Golf Clubs 101: Bounce, Come On Bounce!

One of the most misunderstood – and overlooked — club specifications in golf is wedge bounce angle. If you’re an amateur golfer or a weekend hacker, chances are you never thought twice about your wedge’s bounce angle. Well buddy, this week’s Golf Clubs 101 explains exactly what bounce is and how it can benefit your game.

At its surface, “bounce angle” is a measurement in degrees of the angle from the front edge of your club’s sole to the point that actually rests on the ground at address. Grab one of your golf clubs and hold that sucker up to your face. See how the middle and rear sole is lower than the front edge of the club? That angle is the bounce angle.

So what does bounce angle actually do for your golf club? Part of that depends on the type of golf course you typically play. The club’s bounce – much like the name suggests – will “bounce” the club off the surface of the course. The greater the bounce angle, the less the club will dig into the grass. If you normally play golf courses that are soft or well-watered, you will benefit from a mid- to high-bounce angle on your clubs. Conversely, harder and dryer courses will be best conquered by a lower bounce angle.

Think about it this way: if you were hitting a golf ball off concrete, you could want your club to dig in behind the ball instead of bouncing into it. Thus, a lower bounce angle is best for tighter lies.

If you really want to get fancy, your golf swing can also influence the amount of bounce your clubs should have. Players who have a steeper attack angle into the golf ball will need more bounce to help drive the ball into the air. Shallower swingers will prefer lower bounce.

Your best bet on determining the best bounce angle for your game is to speak to a professional club fitter or PGA teaching professional.