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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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Whats in the Bag

Akshay Bhatia WITB 2022 (November)

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Driver: Callaway Rogue ST (9 degrees @8)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Black 7 X

3-wood: Callaway Rogue ST Max (15 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Black 8 X

Hybrid: Callaway Apex UW (19 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Black 10 X

Irons: Callaway X Forged UT (22 degrees), Callaway Apex TCB (5-PW)
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Wedges: Callaway Jaws Raw (50-10S, 54-10S, 60-08C)
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Grip: SuperStroke Traxion Tour long

Grips: Iomic

More photos of Akshay Bhatia’s WITB in the forums.

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Bettinardi unveils new 2023-2024 Queen B line of putters

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Bettinardi Golf has today introduced its new Queen B Series of putters that includes four timeless models.

The 2023-2024 Queen B Series enhances the Queen B 6 & Queen B 11, while also introducing two brand-new models, the Queen B 14 and Queen B 15.

The entire series is crafted using 303 Stainless Steel and features an all-new Caramel Copper PVD finish, which aims to not only accentuates the classic beauty of each model but also optimize visual cues on the greens to give a confidence-inspiring appearance at every crucial putt.

In addition, the new Queen B line debuts Bettinardi Golf’s new Mini Honeycomb face milling. This newly developed face utilizes an 8% smaller machine tool in order to provide the softest Honeycomb face to date.

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The 2023-2024 Queen B Series will be available for pre-order on Tuesday, November 22nd online at Bettinardi.com, and will be available for purchase at authorized Bettinardi dealers worldwide, starting January 17th.

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Bettinardi adds BB28 putter to brand’s BB series

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Bettinardi has today unveiled the addition of the BB28 to its BB series line.

The BB28 features Aggressive Flymill face milling designed to give the putter a responsive, yet soft feel off the putter head, and offers a full-flange design, which provides greater perimeter weighting and higher M.O.I.characteristics.

This latest addition uses a PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition) finishing technology, which is a thin, yet resilient coating that shows off the mill marks in an artisan way.

Each BB Series putter is one-piece milled from 303 Stainless Steel, which is the same blend of material preferred by all Bettinardi Tour staffers, with the metal offering a more durable, responsive, and solid feeling putter for optimal performance.

Bettinardi have also launched the center shaft BB28 putter featuring a 1/4 toe-hang wide-body blade, as well as a BB28 Armlock containing a near-face-balanced wide-body blade.

The BB28 model is available for pre-order at Bettinardi.com ($430) from November 22nd and at retail on January 22nd.

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