July 24, 2019
By Andrew Tursky, PGATOUR.COM
- Bryson DeChambeau always keeps us on our toes when it comes to his equipment. (Andrew Tursky/PGA TOUR)
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Most golfers want the absolute maximum amount of spin possible with their wedges for more control. Bryson DeChambeau, however, was searching for the opposite.
As most golf fans know by now, DeChambeau uses single-length irons and wedges, which means his wedges are longer than standard; they’re 37.5 inches to be exact (around 35 inches is normal for a wedge). According to DeChambeau, using wedges with longer lengths means he creates so much spin that he actually wants to reduce spin for the control he wants.
His solution? “Duller” wedge grooves.
“Because of my longer clubs… I produce too much spin, and so I went to a duller wedge groove,” DeChambeau told PGATOUR.COM.
Before the 3M Open – where he finished T2 – DeChambeau was honing his golf game in the Bahamas when he grabbed a PXG 0311 wedge from a rental set. He says he wanted to see if there was “any difference in the metals” between the PXG wedge and his previous Cobra wedges. While he said there’s “more to be understood” about the PXG 0311 wedges, DeChambeau has used a full set of them (52, 56 and 60 degrees) since putting them in play at the 3M Open.
DeChambeau isn’t using the newest versions of PXG wedges, which are fully milled, however. He’s using the original 0311 wedges that were released in 2015. According to PXG Tour rep Matt Rollins, DeChambeau is the only TOUR player with these wedges in the bag. In fact, Rollins had trouble finding the now-outdated wedges on the PXG tour truck.
“Well, in a deep dark corner of our drawer, we found them. By accident.” Rollins told PGATOUR.com. “We don’t have anymore [on the truck]. I’ve got to get some from the office…”
While DeChambeau has used some Frankstein-esque wedge concoctions in the past, the PXG wedges are mostly stock, according to Rollins, but are made to be as light as possible in the head due to their longer lengths. He says their swing weights are E0.
Rollins agrees with DeChambeau that the grooves are a major factor in determining spin, but he’s not completely sold that’s the reason why DeChambeau has found what he’s looking for in the PXG wedges.
“Spin is affected two ways… the groove, and the interaction with the bounce,” Rollins explained. “If you don’t have the right bounce, it won’t spin like it should. And for some reason, this bounce just does it for Bryson. The groove is not that much different than our milled one. It’s different, but it’s not crazy. I would argue it’s more the bounce… because think (about it), his club comes in so much differently than everybody else’s.”
Ben Schomin, Cobra’s TOUR Operations Manager and DeChambeau’s wedge maker at Cobra, agrees with Rollins, saying that the reduction in spin “could have just as much to do with bounce” as it does with the grooves. Schomin also said that the older PXG wedges have provided a bit more predictability in DeChambeau’s spin rates with the wedges; while the spin range was 5,000-12,000 rpm with his previous Cobra wedges, his range with the PXG wedges has tightened to 6,000-10,000 rpm. Cobra is currently building new prototype wedges with V-grooves, which are a less aggressive groove, according to Schomin.
DeChambeau was also spotted testing Cobra King MIM wedges ahead of the 2019 FedEx St. Jude Invitational, but Schomin says that even though he liked the 52- and 56-degree wedges during testing, he still needs a 60-degree.
“It’s all about the 60-degree wedge for him,” Schomin said.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll keep an eye out for the new Cobra prototype wedges with duller grooves made for DeChambeau.
DeChambeau has also turned back time with his driver. While he’s been using a Cobra King F9 Speedback driver throughout 2019, which was launched in late 2018, DeChambeau has switched into a Cobra King LTD driver first released in 2015. DeChambeau told PGATOUR.com that the switch is due to the bulge-and-roll of the face being more preferential to his inside-out golf swing.
“The bulge and roll is a little bit different on [the LTD driver], as well as the design,” DeChambeau said. “It fits better for my inside-out path. Drivers are manufactured for ‘zero-zero’ (swing path and angle of attack) when they’re tested on robots, they aren’t tested for inside-out or outside-in swings.”
Schomin theorizes that the LTD driver is a bit lower spinning, which is why DeChambeau likes the older driver’s performance at the moment. Schomin also says the company is working on a customized bulge and roll for DeChambeau, but that changing bulge-and-roll for a specific swing/miss could bring on other issues if a miss occurs in different places on the face.
One thing is for certain: DeChambeau always keeps us on our toes when it comes to his equipment.