Fully Equipped mailbag: Why do tour pros play heavier shafts in their wedges?
Welcome to another edition of the Fully Equipped mailbag sponsored by Cleveland/Srixon Golf, an interactive GOLF.com series in which our resident dimpleheads (a.k.a., GOLF’s managing editor of equipment, Jonathan Wall, and senior editor for equipment, Andrew Tursky) field your hard-hitting gear questions.
Do most tour players go lighter or heavier in their wedge shafts compared to their irons shafts? — @matt_storeman4 (Instagram)
It’s natural to assume a tour pro might want to go lighter with the wedge shafts to gain a bit more feel, but it’s actually the opposite for a large majority of those who choose to drop down in flex in the scoring clubs.
If you look at Tiger Woods’ wedge composition, he plays extra-stiff flex in his irons and a stiff flex in the wedges.
The difference in weight between the two shafts is 2 grams in favor of the wedge shaft, which might not seem like a huge difference. But just remember we’re talking about arguably the most perceptive golfer to even pick up a club. Tiger notices everything, including the weight difference.
As far as why Tiger and other pros prefer to go heavier as opposed to lighter, it’s due in large part to timing. Think about all of the feel shots you’re required to play during the course of a round. Going to a lighter swing weight in a wedge can sometimes lead to inconsistencies with delivery, contact, and turf interaction.
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“It begs the question of why you’d want to go lighter when you’re not swinging it as fast,” said True Spec’s VP of tour and education, Kris McCormack said. “A little bit more weight in that shorter golf club, for more of us out there, is going to give most of us a little bit better feel, feedback and sense of where that wedge is at slower speeds. Especially if you’re hitting those pitch and chip shots. A little bit more weight in the wedge will keep the club stable on those less-than-full-swing shots.”
While your question is directed to shaft weight in the tour ranks, I believe better amateur golfers can benefit from the setup as well. There’s nothing wrong with playing the same shaft flex throughout your irons and wedges, but if you find yourself struggling to execute those three-quarter and half swings, consider the idea of testings a softer wedge flex in a heavier weight.
As Kris said, you might find it easier to feel where the club is at during the swing. And there’s nothing wrong with gaining a bit more stability with your scoring tools from inside 100 yards.
Want to overhaul your bag for 2022? Find a fitting location near you at GOLF’s affiliate company True Spec Golf. For more on the latest gear news and information, check out our latest Fully Equipped podcast below.