One of my favorite thing to study whenever I take a peek inside a player’s bag is the wedge grinds. You can learn a lot about a player from the grinds of their wedges. Whether they are steep, shallow, in the middle, etc. On TOUR it’s one of the parts of the bag that I would call an emotional section. So many feelings involved in getting the right set up and it’s not as simple as what’s best from a physics standpoint, as a fitter you are up against years of optics, feels, memories, etc.
Most of us, when we started playing, were handed a wedge and had to make it work, that’s where our creativity kicked in and our initial sense of proper impact occurred. I remember my first wedge was a Ping Eye 2 rip-off that had a ton of offset and a really wide flange (bounce galore), the other thing was it had very low bounce upfront so when I squared it up, it wanted to dig. That was the perfect wedge to learn with because it taught me to play with a TON of bounce and almost ZERO at the same time. FEEDBACK good or bad with a wedge is so key early on.
When it comes to Callaway wedges we have the advantage of a man named Roger Cleveland. He’s not only one of the best grinders of all time but from an R&D perspective, the guy understands CG placement at a WIZARD level. The point is Callaway wedges are no Joke. We have an in-house Dumbledor and he is indeed a Wizard.
According to the Mother Ship, these are the features of the MD5 Overall, it’s been well documented so I’m not gonna go super deep into this info:
- Precisely Shaped for A Beautiful Look and Extraordinary Feel from 8620 Mild Carbon Steel
Shaped by Roger Cleveland, these premium heads exude quality and superiority from every angle, while also delivering a soft and satisfying feel no other wedge can match. Two high-end finish options: Platinum Chrome and Tour Grey.
- Callaway’s Most Comprehensive Wedge Line-up
JAWS MD5 wedges come in 23 different loft/bounce combinations with 5 distinct grind options: C-Grind and New Low Bounce W-Grind feature 8º of bounce. The S-Grind features 10º of bounce and the X-Grind and W-Grind feature 12º of bounce. Also available in women’s specific models: 52º, 56º, and 60º all in the W-Grind.
- Optimized Head Progression
Head shaping progresses from a traditionally shaped lob and sand wedges to a compact player preferred design in the gap and pitching wedges for a seamless transition into an iron set.
- Premium Components for Premium Performance
Men’s: True Temper Tour Issue 115 (steel) and Project X Catalyst 80 (graphite); Callaway Universal grip in Grey/Black. Women’s: UST Recoil Wedge shaft (graphite): Lamkin Comfort grip in black/blue.
- Change to JAWS MD5 Groove Microfeatures
After testing Offset Groove-In-Groove technology on JAWS wedges, we’ve made a running change to the microfeatures on the JAWS MD5 face. This new microfeature is similar to what is used on the PM Grind wedge and through testing we found that it adds spin on partial shots and shots around the green. The main groove will continue to be the JAWS groove. All future JAWS MD5 wedges will use the new offset Groove-In-Groove.
We came for the GRINDS!
Ok here we go:
Think middle ground with the C-Grind, it has relief (heel/toe) in the right areas for open face players all while giving you enough help upfront for a tight lie, square face shots. I’ve always felt that the better my action was, the C-Grind became the right wedge. What I mean by this is the grind gave me places to go when I needed it to. So when I’m VERY sound around the greens, the C-Grind is PERFECT. That doesn’t mean it’s a better player wedge per se, it just means for me personally its home base when the sun shines.
Low Bounce W:
The W-Grind is one I’m completely obsessed with. I grew up playing a Ping Eye2 Copper and the LBW reminds me of that on so many levels. For one outta the bunkers, it’s the closest thing to cheating as you can find…besides the W-Grind (see below). If I have one critique I would say if you tend to play more open face shots around the green, the LBW can be a little drop kicky due to the sole. HOWEVER, I’ve seen some cool grinds done on this one in the truck and you can def unicorn this out if you are buddies with a good grinder and have a few strips of lead tape:)
Although we have a few players that use the S-Grind in higher lofts IE 58/60, to me it’s your straight-up fairway/full shot grind. It squares up perfectly, gives you a little trailing edge relief and a nice straight leading edge. So if you tend to play more with a square face, the S-grind is a great option. On TOUR a good portion of our players uses this for 46/50/52/56 for the simple reason that they are FULL SHOT lofts.
The sleeper grind on TOUR. So many players that are ride-or-die C-Grind players will try the X and become confused quickly. It’s a “higher” bounce option that plays like a low bounce option. In my opinion for players that like to play higher/softer/off-speed shots around the greens, the X is PERFECT. Sam Burns for example has a pretty soft syrupy action around the greens and doesn’t rely on speed all that much for spin rather using trajectory (at least that’s what I’ve seen lol). I think having a bit more meat in a grind usually reserved for lower bounces is something that needs to be looked at a bit further. If we only made one wedge, I would lobby for them all to be X-Grinds. I can stick pretty much anyone into this one and find a way to make it work.
Fool Proof. Easy. Bunker God. Rough God. Get Outta Jail Free. That’s the W. Oddly enough out on TOUR I do see a few of these sneaking around. And it’s not a steep vs sweeper thing. It’s a ball flight thing. When I spoke to Retief Goosen at Southern Hills, it was simply the fact that he liked that it flew out of the same window opened up or squared up. The only difference was spin. So in simple terms, it’s consistent and easy to use.
Low spinners, high CG, square leading edge. I played this wedge for my first few months with Callaway and really like it. The T-Grind is a popular one on tour due to its higher CG location and squared-up leading edge. If you look down at address you will notice a bit thicker top line. That extra weight up top allows players to drive it down with even more spin. Essentially it’s a great wedge for players looking to hit it down constantly from 60 yards and in. The ball doesn’t ride up the face on this one.
I’m not a huge fan of labeling wedges for sweepers, steep, etc. Each Jaws MD5 has a recipe to fit any player and in most cases, you have three wedges to make up your set. TRY THEM ALL. Don’t negate a grind because it doesn’t sound like you.
Give yourself places to go and make sure you identify FULL SHOT VS Around the greens. I use 60 exclusively from 60 yards and in so for me, that club has a HUGE job. I make sure that when I pick my lobber it does EVERYTHING.
Bounce numbers are a ballpark and don’t tell the whole story so get in there, dig around, hit shots, watch the ball fly. The most important decision you make besides choosing your ball is your wedge makeup. PAY ATTENTION.