December 19th, 2007
How many of you out there are still holding on to wedges that are over 5 years old? I would be willing to bet that about half of you are. I also bet that if I asked why you haven't changed them recently your answer would be, "because they still work well." A lot of golfers stick with their wedges for a long time because they are comfortable with them and the shots they make feel good. But the big question is do they still perform well after all those years? I hate to break it to you but your trusty old wedges probably aren't as trusty as you expect them to be. Unless you are one incredible iron player, you probably use a wedge on the majority of holes either for chip shots, sand shots or short touch shots. Since the wedge is used so regularly, it takes a lot of abuse which causes wear and tear on the clubface. Over time the grooves on your wedges deform and flatten out which reduces the spin they are supposed to generate. Lack of spin will prevent even properly struck balls from landing in an ideal position for a putt, thus affecting your game that much more. So how often should you replace your wedges? The answer to that question will be different depending on the player. How often you play, how often you practice, what kind of turf conditions you play on and how well you take care of your wedges can all be contributing factors in the formula for a new wedge. If you play once a week or more, Discount Golf World's staff pro suggests changing your wedges after every year or a little longer if you clean them regularly. A dirty wedge is a golfers worst enemy. Dirt, sand and grass stuck in your grooves will do nothing but hurt your performance and wear down the grooves on your wedges (I would suggest buying a groove cleaner to prevent this from happening). No matter how well you take care of your wedges, you will reduce spin almost every time you hit the ball, it is unavoidable. Playing once or twice a week and hitting the range in between that time can cause significant wear that can put limitations on your clubs ability to perform. If you think replacing your wedges after a year is too frequent, take a look at how often tour players change their wedges. A PGA News release reported that Tiger Woods changes his wedges several times during the golf season . Between the range, practice rounds and actual tournament play, he knows that his wedges take enough abuse to affect his play if he continues using them. Obviously most of you don't play quite as much as he does, but he probably plays in two months what the average golfer plays in a year. If tour pros replace their wedges several times during the season, a year is a pretty fair assessment for the life-span of the average golfers wedge. The wedge, while being a very important club in your bag is most likely one of the most overlooked clubs in your bag. Golfers usually won't hesitate to buy a new driver or putter in order to get better technology which usually comes with a change in appearance. Wedges today look the same as they did five years ago which causes a lot of golfers to believe that their performance hasn't changed much either. Don't let appearance fool you, wedges today have much better technology than they used to and it will help improve your shots. As much as you don't like hearing it, your old wedges are broken down and in need of replacement. You will agree with me when you get that new set of wedges and start sticking greens and shaving strokes. So enjoy your new wedges but don't fall in love with them, just have a summer fling, because you're going to need new ones next season.