The general hypothesis is that tour players change their wedges on a regular basis. The grooves wear out from hitting balls at infinite distance, thus speeding up the pace for a new set of scoring clubs. This may be the case with some elite golfers, but when it comes to Justin Thomas’ Vokey wedges, it’s a little more methodical when it comes to managing the groove and managing the “spin decay”.
If you’ve never heard of the term “rotation decay” before, it’s another way to describe the gradual wear and tear of grooves from regular use. As the grooves begin to wear out, the spin speed also decreases, which can affect how certain shots react around the green.
Thomas has learned over the years that spin is an important lane in the course with specific wedges. It’s one of the reasons why he’s more inclined to change his Vokey SM8 wedges to 57 degrees and 60.5 degrees Vokey WedgeWork wedges on a frequent basis. (According to Vokey Tour representative Aaron Dill, Thomas changes the lob wedge every six weeks.)
“For him, it’s really about pulling [a new wedge] from the closest when you really feel it’s that moment, “said Dill.” He knows that the 60.5 and 57 must have more effects. He is trying to put the ball where he wants and sometimes he can stop it quickly. “
While the sand and lob wedge is replaced frequently, Thomas’ grades 46 and 52 will sometimes remain in the bag for over two years before thinking of making a change. Spin remains a vital element of the equation, but having fresh grooves isn’t as important.
Titleist Vokey Design SM8
Learn more about Justin Thomas’ favorite wedge.
“Those two wedges are already high spinners because it makes them swing faster,” said Dill. “The face hits the ball more firmly, more often. Getting the goal to turn a little less is the goal. He will tell you when he receives a new throwing wedge and an empty wedge, he will not immediately put them in the bag. It breaks into the furrows and does not let them out until the furrows are fired on its current wedges. He wears the weak spot because he trusts him and knows what he’s going to do. “
What can recreational golfers learn from Thomas’s groove management? It is not necessary to replace all the wedges at the same time when even two of them start to go. Pay attention to your spin speed with the clubs where it matters most, but also understand that just because your grooves are wearing out on a launching wedge or sand, this does not necessarily mean that it must be taken out of the bag.
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