Golf is made up of so many different shots and most golfers lose or gain shots from 100 metres  and in. We need to be proficient in all aspect of the game but the one that helps us save shots are normally the short ones.

We are going to address the wedges as we have a huge variety to choose from and specifically how bounce works. I think a lot of golfers go and buy the latest sand wedge or lob wedge but could do with a little more insight as to how to make a more informed choice.

What is bounce? Bounce is the angle of the sole of the club. This is normally shown on the wedges with a number. An example is a lob wedge with 60 degrees loft and 04 bounce (See picture 1). Second example is a sand wedge with 54 degrees loft and 14 degrees bounce. (See picture 2).

A simple way to understand how to use the bounce of a club correctly is to marry this to the conditions of play.

Generally the softer the conditions the more bounce is needed. So if you are in a soft fluffy bunker or soft fluffy grass you do not want the leading edge of the club to dig or go under the ball too much so it would be better to use a club with more bounce. i.e. the 54 degree sand wedge with 14 degrees of bounce. This can also apply to chipping or pitching from the rough and soft conditions.

When faced with dry and hard conditions then one wants to have less bounce so that the leading edge of the club can work nicely under the ball and through the turf or sand.

Another thing to take note of is that the more you open the clubface the more bounce is created. (See picture 3 and 4).

So if for example you are in a hard bunker you can minimise the risk of the club bouncing into the ball by choosing the appropriate bounce of the club and you can also close the face a few degrees to lessen the bounce of the club.

So in summary, know what bounce your wedges have. Understand that bounce will help you depending on the conditions you are playing in.

John Dickson

Head Teaching Professional at
Copperleaf Golf Estate
Contact: 082 990 7201
Email: John@dicksongolf.co.za

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