Two of the most important aspects of a wedge are how it flows through the turf and the sand, and how effectively it imparts spin to the ball. By grinding away the sole in specific areas, custom-fitters and technicians can make it easier to get the leading edge under the ball on a tight lie, slip through fluffy sand and more.
But anytime a wedge is ground by hand, there is a margin for error – replicating the ideal shape from one wedge to another is extremely tough. With TaylorMade’s new Milled Grind family of wedges, the company gives players a variety of short-game tools that are, from wedge to wedge, as identical as possible.
“We wanted to find a new process for precision,” said Bill Price, TaylorMade’s senior director of putters and wedges. “The only way we could get rid of the imperfections was to take giant CNC (computer numeric control) machines and be able to machine the sole, as well as the leading edge. What that gives us is precision, repeatability and it gets us the same wedge every single time. The wedge that is at retail is the same one that is out on Tour.”
The series of tiny lines that cover the sole and parts of the back of each Milled Grind wedge are a result of the milling tool passing back and forth. With each pass, a tiny amount of 8620 carbon steel is shaved off until the final shape is achieved.
To get the ideal amount of spin on each shot, TaylorMade developed a groove configuration that features sidewalls that are 38.5 percent steeper, which the company says helps lower the initial launch angle of a shot while increasing spin rates. The grooves are packed more closely together on the face, which allowed designers to add an extra groove.
The Milled Grind wedges will be available in even lofts ranging from 50 to 60 degrees with three sole options. The Low Bounce grind has a relieved back section and a “C” shape. There is less material in the heel of the Standard Bounce grind to make it easier to hit open-faced shots. The High Bounce grind has a wide, cambered sole that should make it ideal in fluffy sand and soft conditions.
The TaylorMade Milled Grind wedges reach stores March 3 and will cost $159.99 each.