Is exchanging coins a good idea? It depends on a few factors


Trading your wedges can be both easy and difficult.

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Welcome to another edition of Mailbag fully equippedsponsored by Cleveland/Srixon Golf, an interactive series where we answer your hard-hitting equipment questions.

Is it a good idea to swap different wedges depending on where I play?

There’s a simple and a complicated answer to this question, and luckily for you, we’ll cover both. The easy answer is sure, why not? If you have a variety of wedges to choose from with different lofts and rebound configurations, why not change to suit different grass and sand conditions wherever you play?

Pretty easy, right? Not really. I didn’t say the easy answer was the right one – or even the right one.

If you’re comfortable trading coins as needed, go ahead and do it if you want. But for most of us, changing gear frequently can create what we call “club confusion” – a chronic, invented condition we invented here at HQ where you don’t know how your equipment will perform and/or what types of shots you can and will hit with each club.

Club confusion is a terrible thing, by the way. Let’s say you’ve dialed your 56 degree corner and you know which swing produces which distances. You also know how high your shots fly and you’ve gotten pretty good at predicting the effects. If you swap a 58 degree model, what happens? Now you have to reassess just about everything. Or, if you normally play a low-bounce corner and choose to switch to a higher-bounce corner, what will happen to your contact? Again, club confusion hits, and ugh – is it even worth changing corners?

Let’s look at why you consider another type of wedge in the first place. Usually it has to do with the conditions of the course where you are playing. If you are on a softer golf course with softer fluffy bunkers, a higher bounce wedge might be the right choice. If you are on a firm course with firm or heavy bunker sand, a set of lower rebound wedges will usually help.

In theory, at least.

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The golf courses you play on actually play a role in how well you’ll be able to hit your wedges, but how you swing matters much, much more. You should think of your swing as driving your selection of wedges, not the golf course. Here’s why.

If you have a stiff swing and struggle to hit big shots, chances are you’ll do it in firm, soft conditions. Firm conditions can help a bit, but it’s probably a lesser factor than your steep angle of descent into the golf ball. And if the ground is really firm and you need less bounce, you can try playing the ball a bit back in your stance with a square face. This will lessen the effects of club bounce angle.

If you lean the other way and favor a corner with less bounce, again, you’re probably better off sticking with it even if you’re playing in softer conditions. All you have to do is open up your face a bit and boom, you’ve added a little extra bounce.

Speaking of versatility, corner makers are killing it these days. Companies like Cleveland Golf have made great strides in making wedges more playable from anywhere on the golf course. The RTX Full-Face Wedge makes it easy to hit square or open shots with a full-groove face and high profile. It also has a C-shaped grind with relief on the heel and toe for easy face handling. You can easily hit flops or weak chips with the same club.

I recommend learning to hit a wider variety of shots with your wedges rather than trading different ones depending on where you play. The same goes for the loft. Trading wedges with different lofts may seem easy, but different lofts also tend to have different bounce angles, making it that much harder to select the right distance and shot types for each club.

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