what is Wedge bounce

image illustrating the angle of the wedge - AEC Info

The bounce on a wedge is one of the most misunderstood concepts in the game of golf. Depending on your swing type, angle of attack, and golf course conditions you play under, having the right amount of bounce on a wedge is imperative.

Before you hit your next wedge shot, make sure you fully understand what bounce is and what bounce your wedges should have in place to increase consistency and improve your feel.

What is bounce on a wedge?

Wedge bounce is the angle between the leading edge of your clubface and the low point on the sole of your golf club. These two positions create an angle usually between 6 and 14 degrees. When a golf wedge has a large wedge bounce angle, it will look as if the leading edge is off the ground at address, and the wedge is sitting on that bounce.

Bounce is your friend

In fact, most amateur golfers don’t understand the fact that the proper bounce in your wedge can improve clubface interaction, allow for more backspin, and ensure you can adjust to any turf condition that you are presented with. See our post on Best wedge for spin here. 

What bounce should my wedges be?

Wedges need to match the course conditions and the style of your golf game to be a good fit for you. Here are some things to know about low bounce, mid bounce, and high bounce wedges.

image of how club should be positioned to get the bounce needed - AEC Info

Low bounce wedges (4-6 degrees of loft)

The low bounce wedges are best for firm turf conditions. If you play a course with hard pan bunkers, the low bounce wedge will ensure you make clean contact with the ball.

I also like low bounce wedges for full swing shots into the green. Sometimes in a Gap wedge or pitching wedge where you know you will be hitting more full swing shots, and the bounce is not as necessary to help you succeed.

For players that have a Shallow angle of attack, sweeper swing style, and smaller divots, low bounce wedges can be helpful.

Mid bounce wedges (7 to 10 degrees of loft)

The mid bounce wedges are what most golfers have in their bags. In fact, if you purchased wedges recently and didn’t pay much attention to bounce options, chances are you ended up with mid bounce wedges.

With the mid bounce wedges having about 8 degrees of bounce on average, they are used for normal turf conditions. Whether you are hitting a chip from around the green or a pitch from a little further out, mid-bounce wedges can offer you a bit of extra forgiveness.

One of the things I like about mid bounce wedges is the ability to control the distance and trajectory of the golf ball, especially for neutral swing style players. 

High bounce wedges (More than 10 degrees of bounce)

The high bounce edge is built for fluffy sand, softer conditions, and golfers that take a slightly steeper angle of attack. With the high bounce, wedges expect to generate quite a bit of spin but have plenty of control over where the club is going.

High bounce wedges are not great for firm conditions as the trailing edge struggles to break through the hard turf. 

Having a combination of high bounce, low bounce, and mid bounce wedges will ensure you have the different types of wedges you need for every shot on the course. Instead of having to change your swing to produce shallow or deep divots based on the condition.

What bounce do pros use on wedges?

Golfers on professional tours are starting to use higher bounce wedges to ensure clean ball contact, proper angle and direction of the club head, and increased spin with their steep angle of attack.

Golf professionals on the PGA tour tend to play in various conditions. However, soft sand and firm turf are two of the most common situations a professional will run into. Coarse sand and softer turfs are more common for amateur players.

I tell you this so that you don’t change your golf wedge game to match the pros before you evaluate the firmer conditions or soft conditions of the golf courses you play.

image of golfer at address - AEC Info

What bounce is best for around the green?

Most golfers use their Sand wedge around the greens as the wider sole and higher loft can help improve ball spin and distance control on chip shots. A sand wedge with a mid-bounce in the 8–12-degree range is the most common for around the green.

The medium bounce helps ensure a little more forgiveness in the golf swing, and it will greatly impact overall consistency.

Is more bounce more forgiving?

Higher bounce wedges lead to more forgiveness. If you like to hit flop shots or have a hard time getting the ball to stop when chipping out of the rough, a higher bounce wedge will help. However, if you often play in firmer conditions, the extra bounce in the high bounce wedge may become a problem.

Which is the most forgiving?

A high bounce wedge is often considered the most forgiving club head, but you will need to ensure the wedge matches the golf course conditions and look at the Types of wedges you are purchasing. Sometimes lower bounce is better if you are using the club from a longer distance, whereas something like higher bounce sand wedges serves a distinct purpose around the greens.

How do I choose the best bounce for my wedges?

Going for a wedge fitting is a great way to learn about a variety of wedges at one time. The wedge designs are constantly changing, and going for a wedge fitting will help you determine the proper sole grinds, shaft selection, and bounce options you have available.

Final thoughts

Just as we find in other areas of the game of golf, there is no perfect wedge bounce. Instead, understanding wedge bounce and finding something that matches your game is most important. Suppose you learn from wedge designers like Bob Vokey or Roger Cleveland. In that case, you will learn that having a range of wedges with different bounce options will improve scoring opportunities regardless of the golf course you are playing.