What Is Bounce
Bounce is a term that refers to the angle of a golf club's sole from leading edge (bottom of the club face) to trailing edge. If you hold an iron or wedge upside down with the head up and perfectly vertical you may notice that the leading edge is lower than the back edge. This is the bounce angle.
Purpose of Bounce
The reason that clubs have bounce is to allow for the head to exit the turf or sand easily. A club with limited bounce is referred to as a "digger." Diggers will create a larger divot and are used when playing in firm conditions. A club that has more bounce will be used in soft conditions, such as the sand.
Clubs with Bounce
Every iron or wedge has a measured degree of bounce. Manufacturers vary the bounce depending upon the target market for a particular set of irons. An example in a set is the Titleist AP2 irons: 3-iron has 0 degrees of bounce, 4-iron 1°, 5-iron 3°, 6-iron 4°, 7-iron 4°, 8-iron 5°, 9-iron 6°, pitching wedge 7°.
When referring to bounce, generally we are speaking about wedges; pitching, gap, sand or lob. The sand wedge will have the greatest amount of bounce with 10 to 16 degrees, lob wedges have less than 10 degrees and gap wedges may have anywhere from six to 10 degrees of bounce.
Fit Your Game
When deciding upon wedges to purchase, think about your game. If you take large, deep divots, a club with more bounce will help you. If you have trouble with tight lies, you may benefit from clubs with less bounce. Most manufacturers will identify the bounce of their wedge somewhere on the club head. A Titleist Vokey wedge may be called a 5808; that means it has 58 degrees of loft and 8 degrees of bounce.