Most golfers don’t understand what wedge bounce is or how to properly use it during a golf shot.
We’re all trying to get better around the green whenever we are practicing or playing golf. We all have rounds where we look back after and realize we could’ve struck a chip better. Your short game (from within 100 yards) is where you will hit most of your golf shots. If you want to lower your handicap, it’s vital to understand what bounce is right for a specific club and learn how to use it.
Many beginner golfers tend to chunk chips or not finish their swing and, therefore, not get the best shots around the green they possibly could have. Using your wedges for your approach shots to their fullest capabilities is how you’re going to get better at golf. One way to get the most out of your wedges is to understand how the wedge bounce in your clubs affects your game.
Making sure you have the correct bounce on your wedges is just as important as the loft angle. Let’s dive into why golfers need to understand what the bounce is in their wedges, what specific angles mean for various courses, how you can use it in your game, and what to consider when you’re buying new wedges.
What is Wedge Bounce?
Wedge bounce is the angle created between the leading edge of the club and the trailing edge (or the sole that contacts the ground) as you address the golf ball.
More bounce provides more forgiveness.
The higher the wedge bounce degree is, the higher your leading edge will be off the ground when you’re lining up for your shot. Ensuring that you have the proper wedge bounce and grind option allows you to control your shots better to get better contact and spin on shots. Like shafts of drivers, wedge bounce can have a huge effect on your shot because of the type of swing you have. It is also tied into so many other variables like grind and loft.
Low Bounce, Mid Bounce, or High Bounce
There are different levels of bounce: low bounce, mid bounce, or high bounce.
Low Bounce (4-6°)
Low bounce clubs are usually between 4° and 6° and typically work best on courses with a tougher turf and harder and coarser sand in the bunkers. These are harder clubs to hit, but they ultimately can reward you if you strike them well. They are perfect for lob and flop shots around the green. If you turn the club face open, it’ll give you some more of the loft you’re looking for. But if you hit it with a square-face angle, you have very little room for error.
This can deliver you the kind of shot you want when you have a tighter lie around the green. A low bounce club is also smart for those who have a sweeping swing style and don’t make much contact with the ground or bring up much in the way of divots.
Mid Bounce (7-10°)
Mid or medium bounce wedges range between 7° and 10° in the degree. The average golfer who plays different courses throughout the year will likely rely more on these types of wedges because they won’t know the layout of a course, what the turf feels like, or how the sand is in the bunkers. This type of bounce can be used around the green for many different kinds of shots and offers plenty for any golfer who likes to play their wedge shots with an open or square face. You’ll opt for this more if you have a moderate attacking approach and a neutral swing style. You can control the trajectory better, as this will add some bounce but not too much to each of your shots.
High Bounce (10+°)
High bounce wedges are 10° or more in degree. If you are someone who plays rainier courses or courses with fluffier and softer sand, this may be the type of bounce you’re looking for. For anyone who may chunk a ball on occasion or likes to dig into popping their ball up out of a greenside bunker, this delivers because it prevents the leading edge from dragging for a while when you’re hitting out of the sand.
You’ll typically want a higher bounce in your sand wedge. You have to be careful when you open up the club face on a high bounce wedge, as you have a higher risk of blading a shot. But when hit with a square face, it can produce more spin, allowing you to create some more magic around the green.
How to Use Bounce?
If you listen to the legendary club maker Bob Vokey, he says, “Bounce is your friend.” He means that bounce can be extremely helpful if you don’t always hit your shot the way you want. Bounce can help provide you with more forgiveness around the green, so you don’t skull a chip and shoot the ball from one side of the fringe to another.
You can still strike the ball properly with wedge bounce even if you make mistakes frequently. Professional golfers will rely not only on the bounce angle that the club comes with but also on their stance, how they address a ball, and how they hold the club to affect the shot.
The more you open up the club face, the higher the wedge bounce will be because the leading edge will be higher off the ground. When you close the face, you will lessen the bounce. Golfers will play with the angles of their club face to spin the ball or get a higher loft on it.
Loft, grind and bounce work hand in hand to best suit your short game. Chipping and getting your shots near the pin is the goal and, depending on the lie and what your swing is like, you can use the bounce to your advantage or try to minimize it. You can address a ball differently based on how you want the ball to move or even spin. The subtle tweaks of a club and your swing can have different effects on your ball. For more forgiving shots, higher bounce is encouraged.
What is Grind?
Grind is a factor of your clubs that coincides with bounce. It removes material from the club’s sole to increase your ability to make contact with the turf. Frequently referred to as sole grind, this can help you manipulate your shot the way you want. It’s smart to get grinds that work better for your swing, as certain grinds are better for bounce, and others are better for sweeping types of shots that will lift the ball higher. The existence of grind in your clubs also gives you a better look at your shots when you’re staring downward while lining up your approach.
Wrapping It Up and Heading to the Clubhouse
Wedge bounce is something to consider when you’re trying to get the most out of your short game. Knowing your swing type and what kinds of courses you tend to play will help you decide on the right wedges for you. Trying different kinds of clubs based on your swing type is smart. Getting fitted for clubs and talking to an official fitter will help you decide what type of wedge bounce you can rely on most of the time.
While you likely don’t have the resources that tour pros have where they can swap out their clubs based on the course or day they are playing, you can decide what kind of wedge bounce you’re most likely going to use. Every player is different, and the course conditions are always going to be different. That’s why it’s best to consider what you mostly play and how your swing is before you settle on buying numerous wedges.