Published in loving memory of Frank Thomas, a man who loved golf and dedicated his life to helping those who played it.
I always enjoy your column, but this is the first time I have had occasion to ask a question.If I bend a 54 degree wedge (forged) with 10 degrees of bounce to 55 degrees, or bend a 52 degree wedge with 8 degrees of bounce to 51 degrees, how will it affect the bounce? Is there a rule of thumb? Thanks.
You have asked the question about bounce and the effect that bending the head to increase or decrease the loft will have on this property. The answer is relatively simple to figure out if you understand how bounce angle is measured.
Lets try to explain this as follows:
If the shaft of the club is in the vertical plane (normal address position) but tilted toward the golfer the angle the shaft makes with the ground toward the golfer is the “lie angle.” This is when the leading edge, and generally the score lines on the face are horizontal.
The angle the face plane makes with the vertical plane when the club is in this position is the loft angle. In your example, this is 54 degrees. In this same position, the angle the sole makes with the ground (horizontal plane) is the bounce angle. In your case, you say this bounce angle is 10 degrees. This means that the back of the sole is lower to the ground than the front at an angle of 10 degrees.
As you can see changing the loft angle will directly affect the bounce angle because it is part of the head design configuration. So if you bend the club head to have more loft by 2 degrees, you will be changing the angle the sole makes with the ground by the same amount, i.e. two degrees more.
A question often asked is, “ If I want a 55 degree wedge, would I be better off to bend my a 54 degree wedge to 55 or should I bend my 56 to a 55?”
As you now know bending the 54 to a 55 will increase the bounce by one degree and a 56 to a 55 would decrease the bounce. One degree change in bounce angle is not significant but 4 or 5 degrees does make a difference to the way the club performs. So now the decision is up to you.
Hope this helps.