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Bridgestone West Coast Design Wedge

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Fast facts:  This is one great lob wedge.

The Bridgestone West Coast Design Liquid Copper (WCD LC) 60 degree wedge is an upgraded version following Bridgestone’s Tour inspired West Coast Design wedge series. The WCD LC is cast from soft 8620 mild carbon steel, has a precision-milled face and precise double-stamped U-grooves, and is coated with a proprietary Liquid Copper finish. The shaft is True Temper Dynamic Gold. The rest of the specs are at the end of this article.

The first challenge of reviewing this wedge was trying to forget the stroke and feel of all the wedges I have ever known. But then again, I thought, I have learned many lessons from those past wedges. So I will apply that experience to assess the merits of this mysterious new wedge, this Bridgestone West Coast Design (WCD) with its enigmatic Liquid Copper veneer.

From the start, I was caught in a quandary, for the technological philosophy behind the Liquid Copper coating is that it will eventually wear off, allowing the club to rust and produce more ball-gripping control. So, I asked myself, is the “real” wedge the pristine new product with its golden brown sheen, or is it the club after a few dozen rounds, with its copper erased by blades of rough and its rusty face open to the sun?

I couldn’t decide whether this was really one wedge, or two. Here is my conclusion: this review is Part I of my relationship with the wedge in its new, virgin state. Part II will appear a bit later in the season, when my golf game isn’t so rusty, but the wedge is.

Appearance

It really is quite stunning when new. The head is a classic shape, the color is…odd for me. I’d never used a copper-looking club before, and from the start I felt comfortable with this one. I don’t like a lot of off-set, and this club pleased my picky eye with a smooth line from hosel to club head. I’m 6’3”, and even from my height I could clearly see the milled face and no-nonsense grooves. The top edge isn’t thick or thin, but meant for business. And it’s leading edge rested low enough to the ground for a sense that a ball could be plucked from most any lie.

The club feels a bit lighter than my previous wedges. I honestly couldn’t discover whether it was the overall balance, or actual club head weight. Perhaps it’s the shaft. Ultimately, I came to appreciate the brilliance of its weight in combination with its features. Those comments are below.

You’ll notice a mark in the finish over the West Coast logo…a reminder that perhaps the wedge wears a disguise, like Cinderella. (Nothing, however, happened at midnight.)

Performance

First, I noticed that the WCD felt light. I wasn’t sure whether this was good or bad. I ultimately deduced that this was a very good thing indeed because I soon discovered that I could more easily control any shot that popped into my brain to attempt. I wasn’t restricted by the heft of a lead weight on the end of the stick, like some wedges feel. This WCD wedge felt more a like a chopping knife than a heavy cleaver (do you cooks know what I mean?). Whether the blade was open or square or even closed, the club felt balanced and in control throughout the swing. (FYI: My current lob wedge feels toe-heavy when open.) So with the WCD, I could approach my ball in the cabbage and slice and dice with restrained abandon.

This club is what clubs around the green should be – versatile. It won’t hit the ball for you. It demands as much from you as you do from it. Meaning you have to have a little skill with shot manipulation. If you do, you’ll be rewarded. Center hits are pure and predictable, with great spin and traction, plus a little lower ball flight for that bounce-and-grab pitch. Mishits off the toe or top are not so pure or forgiving, as they end up weak and short. Good players know how to take advantage of feedback like that.

This wedge flaunts what its maker calls Variable Bounce Technology. That means that there is less bounce at the toe and heel sole area to allow for a true lob shot from virtually any shaggy or tight lie. When the blade is laid open, it looks nearly flat and confident and ready for action.

Bridgestone says that the WCD wedges were engineered specifically with input from tour players like Stuart Appleby. I don’t doubt this for a second, because experienced players will know how to manipulate the shot-making of a club like this, but high-handicappers will get frustrated because only pure hits strike gold.

One other remarkable thing for me about this club is that when I hit the ball I could sense the clubface gripping the ball. This, for me anyway, is unusual. Normally, if I hit the ball and hear a nice snick and feel virtually nothing, that’s the best feedback I could get. Until now. Now, I absolutely have the sensation of the ball spinning more, similar to a baseball pitcher who feels a curve ball leave his fingertips. My first 40-yard shot sucked back three feet, which is something I never do. According to Bridgestone, this wedge is supposed to impart a little more spin than the previous West Coast wedges. The club performed predictably well in both tall and shorter grass, as well as out of sand.

Facts of the face: WCD wedges undergo a precision milling process that cuts more consistently shaped and spaced U-Grooves. The milled U-Grooves are designed to produce higher and more consistent backspin from all varieties of lies and turf conditions. Although, Bridgestone says that when you mill a face, it actually decreases full-shot spin, but increases spin around the green. I didn’t see this difference, which for me is a good thing.

To wrap this up I want to say that I generally have great success when I first make an acquaintance with a club, especially drivers, putters, and wedges. But there is no denying that this club has tremendous feel for educated hands and immense potential to be a star in the bag.

Here are specs, straight from Bridgestone.

Loft: 60*
Lie: 64*
Length: 35”
Swing Weight: D5
Bounce: 10.5
Variable Bounce Technology: creates low bounce on the heel and toe sole areas.
Classic head shape designed through C.A.D. system in conjunction with Tour staff
CNC Milled U-Grooves increases groove volume, maximizing spin
CNC Milled Face
8620 Mild Carbon Steel for enhance feel
True Temper® Dynamic® Gold shaft
Golf Pride Tour Velvet grip
List price $119

Now, go hit ‘em.

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Tim Schoch got hooked on golf by his uncle, a golf course superintendent, who gave him a set of hickory sticks he'd dredged from the bottom of the course's lake. Tim would later caddy for the private nine-holer, waiting with the other boys in the stifling caddy shack until one of the portly hacker members grunted in his direction then heaped two bags of clubs and three hours of verbal abuse on his shoulders, all for $5 per bag and a quarter tip. Tim loved it. Tim is a writer, editor, humorist, copywriter and marketing professional, and author of 10 novels and dozens of magazine stories. He occasionally blogs about golf at www.golferblogger.com and creative writing on the blog found at www.TimWriter.com. He wrote for GolfWRX eight years ago, and is happy to be back. Tim's been on eBay since 1998. Currently, Tim and his wife run two eBay shops: www.doubleTvintage.com and www.DejaGolf.com.

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Roddy

    Oct 5, 2013 at 7:02 am

    Hi Guys. Just here to express my views on how i think Kiradech Aphibarnrat is probably one of the greatest golfers of the game at this time. I think he will make top 10 in th world next year and will win 2 out of the 4 majors next year! what are your views on Kiradech Aphibarnrat?

  2. Bill

    Jan 15, 2009 at 2:32 am

    Great wedges! Got the LC 54 & 60 tweaked to a low bounce 58 so I could drop a wedge and add a long iron. Love ’em. Tons of spin and longer than my previous wedges. Great for chipping close in and flops out of deep grass are a cinch. Only ‘problem’ is those curly shavings off the cover from the extra sharp grooves. I easily wear my ball out in one round but that is a small price to pay for the strokes saved. Get ’em and never look back.

  3. G. W. Greupner

    Aug 3, 2008 at 9:13 pm

    I purchased the 58 deg. WC wedge in May. It is everything stated in the review and then some. It is a great tool for around the green and the combination of TTDG wedge shaft, the variable bounce and the milled face/grooves, I have gained a lot of short game confidence.

  4. mitch

    May 3, 2008 at 10:35 pm

    Bridgestone seems to be coming up with some highly competitive clubs:irons, woodds and now these wcd wedges…i havent got a chance to try any of there clubs yet, but i would definately look for this company to have some innovative and very stylish technology in the next few seasons…and most likely rival the top brands….

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Equipment

SPOTTED: New Callaway Forged irons… Apex or Legacy?

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Photos of a new Callaway Forged iron popped up in our GolfWRX Forums, and our members are trying to figure out whether they’re going to be replacements for Apex Pro irons, or whether they’re an update on the Legacy series. They could also be X-Forged irons, but since Callaway recently came out with new X-Forged irons, that would be unlikely.

Here’s what GolfWRX Members are saying:

  • elwhippy: A new Legacy iron? Looks a bit Japanese shaped. 
  • mattTHEkatt: Like an X-Forged/Legacy Black mashup. They look powerful. 
  • DTown3011: …gotta be the next Apex!
  • J13: Pics look like a newer legacy black.
  • mgholda: Pics look like a newer legacy black.
  • TheMoneyShot: I thought Cally was going to phase out the Apex name after they released the MBs?
  • john443: A larger cavity in these then the X- Forged… competitor to the 750 and AP3 maybe? …or Legacy Black finally brought to retail…hallelujah. CF16 replacement???!
  • Equipto: These look very sharp, and like thumpers. I don’t care if they are a Legacy Black or Apex replacement, call them whatever… i’ll try them 
  • mrmikeac: Next gen Callaway Apex Legacy? Hmmmm…..
  • Brizam: The Legacy Black might be the best players cavity back ever made.  If they were to become available they’d move straight to the top of the list of clubs to buy for me. 
  • Jourdan M: This is the Apex Pro 

Here are photos of the new Callaway irons we spotted

Previous Apex Pro irons

Previous Legacy irons

Which one do you think the new iron looks like? 

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Wilson’s new FG Tour V6 RAW irons (yes, they will rust)

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Wilson came out with its FG Tour V6 irons in 2016, but these new Raw versions have a different look… and with time, they’ll have a VERY different look.

The new FG Tour V6 Raw irons have an unplated finish, and they’re designed to “develop a unique patina based on age, exposure and use over time,” according to Wilson. This gives each iron a unique look, and one that’s far from the clean cut original FG Tour release that had a chrome finish (which won’t rust).

In addition to the rusting effect, the irons are different because they have a copper badge in the cavity that will eventually match the color of the golf club over time. Here’s a graphic mock-up of how the Raw irons may look overtime.

Like the original releases, the irons have tungsten weights and mass behind the impact area for a “forged feel” and “improved feedback,” according to the company.

The FG Tour V6 Raw irons are a custom option on Wilson.com, and are available through Wilson’s premium partner accounts as of today, Tuesday, June 19. According to Wilson, the Raw irons “are a very limited production run,” so only a certain amount of sets will even be built.

 

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Equipment

Chief Engineer Chris Voshall on Mizuno’s approach to the Tour and some of the most insightful pros

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Mizuno’s Chief Engineer Chris Voshall chatted with Johnny Wunder on the latest episode of the Gear Dive.

Voshall offers innumerable interesting anecdotes–particularly interesting is the development of the JPX 900 iron for Brooks Koepka and Voshall’s discussion of his work with other Tour talents.

In the excerpt below, however, Voshall discusses Mizuno’s approach to Tour players and further, whose feedback has proven particularly valuable.

“We’re not making them something special. If they’re coming to us, it’s because the product is that good…They come to us instead of us having to go to them…that’s one of the really exciting things.”

Voshall indicated that players on Tour play essentially the same Mizuno products that are available at retail.

“If the Tour van is out of inventory, they can reach out to us…and we’ll get them more heads. There’s nothing unique about what they’re playing, which I think speaks to the customer…you can almost not trust marketing around the whole world these days, but for us to say ‘there’s nothing different’…that’s something we really hang our hat on.”

With respect to excellent testers on Tour, Voshall sang Luke Donald’s praises, as well as Jhonny Vegas and Brian Gay.

“I love working with Luke. Luke, especially when you’re talking irons…turf interaction, that’s the thing he’s looking for. So with Luke, you’ve really got to speak to him about how it feels, how it enter, how it exits [the turf] and how that’s causing the ball to launch. You could give him the exact same head with a slightly different sole grind, and he will love or hate one versus the other. He’s really cool to work with on that front.”

“Jhonny Vegas…he’s raw power. He goes at it. He wants to slam the club into the ground as hard as he can and see where it goes. He very much on the opposite end of the spectrum as Luke, who’s very much an artist out there, trying to work it, trying to do different things.”

“One of my favorite guys to work with, even though he’s not on staff anymore, is Brian Gay. He knows his game. He knows equipment. Speaking to the fact that he’s been out on Tour as long as he has and has the wins he has with the length he hits the ball, it shows that he does not miss a shot. And he knows everything…when he makes a comment on a club, that’s the one that I take most serious.”

For the rest of Voshall’s insights and perspective, give the full podcast a listen below.

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