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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

2021 TaylorMade Spider X, EX, S, and SR putters offer improved roll, feel, and forgiveness

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Building putters is about creating options and incorporating technology. For TaylorMade’s all-new Spider putters for 2021—including the Spider X Hydro Blast, EX, Spider S, and SR—it’s the little details that make big differences.

“With this new class of Spider putters, we focused on removing two of those variables: aim and alignment … While each putter brings something unique to the table, they are bonded by a foundation of forgiveness, stability, and True Path alignment that makes it easier to aim.” – Bill Price, Product Creation, Putters & Wedge

The idea of a “classic” golf club or putter shape won’t generally have people reminiscing about a TaylorMade Spider, but the design has been around for well over a decade—and although it has gone through some design tweaks over the years, the modern Spider is here to stay

Spider X Hydro Blast

This putter is all about small changes to an already great design with the most notable being the Hydro Blast finishing process. The new Spider X also features

  • The classic Spider X head shape, available in both a face-balanced double-bend and a smaller slant neck with 21 degrees of toe hang.
  • Multimaterial construction to offer maximum stability and increased MOI.
  • White True Path for a high-contrast look that is easy to align

Availability and Price

Preorder for the Spider X Hydro Blast starts today, March 2, with putters arriving at retail starting March 12 with a price of $279.99.

The new Spider X will be available in stock lengths of 33″, 34″, and 35″ be completed with a KBS Chrome C-Taper Stepless shaft and Super Stroke Pistol GTR 1.0 grip.

Spider EX

With the Spider EX, TaylorMade is flexing its putter design capabilities when it comes to face technology to improve roll and feel. The Spider EX features a new co-molded insert made of white TPU urethane and small aluminum beams angled at 45°. This combination of materials gets the ball up and rolling quicker and also creates a soft yet solid feel to improve player feedback.

Speaking of feedback and feel the Spider EX has a newly designed “Fluted feel” shaft with a more flexible portion starting 5″ below the tip to add stability while also maintaining a softer feel through the stroke,  and is slightly larger than the Spider X to increase MOI.

Availability and price

Preorder for the Spider EX starts today, March 2, with putters arriving at retail starting March 12 with a price of $349.99 – See chart for full color availability.

The stock options will include lengths of  33″, 34″, and 35″, the TaylorMade Fluted Feel shaft and to top it off a Super Stroke Pistol GTR 1.0 grip.

Spider S and SR

It’s about options and alignment. The Spider S uses geometry and topline sights to help golfers who prefer to use the width of the ball for accurate sighting.

The Spider S also offers the same Fluted Feel shaft and white TPU Pure roll insert to create a soft feel.

The Spider SR is the “Stability Monster” of the 2021 TaylorMade putter lineup and utilizes multiple weights around the head to raise MOI.

While the Spider S’s alignment system is for players who use the front of the putter, the SR places the True path alignment away from the face and between the wings. This allows golfers to use the clean topline and parallel wings to line up to the intended path while still offering a visual aid to behind the ball.

Availability and Price

The Spider S and SR putters will be available for preorder March 2 and will land at retail beginning April 9, with a price of $279.99. The stock configurations will include lengths of 33″, 34″, and 35 and they will be completed with a TaylorMade Fluted Feel shaft and to topped with a Super Stroke Pistol GTR 1.0 grip.

Spider S options

Spider SR options

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Equipment

‘Can’t seem to chip with forged wedges’ – GolfWRXers discuss

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In our forums, our members have been trying to help out WRXer ‘RkoDavey’, who is struggling to chip with forged wedges. ‘RkoDavey’ kicks off the thread saying:

“For most of my golfing life, I’ve struggled to chip with my sand wedge but usually have no trouble when I use my gap wedge, and I’m starting to wonder if this is related to my equipment. My gap wedge is part of my P790 iron set, but no sand wedge is available, so I play an Adams Tom Watson forged 56-degree wedge (bounce is 13 degrees).

 I can’t tell you how many times I chunk little greenside chips with my Adams wedge, but if I chip with my gap wedge, the club seems to glide right through the turf, and I have much better results. My problems arise when I have little green to work with and need the ball to stop quick–my gap wedge simply isn’t the right tool for that type of shot.”

And he poses two questions for fellow members to help him out:

“First, is there something about forged wedges that makes them radically different from your typical gap wedge that comes with a set of irons? I had this same issue with the previous irons I owned, and I wonder if it’s my equipment or if it’s all in my head.

Second, what recommendations can you give for a 55 or 56-degree sand wedge that will perform similar to my gap wedge?”

Our members have been sharing their thoughts in our forum.

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.

  • IPA4me: “Check the bounce. Also, consider cavity back wedges for the added forgiveness.”
  • mootrail: “You’re comparing your super hot face hollow body set wedge to an ancient stamping with zero modern wedge design parameters. They might be perfectly fine for some, but the first thing to do is to toss them out. There are a few hollow body wedges out there, but it’s your swing and conditions first. You need to get to the shop and test them out.”
  • jomatty: “I’d check the leading edge between the two clubs.”

Entire Thread: “‘Can’t seem to chip with forged wedges'”

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Whats in the Bag

WITB GolfWRX Members Edition: GtiClay

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Recently we put out the call for our members to submit their WITBs in our forum to be featured on the GolfWRX front page. Since then, our members have been responding in numbers!

Now it’s time to take a look at the bag of GtiClay.

*Full details on the submission process can be found here, and you can submit your WITB in this forum thread.*

Member: GtiClay

GtiClay WITB

“I used to do the WITB more often here. It’s been a REALLY long time. Maybe more than 10 years, and I, unfortunately have only 1 year where I played more than 20 rounds in a year since then. I’m gonna play more… a lot more in the coming years as I’m turning 48 this year and want to have a damn good birthday week at Bandon when I turn 50.

My goal is sub 5 handicap by then. I have still been mostly playing i3 blades and TM 300s. But I want to convert to ‘legal grooves’, so I just picked up my first new set of irons in maybe 15 years. The i210’s… so here’s my current WITB.”

Driver: TaylorMade M4 (10.5 degrees turned a bit to “lower” as I like a slightly open face at address)
Shaft: Ozik Matrix 80M Black Tie X @ 44.5″

3-wood: TaylorMade R9 paintbreak TI (15 degrees)
Shaft: Tipped Ozik Matrix 80M Black Tie X

5-wood: Tour Edge Exotics “ladies edition” (18 degrees)
Shaft: Tipped OG Aerotech SS85 X

Irons: Ping i210 (3-9i)
Shafts: KBS Tour 130X

Wedges: Ping Glide 3.0 46 @ 47*, 54 @ 53*
Shafts: KBS Tour 130X

Callaway PM grind 60*, shaft TBD

(note – this is cold weather setup.  I plan to drop the 3 wood and add my 2019 PM grind 58* and 64* with S400 when it warms up and I need it.)

Putter: Scotty Cameron JAT, TaylorMade Ghost Marenello 355g, both at 34″.

The JAT is somewhere else and due to Covid I haven’t been able to get it, but as soon as I can, I’ll put it into play.

Grip: Stock Pistol

Golf Ball: I love the Callaway HX balls in the wind, but will play most any premium urethane ball that is on sale.

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord BCT midsize with 2x extra tape.

Get submitting your WITB in our forum as we’ll be publishing more and more of them on our front page over the coming days and weeks.

Feel free to make it your own too by including some thoughts on your setup, your age, handicap, etc. Anything you feel is relevant!

Share your WITBs here.

 

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