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Edel Golf wedges and putters: In pursuit of a noble short game

Kiel ChristiansonBy Kiel Christianson,
Senior Writer
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Edel Golf can custom-etch wedges in almost any way imaginable. This is the basic version. (Courtesy of Edel Golf)

One of the most eye-catching introductions at the 2013 PGA Merchandise Show was the Faldo line of irons produced by Edel Golf.

The quality of these irons was immediately apparent from the look, feel and price tag -- one would expect nothing less from clubs carrying the name of Sir Nick.

But Edel (which means "noble" in German) is more than the Faldo line. The manufacturer's wedges and putters, all of which can be custom-fit either online or in person, are second to none in the business. If anything, the options that Edel offers for wedge fitting online are too extensive for the average player, who might not know how, exactly, they can best use the specialized weapons in Edel's arsenal.

Edel Golf's E-Series putters ($295) are "torque balanced," meaning that the toe is lighter than the heel. Edel contends that this weighting scheme aids players in returning the face to square at impact. The wedges and putters are so handsomely crafted that they look and feel like fine art or precision engineering instruments, rather than golf clubs.

How Edel Golf plays

The Edel Golf online wedge-fitting center is almost overwhelming with the range of grinds, lofts, grips, custom etching and paint colors. The grinds themselves might befuddle the uninitiated: sweeper, picker, nipper narrow, nipper wide, pincher, trapper, driver, and digger. If you don't hit your wedges all that consistently to begin with, you may not even know what category you fall into. If not, then, finding a local professional fitter will be your best bet.

If you do know your game well enough, however, the website is perhaps the best I've ever seen. The lofts range from 48-64 degrees. The lofts can be written stylized, numerically, or customized. There are five monogram options (some at extra cost) and a dozen paint fill colors for both the lofts and monograms. The lies go in 3 degrees in both directions, and grips range from undersized to several oversized diameters. And don't get me started on the cornucopia of shafts and lengths that are available.

I designed my own 60-degree and 52-degree wedges ($195 each). For the former, I chose the nipper narrow grind, standard lie, KBS-Hi-Rev shaft and a +1/32 grip. For the latter, I ordered the picker grind, with the same shaft and grip, and both with customized monograms in orange and blue (Go Illini!).

The nipper narrow grind of the 60-degree wedge, with a bit of a low-profile heel, allowed me to slip the clubhead under the ball even on somewhat tight lies -- including behind the 16th green on my home course, where I flopped a ball to the downhill green to within a foot from the hole to win a crucial point in my regular weekend match.

The 52-degree wedge immediately became my go-to pitching club from around the green. Even when I deloft it for bump-and-runs, the grooves and texture of the face produce enough spin to allow me to take an aggressive swing.

And the fun monogram -- my initials scattered around the back of the clubhead -- will ensure that no one will mistake these wedges for their own.

As for the putter, I chose the E-Series 3 putter, which I ordered in the 365-gram weight with a 12-gram weight port and double-bend shaft. The Pixl insert, which looks very cool and feels buttery, or milky -- or buttermilky -- soft, delivers perhaps the most precise feedback I've ever felt on a putter. Every stroke I took, I could feel immediately whether I'd hit the ball on the sweet spot or not. This feedback was, if anything, too precise -- sometimes I'd hit a putt and immediately think the worst, even when the putt ended up going in.

The double-bend shaft seemed to work best with the ball off with my left toe and a bit of a forward press. In this stance, the ball popped off the Pixl insert so smoothly and so true, I knew that any misses were totally due to the stroke, rather than to the putter.

Edel Golf: The verdict

If you're not in love with big-name equipment, and if you know what club specs fit your short game, Edel Golf will add an air of nobility to your short game. This is top-shelf quality here -- Faldo wouldn't hitch his wagon to anything less that the best. And although you can find less expensive clubs, you will not find better performing ones. Edel could use a wider array of putter options, but I'm sure those will come eventually, as Edel's kingdom expands.

For more information, visit edelgolf.com.

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Kiel Christianson has lived, worked, traveled and golfed extensively on three continents. As senior writer and equipment editor for WorldGolf.com, he has reviewed courses, resorts, and golf academies from California to Ireland, including his home course, Lake of the Woods G.C. in Mahomet, Illinois. Read his golf blog here.

 
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