Franken Wedge

I LOVE the 'Tour Experience Golf' brand, and their youtube channel. I'm not too proud to admit that I am a member of the channel, in addition to a big time follower. While the fitting advice that comes with your membership doesn't substitute for a full in-person fitting, I've worked with their team (Chris) for help with my own equipment. They know their stuff, and they have a much bigger toolbox than I do in my humble shop, which makes their perspective even more valuable.


They posted a video today that was a little offbeat for their channel; short game coach Gareth Raflewski was on talking about an experimental club he built, dubbed the "Franken Wedge," they put the club through its paces.


Here's the recipe:

-PING 60* lob wedge head

-PING Alta CB Regular flex graphite shaft

-33.5"

-C0(?) swing weight


Add in a "hinge-y" pitching motion, and its a recipe for incredibly high spinning pitch shots. They back up the stats in the bay, but the thing you have to remember, is the three guys doing the testing are all scratch or better, and they have the ability to edit the video. As soon as I saw the video, I realized I had all the ingredients and built my own version of the Franken Wedge:

-Cleveland Zipcore 60/Low

-G410 Alta CB Regular Flex graphite shaft

-34.5"


As an 8 handicap, I really wanted to see if Gareth's shot could work for me, and test the build overall. All I can say is, these guys know what they are talking about. Gareth's build lends itself to the exact hinge-y shot type he demonstrated on TXG. It makes it easy to aggressively make a move at the ball and control the low spot of the swing and the face through impact. My results are as follows:

-800-1200 more RPM spin on a 50 yard shot

-Much more control of the hinge-y type pitch shot

-Much more confidence over anything 40-70 yards, I knew I could "go after it"


I expected the regular flex shaft in a heavy wedge head to feel weak, but the Ping made-for is a great choice for this kind of build. The shorter you cut the shaft, the more stiff it will play, I cut mine to 34.5", and didn't find any benefit choking down from there. I have an 86mph 7i swing speed - so if you're moving the club faster, your mileage may vary.


One of the best golfers I know, an ex-mini-tour guy, plays True Temper Monaco Prototype TX iron shafts in his irons. He has been telling me to play a lightweight regular flex shaft at less than a C8 SW in my lob wedge for a long time now (he plays a soft stepped modus 105 stiff flex in his lob wedge - a shaft that is in a different universe than the Monaco Prototype in his irons). I never believed him, but he is a "play the bounce" wedge player (as are most of the guys/gals paid to play the game), and I completely understand his setup now that I understand the technique!


All-in-all, this is a really cool build, and a must test setup for anyone modestly proficient with a lob wedge that wants to better control their spin on that high launching pitch shot which can otherwise be quite temperamental!


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