This has been a fun and productive review for me. I’ve had the same wedges, great ones, in my bag for over five years. It was quite hard to take the old ones out and adjust to the new feel and look of my C. Carnahan Wedges. I’m happy to say I’m dialing them in more and more every time I play or practice.
Carnahan Wedges - Click for larger (even more dreamy) image
About C. Carnahan
C. (Chris) Carnahan is an Oregon based maker of what they call “boutique” golf clubs, found primarily in golf shops. When I first heard the description I wasn’t sure what it was supposed to mean. It could either mean they’re really awesome but uncommon. It could mean that they’re just an unknown trying to sound good. I’ll go with awesome and uncommon. Boutique to them means specialized, high quality and not mass produced.
Design / Construction
Carnahan Wedges are like many great and simple things on this planet: eggs, circles, Google, Apple products. Carnahan wedges are simple in design and function yet elegant, effective and easy to use.
The Carnahan wedges are a classic wedge design. No funny markings, designs, cavities, removable faces, adjustable heads, movable weights or clowns which pop out of them and blow up balloons into funny shapes.
The wedges are forged for soft feel and consistency. Forged clubs almost always give the player better feel and control, and this is a definite requirement for the short game.
The wedges in the Carnahan lineup are all heavier than standard. The 52 and 56 degree models are 2 grams heavier, while the 60 is 3 grams heavier. Carnahan sites an added sense of feel through the swing, but this extra weight for me may be the answer to accuracy. More on that in a bit.
Perhaps the most unique of the design features of Carnahan wedges is the shaft lengths, or lack thereof. All Carnahan wedge lofts come in a stock 35.5″ shaft. This allows the player to have one setup and one basic swing for three clubs. Once again, less complexity and more simple.
Shaft / Grip
Carnahan’s wedges are equipped with a True Temper Dynamic Gold shaft. The grip is a golf pride custom Tour Velvet. I like the grip, but will eventually change to my standard Winn W5 when they wear out.
This wedge is butter - click for more
Being a “vintage” design would almost require that the wedges be sharp looking. That they are. These babies are very classy looking and easy on the eye. Once again, the club does not have nutty designs on the head or over the top graphics which have no real benefit.
On The Course
I spent about five hours on the practice chipping green and driving range before putting these babies in play. It did take a while to adjust to the single length shafts when chipping and pitching around the greens. Once I started clipping them well, I was getting check on the ball I haven’t seen in a year or two.
I had about a 2.5 hour session on the range hitting only 52-56-60 and that was very beneficial. Right off the bat I noticed that the shots were flying right at my intended target much more consistently. That accuracy translated straight onto the course.
On my first wedge shot in the real world, I had a 68 yard 3rd shot on my first hole, a par-5. The pin was front left and I was in the right rough. I put a 3/4 swing on my lob (60) and the thing landed 12″ right of the pin! It released a few feet past the hole, giving me a great shot at birdie. Unfortunately I missed that downhill putt, but I was happily surprised at the control and accuracy I had on my first real attempt at a golf shot.
Accuracy has bit perhaps the biggest factor for me since I put my Carnahans in play. Not sure if it is a the weighting of the clubs or the single length shafts, or both. Case in point was another round which found me in a tough battle with my best golf buddy. He and I have battled back and forth for years. It was the 16th hole and he was 2 down. He pressed me on that short par-4. We both hit the fairway. I was 95 yards out and he was about 100. He knocked his shot to about four feet and was looking good with a press riding on a short birdie putt. I stepped up with my 56 and put a pure swing (at least as pure as my bad back granny swing could) on it. The ball hit just left of the pin and stopped on a dime. I was one foot closer. We both made birdie. The CC wedge, and a decent putt, already saved me some big money…
I have no complaints about the looks of the clubs or their performance. I’m very happy with them. The one thing which is a bit of a pain is that the sole does not have the loft of the club imprinted on it. So from the top of the bag, all three wedges look the same. In order to pick out say my 56, I have to look at the back of the heads of the wedges.. I’m tempted to just draw on the sole with a sharpie the lofts. I know it will wear off eventually but it will make it easier during the round, especially since I use a walking bag and the clubs are packed tightly together.
In the grand scheme of things, that is a minor irritation.
Carnahan Wedges - Click for larger view
I don’t change certain clubs in my bag very often. Wedges fall into that category. But now that I’ve gained the playing time, experience and confidence I need in my Carnahans, they’ve found a home in my bag. After such a short time my accuracy is greatly improved. Can’t wait to see how much better they become, and what kind of dart throwing I’m able to do this summer.
Thunderbird Golf Course - Mt. Carmel Junction, Utah - Been around about as long as Ed