Welcome to another edition of the Fully Equipped Mailbag, an interactive GOLF.com series in which our resident Dimplehead (aka GOLF’s Chief Equipment Editor) Jonathan Wall) answers your tough gear questions.
I recently purchased a set of used wedges that show significant signs of wear on the faces. I’m not entirely sure if the wear and tear will affect my short game, so I continued playing them because they were relatively inexpensive. Is there a way to know for sure when they are fully shot? —Titus, Sacramento
Titus, I want you to think of your splines as a set of tires. As the tread begins to wear, the likelihood of a number of things going wrong increases – suspension, alignment, blowouts. These are just a few of the main problems that can arise when driving with low or no tread tires. And we haven’t even talked about factoring rain into the equation.
This isn’t a car mailbag, but it’s important to point out the importance of keeping an eye on tires. The “penny test” is a simple way to determine if it’s time for new wheels. Grab a single Abe Lincoln and you’re good to go.
What’s interesting is that a similar groove test can be performed on your wedges to determine if they need to be replaced. Commonly called the “fingernail test,” the test simply requires you to run your fingernail over the surface of the wedge to see if your nail gets caught in each groove. As you hit every groove along the way, you can rest easy knowing the wedge still has life.
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TaylorMade Milled Grind 4 Custom Wedge
Milled Grind 4 uses a laser-etched spin tread and rough face to ensure better grip on the greens and excellent spin in wet conditions. Refined shaping provides a smooth aesthetic that inspires creativity around the greens, while improved mass distribution ensures a solid feel. IMPROVED SPIN IN WET CONDITIONS Spin Tread technology uses laser etching to wick away moisture and help maintain spin in wet conditions. Just as tire treads help keep your car connected to the road, Spin Tread redirects water at impact, creating more friction between the clubface and the golf ball to produce more spin than previous generations. REFINED SHAPE MG4 features refinements in shape and visual appeal, with an emphasis on what players perceive at address. Details of the hosel compound, offset and leading edge straightness were all inspired by the insights and preferences of the best players and most experienced designers. Compared to the previous MG3, the MG4 features a slightly larger footprint, giving players a feeling of roundness, smoothness and improved usability. Raw Face and New Finish There’s a reason why raw wedges are preferred by the game’s best players. The uncoated material will rust over time to ensure consistent spin while providing better performance in wet conditions. A new, refined finish with a slightly darker tone minimizes glare and blends seamlessly into the rough face for a unified appearance.
However, if your nail runs directly over one of the grooves – the bottom grooves are the most important for most amateurs – it is probably because they are completely worn out. Then you know it’s time to choose a new wedge.
Luckily, wedges are relatively inexpensive compared to a new driver or iron, so you don’t have to spend a lot of money on a new sand or lob wedge.
And if you’re still skeptical about how much groove wear affects performance, GOLF.com did a test a few years ago that showed a new wedge had almost 2,000 more RPM on a 90-yard shot Spin generated as a wedge with grooves were not nearly shot.
Now imagine what this spin delta would look like compared to a well-worn scoring tool. Try the “fingernail test” to make sure you don’t have to worry about performance loss on the track.
Looking to overhaul your bag for 2023? Find a suitable location near you at True Spec Golf.
https://golf.com/gear/wedges/wedge-grooves-test-fully-equipped-mailbag/ Think it’s time for some fresh wedges? Take this test to be sure