Bounce-What is it and why?

March 27th, 2009 by John Graham Leave a reply »
Bounce is the name given to a condition about, most commonly, the sand wedge when the trailing edge is lower than the leading edge. (See picture below.) The bounce of a sand wedge is there to help prevent the club from digging when we don’t want it to. Is was originally designed for use out of the sand. When we rotate the face of our sand wedge open and swing it into the sand, the bounce will help keep the club near the surface of the sand. This allows the sand to travel faster thus helping the ball get out of the sand easier. Bounce can also be helpful in preventing fat shots when a person chips or pitches and when the turf is wet/soft.

As with anything, there is a time and place when bounce is helpful and when it is not. If you are hitting off very firm turf or shallow sand, the bounce can keep the leading edge too high off the ground/sand causing a skull or extremely thin shot that goes way too far. You have to be very careful when assesing the lie of the ball. If there is not very much air under the ball, either on turf or in the sand, you want to use a club with very little bounce. How do we know if there is air under the ball in the bunker? When we dig our feet in the sand, we will feel how much sand we are dealing with. The more you sink the more air under the ball.

Nowadays, most good sand wedges will say how much bounce they have. If your wedge is a little older or less expensive it may not say on there. When you look at the bottom of the wedge at eye level, you’ll get an idea of what you are dealing with.

How do you know how much is right for you? Well, it depends. I’ll go into that in another blog.

Bounce on Sandwedge

Bounce on Sandwedge

How Bounce is Measured

How Bounce is Measured



  1. Bob Rice says:

    I appreciate your blogs on sand wedges and bounce. Most of the Rochester area “sand” is hard and not loose. While you address these prevailing bunker conditions in “air under the ball,” perhaps it would be helpful for “duffers” to deal directly with firm sand conditions, i.e., VH-N contrasted with soft sand conditions, i.e., Webster East, Mill Creek and Eagle Vale. Glad you refered me to your website for continued learning.

  2. John Graham says:


    For firm sand: square stance, keep the face square and try to dig with the leading edge as you enter the sand. It depends on how firm the sand is for where you enter. The firmer the sand the closer to the ball you enter and the more dig. The ball will tend to come out a little faster so swing won’t have to as big as normal for the distance carried.

    Soft sand conditions: open stance, open face and try to enter the sand with the bounce. The bounce will be used to keep the leading edge from digging in. Bigger swing needed to get club through the sand.

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