How often should I replace my wedges?Various wedges

Titleist says you should think about replacing your wedges after 75 rounds. While that sounds exactly like what somebody trying to sell you a wedge would say, it is a reasonable estimate based on typical use.

The more you use your wedge, the more the grooves will wear. When that happens, you’ll start to lose friction which means launch angles, lower spin and more roll out.

Things like hitting a lot of sand shots, banging on beaten-up hardcover range balls or choosing to play an unplated (raw) wedge will accelerate groove wear. Softer forged wedges will typically wear faster, too.

Unless you play most of your golf inside, there’s an argument to be made that when it’s time to replace the grip, it’s time to replace the wedge.

How much does wedge weight matter?
As with any fitting question, the right answer is almost certainly “it depends.” The idea is that additional weight helps you create more momentum on shorter shots.

As a rule of thumb, your pitching wedge should be a few swingweight points heavier than your 9-iron. Your lob wedge a couple points heavier still.
It’s not uncommon for wedge swingweights to be as high as D5 or D6 and I have friends who play closer to D8. Some of that will be driven by the shaft. Stock shafts for aftermarket/specialty wedges tend to be closer to Tour weight so if you typically play light or even mid-weight shafts, it may be worth ordering custom (assuming you’re not going to get fitted).

What can rust do for my wedge shots around the green?

Nothing.

Rust doesn’t add spin. One more time for the guys in the back …

RUST DOESN’T ADD SPIN!

It is true that raw wedges can sometimes spin more (especially if the manufacturer hasn’t accounted for the finish in the groove spec) but that’s because of a lack of finish, not because of rust. I’m not a fan of anything in between the clubface and the ball and that’s exactly what rust is.

How do I determine the best bounce and grind for my game?
Some quick definitions.

Bounce is the angle formed between the leading edge and the lowest point on the sole.

Grind is the shape of the sole. It encompasses things like width and camber as well as any relieved areas.

When it comes to finding the right wedges, I recommend every golfer get professionally fitted outdoors. If that’s not in the cards (and it probably isn’t), it comes down to a combination of your swing and the type of shots you play on the golf course.

The rule of thumb is that steeper swingers (guys who often take deep divots) benefit from wider (high bounce) soles while the shallow pickers of the world do well with narrower (lower bounce) soles.

Things get more complex when we start talking about options for opening the face around the green or gliding through fluffy bunkers or picking a ball of a bare dirt lie because your home course doesn’t have 100-percent grass coverage around the green.

The bottom line is that the course seldom cares about how you swing so I’m a proponent of carrying a mix of high- and low-bounce options with enough versatility across grinds that you can manage whatever lie the course gives you.

Full-Face Wedges – What difference do they make?
The practical benefit comes on open-face shots around the green where the extra groove area allows you to maintain spin when you’re intentionally trying to make contact somewhere other than the primary hitting area. It’s the reason why full-face grooves are ubiquitous on high-toe wedges.

There’s also a marketing angle at play. Full-face wedges are still kinda different, arguably kinda cool—and that can be tempting.

That said, on your stock square-face shots, there’s no added value whatsoever. And, for the life of me, I can’t find any reason why you’d need full-face grooves on anything longer than a sand wedge.

What’s the optimal gap between my different wedges?
As iron lofts have gotten stronger, the consequence has been wider gaps between wedges. I’m a four-degree gap kind of guy but ultimately it’s the distance that matters. For anything you swing full with regularity, l like the +/- 12-yard gap.

At the point in the bag where a wedge is no longer a full-swing club, I’d argue gaps no longer matter. For me, that’s the lob wedge where fewer than on percent of my lob wedge shots are full-swing, square-face shots. At that spot in the bag (for me anyway), it’s less about hitting a number and more about adding versatility close to the green.

How many wedges is too many?

Another fitting question so the answer is again, “it depends.” For most of us, our greatest opportunities to score will come from inside 120 yards. That’s the natural consequence of amateurs missing significantly more greens than we hit.

I carry four. I’ve thought about carrying five but I know guys who top out at 54 degrees. Every wedge in the bag means one less of something else so I think the right number is the one that gives you the versatility to score inside of 120 yards without compromising your ability to score from farther out.

*We may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.