the clubs that meant a lot to me,” Malky said. “After some time, at the urging of others I made an Instagram. I had a ton of course designs done and figured might as well post them for folks. From there, the Instagram took off, that turned into a website…then the custom orders started coming.”

Fast forward a couple of years, and Golf Drawn now has an entire wholesale catalog of unique products, over 250+ club accounts, and products stocked in shops around the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada. That is pretty impressive for a business that does everything in-house with a fully customizable product. And keeping prices low has always been a goal for Malky, as he remembers a time when he wanted to buy golf art himself but found everything to be overpriced and low quality.

Sticker Variety Pack

“We’ve tried to keep our prices, minimums at wholesale, all low and cost effective,” Malky said.  “That was part of the initial start too, allowing people to get their course drawn up, framed, etc. for a price that anyone could pay. Not some outlandish design fee or commission type setup.”

Prices per print with framing included

The supply is working hard to keep up with the demand. Golf Drawn is still a small operation and Malky does all of the designs himself. There is a team that helps with operations and a few sales reps across the country, but the business definitely remains small. That is intentional. Malky believes that allows Golf Drawn to offer a personal, high-level service to each individual customer. And it allows the company to remain focused on the reason they got started in the first place.

“It’s always been about shedding light on and propping up courses and places that otherwise wouldn’t be,” Malky said.  Giving attention to and making that local municipal course look as good as a top-10 track. Getting the par-3 course by your house designed, framed and up on a wall, highlighted in a way that many people have only seen the big courses like Pebble, Pinehurst, Oakmont. It’s always been about highlighting the places and the memories that mean so much to people.”

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