No club is made to more exacting specifications. Time to give your short game the respect it deserves
Drivers and putters are popular buys each year, but don’t forget about the wedges. If you play 40 rounds annually and practice regularly, you need to switch out your wedges every season or two. But switch to what?
After all, wedges are the Swiss Army Knife of your set, called upon to do just about anything imaginable on a course. That traditional eight-iron sets are compacting down to six, even five clubs puts all the more onus on a wedge’s versatility. With a wide range of lofts and bounces, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. But the 2019 Hot List wedge winners have something for every part of your game.
As you go through this process—and it should be a process, with trial and on-course experimentation—the wedges should work together with your iron-set construction. Meaning, if you hit your pitching wedge 110 yards, make sure there’s not a large, or small, distance disparity with your gap wedge. A good rule of them is to view your wedges as an extension of your irons.
And while we preach the virtues of fitting, perhaps no club warrants as precise tailoring as the wedge. The amount of choices you have regarding grooves, sole grinds and face designs are engineered to optimize spin for how a club is used. So a wedge you primarily use around the greens and out of the sand may be drastically different in construction than a wedge you pull for full swing 90-yard shots. Or, maybe you are one for simplicity, and want the same type of shape and sole to help with consistency. Luckily for you, the bevy of choices at your disposal will ensure that all your needs are met.
Most importantly, choose what instills the most confidence for you. The wedges might be a Swiss Army Knife, but without a steady hand, they're not much of a tool.