Off road golf anyone?

TaylorMade ATV Wedge

Sports and Outdoors : Sports By Photo by TaylorMade

The average golfer often takes a, shall we say, labyrinthine route to the hole. Though at the end of the round a par is a par no matter how adventurous, it does highlight the importance of having solid short game tools at your disposal. Case in point, the new TaylorMade ATV Wedge ($120).

Our review continues after the jump.

The biggest problem with wedge shopping is selecting what bounce you want. Now if you’re asking yourself what the hell bounce is, don’t worry, no one does. But that doesn’t change its importance to your short game.

Essentially, bounce refers to the angle between the ground and the sole of a club at address. Depending on the shot you need to hit, that tiny fraction of space right can make or break the result. What TaylorMade has done here is do us the favor of removing bounce from the discussion altogether. Thank you very much Mr. Engineer.

The result is one wedge that can now brilliantly handle a host of shot options.

What was once a cambered (or rounded) sole has been transformed to accommodate multi-surface interactions, meaning the sole sits differently depending on the ground, your hand position and how much you’ve opened or closed the face. To do this the sole has been shaped with three very distinct sides, as well as integrating a concave channel down the center section. The result is one wedge that can now brilliantly handle a host of shot options. The only choice left is what lofts to fill your bag with.

Spin from the ATV Wedge is a huge leap forward from the prior xFT model. In fact, TaylorMade claims that their new grooves create almost as much spin as the outlawed Z-groove. Which is saying something. To help bolster backspin, a micro-texture was added between grooves for a rougher, better grip surface.

We spent a few days with the TaylorMade team testing the ATV wedges at Bandon Dunes and came away with a resounding positive experience. For each shot we faced, and trust us when we say we were all over the course looking for trouble spots, the ATV wedge was prepared for the challenge. From the deep rough gouge, to long bunker shot and even my new favorite, the delicate toe-flop from a tight lie (always good for a cheer), the ATV came through in spades.

Buy Now: $120