What is Bounce in Golf?

“Can you explain to me in layman’s terms what the pros mean by ” bounce” on the wedge?” This is a great question from Clint, an avid reader of The Grateful Golfer. It is a question I have struggled with over the years, but I think I finally have a grip on the answer.

As defined by me in layman’s terms,

Bounce helps ensure solid contact between the club face and the ball by preventing the front bottom edge of the club head from digging into the ground.

This, of course is an overly simplified definition of bounce, however it explains the rationale behind bounce on a club. Bounce helps glide the front edge of the club face between the ball and the ground or in essence, the wedge bounces off the ground into the ball, thus creating crisp and clean contact.

After some research, I found that selecting the right bounce with your wedge is very important. The following is an overview of bounce and you can hit the links if you want a more detailed definition.

The following is a guide of relationship of bounce to a wedge from Golfsmith. It is not definitive, but illustrates the bounce associated on different clubs:

  • Lob Wedge – 0 to 10 degrees
  • Pitching Wedge – 2 to 5 degrees
  • Gap Wedge – 5 to 12 degrees
  • Sand Wedge – 10 to 16 degrees

Low Bounce – 0 to 8°

  • Ideal for shots from tight lies, wet sand and firm turf conditions
  • Perfect for players who have shallow attack angle through impact
  • Low bounce wedges are typically found in pitching and gap wedges
  • Used for longer approach shots
  • Good for lower handicap players looking to put spin on the ball

Medium Bounce – 8° to 14°

  • The best all-around for all types of conditions
  • Most versatile for most swings
  • Used by any handicap player

High Bounce – 14° to 18°

  • Designed for play out of soft turf and light sand
  • High bounce wedges do not mean higher lofts
  • High Bounce wedges are a good choice for players with a steep attack angle in their swing
  • More challenging to use
  • Designed for lower handicap players

For more detailed information, check out: Goldsmith Def of Bounce, Golfbidder Bounce Angle, Golfalot Wedge Buying Guide, and Goldsmith Degrees of Bounce on Golf Wedges.

For those who would prefer watching a video:

I never paid much attention to bounce over the years and as a result, I bought clubs that did not work for my game. Now that I understand bounce, I gravitate towards the low to medium bounce on my wedges; this decision factors in my swing and the general course conditions in my area.

For those interested what is in my bag:

  • Titleist Vokey Wedge – 52° Gap Wedge with 8° bounce
  • Titleist Vokey Wedge – 56° Sand Wedge with 11° bounce
  • Titleist Vokey Wedge – 60° Lob Wedge with 7° bounce

Bounce is important to improving your short game. Understanding which bounce works best for you game will help lower your scores. Thanks to Clint for the question, I hope this helps.

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

7 thoughts on “What is Bounce in Golf?

  1. Pingback: Golf Terms: Bounce | The Grateful Golfer

  2. This is a great piece , Thanks GG , also im loving the cover photo ” Torre ” ;-).
    I have no idea what my are how they react but i have a club thats perfect for the sand, one thats perfect from long grass and fescue and a range of clubs to get me home safely from 160 yards in… but i will carry out some further testing in March when the weather improves and i can get out and test a range of them.

    Thank You

    Liked by 1 person

      • Well i do play in our winter comps its just the pitching, wedging and bunker practice areas are GUR until mid March , it must be pointed out that we are in the middle of Winter here and its currently 14° which is a change from 4 days ago when it was just 1° .. very changeable but when its like this its nothing more than a very mild mid Autumn day so the Golf is nice.
        Unlike Canada obviously which i believe gets very very cold and occasionally quite snowy!!…a friend of mine plays in Wisconsin and he cant play at all between the end of Nov and the beginning of March.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I understand bounce and know how to make use of it. But I have no idea whether I use the right bounce for my swing or the conditions I normally play in because I have always bought my wedges off the shelf and they generally come fairly standard when you do that. But that is something I plan on changing this coming year.

    We have what we call club day once a year at a local course where all the manufacturers show up to let us try out the new stuff. I got my first fitted set of irons there years ago. This coming year, I want to get fitted for an entire new bag full of clubs. All of them. Irons, woods, wedges and putter.

    It will cost close to probably 2 grand to do that (if ‘m lucky), but if that helps knock another few strokes off the game and I finally get my par game it will be more than worth it. And at my age, it will probably be my last set anyway. After all the work I’ve done getting to an 8 handicap while playing 12 year old clubs, I think I deserve it too.

    Liked by 1 person

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