How To Properly Fit A Golfer For Wedges
It is very important to have any wedge fitted to the golfer. Here are some important tips for fitting a golfer for wedges that you will want to keep in mind.
The lie angle is very important and needs to be properly set so that on ¾ to full shots the clubhead comes into impact with the face plane square to the intended target. If the lie angle is not set properly and the toe is up at impact (lie angle too upright) the ball will be pulled to the left of the target.
Conversely, if the toe is down at impact (lie angle too flat) the ball will be pushed to the right of the target. This toe up or toe down thing is one of the most important fitting variables in wedges because the greater the loft angle (all the wedges), the greater the ball misdirection control when the lie angle is not set properly for the golfer.
Grip size is another fitting variable for wedges that can improve your play. The proper grip size will help in better controlling the clubhead. For some golfers, a larger grip size will feel better and improve play.
Another trick to reduce situations where the golfer uses too much hand action causing less control of the shot is to increase the grip size more under the right hand. I prefer a 1/64” increase. Try it and if you do not like it, change it back, but it really works. I would also recommend that you use the same grip style on your wedges that you have on your iron set.
Be sure and check the swing weight of your wedges and use this rule of thumb: Pitching wedges and gap wedges should be 2 to 3 swing weights heavier than the #9 iron in your set. Sand wedges and 60º wedges should be 4 to 6 swing weights heavier than the #9 iron.
Try putting some lead tape on the back of any wedge that is lighter than the recommendation above and play a few rounds with it. I think you will like the results. There is not much you can do with too heavy a wedge other than drilling a few holes in the back flange of the head.
Too many golfers simply buy a wedge here and a wedge there and never check to see if the new wedges lengths fit into their current set. So, lay your #9 iron and all your wedges out on a flat table, parallel to each other and with the soles of the heads all lined up perfectly even (place a straight edge up against the soles until they are all touching). Next, measure the length differences at the grip end to see where they fit in. Here are the lengths I like on wedges.
The pitching wedge should be ½” shorter than the # 9 iron in your set. The Gap wedge should be 1” shorter than your # 9 Iron. The Sand wedge can be the same length as the gap wedge or you can go 1 ½” shorter than the # 9 iron. Regarding the 60º wedge, if the sand wedge is the same length as the gap wedge then make the 60º wedge 1/2 “ shorter. If the sand wedge is 1 ½” shorter than the #9 iron, make the 60º wedge the same length.
An alternative to wedge lengths is to substitute ¼” length differences vs. ½” length differences as explained above. So, the PW is ¼” shorter than the #9, the GW is ½” shorter than the #9, the SW is ¾” shorter than the #9 and the LW or 60º is 1” shorter than the #9 iron.