It goes without saying that I get very excited to talk about “better player” equipment. In this case, the last three grind series episodes have dealt with wedges that, for the most part, would attract the “better player.” But what I get most excited about, believe it or not, are the clubs that I KNOW will benefit the man I play with the most, my Dad. It’s not often that I can hand him something and know that I improved his bag without even hitting a shot. That happened when I gave him a set of Jaws Raw W Grinds.
Let me explain.
Last week we discussed the high bounce profile “X” grind that operates more like a low bounce profile due to its thin sole and relief in the heel and toe. The point is you can lay that thing wide open, stand it straight up on the toe, and the leading edge still sits fairly close to the ground. The “W” is a TRUE high bounce wedge. The stated 12 degrees of bounce is pretty close to the mark, but couple that with a thick heavy sole, and the whole recipe SCREAMS forgiveness. Keep in mind that this isn’t for the player that plays a ton with an open face; it’s designed to get higher handicappers out of trouble around the greens with as little resistance as possible.
For someone like my Dad, who NEVER opens the face and plays everything with a straight face, he can pop down on it, and the ball comes out with plenty of loft and spin. His old wedge had a thinner sole; it was 50/50 if the guy was going to get it ON the putting surface, let alone stop it around the hole.
In the bunkers, for example, all you really need to do with it is more or less interact with the sand, and the ball will pop out—the same story out of the rough. The analogy I like to use is a players club like TCB (Z Grind) VS Apex DCB (W Grind), one is a precision tool, and the other is a sledgehammer. You can play great golf with both, FYI.
Bounce is an amazing thing.
Tech Specs of the Jaws Raw “W” Grind
Metal: 8620 High Carbon Alloy Steel Casting (High B on the Rockwell Scale, AKA It’s SOFT)
Head Weight: 304G
Stated/Actual Bounce: 11 w/ large Sole
Chamfer Bounce: 28 Degrees
This is what Roger Cleveland had to say:
“The W grind was designed as a stable/high bounce offering for the higher handicapper, and with the new design, we did incorporate some features that open up the doors to making it a bit more versatile. The heel area was shaved down a bit to allow players to open it up, and with the leading edge chamfer, we give one more area of forgiveness when squared up. What I like about this new version is that the slightly reduced offset optimizes the blade squared up and for the profile of player that would use this grind, squared up is usually the shot style they play.”
“You will see better players lean towards this in the lower lofts (50-54) as a full shot wedge. On Tour, players like to be aggressive and, in some cases, get steep, and the wide sole allows that with little to no digging.”
“Make no mistake, although it’s designed for the higher handicapper, the “W” has enough relief in the right areas to work for pretty much anyone.”
It’s as close to point and shoot as any wedge we make. Any player out there that wants a wedge that will provide the proper launch and spin AND give you a TON of help, the “W” is a no-brainer. It’s hard to make a wedge this forgiving that looks this good at address; I play it in the 54 for the very reason Roger mentioned above. High bounce has a weird stigma, and I didn’t realize how wrong that stigma was until I got on TOUR. Are players sticking “W” ’60s in the bag left and right? No. But they seek forgiveness anywhere that they can find it. Why should you or I be any different?
YES, this is the conclusion of my series on all four grinds, but we have more coming next week. In the next video, I go in deep as to why the “Z” worked so well for me and coming soon is a wedge-gapping video that I think will answer many of your questions from my Friday AMAs.
Watch the FULL Grind Series: