As we all know, the one area where any player can make or break their score is the short game. Having a strong wedge game and the ability to get up and down around the greens is key to the success of any player on the European Tour. It's little wonder then that so many European Tour and amateur players alike trust their wedge game to Bob Vokey and his now legendary Spin Milled wedges.
Of course, 2010 saw the introduction of a new R&A groove ruling which required all players on the European Tour to convert over to the C-C version of the Spin Milled wedge. A year down the line from this change and the players have fully acclimatised to the C-C groove which did require them to adapt their approach to certain shots, particularly when playing from the rough where the reduction in spin was significant. However, when playing from the manicured fairways out on the European Tour the players are still able to generate similar spin rates with the C-C groove as they did with the original Spin Milled groove. This is particularly evident among the power hitters who generally create high spin conditions as a result of their high club-head speed.
One player who would definitely fall into this category is Titleist Ambassador Paul Waring. Paul has averaged a driving distance of between 295-300 yards over the past three seasons and generates tremendous speed, and spin, with all his clubs. Even with a switch the the C-C version of the Spin Milled groove Paul is still capable of zipping the ball back on the greens and this can, on occasions, be to his detriment as solid wedge shots can spin too much. Paul joined up with the Titleist Team in Dubai this week as he prepared for the Dubai Desert Classic and placed an order for new Vokey Spin Milled C-C wedges fitted with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts. Paul has typically played the S300 shaft in his wedges before now but the stronger X100 option will help to reduce the spin on his wedge shots and offer him improved control.
Golfers of all abilities can learn a lot from Paul's decision making here. Over the years there has been a craving amongst the majority golfers for more wedge spin but, whilst we all enjoy watching the ball zip backwards when it hits the green, this is not always conducive to lower scores. Like Paul, it is essential to pay proper attention to your wedge game and evaluate what you need from your wedge set-up. This should take into consideration a number of factors including your regular course conditions, yardage gaps and angle of attack. In addition, as with any club in your bag, a wedge is most effective when fit to your ideal specification in terms of length, lie, shaft type, shaft flex, grip type and grip size. Why not contact your local PGA professional to discuss your wedge game; it really can help lower your scores.
Click here to learn more about the R&A / USGA groove ruling and Titleist Vokey Design wedges.