Bounce in Wedges Compared: High- vs. Low-Bounce
Wedges are a science unto themselves. And if you look at the variety of some manufacturers you can quickly lose track of the situation. There are not only all imaginable lofts from 45° to 64° but also different bounces and grinds. Bounce and grind are often connected with each other. This means that a certain grind usually also exists with a certain bounce. The grind is also important for better players, but will be neglected in this test. This is only about the bounce. And this in an exactly identical wedge where only the bounce is varied.
This is very easy with the Vega Alkaid Wedge. Vega is one of the very few manufacturers who also offer a wedge with a replaceable sole. And that in Low-, Mid- and High Bounce. You have the possibility to adjust the bounce according to the course and conditions. Professionals do this by simply exchanging the wedges. But for amateurs this is usually not in the budget.
The following picture illustrates the bounce as the difference between the leading edge and the bottom of the sole.
The question we want to clarify in this test: What is the difference when hitting a target at a distance of 65m, a typical "half swing". We have compared low and high bounce.
Launch Angle and Backspin
Let's not beat around the bush too long: The only difference in the bounce is the launch and the backspin. And this can be explained relatively quickly:
The higher the bounce, the higher up the so-called "leading edge" is in the moment of impact. This is obvious. Because the higher the bounce, the greater the distance between the leading edge of the clubface and the lowest point of the wedge. This shifts the entire clubface a little bit upwards. The result if everything else remains the same and the player does not change his swing because of it: The balls are hit further down the face.
With more bounce, the hitting pattern is therefore more in the lower grooves of the wedge, with less bounce more in the middle of the clubface. The following image shows a tendentious hit pattern. The blue dot shows the hits of the high bounce wedge, the orange dot the hits of the low bounce variant.
The result of these hits is that balls that are hit "further down" launch lower but have more spin. This means that the Launch Angle of 27.9° is lower than 29.9° with Low Bounce. And the spin is with 7744rpm higher than 7572rpm with the Low Bounce.
The bounce, of course, always has a limit somewhere. If the bounce was increased more and more, the player would start to top the balls. The launch is then even lower but there is no more spin. The result is of course catastrophic.
In general it is desirable to work with a flat launch and a lot of spin. Even professionals try to hit their wedges as low as possible. These balls are not only easier to control, but also have constant spin.
You should therefore choose as much bounce as possible to achieve such a hit pattern - provided, of course, that you can control the wedge well enough. What you should not forget, however, is that we only tested one specific shot in this test. There is much more to wedges, including chips and pitches. And that is above all a very individual thing.