Hi, Frank. I look forward to your equipment Q&As and really enjoy the putting tips. Here’s my question.
Several years ago John Paul Newport quoted you in his Wall Street Journal golf column as saying something to the effect that if the average golfer was going to carry a 60-degree wedge, he better be prepared to spend a lot of time practicing with it. In other words, best to leave it out of the bag. Would you please expand on that comment? I’ve always been intrigued that Hale Irwin stuck with the 56-degree wedge throughout his stellar career and never went to the 60-degree wedge. I think there might be a lesson there.
Yes I did say that, simply because Phil and some other elite golfers are carrying a 60-degree wedge it doesn’t mean it’s good for the average to better golfer unless they are prepared to work hard at learning how to use it.
The reason is simple, in that from the golfer’s view the 60-degree wedge looks like it has a face the size of a snow shovel. With a face so big who cannot make good contact with the ball?
The answer is that the ball sees something very different. From a balls-eye view the blade looks like a slightly tilted machete blade approaching it. For this reason the odds that the face of the lob wedge will make proper contact with the ball are small. The result is more often going to be a bladed shot from a fairway lie or the lob wedge will pass right under the ball from a lush lie. I have prepared an illustration below that will help you see this more clearly.
If you carry a 60-degree wedge to make you look like a good golfer, that’s fine but don’t take it out of the bag during a round with your buddies, as this may blow your cover, unless you have spent time getting to know it very well.
Hope this helps, Bruce.