Contrary to popular belief, the best wedges aren’t the ones that spin the most.
According to legendary wedge designer Bob Vokey, the most important part of finding the right wedge is finding the right sole configuration, which can be the different between chunking chips and chipping it close.
A wedge’s sole, or grind, is made up of several variables, such as its width, bounce, bounce location, camber and relief.
Don’t know what those terms mean? Click here to read our full story about our trip to Vokey headquarter in Carlsbad, Calif., where we spoke with Bob Vokey and went through a full wedge fitting at TPI Oceanside with his trained wedge fitters.
Golf equipment companies are currently offering more sole options than ever before, so there’s no excuse for not playing a grind that gives you the best chance to get it up and down. To help you narrow it down, we’ve created an Editors’ Choice list for the best wedges currently available. They’re offered in a slew of lofts, grinds, finishes and custom options, and are a great starting point if you’re in the market for a new wedge.
Cleveland 588 RTX Wedges
Cleveland’s new 588 RTX wedges have rougher, more tightly milled faces than previous models that impart maximum spin on wedge shots. They perform more like Cleveland’s original Zip Grooves, which were one of the spinnest options around before the groove rule change.
Those looking for a wedge that generates maximum spin on all shots will surely want to give the 588 RTX a try. They come in low, medium and high bounce options in most models, as well as a cavity back (CB) option that is a great choice for high handicappers seeking a little extra forgiveness.
Those concerned with aesthetics will appreciate that both the MB and CB models are offered in both black pearl and satin finishes.
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The most important part of selecting a wedge is finding the right sole grind, and Vokey offers more sole grinds than any of its competitors. The SM4, TVD and 200 Series wedges look good, feel great and have been validated by some of the game’s best wedge players.
Vokey Spin Milled SM4 wedges offer a large variety of off-the-shelf lofts ranging from 46 to 64 degrees in two-degree increments, with as many as three different sole grinds for each model. On Vokey’s WedgeWorks website, which offers premium customization options, golfers can also choose from Vokey’s TVD and 200 Series wedges, which have different sole grinds. Click here to see our article on Vokey’s custom wedge department, WedgeWorks.
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Mizuno MP-T4 Wedge
With input from the one of the games most precise wedge players, Luke Donald, Mizuno has designed a “tear shaped” wedge that is forged from the company’s 1025E “Pure Select” mild carbon steel. The MP-T4 also feature Mizuno’s Quad Cut Grooves. The results? A nice feeling, balanced scoring weapon.
Mizuno doesn’t offer as many sole options as others — most of its wedges are in the low-to-mid bounce range. But if the MP-T4’s are a fit for you, they’re forged feel and ample spin will bring you ample confidence around the greens.
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The “New Wedge Series” from Miura preserves the eternal elements of the “old” series and adds refinements that make the clubs look and play even better. Like all things stamped Miura, they feature the buttery soft forged feel and a premium chrome finish that is often replicated, but rarely duplicated.
They’re available in odd-numbered lofts from 51 degrees through 59, and feature redesigned bounce angles that work well with the way skilled players like to play golf. Despite the limited sole options, these low-bounce wedges are ground in such a way to add versatility from variety of lies and limit digging.
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Fourteen Golf’s RM-12 wedges are the company’s latest models for 2013. They 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 that 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. The RM-12’s also feature more 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.
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Scratch Golf two lead craftsman, Jeff McCoy and Don White, have made clubs for some of the best professional golfers in the modern era.
McCoy has made clubs for two former No. 1 players in the Official World Golf Rabkings and countless other tour pros worldwide. Don White is a legend in the golf industry, having made clubs that have won 14 Major Championships and an unthinkable amount of PGA Tour events. Scratch sells both cast and forged wedges that are available in an unmatched amount of grinds and custom options.
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Scor wedges come in 21 different lofts, from 41 to 61 degrees, and feature a special V Grind that company president Terry Koehler says works for golfers of all swing types and abilities. They also have a progressive weighting design that the company says lowers ball flight, and creates more consistent ball speeds on mishits.
Scor has also made shaft fitting, which is often overlooked in wedges fitting, a priority. In January, the company has introduced its “Genius” shafts — four new shaft models that are available in four different weights. All four of the Genius shafts have stiff tip sections that limiting ballooning on full shots, but softer mid sections that allow the shaft to bend on smaller swings, giving golfers more feel.
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Mizuno announces new JPX 919 Tour Forged irons are coming August 29 (via cryptic Twitter post)
While cryptic, it does appear Mizuno is announcing via Twitter that its new JPX 919 Tour irons are coming on 8/29/18. One would have to assume that means they will be launched on 8/29, not actually hitting retail on 8/29, but that remains to be seen.
— Mizuno Golf North America (@MizunoGolfNA) August 17, 2018
We recently spotted a number of new irons on the USGA conforming list, including the JPX919 Tour irons pictured above, JPX919 Forged and JPX919 Hot Metal irons from Mizuno. So it’s likely that the JPX 919 Tour Forged irons won’t be alone in the JPX 919 family when they hit retail.
The JPX 919 Tour iron specifically pictured in the Tweet above seems to be the replacement for Mizuno’s JPX 900 Tour irons that Brooks Koepka used to win this year’s U.S. Open and PGA Championship. Learn more about the original JPX 900 Tour design from Mizuno’s Chris Voshal on our Gear Dive podcast.
Diving a bit deeper into the picture from Mizuno’s Tweet, it appears the JPX919 Tour irons will utilize Mizuno’s familiar Grain Flow forging, and will be made from 1025E; that’s based on the hosel stamping that says “GF Forged HD 1025E.”
Stay tuned for more info from Mizuno.
USA Stars & Stripes, European Flag Chrome Soft Truvis golf balls arrive
Getting you in the Ryder Cup spirit a little more than a month from the competition in Paris, Callaway announced Chrome Soft European Truvis golf balls and new Chrome Soft X Truvis Stars & Stripes balls today.
The Carlsbad company is also bringing its popular Chrome Soft Truvis Stars & Stripes balls back to market.
The new European Truvis balls features a European-themed white, blue, and yellow design. Both Chrome Soft Truvis Stars & Stripes balls include a patriotic red, white, and blue pattern.
All models of these made-in-the-USA golf balls will be available at retail August 24th and will sell for $44.99.
An Interview with T Squared putters, started by a high school golfer
I’ve coached high school golf for over 15 years, and I thought that I had run out of “firsts.” Then, Anthony Tuber, one of our varsity six, told me that he builds putters. “Sure,” I thought. You purchase the components and assemble putters. Nice hobby to have. “No, coach, I build them from scratch. We have milling machines.” If that doesn’t catch your attention, not much will.
As a coach, you encourage your golfers from a base of experience, but I don’t have any club-making experience! The last time I played around with metal was in middle-school metal shop. In this particular case, the student is the coach, and the golfer is the teacher. I’m now the proud owner of a T Squared putter, and continue to be the proud coach of Anthony Tuber. He might be the next Bob Vokey, or Scotty Cameron, but for now, he is a varsity golfer and high school student. Oh, and he happens to make putters. Rather than write a review that might be perceived as biased, I decided to do a straightforward interview with T Squared Putters. If you want to learn more, visit the company website, or follow them on Twitter and on Instagram.
Question 1: What type of research and field testing did you do, prior to building your first putter?
Prior to making our first putter we bought a bunch of putters to see what we liked and disliked about them. Then we took those putters and tested them to figure out which roll we liked the best. The roll is determined by the weight of the putter the length and the groove pattern. After we completed the testing we drew up a design and shortly after that we had our first prototypes. We then tested those prototypes and they rolled exactly how we wanted. Time went by while we used these first putters but then we really wanted to see the competition. We went to the PGA Merchandise Show and that’s where we found out that we had a superior putter.
Question 2: Is there a style of putter that you like, that perhaps served as inspiration for some of your designs?
We bought and tested dozens of putters but two putters caught our eye and those putters are the Scotty Cameron Squareback and the Scotty Cameron Newport 2 Notchback.
Question 3: Can you tell us a bit about the materials/components that you chose for T Squared Putters?
We use American-made 303 stainless steel in all of our putters, but we also we use 6061 aircraft aluminum for the insert on the 713i.
Question 4: How do you balance your responsibilities and commitments, with your T Squared production?
During the school year academics are my number one priority. Over the summer I have been balancing my Tsquared putters work while working on the progression of my golf game. Fortunately I have a team that is very supportive of my vision for T Squared putters.
Question 5: Any chance we will see a mallet-style putter from T Squared?
Yes, we are currently testing other mallet putters to determine the most desirable features for our mallet putter. We are anticipating a prototype soon.
Question 6: Are you a better putter now that you know so much more from the design and production side of putters?
Yes, I have an entirely different perspective when I stand over every putt.
Question 7: How do you get the word out about the quality of your putters?
We have been very active on social media. The golfers that are currently using a Tsquared putter have been spreading the word. We have also been attending local golf tournaments to establish our brand.
Question 8: Do you hope to make a career of this venture, or do you envision it as a step along the path of a 21st-century businessman?
Yes, as golf is my passion I hope to take Tsquared putters to the next level. Golf will always be a part of my life whether it is professionally or recreationally.
Question 9: Finally, what question haven’t we asked, that you wish we would? Ask it and answer it, please.
I haven’t been asked how this process has affected me as a person. As a 17 year old I have a new appreciation for patience, persistence and hard work.
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