Wedges & Spin - A Conversation

JB

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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.
Not necessarily a robot, but the wedge itself. For instance I can hit a wedge and make it spin or not spin depending on how I hit it. But when looking at the wedge itself, why do we hear that X wedge spins more than Y wedge or that Z wedge does not spin like Y wedge if their are so few variables?

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?
Since most feel forging is softer, wouldnt it dull them too quickly then too? :alien:
 

JB

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And based on what JDeere just posted it seems that it was a whole lot of marketing speak for "Our grooves are the maximum allowed" and that surface roughness is good (which many have) (and even more would argue on whether that increases spin at all)
 

Fairway2Green

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And based on what JDeere just posted it seems that it was a whole lot of marketing speak for "Our grooves are the maximum allowed" and that surface roughness is good (which many have) (and even more would argue on whether that increases spin at all)
If surface roughness did so much wouldn't everyone start playing wedges that rust and just dip them in water every night to have super rusty clubfaces?
 

RatFink

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If surface roughness did so much wouldn't everyone start playing wedges that rust and just dip them in water every night to have super rusty clubfaces?
I believe rust is considered to be too soft to do anything for spin.
 

CraftyLefty

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Since most feel forging is softer, wouldnt it dull them too quickly then too? :alien:
I would imagine so. I think they're just cashing in on the "Forged" market. I would think that you can get just as good of grooves through a casting process.
 

wburdett

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I do believe it has everything to do with the player and the shot being hit. Theres the full swing suck back, stop and check etc. The amount of downward force and angle allowing the ball to stay on the club longer is what proudces the spin. Grooves make a big impact but if you're not hitting down and through you aren't going to get results. Hand action creates tremendous angles as well as look at some of the best ball strikers around the green. I'm sure hit with iron byron you'd see some differences but I'll bet end of day taking shafts out of equation it'll be minimal.
 

SethO

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I have never really noticed a tangible difference in spin between the different wedges I have used (granted I am no tour pro like some other internet golfers). Spin has never been a huge issue for me as I have always been able to put pretty good spin on the ball with Vokeys, CG15's, Mizuno MPT as well as my PW and 9 iron (conforming grooves). The biggest thing for me when it comes to wedges is how they feel which is very subjective. All this is out of the fairway, I am not taking rough into consideration in this post. I think the whole spin thing is marketing because everybody wants to spin the ball and it is an easy buzz word for selling wedges.
 

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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 don't know that I believe it either. Here is the transcription of his explanation. I figured it would be good for the discussion at hand.

A question asked to Roger Cleveland

What is the advantage of the forged groove?

Cleveland: "The new rule is really technical and in order to stay in conformance we have tried to mill our grooves. We used to mill the Mack Daddy groove in, that had a very tight radius at the edge of the face and side wall. The new rule dictates that the groove be of a certain radius that we can't abide by in a milling process, we have determined that it can't be done in a casting process because you have to take off the scale off the face and that tightens that radius. When you forge and the only way you can achieve this is through forging, and we forge all of our wedges. We do a double pressing of a groove in order for us to be able to bring that radius into compliance. You can't do it in a casting, you can only do it in a forging."
 

johndeere10

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Something else I noticed that was pretty interesting when looking at # of groves on wedge of following companies:

14 grooves: Miura
15 grooves: Taylor Made, Vokey, Cleveland, Gauge, Vega, Maruman, and Scratch


21 GROOVES: CALLAWAY JAW CC!!!!
 

JB

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Something else I noticed that was pretty interesting when looking at # of groves on wedge of following companies:

14 grooves: Miura
15 grooves: Taylor Made, Vokey, Cleveland, Gauge, Vega, Maruman, and Scratch


21 GROOVES: CALLAWAY JAW CC!!!!
I believe that is their current lineup though, correct? Not pre groove rule?
 

johndeere10

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I believe that is their current lineup though, correct? Not pre groove rule?
Correct. X-forged looked to have 15 grooves. So that didn't prove anything with Callaway having advantage with more spin before the groove rule. :D
 

All4's

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Not necessarily a robot, but the wedge itself. For instance I can hit a wedge and make it spin or not spin depending on how I hit it. But when looking at the wedge itself, why do we hear that X wedge spins more than Y wedge or that Z wedge does not spin like Y wedge if their are so few variables?



Since most feel forging is softer, wouldnt it dull them too quickly then too? :alien:
That is what I was thinking. They may be the "best" out of the box since their process allows for a unique approach to making the grooves on the face, but after 3-4 months they would be the worst I would think.

I was also thinking that using that softer metal (1020 carbon steel) may allow the ball to stick to the face longer than a harder metal. Not sure, just a thought.

If surface roughness did so much wouldn't everyone start playing wedges that rust and just dip them in water every night to have super rusty clubfaces?
The idea of rusting wedges was too eliminate glare, not spin. I used to hear the same thing about rust & spin and then learned of the real reason. Typing this just made me miss my Cobra Trusty Rusty wedge.
 

johndeere10

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Do you think finish plays a factor into spin more than material the wedge is made of?

I don't know the thickness of chrome plating but it seems like it could this cover the milling more than a oilcan/black ox wedge and it doesn't take much to wear that off the face. Just something I'm thinking about.
 

smoothduffer

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Great question and great topic, i've hit all the top brands wedges in stores but, i havent hit that many different brands of wedges onto greens to compare to my gamers. I know my TW9's spin alot but, have noticed that they dont shred the covers really bad but, i read alot on here about how the wedges that spin alot do shred covers, what does all of that mean?? I have no clue, LOL. I dont know the answer but, maybe it has more to do with the golfer and, how comfortable he/she feels with the wedge and how well/consistently they hit the wedge. If you dont feel comfortable with a certain wedge or dont hit it as good then chances are it wont perform as well for you.
 

arydolphin

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Interesting thread here....I will say that I played Nike VR Forged wedges for some time last summer before switching to my current wedges, which are Vokey Spin Milled. The Nike wedges had a reputation as one of the highest spinning wedges, and I did see that on some shots (mainly full swings from the fairway), I could get more backspin with the Nike wedges compared to the Titleist wedges, playing the same ball (Penta TP). The shafts in the clubs were different, I believe the Vokeys have S200 shafts and the Nike wedges have S400, so it's not a true apples-to-apples comparison. This is just my opinion, but whether you are talking about the "old" or "new" grooves, I think that different companies have slightly different ways that they manufacture the grooves that can alter spin while being legal under the current rules. In other words, just because there are certain specifications that they have to apply to, it doesn't mean that the entire groove surface is the exact same shape for every company. Whether that is related to a club being cast vs. forged is something that I don't have the answer to, or whether microgrooves (ex. CG15) or face milling (ex. Vokey) have a big impact at all. I think that with the "new" groove rule, you're going to see more interesting groove configurations, just look at the X3X grooves by Nike that JB posted in other thread today. The USGA was shortsighted in the groove rule because most companies have been able to get their wedges back to comparable pre-groove-rule spin values by changing shafts and groove configurations.
 

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My theory - and it is definitely unproven - but my theory on this is that the amount of spin imparted on the ball by a 'spinny' wedge is partially due to the CG of the wedge being perfectly placed and due to the heavier weight of a better quality clubhead. Cheaper wedges tend to be lighter overall or at least seem that way to me. The grooves may be the same but even with the friction the grooves apply there is less capacity to impart spin due to less effective mass actually impacting the ball and this has less of an effect in overcoming the balls inertia. The grooves prevent slippage, due to grass or water or whatever, by creating friction at the sharp edges of the groove but the amount of spin the head is able to impart is more a function of how much force the wedge can actually apply precisely to the ball, and with better wedges, even if the swing weight is the same, the balance and the CG and the mass overall of the club head itself is greater or positioned more effectively in a wedge that creates more spin than in a wedge that creates less spin. Different shafts will change spin rates also, more flexible shafts will create more spin I believe. Just my theory. About the only evidence to support this I can come up with is that in the past when I was buying cheap wedges because I couldn't afford anything else the cheap wedges performed much better and imparted more spin when I added lead tape to the back of the lighter cheaper wedge, I still have one in fact that I will carry from time to time.
 

10YardDraw

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im on lunch so dont have allot of time but my Jaws spin more than anything i have ever tried, sure they all say they are the maximum legal limit but then why do the Jaws with Mack Daddy grooves spin more than the CG15's, Vokeys, MP-T10? I spin the ball consistently with every wedge shot, maybe the grooves have a sharper edge compared to others, maybe others have a more rounded edge, who knows but i know its not mostly the player, ball is more of a factor than the player IMO, i have a buddy who is about a 25HC and cant spin a ball worth crap with his wedges(vokeys) but when i let him use my Jaws and a callaway tour i(s) he was stopping the ball and even backed it up once or twice, also had him try it with his regular ball and it was stopping that as well(noodle not sure which one). So there has to be more to it than meets the eye
 

JB

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im on lunch so dont have allot of time but my Jaws spin more than anything i have ever tried, sure they all say they are the maximum legal limit but then why do the Jaws with Mack Daddy grooves spin more than the CG15's, Vokeys, MP-T10? I spin the ball consistently with every wedge shot, maybe the grooves have a sharper edge compared to others, maybe others have a more rounded edge, who knows but i know its not mostly the player, ball is more of a factor than the player IMO, i have a buddy who is about a 25HC and cant spin a ball worth crap with his wedges(vokeys) but when i let him use my Jaws and a callaway tour i(s) he was stopping the ball and even backed it up once or twice, also had him try it with his regular ball and it was stopping that as well(noodle not sure which one). So there has to be more to it than meets the eye
So you are saying that with brand new grooves on both, and the same ball and shaft in both clubs, you would notice more spin out of last years Jaws than others?
 

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If EVERYTHING groove related is equal: The depth, width and number, then the variables are limited. I would agree with some others that mentioned the shaft could play a large role in this. I don't believe that the clubhead material is going to make a big difference (forged vs cast).

One could argue that a company could butt up to the old (and new) groove limits and possibly exceed them without really "getting caught" due to the extreme precision that goes into the grooves.

One thing that hasn't been mentioned would be grip and grip size. A lot of players prefer smaller grips on wedges to allow more hand action in a shot.
If we're down to that subtle of a difference between two otherwise equeal clubs, I don't know how much there is left to discuss?
 

gadiel

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I like this test. http://www.uintagolf.com/expert.html and click on the Feeling GROOOOVY article with October 28/ 2009.
Good information. The result is theres not to much difference from the fairway shots but theres a huge difference when the shot is made from the Rough.
 

thedue

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Great topic JB, I can't wait to hear your thoughts on this. In my little test recently I pitted the MPT11, xFT, CG15 and my old CG14 against each other. Most of my spin testing was on short chip stop and lob shots. It was very noticable to me that the xFT allowed me to stop the ball quicker on these shots as well as control the chip distances and height better. I can't say that control came from the groves as much as the weighting and possibly the shaft. Here's what I wrote in that thread:

To make a long story short, I really enjoyed the xFT a lot. Starting off with a side hill lie, I switched back and forth hitting soft lob shots, then aggressive spin shots, then backing off behind a hump I started hitting short high lob shots. All three did a great job, but I found I could control the xFT a bit easier and land the ball a bit softer on command. I actually made one of the lob shots with the xFT and several others were within inches. From there I went to the range and hit a couple of the balls with my CG14 to zero in then switched back and forth with the other two. All three did a great job, but the MPT11 seemed to give me a little trouble cutting through the turf, where the CG14 and xFT just felt smooth and controlled. Nice even divots, I could feel the blade all the way through the swing and the ball stayed on line with each shot. For some reason I pulled several of the shots with the MPT11.
But, I will add a new wrinkle that may have no connection what so ever, lol. I have always been able to spin the crap out of my old CG14 with full, mid, or long shots. Several THP members have played along side me at times when I've way over done it, but I just changed grips on that old club, tour wrap, and I'm struggling to spin anything with it. Would that be the change in weighting, gripping, or nothing at all to do with it? May simply be the greens I'm playing on right now or the turf enteraction I'm seeing.
 

JB

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I like this test. http://www.uintagolf.com/expert.html and click on the Feeling GROOOOVY article with October 28/ 2009.
Good information. The result is theres not to much difference from the fairway shots but theres a huge difference when the shot is made from the Rough.
Its got good information there. I didnt see where they mentioned what shafts were used in each wedge. Is it somewhere else or am I missing it or maybe its not included?

I dont think too many should expect spin from the rough. More about technique and clean contact than grooves (strictly my opinion).
I do find it intriguing datawise that it is similar to what we have seen on our monitor with the Cleveland being the spinniest from pitching and from full shots, but not by a very large margin at all.
 
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Aries0321

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To me if all things are equal, the most spin, from a physics standpoint, would be those wedges with the most surface contact to a ball. A wedge with 21 grooves should, in theory with all else being equal, spin a ball more than a 15 groove wedge as there is more surface contact. With this in mind, those with mini-grooves should spin the ball even more. I think at least Cleveland has all those little mini-grooves, they have a different name for it, between all of the regular grooves.
 

GopherNut

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Another thought would be differences in swing weight.

After a while if you really want to split hairs, you could even argue the type of grass you play on makes a difference and would favor one wedge over another.

A groove on a club is kind of like a groove on your tire. It's a channel for the grass caught between your club and ball to get out of the way for better and more contact, just like grooves on your tires channel water, snow, mud, etc. If you play on really fine grass, it would react different than a very coarse blade of grass. Thus, the reason for different grooves in tires for snow, rain, mud. However, the differences between grasses is litterally splitting hairs.
 

Golf 'N Gator

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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 had two Jaws wedges with the old square grooves and they were ball shredders. It was not un-usual to have cover stuck in the grooves after a hard wedge shot. They had great stopping power but I hated what they did to balls.

When I switched to Ping, I tried several wedges, mostly older ones, and none shredded the ball like the Jaws, but they did not stop it as well either. I found the best one for me is the older Eye 2 which is square grooves, with a really tight groove pattern. With the DG Spinner shaft, this wedge is as good for me as the Jaws, but it does not tear up balls.

I have tried new 2010 Ping wedges with V grooves, with of course the same swing, and I can not stop the ball like I want as well as I can the old Eye 2. Grooves do matter, for my game and style at least.
 

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