S Grind Vs W Grind
The grind on your wedges has started to become a thing over recent years. Let’s face it most of us aren’t entirely sure what bounce we should be using let alone what the best grind option might be!
In this article, I’m going to try and clear up any confusion you may have over two of the grind options that Callaway offers. S grind and W grind.
Understanding Wedge Grinding
A wedge grind is a method of removing part of the sole of the wedge to alter the way the club interacts with the turf or sand. Certain configurations work better for steep swings while others are going to help players with shallower swings.
The type of grind you select will also be influenced by the course conditions you usually play in. If you tend to play on lush courses with deep rough you might select a different grind and bounce angle compared to someone who plays on firm surfaces all the time like links.
How Does Wedge Grinding Work?
Generally speaking, the manufacturers will look to alter the sole geometry in 4 areas:
By removing material from the clubs leading edge you will slightly alter the bounce of the club and make it a little easier to use from firm turf or with a shallow swing.
Grinding the heel reduces the chances of the heel digging and allows you to open the clubface up and use lower hands through the swing.
Taking away some of the trailing edge reduces the effective bounce a bit and gives you a narrow sole.
What Wedge Grinds Does Callaway Offer?
Callaway wedges are some of the most popular golf clubs on the market. They come in a range of grinds: W, S, X and Z. I’m going to focus on the W Grind and S Grind in this post. The difference between these two grinds is significant for golfers looking to fine-tune their wedge shots.
The S grind is the company’s most popular option for the widest range of shot types and different swings. The S grind sole will be medium-width with a ribbon of material removed at the rear. A small amount of the sole is also removed on the leading edge to improve turf interaction.
If you are looking for more forgiveness then look at the W grind. Clubs with this option will have the widest sole to promote skidding instead of digging and will be the best option if you tend to play in soft conditions most of the time.
The W grind helps players make more consistent contact with the ball from tight lies or difficult lies around the green. It also allows you to open up your clubface easily when hitting out of bunkers, making it easier to hit sand shots without fear of digging. On the other hand, the S Grind features additional heel relief so you can better control your trajectory during full swings or bunker shots. Both grinding styles feature improved turf interaction compared to traditional wedge designs.
Overall, both W and S Grind wedges offer great benefits depending on how they’re used by each player’s individual style and preferences. With this knowledge in mind, any golfer looking for an edge should consider trying out either one of these grinds before deciding which one works best for them.
I always like to have a mixture of bounces and grinds so I can adapt to different situations on the golf course.
Here are three key points about S and W grind wedges:
- The S grind has a narrower sole giving greater versatility around the green and improved control in bunker play
- The S grind has less bounce compared to models with the W grind
- The W grind has a wider sole enabling you to open the face to adjust your trajectory
Which Grind Is Best For Your Swing?
Depending on your swing style and the courses you play most often, one of these might be better suited for you.
|Grind||Turf Conditions||Type of Swing|
|S||Softer/Medium/Harder||Most swing types|
|W||Softer||Good for steep swings|
|X||Softer/Medium||Good for steep swings|
If your angle of attack is quite steep then you may find more success with the W or X grind while players with more neutral or shallow swings will probably prefer the S or Z grinds.
Here are the Loft/Bounce/Grind options available for the Callaway Jaws Raw wedge:
|S||48°, 50°, 52°, 54°, 56°, 58°, 60°||10°|
|W||50°, 52°, 54°, 56°, 58°, 60°||12°|
Many golfers don’t realize that bounce is actually their friend and that more often than not a high bounce wedge will improve their pitching and chipping. Beginners in particular will probably benefit from wedges with a wide sole. Improving your short game can make all the difference to your score, especially on days when you aren’t on your “A” game.
Roger Cleveland on pitching:
You can hit an inch behind the ball, that’s actually what you want to do,” Cleveland said. “You want to hit behind the ball and let it slide through the ball. Don’t stop! When you stop, you get more narrow. When you get more narrow, you kind of crunch down and get steeper. It’s all the things you don’t want in a pitch. You want to keep your width in a pitch and you want to keep your rotation in a pitch…one of the best thoughts that I have is you want to keep your width.Golf Digest
No matter what kind of wedge you choose, understanding which type works best for your individual swing will make all the difference in improving your overall game. Taking time to analyze your grip, stance and stroke when making each shot will give you an edge over those who don’t pay attention to their own form.
With this knowledge in hand, finding the right wedge should become easier than ever before!
So to sum up get an S grind wedge if you are looking for a versatile club that will work on all types of conditions. Think about the W grind if you have a steep swing or play in soft conditions more often than not.
Which Lofts Should I Buy?
The first thing to remember is to try to get consistent gaps in your lofts so you should end up hitting the clubs a consistent distance apart. It’s no good having several clubs that all cover the same yardage.
Next, try to match up your wedge lofts with the 9 iron in your set. Assuming its 44° and you want four wedges you could go with S grinds at lofts of 48°, 52°, 56° and 60°. That gives you a pitching wedge, gap wedge, sand wedge and lob wedge.
If you prefer a three-wedge setup then 48°, 54°, 60° would probably be the way to go. You could even go for a higher bounce W grind in the 56° and 60° to help you with bunker shots.
Tour Players That Use Callaway Wedges
While not as popular as wedges produced by Vokey there are a good number of tour professionals that use wedges from Callaway. These include a number of the Mack Daddy range such as the MD4 which has been seen in the bags of Brandt Snedeker and Kevin Na. The MD5 has been gamed by Marc Leishman, Talor Gooch and Henrik Stenson.
Choosing Between Vokey SM9 And Jaws Wedges
The Vokey line of wedges is far and away the most popular on tour. Given those guys depend on their club to make a living I think that says a lot about how much they value the products from Bob Vokey. That being said the wedges produced by Callaway are designed by another wizard of the wedge in Roger Cleveland so you aren’t going to be buying junk.
It really comes down to which club gives you the most confidence over the ball and how they perform in your hands. A lot of the time good golf often comes down to how the player perceives the club.
When Is It Time To Change Your Wedges?
Struggling to stop your lob wedge on the green? It might be time to think about getting some new sticks to get a bit more bite into your shots. Over time grooves will start to wear and the performance of the club will degrade. For most the biggest factor with their wedges is the amount of spin they can achieve. If you find you aren’t generating as much as you used to then it might be time to freshen up your set.
Studies show that your wedge will start to lose some performance after around 70 rounds. For some golfers that could easily mean a new set of wedges every year!
S Grind Vs W Grind: Conclusion
Overall, the S Grind and W Grind wedges have their own unique characteristics that can benefit different types of golfers. Picking the right grind is entirely up to you, it all depends on your swing and what works best for you.
So don’t be afraid to experiment and see how each combination affects your shot-making! With some patience, dedication and practice, choosing between an S or W grind should result in improved play. Go get ’em!
If you have a Callaway dealer or demo day nearby then go try out the new Callaway Jaws wedges.
Need to improve your chipping technique?