Winners of 2 majors and countless US and European PGA tournaments, YES! Golf have turned their attention from the greens to the greenside with the release of their Bill wedge.
There seems to be a fair amount of convergence in the short game sector at the moment, with wedge and iron specialists bringing out putters and here a putter specialist bringing out a wedge. This is ground that has been trodden successfully in the past by Ping who of course has gone on to become one of the most successful ‘full-bag’ OEMs. Despite pictures of a YES! Golf driver doing the rounds, YES! are adamant that their focus is on being the top company in the 100 yards and in part of the game and not looking to move into other areas.
YES! Golf popularised the concept of putting grooves on the faces of putters to maximise top-spin with their C-groove technology and while no C-groove technology exists in the wedge, they have taken their knowledge of controlling ball spin and applied it here.
Initially available in 52 and 56 degree with 58 and 60 degree coming soon, it features everything you would expect from a top class club of this type: tear drop head shape, U-grooves, a milled face, high COG via the longest hosel found on any wedge and all forged from Japanese steel. The standard shaft is a TrueTemper S200 with the N.S. Pro 950 GH offered as an option, and the grip is a proprietary YES! grip in black and yellow.
This wedge has a matt ‘black chrome’ finish (which oddly enough looked brown in promo photos) that does a great job of cutting down glare. This special finish is designed to be highly rust resistant, durable and soft with a finished wedge being no harder than an unfinished one. With the classic teardrop shaped head it frames the golf ball brilliantly at setup – more Vokey like than Cleveland. The script on the back of the face is quite large but no more distracting than that found on other wedges – and of course, if you’re somehow able to see the writing on that part of the head during your stroke, you’re doing something wrong! At first glance, the grip is a little loud and may not be to everyones taste – the half black/half yellow colour scheme makes this unmistakably a Yes! product – but as the bright section of the grip is immediately covered by the hands, the choice of colour is a non-issue.
Grooves and Face Milling
With the milled face and the wide U grooves, this wedge produces a load of spin from fairway, sand or rough, in the dry or in the wet. The amount of spin is easily in the top tier of wedges as aggressive swings will be rewarded by plenty of ‘tour sauce’. If not quite the highest spinning wedge I’ve ever played it certainly more than holds its own and importantly for those of us without a ball deal, it manages to do this without shredding the cover off the ball. There is a sense that the grooves and the milled face really do grip the ball without carving great gouges out of it in a single full shot and this is especially noticeable on shots out of the sand when a couple of shots that came out a little hot still managed to sit down far faster than they otherwise deserved. So plenty of spin but kind to the ball.
The general design of the club head and the long hosel means that the COG of this club is very high which should produce a lower ball flight. This is instantly obvious when trying to hit low skidding “one hop and stop” chips as the ball fires off the face and really does grab and sit down. The long hosel is not quite as outrageous as it first appears as although it is several cm longer than standard hosels, it is also slightly thinner so there is not too much movement of weight towards the heel of the club. Full shots follow a standard to low trajectory which makes for great judgment of distance and flop shots from fluffy lies are easily done.
Great feel. The forging process produces a head that generates a soft click at impact. The grip is very thin towards the end putting the emphasis on delicate control and touch shots.
While this wedge does not have any specific grind on it, the standard set up still allows a full range of shots from a wide range of lies. Sand play is very good with the fair amount of bounce allowing an aggressive swing without worry of digging. Nipping the ball of the fairway is also easy enough, as are chipping and pitching around the green. Only on a hard bare lie would opening the face cause the leading edge to rise up too much.
A top quality wedge from Yes! Golf. It ticks all the boxes that a wedge of this class has too and is a great option for those looking for something different. The issue for Yes! Golf is how they are going to convince the diehard fans of the likes of Vokey, Cleveland, Callaway and Mizuno that this wedge is worth the roughly 30% price premium that it costs over and above these other makes (RRP is £99.99) but for those looking for a high spin, top quality wedge that is not made by one of the big boys, the Bill wedge should definitely get some serious consideration.