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Your golf equipment can have a significant impact on how you perform on the course. If performance is important to you, you do not want to make the game more difficult with equipment that does not fit your swing or is in bad condition. In this article, I want to investigate how often you have to change your wedges.
Unlike the other clubs in your bag, your wedges usually wear out much faster and there are significant changes in job performance. Although there are some general recommendations on how often you need to upgrade your wedges, I share some information that can help you make a smarter decision. In addition, I have some data from my SkyTrak start monitor that shows what can happen if you wait too long to make the change.
How long do wedges last?
I have heard a lot of contradictory information about usability. So I spoke to one of the best experts in the industry, Woody Lashen, to get the straight story. Woody is co-owner of Pete's Golf Shop in Mineola, NY. They were once again recognized as one of the finest bespoke fitters in the industry and golfers from all over the world trust them with their games (including yours really).
The first question I asked Woody was how long a golfer could expect a wedge. Titleist has done tests with their Vokey wedges that suggest 75 rounds when you will see a significant drop in performance. He believes, however, that there is no such thing as a fixed rule because there are so many variables. To begin with, many wedges are not made of the same material. A cast wedge lasts much longer than a cast wedge.
In addition, the types of conditions that a golfer plays influence the life span of a wedge. Sand wears the face more than the pitch of the grass. If you happen to play a job with more bunkers, they will probably wear out faster.
Another thing to think about is your practice. Players like me who practice a lot with their wedges of 56 and 60 degrees can expect to wear out considerably faster than those who do not. Woody said that Bubba Watson told him he never practices with the wedge he uses in the competition to keep the grooves as fresh as possible.
It is therefore a challenge to think of an exact rule for every golfer, because it depends on the material of the wedge, the playing conditions and the training frequency.
Where does the performance deteriorate?
Woody told me that grooves work on a wedge like the tread of your car tires. You may not notice how worn they are in a clean, dry street. But put water or debris on the road and look outside.
That is the case with wedge performance on the track. Worn grooves lead to more inconsistency with imperfect lies. So if you have wet conditions or anything other than a perfect lie on the channel, you will see big differences in how much you can turn the ball. If you have a clean lie on the waterway, you can probably do a similar amount of spin on the ball, because nothing gets between the grooves and the ball.
In short, the more your grooves are worn, the less control you will have over the ball around the greens. You make it harder to score with your wedges.
My Old Wedges
More than three years ago I was suitable for my Ping Glide wedges from Pete & # 39; s Golf. Although after a lot of practice they performed very well and played for the first two years, I started to notice a difference in performance during the 2018 season. The recordings were not checking as much as from different lies. Although I was able to stop the ball with full fluctuations, I could see that there was not much zipper on the ball.
In addition, I noticed that my spinning speeds decreased on my SkyTrak launch monitor. When I told Woody about this, he said that this was a sure sign that I had waited too long to switch them off, because I was beating a clean lie on a mat (oops)
So I was suitable for a newer set of Ping Glides for my 56 and 60 degrees. My gap wedge did not have to be replaced, because I do not use it so often.
During the adjustment Woody noticed that I removed my wedges considerably, so we decided to go with a sand wedge that had a more effective resilience. You can read this article to learn more about why that is so important. Moreover, we went with a corner that was slightly flatter, which is also very important for your wedges.
You see a significant difference in the grooves between my old Sand Wedge and the newer one:
Woody told me that looking at the groove in the face is usually one of the best ways to determine if you need new wedges. If they look worn, they probably are.
Testing New versus Old
I played about eight rounds with my new Sand Wedge and Lob Wedge and I can see the difference right away. Because of the new grooves I can control my turn around the greens, and I even noticed it on my full strokes.
I decided to see how important the difference is by examining the differences in spinning speeds for a clean lie. The results will not be as extreme as hitting from the rough or with a wet lie, but I was still curious.
All tests were done indoors using my SkyTrak launch monitor. You can view my full review here, but this is a great product that provides accurate ball flight measurements for a test like this. I have done several experiments on the site, including this article about the ball position, and this compares older equipment with newer ones.
For the test, I store pictures of different distances with my wedge of 56 and 60 degrees. I was mainly looking for differences in spinning speeds, but also other parameters, such as the height and distance of the shot.
Here is a picture of the data that SkyTrak presents:
Here is a summary of the changes I saw from my older wedges to my newer one:
Club Ball Speed (mph) Start AngleTotal SpinCarry Yards Height (foot)
Old Lob Wedge5131.853084924
New Lob Wedge5431.863085327
Old Lob Wedge6632.563467245
New Lob Wedge6732.272117545
Old sand wedge8231.7750810269
New Sand Wedge8331.1848710372
You can see that there is a significant difference in spinning speeds. At almost every distance there is about 1,000 rpm less spin with my older wedges. Again, this is a clean lie on an artificial mat. That means that if I have something less than perfect lies on the track, there are probably much larger discrepancies. The test confirmed what I had noticed on the course last season, and a good illustration of the types of changes you can see.
Golfers may have a tendency to upgrade equipment too often when this is unnecessary. For example, you do not have to buy a new driver every 18 months when the major club manufacturers tempt you with their latest technological upgrades. The two clubs in your bag that you use the most on the green, however, often need an update.
So if you take your equipment seriously and want to keep your top performance, it might be wise to consider exchanging your wedges every 12-36 months, depending on how often you play, practice and how durable the material is. When in doubt, try to find the services of an experienced clubfitter to get the straight story.