Cleveland/Srixon Wedge Fitting Experience

BTatHome

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This formed the second part of the Srixon Ambassador competition that started with Wentworth ages back (at least it feels a long time ago). This was our chance to go to Studley Wood and be custom fit for some of the new Cleveland 588 Rotex 2.0 wedges at their Center of Excellence. Now I've had a fitting session for a wedge previously, and it was basically fitting in another wedge into my bag, taking into account distances and my swing .... this session was something way beyond that !

It started with a journey to Oxford in heavy rain and very strong wind, with some navigation around various roadworks that even got my satnav confused. Arriving just after Jake from GM, I was the first of the three to be fitted and it appeared that we even beat the Srixon guys to the venue too. Not long after we found Neil and got to meet Srixon fitter Martin Conner who had actually travelled the same route as me as we live quite close together !!

A brief talk about the objectives from Martin and with Jake and Neil on the camera/video we get started. Basically I already have 588 Rotex wedges from a couple of years ago, so the basics were to ensure my gapping is good from PW into the wedges, and to ensure the had enough spin, and we're correctly fitted in bounce and lie too. A quick check of what I typically get with my clubs and how I use them gives Martin some ideas of how to proceed.

I start (after a warmup) by some getting data for Martin to work with from my own i20 PW and then with various shots from my own wedges, this gives him an idea of what my yardages are, and spin characteristics with them. Martin commenting that my own estimates on my yardages are little conservative too. My current setup is 50/56/60, I generally use 56 from bunkers, or if in very fluffy lie, and the 60 is generally only for suitable shots around the green (never more than about 30 yds). I have standard bounce on my SW and low bounce on the others. I use my 50 for everything generally from 100 yards in, and alter distances with my swing, or ball flight.

So onto the new 2.0 wedges and straight away to be hitting brand new wedges from the fitting cart was pretty cool, they all looked pristine, and as Martin screwed in the first shaft into the head you could see the opportunity for customisation is huge with these wedges, so many different loft/bounce options and loads of different shafts too. After a couple of modifications to head bounce and trying out a couple of shafts to change spin and distances we settled on the new Nippon Pro shaft, as a good starting point. The ball tracking kit showing a good increase in spin and the target distances being hit.

Next onto the biggie, the 56 SW to fit. This proved a little harder to work out, and Martin quickly discounted the 'normal' 4 degree gap here to follow my own 56 wedge setup, simply because the gapping wasn't worth tweaking for just a yard or two, and that I use my 56 more in the bunker than off the turf, after a couple of KBS tour options were discounted we again kept with the Nippon Pro shaft for this club. Now onto grass to check the bounce options and to ensure I wasn't digging in too much, at this point it looked like standard bounce was going to be my option but Martin picked up on a slightly deeper divot pattern and moved me up to high bounce, which felt much easier to slide on the wet turf. Onto the bunkers now, and around the back a big bunker has many pin positions to choose from. We started with my own wedge again and whilst I got out of the wet bunker the dispersion was a bit hit and miss with a little digging it to the sand. A quick swop to the high bounce wedge and wow the difference was night and day, every shot came out the same, the club gliding through the sand with ease, and a tight set of shots all around the same pin with only 10-12 feet dispersion. I was definitely sold on that change.

Lastly in terms of the wedges was my 60 lob wedge, sitting at the edge of the practise green in the fringe and the rough I hit a few shots to the green, and thought it went fine, my own wedge game is usually good enough to get me out of plenty of trouble so didn't feel like this would be much different. A quick swop to the new low bounce lob wedge felt great with the ball nipping nicely on such short shots was great, but Martin was a little concerned that I was taking a very shallow divot so swoped me out to the normal bounce in the lob wedge and when I opened up the wedge a little more the scarring left was minimal .... strangely enough Jake and Neil both managed to miss the two chip ins with the cameras, even after the first and me calling that another would go in ;)

That must surely be it ?!? Well no, you then have lie angle to sort out too, and a check with the lie board and some impact tape shows that I generally hit the middle of the club, but my wedges need a degree upright to get the right impact on the sole. My current set are standard lie and standard length (which is fine in the new ones) so it'll be interesting to see how the slight change affects me.

Finally the easy stuff of grips and sizes. Martin suggested a couple of wraps under a standard grip would be fine for me and I'm happy with that, my current wedge grips are Lamkin and whilst soft when new they do feel quite thin in the hands. A beautiful Golf Pride Red/White multi compound whitewash will be installed.

And the final aesthetic choice is the finish on the wedges, well whilst I love the look of the black finish wedges, the satin finish was my chosen route (not just because the black ones aren't in retail until Feb '15)

Whilst I wasn't checking the timing of this session it must have been over an hour long, with so many options available to try and tweak the work from Martin is clearly set to make the most of your game and provide you with something that will not only compliment your current clubs but increase your chances of success with the wedges.


..... all I've got to do now is wait for an early Xmas present, when the new shinies get delivered !

Huge thanks to GM guys (Mike/Jake/Neil) for taking care of us, to Srixon/Cleveland for providing a great experience from Wentworth to yesterday, to Martin Conner for being so patient during the fitting, and also to Ken Heathcote, owner of Studley Wood who came down and spent ages chatting with us. Great bloke and even offered us a free fourball in the future as we didn't get a chance to play the course on the day.

Great experience over the season, and after seeing the new Srixon irons in the flesh I can feel the credit card twitching already ;)
 

BTatHome

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It was a great experience, there was supposed to be three of us, but one of the guys didn't turn up (nobody had his mobile contact, so no idea what happened). Great fun watching Phil at the end almost maim Jake and then doing the same to Neil :)
 
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