I got lots of good questions sent to me on Twitter, as well as from readers of the Shop Blog, for Callaway's Roger Cleveland. I spoke with the wedge guru on Friday, and here are his answers to some of the most interesting submissions.
How you would compare and contrast the designs and technologies used in Callaway's wedges with those from other major brands. What makes the Callaway wedges different?
A lot of people copied the wedge designs we developed at Cleveland Golf years ago, like the 588 wedges, but I didn't want to do that. I wanted to do something a little bit different.
When I had the opportunity to get back into club making, and start making wedges for Callaway, I wanted to use the purest form of making irons, and that means forging. I also wanted to use the softest material to give golfers the most feel, and that's 1020 carbon steel. Then, I wanted to have the best forging house in the world, which is in Japan, make the wedges. After putting all those things together, we've been having a great time making irons and wedges here at Callaway.
But what makes our wedges really different from other manufacturers' is the aggressive groove we have developed in conjunction with Phil Mickelson.
Phil always tests a new wedge by hitting 40-yard shots, and he hit that shot pretty hard. The first shot he hit using a a super-aggressive groove we created for him made a white trail of cover material up the face of the club. He looked down and said, "Yep, that's my Mack Daddy groove." We loved that, and so we named our groove the Mack Daddy.
With the new JAWS wedges (above), I wanted to reduce the silhouette of the wedge when you're looking down at address, and I wanted a smaller head. I think that gives golfers a feeling that they can get the leading edge under the ball more easily. We also implemented a very aggressive C-grind in the sole which makes it very versatile.
For the amateur, how would you go about trying and picking a particular sole grind for wedges?
It all depends upon how much you practice and how many different shots you want to be able to hit with your wedge, especially a high-lofted wedge.
If you're the type of player who likes to open the face and hit higher, softer-landing shots, then look for a grind that supplies heel relief but doesn't add too much bounce in the process. Opening the face automatically adds bounce, but some grinds create more than others.
If you don't practice that often, going with the grind that supplies more bounce will help you get out of the sand more easily.
Every wedge needs to have some positive amount bounce so it can slide, rather than dig, through the turf. Remember, you never want to hit a wedge shot using your leading edge, you always want to use the sole as the contact point to the ground.