Often we find ourselves being fitted for new irons, new spikes, a new expensive driver, and certainly a putter that best fits our stroke, but the simple fact is that amateur golfers rarely fit themselves for custom wedges that are appropriate for their skill level – and I was one of them, until I discovered Hopkins Golf.
Chances are you’ve already heard of Hopkins Golf – their commercials air consistently during PGA TOUR golf events. Their mission as a company is to provide golfers with tour authentic, custom-built equipment at factory direct prices. Normally, the supply chain of average golf gear goes through many stages before hitting retail stores or even your front door. In that process, many price mark-ups are added which causes us to pay the highest possible price, including shipping. At Hopkins, their products are manufactured in-house and shipped for free via UPS directly to you. With the middleman out of the picture, Hopkins allows us to fill our golf bags with tour-grade equipment at factory direct prices.
Building Your Clubs
Overall I found the website to be very user friendly and quite fun to operate. Building my 56 degree wedge was as easy as ordering a custom pizza with toppings from my local pizzeria. Let me take you through the simple 4-step process to ordering your custom made wedge.
Step 1: Choosing Your Finish
First you’re offered the option of what finish you would like on your wedge. Here you have chance to choose from tour raw (The Tour Raw CJ-1), satin chrome (The Satin Chrome CJ-1), or black satin (The Black Satin CJ-1). Pick a finish that suits the type of look you’re going for in your bag. I chose the sleek satin chrome…
Step 2a: Choosing Your Set
Next, you’ll choose how many wedges to order. You can simply order one to replace an outdated or lost wedge, or build your entire new set. I chose just a single wedge to review (56 degree) and will share more about my playing performance with the product in a moment.
Step 2b: Adjusting to Your Location
This caught me off guard because so often we are so concerned about loft and weight that we never bounce and grind into account. In this step of the build process Hopkins wants to know in what part of the country you play most of your golf, to determine the proper level of grind to fit the local terrain. Playing most of my golf in the Tri-State region, Hopkins recommended I select a Full Sole wedge.
Step 3: Adding Final Specs
The final step of the two minute ordering process is completed once you select your style of grip, shaft, loft, and any other add-ons you wish to include (personalization, ferrule, gift wrap, etc.). The wedges all come standard with Lamkin grips – I choose a red mid-sized grip with a KBS Tour S Flex Steel shaft. Keep in mind that piling on any extras will start adding up and your $99 dollar wedge can jump in cost fast. You can however keep it simple and maintain the $99 dollar price from top to bottom without any added features.
Personalization also adds some cool features you can show off to your buddies. We suggest asking a professional at your local shop about some of the features of a custom wedge that you’re unfamiliar with before ordering the wedge online. This will also allow you to get a feel for some grips and shafts beforehand too.
Step 4: Ordering
After I built my new wedge, I was taken to a checkout page that summarized my order. Here I was able to confirm every spec to make sure exactly what I built is what I will be receiving in the mail. Once I completed my order review, I simply checked out and waited patiently by the front door for the UPS truck to show up. For $125 I built a custom, personalized, 56 degree wedge, that not only looks cool in the bag, but has given me the missing piece I needed for my short game…more spin!
The club feels a bit heavier than my previous ‘no-name’ wedge and I enjoy having that extra weight behind my approach shots. Overall the Hopkins wedges feel extremely durable, heavy, and long-lasting, as I can easily see myself playing with this wedge for years to come. The grips are fantastic and the bounce of the wedge off the turf is like nothing I have ever used before from 120 yards in. In fact, the first shot on the course with the new Hopkins wedge was remarkably perfect:
Of course you’ll find brand named wedges online and in stores that range from $79.99 (older models) to $130 (Vokey by Titleist). These wedges may or may not be built for your specific game and these prices certainly do not come with the specific custom components like the ones I’ve selected on my Hopkins Wedge. You may be fine picking up an $80 Cleveland wedge from Golfsmith, but keep in mind you’d buying a stock wedge built for the rack and not for you.
So far I have enjoyed using my new Hopkins custom wedge and it’s added some short game consistency that I have been lacking in my game. During my most recent round, I’ve certainly noticed more consistent flight paths and back spin. Being able to pull the approach shot back and resulting in a more ‘below the cup’ putts will certainly help shave a few strokes off the scorecard. I’m excited to have this club in my bag this season and I recommend you check out their website. I am not affiliated in anyway with Hopkins Golf and by doing this review I’m simply sharing my feedback of shopping, ordering and playing with the increasingly popular Hopkins Golf wedge.