Wednesday 28 September 2016

How to erase your mistakes

Published 04/08/2016 | 02:30

Wedges. Photo: Backbench Tala
Wedges. Photo: Backbench Tala

Callaway MD3: Callaway engineers believe wedge grooves should transition gradually from iron grooves to give players better distance control from the rough. The MD3 line covers 15 models, 14 degrees of loft and has three types of grooves. They include one designed for steep angles of attack on lower lofts and one designed for short swings that's wider and more aggressive. Three sole grinds are available to fit various swing types and playing conditions.

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Mizuno S5

Callaway MD3
Callaway MD3

The slightly rounder, larger profile might say 'game-improvement', but the S5 is full of tour-inspired attributes. In addition to being one of the few forged offerings in this category, that list of features includes loft-specific grooves - higher lofts will yield more spin, and lower lofts won't produce too much. The five sole grinds match specific lofts, including both wider and narrow soles on the middle and higher lofts.

Ping GLIDE

The company that invented clubfitting takes on the short game with four swing-specific sole grinds. Options include everything from the Thin Sole grind for players who take shallow divots to the new, bunker-friendly Eye Sole. Two types of grooves are intended to maximise volume on the lower lofts and optimise sharpness for more grab on the higher lofts. One other spin tactic: The chrome finish helps repel moisture for better friction when the rough is wet.

Taylormade TOUR PREFERRED EF

Mizuno S5
Mizuno S5

The interesting case here is that the industry standard of milled grooves and laser surface roughness aren't precise enough, so these wedges use extremely thin face plates, where the grooves and surface roughness are electroformed. In this method, the face plate is built up from liquid metal to tolerances as little as one-eightieth the width of a human hair. No less important, the metal used is highly durable nickel cobalt, so those precise grooves might just last longer, too.

Titleist VOKEY DESIGN SM6

The best selling and most played wedge on the PGA Tour has been totally reconceived. The weighting changes depending on the loft, as the low centre of gravity on the lower lofts helps distance progression from the short irons, and the raised CG on the higher lofts tightens distance dispersion. The grooves also change with loft to optimise spin, and the milled lines between the grooves yield more consistent edges.

Ping Glide
Ping Glide
TaylorMade Tour Preferred
TaylorMade Tour Preferred
Titleist Vokey
Titleist Vokey

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