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Equipment Report

    Ask the equipment insider: Varying iron and wedge flex

  • Jordan Spieth uses a Project X 6.5 shaft in his Titleist irons and a 6.0 flex in his sand wedge and lob wedge.Jordan Spieth uses a Project X 6.5 shaft in his Titleist irons and a 6.0 flex in his sand wedge and lob wedge.

Every week, PGATOUR.COM Equipment Insider, Jonathan Wall (@jonathanrwall), will answer one popular gear question that's being asked on social media. We begin with the decision to use a softer iron flex in the wedges. 

What percentage of players are using the same shaft flex in their irons and wedges? — Elliott Adamson

For whatever reason, this is a question I get a lot on social media, so it seemed like the most logical place to start. 

To give you a snapshot of the percentage of players using the same shaft flex in their irons and wedges, I reached out to True Temper — the most popular steel shaft brand on the PGA TOUR — to see if they could shed some light on the situation. 

According to True Temper, 47 of the 100 players in the field using their shafts at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am played a softer flex in their wedges. That's basically half of the field with a similar setup. Jordan Spieth was one of those 47 with Project X's 6.5 shaft in his Titleist irons (through the 52-degree Vokey SM7 wedge) and 6.0 flex in his sand wedge and lob wedge. 

So what is the benefit of using a softer flex in your wedges instead of sticking with the same flex across the board? Better yet, would an average golfer gain something from going to a similar setup?

According to Kyle Cronkright, a master fitter at PXG, the real benefit comes on partial shots when players using an extra-stiff iron shaft go to something slightly softer in the wedges. Hence why so many TOUR players prefer the flex setup. 

"When I use a softer flex for players in wedges, it’s usually to provide better feel and consistency for partial shots," Cronkright said. "It can help maintain spin versus using an X flex for guys playing X100 or something similar. It’s difficult now though due to the fact that more companies are using weight on a sliding flex scale. The softer you go the lighter the shaft becomes for some designs. That’s why I use [Dynamic Gold] S400 a lot for many of those players. X flex guys are the only ones I typically soften the shafts for."

That doesn't mean a stiff flex player wouldn't benefit from a softer flex in the wedges, but it's worth keeping an eye on the shaft weight to ensure swing weight isn't all over the map, which could make timing an issue. 

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