What is grind on golf clubs?

Thomas Tanner
Nov 24, 2020
4 minutes
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This article takes what you already know about wedges and bounce to the next level and starts looking at the grind. If you've got no idea about any of the above, take a look at our 'what is bounce' page here.

If though you do understand the concept of bounce, how it works, and how it can help, it will set you up nicely to understand about the grind.

A rapid recap

We have previously learned that bounce is the angle created from the leading edge to the sole measured against the ground at address. The average club player might use something with 7 to 10-degrees of bounce. Pros and players who play on hard ground, like links courses, might choose wedges with less bounce and players who play in soft conditions might choose more bounce.

But back to the grind

In golf, especially with wedge play, we don't always set the club perfectly square behind the ball. Not at all. Great wedge players, for instance like Phil Mickelson, they love to lay the face open to hit a high towering flop shot and others like to shut down the face and punch in a low spinny shot at the flag. And those shots are not exclusive to pros, as you get better at golf, you'll quickly be able to hit them too.

And every time you address the ball with your wedge, and splay the face open, or shut it closed, you're changing the bounce angle.

But thankfully club makers are very creative and can adjust the shape of the wedge, by grinding off some metal from the sole here and there to shape it and retain the bounce angle - whether the club is square, or opened to hit a specialised shot.

Ther's only one alternative grind, right?

Wrong! There is a whole world of grind types out there, and we have videos which explain them. You can find them here.

The two most common will be the standard grind (S), and what Titleist call a 'D' grind. A standard grind is the same across the width of the sole, with just a little bit of trailing edge relief to help the club through the turf better. A 'D' grind has more relief in the heel and toe to help retain bounce when opening or closing the clubface. Callaway calls this a 'C' grind.

How to choose?

Although you now have all the tools to buy the right wedge for you, not all elements have the same impact. The decision still orientates around the loft. Getting the correct loft and distance gapping at the bottom of your bag will help your game far more than the right bounce or grind on a wedge with the wrong loft.

Then move onto bounce - with the more, the better for most golfers. Be careful if you play in hard ground conditions as the tipping point into too much bounce is lower than other, softer courses.

Then finally onto grind. Only for the best players who want to manipulate shots around the green.

You can browse our great range of new and second-hand wedges here.

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Further reading

Just when we’d got our heads around bounce on wedges, what it does, and how much we need, the manufacturers have thrown another variable into the mix. Grind. Like bounce angles before figuring out which grind is right for you can be extremely tough.