If you like clubs that favour function over form, or if you were a devotee of the Eye 2 wedges, you are going to love these …
TESTED BY: Jimmy Emanuel, Golf Australia Writer (GA Handicap: 9.4).
MODEL PLAYED: PM Grind 19 (58˚-12˚), fitted with KBS Hi-Rev 2.0 115 steel shaft.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS: The shape of the PM Grind 19 is similar to its predecessor but juiced up in every way. The head is bigger, there is visually more offset
and the grooves have been enhanced, all to deliver a very versatile, albeit slightly odd-looking wedge.
Straight away I wanted to open the clubface way up and hit some Phil Mickelson-like flops, and the PM Grind didn’t disappoint. But once I got past my junior-golfer-style testing, the club really impressed on every greenside shot, and surprisingly with its forgiveness.
HOW IT PERFORMED: Despite a short familiarisation period with the wedge in early testing, where I had to become comfortable with the look and sheer size of the head, I was quickly impressed as I settled in at the chipping green for a few hours.
A lob wedge for me needs to be very adept at straightforward chips and pitches, and the PM Grind 19 was outstanding on theses shots.
Spin was very good but not out of the ordinary for a modern wedge, but the playability and predictability of the shots were really impressive. Despite the higher bounce than what I would typically opt for, the C Grind sits the leading edge close to the turf for tight lies, while the higher bounce is great on thicker lies and to add a little forgiveness for those of us whose nerves sometimes jangle when faced with a tricky shot to a tight pin.
After discovering the wedge could handle the simple shots, I started to experiment a little more and the versatility began to shine through. This wedge is made to be used with an open face as far as I am concerned. Little soft, floating chips were extremely easy and I don’t remember a bad mis-hit either on the practice green or on course during my testing.
“Flop shots were a great deal of fun, and fairly easy to produce, but it was the versatility of the wedge around the green that constantly struck me.”
Of course, the wedge is designed by Mickelson and that means flop shots. In this area there might not be a rival for the PM Grind. Higher ball flight, greater spin and ease of use were all improved on my own lob wedge.
From the bunker was the other area where the PM Grind really stood out for me. Standard bunker shots pulled up very quickly, while long bunker shots were seriously easy and could be hit anywhere on the completely grooved face and still spin. When hooded and smashed down into the sand, the wedge felt like it was made to extricate golf balls from plugged lies.
Once away from close proximity to the green the wedge wasn’t as impressive, but was consistent and didn’t disappoint by any means.
Overall, the wedge impressed me more than I anticipated. As expected, flop shots were a great deal of fun, and fairly easy to produce, but it was the versatility of the wedge around the green that constantly struck me. The forgiveness was another nice feature of the PM Grind 19. And although the one weak point – if there was one – came from longer range, I could easily overlook that and find a place for one of these wedges, capable of hitting seemingly any short game shot, in my bag.
FACTS AND FIGURES
SUITABILITY: Available in 54˚, 56˚, 58˚, 60˚ and 64˚ lofts, there is a PM Grind wedge for any player looking for one or two versatile greenside options, with two finishes also offered.
LEFT-HANDED: All five lofts are available in left-handed models.
CALLAWAY SAYS: The original PM Grind started as a one-off prototype built expressly for Mickelson. It was characterised by a uniquely shaped head with an exceptionally high toe and expansive face area, including grooves spanning the entire face, both from side-to-side and up-and-down.
Phil began working with Roger Cleveland on improvements to the PM Grind that make it easier to hit three essential shots Phil thinks every golfer needs: ‘The Knockdown’ – a low-flying, high-spinning shot ideal for attacking the pin, ‘The Hit & Check’ – a short pitch that bounces twice and stops and ‘The Phlop’ – the high-flying, steep-landing, fast-stopping greenside shot Phil made famous.
Phil conferred closely with Roger on the improvements necessary to help any player hit these three shots. The result is PM Grind 2019, featuring ‘Offset Groove-in-Groove’ technology, increased offset and a higher toe, as well as a refined C-Grind sole.
“Working with Phil on the PM grind wedges has been a fantastic experience,” Cleveland said. “His insights are always spot-on, and implementing them to create something innovative like the PM Grind 2019 is incredibly satisfying. This wedge is going to help a lot of players hit shots they couldn’t hit before.”
For more information, visit: www.callawaygolf.com.au