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Review: Edel Wedges

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Pros: Edel wedges are offered in eight different grinds. Whether your swing is steep, shallow or in between, Edel has a sole to match it. The center of gravity on each wedge is located closer to the toe than other wedges in the market, which makes a head-scratching amount of sense.

Cons: Each wedge starts at $195, and some stamping and shaft options are offered for an additional up-charge. Remember those eight grind options previously mentioned? Only three are available for lefties.

Bottom Line: Whether you have good taste or bad taste, Edel is leaving the stampings up to you, so try not to design a catastrophe. When picking your specs, it’s best to have previous knowledge of your game, or even better, get fit by a professional. Get fit correctly, then you’re on the way to owning a beautiful set of custom wedges that could transform your wedge game.

Overview

David Edel is well-renowned in the golf industry for building a comprehensive putter fitting system. He had a vision to put clubs in golfers’ hands that are truly fit for their game and brought that vision into wedge and iron making, allowing golfers to develop a wedge to their needs and preferences.

Edel has worked extensively with tour players on his designs, and prides himself on his company’s quality and artistry. It’s hard to argue that he’s not an artist, because he’s designed some seriously awesome looking wedges (click here to see Edel Golf photos from the 2014 PGA Merchandise Show).

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Lucy Li, the 11-year old phenom, gamed Edel wedges on her way to making history as the youngest qualifier for the U.S. Women’s Open. Check out Li’s WITB here. Most of us normal golfers, who have certainly been playing golf longer than she’s been alive, are probably still searching for the perfect set of wedges. That’s where Edel and the custom wedge fitting options from companies like Cleveland, Hopkins and Vokey can help.

“Everybody thinks a wedge is a wedge but it’s not,” Edel told Golf.com. “People are confused by it. Nothing humiliates anyone worse than hitting two good shots up by the green and then chunking or blading a wedge shot over the green. They don’t know why it’s happening, but it’s probably their wedge and the methodology.”

The fitting system does its best to make sure each golfer gets the right wedge to help them avoid the awful mistakes a poorly fit wedge can cause around the greens. Golfers can choose from the following options to personalize their wedge online:

Edel grinds

Generally, golfers who tend to take shallow divots from the turf do best with wedges with less bounce, while golfers who take big divots do better with wedges with more bounce. They can also be helped by a wedge with a wider sole to further reduce digging. Edel has a wide variety of grinds that will suit almost any technique, but it’s important to select the one that’s right for you.

Stamping Options (in a variety of colors)

Degree numbers can be stamped with “stylized” or “numeric” options. The wedges offer 17 loft options, ranging from 46 degrees to 64 degrees. In a stylized font, they would be written as “forty six” and “sixty four.”

The choices for additional stamping on the back of the club are — None, Monogram (3 Letters), Leaderboard (10 letters), Scattered (3 Letters), Bubbly (5 Letter) +$25, Birdies (6 Letters) +$25. Color coordination is up to the customer.

Shaft Options

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You can also personalize club length, lie angle, grip size and the stock grip is an Edel Lamkin 3Gen Scoring Grip. It’s suspicious that in such a personalized custom building process that more grips wouldn’t be offered, but if you want to add wraps underneath your grip, or a different grip than the stock option, you can always have them just ship it to you in the box (separately from the club).

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In terms of the stock club head design, a shortened hosel works to move unwanted weight from the heel and pushes the center of gravity (CG) toward the center of the club face. To match that movement, the 17-groove pattern on each wedge has been extended farther onto the toe of the club. Most short game shots are played with a toe bias, so little energy is lost at impact. Also, the implementation of aggressive heel relief and a rounded profile is said to work better through tough lies including long grass and sand, and that means the face is square when playing a variety of shots (toe down, toe up, closed face, open face, etc.).

Edel Wedges are made using 304 Stainless Steel with CNC milled face and grooves and a “fly cut” face that is said to ensure a flat hitting surface, according to the company.

Hand ground forged wedges are also available, but customers will need to contact Edel directly through their website for those. Check out Edel’s FAQ page for any other questions that you may want answered about the club making process. Click here to browse custom fitter events, or here to find an Edel fitter near you.

The Review

I did not participate in a custom fitting. Instead, I took my time designing a wedge online, browsing the options and matching the grind descriptions to the necessities of my game. It’s important when designing your wedge to either have a full understanding of your technique and tendencies or to seek professional advice from a fitter or teaching instructor. Don’t spend $200 or more solely on a guess.

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The grind that best suited my game seemed to be the “driver” grind, which, according to Edel’s website, has a split sole design with a V-shaped bounce surface. It’s a high bounce grind with a narrow sole and a lot of camber, which is the curvature of a sole. It’s made for players like me who tend to take deep divots. The driver grind’s bounce with added trail relief from the V-shape ensured that as I came down steeply into a wedge shot, the sole allowed the club to get under the ball, go into the ground and come out smoothly without “sticking” in the turf.

Performance

The online customization fitting is not only fun, but it’s also really easy to use. Throughout the process, Edel allowed full freedom in designing the precise look and color scheme that I wanted. What’d I go with? Right-handed, driver grind, “Sixty” degrees in a stylized font, “Tursky” stamping in the Birdies design, a red-and-black color scheme, a KBS Tour (S Flex, +0.5 inches), standard lie angle and a standard grip size.

Screen Shot 2014-07-02 at 3.50.23 AM

This is the blank canvas for an Edel wedge. Each of the design steps came with several options, and as you choose between colors and stampings a large picture of the wedge gets updated immediately with visual feedback. Shipping options are available as well if you want to pay extra for quicker delivery.

I have been gaming the 60-degree Edel wedge for more than two months, so I would like to think I’ve gotten to know it very well.

Strengths

The driver grind has allowed me to be more aggressive and confident on all of my short game shots. The club glides along the grass, protecting me from my steep tendencies. Even when I take a divot, the club doesn’t get stuck in the ground through impact like it tends to with other wedges. I’ve lost my fear of digging, even in wetter playing conditions. I originally thought tight lies would be a problem with such high bounce, but I’ve yet to experience any problems blading shots in drier conditions or tightly mown areas.

Its dual grind allows me to use the full amount of bounce when I aim the club at the target, but with an open face, the leading edge doesn’t lift too high off the turf to cause any concern at address or with turf interaction through impact. This definitely helps with confidence, because seeing the leading edge raised up toward the equator of the ball can be an uncomfortable visual, especially on shots requiring a soft touch.

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Chipping and pitching from the rough and difficult lies has gotten easier as well. The club seems to work through long grass better than wedges from other brands, probably due to the heel and toe relief. It doesn’t get “caught” as much on thick lies, which keeps the face from inadvertently turning over. The bounce/loft combination also allows me to be aggressive on thick lies around the green. Even when I caught the ball on the toe, not a lot of ball speed was lost at impact. I rarely miss on the heel, so that wasn’t an issue.

The ball flight on shorter shots is high and soft, producing very dull action once it hits the green. The ball has a “land, stop and roll a little” type action on well struck chips/pitches. On fuller shots (30-to-70 yards), the ball drops in nicely without too much movement after it lands, meaning great ball control.

As you’d expect with a high bounce club, bunker play is made simple from most textures of sand, producing high-flying, dead-landing shots on the green. More compact or wet sand may cause players to catch it skinny, but I haven’t had an issue. Longer bunker shots proved to be difficult given the high launch, so I usually opt for a 56-degree wedge or less for those shots.

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I found the KBS shaft to be light and responsive, but with plenty of shaft options to choose from, any feel you are looking for can be achieved.

Weaknesses

The low-launch shot has been difficult for me. Obviously, with this club you wouldn’t expect to be playing low shots anyway, but some players like to use one wedge for most short game shots. It could just be a visual thing, but I’ve had trouble shutting down the face enough to get the low-spinning action with my 60-degree Edel. The ball tends to pop into the air more than anticipated, even when I try to deloft the club. I would have had to make major adjustments to hit a low-spinner with the Edel, so it’s just been easier to use a different club. I would probably take down the bounce a few degrees to add versatility in this regard if I could customize another wedge.

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I’ve also had difficulty hitting shots longer than 80 yards with the wedge (I hit a full 60-degree wedge about 100 yards), which has always been a weakness of mine. It may be a fundamental flaw in my technique more than anything, but the issue is exaggerated with the wedge I customized.

The high bounce tends to cause impact issues as I increase my swing speed, which is when my angle of attack naturally becomes less steep. My full shots (80-to-100 yards) seem to launch higher with my Edel wedge than with wedges with less bounce, which cause them to come up short of the target. Many times, I’ll catch the ball a groove or two low because I feel that I have to hit the ball harder, and that has sent many shots sailing over the green.

When testing this wedge against 60-degree wedges from other manufacturers, I noticed that the other wedges flew about 8-to-10 yards farther on good shots. If I had a chance to do this review over, I’d like to try a model with a little less bounce because I think it would eliminate these issues.

Looks and Feel

One look down and the wedge smacked me in the face with common sense. If golfers tend to hit their short game shots towards the toe, why don’t all wedges have a sweet spot more toward the toe? The center of gravity matches the center of the club face, with grooves that extend farther out towards the toe than most other wedges. Visually, it suits my eye very well and many others will feel the same.

The club head has a generally round shape, with a rounded leading edge caused by heel and toe relief. Many of the wedges on the market today have a more squared-off look that golfers enjoy because they look and behave more like irons. Personally, I like the way this wedge looks.

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I ordered a forged wedge, which has the soft, solid feel you’d expect from the finest of wedges. The sound is subtle and the feel is buttery. Even on mis-hits, there’s nothing “clicky” or off-putting about the sound off the face.

Although the hand-engravings were sharp with colors that make the design pop, it still has that hand ground, raw look. Maybe it’s the dull color or hand forging, but it definitely produces a nostalgic feel.

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Based on the color coordination and fashion sense of the customer, the wedges have the potential to be artistically superior to any other club I’ve played. The “Birdies” stamping font really suits my eye, but Edel offers plenty artistic options for its customers.

Although the back portion of the clubs may produce some glare in the sunlight, the face is more dull, helping to fend off any distracting glare. Having gamed the club for more than a two-month duration, the club has shown no signs of aging aside from normal wear and tear of a golf club.

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The Edel Lamkin 3Gen Scoring Grip has a rubbery feel that stays dry in most conditions, and doesn’t lose its grip. How a grip feels is subjective, but most players won’t be disappointed. Only one grip option leaves a little something to be desired, however.

The Takeaway

Regardless of the wedge you decide to purchase, a fitting is necessary. It may be tempting to self-customize using Edel’s online system, but there’s no sense in paying $195 dollars or more on a wedge just to find out it’s not the right one for you. If you’re interested in buying an Edel wedge, I highly recommend seeing an Edel wedge fitter. Get fit, and then you can have fun designing stampings and color combinations online.

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Andrew Tursky is the Editor-in-Chief of GolfWRX. He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team while earning a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Steve

    Apr 22, 2017 at 5:47 pm

    Picked up a set of these wedges yesterday. A 60, 56 and 52. 4 birdie chip in’s, and one eagle on a par 4 from 115 yards out, not only has made me a believer in these wedge performances. I now won’t carry any other wedge in my bag. They’ve darned near paid for themselves on the first day of use. I’m a six handicap and have played Callaway wedges for years. A friend of mine told me about these Edel Wedges, I went to Pro Store, hit a few balls. The feel is far superior to any wedge I’ve hit before, with plenty of action. So if you miss a green a bit, don’t fear, if you’re playing Edels, your game and confidence just improved 100%……..

  2. Pingback: New Edel Golf Wedges - iGolfBlog.com

  3. Joes

    Oct 1, 2014 at 9:36 am

    Wah … Yours look just as good as Bee Bee’s & Reese’s leh … Can invite me over for some of these mfnfius ar? You’ve been baking and cooking up a storm! How I wish I can do that! Keep it up! =)

  4. Anisa

    Sep 29, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    hmm nice info about Golf Gadgets I will try and check back more often. How frequently you uadtpe your site?Best RegardsSara jinn

  5. Bubbab

    Jul 9, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    Andrew,
    My experience has been that because of the lack of offset on Edels as well as the shape and position of the leading edge, these wedges fly higher than others. For me that works great because I use these for finesse shots more than full shots!

  6. Desmond

    Jul 8, 2014 at 7:42 am

    I demoed both cast and forged Edels — no difference in feel — the cast is $195 per… As to shafts, you are limited online, but I’m told they can get you any shaft. I recommend a personal fitting … the only way to go to make sure you have the right grind and that the wedge fits for all swing — delicate, partials, full.

  7. Desmond

    Jul 8, 2014 at 7:40 am

    I guess you can do an online fitting … but let’s face, a personal fitting is the only way to go if you’re spending $195 per wedge … less if you buy more than one with your fitter.

    I was a wedge ho’ until my Edels … they’ve saved me a lot of money. Performance is 5/5. I can do anything, and I mean anything with these in any conditions or lie (or lack of a decent lie). Not so with Vokey, Cleveland, Bridgestone, Callaway, Ping, et al.

  8. KK

    Jul 7, 2014 at 10:30 pm

    Beautiful wedges. Could always get the wedge refinished yearly. That would ease the sting significantly.

  9. Chris

    Jul 7, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    Uh……..no. $195 for a club that will last only a year tops is a little much.

    • Desmond

      Jul 8, 2014 at 7:36 am

      I’ve had my Edel Wedges for 16 months, and use the 60 a lot on the range, in the sand, doing a lot of partials, and had the spin checked on a Trackman recently by my Edel Fitter. Everything is good.

  10. Tom Stickney

    Jul 7, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    Most people play too little bounce…edel’s fitting will open your eyes to this fact.

    • snowman

      Jul 8, 2014 at 3:12 pm

      It seems than many pros/experts now agree most people play too little bounce… so how come the major manufactures still offer only wedges with max of ~14-16 degrees bounce and generally only in a few lofts?
      Very frustrated with these oems with 47 inch drivers and low bounce wedges when it is ‘known’ that these are not best for most players.

  11. Pingback: Review: Edel Wedges | Spacetimeandi.com

  12. R

    Jul 7, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    Nice review, been interested in these wedges for some time now.

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Reviews

In-Depth Review: Titleist Vokey SM6 Wedges

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Pros: A new, progressive CG design helps the low-lofted wedges fly a few yards farther, and improves the feel of the high-lofted wedges while boosting consistency. With lofts from 46-62 degrees and five distinct grinds, most golfers will be able to find an SM6 wedge that works for them.

Cons: At $149, they’re $20 more expensive than SM5 models.

Who they’re for: All golfers.

The Review

  • Price: $149 (MAP)
  • Lofts: 46, 48, 50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60, 62
  • Grinds: F (46-56), S (54-60), M (54-62), L (58-60), K (58-60)
  • Finishes: Tour Chrome (plated), Steel Gray (plated) and Jet Black (QPQ)
  • Stock Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold S200
  • Construction: Cast (8620 carbon steel)

A glance at Vokey’s new SM6 wedges reveals that something is different. Some golfers will understand the science of why the wedges look like they do, but many won’t. Unlike a lot of new golf club technologies, however, golfers won’t need to be in the know to be impressed. I don’t talk about the “cool factor” in many of my reviews, but the SM6 wedges certainly have it.

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Those curves on the back of the SM6 wedges? They create what’s called a progressive center of gravity (CG), which means the weighting of the SM6 wedges varies based on loft. The lowest-lofted SM6 wedges (46-52 degrees) have the lowest CG, the mid-lofted wedges (54, 56 degrees) have a higher CG and the highest-lofted wedges (58-62 degrees) have the highest CG. The three different CG positions match the desired impact area on each wedge’s club face — lower-lofted wedges are generally contacted lower on the face, while higher-lofted wedges are generally contacted higher on the face — to improve trajectory, feel and consistency.

Low-Lofted SM6 Wedges 

If you’ve ever wished your Vokey 46-, 48-, 50- or 52-degree wedge flew a little farther, SM6 models will. Vokey says the low-lofted SM6 wedges create about 1.5 mph more ball speed and 3-4 yards more distance, and I buy their claim after testing SM6 wedges that were built to the same specs as my SM5 models on Foresight GC2.

“Distance doesn’t matter with wedges,” you might be saying, and you’re correct in theory. Who cares if your gap wedge goes 110 or 113 yards, as long as you hit it a consistent distance. That’s not the issue, though. Improvements in golf equipment technology have irons flying farther than they ever have, which means more golfers need a club — and maybe even two clubs — between 46-and-52 degrees to bridge the gap between their shortest iron and mid-or-high-lofted wedge.

I’m one of those golfers who needs two wedges to fill the gap. I use a 9 iron that measures 41 degrees and carries about 150 yards. I also use a 54-degree wedge (bent to 55 degrees) that carries about 105 yards. I fill the gap with a 46-degree wedge (bent to 45 degrees) that carries about 135 yards. I prefer its look and feel to the pitching wedge from my iron set because I can vary trajectory more easily with it. I also carry a 50-degree wedge that carries about 120 yards.

An issue I had with the SM5 wedges (46-08 F Grind, 50-08 F Grind) is the same one I’ve always had with other low-lofted wedges. Many times when I tried to hit them a little harder to make them go a few yards farther, they didn’t. Shots often just went higher due to excess spin. I’ve seen countless golfers experience this problem, especially better players.

The biggest improvement to the low-lofted SM6 wedges is that they create a more iron-like ball flight. It’s slight, but their faster trajectory is a little bit less likely to balloon. To me, they also feel slightly softer than the SM5’s at impact.

Probably just as important as the new progressive CG design of the low-lofted SM6 wedges is something that isn’t new — the different bounce options Vokey offers in its 50- and 52-degree wedges. Both the 50- and 52-degree models are offered in F Grinds with effective bounce angles of 8 and 12 degrees. Most manufacturers offer multiple bounce options in their mid- and high-lofted models, but it’s rare to see two different options in low-lofted models.

In July 2015, I traveled to Titleist’s Oceanside, California Test Facility to learn more about the company’s 716 iron line. During the downtime, Titleist offered me an opportunity to be fit for SM5 wedges by the man himself, Bob Vokey. My steeper angle of attack theoretically made me a better fit for the 50-12 F Grind (a 50-degree wedge with 12 degrees of effective bounce), but my results were better with the 50-08 F Grind.

Vokey explained that the reduced bounce helped me contact the ball slightly higher on the face, and that improved my ball flight. That moment cemented how important it is for golfers to be fit for not just their lob wedge, but for as many of their wedges as possible.

Mid-Lofted SM6 Wedges 

The mid-lofted SM6 wedges (54 and 56 degrees) are most similar to the SM5 models, as they do not have the weight pads used in the low-lofted and high-lofted wedges. That’s because, according to Vokey representatives, the CG of the mid-lofted wedges was pretty much where it needed to be.

For that reason, the biggest change golfers will notice if they switch to an SM6 from an SM5 is the shaping. Unlike the low-lofted SM6 wedges, which are significantly smaller than SM5 models and have shorter hosels, the mid-lofted SM6 wedges are roughly the same size. There’s no denying, however, that the shaping of the SM6 wedges gives them a more streamlined look. Their toes are more rounded, their top lines are thinner and their par area, the part of a wedge’s top line that conjoins with the hosel, blends more seamlessly.

I’ve given my SM5 and SM6 54-14 F Grind wedges (bent to 55 degrees) to several golfers and had them hit shots with each one to see if they could notice a different in feel. Some told me the SM6 felt softer, while others told me the SM5 felt softer. For that reason, its hard to make an absolute statement about a change in feel in the mid-lofted wedges. I’ve had a few golfers tell me the SM5 wedges look better at address, but many more have preferred the look of the SM6.

Before moving on to the high-lofted wedges, I want to point out two more things; one is specific to the mid-lofted models, one that is not.

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SM6 wedges use Vokey’s new TX4 grooves that feature a parallel face texture to increase spin and consistency.

  • Like SM5 models, both the 54 and 56 are available in three different grinds (F, S and M). For the SM6 line, however, the popular M Grind has 2 degrees less effective bounce to make it more versatile from a wider variety of lies.
  • All SM6 wedges also feature Vokey’s new TX4 grooves, which use a machine-milled, parallel face texture that Titleist says can increase consistency and sharpens groove edges to add as much as 200 rpm of spin. The SM6 wedges also use the same progressive groove design as the SM5 wedges. The lower-lofted wedges (46-54) use narrower, deeper grooves to displace more debris on square-face shots, while higher-lofted wedges (56-62) use shallower grooves that create more friction on open-face shots.

High-Lofted SM6 Wedges 

With a slightly higher CG, the high-lofted SM6 wedges do seem to launch shots slightly lower and with a little more spin than SM5 models, and that’s exactly what most better players want their high-lofted wedges to do. But the change likely won’t be noticed by the majority of golfers. What they will notice, however, is how much better the high-lofted SM6 wedges feel at impact. Every golfer has experienced the “clank” that occurs when a wedge shot is hit too high on the face, or toward the heel or toe at impact. With the high-lofted SM6 wedges, those shots felt softer and more solid.

Due to their higher CG, the high-lofted wedges also seemed to be a little more consistent in my testing on Foresight. Especially when hitting 50-yard shots, I saw that the 60-degree SM6 M Grind wedge seemed to land a little closer my target on mishits. Sometimes it flew 1-2 yards farther than I expected when I contacted a shot slightly on the toe or the heel; sometimes shots just held their line just a little bit better. The difference is small, but can make an difference. We’re all better at making 6-foot putts than we are 9-footers, aren’t we?

As for shaping, the new wedges don’t look the same as the SM5’s at address. They appear slightly larger, and have the same general appearance as the other wedges in the new line.

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At Address: A Vokey SM6 lob wedge (60-08 M Grind)

No discussion of a Vokey high-lofted wedge is complete without mentioning their four distinct sole grinds, which Team Vokey continues to tweak based on its work with Tour players, as well as average golfers. Despite the several improvements to the new wedges, the grinds continue to be one of their main selling points. That’s how powerful using the proper sole grind can be.

Again, it’s best to get fitted, but if you can’t, the chart and list below offers a few starting points.

Vokey_SM6_Specifications

full-chart

  • If you struggle from the sand, try the K Grind (available in 58, 60). It has the widest sole of any Vokey wedge, and can work well for golfers with steep attack angles. Compared to SM5 K Grind wedges, it has 1-degree more effective bounce to help the wedge better resist digging on square-face shots.
  • If you play courses with extremely firm turf conditions, try the L Grind (available in 58, 60). It has the lowest effective bounce (4 degrees), and slightly more camber than SM5 models to goflers resist digging.
  • The M Grind (available in 54, 56, 58, 60, 62) will work best for golfers who like to manipulate the face open or closed, while the S Grind (available in 54, 56, 58, 60, 62) is better for golfers who tend to play more square-faced shots. The 58 and 60-degree S Grind wedges have 3-degrees more bounce than SM5 models.

Vokey Custom Options

As noted above, I don’t use a standard SM5 wedge. At Oceanside, Vokey fit me for a V-Grind that’s offered through the company’s Hand Ground Program. According to Titleist representatives, Hand Ground SM6 wedges, which make available Tour-only grinds and enhanced customization options — will be released to the public at a later date.

Do I really need a V-Grind wedge? I must admit, with a little practice I could probably use the SM6 M Grind and hit all the shots I need to hit. But I liked the performance V Grind enough to pay the extra money for it (Hand Ground wedges start at $350 each).

For golfers not willing to pay that much for a completely custom wedge, Vokey offers more affordable custom options to standard SM6 wedges through its WedgeWorks Services. Through the program, golfers can customize the shafts, grips, shaft bands, ferrules, stampings and paintfill of their wedges. I’ve had several wedges customized through WedgeWorks, and the work is always A++.

Should you Upgrade?

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If you’re currently using a set of properly fit SM5 wedges, your transition from them to the SM6 models should be an easy one. Many golfers will see certain benefits from the newer wedges, as I did, but they may or may not warrant an immediate upgrade, especially if their grooves are still fresh.

An aside about buying wedges: Many tournament players purchase two sets of wedges at a time. They practice with one set and use another on the golf course, which keeps their grooves as fresh as possible for tournaments. While it doubles cost, it helps their gamer wedges last longer and adds peace of mind that they’re getting the best possible performance from their wedges on the course.

More questions?

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What else do you want to know? I’ll do my best to answer your questions in the comments section.

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Reviews

Review: Callaway MD3 Milled wedges

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Pros: Options are plentiful with the MD3 Milled wedges. There are three different sole grinds, two finishes and a wide range of lofts (46-60 degrees). Low-lofted, mid-lofted and high-lofted wedges are each equipped with a distinct groove design that’s tailored to shot-specific needs. 

Cons: Wedge heads are not able to be customized with stampings, engravings or paint fill. Unlike Callaway’s Mack Daddy 2 wedges, the MD3 Milled are not forged. 

Who they’re for: Anyone can play the MD3 Milled wedges, especially with the addition of the wider-soled “W Grind.”

The Review

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  • Lofts available: 46, 48, 50, 52, 54, 56, 58 and 60 degrees
  • Grinds: S Grind (46-60), W Grind (54-60), C Grind (56-60)
  • Finishes: Matte Black (46-60) and Satin Chrome (46-60)
  • Price: $129.99
  • Stock Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold S300

New and improved are popular terms in the golf equipment world, but generally there’s more emphasis on the “new” part than the “improved” part. Fortunately, what’s new about Callaway’s MD3 Milled wedges also offers noticeable improvements over previous models from the company.

So what’s new and improved about the MD3 Milled wedges? Here are five things to know about them.

Throwing weight around

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Each MD3 Milled wedge has four colored ports in its rear cavity. Weight was removed from those areas to give the wedges a higher-toe design that moves the center of gravity (CG) higher for a slightly lower launch and more spin — exactly what the best golfers want from their wedge shots.

For me, it wasn’t the fact I could hit the 58.9 S Grind with as much spin as I wanted; it was the ease with which I was able to alter the trajectory. With the 54.12 W Grind, I had no problem hitting the ball high to front pin locations, or flighting shots that minimized the effect of the wind.  

Shot-specific grooves

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All 54- and 56-degree (pictured) MD3 Wedges have Callaway’s 20V grooves.

With the MD3 Milled, Callaway offers three specific groove patterns to optimize launch and spin based on the loft of the wedge. Pitching and gap wedges (46-52 degrees) have Callaway’s 30V grooves, which have 30-degree side walls that perform best on the more aggressive, downward strikes that are common with the clubs. Mid-lofted wedges (54-56 degrees) use Callaway’s 20V grooves, which have 20-degree side walls that excel on bunker shots and full swings. Lob wedges (58-60 degrees) have Callaway’s 5V grooves, which create maximum spin on shots around the green.

In testing, I was most impressed with the 5V groove, which does a remarkable job moving additional moisture and debris away from the ball. That came in quite handy when navigating juicy lies around the green. 

More refined grinds

The MD3 wedges are available in three distinct sole grinds: S Grind, C Grind and W Grind. My thoughts on each are below.

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S Grind: The “S” is the most versatile of the three available grinds. I’m tempted to say that S stands for “Swiss Army Knife,” as there was no shot I couldn’t hit with the grind. It was the most consistent grind on full swings from the fairway and tight lies, and more than held its own out of both light and deep rough. There’s no doubt that the S Grind will fit the majority players, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with bagging the S Grind in two, three or four different wedges, depending on your bag setup.

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C Grind: This grind offers more heel and toe relief than the S Grind, creating an effectively thinner sole that excels in firmer conditions. While it doesn’t play nice with steep angles of attack, the additional relief in both the heel and toe did keep the head moving through the rough and allowed the leading edge to sit nicely under the ball at address — especially on open-faced shots. That adds versatility for golfers who hit a lot of specialty shots around the green.

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W Grind: The W Grind is ideal for bunker play, messy lies and players with steep attack angles. It was my favorite grind, because it seemed to get better the closer I got to the hole. Out of both light and deep rough, the W Grind operated like one of those old ginsu knives, but without the lame sales pitch. Getting up and down from gnarly lies around the green felt entirely too easy. And if the lie was clean and the turf was on the softer side, I had no problem hitting aggressive shots with a square or opened club face because I knew the wider sole would resist digging. Especially on less-than-full shots from inside 100 yards, the W Grind quickly earned the go-to spot in my bag.

Two finishes

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The MD3 Milled’s Matte Black finish (above) will wear and rust over time, while the Satin Chrome, which is plated, will show less wear but produce slightly more glare on sunny days.

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Although the MD3 Milled wedges aren’t forged — they’re cast from 8620 steel — both finishes felt fantastic with an edge in softness going to the Matte Black.

Looks to get emotional about

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At Address: A 58-degree S Grind.

Last but not least, the MD3 Milled are an awesome choice if you favor a teardrop shape at address. In that regard, the MD3 Milled approaches aesthetic perfection. The slightly raised toe and marginally straighter leading edge, compared to previous models, gives the wedge a clean look that balances angular lines with subtle curves.

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Notice the added sole curvature visible at address in this 56-degree wedge, which is a result of its C Grind.

For all the time we spend looking at the face of the wedge, many golfers are concerned about the appearance of the club as it sits in the bag. Some will call the cavity of the MD3 Milled is a bit gaudy, but others will see the four luminescent ports and green accents as fun and recognizable. 

The Takeaway

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The W Grind will work best for golfers who play golf in soft conditions, as well as those looking for improved sand play.

The MD3 Milled are the best production wedges Callaway has released in the past decade for a variety of reasons. At $129.99, the three distinct grinds and two finish options should cover the needs of most interested golfers. The shaping of the wedges is also so beautiful at address, and I found them to look and feel as good as leading wedge models.

The lack of custom options — stampings, paintfill, etc — isn’t a deal breaker, but does leave some room for improvement. At the end of the day, however, wedges should judged on how they perform. With an improved weighting scheme and loft-specific grooves, Callaway put performance first with the MD3 Milled and it won’t go unnoticed.

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Wedge Reviews

Review: 4 things to know about Ping’s Glide wedges

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Designing a wedge is complicated, but falling in love with one is simple. And I fell hard for Ping’s new Glide wedges within a matter of weeks, a feeling that hasn’t faded in the months since. I found that there’s simply no shot I can’t pull off with a Glide wedge, and fitting one to your game is as simple as it gets in today’s complex wedge marketplace.

Are you shopping for a new wedge? Here are four things to know about Ping’s Glide.

The Simple (and Awesome) Sole Grinds

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The Glide wedges are offered in three different “sole grinds,” a term that describes the shape of the sole of the club. Choosing the best sole grind for your game is the most important part of buying a new wedge. Choose the right one, and you’ll gain more confidence around the green. Choose the wrong one, and you’ll feel like you’re running a race in shoes that don’t fit.

Some sole grinds are more versatile than others, and Ping’s Standard Sole, or SS Grind, on its Glide wedges is one of the most versatile grinds on the market.

I tested four SS Grind wedges (47, 52, 56 and 60 degrees) in several different areas of the country with different turf conditions — from the deserts of Arizona to the plush turf of Michigan — and didn’t once wish I had a different grind.

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Ping’s WS Grind has a wider sole than the company’s other grinds, and for that reason it doesn’t “dig” as much.

The Glide wedges are also available in a Wide Sole, or WS Grind, which is for golfers who play golf courses with very soft conditions or those who have steeper angles of attack (AoA). For those not familiar with advanced golf swing lingo, a steep AoA generally leads to big divots.

On the other end of the spectrum is the Thin Sole, or TS Grind, which is for one of three kinds of golfers:

  1. Those who play courses with very firm conditions
  2. Those who have a very shallow AoA.
  3. Those who want maximum versatility around the greens, as the TS Grind has the narrowest sole and the lowest effective bounce.

The three grinds are very distinct, so if you test all three there’s little chance that you’ll choose the wrong one. Trust your gut, but there’s a high probability that you’ll prefer the SS Grind.

The Soft Feel (and Forgiveness)

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Cast wedges like the Glide can scare away golfers who are particular to the feel of forged wedges. And it’s true that there are cast wedges on the market that don’t feel great — but the Glide wedges aren’t one of them.

The Glide wedges are cast from a 431 stainless steel that’s softer than the 17-4 stainless steel used to make their predecessors, Ping’s Tour Gorge wedges. They also have a redesigned thermoplastic elastomer Custom Tuning Port (CTP) that is positioned behind the impact area to dull bad vibes.

The biggest benefit of the Glide’s cast, multi-material construction, however, is not feel but forgiveness. Some golfers might say that they’re not looking for increased forgiveness in a wedge, but I say, “Why not?” The Glide wedges are roughly the same size and shape of other leading wedges at address, with the benefit of a bit of perimeter weighting that you won’t notice until you need it.

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At address: The Glide wedges have a traditional profile and minimal offset.

When I hit a shot slightly off center with the Glide wedges — particularly the 47- and 52-degree models — the results were slightly better than the blade-styled wedges I’ve played in the past.

Impressive Custom Options

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A stock 54-degree Glide wedge has a swing weight of D3.

Remember the Custom Tuning Port (CTP) I mentioned a few paragraphs ago? It serves the dual purpose of improving the feel of Ping’s irons and wedges, and also helps the company dial in the swing weight of custom orders.

Ping made the Glide’s swing weight, a measurement of the balance point of a golf club, lighter than previous models. The stock 60-degree model, for example, has a swing weight of D4. The decision was based on a study of golf’s greatest wedge players, which showed that many of them used lob wedges that were often lighter than the standard D5-D6 swing weight.

I wanted to try lighter wedges, too, so I made a difficult request. At 0.5 inches over standard, which usually pushes swing weight into the D6-D9 range, I wanted my wedges to have a swing weight of D3. Ping nailed it.

Ping’s famous WRX department (no relation) can handle a variety of custom requests. For more information, contact Ping. 

A Hands-Down Approach

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The Glide grooves are narrower and deeper at lower lofts to create more consistency on straight-faced shots, and wider and more shallow at higher lofts to create more greenside spin.

As I mentioned in my tech story on the Glide wedges that was published January, Ping made small tweaks to nearly every aspect of the new wedges. Some were subtle, such as the loft-optimized grooves and chrome-plated finish that both create slightly more spin. Others were more noticeable, such as a new CFS wedge shaft and Ping’s Dylawedge grip, which is 0.75 inches longer than a standard grip to encourage golfers to “choke down” on the club for more control.

The takeaway for interested buyers? With the Glide wedges, Ping covered all its bases and created a well-rounded line that offers golfers plenty of loft and grind options without overly complicating the fitting process. Maybe you won’t like the Glide wedges as much as I do, but harsh criticism of the Glide wedges will be rooted in personal preference — not performance.

If you’re looking for a wedge that achieves high marks in every meaningful category — looks, feel, spin and versatility — these are one of your top choices. And if you like the sound of a little extra forgiveness, the Glide is it.

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