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February 15, 2024 37 mins

Shane and Marty are joined at ASU's Thunderbirds Complex by Senior Design Engineer, Jacob Clarke. They dive into the R&D behind s159, PING's most extensive and versatile wedge line to date. They also discuss Jacob's work with PING pros and how it inspired the development of WebFit Wedge, a new app aimed at simplifying the wedge fitting process.

 

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:00):
The guys from Ping.

Speaker 2 (00:01):
They've kind of showed me how much the equipment matters.

Speaker 1 (00:04):
I just love that I can hit any shot I
kind of want.

Speaker 2 (00:06):
We're gonna be able to tell some fun stories about
what goes on here to help golfers play better golf.

Speaker 1 (00:11):
Welcome back to the Pink proven Grounds Podcast. I'm Shane
Bacon in red is Marty Jerks and if you're watching,
maybe you're just listen. If you're listening, you have absolutely
no idea what we're wearing, no clue. That's true. We
could be wearing Halloween costumes, we could be wearing New
Year's Day costumes, or it could be on our ping
stuff like we are. We got a pretty exciting guest today, Marty. Absolutely,
Jacob Clark is with us. He's kind of become the

(00:33):
wedge guru at ping.

Speaker 3 (00:35):
Is that fair to say? Yeah, I guess by default.
I don't know what else you call me.

Speaker 1 (00:38):
When did you get into wedges? When did wedges become
your focus?

Speaker 3 (00:42):
Yeah, that's a good question. So I started paying actually
as an intern under Marty in twenty twelve, so it
was the summer intern in twenty twelve. In twenty thirteen,
start a full time after I graduated in twenty fourteen,
and my first project was Glide two point zero.

Speaker 1 (00:57):
Okays, Like growing up, I was always.

Speaker 3 (01:00):
An awful ball striker, like hit it all over the planet,
didn't hit it far to be good, and just could
get up and down from anywhere. Loved hitting weg shots
and all the things that go into hitting web shots,
the different techniques you can use around the greens. I've
always loved doing that, and so when Marty assigns me
my first project to do the ping Glide to Wedge lineup,

(01:21):
I was a static and I remember going out working
with a couple of tour players at the event in
Vegas before I started the project, and then being able
to launch that product with the players out there, I.

Speaker 1 (01:33):
Was over the moon.

Speaker 3 (01:35):
And basically since then, I've kind of carved out a
little niche in that space. It's cool within our design team,
we work on a myriad of different products just to
have experience in different things. But I think we definitely
all kind of pride ourselves. We all have one area
of focus that we get really passionate about, and wedges
have definitely been the one for me.

Speaker 1 (01:53):
Can you evaluate Marty's boss just the goods and the
bads real quick.

Speaker 3 (01:56):
Oh that's a good question.

Speaker 1 (01:58):
Like what is this like YELP review going to be
for you? What do we do?

Speaker 3 (02:00):
We go a five stars? Right, my professor, are you
gonna Oh? Absolutely? I think what's cool about Marty is
obviously fantastic golfer at the beginning, which is cool to
be able to make really slight changes to designs and
you just be like, hey, Marty, go tell me what
you think. Hit if you And then he also had
this very intense passion for all things golf, and like
one of the things he's always referred to as having

(02:22):
skin in the game. So even within our design team,
like everybody is passionate golfers, and we're not just designing
clubs to make other people better, because that's the mission
of the company, but it's like, I want to play
better golf personally too.

Speaker 1 (02:33):
Well. I mean, Marty, you've talked a lot about that.
That exact thing on the podcast is you at times
are trying to solve your own riddle with a lot
of your designs.

Speaker 2 (02:42):
Yeah, And we did that episode Shane in the in
the Archives with Rob Griffin yep, and he told the
story of Carston that's what it's, you know, that's the
the the original is our founder of Carston. He was
trying to solve it, make the game easier for himself
first and then he's like, hey, I can I can
build a company out of this.

Speaker 1 (03:00):
Since Jacob gave you a review, can you give him
a review of being employee? Real quick?

Speaker 2 (03:04):
Just Oh, Jacob Man. Jacob's the man. And I love
that we've been able to align Jacob with what he's
most passionate about, and he has poured his heart and
soul into short game and in wedges and just what
we're going to talk about today. There's so much like
nuance to it, totally, so much nuance. We have to

(03:25):
have a lot of options for different players, the styles
and techniques to use your wedge for so many different shots.
You have to go really deep on that one product category.
And that's what Jacob's been awesomea doing here in the
last you know, five to ten years.

Speaker 1 (03:39):
Just focusing on wedges. And I think for maybe the
layman out there that doesn't know a lot about the
designer obviously has the brains that you guys possess. You
think about wedges, you go out, I mean, how much
more can you change about this golf club. It doesn't
travel really far, and you're hitting around the greens in
a way you kind of manipulate manipulate the wedge yourself
with your own hands. So how do you kind of
keep pushing the envelope in the wedge space.

Speaker 3 (04:01):
Yeah, So I think one of the first things that
we look at when we're approaching a project is, like one,
who's the target customer, not just for like the whole lineup,
but for each individual grind. What's the player archetype that
fits into that. And even though that a lot of
those changes that we're making to soul grinds and designs
aren't necessarily things that are revolve around a lot of

(04:22):
technology and innovation. Better understanding how a golfer delivers the
club is possible now through a lot of that technology
and innovation. So we have our focal motion capture lab
at Paining. We've been able to in the last year
or so actually capture some really short shots. So I
remember a couple of years ago, Stan Utley would come
out and we couldn't pick up shots under like fifty

(04:42):
yards because the system wouldn't trigger. And so we've had
a whole team of engineers working on how do we
kind of rig the system so we can capture these
little five six ten yard shots that stands hitting with
a lot of different techniques, and as we understand what
the golf club's doing, we can design it more optimal
sole configuration for that player to kind of have different

(05:03):
levels of turf security, versatility around the greens. And then too,
just approaching things from like a friction and performance side
of thing. We have and we have multiple PhDs in
our innovation department and our golf science team that their
only focus is to find better friction on wedges. The

(05:23):
learnings that we have kind of translate to other product
categories as well. But I mean, as we'll probably talk
about later, the importance of friction in the wedge game
is so high just given the different spin lofts that
golfers are delivering wedgs up.

Speaker 2 (05:35):
So Jacob, there's the delivery stuff we'll talk about. In
being able to I think in my mind it's it's
being able to measure things that launch monitors can't do
currently maybe they'll be able to do in the future.
So we'll get into that when it comes to friction.
Give a little overview for the listener. The viewer here
to the podcast on what what a groups do? I mean?

(05:56):
I think we've heard these these stories right. Some listeners
might be able to, Oh, grooves don't do anything. Grooves
cause all the spin. What do grooves do? And what
does the land in between the grooves do?

Speaker 1 (06:07):
Yeah, that's cool.

Speaker 3 (06:08):
So looking at wedges, and I think one of the
most eye opening things you can do is to take
just your standard wedge that has grooves on it, and
then if you have a wedge has absolutely no grooves
on it, go out in the middle of the fairway,
hit a couple of balls, and they're gonna fly the
exact same They're gonna launch at the same trajectory, have
similar spin rates. But the second you get any sort

(06:30):
of grass moisture between the club and ball, those trajectories
couldn't be any more different.

Speaker 1 (06:35):
Where if you.

Speaker 3 (06:36):
Have grooves on the face and other face blasts, milling, etc.
It's going to preserve that launch window that players are
looking for. But if you don't have the grooves or anything,
the ball shoots straight up with no spin. It's like
a top spin lib. Basically, there's no control over the ball,
your distance is super inconsistent front back. But I think
the primary role of all of those things on the

(06:58):
face is just to kind of stabilize the ball flight
as you get into different scenarios. I think one of
the ways I like to represent it is your grooves,
your face blast you're milling. That's kind of like MOI
for your launch conditions to where you like on a driver,
we design MOI in so if you hit it out
on the toe, you're going to be able to preserve
ball speed and generate a more optimal trajectory. But in wedges,

(07:22):
as we add different elements of increased friction, we're adding
MOI to the shot that you're hitting from the first
cut of rough where you play in early in the
morning with your buddies and you've got the do on
the golf ball. We're just trying to normalize those launch
conditions as much as possible.

Speaker 1 (07:36):
Marty, something you've told me is rarely do you have
a shot that doesn't have something between the ball and
the face. I mean, even from fairway if you're playing
you know, like Jacob said, you're playing in the morning,
or if you got it it's kind of a wet day,
like there's going to be something that's going to get
between the face of the club and the golf ball,
even if you're in the fairway.

Speaker 2 (07:53):
Yeah, We've done some great high speed video at like
thirty thousand frames a second where you think it's a
perfectly clean lie and players are peaking up and the
you know, the slightest amount of grass and debris and
you can actually see the water dropless being squeezed out
of the grass. Yeah, which is pretty incredible.

Speaker 3 (08:12):
Even like bone dry fairways. Something always something I think
that's so wild. By the way, do we have a
name for the area between the grooves?

Speaker 1 (08:19):
Can we? Should? We think of that?

Speaker 3 (08:21):
We call it like the land area. It's kind of
what we refer to it internally. And I think looking
at grooves are kind of like the macro level of
face friction, and then you really get into like the
micro level with the really small milling textures. But you
can still see that with your eye. But then you
go a step below that too, where you're face blasting.

(08:41):
You're seeing all these tiny peaks and valleys and a
lot of variety in the surface texture. And that's what
really helps all those things working together. Is what really
is going to drive that performance to have that constant friction.

Speaker 2 (08:54):
It's a lot like tires on a car, right, Like
when it's dry out, you you don't can drive on
ball tire. Yeah, you can drive on ball tires. A
drag racer has they have no treads on the tire
soon as it starts raining, especially in Arizona doesn't rain
that much, and people drive. People always like, oh, people
don't want to drive in Arizona. But you have so
much oil, debris everything on the road. You need all

(09:18):
of that technology in there, the treads and then the
texture in between. Both of those things kind of peak
the peak the friction. One fun way to do that
test that Jacob was talking about, and it's great if
you're a fitter listening to this, do this indoors. Okay,
so indoor fitting. It's kind of hard to simulate the friction.
The friction or the lies. Basically when we say friction

(09:40):
is really the lies you get out on the course.
Is to sprints the water, get a little spray bottle,
sprints the ball with a little bit of water, and
look out because you might get a launch angle you've
never seen before in your hitting bay. And that's one
way to showcase the technology of S one fifty nine
R groove technology over maybe your game or wedge bring

(10:00):
in there to evaluate, right Jae.

Speaker 1 (10:01):
Yeah, absolutely.

Speaker 3 (10:02):
I think that's the coolest part about that test that
we've kind of developed over the last couple of years,
is we want that fitter or just somebody who's on
their own wanting to kind of test out some different wedges.
We want them to be able to simulate as close
to the conditions that they're going to see out on
the golf course. So the spray bottle test is just
a great way is not necessarily saying like hey, I'm

(10:23):
gonna be playing water and pouring out raining, but it
just simulates anything that's less than that perfect environment that
you would get from a mat or something like that.

Speaker 1 (10:31):
Can you walk us through the grinds, because I know
you've introduced some new grinds with one fi nine, Can
you just walk us through the different grinds you have
with wedges? Sure?

Speaker 3 (10:39):
So I think looking at the wedges, kind of looking
at where we have the most options, and that's going
to be in a lob wedges, so it typically will
start there. So we have six different grinds for wide
variety of players techniques, et cetera. The first grind that
is our s grind, so that one is kind of
the I wanna say, bread and butter because it works
in so many different conditions of firmer turf, softer turf,

(11:03):
et cetera. But it accommodates a wide variety of players
too and how they like to hit shots. So it's
got a little bit more bounce in the middle of
the soul, which helps on more of the distance wedges
and some of the more square face shots around the greens.
But as you open it up around the greens, you
get a little bit of trail edge relief. Okay, the
trail edge is basically like you look at the bottom
of the golf club and usually you can kind of

(11:23):
see like a little ridge where the soul kind of
changes direction. So the trail edge is basically anything that's
behind that little break point in the back across our line.
There's a varying amounts of relief in that section depending
on what the player is looking to do. So there
is a bit of that trail edge relief on that soul,
and it gives a player some flexibility to open the

(11:44):
face and manipulate a little bit and still be able
to generate the.

Speaker 1 (11:47):
Height that they're looking for around the greens. So that's
the initial grind, and then if you can kind of
just kind of walk us through some of the other
ones that are available, if you will, just because again,
I think what's nice about this episode is someone listening
and trying to underderstand what the wedges look like and
how many options there are, to just get a little
bit more of a definition of what everything is.

Speaker 3 (12:06):
Yeah, sure, so I think the I'll go ahead and
go to one of our new grinds next to h grind,
So that one's inspired by a lot of the work
that we've done out on tour with our players, and
for a long time we've had different options through ping works,
the most popular being the half Moon grind.

Speaker 1 (12:18):
So what that grind.

Speaker 3 (12:20):
Does is it relieves material kind of in the heel
to s actually the club and steepens the trail edge
relief as well. So what that does is that gives
the player some versatility to open the face keep the
lead edge nice and tight to the turf. Okay, I'm
sure Marty's used variations in.

Speaker 1 (12:35):
That that like lay in pretty flat, like if you're
opening it up. Is it pretty flat on the ground.

Speaker 2 (12:40):
Yeah, Yeah, it's I think if you're a golfer that
goes out to retail and you put on the carpet,
you know, and you rotate it open, you're like, Oh,
if it's me and you, we want to be able
to hit those higher shots off of firmer turf. It's like,
you don't want that lead edge to rise too much.
You don't want to stay perfectly leveled to the ground
and get knife eeds rest of things. Yeah, but you
want to to kind of stay low with that. How

(13:02):
you open the face and orient the handle right.

Speaker 1 (13:04):
Yeah, for sure.

Speaker 3 (13:05):
So that kind of is a great lead in to
the the next new grind, the Bee Grind. So the
Bee Grind also inspired by some work we've done out
on tour.

Speaker 1 (13:15):
This is one that.

Speaker 3 (13:15):
Works really well for players that around the greens prefer
to hit shots with the more square face, slightly open face, okay,
and they kind of have a more neutral technique, I
like to say, a little bit more powered by body rotation,
not as dynamic with their wrists and stuff. But the
Bee Grind has a wider, flatter soul, so it actually
has the lowest bounce angle of any club in the line,

(13:37):
which allows it to sit super low on square face shots,
but it has the forgiveness through the turf because it's a.

Speaker 1 (13:43):
Really wide soul.

Speaker 3 (13:45):
So Chuck Cook, one of our brand ambassadors, great player,
that's a club that's worked really well for him in
the past couple of days as we've been doing some
different testing, because like I said, he he's a pretty
neutral chipper. He's not being really dynamic with his hands
and how he delivers a club, so he's able to
generate kind of height and spin with that configuration and
it works really well for his more neutral shallow technique.

Speaker 2 (14:06):
So be wide but low angle correct exactly. That's kind
of the kicker on the on the B yeah for sure. Okay,
And in preceeded by that, we talked about the H
grind H for half moon, Yes, right, so that's where
you got all that relief. For those listening, you can
just imagine us taking the grind like our works grind
half moon grind and peeling off material from the heel

(14:29):
and toe like that half moon shape, and then we
have the W.

Speaker 3 (14:32):
Yeah, the W is a great grind for somebody like
yourself who won, they might take either larger divits, or
they play in the northeast where it's a little bit
softer turf, maybe a little bit wetter.

Speaker 1 (14:44):
I mean, you're divid shaming me, but it can go
ahead of teah, that's all right, We'll roll with it.
I'll take it.

Speaker 3 (14:48):
So the W grind we actually do in fifty four
through sixty, okay, And I really like players using the
W in their fifty four fifty six because it gives
them a higher bounce option that they can have, make sense,
And it also works really well that player uses that
club to hit a lot of their distance wedges, so
kind of that three quarter to more full swing. It's
really shallow through the turf on those shots, which helps

(15:09):
generate a little bit of that flatter ball flight that
great players look for. And it also works really well
too for players who around the greens kind of like
to move the ball back in their stance, lean the
handle a little bit more, because as you lean the
handle that too much. So as you lean that speaking
of my soul, right, yeah, one more step over, a
little more shaft ling, a little more.

Speaker 1 (15:31):
Back foot yeah yeah.

Speaker 3 (15:33):
So what I think a great thing to understand is basically,
for every degree that you move your hands forward, you're
removing a degree.

Speaker 1 (15:40):
Of bounce off the soul. Okay, makes sense.

Speaker 3 (15:42):
So if you're playing your web shots kind of middle
to back in your stants to effectively make contact with
the golf ball, you have to deal off the club
to get it in the right spot. So as you're
doing that, you need to have more security on the
bottom of that golf club. So the W has the
highest bounce angle, it's got a lot of wet and
it's also got a lot of camber. So camber is

(16:04):
basically the curvature from the lead edge to the bottom
of the club. So there's a lot of volume of
soul kind of below that lead edge that prevents it
from getting really deep into the turf.

Speaker 1 (16:14):
So, I mean, Marty, this is a lot of information.
I mean, you're talking about grinds and it can get
pretty it can get pretty in depth obviously. I mean
the explanations are awesome. I mean they can get pretty Golfye.
What I find amazing about paying and what you guys
have done is you've tried to simplify this information, not
in terms of like sending out a press release or
trying to you know, get like talking points, literally doing

(16:36):
it with technology, and I mean there's an app now
that's out that that everyday golfers can use to try
to understand what grind and what wedge is going to
make the most sense for them.

Speaker 2 (16:46):
Yeah, it's awesome. This app we made, Shane is to
take you know, we expanded our number of grinds so
to a lot of golfers. They're already paralyzed by understanding grinds.
What is bounce? What is angle? You guys have all
these acronyms for your grinds. Which one should be for me?
So we tried to solve that. So you answer a
series of questions and these questions are basically not joking.

(17:09):
They're kind of like decoding how Jacob works with our.

Speaker 1 (17:12):
Tour agree with you.

Speaker 2 (17:13):
So we took the process flow that Jacob used with
our tour players and then the everyday golfer walk them
through their technique. Jacob talked about do you play the
ball back to play the ball forward? If you play
the ball back, you're most likely to have more handle lean.
As you lean, the handles get shaffling, you're gonna take
bounce off. You'll probably be better towards our w grind,

(17:34):
maybe our B grind, things of that nature. So this
app you just answer a series of questions. Super not
a lot of questions. This is a three minute ordeal
yeah yeah, two where our promises two minutes are less.
Maybe two minutes or less. You answer those questions and
it'll give you the top two options. It'll give you

(17:54):
one that'll probably going to work better, and then a
secondary option. The ideal state is go through that app,
get down to these final two and go do a
little evaluation between those two. And Shane, the cool part
is not only does it give you grind recommendation, so
all the stuff Jacob just talked about and remembering what
T and S and W and HR you can forget

(18:15):
about that. Just go through the app. It'll tell you. Well,
it'll also give a recommendation for your gapping, because that's
also a major problem we see with a lot of
golfers is how do you if your highest loft of
wedge is sixty or fifty eight, how do you spread
the right numbers to hit your gaps between that and
your highest loft of wedge?

Speaker 1 (18:34):
Marty. Gapping is something we've talked a lot about on
this podcast over the last year. And I'm not sure
if there's a right answer for this, but I'm interested
in what you both think on this is would you
rather have tighter gaps in terms of shorter distance and
have larger gaps or maybe have your gap issue being
in longer clubs or vice versa, Because the way I

(18:55):
think about golf now, it doesn't necessarily don't have it
the ball three hundred yards to hit a lot of
wedges on a golf course, and when you have a
fifteen or twenty yard gap in that one ten to
one fifty range, you're gonna have a lot of those
golf shots on the golf course. It feels like that's
the place you want to be the most locked up
in terms of gappy.

Speaker 2 (19:11):
Yeah, we've done We've run some really cool analysis on this.
Jacob's worked on this on some of the iron projects
that he's done is looking at where players are on
the golf course. So with our data partnership, with our cost,
we can actually go out and say, okay, eighteen handicappers,
twelve handicappers, scratch golfers, what is their kind of probability

(19:32):
distribution of where they hitting a lot of shots on
the course in the peak for everybody starts around that
one twenty range and peaks out around one forty five.
Then it starts a level out around one sixty one
sixty five. So the answer to your question is yes,
pitching wedge nine iron gap wedge is where you want
to make sure you don't have an enormous game gap

(19:53):
because you're gonna have a lot of those shots and
they're very important for scoring. That's that range where you
can stuff it in there and make a birdy one
in a while.

Speaker 3 (20:00):
Yeah, I think kind of speaking to that gapping and
working with tour players, especially like in that transition from
their iron set into their wedges. I remember very clearly
working with the player a couple of years ago, and
it's Wednesday morning before the tournament starts, and just getting
numbers confirmed on track man before we get going, and
going through pitching wedge. Pitching wedge is going let's say

(20:21):
one forty two, the fifty degree is going one twenty nine,
and then the fifty four degree is going like one
to twelve, and they're like, this isn't acceptable. So it's
down to the level of like, okay, we need to
bend this a half degree strong. So we can get
another two yards out of it. So those players on
a week to week basis that are playing for their livelihood,

(20:44):
they understand how important it is, especially in that section
of their set, to have that high level of precision,
because a lot of them kind of work off the
systems of Okay, I know, my full goes this number
for this club, and then they have a three quarter
and a half shot or whatever percentage of and they
have those numbers exactly dialed, and they have a system
formulated to where they have every yardage covered from let's

(21:07):
say sixty five to one hundred and thirty five yards.
So just seeing that that level of precision that they require,
I think it highlights the importance of the gapping app,
especially kind of how it's linked in with the new
Fine My Grind wedge app and our recommendations when you
get into that portion of the set. And we've also
added a new wedge in that space too, So typically

(21:29):
we'd go from a forty six to a fifty degree,
but based on the demands of some of our consumers
and how iron sets have changed over time, we decided
to add a forty eight degree, so that could be
a new gap weedge for somebody. I mean, I remember
growing up, everybody's gap wedge was a fifty two degree.
You always went fifty two to fifty six sixty. And
that's even probably new school for a lot of people listening.

(21:51):
But then, like when I started at Ping, it was
everybody was fifty to fifty four to fifty eight, Like
it's everything's moved that way. So I think kind of
the new wave is kind of here where in order
for somebody to properly gap into their iron set, a
forty eight degree option might be the best one for them.

Speaker 1 (22:05):
Do most tour players play four wedges? And when I
say four wedges, I'm saying kind of not the wedge
out of their set, but four actual wedges wedges. Yeah,
there's a pretty good mix where you have I don't
know the percentages off the top of my head, I
can definitely think of a handful of guys that would
play that specialty forty six degree wedge that we have
right now, because because Marty you play, you play the blueprint.

Speaker 2 (22:29):
Wedge, right yeah.

Speaker 1 (22:30):
Yeah, And I find it so interesting that there are
there's such kind of a I don't want to say debate, yeah,
but I mean it's really what you prefer. I remember
the first time I put a pitching wedge in the
bag that was like from the wedge set and not
from the I guess iron set if you will, it was.
It was life changing for me because I felt like
I could do a lot more with it around the
greens than I could previously.

Speaker 2 (22:50):
Yeah. Yeah, when we talked to Joaquin, I think he
was the same way as like, oh, when I hit
my wedge, I just wanted to be like, have the
psychology of his Yeah, totally didn't like your specialty, Jacob.
Let's talk about about some of our tour players and
some of the new grinds. Who's been a good matchup.
I mean, you've worked hands on with a lot of

(23:11):
our players, doing a lot of testing, evaluation on course
at facilities, at PG tour events, and a couple of
the new grinds, the B and the H grind are
kind of catered towards a few spots in terms of
performance we are missing there. So can you give a
few examples there?

Speaker 3 (23:27):
Yeah, I think looking at when we just added the
new Grinds to the line, definitely trying to just solve
a problem that we have, whether it's out on the
truck of it. We want to be able to pull
a wedge straight out of the drawer and it be
built for the player. Most of them have some slight
refinements to theirs, but we want to have great starting points,

(23:50):
so by adding the h grind in particular, one of
the areas that we saw a lot of opportunity was
for the player that might play in kind of softer
or even more grain year turf. So think of a
guys at play in Florida Sea Island, et cetera. They
were kind of struggling where they're like, Oh, I really
like to have this tea grind and open up the face,

(24:11):
but then I get into these heavy Florida bunkers and
it's hard to get enough speed on it.

Speaker 1 (24:16):
So we would we were.

Speaker 3 (24:17):
Doing the half Moon grinds pretty frequently for these players,
and the more and more we've tested the H grind,
I worked with players at Quayle Hollow earlier this year
to do some testing get initial feedback. That was like
the first immediate bit that jumped out. I remember was
working with Tyrrell Hatton and we had hit some little
chips around the grains, got some good feedback and for him,

(24:38):
like bunker shots are really important with his lob wedge,
and we get in the bunker and he gets in there,
hit opens it up. He's getting settled in, hits this
perfect thump one hot and.

Speaker 1 (24:52):
He turns around. He goes, we've got it. There you go,
and so it takes one.

Speaker 3 (24:56):
Yeah, exactly, so that one is almost there. Just to
soft a problem. Like I said of softer sand players
want to open the face. He still manipulates face a
lot around the green, so that versatility allows him to
do that. And I think the bee Grind's gonna work
really well with a lot of our LPGA tour staff.
So one of the most common things that we do
out there is taking their iron sets and taking a

(25:18):
little bounce off the soul. It helps them get into
the turf a little bit more so they can generate
more height. And we see a lot of similar things
that they do in their wedge shut up because their
techniques are usually pretty shallow, a little more neutral in
their delivery. So with that new bee grind, they're gonna
be able to hit a lot of their shots around
the green, generate more height and spin, and get that
nice feedback off the turf and they still have that

(25:40):
forgiveness through the width of the soul, where in the
past they might have struggled to find a great option
for them. So excited to take that out to them
here in the next couple weeks.

Speaker 1 (25:47):
How about Sawhith because I know he's kind of got
free can I don't want to say all the shots,
but probably has all the shots. Oh, it's unbelievable.

Speaker 3 (25:55):
Working with him is so much fun because one, he's
a guy that in practice he will try these absolutely
absurd shots, but you look and you go watch him
play a tournament and it's like, oh my gosh, he's
pulling these shots off in the tournament. I remember working
with him earlier this year out of Bayhill and earlier

(26:17):
at the Phoenix Open too, and just watching the variety
of shots that he hits where he's got the face
like pointing backwards by set up, swinging ten degrees left,
and it's all over the place, hitting these just crazy
high spinners, low hookers. He'll flip it over, hit it
cross handed, so much variety. And I remember watching him
at Players and I can't is it eight, that's the

(26:39):
par five, nine, the par five and he was on
one of those big mounds short right of the green brutal.

Speaker 1 (26:46):
I mean, nobody gets that up and down.

Speaker 3 (26:47):
Yeah, And I think the pen was like front left
and he's on this down slope and I'm still like
sitting there watching on the TV and I'm like, oh
my gosh, what's he gonna do? And he's leaning with
the slope and he takes this quick at it and
like snaps it back up like a whip. It takes
one bounce and just skids right next to the pen.
I was like, only this guy can pull that shot off.

(27:08):
But then not only to like actually be able to
pull it off, to think, like, you know what, I
can pull it off right in tournament play too, so to.

Speaker 1 (27:14):
Have the shot in your brain to step into that
shot and try it. Yeah.

Speaker 3 (27:17):
So he's He's one that's so fun to evaluate wedges
with because he's looking for something that he can do
absolutely everything with and he hits a sixty everywhere.

Speaker 1 (27:26):
Do you guys lean into that? I mean, if you
have somebody like sawhith On, you know that's an ambassador
and the staff member and does so well with ping,
do you guys lean into that and say, hey, can
you try this grind or can you hit these types
of shots or what would you like to see that
you think would benefit you with X, Y and Z.

Speaker 3 (27:42):
Yeah, that's that's something that our staff is really great
at of. Even if they have something that they love
and has been working really well for them, they're always
very receptive to try something because at the end of
the day, all of them are trying to get better.
Always like, so, what Marty would you guys were talking
about early with Marty, it's it's designing clubs too and
prove everybody who's overall game, but it improves your game

(28:02):
as well.

Speaker 2 (28:03):
Yeah, Jacob, compare and contrast a couple of players on
our staff that have very different techniques like maybe somebody steeper,
somebody shallower, somebody ball for somebody a little you know,
maybe pick up a little turf, a little you know,
ground impact before they hit the ball.

Speaker 3 (28:18):
Yeah, so I think so we'd be remiss not to
talk about Victor right now. Yes, and the huge changes
that he's made to his technique in his short game
had a pretty good twenty twenty three. Yeah, it worked
out right for him. So Victor and a lot of
his changes has definitely switched more to being very steep
with his attack angle. But what's cool about Victor's technique

(28:39):
is the way he opens the face so much. Yes,
he leans the handle, but he's got the face so
open that he's able to still have bounce at the bottom.
He's he's definitely trying to get it more into the turf,
but as he's opening the face so much, he's adding
bounce to the golf club. Sure, he's leaning the shaft
to deloft it a little bit to hit his windows.
So he's kind of on one end of the spectrum

(28:59):
where if you look at most of his chip and
pitch shots, he kind of plays more ball forward in
his stance, leans it a bit more, gets his sternum
working forward, so he'd kind of be like in one camp,
and then on the other side of things, Harris English
is a good one where he'll play a little bit
of variety and ball position to alter his trajectory, and
he's worked well in the past with something that has

(29:20):
a little bit of width in the center. Victor tends
to gravitate more towards something that's a little bit narrower
up front, and with Victor's technique, he uses a narrower
soul that has a little bit more lead edge angle
and that works well with his technique as he's liking
to lean the handle little bit more forward, gets the
ball captured in the right spot on the face. But
Harris has responded really well to souls that have a
little bit more wit to him, not saying it's a

(29:41):
wider soul by any stretch, but a little bit wider,
a little bit flatter soul where his technique has worked
really well on some of those shots. So there's such
a huge array of techniques and that I think that's
one of the things I love the most about Wedges
is that you go watch PGA Tour, LPGA Tour players,
brand ambassadors, all the people within the pingdom, as we

(30:01):
like to say, so many vastly different techniques and to
be able to match up a soul grind that's going
to work the best for them to have the best
chance of success.

Speaker 2 (30:11):
Jacob, what advice do you have for the club golfer
out there. They're listened to this pod, they're losing spin,
they're questioning if they have the right gapping in the
right grind. What advice do you have for them when
they go out and start looking for wedges. Yeah, evaluating wedges.

Speaker 3 (30:27):
Sure, So I think the first thing that we've talked
about all the different grinds face friction, et cetera. But
when it comes down to getting a set of wedges
and getting fit for wedges and trying new wedges, all
we want to do is get the ball contact and
the correct location on the face. So with the different
soul grinds, it's going to match up with different technique.

(30:48):
So as you're hitting little chips and pitches around the greens,
we want to see ball contact somewhere around groove three
grow four on the face. So what that does in
that location it gives you a nice combination of height
and spin. If you get it lower on the face
than that, you can maybe generate a touch more spin,
But it comes off with a lot of ball speed.

(31:08):
It's a flat land angle. You're gonna have a big
first bounce and not really be able to stop it effectively.
It gets higher on the face and you're gonna lose friction,
the ball might slip a little bit, it's gonna be
pretty chaotic. So as you're hitting different shots after you've
gone through the wedge, app really pay attention to where
your ball impact is on the face, because that's going
to be a huge driver of performance. Another thing that

(31:30):
can't stress enough is play a premium golf ball. Using
a premium golf ball, it's going to be hard. Press
to spin it without one and clean your club face,
club face.

Speaker 1 (31:41):
Please.

Speaker 3 (31:43):
Grooves, groom every time, get it and roll out of
that well. I mean like, not everybody has a track
man or or device at their house, but if you're
ever around one, hit a couple of shots with a
dirty lob wedge.

Speaker 1 (31:55):
And see what the numbers are versus a clean one.
It is crazy. It's in life.

Speaker 3 (32:00):
Need to see it, yeah, for sure. And I think
too when you go approach a wedge fitting, and we
kind of cover this in our app is before you
go look at actual wedges, think about what you want
each one to do. So, I mean Marty personally, like
when he's working on his lob wedge, his sixty degree
or is it even.

Speaker 1 (32:18):
Sixty one one?

Speaker 3 (32:19):
Yeah, he's not optimizing that thing to hit ninety yarders
from the middle of the fairway. There's sure he might
have to pull off that shot from time to time.
If he's got a tucked pen over a bunker or whatever.
But the vast majority of those shots he's going to
hit with that club are going to be around the green.
So when Marty and I are working on when he's
getting a new lob wedge and we're hitting some different shots,

(32:39):
you put weight on the most important things to you
and then think about your next wedge in the set.
For most people they're fifty four fifty six, that's going
to be kind of more distance control focus as they're
getting out to the rest of their iron set, and
really pay attention to the gaps within that space as well.

Speaker 1 (32:56):
Marty, do you manipulate your shafts and your wedges. I'm
recently switched to that, and I'm doing softer shafts in
sixty and fifty six and then kind of the same
shafts I do in my iron. Said, do you do
that all? Yeah?

Speaker 2 (33:08):
So I play X one hundreds of my irons, and
I play s fours.

Speaker 1 (33:12):
I do the same thing.

Speaker 2 (33:13):
So just a little bit softer gives me a little
more feel. I feel like I could be a little
bit more artistic, not rush the tempo as much, you know,
apply the force, spike the force quite as much there,
but it still keeps the weight. I think the one
of the biggest things we've done in shafts is, you know,
make sure you have a good weight progression, not too
heavy and also not too light, right, I mean, I

(33:35):
think the weight and balance of the wedge is super important.

Speaker 1 (33:38):
Marty.

Speaker 3 (33:38):
Do you want to talk about what you do in
your labledge? That's a little bit special.

Speaker 2 (33:42):
Yeah. So my my lab edge, I kind of play
the uh uh anti or reverse of the single link set. Right,
So starting at my seven iron, my irons get instead
of a half inch longer per iron, they get three
quarters of an inch longer, so that my fore iron
is really kind of like three iron lengths, so to speak.

(34:04):
And we've kind of built that in. So I get
a little more club at speed, a little bit more
dynamic loft. With more ball speed, I get more peak
high generally a little bit more spin in my long iron,
so they go higher. Why do the opposite on the
wedges I get? I have my wedges, my fifty five
degree fifty six to fifty five a quarter inch short,
and then my lob wedge is a half inch short,

(34:25):
and I leave the headweight the same. So the swing
weight is quite light and so that lighter swingweight gives
the lob wedge a little less momentum, which is mass
time's velocity for the physics folks out there. And because
you have a less mass, then the ball comes off
with a little bit less velocity, so you can swing harder.
I think it's one of the things Joe Mayo said. Yep,

(34:49):
the good player can learn how to slow the ball
down around the greens and speed the ball up off
the tee. And so that's been one little tweak that's
really helped me. Payne Stewart used to do it for
light long wedge. Bubba Watson with his bill he's always
played a really light long budge as well.

Speaker 1 (35:05):
Jacob. One last thing on the new wedges, it's not
just the wedges we're talking about. You guys also manipulated
the grips a bit, is that right.

Speaker 3 (35:13):
Yeah, So looking at the wedges, it's not necessarily just
the head that we're working, right, We're looking at the
whole system. The golfer's going to interact with the grip.
And so one of the things with our dialo weedge
grip that we developed a couple of years ago is
it's three quarters of an inch longer than your standard
grip and it has a reduced taper rate. So what

(35:33):
that means is that as you get closer to the
bottom of the grip, the diameter of the grip in
your hands feels is pretty similar to what it does
up the top end of the grip where you're normally
holding it. And then also on the grip there's a
couple indicator three indicator marks at the bottom that give
you some reference points if you're choking down to hit
different shots. So that works really well for somebody who
kind of says, I want to make the same swing,

(35:55):
but I want it to go five and ten yards shorter.

Speaker 1 (35:58):
They I think they're one.

Speaker 3 (35:59):
Inch cremit's at the bottom, and you can have some
different yardages that you can work off simply by just
moving your hand further down the grip and you're gonna
have that consistent hand place.

Speaker 1 (36:07):
But it's a reference point, Marty. I mean, it's like
a simple thing for golfers to do. They can't spend
the you know, six hours on the driving range.

Speaker 2 (36:13):
Yeah, I mean, I Shane, I grew up playing the
ping Dialer grip which had the vertical lines, and I
remember specifically as a kid learning to hit a flop shot,
where I would turn the dial over and be like, Okay,
now I'm gonna the faces clock to open this amount
and I'm gonna hit my my flop shot right day one.

Speaker 1 (36:32):
So I mean, there's a reason you do this, Marty.
You get dialing.

Speaker 4 (36:36):
You now you got the modern day dialing grip. There
dial a weedge grip. Dial it up, Jacob. It's it's
fascinating to hear. Are you already working on the next
iteration of wedges already?

Speaker 1 (36:47):
Or oh yeah, time we're a few months in l
are you really? Goodness it stops?

Speaker 3 (36:52):
Do you get like a week off when the launch
happens and you know you're like, all right, you don't
have to think about wedges for a week or is.

Speaker 1 (36:58):
That just vacation.

Speaker 3 (36:59):
Uh, that's usually when I get to go out to
the golf course and hit weaves.

Speaker 2 (37:02):
Exactly. That's exactly.

Speaker 1 (37:04):
Well, we appreciate the inside Marty.

Speaker 2 (37:05):
Got anything else for him, No, I just appreciate everything
you've done in the wedge category, Jacob. And Uh, I'm
looking forward to having a lot of folks out there
check out if if they go through the app, do it,
do what Marty saying, I'm not joking. It's like getting
the start of your fitting from Jacob himself.

Speaker 1 (37:24):
Yes, twenty twelve to now senior design engineering intern for Marty. Anymore,
get out of here, Marty Jameson, thank you Jacob for
your time. This is the Pink Proving Grounds Podcast
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