The Masters is unique among major championships when you consider rough. Thick rough does not play any kind of significant role in the course's defense. Instead, the green complexes at Augusta National are protected by steep run-off banks that deflect shots off the edges of the putting surfaces and down into tightly-mown collection areas.
The turf on these tight lies is grainy and can often grab the leading edge of the club — an unsettling proposition when you're playing a delicate chip or pitch shot. To address these challenging lies, most players will adjust their wedge set-ups. Dave Phillips, co-founder of TPI, recently spent some time with players as they prepared at Augusta National, and in this tip he shares how evaluating your course conditions, and finding the best corresponding bounce on your Vokey wedges, can help your game, too.
What is Wedge Bounce?
When choosing your wedge, it’s important to consider the angle between the ground and the sole of the club, also known as wedge bounce. Most golf wedges come in three wedge bounce styles - low bounce, standard bounce, and high bounce. In the example above, Dave Phillips uses three different Vokey SM7 Wedges with three different bounces. 12 being the high bounce, 8 being the standard bounce, and 4 being the low bounce.
How to Choose Wedge Bounce
When choosing the right wedge bounce, it all depends on the greens you are golfing on. At Augusta, the greens run at such a high rate of speed. Because of this, you may come off these false fronts or sides, and the ball may run off into a collection area. Sometimes the grass around the green can grow a little into the grain there. This will make your shots a little sticky when you hit it with your wedge.
When it gets firm and fast around the green and the run off areas get tight, that’s where you may change your wedge to have less bounce, but it all depends on your putting technique.
If you are a player that tends to not flush it every time, you will always benefit with more wedge bounce. If you are an elite level player, you usually will want to go with less wedge bounce because you are more precise with your interaction with the ball.
Next time you are around the edges of your home green, try a couple different wedges with different degrees of bounce. Go into your local pro golf shop to try some different bounces because this might be the trick to actually getting you better at hitting wedges around the green.
For more great insights and lessons from Dave and Dr. Greg Rose, make sure to visit MyTPI.com.