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Bobby Jones Wedges

Written by: Tony Korologos | Date: Monday, September 15th, 2008
Categories: Golf ClubsGolf EquipmentGolf VideosReviews

Bobby Jones Lob WedgeOne of the coolest, smartest and most passionate people I’ve met in the golf industry is my buddy Jesse Ortiz. Jesse is truly a pioneer and one of the best club designers in the modern era. Jesse’s latest offering in club design, the Bobby Jones/Pelz wedge collection, is a joint effort with short game guru Dave Pelz.

Technology

Club Body

The Bobby Jones wedges are cast from a soft 302 stainless steel. There are “channels” milled out of the face behind the insert. There is a great view of these milled channels in my Jesse Ortiz interview video below.

By milling out these channels, the weight distribution of the club is moved outward and downward. The club’s “CG” (center of gravity) is lowered. This lower center of gravity makes the club easier to hit and produces a higher ball flight.

Face Insert

The face insert is composed of a special indestructible steel which must be heat treated for at least four hours before it is ready to be placed. The insert is bonded to the body of the club with a special membrane. The head is then placed in the oven at 175 degrees for about an hour, which causes the special membrane to release an epoxy resin. The resin not only bonds the face to the body, it also produces a very soft and buttery feel. This unique resin and face combination produces two qualities in a wedge which have never before been available together, super high durability and extremely soft feel.

Bobby Jones Lob WedgeThe face’s scoring lines (grooves) are milled, as is a microscopic texture (pictured right) which looks like thousands of little diamonds. The milling of the grooves and texture provide a consistent grip between the club and the ball for true feel and accuracy in the spin category. Other wedges with textured or milled faces do not have as consistent a pattern.

The textured face is there to stay too, unlike other wedges. The microscopic milling and/or face texture of other wedges wears out very quickly. PGA Tour pros change wedges constantly because of this reason. With the Bobby Jones wedges there’s no worry about the face wearing out and having the performance level change over time. Once you find your favorite wedge, it can stay in your bag forever.

I interview Jesse Ortiz about his wedges

In the video below Jesse Ortiz gives us a nearly 10 minute interview on his wedges! How cool!

Looks & Feel

Jesse Ortiz: “It is against my religion to make ugly clubs.”

Bobby Jones clubs are as pleasing to the eye as a stroll through the Victoria’s Secret store for a red blooded male (or heterosexually challenged female I suppose). The curves, lines and shapes of the club head are all classy confidence builders.

The weighting of the club is superb and I’m aware of the blade and head position at all times in my swing.

Bobby Jones Wedge Top Line ViewOn The Course

It has been a pleasure playing my Bobby Jones wedges for the last few months. I’ve taken my sweet time to write this review because I wanted to give my game an ample amount of on-the-course experience to get the hang of using them.

The first thing I had to do though before I could play these wedges was change the grips. I found the stock grips to be too fat and hard for my taste. They made me feel like I was swinging a baseball bat.

The feel of these wedges is easy to describe. If you remember what the old balata balls felt like, then picture that. These clubs feel very soft and produce audio feedback which is different sounding than anything else I’ve played. The insert does really give you the feel of a super soft forged club, perhaps even softer.

Visually I really feel confident and love the look standing over these wedges. They’re not busy looking or distracting. The finish isn’t super reflective, keeping that occasional blinding sun from bouncing off the club face and into your eyes while you’re swinging.

These wedges have less spin for my swing than I thought they would, given all that milling and face technology. I seldom have that “Phil Mickelson super spin” where you suck a ball back 20 feet. For me that is good because usually when that happens I end up 20 feet farther from the pin. I find my shots with these wedges stop within a few feet of where they land. Once I get that feel I can be deadly accurate, especially with the lob wedge.

Around the greens I find these wedges especially good. In the spin department though, I need to play a little more roll. I don’t play that two bounce and check shot with the Bobby Jones wedges. I play runners more often.

The leading edge of these wedges is awesome when you are in deep or thick rough around the greens. Since the leading edge is slightly more rounded than other wedges I’ve played, they cut right through and help me get crisp contact and control.

I’ve played my 56 and 60 from numerous bunkers and in every imaginable situation. I’ve found that whatever shot I create from the sand the Bobby Jones wedges respond.

Speaking of creating shots, I find that these wedges allow the player to be as creative as his mind can be. I’ve made up all sorts of blasts, chips, punches, flops and the wedges perform at a high level as long as I execute the swing properly.

Due to the higher ball flight I find that I lose about 10 yards with these wedges. My other 56’s travel 110 on a good full swing and 100 on an average full swing. With my BJ 56, I max out at 100. My full shot distance of my other lob wedges (60 degree), is 100 yards. With my BJ 60 I’m at about 85-90 yards.

Not only is the face super durable, I find that I can keep even my most high performance golf balls in play longer with these wedges. Despite all the milling, I don’t shred or skin golf balls with the BJ wedges and can play those $4 golf balls longer before putting them in the practice bin.

Critiques

Sometimes I wonder if companies get mad if I post critiques about their products. I do know one shoe company wouldn’t even talk to me after I pointed out that their ink ran and turned all my white socks black. So be it.

The last time I had a critique for a Bobby Jones club Jesse Ortiz himself was applauding me when we met. My previous critique was about their head covers on their hybrids. Jesse was stoked that I’d pointed out issues with them he’d been trying to get the company to change for a long time. They finally did.

My critiques on the wedges are what I’ve mentioned here previously. I didn’t like the grips because they were too fat and hard. I had to change them.

There’s a slight distance loss of about one club for me with these wedges as well. This isn’t that big of a deal to me as all I have to do is adjust my club selection.

bobby jones wedgeWhat’s in a name? How about three?

One honor I’m sure the Bobby Jones/Pelz wedges has which no other wedge does, is the “three name distinction.” In looking at the back of the head I see three names: Bobby Jones, Jesse Ortiz and Pelz. Yes these wedges are the only wedges on the market with three names on them.

I think I’ll get a sharpie out and put my name too. Then there will be four!

Models

The Bobby Jones Pelz wedge collection is available in right hand only, sorry Lefty.

I’ve created a table below to show the club configurations:

Bobby Jones Wedge Models
Club
Bounce
Shaft
52º Gap Wedge
Steel
56º Sand Wedge
14º (standard) or 10º
Steel
60º Lob Wedge
8º (standard) or 4º
Steel
64º X Wedge
Steel

Conclusion

The Bobby Jones-Pelz-Ortiz wedges are classically beautiful, high performance and indestructible.  The feel and feedback is 2nd to none.  The club’s wonderful design inspires confidence and allows creative shot making.

Related Links

Hooked On Golf Blog Bobby Jones Photo Gallery
Video: Jesse Ortiz wedge and driver interviews
Bobby Jones golf providing 1st place prize in 2008 HOG Space fantasy golf league
Bobby Jones Hybrids Review

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