One of the specialties of Mark Crossfield is explaining esoteric concepts in layman terms. In this video, the instructor discusses choosing the correct bounce as it pertains to wedges with…shovels.
The understanding could save a lot of golf games. Consider that most players pick out a wedge based on loft and distant. The choice is already set—140 yards is a pitching wedge, 100 a sand wedge, 60 and in a lob wedge. It’s a good place to start, but it leaves out plenty of variables argues Crossfield and embracing the “correct bounce” concept could solidify one’s short game.
Crossfield defines bounce as the angle at the bottom of the club. His club of a choice, a 56-degree wedge, carries a 10-degree bounce. The challenge comes in understanding what the bounce can do for a golfer and, conversely, what it can’t do.
To help provide a visual, Crossfield demonstrates bounce with shovels. A snow shovel has bounce. Therefore one can scoop snow, or in this case a golf ball, at a steeper angle. A regular shovel on the other hand has no bounce. One must keep the blade almost completely flat to pick the ball out.
The same concepts can be applied to wedges. A club with more bounce, think 13 degree vs 10 degree, can strike the ball cleanly at a steeper angle, whereas one with less bounce requires a more shallow swing path. A misunderstanding there could lead to skulled shots or chunks.
Then there’s lies to consider. Out of the fringe or green-side rough the bounce matters less, because the ball tends to sit up in the longer grass. Even if it buries in the tufts, it allows for more varied swings. Tight lies, however, (think well-groomed fairways or, God forbid, the cart path) necessitate a conscious choice of both bounce and swing path.
As Crossfield shows the shovels, a poor angle creates poor shots. The difference could be as many as three to four strokes a round. So, the better one can grasp the “correct bounce” concept, the better he or she will be 150 yards and in.
And, as always, understanding one’s swing—the angles, set-up and path of it—is paramount to success.
Find the best bounce for you through a local club fitter. Leave any comments and questions below!