Refining the art of wedge design starts with player feedback. When you add in the technical prowess and a steadfast commitment to enhancing the golfing experience, you get a finished product that unleashes a players short game creativity while also matching their swing dynamics.
Led by Bill Price and Greg Cesario, our team accomplished that goal with Milled Grind 4 wedges by introducing an array of six sole grinds that give golfers a wide breadth of options. These grinds, developed over years of meticulous refinement, were thoughtfully grouped into three distinct categories: low bounce, standard bounce, and high bounce. This categorization aimed to simplify the golfer’s decision-making process, bridging the gap between golfing knowledge and equipment selection.
We are in an era where grinds were notated by cryptic letters, leaving golfers splashing around in sea of unfamiliar terminology. We’re looking to bring some much needed clarity to both fitters and players. It starts with LB (Low Bounce), SB (Standard Bounce) and HB (High Bounce). Clean, simple and easy.
That baseline gave us the potential for further refinement to address the nuanced needs of players. These new offerings — LBV (Low Bounce V), SBC (Standard Bounce C) and HBW (High Bounce Wide) — add a new layer of versatility to the wedge selection process. These designs are driven by tour-inspired feedback, player insights and the pursuit of optimal performance, each designed to cater to distinct swing styles and preferences.
"The letters are more than just a symbol. They intuitively reflect the shape and geometry of the grind to help golfers better understand the performance features of the wedge. Our goal is to make it easy for golfers to select the right wedge and get the results they're looking for."Greg Cesario, U.S. Sports Marketing Staff Manager and Wedge Specialist
Here’s a break down of the new MG4 sole grinds and the player types they benefit:
LB: Low leading edge for added versatility and shot making in firm conditions.
LBV: Designed for skilled players with a shallow attack angle, offering exceptional spin and the ability to manipulate face angles effectively.
SB: All-around performance that prevents excessive digging and allows the clubhead to glide through the turf smoothly.
SBC: Provides increased versatility for players who prefer to manipulate face angles, without compromising bounce performance.
HB: TaylorMade's standard high bounce design is playable for skilled golfers and defies the convention that high bounce wedges are only for high handicappers. In fact, Rory McIlroy uses a HB 60° Milled Grind 4 depending on course conditions.
HBW: With an increased sole width, this high bounce option offers improved playability and excels in sand play.
Understanding High Bounce and Getting a Wedge Fit
High bounce wedge designs undoubtedly have their merits, particularly for average to higher handicapped golfers. However, it's important to recognize that a high bounce doesn't universally suit players with a steep angle of attack. The relationship between bounce and swing dynamics isn't a straightforward one-size-fits-all equation. When assessing a golfer's suitability for a particular bounce design, the player's angle of attack becomes a critical parameter.
The complexity emerges when considering the different ways players can approach a steep angle of attack with a wedge. One scenario involves a golfer with a significant shaft lean, resulting in a steep angle of attack that de-lofts the club. This motion causes the leading edge to dig into the turf, potentially leading to difficulties in extracting the club from the ground due to the shaft lean.
Conversely, another type of golfer may have a steep angle of attack but lacks proper swing mechanics to create shaft lean. In this case, they may come into the ground steep without any shaft lean, a scenario that presents a different set of challenges. Providing high bounce to a player without shaft lean who is steep could lead to the club skipping and the potential for blading shots due to early club release.
The casting motion, often observed among higher handicappers, can exacerbate the situation. Even with a casted club motion that loses shaft angle, the player can still maintain a steep angle of attack. Paradoxically, in these instances, a high bounce could work against the player's favor by causing the club to skip rather than properly engaging the turf.
Considering the nuances of bounce, it becomes evident that a personalized fitting session with an experienced fitter or instructor is essential. Properly understanding how bounce interacts with swing dynamics and capturing relevant launch monitor data are integral to making informed wedge choices.
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