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Golf Equipment 101: The Beauty of Bounce

Golf clubs are designed by engineers studying infinite amounts of data and movement.

How a golf club interacts with the surface is important. Those surfaces include grass, various types of sand, pavement and other areas in and around a golf course.

First, the most important question … Do you know what bounce is?

Bounce is the angle between the ground and the leading edge of the club when the sole is rested on the ground.

A view of how a sand wedge sits in the bunker at 2022 PGA Championship held at Southern Hills Country Club on May 17, 2022 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. (Photo by Darren Carroll/PGA of America)

The leading edge is the front bottom part of a club. When a wedge rests on the ground, the
leading edge is off the surface. The angle of that gap is the “bounce angle.” The more your
leading edge is raised off the ground, the larger the bounce angle. The more bounce your club has, the better chance it will help you plow through trouble. Although all clubs have some bounce, this discussion is about the bounce angle of your wedges.

When you find yourself in sand or tall grass, bounce acts like a plow toward safety. Conversely, when the lie is hard soil, tightly mown grass or a cart path, bounce can make the shot a little more difficult.

What bounce angle works best for most weekend golfers?

  • Even though you may play on tight sandy soils all the time (Florida, Arizona, New Mexico, etc.), the benefit of bounce in bunkers and the rough cannot be understated.
  • How much bounce am I using now in my wedge(s)? Most wedges list the bounce
    angle after the loft. If your wedge says 56-12, that wedge has 56 degrees of loft and 12
    degrees of bounce. Anything over 10 degrees of bounce is considered a high bounce
  • If bounce is good, why would I want less bounce? Golfers who play on very firm turf
    conditions such as Florida and Arizona might want less bounce. It is tougher to hit the
    ball when it is sitting down on a firm surface with a high bounce club. A better short
    game player hitting off tight Bermudagrass lies in the south might want less bounce. The
    leading edge will sit closer to the ground and allow the player to slide under the ball
  • Why is bounce helpful? In the bunker your trailing edge encounters the sand before
    the leading edge. When that happens, the larger your bounce angle, the better the club
    will displace sand and help you lift the ball.
  • Does my angle of attack on the ball help decide what bounce I should use? Yes.
    Ask your PGA Coach if you have a steep or shallow angle of attack. The steeper it is,
    the more bounce you should employ.
Leona Maguire of Ireland makes the most of the bounce of her wedge in a practice bunker during the first round for the 2021 KPMG Women's Championship at the Atlanta Athletic Club on June 24, 2021 in Johns Creek, Georgia. (Photo by Montana Pritchard/PGA of America)

Bounce can be very beneficial. Understanding those benefits will help when you chip and pitch around the green. It will improve your bunker game and approach play. The beauty of bounce is once you understand it, your wedge game will get a whole lot better.

Source : PGA