Jordan Speith’s WITB Begs Questions on Wedges, Irons and Shafts

JSpeith US Open WITBI received an interesting question from Mike Stachura, Senior Equipment Editor at Golf Digest this week.  Jordan Speith played the same shafts in his wedges as his irons, Project X 6.0.  Also, Jordan played a Vokey SM5 46 degree wedge instead of the the stock Titleist AP2 wedge.  Mike was wondering if this is normal or just for better players.  Photo courtesy of GolfWRX.

Here is my response:

Yes, Jordan has an interesting iron/wedge setup but here is why (I think).  Jordan most likely likes the design and spin characteristics of the Vokey PW versus the standard AP2 iron set PW.  Most good players do.  For the mid to high handicapper we recommend staying with the iron set makeup through the AW or GW.  Then we put them in a traditional sand and lob wedge (Vokey, Mac Daddy, Mizuno MP-T5, etc.) so we can control bounce, not necessarily grind or anything else.  For low handicappers we start after the iron set PW with a traditional wedge set so we can control bounce, loft and grind.  Better players know how to use their wedges and know what works for them.  We merely help them dial in shaft weights, lengths, flexes and swing weights.
I gotta love love the way Jordan uses the same shaft in all of his irons and wedges!  That is how we fit 95% of our golfers..even low handicappers.  Yes, a lot of better players will use slightly heavier and softer flex shafts in their wedges than their irons but we discourage that because we want at least the shaft flex and weight to be consistent all the way through the iron and wedge set.  Another fitting technique we do is keep all the wedges the same lengths so that the player can get a better feel for distance control.  Most manufacturers will step down their wedges from say 35.5″ in the GW to 35.25″ in the SW and 35″ in the LW”. They do this to keep the swing weights of the higher lofted wedges from getting too heavy.  That is why you see some pros drilling out the back of the heads on their wedges to reduce swing weight.   We manage that by counterbalancing the club.  As a point of reference, one of our long time customers just qualified for the Senior U.S. Open using SteelFiber i110 iron shafts and Rifle 6.0  (heavier, softer tip) shafts in his wedges.
It is cool that you picked up on this from Jordan’s bag.  I remember Ashley’s comments on Golf Channel about keeping the same shaft, at least through the GW.  We agree.  We have a lot of fun fitting our players with wedges since it really combines science with the art of how the golfer, especially the better ones, use their short yardage clubs.
If you have not dialed in your irons and wedges, don’t wait!  You are leaving strokes on the course, especially from 100 yards in.
Dan Sueltz