Sandwedge vs Lobwedge (The Bounce Factor)
A common mistake, especially by the younger players, is the overuse of the lobwedge. This “Lobwedge Generation” have grown up believing that their 60 degree weapon is the only choice from 100 metres and in.
This is even true for the greenside bunker shot, even though the sandwedge is specifically designed for this type of shot.
The key factor is the ‘Bounce Angle’, pictured here showing how the back edge of the sole is lower than the leading edge. A high bounce angle of around 14 degrees, as present in a typical sandwedge, allows the clubhead to glide through the sand creating a shallow divot.
A lobwedge on the other hand will typically have a low bounce angle, which is great for those tight lies around the green, but will cause the club to dig into the sand on the bunker shot. The result is deep divots and little or no control. Furthermore, by taking a sandwedge and opening up the face, you add more bounce to the club and create more loft into the bargain.
Typically a player will choose his wedges based on loft and ignore the bounce angle factor. Take a look at your wedge set to see if you have the correct bounce angles for the shots you want to play and the type of grass that you play on. Let’s get back to using the sandwedge for what it is designed for. The clue is in the name!!!
By Michael Balderstone
Elite Performance Director