The Detroit Post
Thursday, 21 October, 2021

How To Rust A Wedge

Bob Roberts
• Wednesday, 25 November, 2020
• 7 min read

You may have noticed that the finish on some wedges have a rusty look to them and wondered if there are any benefits to letting your wedge rust. Many golfers prefer the look and appearance of a rusted wedge because it minimizes the suns glare at address and allows a better feel for the grind of the club.

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For years, many golfers (including myself) believed that rusting your wedges would increase spin and give shots a softer feel making contact with the ball. As mentioned above, many tour players jumped on board with the RAW wedge appearance.

Another reason people use rusted wedges is that they are believed to have a softer feel because they lack the extra chrome coating. You can take this belief with a grain of salt because I have tried both chrome finished and RAW wedges, and they feel extremely similar.

Honestly, one of the biggest reasons golfers use rusted wedges is for the really cool look that they give at address. The darker finish might allow some golfers to better line up their shots and receive more consistent contact.

Maybe there is a little of a placebo effect that the wedge feels and performs better but at least for myself, that added confidence is enough to make happy around the greens! This rust will then spread and fully coat the face and head giving the wedge a very dark, gold appearance.

We need to create spin with wedge shots in order for the golf ball to launch correctly and land softly onto the green. The point of this is to offer golfers the maximum amount of spin possible to get the golf ball to stop quickly onto the green.

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Most of these wedge companies today do claim that the rust will not affect their laser milling. However, the impact of rust on their performance over time is improved due to newer face technologies.

Regardless, golfers find RAW wedges to be special and visually appealing which is why they are sometimes priced more. As I mentioned above, I really don’t think RAW finishes are going to affect the performance of the wedge too much.

These makes sense because a golf ball that generates more spin will travel higher and land softer. A rusted wedge might create less spin for a lower ball flight and a further total distance because of the roll.

Again, I’m not claiming this test is super scientific but it was a fun little experiment that I hope can give some insight into the difference between wedge finishes. Raw wedges that go rusty over time are making a bit of a comeback in the latter part of 2019, thrust back into the limelight with the launch of the TaylorMade Milled Grind 2 wedge.

TaylorMade says, and it has been a commonly held theory for a while, that raw wedges that go rusty will spin more and feel softer over time. They should also reduce sun glare and preserve the geometry of the grooves for longer-lasting spin.

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We wanted to find out, so we tested the TaylorMade Milled Grind 2 wedge on the Foresight Sports Squad launch monitor as soon as we peeled the preserving sticker off. It’s worth pointing out that all wedges are raw but to keep them looking pristine on the shelf, the manufacturers add an extra finish to maintain durability, usually satin chrome.

To further try and prove or disprove the theory, we also tested an older raw Cleveland RTX-3 wedge, which had gone really rusty, up against a used and brand new plated Hokey SM7 wedge, to see if there were any differences in launch and spin of note. Then out on the course, you’ve got the extra factors of moisture, dirt and grass getting in the way of the contact between club and ball.

A rusty wedge to me looks tired, older than it is and almost like whatever technology is on the face has worn away. The rusty face definitely reduces glare from the sun and also shows up your strike pattern.

A central wearing of the rust, with the raw metal coming through underneath, provides a point of focus over the ball and encouragement that your ball striking is on point, while a wearing away in the heel or toe suggests you need to address some club delivery issues. Ultimately wedges are your scoring clubs and you need to feel comfortable with them in your hand, whether that’s ones that are rusty or ones that aren’t.

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For 2018 they come through once again with the release of the Mack Father 4 line of pitching, approach (aka gap), sand, and lob wedges. But, before going on to the review, for those unfamiliar with the terms “bounce” and “grind,” a short primer should help clear things up.

The wider angle helps the club power through fine sand and soft turf. Conversely, low bounce wedges work best on firm ground, hard sand, and for players who tend to sweep the ball.

However, unlike loft and bounce values, which use numbers that have a meaningful relationship to each other, club makers assign arbitrary letters to their grinds. So understanding any particular grind means either reading the manufacturers description or visually inspecting the club.

Also in the game, TaylorMade, Milano, and Cobra all employ proprietary technologies aimed at feel, spin, and control. Lastly, for the budget conscious, Wilson makes the Staff PMP line that rivals higher priced options at about a third of the cost.

Because most mid and high handicappers rarely hit a green in regulation, having the right wedges and knowing how to use them becomes instrumental in getting up and down. Call away understands this fact, of course, and for 2018 have released their best wedge line yet with the Mack Father 4.

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They obviously put a lot of thought and energy into creating a wedge for every level of player, and every type of situation.

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