New Wedges? Make Sure You Have The Right Shafts.
If you are thinking about getting new wedges, make sure you have the right shafts. What shafts should you play in your wedges? The very short answer is play the same shaft in your wedges as you do in your irons. But, boy do we see a lot of variation of what is in our players bags.
“Your advice on the proper shaft for wedges is spot-on! Keep up the great work.” Ken Everrett, PGA Professional and Instructor, Snowmass Club, Colorado.
Stock Wedge Shafts
First off, most wedges you buy off the rack will have a standard heavy steel wedge shaft like a True Temper Dynamic Gold. Titleist uses an S200 (130gr) in their SM7 wedges, Callaway uses the new DG S300 Wedge 115 (115 gr) in the MD 4, while Mizuno uses the DG S300 (132 gr) in the S18. Only if you are playing a steel shaft in your irons like the Dynamic Gold, KBS Tour, or Nippon Modus 3 120 will the weight and flex of these wedge shafts come close to matching you. If you are playing graphite shafts in your irons and steel shafts in your wedges, there will be some issues in terms of distance and trajectory. If you are buying a stock set of clubs with a gap and sand wedge included, you will get the same shaft as what is in the rest of the iron set. This can be a good thing in terms of weight but the actual flex may be quite a bit softer in the wedges due to the heavier weight we usually see in a sand wedge and lob wedge.
What Shafts do Tour Players Use?
So what do the pros have in their wedges? Last weeks winner of the Honda Classic played Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 shafts in his wedges but Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 shafts in his irons. However, most PGA Tour players play the same shafts in all of their wedges as in their irons. Even Lydia Ko plays the same UST Mamiya Recoil graphite shafts in her irons and wedges.
Some tour players like Keith Mitchell, play softer flexes and heavier weights in their sand and lob wedges since these are more feel-oriented clubs. Ted Potter Jr. and Steve Stricker favor that setup. Rory McIlroy favors a softer shaft, Project X 6.5 in his wedges versus the Project X 7.0’s in his irons.
Using the Same Shafts As What You Have in Your Irons
The main reason we recommend this for amateur players is that we can make the flex and performance feel very consistent from PW through gap wedge, sand wedge and lob wedge. It makes no sense, for example, to be playing a light weight 70 to 80 gram graphite shaft in your irons and stock off-the-shelf 130+ gram True Temper S330 or S400 shaft in your gap, sand and lob and expect them to feel and perform the same. These stock wedge shafts will play stiffer and could cause a loss of distance and lower ball flight than expected. If we do make heavier shaft weight recommendations, we make them for the Sand Wedge and Lob Wedge for more feel around the green and in the bunker. But, we only go 10 grams heavier.
There have been a lot of new offerings in wedge shafts like the True Temper Dynamic Gold 115 Wedges and KBS Hi Rev 2.0 wedge shafts that offer lighter weight or increased spin and more controlled ball flight. These are great if you need lighter weight to match your iron shafts or lack the technique to hit those punch spin wedge shots. There are also some new graphite wedge shafts from ACCRA and Fujikura that are in the 115-125 gram range. For more information about what tour players have in their bags, check out the GolfWRX section here.
When we go through a iron and wedge fitting at our fitting facilities, we get very specific with our golfers on not only the shafts in their wedges, but the lofts, lies, bounces and grinds. Each individual has certain swing dynamics that not only dictate the weight and flex of the shaft but the bounces and grinds as well. Same thing with the type of courses and sand conditions. So go to a qualified fitter and dial in your wedges for tighter shots.