Roger Cleveland: "A 60-degree wedge is useless if you're old!"

How many wedges should you carry? Callaway wedge guru reveals all. 

Andy Roberts's picture
Tue, 20 Aug 2019
4

From the Tour professionals to the weekend hackers, it seems everyone is carrying more wedges these days. 

And rightly so - approximately 70% of this beautiful, yet finnicky game is played from within 100 yards. 

But how many wedges should we really be using? GolfMagic caught up with Callaway wedge maker and short-game guru Roger Cleveland to get his take on a player's wedge setup.

"Five or six wedges is enough," joked Cleveland.

"No, it really depends on the level of skill and what the player wants to do. Three wedges is fine, but I use four to really identify distances better. You have a better chance of getting the ball on the green when you have proper gapping in your wedges."

Cleveland, who likes to work around five-degree increments in his wedges for suitable yardage gaps, admits the 60-degree wedge is an irrelevant option for the older golfer or the player lacking in strength.

"If you're older and not very strong, I would think your most lofted wedge should be 56 degrees," said Cleveland, an icon in golf design.

"If you're a little stronger, you can have either a 58 or a 60. An older person can't really hit the 60 anywhere really, so it's useless.

"The 56, with the proper bounce and proper weight of the shaft, is enough loft to get out of bunkers. When you get older, you need a lighter shaft so you can create more speed. When you're stronger, steel is what you need.

"Whatever you pick for your highest lost, so let's say it's a 60, and you go to your pitching wedge which is 45 these days. That's a gap of 15 degrees, so you need to fill that in with wedges that make sense. 

"I like gapping in fives, so I would typically use 45, 50, 55 and 60-degree wedges. If you have a highest wedge of 56, then I would go 45, 50 and 56."

ROGER CLEVELAND: LET BOUNCE BE YOUR FRIEND

In the eyes of Cleveland, a bad workman should never blame their tools, no matter how many wedges are in the bag. 

"The fastest way you can improve your score and lower that handicap is to work on your short game," Cleveland tells us. 

"The skill and technique and using the wedges properly is where amateurs can quickly improve, on top of enjoying the game more. 

GUIDE: 10 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT WEDGES

"Take a lesson from a PGA pro. I can't hit it 300 yards any more, but I can have a Tour quality short game with proper technique and equipment. It's all the same equipment the guys use on Tour. It just takes technique, not strength. It's the fastest way for lower scores.

"Jason Day and Jordan Spieth didn't have short games without practising half their practice time on the short game. I know Phil Mickelson has."

How many wedges do you carry? Share your views in the forum or join us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

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