We see it on television every weekend on Tour. Guys zipping the ball back on the green from 125 yards out like it’s on a string.
And if you’re like me, you’ve been trying to replicate that since you first started playing the game. And maybe some of you can do it.
But, for the majority of us, we don’t have the skill, swing speed, or equipment to even be able to bounce and stop a ball, let alone put enough RPMs on one to actually back it up.
Enter the guys at Indi Golf.
They’re really no different than you and me. Guys that just want to go out on the weekend and enjoy themselves on a golf course.
Well, there’s one difference. They actually decided to design a wedge to make it easier for us weekend warriors to replicate what the Pros can do on the golf course.
And it’s been nothing short of life changing.
The first thing I did with my new Indi wedges is took them to a simulator to get some numbers. I’d been using a 52 Vokey and a 56 Nike wedge for a few years now and I was really interested to see what the difference would be.
Here’s what I got.
|52° Indi Golf Stingray||8600-9300|
|56° Indi Golf Stingray||9500|
All this while sacrificing nothing in terms of club performance. The ball speed and carry and total distances remained exactly the same.
But look at those RPMs! That’s amazing!
Now, before we get too excited. There is a caveat. The Indi Golf Stingrays are classified as non-conforming clubs. So you wouldn’t be able to use them in competitive or tournament play. However, Indi Golf has just released a conforming version of their wedges called the Stingray TT. Which we’ll get to soon enough. We’ll also talk about how the Stingrays can be used as a type of training device, too.
That being said, there are a lot of us who never have, and likely never will, play in any kind of USGA-sanctioned event. Which means we’re free to play with these bad boys.
And have I ever played with them.
Once I saw the numbers, I could not wait to get them out on the course and see how they would play in the real world. They did not disappoint.
Seeing that first wedge shot spin back on a green is something I can’t really describe. It’s so fun. And my playing partner couldn’t believe it, either. The only reaction he gave was an incredulous and audible, “shut up!,” as he watched it zip backwards about six feet..
And then we both just laughed and shook our heads.
The next real life test came in the form of a 50-yard chip shot from just off the fairway. At this point, any time I pulled one of the Indi wedges out of the bag, my buddy was stopping to watch.
The chip shot came out with a lower than expected trajectory, but that’s also part of the design of the club itself, hit the green, bounced once, and stopped. This was out of the rough.
The natural question to all of this is “HOW?”.
How do these clubs generate so much spin?
Looking at the face of these clubs tells you a lot. Something is definitely different.
Indi Golf calls it TractionFace. The entire face of the club has what are called box grooves. Those grooves are what grab the ball and increase the spin.
On the back side of the club they have what’s called ScoopBack technology. This helps with off-center hits, including when you hit that occasional thin shot. With which I have quite a bit of experience.
You know that moment right when you thin a wedge and you’re convinced it’s going to fly the green by twenty yards? Yeah, that doesn’t happen as often with these clubs. I’ve thinned a shot with one of these, thinking that the ball is gone, only to have it land and stick on the back of the green.
Anyways, all of this combined creates that slightly lower trajectory off the club face with a higher spin. It’s magical.
But as I mentioned before, these wedges are non-conforming, so you can’t use them legally in competitive play. But these wedges also offer another benefit. Training and confidence.
When I spoke to Rob Lang, General Manager of Indi Golf, he talked about how you could also use these wedges to learn more about how, when, and where to use your wedges. As well as how to hit them in certain instances. And how all of this would build confidence into your wedge play and short game.
So after working out the StingRays, I moved back to my Nike and Vokey wedges to see if I would play them any better. And Rob was absolutely right. Now, I still didn’t get the spin I got from the Indi wedges. But I did get better spin than before and I did play with far more confidence in my shot making with my wedges. It was pretty impressive.
I think what the Indi wedges ultimately do from a training and confidence perspective is they allow for you to make mistakes because of the forgiveness and spin. But, as a golfer, you know when you’ve made a mistake with a wedge. Whether it be too big of a swing or just a simple miss-hit. You always know. So you learn from that. And as you learn from those mistakes, you get better. So, eventually, you can move back to a conforming wedge and play the same shots you did with the Indi wedge.
As well as the Indi Golf wedges have performed, they weren’t satisfied with offering only the non-conforming clubs. They have recently released a conforming version of their wedges called the Sting Ray TTs.
Again, not the same amount of spin as the original Sting Rays. But the TTs are just as forgiving and still have a real healthy number of RPMs off the club face. I still get the bounce and stop out of the rough, which is great. And I can still get the ball to back-up but it’s more around four feet or so rather than the more dramatic zip from the Sting Rays.
Overall, I would put the wedges Indi Golf is manufacturing up against any other manufacturer. These aren’t cheap knock-offs. There has been thought put into the design and they are using high quality materials to create the wedges.
And, if nothing else, it’s just fun to spin it like the pros.
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