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Fourteen Golf Wedges: Editor Review

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Pros: Fourteen wedges have a classic, clean shape, and come in some of the prettiest finishes we’ve seen. They have a super soft forged feel and create lots of check on short shots.

Cons: They’re pricey (about $185 each) and not easy to demo. There are more grinds in the works, but right now sole options are limited.

Overall: World-class workmanship and quality. If you’re shopping for a premium forged wedge, these should be at the top of your list to try.

Overview

Fourteen Golf is a Japanese golf equipment company that makes a full line of high-end clubs. While Fourteen sells drivers, fairway woods and hybrids, it’s the company’s driving irons, irons and wedges that have caught on with PGA Tour players (click here top read our Q&A with Fourteen’s Director of Tour Operations, Rusty Estes, for more).

One of the company’s most popular products on tour, the RM-12 wedges, are its latest models for 2013. The RM-12 wedges look similar to their predecessors, the RM-11 wedges, but they have a more rounded toe and a more agressive heel grind that adds versatility on open-face shots. They also have the same carefully milled trapezoidal grooves, which add 15 percent more spin than Fourteen’s popular M-28 J.spec-IV wedges.

According to Fourteen’s website, its “mirror face milling process” takes twice as long as traditional milling procedures, but adds consistency in both wet and dry conditions, as well as extra zip from the rough and on partial shots.

fourteen wedge review

The RM-12 wedges are available from select retailers and custom fitters for around $185 (to find a Fourteen Golf retailer near you, click here). They come in two different finishes — satin and “half matte” black — in even lofts from 48 to 60 degrees. They come stock with True Temper’s Dynamic Gold Wedge shaft or Nippon’s N.S. Pro 950 GH HT shafts with swing weights between D0 and D3.

Performance

fourteen wedge

PGA Tour player John Mallinger’s 58-degree Fourteen wedge.

The sole design of the RM-12 wedges differ substantially from the RM-11 wedges — a change that was implemented because of feedback from tour players. Many wanted a wedge that they could use on a variety of shots, so engineers rounded the toe and heel area. They also removed a back portion of the sole, creating Fourteen’s “H-Sole,” which is available on 48-degree to 58-degree models. These modifications allow golfers to open and close the face, which allows skilled golfers to hit a variety of shots.

For the 60-degree model, the design team implemented a “T-Sole,” or Twin Sole. It has a distinct ridge in the middle portion of the sole that allows the club to get through the turf easier, as the leading edge is better able to slide better under the ball. Additionally, when the club face is open, the company says the back portion of the sole encourages the ball to pop up with a good amount of spin.

Touring professionals appreciated the company’s original “reverse taper design” in its older wedges wedges, so engineers used it as a platform for the RM-12. But they increased the weight distribution on the upper blade to create a “reverse muscle design.” In effect, the weight is more evenly proportioned throughout the club head, which creates more consistent balls speeds and stability at impact on all shots.

Looks an Feel

Arjun Atwal Fourteen Wedge-Nelson_600x450_0-1

PGA Tour player Arjun Atwal’s 60-degree Fourteen wedge.

The RM-12’s satin finish is stunning. It’s not too light or dark, and is consistent and durable thanks to Fourteen’s “forged nickel chrome molybdenum bronze” finish, which the company chose for its strength.

“It will be in the best shape for a long time without too much wear and of course promise solid spin performance,” Fourteen says on its website.

As far as feel goes, these wedges are some of the best. That’s thanks to the quality control that’s a staple of Fourteen’s forging process, which give the clubs extremely tight tolerances and a buttery soft feel. This provides golfers with the feedback they need to learn how to play the most precise wedge shots.

It’s the unusual grind on the back of the wedge near the toe area that sets theses wedges apart, however. Not only does the “reverse muscleback design” look cool, it creates a more solid feel and increased performance that makes it easier to justify the high price tag of these wedges.

Check out our images below of Fourteen’s RM-11 and RM-12 wedges in different finishes, as well as some wedges with custom stampings done by Fourteen’s Rusty Estes.

 

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GolfWRX is the world's largest and best online golf community. Expert editorial reviews, breaking golf tour and industry news, what to play, how to play and where to play. GolfWRX surrounds consumers throughout the buying, learning and enrichment process from original photographic and video content, to peer to peer advice and camaraderie, to technical how-tos, and more. As the largest online golf community we continue to protect the purity of our members opinions and the platform to voice them. We want to protect the interests of golfers by providing an unbiased platform to feel proud to contribute to for years to come. You can follow GolfWRX on Twitter @GolfWRX and on Facebook.

6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. SA

    Jul 29, 2013 at 9:16 pm

    I bought the 56 degree/12 degree bounce sand wedge and Dynamic gold shaft and have been absolutely stunned at the stopping power and solid feeling of this wedge. My old 56 degree Cleveland CG 16 sand wedge is not even close to the performance and drop dead accuracy of the RM-14. Only complaint is that it is about 15 yards shorter! I didn’t expect that much of a distance drop off even though it was mentioned in some reviews. As a result, I filled in the “gap” and bought the 52 degree/10 degree bounce wedge. It is dead accurate at 100 yards – and I mean dead accurate. Great feel and control and incredibly forgiving as well. $360 was a big dollar amount to swallow for two wedges but when compared to the cost of 1 new driver and many saved strokes on sand, pitch and tap in putts it was a great deal. Result? After 60 days with these jewels I lopped 7 strokes off my handicap. Shot the best round of my life (74 last week) My handicap last year was 17! If you have not tried them don’t knock the price. By the way, I tried the Titleist Vokey and I think I MAY have hit the sweet spot once. If your swing regularly hits the sweet spot then you are much better than me and enjoy your Titleist wedge!

  2. blopar

    May 14, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    NO wedge is worth 180 bucks

    • Scott

      Jul 17, 2013 at 3:54 am

      It is if you depend on it to win and to support yourself and your family on the tour!

      • Mike Ryan

        Mar 31, 2017 at 7:44 pm

        What would that percentage of all golfers be? .0015% Sorry scott doesn’t make sense

  3. JK

    Apr 25, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    still playing the MT28V5. they are absolutely tremendous and changed my short game. looking forward to a chance to play the RM-12s in the future.

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Apparel Reviews

Brooks Koepka’s Winning Outfit: 2018 U.S. Open

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Brooks Koepka played like he dressed on Sunday at Shinnecock Hills for the final round of the U.S. Open; his outfit was athletic, well put together, boring with a bit of flash (those shoes!!), and most importantly, it got the job done.

See the golf clubs and shafts Brooks used to win.

A great representative of the new age of golf, Koepka has the frame of a baseball player, and he’s not afraid to accentuate it with tight-fitting polos and an athletic look. For Sunday, he chose a white-on-gray-on-gray look that was understated, but clean — just like his scorecard. He really made the Nike Golf Tour Premiere PE shoes, with hits of electric orange, the star. Check out the details on his full outfit below.

Brooks Koepka’s Winning Outfit

  • Hat: Nike AeroBill Classic99
  • Shirt: Nike Zonal Cooling polo
  • Belt: Nike Stretch Woven
  • Pants: Nike Flex
  • Shoes: Nike Golf Tour Premiere PE
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Apparel Reviews

Dustin Johnson’s Winning Outfit: 2018 FedEx St. Jude Classic

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Dustin Johnson won the 2018 FedEx St. Jude Classic by 6 shots — and he holed out on the 72nd hole for eagle as the cherry on top.

You can check out the clubs he used to win here, but this article is all about his outfit.

Per usual, DJ went with the white-on-navy-on-navy-navy look that he wears often, especially on winning Sundays. Also, according to Adidas, it’s the first time that a Primeknit shoe has won on the PGA Tour, so there’s that.

Let’s dive into his full outfit…

Dustin’s Winning Outfit

  • Hat: TaylorMade New Era Tour 9Fifty (White)
  • Polo: Ultimate365 Heather Polo (Collegiate Navy)
  • Belt: 3-Stripes Perforated Reversible
  • Pants: Ultimate365 Flat Front (Navy)
  • Shoes: Tour 360Knit (Grey/Real Purple)
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Apparel Reviews

Modern classics: Catching up with Holderness & Bourne

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If you haven’t heard of Holderness & Bourne, well, for one thing, you’ve missed a couple of our gift guides. We’ve lauded the Rye, New York-based apparel manufacturer on more than one occasion for making some of the best polos in the business.

H&B, not surprisingly the product of two men named (Alex) Holderness and (John) Bourne, is quickly establishing a reputation for classic styles in tailored fits using modern materials. In addition to both performance and cotton polos, Holderness & Bourne makes sweaters, vests, bags, and other accessories.

I spoke with Alex Holderness about the company’s growth and what’s next.

BA: We first spoke a couple of years ago, but things have really taken off since then. Tell me about the growth.

AH: It’s been a great few years for us. We’ve basically tripled the past few years. We’re now stocking more than 150 clubs around the country and some great clubs abroad as well. We’re seeing traction for the brand; we’re seeing momentum. A lot of people like the concept of the brand, which is classic style with a more modern approach to fabrics and fit…and it’s working, so we’re trying to grow carefully based on that.

BA: What did establishing traction look like for you?

AH: It’s been steady all along. There wasn’t a point where the tide turned and things started to get good when they weren’t good before. But it is tough to get traction in green grass, and we feel very fortunate that we were based in New York…early in the history of the brand, we landed Winged Foot…Greenwich Country Club and a few others in the area really early on…So we were very lucky…because traction in green grass for brands like us is driven by perception, so if you can align yourself as a brand with the better clubs and public facilities around the country it can be very favorable. A lot of times, it results in people…calling us, because they’ve heard it [our apparel] did very well at Winged Foot or some other club. So that’s our general approach to green grass.

We’re not snobs about it by any means. It’s not like we have some grand strategy to only stock the top 100 clubs. But we care a lot about making premium products and being a premium brand. As a results of that, we are a natural fit for higher-end facilities, whether they’re public or private. We’re not going to ever be the cheapest brand in the shop, and we’re not going to be on clearance for 70 percent off…we’re very careful about what we’re building, and as a result of that, having these relationships with facilities around the country has been really helpful for us…and it’s helped us generate momentum in terms of getting inbound inquiries.

But it has taken a while. We’re four years into this thing, and it’s a day-by-day, year-by-year process..It’s not like we went out and raised $5 million in investor capital. We didn’t go out and try to be an overnight success…and get into every club. We only raised a small amount of capital, and we’re trying to kind of bootstrap: make great product, sell it, then use those proceeds to broaden our assortment. We want to add additional categories and get into more clubs every year, but it takes time.

BA: Can you talk a bit about your core consumer and how you’re appealing to him in ways that maybe other brands weren’t?

AH: My business partner John and I are both guys in our late 30s, married with kids and all that, but young enough to want a cleaner, more modern fit without sacrificing the classic look. We just knew that the combination of fit and style that we had in mind would resonate with plenty of guys, because we started out looking at this whole thing from the customer’s perspective. We also wanted to put some real soul into the brand, creating something very authentic within golf, because we didn’t always feel we were getting that as customers buying golf apparel in the past.

BA: Can you talk a little bit about the balance between e-commerce sales and green grass?

AH: Green grass has been the focus for us so far, but it’s a nice overall split. I think these days any relatively new brand needs to have a website where their customers can reach them directly, but for us the relationships we have with the clubs and public facilities that stock our brand are certainly just as important. Those places are the real stewards of the game and golf culture, and our brand has proven to be a strong fit for them.

BA: You’ve been pretty selective in your marketing and messaging…can you talk about that?

AH: We’re just kind of old school about it. We don’t care to shout about the brand or pay a bunch of money for marketing and PR. Our thinking has always been that if we focus on designing and manufacturing excellent products and get them into the right people’s hands, the brand will grow nicely as people tell their friends about the brand. We also put a huge emphasis on customer service for that same reason. We want people to have an excellent experience with us, even if that involves solving a problem for them, and that approach has been a good one so far.

BA: Talk about Roberto Castro wearing your wares, as it were…

AH: We are really proud to have Roberto onboard as a brand ambassador, and he’s become a great friend of ours as well. He found out about us a couple years ago by reading a piece about new golf brands on the blog Red Clay Soul, and reached out. We weren’t looking to sponsor tour players, but we got to know him and realized that he is the perfect guy to have out there representing the brand. He’s a big family guy, humble and low-key, and he just let’s his game do the talking, all of which we admire. And the guy has got tons of game. He made it into the field at the U.S. Open again this year, so we’re headed out to Shinnecock next week to cheer him on.

BA: Speaking of the Tour, apparel is in an interesting and dynamic place, isn’t it?

AH: Definitely. We think it’s great that there are a number of new brands out there pushing things forward, and it’s not a winner-take-all market. Things are certainly competitive, but brands both within and beyond golf are becoming more niche, which helps customers find the ones that specifically work for them. We don’t really pay a lot of attention to the apparel game on tour specifically, to be honest. We care just as much what’s going on out on the mid-am scene, where a lot of guys who obviously aren’t getting paid choose to wear our stuff simply because they like it better.

BA: Beyond deliberate growth, what’s on the horizon for H&B?

AH: We’re now stocking more than 150 pro shops around the country (and abroad – Sunningdale in England and Toronto Golf Club up in Canada have picked up the line), so we are excited about that momentum. For 2019, we’ve got big plans to expand our apparel collection, with a broader range of shirt fabrics and styles, some very cool layering pieces, and more premium accessories such as belts, hats, and bags. As designers, we really feel like we’re just getting started.

BA: Thanks, Alex.

You can find Holderness & Bourne on the web here.

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