A Discussion on Bounce
I'm going to start with somewhat of a "disclaimer" – It’s going to be hard for me to conduct a dissertation on bounce without referring to the patented EIDOLON V-SOLE, but I'm going to try. Here's an effort to capsulate a discussion of bounce as it applies to wedges, because we get dozens of inquiries a week about the subject, as you might imagine, and I've learned that golfers in general are totally confused about this very important design feature of wedges. So here goes.

Very simply, "bounce" is the design feature of the sole of a wedge that helps it perform properly when it makes contact with the turf. If you hold up your wedge and look at it with a "worm's eye view", you will see that the sole of the club has a downward angle from the leading edge back to the trailing edge. That angle, in relation to the horizontal line of the turf is what is defined as the "bounce angle".

The higher that angle, the more the club will tend to be "rejected" by the turf upon impact. The lower the angle, conversely, the less "rejection force" experienced. The wedge marketplace offers hundreds of choices of loft/bounce combinations, and the industry has settled on this basic advice to help you navigate through this maze.
For soft turf, you want a higher bounce angle.
For firm turf, you want a lower bounce angle.
For fluffy lies, you want a higher bounce angle.
For tight lies, you want a lower bounce angle.
If you have a steep angle of attack, you want a high bounce.
If you have a shallower angle of attack, you want a lower bounce.
To all this advice, I am quite outspoken in calling bull**! In my opinion, this is not very meaningful advice. Here are just a few reasons why:
  1. What if I have a tight lie on soft turf?

  2. What if I have a fluffy lie on firm turf? (And just where are these courses that have the same kind of turf conditions everywhere on them?)

  3. What if I have a shallower angle of attack, but the lie is on soft turf?

  4. Conversely, what if I have a steep angle of attack but the shot is on firm turf?

  5. Wait, I’m a good player and vary my angle of approach based on the shot I’m facing; what kind of bounce should I play?

  6. And the biggest one:

  7. I’m not a tour pro, but a mid- to high-handicapper. The courses I play have every kind of lie imaginable (and some that aren’t). My angle of approach is not consistent (duh, I’m a mid- to high handicapper). How the heck do I sort through this?
[NOTE: This is where I refrain my fingers from suggesting that because the patented EIDOLON V-SOLE combines a high and low bounce into each loft, it can handle every kind of lie and swing path very dang well.]

Custom Grinds

Here I go again. Tour players have their wedges custom ground because they spend hundreds of hours and thousands of shots perfecting their skills. They can do things with a wedge that your best local club players don't even dream of. As the ad says, "These guys are good!" And if they get to a tournament where course conditions change, all they have to do is go to the equipment trailer and get new wedges that are right for that particular course, that particular week. Oh, and they are F-R-E-E.

Tour players have their wedges made so that the sole gets "out of the way" of their skills. Amateurs need wedges that have a sole that gets in the way, to help compensate for the fact that they didn't hit 2-300 wedge shots since their last round of golf.

. . .

Well, there is a basic discussion of bounce as I see it through TheWedgeGuy lenses. I hope it helps you understand this subject more. And if you are in the market for a new wedge, don’t buy anything unless the store/shop will let you take it to the course and hit every shot you can imagine from every different kind of lie you can find. It has to work everywhere to be a good scoring tool.
The Wedge Guy is sponsored by SCOR Golf, where Terry Koehler is President/CEO. He encourages you to submit your questions or topics to be considered for his columns on Tuesdays and Fridays. Each submission automatically enters you to win a SCOR4161 wedge to be given away monthly. Click the button below to submit your question or topic today.

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Terry Koehler is "The Wedge Guy" and President of SCOR Golf- The Short Game Company.

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