Wedges & Spin - A Conversation

JB

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I had a long talk with a club builder yesterday about wedges, grooves and marketing and we got to talking about "pre groove rule" and how it was talked about that certain wedges were spin "monsters" and others did not spin as much.

We were speaking about some of the biggest names (OEMs) in golf and how some would say "this one spins the most" and "this one lacks spin" and he asked a very valid question.

"If many of the wedges had grooves at the maximum level and even more so, most of them were of similar shape, weighting and design, why would one spin more than the other?"

It got me thinking and revisiting wedges and comparing them in looks, weight distribution and more. I started to compare them and have formed my own conclusion on the idea that will be saved for now, but I would love to hear everybody's input on the idea about wedges and why they believe some spin more than others, using the criteria that they were using maximum groove cuts.

Really interesting conversation as it pertains to how I (we) perceive clubs and wedges in particular.
 

jt2929

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I always thought that the player was the biggest variable in creating spin on wedge shots. If 2 wedges have the same grooves and weight distribution, I don't see how one could spin any more than the other with the same ball.
 

lcsmrtn

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I don't think as amateurs or higher handicapers we can accurately say this wedge or that wedge spins better than... A big component of spin is solid contact, as a roughly 10 handicap, my ballstriking isn't good enough to impart spin consistently.

That being said, I can tell the difference between a distance ball and a softer ball by how it reacts on the greens. Same ball, different wedges, I doubt I could accurately make a distinction
 

ddec

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I would have thought that even if they had the same shape and size if one was shartper than the other it would cause more spin. Kind of like the Jaws wedges from last year chewed up balls pretty good, while other companies did not.
 

JB

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I would have thought that even if they had the same shape and size if one was shartper than the other it would cause more spin. Kind of like the Jaws wedges from last year chewed up balls pretty good, while other companies did not.
How would one be sharper than the other? Newer yes, but sharper when they are both new? I mean many are cut the exact same way right?
 

ddec

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How would one be sharper than the other? Newer yes, but sharper when they are both new? I mean many are cut the exact same way right?
no clue. I just remeber hearing how some of the wedges chewed up golf balls while others didn't. Callaway for example was talked about destroying the covers. Are we allowed to include shafts in this, or are you just talking about face/head design?


I know Vokey spins more because it says Spin Milled right on it. That's got to account for something:alien:
 

JB

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no clue. I just remeber hearing how some of the wedges chewed up golf balls while others didn't. Callaway for example was talked about destroying the covers. Are we allowed to include shafts in this, or are you just talking about face/head design?


I know Vokey spins more because it says Spin Milled right on it. That's got to account for something:alien:
I believe the shaft can play a role, sure. Callaway Jaws were talked about on this forum by many as shredding covers, but were they compared to others with brand new grooves as well? Dont know. Like I said, if they have noticeably more spin, I would love to hear how that is the case. Legitimate question.
 

Lukey719

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I think its got to have something to do with the player and his/her swing. If you are using the exact same club specs I don't see another deciding factor.
 

mhuelsman131

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I always thought that there was a maximum volume allowed in the groove and a maximum edge sharpness allowed. But couldnt companies make wider, more shallow grooves; as opposed to thinner, deeper grooves? This is what I remember hearing and kind of always just accepted it, but I could be totally off base.

Edit: just an example - 2mm wide x 1mm deep vs 1mm wide x 2mm deep. Obviously millimeters are probably not the best unit of measurement, but if this were the case, wouldnt the wedges spin differently?
 

RatFink

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no clue. I just remeber hearing how some of the wedges chewed up golf balls while others didn't. Callaway for example was talked about destroying the covers. Are we allowed to include shafts in this, or are you just talking about face/head design?


I know Vokey spins more because it says Spin Milled right on it. That's got to account for something:alien:
Nuh-uhh The X- Forged will spin the most because they're forged.

But seriously, I only have experience with the CG14 w/ Zip Grooves, the X-Forged w/ and w/out Mack Daddies, and I can say that the X-Forged with MD grooves spins the most. BUT there is a 2* loft change (58 X-Forged w/ MD, 56 CG14 w/Zip, 54 X-Forged w/out MD) so I don't know how much is accountable to loft.

It would be neat for someone to take each head without any grooves to see how much they spin already.
 

ddec

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I believe the shaft can play a role, sure. Callaway Jaws were talked about on this forum by many as shredding covers, but were they compared to others with brand new grooves as well? Dont know. Like I said, if they have noticeably more spin, I would love to hear how that is the case. Legitimate question.
I think it's a legitimate question as well. I'm subscribing to this thread because it's a great topic and I'm sure it will spark some great conversations.
 

ddec

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Yesterday I hit a few wedges before our round and then later in the day we went over to the range and hit full shots with all the wedges. You can see my thoughts above. A few of the wedges really stood out as fantastic wedges. A few stood out for poor performance. Today I hit both chips and full wedge shots and picked my top six based on spin, feel, sound and shot grouping. The top six wedges that all get a full OEM seal of approval are the Taylor Made XFT, Wilson Staff TW9, Callaway Jaws, Cleveland CG15, Tour Edge Exotics and the Fourteen.

1. Taylor Made XFT - This club was an absolute beast. The feel was amazing and the performance very good. Its a great looking wedge while at the same time you can buy a new face plate next year and have what is almost a new wedge. It didnt spin the most but everything combined propelled it to the top.

2. Wilson Staff - The surprise of the shootout. I really didnt like this club yesterday but today the results didnt lie. It spun better then any club in the group, felt great and has good looks. Really didnt expect this from the Wilson but in the end it just narrowly lost out to the TM.

3. Tour Edge Exotics - This club was also very good. It has a little bit bigger look to it that inspires confidence at address. It looks great and this one has a weight you can change out in the back of it. What hurt this club is it just didnt have the stopping power of the other two. Still a very good wedge.

4. Cleveland CG15 - When hit solid can stop on a dime. They have a very classic, clean look and those awesome laser milled face lines. The grouping just wasnt as tight as the top three.

5. Fourteen - Good feel, classic looks and solid performance. A wedge for the discerning golfer.

6. Callaway Jaws - This kind of surprised me as I has expected this club to blow the others away. I just put this club in my bag and played great with it today and yesterday. But the results just dont lie. Not quite as good at stopping and the sound was a bit off, kind of muted.


Im sure quite a few people want to know where the Vokeys are in this list. Two days in a row dead last. Marketing must be the key for these and their success. Scratch? Scratch them off. Not impressed at all. In the mid tier group of wedges the clubs were all pretty close. The Adams is a beautiful wedge and hit well. Nike was decent too. Bridgestone was good.

If you have any questions about specific wedges feel free to ask.
I found this in the OEM Wedge Test thread. Thought it might be relevent to this topic.
 

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I think biggest factor when looking at spin is the player more than the actual wedge. Their skill level and how they strike the ball seems to be determining factor versus which wedge spins more than the other. When you have skilled golfer then you can look into which wedge spins more. However there are so many variables (ball, wedge bounce, grass type (fairways/green), firm/softer fairways, condition of greens......etc that you have to factor in that Dave Pelz would have a field day if asked about it. I've seen 2 players use the same wedge & ball and get completely different results. The lower handicap player could stop/spin back a wedge vs higher handicap the ball would check but still have good amount of rollout.
 

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I really think a lot of us attribute spin to stopping power on the greens and what not. I used to say some wedges spun more because I get could them to stop faster (same ball/different wedges). Not saying that isn't true but I realized ball position could've been different at different times and the contact I made wasn't always consistant so it was really hard to tell. Some shots would land softer because of the swing, height of the shot or how solid I hit the ball. I had to get on a monitor to actually see the difference in spin which was funny because it didn't really look any different upon landing if at all. I truly believe there is perceived spin(eyeball) and actual (monitor) for most of us.
 

JB

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I think biggest factor when looking at spin is the player more than the actual wedge. Their skill level and how they strike the ball seems to be determining factor versus which wedge spins more than the other. When you have skilled golfer then you can look into which wedge spins more. However there are so many variables (ball, wedge bounce, grass type (fairways/green), firm/softer fairways, condition of greens......etc that you have to factor in that Dave Pelz would have a field day if asked about it. I've seen 2 players use the same wedge & ball and get completely different results. The lower handicap player could stop/spin back a wedge vs higher handicap the ball would check but still have good amount of rollout.
That is the real question though. What would make a wedge spin more if the grooves are the same size and the head shape is identical (generalization). We know that different players, ball, etc...will produce different shots, but we always here that one wedge spins more than the other and I am very curious as to what the reasons are for that.
 

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Great topic JB. I have wondered that as well. I've played the CG12 and the Jaws CC wedges. I really haven't noticed that much difference in the overall spin with my 56*. I played a 60* with the CG12s and haven't used a 60* in the Jaws CC so I cannot compare the two on that end.

I would think that if the grooves are maxed out and distributed equally over the face that spin would largely be a function of swing speed, quality of lie, and the materials of the ball's cover.
 

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I have never played the X forged wedges so take what I say with a grain of salt. According to Roger Cleveland (a biased, yet extremely knowledgable source) the key to the geometric configuration and therefore the spin capabilities of the X Forged Wedges is due in fact to the fact that they were forged. From an interview Roger Cleveland gave he said that the configuration they were able to obtain on these wedges is wholly due to the process they used to create the wedges. Now how much of that is hype and marketing and how much is truth, I have no idea.
 

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I have never played the X forged wedges so take what I say with a grain of salt. According to Roger Cleveland (a biased, yet extremely knowledgable source) the key to the geometric configuration and therefore the spin capabilities of the X Forged Wedges is due in fact to the fact that they were forged. From an interview Roger Cleveland gave he said that the configuration they were able to obtain on these wedges is wholly due to the process they used to create the wedges. Now how much of that is hype and marketing and how much is truth, I have no idea.
Are you talking about the consistency of the groove geometrics here?

Unrelated to the quoted text-Position of the center of gravity in the wedge would also play a role right?
 

JB

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I have never played the X forged wedges so take what I say with a grain of salt. According to Roger Cleveland (a biased, yet extremely knowledgable source) the key to the geometric configuration and therefore the spin capabilities of the X Forged Wedges is due in fact to the fact that they were forged. From an interview Roger Cleveland gave he said that the configuration they were able to obtain on these wedges is wholly due to the process they used to create the wedges. Now how much of that is hype and marketing and how much is truth, I have no idea.
I love Roger, but I am not sure I buy that one (the forging making it spinnier). If that is the case, then can you imagine if what some consider the spinniest wedges out there were forged? Jeez, they would be like the spin doctor wedge.
 

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I don't think I can add much to this thread because I don't think I have ever found one wedge to spin the ball more than another. When I'm comfortable with a wedge I hit down on the ball more than I do with a wedge I don't like but that has nothing to do with the design of the wedge. To me, taking the shaft out of the equation, I think they all impart the same amount of spin, and we just think that the wedge that fits us better spins the ball more.
 

ddec

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I love Roger, but I am not sure I buy that one (the forging making it spinnier). If that is the case, then can you imagine if what some consider the spinniest wedges out there were forged? Jeez, they would be like the spin doctor wedge.
my 5 iron has the most spin ever, because it's TM Forged with workability
 

9-Iron Man

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That is the real question though. What would make a wedge spin more if the grooves are the same size and the head shape is identical (generalization). We know that different players, ball, etc...will produce different shots, but we always here that one wedge spins more than the other and I am very curious as to what the reasons are for that.
So are we talking about a robot making the shots to compare against? I would think that the player would be the determining factor. Look at Tour Pros. Some of them can spin the ball much better than others. I think it's how we play the game that is the key to how much spin we each impart on the ball.
 

Fairway2Green

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Great thread. I've always argued with my buddies about this. I'm in the boat that since there are regulations on grooves, head size, etc. companies are going to produce very similar wedges. I argue why would one OEM not max out the grooves when they know most amateurs buying wedges want to spin the ball. Of course they always argue Vokey SMs spin way more than a Cally wedge will blah blah... To me if you're eliminating all variables and talking about the wedge head itself they're all very very similar pertaining to spin.
 

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I love Roger, but I am not sure I buy that one (the forging making it spinnier). If that is the case, then can you imagine if what some consider the spinniest wedges out there were forged? Jeez, they would be like the spin doctor wedge.
I think he was speaking to the creation of the grooves during the forging process. If I remember right they forge them to a level that doesn't require them to grind/mill the grooves into the face. I'm not sure that makes them any spinnier though. In the end it's still a max spec groove right?
 

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Here is some info about Cally, Titleist, Cleveland wedges from their website on current wedges:

Callaway: Jaws CC

ROGER CLEVELAND DESIGNEDCreated by Callaway Chief Designer Roger Cleveland the X Series Jaws CC Wedges feature the industry-leading Tour CC Grooves. Available only on Callaway’s Forged products, this proprietary groove pattern packs up to 40% more grooves onto the clubface. Testing has shown these grooves generate the most spin on shots out of the rough when compared with other manufacturers.

The high-grade forged 1020 carbon steel provides better feel and feedback around the greens. A unique Triple Net Forging process allows Callaway to design grooves that generate more spin and control around the greens.



Titleist: VOKEY Spin Milled

Machined Grooves: A special circular saw style cutting tool is used to create precise, tighter tolerance grooves with maximum volume and minimum edge radii for cleaner ball-club contact and maximum spin performance.

Micro Edges: The CNC machined face creates micro edges for more texture which provides a rougher surface for better spin retention on partial shots.


Maximum Allowable Surface Roughness
The Rules of Golf allow for surface roughness within the impact area of a golf club. The micro edges created on the face of Vokey Design Spin Milled wedges during the machining process are an example of allowable surface roughness. Parameters set forth by the governing bodies dictate the maximum allowable roughness across a specified surface area as well as the maximum allowable depth of any markings. When compared against alternative milling processes, Spin Milled wedges have approximately three times the roughness across the specified surface area with similar milling depths. In Titleist R&D testing, this equates to 22% more spin on partial wedge shots using Spin Milled wedges.

Spin Milled wedges (top) have approximately three times the surface roughness
when compared against alternative milling processes (bottom).

Maximum Dimension Grooves
The Rules of Golf similarly set forth standards for grooves in terms of geometry, volume, edge radii, and spacing. The Spin Milled cutting tool pioneered by Titleist is contoured to precisely cut the groove edge radius to the minimum (most sharp) and groove volume to the maximum allowed by the Rules. The tool's unique circular shape with multiple cutting edges provides a more stable cutting process that produces tighter tolerances and more consistency from groove-to-groove and wedge-to-wedge.

Each groove on a Spin Milled wedge is individually cut with a unique circular saw style cutting tool,
providing a more stable cutting process that produces tighter tolerances and more consistency.

What does this mean for golfers?
• Flat Machined Face = More Consistent Contact and Distance Control
• Maximum Surface Roughness = More Spin on Partial Wedge Shots
• Minimum Edge Radius = More Spin on Full Wedge Shots
• Maximum Groove Volume = More Spin in Wet or Grassy Conditions

Cleveland Golf: Zip Grooves

Introducing ZIP Grooves™ from Cleveland® Golf—the latest envelope-stretching technology from the #1 wedge in golf. This breakthrough technology features consistent milling of each groove to maximum conforming dimensions. The absolute integrity of these grooves is maintained by the application of a proprietary coating to each groove for protection during the face sandblasting process. The resulting ZIP Grooves are pristine and shiny, Cleveland's biggest and most precisely milled ever. Bring on the zip. Bring on the spin. Bring on the game.


SPIN CONTROL
The technology of Zip Grooves creates a larger groove volume which channels more debris than traditional grooves to improve contact with the ball. This milling optimizes spin on each and every shot - making Zip Grooves perfect for players that expect optimal spin and distance control.

http://www.clevelandgolf.com/US_zip_grooves.html
 

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