For many golfers the term bounce probably doesn’t mean a lot, but let me tell you that for shots close to the green, with a bunker to go over, bounce will actually become your best friend.
That is if you let it happen and actually know what it is. In simple terms the bounce on a wedge is the angle from the leading edge back across the sole to the trailing edge.
If you have a shallow angle of attack, and don’t take much/any divot then you require a club with less bounce, say 7or 8 degrees. If on the other hand you attack the ball with a steep swing, and take carpets of divot then you require as much bounce as possible, say 12 or 13 degrees.
As I have stated already, think of it as an insurance policy against the club chunking into the ground. Take a look at the first picture and you will see that I am ready to play a wedge shot over a large bunker, using my 53 degree wedge. The ball is set slightly left of centre, feet shoulder width apart, and my weight 60-40 on my left side.
Note how my club is placed about two inches before the ball, with my hands in line with the club shaft. This is vitally important, as it helps to keep the bounce on the club. When the shaft is leaning forward too much the bounce is taken off the club, resulting in the leading edge digging in to the turf.
Tiger Woods was employing too much shaft lean recently and was not suffering from the dreaded “yips” as everyone assumed he was.
Now have a look at the second picture. This time at the end of my swing with the club straight out in front of me. This is a sign that there was no wrist break, as the shot was played with firm wrists/hands. Due to this action, the ball was travelling low to the ground, loaded with spin control. Remember that the only spin on the ball is back spin. As always my body is facing directly towards the target at the end of the shot. When you practice this shot, you will soon feel the ball running up the club face. This produces the friction that gives you the back spin.
This particular shot is ideal for links golf on a windy day. Good luck trying it out. Next week: loft and lie check.