Callaway Jaws Wedge (ULTIMATE REVIEW)
You guys might remember the sneak-peek we gave you back in September of the new Callaway Jaws Wedge. For the most part all you guys seemed to like the way they looked as far as we could tell from the comments and emails we received...so we thought you might like to see a in-depth review of the new Callaway wedge. For a few months we were hearing LOTS of rumors about how well these grooves were performing but we hear that about almost every new wedge so we never pay it much attention. But for some reason these were getting more then the typical hype you see from most new releases. And out of the 4 major brands we tested these wedges against head-to-head...the Callaway Jaws wedges topped them all...at least in the ball shreddin' category. I see why they got their name and why we were hearing more then usual about their grooves. These wedges were literally tearing the cover off our test balls.
This shredding ability comes from what they coined or actually Phil Mickelson termed the "MACK DADDY" grooves. Not a big fan of the name...I think that term was out about 10 years ago but Phil is kind of nerdy so maybe he is a little behind the times in his lingo. Although, I do see why he had the response he did to the R&D guys when he tested the prototypes. These wedges can do some major shreddin'. Even on chips just from around the fringe...this Jaws wedge was filling its grooves with the outer layer of every golf ball it came in contact with. So other then the ball shredding grooves what did we think about the wedge?
We decided the best way to test these wedges and those from here on out would be to test them head-to-head against other name brand wedges and ones that will compete against them in stores and across the web. We would do our own personal in-depth review and then break them down into the important wedge categories and give you our ranking. We wanted to test the wedges from where the majority of golfers really want to see results...and the areas that impact our short games the most:
- Full Wedge Shot
- Around Green
- Flop Shot
- Bunker Shot
Our first impression when addressing the ball compared to the other wedges is you instantly can feel that the Callaway Jaws wedge is much heavier feeling then the other wedges we were using to compare. Weighing in at around 485 grams...they were a whole 30 grams heavier then the lightest wedge and 5 grams heavier then its closest in weight. Swignweight wise they came in between a D-5 to a D-5.5 (56 & 60 degree). I think one of the reasons it might feel even heavier then it is could be because of the extra weight they have moved to the top of the blade to get a little bit of a higher CG (center of gravity). I also noticed more offset then in a typical teardrop shaped wedges...which surprised me. You typically see little to no offset when looking at a tour style wedge like the Callaway Jaws model.
Bounce rates are high although the C-Grind on the sole gives the wedge a much lower effective bounce when comparing to wedges with a similar bounce. The 2 finishes that are available were both very appealing. If you are a chrome or satin guy both of you will most likely be happy with their "Milky Chrome" model. This is a muted chrome that is a hybrid between a shiny high-polish and a satin finish. You will not have to worry about glare at all...which is nice. If black is your thing they have that option as well...their "Dark Vintage" finish has a nice look to cover the 1020 forged carbon steel heads. Love the way black heads look when they are new in the bag just hate that they all wear so quickly and this finish is no different. Just a personal thing.
For the full shot review portion we chose to hit the 52 and 56 Degree wedges...since these are typically the wedges you will use when hitting full wedge shots. These wedges are forged and I am almost positive this is the first time they had them forged in Japan which is known for making the best forgings in the world. Although compared to similar forgings I felt the Jaws wedges felt a little harsh. This might simply be because of the extra weight on the top line. The majority of tour styled wedges tend to carry more weight in the sole which creates a different feel during the downswing and through contact compared to the Jaws wedges. Wedges that have more weight in the sole seem to feel a little more effortless at the bottom of your swing due to the CG location.
Accuracy and distance on the Jaws wedges was typical of the other 3 I tested it against. Wedges are not really where you are looking to get distance and almost all reputable wedges nowadays are comparable in these 2 categories. But you are looking for a wedge that will give you confidence when you stand over the ball for a full wedge shot. You want to know that if you have a full shot with your 56 degree that you are not going to leave yourself another short chip to be on the dance floor. We performed 25 shots with each wedge at full distance and compared to the other 3 wedges in this category the Callaway Jaws wedges finished 3rd.
RANKING = 3rd out of 4 Wedges
This is one place the Jaws wedge performed well in our opinion. These damn grooves could put spin on the ball from any lie we put ourselves in around the green. No matter if we had a flyer or a buried bermuda lie this wedge performed well. The C-Grind helped out...since the sole of the Jaws forms a C-shape it gives relief on the heel and toe. To analogize it, it is similar to a boat hull which cuts through the waves. Since there is less surface of the sole making contact with the ground the wedge is allowed to cut through heavy lies that would otherwise catch the head making it more difficult to reach the ball squarely at impact.
We were having to clean our grooves after every 10-15 yard short chip from around the green...not because they were filled with dirt but because they were literally filled with golf ball cover. They have some serious bite even from just off the green. Getting spin was no problem...although I would prefer to have less offset on little chips like these. Overall in this category the Cllaway Jaws wedges finished tied for 2nd.
RANKING = Tied for 2nd out of 4 Wedges
For the flop shot we chose to do a flop over a bunker from about 20-25 yards where the pin was tucked this way we could see how this thing would perform in the toughest of conditions on the course.
Once again the C-Grind comes in handy...because it allows you to open up the face and lay it on the heel area that has relief. The Jaws performed well getting the ball to stop although consistency in the landing zone was not as consistent. Once again I feel this is due to the higher CG and the increased weight on the top line. Wedges that have more weight located in the sole I feel perform much better for flop shots. It gives me confidence that I will be able to get down to the ball and get it airborne quickly. The Jaws is a heavy head which is nice I just feel it is not distributed properly for this particular type of shot. In this category the Callaway Jaws wedge finished 3rd.
RANKING = 3rd out of 4 Wedges
The versatility of the grind helps out with bunker shots simply because you almost never get the same lie from a bunker. We also got some major spinners out of the bunker with this wedge. We were suckin them back from almost every lie we put the ball in...this helps in confidence tremendously simply because you feel like you can actually take a swing through the bunker and be safe. It reduces the dreaded deceleration that many have a problem with in the bunkers. Although I still feel like the higher CG effected the overall effectiveness of this wedge. Although it did finish 2nd out of the 4 wedges tested.
RANKING = Tied for 2nd out of 4 Wedges
Even though this wedge did not finish 1st in a category I still feel like many golfers will like this model. We put it up against 3 of the best wedges in the business and it performed very well. I think Callaway is headed in the right direction at least with their wedges. People can say what they want about cast vs. forged but a good forging does feel better when struck properly. Even though I think Vokey has a pretty good feeling cast wedge. So you will pay a little more for a forged wedge although once you play forged irons or wedges it is tough to go back unless it is a Vokey. For the Callaway die hards out there...this is definitely something to give a try.
- Nice finish (loved the milky chrome)
- Forging felt pretty good
- C-Grind is a very effective grind
- GREAT SPIN!
- Too much offset
- Not many loft and bounce options
- Little too heavy
- Did not like the higher CG
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|Callaway X-Series Jaws CC Slate Sand Wedge 56° Regular plus (5.5) LH #596|
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