Genesis Scottish Open

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Your Questions Answered

Did a longer wedge shaft help Bryson DeChambeau win the U.S. Open?

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For this clutch bunker shot on 18, DeChambeau used a 55-degree Ping Glide 4.0 wedge that is 37.5 inches or 2.25 inches longer than standard.

Sean M. Haffey

Question: I was watching the U.S. Open with the pro at my club who said the extra length on Bryson DeChambeau’s wedges helped him pull off the shot at 18. Is that true?

Answer: It certainly didn’t hurt, and DeChambeau believed it, saying afterward, “That bunker shot was the shot of my life. I'll forever be thankful that I've got longer wedges so I can hit it farther, get it up there next to the hole.”

Perhaps that is why DeChambeau’s caddie, Greg Bodine, was so confident in DeChambeau's ability to pull it off. “G-Bo just said, ‘Bryson, just get it up and down. That's all you've got to do. You've done this plenty of times before. I've seen some crazy shots from you from 50 yards out of a bunker.’ I said, 'You're right. I need a 55-degree. Let's do it.' "

That 55-degree was a Ping Glide 4.0 model. As with all of DeChambeau’s irons, his wedges check in at 37.5 inches in length. That’s the length of a 6- or 7-iron and 2.25 inches longer than Ping’s standard 54- or 56-degree Glide 4.0.

Still, does it really make sense that a longer shaft helped with a shot that noted statistician Lou Stagner estimated at less than 1.7 percent chance of success? We reached out to Sonny Burgo, master clubfitter for Pete’s Golf, a perennial Golf Digest 100 Best Clubfitter for some context.

“It would make sense in theory that the longer length would help, but there are always trade-offs,” Burgo says. “What you would gain on that random long bunker shot might well affect the full shot in terms of distance control or turf interaction. Wedge shots will probably fly higher, too.”

Most pros prefer to flight their wedges into greens on the lower side, and distance control is paramount. However, we are not here to nitpick a two-time U.S. Open champion’s equipment decisions but to answer your question. In that regard, the longer shaft appeared to provide more speed and more height, which resulted in one of the great shots in U.S. Open history.