SM4 Wedge Question

Looking to get a new 54* wedge and bending it to 53*. My question is between the 54/14 (full sole) and the 54/11 (m grind). Which would launch lower from the fairway and which would perform better from bunkers?

ryan,

i think you have to look at this in separate parts:

1) you want to bend from 54 to 53, which will effectively decrease the bounce 1 degree.

2) typically, what kind of fairways do you play - hard, tightly mowed fairways or plush, soft fairways?  if you play courses with little give from the short grass, you'd be better off with less bounce.

3) how are the bunkers at your course?  tour style with less sand or soft and fluffy like a kid's sandbox?  the more sand, typically the more bounce you'll want.

4) your swing - are you a picker or digger?  if you're like me and like to pick the ball, you'll definitely want to go with less bounce.

in terms of launch angle from fairway lies, there are more dynamics than just bounce and grind of the sole, i.e. ball position, angle of attack, shaft flex and kickpoint, etc.  i realize this probably didn't answer your question, but you should take all of these items into consideration.  hopefully, cathi or cameron will give their opinions as well.  btw, even with the modified grooves, the sm4 is one of the best wedges i've played.  good luck!

- fred

fred k

ryan,

i think you have to look at this in separate parts:

1) you want to bend from 54 to 53, which will effectively decrease the bounce 1 degree.

2) typically, what kind of fairways do you play - hard, tightly mowed fairways or plush, soft fairways?  if you play courses with little give from the short grass, you'd be better off with less bounce.

3) how are the bunkers at your course?  tour style with less sand or soft and fluffy like a kid's sandbox?  the more sand, typically the more bounce you'll want.

4) your swing - are you a picker or digger?  if you're like me and like to pick the ball, you'll definitely want to go with less bounce.

in terms of launch angle from fairway lies, there are more dynamics than just bounce and grind of the sole, i.e. ball position, angle of attack, shaft flex and kickpoint, etc.  i realize this probably didn't answer your question, but you should take all of these items into consideration.  hopefully, cathi or cameron will give their opinions as well.  btw, even with the modified grooves, the sm4 is one of the best wedges i've played.  good luck!

- fred

Thanks for the reply Fred.

I play competitively around the region so the course conditions will vary so I want a wedge with good all around versatility. I definitely fit into the category of neutral swing type and as far as lower ball flight what i meant is that from what I have heard/learned, greater sole relief equals a higher center of gravity and therefore a lower flight. Can anyone confirm this? i dont have the luxury of demoing the wedges for myself.

thanks, Ryan

fred k

ryan,

i think you have to look at this in separate parts:

1) you want to bend from 54 to 53, which will effectively decrease the bounce 1 degree.

2) typically, what kind of fairways do you play - hard, tightly mowed fairways or plush, soft fairways?  if you play courses with little give from the short grass, you'd be better off with less bounce.

3) how are the bunkers at your course?  tour style with less sand or soft and fluffy like a kid's sandbox?  the more sand, typically the more bounce you'll want.

4) your swing - are you a picker or digger?  if you're like me and like to pick the ball, you'll definitely want to go with less bounce.

in terms of launch angle from fairway lies, there are more dynamics than just bounce and grind of the sole, i.e. ball position, angle of attack, shaft flex and kickpoint, etc.  i realize this probably didn't answer your question, but you should take all of these items into consideration.  hopefully, cathi or cameron will give their opinions as well.  btw, even with the modified grooves, the sm4 is one of the best wedges i've played.  good luck!

- fred

I have personal experience with the 54-11 and 54-14 in SM c-c.  I also have an SM4 60-10 with M grind.

The SM4 54-14 has a flatter bottom vs the SM c-c 54-14 (slightly rounder).

In regards to the M grind wedges (Cathi, correct me if needed), the bounce referred to is the EFFECTIVE bounce.  The leading edge has considerably more bounce (eyeballing the 60-10 shows somewhere around 13* or so).   I have had the 60-10 since last May and it is my primary greenside bunker weapon (I have it bent to 59* and that helps for tighter lies). I can play the 60 on tight lies but I play it back a bit in my stance.

The SM4 54-11 may slide better in the sand vs the 54-14.  You need to try them out side by side. 

Believe it or not, you can pick the ball and play hard bunker shots with the 54-14.  It also works well in soft sand. 

I currently carry an SM4 52-12 bent to 51.  I use it for longer bunker shots in soft and hard sand.  I also use it a lot for distances between 30-60 yards for pitching. 

My style of wedge play can be classified as "shotmaker" because I play a slider or digger style as the need dictates.  I play a digging shot on tight lies and a sliding shot on soft lies.

I could actually play either the 54-11 or the 54-14 and probably do about the same. 

 

Lou G

fred k

ryan,

i think you have to look at this in separate parts:

1) you want to bend from 54 to 53, which will effectively decrease the bounce 1 degree.

2) typically, what kind of fairways do you play - hard, tightly mowed fairways or plush, soft fairways?  if you play courses with little give from the short grass, you'd be better off with less bounce.

3) how are the bunkers at your course?  tour style with less sand or soft and fluffy like a kid's sandbox?  the more sand, typically the more bounce you'll want.

4) your swing - are you a picker or digger?  if you're like me and like to pick the ball, you'll definitely want to go with less bounce.

in terms of launch angle from fairway lies, there are more dynamics than just bounce and grind of the sole, i.e. ball position, angle of attack, shaft flex and kickpoint, etc.  i realize this probably didn't answer your question, but you should take all of these items into consideration.  hopefully, cathi or cameron will give their opinions as well.  btw, even with the modified grooves, the sm4 is one of the best wedges i've played.  good luck!

- fred

I have personal experience with the 54-11 and 54-14 in SM c-c.  I also have an SM4 60-10 with M grind.

The SM4 54-14 has a flatter bottom vs the SM c-c 54-14 (slightly rounder).

In regards to the M grind wedges (Cathi, correct me if needed), the bounce referred to is the EFFECTIVE bounce.  The leading edge has considerably more bounce (eyeballing the 60-10 shows somewhere around 13* or so).   I have had the 60-10 since last May and it is my primary greenside bunker weapon (I have it bent to 59* and that helps for tighter lies). I can play the 60 on tight lies but I play it back a bit in my stance.

The SM4 54-11 may slide better in the sand vs the 54-14.  You need to try them out side by side. 

Believe it or not, you can pick the ball and play hard bunker shots with the 54-14.  It also works well in soft sand. 

I currently carry an SM4 52-12 bent to 51.  I use it for longer bunker shots in soft and hard sand.  I also use it a lot for distances between 30-60 yards for pitching. 

My style of wedge play can be classified as "shotmaker" because I play a slider or digger style as the need dictates.  I play a digging shot on tight lies and a sliding shot on soft lies.

I could actually play either the 54-11 or the 54-14 and probably do about the same. 

 

I cannot try them out side by side. Demo wedges don't exist around where I live.

I was thinking that the 54/11 M-grind would actually perform worse from the sand because the leading edge gets too close to the sand. Is this incorrect?

Which would perform best on a full shot from the fairway? And can anyone confirm if it is true that greater sole relief promotes a lower ball flight? 

I would personally go with the 54-14.   It has more than enough bounce for soft sand.  You can play it in hard sand if you open the face a little less.  You can also hit off a tight lie by doing a digging shot. 

You might find the 54-14 easier to hit off a tight lie, believe it or not.  Bending it to 53 would give you 13* bounce.

My 54-14 hit pretty well off the fairway..

I have the 52-12 (bent to 51) and it works great for the long shots in soft sand.   It also is great off the fairway

I have the 60-10 (which also has an M grind).  It is great out of soft bunkers.  Also good out of hard sand.  I have to p.lay it back off tight lies. 

 

After getting fit for wedges off of the fittingworks van I went with a 46* 246 CC bent to 47* 2* flat, 54* SM4 TVD bent to 53* 3* flat, and 60* SM4 bent to 58* 3* flat, all soft-stepped S400 shafts.  This setup works great for me.  It gives me 15 yard gaps between each club and they're all playable from most lies.  My 54* is awesome!  It's like throwing darts at the flag.  

Moving from wedge flex to S400 was the key for me.  Working with the builder we decided that the extra weight would help with the ball flight and it's worked perfectly so far.  The ball flies tighter in the air and I've got better control from those critical distances where precision is key.  

With the wedge flex the ball just spun too much in the air and around the greens and it was tough to control the distances.  Just something to think about.

Ryan E

fred k

ryan,

i think you have to look at this in separate parts:

1) you want to bend from 54 to 53, which will effectively decrease the bounce 1 degree.

2) typically, what kind of fairways do you play - hard, tightly mowed fairways or plush, soft fairways?  if you play courses with little give from the short grass, you'd be better off with less bounce.

3) how are the bunkers at your course?  tour style with less sand or soft and fluffy like a kid's sandbox?  the more sand, typically the more bounce you'll want.

4) your swing - are you a picker or digger?  if you're like me and like to pick the ball, you'll definitely want to go with less bounce.

in terms of launch angle from fairway lies, there are more dynamics than just bounce and grind of the sole, i.e. ball position, angle of attack, shaft flex and kickpoint, etc.  i realize this probably didn't answer your question, but you should take all of these items into consideration.  hopefully, cathi or cameron will give their opinions as well.  btw, even with the modified grooves, the sm4 is one of the best wedges i've played.  good luck!

- fred

Thanks for the reply Fred.

I play competitively around the region so the course conditions will vary so I want a wedge with good all around versatility. I definitely fit into the category of neutral swing type and as far as lower ball flight what i meant is that from what I have heard/learned, greater sole relief equals a higher center of gravity and therefore a lower flight. Can anyone confirm this? i dont have the luxury of demoing the wedges for myself.

thanks, Ryan

Since you are traveling and playing competitively I would recommend having multiple wedges of different lofts and bounce and then use the ones that suit the conditions of the week. No one wedge is perfect for every condition you may face week to week at different courses.

Chris S

In my opinion, A club with 14 * of bounce would be great for long bunker shots especially in soft sand, but it would not be very good for me for short bunker shots because I like to open the face a lot.  The m grind would also be better if you like to play shots with an open club face.  Depends on preferance.  I would say the 54* 14* would be a good option if you also had a 58* or 60* with less bounce.

Skylar T

In my opinion, A club with 14 * of bounce would be great for long bunker shots especially in soft sand, but it would not be very good for me for short bunker shots because I like to open the face a lot.  The m grind would also be better if you like to play shots with an open club face.  Depends on preferance.  I would say the 54* 14* would be a good option if you also had a 58* or 60* with less bounce.

The 60-10 I have is OUTSTANDING for short bunker shots.  IMHO probably about the best all around lob wedge. It has an M grind. 

The 54-14 does work pretty well with open face shots.  It also has a much narrower sole than the 54-11 or 56-11.

Yes the more bounce you have the lower the flight will be because you are making contact lower on the club face.  This is my understanding as I have read other threads on this topic and in my experience I found that this was true.

I just picked up an SM4 54-11 and bent it to 53*.  Just like that magical guitar that you plunk the down payment on..... (did that with my Fender Telecaster and Taylor GS Mini) .... love at first feel.

It slides through soft sand with the greatest of ease.  

I like the M grind on the 54-11.  

The 54-14 bent to 53 (haven't tried the SM4 yet but played for 9 months with the SM c-c). actually picks the ball off tight lies if you lean the shaft forward a little.

It is easier to hit a nice high shot out of soft sand with the 54-11.

I was carrying a 52-12 (bent to 51) and, after playing around with the 54-11, took it out.  If it is still within the 90 day period, I'll return it to the store for credit toward an SM4 64-07 that I saw in the bin. I really miss the 64-07; it was rarely used but worked wonders on those oddball shots.

I got complete store credit for the 52-12.  Unfortunately, someone got the 64-07 but still have the gift card

The 54-11 M grind actually slides throught the sand better vs the 54-14.   Believe it or not, the leading edge of the 54-11 has pretty close to the same bounce as the 54-14; key thing is the sole relief of the former allows for opening the clubface.  The 54-14 is OK for greenside pitching and chipping but have to remember to lean the shaft forward to de-bounce it. 

I'm speaking an SM4 54-11 vs the SM c-c 54-14.   The SM c-c 54-14 actually works better overall vs that 54-11 because the latter has a wider sole.