Welcome to GOLF.com’s ClubTest Proving Ground, where Managing Equipment Editor Jonathan Wall and Senior Equipment Editor Andrew Tursky put the latest designs and groundbreaking technology in the equipment space to the test on the range and the course.
The tools: Callaway Jaws Full Toe (60-10 degrees; True Temper Dynamic Gold Spinner Tour Issue 115 shaft), 1 dozen Titleist Pro V1x 2021 balls
The test: Attempt to execute a short-sided flop from a tight lie.
The results: I’m going to admit something that I’ve kept to myself for the past five or so years: I can’t hit a flop shot to save my life. I don’t know where things went wrong, but somewhere along the way, I stopped taking chances on short-sided shots around the green.
At this point, you’re probably wondering why this is such a big deal. Some of you are probably screaming at your screen that I should be taking the high percentage play (along the ground) anyway.
Heck, I’ve had chats with Bob Vokey and Roger Cleveland, two titans in the equipment industry, and both agree the average golfer — let’s assume “average” is a mid-handicap — should not be carrying a lob wedge. They’re much better off learning how to perfect shots with a 56-degree. A lob wedge will cost you strokes if you don’t know how to properly wield it on the course.
The sound advice caused me to drop my 60-degree years ago and opt for a 58-degree — and the higher percentage shots — on the course. My short game is probably my biggest strength, and I’m happy to report my game hasn’t suffered with a 58-degree in the bag. But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss having the flop shot in my back pocket.
I’ve tried plenty of wedges (and grinds) over the years and never could find one that allowed me to execute the shot — until now. From the moment I picked up Callaway’s Jaws Full Toe wedge, something felt different. The heel and toe relief on the C-Grind is extremely aggressive, which allows you to open up the face and get the leading edge underneath the ball going through the turf.
Of the wedges I’ve tested over the last year, the Jaws Full Toe ranks near the top in turf interaction. Even on low percentage shots, like a flop, it slid through the ground without any unwanted digging. Having the ability to completely open up the face and not have a raised leading edge staring back at me made it easier to attack the ball on a flop and not have to worry about whether I’d catch it heavy or send it screaming clear across the green.
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Callaway Jaws Full Toe
On the 12 flop shots I hit with the wedge, I managed to get 9 of 12 within 10 feet of the hole from a short-sided position. I even started feeling myself at one point and pulled off a mega-flop — you’ve seen Phil do these in his sleep — that settled within five feet of the hole. I honestly can’t tell you the last time I ever tried that shot, let alone executed it.
The Full Toe design also acts as a built-in bumper during the shot, catching balls that ride up the face during impact. There’s a reason why Phil Mickelson plays a Callaway PM Grind with a similar high toe profile — even elite wedge players can benefit from the design.
The Jaws grooves, along with the offset groove-in-groove, kept the spin rates consistent throughout the testing session, and while I didn’t test the wedge against other brands — the point of this test was to see how it performed on flop shots — the spin numbers I saw on Foresight’s GCQuad were roughly 175-215 RPMs higher, on average, than what I’m used to seeing when I ran testing from 20, 40 and 60 yards.
I’ll never say a flop shot is easy, but the grind and overall toe profile on the Jaws Full Toe make it easier to consider the idea of going high instead of along the ground when you need the shot. For the risk-takers out there, that should be music to your ears.
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