Most golfers understand that wedges differ by loft - typically from a 45
degree pitching wedge up to as high as 64 degrees for the most extremely lofted
lob wedge. But what about the bounce angle? As the name implies, the 'bounce'
(in layman's terms, the curvy bit on the sole of the wedge) enables the head
to 'bounce' out of the sand or rough without snagging. On a sand wedge, for
example, you'll see that the trailing edge hangs below the leading edge. Take
a club and put in the address position and you’ll see a space between the ground
and the leading edge of the wedge. High space = High Bounce angle.
The most bounce you'll ever see on a wedge is about 18 degrees - but it can
be as low as 2. Doesn't amount to a hill of beans we hear you say. But there
you'd be wrong. Using a wedge with the right combination of bounce and loft
for the sort of course you play and the sort of swing you have can make a big
difference to your short game. So how do you decide what’s best? Here’s a quick
guide – with thanks to Cleveland golf for the imagery.
Low Bounce Wedges
Low Bounce Wedges are ideal for shots from tight lies and firm turf conditions.
The combination of less bounce and narrower sole-width lowers the leading edge
of the blade to promote a clean contact. Perfect for players who like to be
creative around the greens and in the bunkers and who have shallow attack angles
through impact. Less bounce and narrower sole width make it easier to open the
face and hit high, soft landing flop shots. Low bounce wedges are typically
in the lower loft range – eg pitching and gap wedges which are used for longer
approach shots. A lot of bounce would be undesirable because it would make it
more difficult to get the leading edge under the ball, causing you to ‘thin’
Golfers who strike down at a sharp angle can put a lot of back spin on the
ball – and may benefit using wedges with very little bounce (less than 8 degrees),
but they are a minority of golfers. As a rule, most golfers are better off with
more bounce (10 to 14 degrees), not less.
Standard Bounce Wedges
Standard Bounce is the best all-around wedge for playability in all types of
conditions for all types of players. It is very versatile for players who like
to be creative around the greens. The Standard Bounce is also an excellent choice
for players who like to play an open or square face out of the bunker, and who
have an average to slightly steeper attack angle.
High Bounce Wedges
High Bounce wedges are designed for play out of soft turf and sand. The combination
of the wider flange and higher bounce angle prevent digging and create a smoother
gliding action of the sole along the ground. Works exceptionally well out of
(soft) sand for players who prefer to keep a square face through impact. High
Bounce wedges are also a good choice for players with steep attack angles.
High bounce wedges tend to be associated with higher lofts – but this certainly
isn’t always the case. For example, lob wedges (60-64 degree) which throw the
ball very high for soft-landing ‘pop-up’ shots around the green (Phil Mickelson’s
speciality) tend to have low bounce because even the smallest error can make
the club ‘bounce’ off the ground and cause a ‘thinned’ shot. You know the sort
well – instead of gently throwing the ball 10 feet in the air and plopping it
by the pin – it travels at warp speed a few inches above the ground, lodging
deep into thick bushes 50 yards behind the green. Lob wedges tend to have less
sole width and a sharp leading edge.
Determining the Bounce of a Wedge
Most of the specialist wedge manufacturers like Cleveland and Titleist will
actually state on the club what the bounce is (eg a Titleist Vokey 248.06 model
indicates 48 degrees loft, 6 degrees bounce). Otherwise, the options are to
(a) refer to the manufacturer’s website or (b) ask us here at Golfbidder – we’d
be happy to advise.
We hope this short guide has proved helpful. If you need any further information
– or, indeed, if you think we can improve our explanation of bounce – feel free
to phone us on 0208 401 6901 – or email