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Forum Thread of the Day: “What’s the most forgiving wedge?”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from lefty74pgh who is in search of a wedge that will offer him the most forgiveness. Our members weigh in with not just club advice, but also general suggestions for those struggling with their consistency from 50 yards and in.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • Lancj1: “I say again if you are buying GI irons, get them down to lob wedge. My ping G400 is far better than the Cleveland’s – I’m sure When I had Callaway XR those were great too. If you aren’t good enough to play specialist wedges, imho stick with the set till you are.”
  • herdman: “I have a CBX for my 50-degree wedge, and then a PM grind 56 and then a Ping Eye Gorge 60. I like that setup. I find them all to be pretty forgiving. But, I like the PM Grind at the 56 because it is very versatile.  Mainly use the CBX for the 90 to 100-yard shot.”
  • dpark: “At a minimum, you should be fit for wedges to figure out what type of sole design is best for you. Obviously, lessons and practice would be better. Depending on if you are “digger” or “sweeper”, the right sole design will help with your mishits.”
  • Mahamilto: “In short: If you want forgiveness at the bottom of the bag, pick a set style wedge for the GW, as most amateurs use this club for full swings more than anything else. For the remaining wedges, you have to pick them based on turf interaction and your style of play/swing. The wedge that gives you the best turf interaction will give you the best accuracy and ease of use. I cannot begin to stress this enough. It took me a while to understand it, but when I did, my wedge game became a weapon instead of a liability.”

Entire Thread: “Most forgiving wedge?”

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Gianni is the Assistant Editor at GolfWRX. He can be contacted at gianni@golfwrx.com. Follow him on Twitter @giannimosquito

15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. joro

    Dec 24, 2018 at 6:29 pm

    Every Wedge has its own personality and what is good for one may not be good for others. Depends on how you swing it, a bounce that works, a feel that you like, right weight, right look and feel. So the question is really stupid. But, if you are looking for the most forgiving wedge it would be the Incredible Alien. That thing is so easy that a Monkey could hit it. I had one and was 100% with all shots Wedge, and Sand was a snap as was off cement, out of a puddle, and any other iffy lies I could get into. Even from a rock in a lake, lol.

  2. Brad

    Dec 23, 2018 at 9:04 am

    If you are seeking extra forgiveness in something with as much loft as a wedge – i.e. the easiest club to hit in the bag because loft is your friend – then it is time to spend at least half as much time practicing with your wedges as you do with your driver…

  3. Tom

    Dec 22, 2018 at 5:43 pm

    This guy Gianni doesn’t know ‘Richard’ about golf equipment

  4. Dan

    Dec 22, 2018 at 12:43 am

    If the question is most accurate wedge then your not asking about short game, where accuracy is based on technique. Be definition the best wedge needs to be inaccurate to be versatile on many lies, distances and spin. So if you need accuracy play a game improvement iron down to sw and get a LW in a wedge(Vokey md4 etc) your welcome

  5. Scheiss

    Dec 21, 2018 at 11:40 pm

    EF Grooves. 1025 carbon steel body with Nickel Cobalt played have that never wear out = awesome feel and sharp grooves for ever means reliability and predictability.
    And predictably is what leads to forgiveness because you know what’s going to happen and you learn from it.
    Most of those other edges leave you wondering why something went wrong because they’re unpredictable like that so it leaves you guessing, robbing you of confidence

  6. Tom

    Dec 21, 2018 at 12:36 pm

    Hahahaha…forgiving wedges, are you kidding? there is no such thing!!

  7. lance

    Dec 21, 2018 at 12:30 pm

    The most ‘forgiving’ wedge is not necessarily the ‘best’ wedge… IOW, forgiving and best may be an oxymoron… like most gearheads here… 😀

    • ChipNRun

      Dec 21, 2018 at 3:36 pm

      If wedges beyond PW come with an iron set, the litmus test is usually with the AW or the GW. For the Calla X20 irons, the AW was clunky, real problem with distance control. With the TM SLDR iron, the AW was an excellent club. It blended nicely with a Tour Preferred SW and LW.

      Unless a wedge has a really strange grind, if you like the head you can learn to use it. After all, it’s shaft length is much shorter than a 3i shaft and easier to control.

      Big thing on wedges is the shaft you are using. Let’s say you have:
      * Speed Step 85 (85 grams) in your irons
      * Dynamic Gold wedge flex S300 (129 grams) in your wedges.

      The big weight difference – irons to wedges – may throw off your swing tempo.

      The DG wedge flex is stock shaft in a lot of specialty wedges, so make sure you want a shaft that heavy before ordering.

      • lance

        Dec 21, 2018 at 7:04 pm

        Interesting points on shaft specs for wedges. What do you think about so-called single length irons where the wedges have the same length as a 7 or 8 iron? What shaft specs are needed to make the long shafted wedges effective? Thanks.

  8. Jamie

    Dec 21, 2018 at 11:01 am

    Wrong question. Correct bounce + profile that fits your eye = confidence. Better than the illusion of wedge forgiveness.

    • C

      Dec 21, 2018 at 11:54 am

      Agreed. Wedges aren’t meant to be very forgiving, otherwise they’d all be cavity backed.

      • smz

        Dec 21, 2018 at 1:45 pm

        My PING ZING2 wedges…. P/G/LS/L…. are cavity backed and are tremendously forgiving even when I hit them on the toe… not so much on the heel. I will never change my WITB ZING2s cause they are the ultimate club design.!

        • Caroline

          Dec 23, 2018 at 12:00 am

          Unlike other clubs in your bag wedges have one purpose getting you as close if not in the hole from any where within a 100 yards or so…wedges are played to the hole not just the green so you had better one get the right fit or practice with that wedge until it is the right fit.

        • Tom

          Dec 23, 2018 at 1:37 pm

          If you can’t hit a wedge on the center of the face, you must be a very poor player!

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Whats in the Bag

Byeong Hun An WITB 2020

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  • Equipment accurate as of the Farmers Insurance Open

Driver: Titleist TS3 (8.5 degrees, B2 SureFit setting)
Shaft: Accra TZ5 M5 Proto 65 X

3-wood: Titleist TS2 (13.5 degrees @14.25, D4 SureFit setting)
Shaft: Accra TZ6 M5 Proto 65 X

Utility iron: Titleist U500 (2)
Shaft: Project X EvenFlow Black

Irons: Titleist 716 T-MB (3-5), Titleist 620 MB (6-9)
Shafts: Project X PXi 7.0 (3-5), Project X 6.5 (6-9)

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM8 (48-10F, 52-08F, 56-08M), Vokey Design WedgeWorks (60-T)
Shafts: Project X 6.5 (48, 52, 56), True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 (60)

Putter: Scotty Cameron GSS Prototype
Shaft: LAGP Ozik 135P
Grip: Scotty Cameron Pistolini

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

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Bettinardi and Big League Chew launch special headcovers, ball marker, and limited-edition DASS BB8-Wide putter

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Bettinardi x Big League Chew

Bettinardi and Big League Chew have teamed up to launch a full product line of special headcovers, club sets, a ball marker, a tee-shirt, and a limited 1/5 custom Big League Chew putter.

The special 1/5 DASS BB8-Wide Big League Chew putter weighs 355 grams, features a purple flame finish and contains Fancy Face milling. The custom flat-stick from Bettinardi and Big League Chew can be purchased in The Hive for $2,200.

Putter Specs: 

  • Model: BB8 Wide
  • Weight:  355 grams
  • Material:  DASS
  • Finish: Purple Flame
  • Face milling: Fancy Face

Bettinardi X Big League Chew

The co-branded headcovers and golf products celebrate the passion for the game of golf as well as paying tribute to the only gum to ever be featured at the National Baseball Hall of Fame Museum.

Bettinardi X Big League Chew

Check out the full product line below:

  • Big League Chew x Betti Headcover – $100.00
  • Big League Chew x Betti Mallet Headcover – $100.00
  • Big League Chew x Betti Club Cover Set – $300.00
  • Big League Chew x Betti Players Towel – $55.00
  • Big League Chew x Betti Ball Marker – $55.00
  • Big League Chew x Betti Pocket Tee – $35.00
  • Big League Chew x Betti Hat – $35.00
  • Big League Chew x Betti Yeti – $75.00

Bettinardi X Big League Chew

The Bettinardi X Big League Chew collaboration items will be available to purchase in The Hive at Bettinardi.com from 10 CDT on Thursday April 2 2020.

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Phase 1 vs. P7TW: An inside look at Tiger Woods’ TaylorMade irons

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At this point, the story of the development of Tiger Woods’ TaylorMade irons has been told and told again. There have been numerous articles, YouTube videos, and even a TV documentary on how they were made—and even a Tour Championship and a Sunday Masters telecast to validate both models.

But I wanted to know the differences and similarities of the two TaylorMade iron models Woods has played since signing with the company in January of 2017: the Phase 1, and the final masterpiece the, P7TW.

Fortunately, in this job, you become friends with a good number of R&D people, so I went to my buddies and TaylorMade Lead Engineers Paul Demkowski and Matt Bovee to fill in some blanks.

This is what they had to say.

Matt Bovee Sr. Manager Product Creation

JW: The Phase 1 iron was based on what previous iron of TW? What inspired it?

MB: The PH1 iron was based off of the set he was playing just prior, the TGR set. Inspiration for the P7TW is really founded in all the years of TW’s career. From the numerous victories, countless hours grinding, and all his majors… the P7TW is really a culmination of what he specifically wants in an iron design after years and years of being the best ball striker in the game.

JW: What was the testing process like going from his TGR into the Phase 1?

MB: The PH1 set was a collaboration between TaylorMade and Mike Taylor with a new cosmetic design we created. We didn’t want to change any significant performance attributes because the immediate goal was to get TW into a TM iron. We partnered with Mike Taylor to help with the creation of PH1 as well as the learning process required for the development of P7TW. For us, it was a learning experience as TW went through his testing protocol for a new set. Making sure everything was dialed in and felt right.

JW: What are the similarities of the two irons, PH1 and P7TW?

MB: There are a lot of similarities between the PH1 and P7TW from a performance perspective. It’s been said before, and I’ll say it again, TW is very, very specific in what he wants. Launch, spin, carry, look, feel…he has every attribute for each iron defined in his head. Nothing more, nothing less. They use the same lofts, lie, scorelines, essentially the same CG, etc.

JW: What kept PH1 from being the “Tiger Iron”?

MB: The PH1 irons were built from an existing forging profile. By using an existing forging he was familiar with it allowed us to minimize variables as we learned and dissected what works best for him. Even after the PH1 iron performance matched what he was looking for, TW requested the MG sole technology for his irons so he could replace them more frequently with much less testing from set to set. We needed to take this into account with a new TM forging design.

*The milled grind sole was designed specifically for this benefit. It has allowed TM to duplicate the sole of irons and wedges which in turn eliminates a number of steps during testing and/or mid season replacement.

JW: The name Phase 1 suggests a new version was to come, was that always a bridge iron into the current?

MB: Yes, we knew designing a TaylorMade iron for him from the ground up would take some time and we needed a “bridge” of sorts while the new design was in development.

JW: When TW began testing irons in the beginning, (knowing the challenge which is well documented) what was the original process like? Who was involved?

Tiger Woods matching things up at The Kingdom in Carlsbad

MB:

  • Participants: Tiger, Tomo Bystedt, Brian Bazzel, Keith Sbarbaro, Paul Demkowski, Mike Taylor, and Matt Bovee.
  • The development process was a longer road than we anticipated. Much back and forth between TM and Mike Taylor to start. We needed to unpack years of learning as to what works best for the Big Cat and what he likes. From that point, it was a lot of back and forth testing of individual sticks. Starting with the 6i and not moving on from that until we got it perfect. It actually took 7 different CNCs prototypes before we nailed the 6i. From there we added in the 3i and the 9i to serves as bookends for design. After these three SKUs got TW’s blessing we filled out the rest of the set.

JW: How many PH1 sets were made?

MB: As far as we know just the 1 set. Mike Taylor would be the only person who would know differently

JW: What are the differences between P1 and P7TW?

MB: The largest differences are:

  • Built from different forgings
  • Addition of MG sole—when Tiger needs replacements due to wear, the Milled Grind soles are exactly the geometry that he needs and so any opportunity for slight variations has been removed. That’s why the P7TW is ultimately Tiger’s gamer irons.
  • Milled channel along the back bar of the iron. Cosmetic was designed to fit with the PSeries.
  • Cosmetic design is different, the back bar geometry is slightly different the milled channel was used in 730 to reposition mass, TWs is a much smaller version of that

JW: Does TW only have input (R&D) on his irons or all the TM irons (forgings of course)

MB: TW’s R&D input on irons has been limited to his P7TWs up to this point…which was extensive. All the way down to a modified font for the sole number making it easier from him to read and therefore more confident he had the right stick. He has provided some input in other categories however, wedges most specifically.

JW: In your opinion is the P7TW the best muscleback TM has ever developed?

MB: “Best” is such a relative term that lies in the eyes of the beholder… It is certainly the most prestigious with the most design iterations and R&D development.

JW: If you could project into the future, what improvements if any could be made to a TW iron?

MB: Because that iron is specific to him and what he wants, there really isn’t any way we could make it better unless his swing or style of play changes. The P7TW is dialed in for TW’s game as it exists today.

Tiger Woods and Keith Sbarboro at The Kingdom

Paul Demkowski, Sr. Product Engineer was the person that worked the closest with Mike Taylor in the development of both models and this is what he had to say

JW: Are you still in close contact with Mike Taylor at Artisan? and if so is it more just to verify info or is it also for future R&D?

PD:  Yes, I’m still in close contact with Mike T. He continues to build the irons for TW. He verifies all the specs as they are built and records the data.

JW: In regards to the  CG placements between P1 and P7TW what is the difference?

PD: CG locations are very close. Couldn’t deviate too much as he would feel the difference and would see it in his ball flight.

JW: Random question but had to ask, did you ever attempt to make TW a specific driving iron?

PD: No, never made a specific TW driving iron. Only thing I did once make a slower P790 UDI for him. He said the standard one went too far. LOL.

It’s also noteworthy that TW’s specs don’t change much but as you can see current set up, the only real shift in his irons is lie angle which will go up one depending on his swing at the time.

Tiger Woods’ Current Iron Specs

All with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100. Irons tipped 1/4 inch, w/wooden dowels and SST Pure (Scott Garrison on Tour) at exactly 130 grams.

All lengths without grips. (Loft. Lie. Length. Swing Weight)

  • 3-iron: 22.5, 59.5, 38 13/16, D4
  • 4-iron: 25.5, 60, 38 5/16, D4
  • 5-iron: 29, 60.5, 37 13/16, D4
  • 6-iron: 32.5, 61, 37 5/16, D4
  • 7-iron: 36, 61.5, 36 7/8, D4
  • 8-iron: 40.5, 62, 36 5/16, D4
  • 9-iron: 45, 62.5, 35 11/16, D4
  • PW: 49, 63, 35 11/16, D4

Another cool aspect of Tiger’s irons (rarely spoken of) are his shafts. The shafts are True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 with no labels, and they are sorted to exact weights (130 grams) and sent to Scott Garrison (@ScottEGgolf) to SST Pure, then over to David “DR” Richey at Artisan Golf to be built. Lots of cooks in the kitchen, but it’s Tiger, so no doubt totally worth it for all involved!

TaylorMade’s Keith Sbarbaro and Paul Demkowski look on at The Kingdom

.

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