The new line debuts at the John Deere Classic on the PGA Tour this week. There will be three sole grinds and three different grooves, all in an effort to produce the optimal amount of spin for the type of shot normally played by a particular wedge loft.
For example, the grooves on the lower lofts in the set (46-52) will have a groove in line with the groove typically found in an iron set since these wedges tend to be used in a full-swing mode most often. The grooves in the middle lofts (54-56 degrees) will transition to a more aggressive edge (in line with the groove on the 47-54 degree wedges in the MD2 line). And the highest loft wedges (58-60 degrees) will have the widest grooves with the steepest sidewall. Weight is drilled out of the back of each wedge with a row of four dots. The effect is to slightly raise the center of gravity to better control spin and trajectory.
"The flow of spin really matches up well all the way through your set to where you need the most spin in your lob category," Cleveland says. "You want as aggressive a groove as you can to wick out as much material when you short-side yourself or get into the rough around the green. But that type of groove is not ideal in your gap wedge.
"It's a very thought out line and it really helps you control your spin and trajectory for shots like trying to hit a back pin. You don't want a 52-degree to a back pin ripping back. "
The 15 lofts in the MD3 line are spread across three sole grinds: a standard "S" grind aimed at the broadest array of conditions and swing types; a heel-and-toe relief "C" grind aimed at firmer conditions; and a more forgiving wide-sole "W" grind geared to softer conditions and steeper swing types.
The thinking is that wedge fitting needs to be more subtle than fitting to a particular bounce angle, and that things like the attack angle of your swing, your typical turf and bunker conditions and even the types of shots you hit are more in line with a type of sole grind than a particular bounce angle measurement. The company considered some 48 prototypes before settling on the new designs, involving the input of its tour staff in settling on the new shapes.
Cleveland calls the new "C" grind "a little more generous" than previous Callaway "C" grinds and refers to the "S" grind as "universal," and simply calls the "W" "really a friendly wedge."
"We've learned a lot from the MD2 and we've received extensive input from the tour," said Callaway wedge guru Roger Cleveland. "We've incorporated some of the best ideas from the X Tour and Tour Grind in the MD3 silhouette."
The MD3 line debuts at retail Sept. 4 in both satin chrome and black finishes ($130).