What is the Purpose of the Bounce?

What is the bounce?

The bounce is the angle between the leading edge and lowest point on the sole. The more bounce there is, the higher the leading edge is off the ground when the club is held in a square position. 

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What is the purpose of the bounce?

The bounce is added to a wedge to prevent the leading edge from digging into sand or turf, so the club doesn’t lose momentum through impact. This is especially important from greenside bunkers when the objective is to hit a few inches behind the ball. It’s also important on pitch shots from the fairway because it provides additional margin for error by allowing you to hit slightly behind the ball and get away with it. To help you choose the right amount of bounce, I’ll examine three different options and explain how course conditions and technique determines the right amount for you.

Low Bounce (4-6 degrees)

Low bounce means the leading edge is close to the ground when the club is in a square position. Typically, the only wedge that comes in low bounce is a lob wedge. I recommend a low bounce lob wedge for intermediate to advanced golfers because this club requires proper technique and offers very little margin for error. 

·       Allows you to slide the club under the ball in firm or tightly mowed turf conditions

·       Good if you pick the ball clean on short shots

Mid Bounce (7-10 degrees)

Mid bounce means the leading edge is slightly higher off the ground (compared to low bounce) when the club is in a square position. All wedges are offered in mid bounce. I recommend mid bounce for any wedge because it gives you benefit under typical playing conditions.

·       Provides general protection for the leading edge on average playing conditions

·       Good if you either pick the ball clean or take small divots

High Bounce (11+ degrees)

High bounce means the leading edge is high off the ground when the club is in a square position. This nearly guarantees use of the bounce and no loss of momentum through impact. All wedges are offered in high bounce options. I recommend high bounce in wet fairways or soft fluffy sand.

·       Provides maximum protection for the leading edge in soft playing conditions

·       Good if you take medium to large divots

My recommendation for the average golfer:

Low-mid bounce lob wedge
Mid-high bounce sand wedge
Mid-high bounce gap wedge

Adam Kolloff

The Jim McLean Golf School at Liberty National, 100 Caven Point Rd, Jersey City, NJ, 07305, United States

Director of Instruction at the Jim McLean Golf School at Liberty National