PRODUCT REVIEW

Make Room for the
KZG Forged Wedges

By Kiel T. Christianson,
Senior Writer

LANSING, MI (Sept. 8, 2002) -- Scot Baran, owner and proprietor of Swingin’ Round Again golf shop in Etobicoke, Ontario, and resident walking encyclopedia of golf equipment knowledge, doesn’t mince words when it comes to the quality of many new clubs on the market. Or should we say, lack of quality.

“If I pulled apart one of the new [major equipment manufacturer] drivers and showed you how it is made,” says Baran, “you’d puke. They’re absolute crap.”

So when Baran speaks highly of a company and its clubs, you tend to pay attention, because you know that it’s an honest compliment.

“It’s terrible to be a small equipment company these days,” laments Baran. “Nine times out of ten, they end up bankrupt. One small company that looks like they’ll make it is KZG. They’ve done everything right. And their equipment is all solid, from top to bottom.”

This season, KZG – or KZ Golf – which has built its name on driver technology, introduced a new line of forged wedges. And once again, the small company that could, has come up with a winner.

KZG’s forged wedge system comprises three wedges of 52, 56, and 60 degrees – or, a gap, sand, and lob wedge. The clubs are hand crafted from very soft S20C steel, and are finished in a high-polish nickel chrome or in a raw finish that will rust over time.

Field Testing

I put a set of KZG’s forged wedges in my bag earlier this summer to test them out, which was a big step for me because I loved my old wedges, especially my sand wedge. Replacing a putter is one thing, but for most golfers, replacing a sand wedge is like replacing your old recliner: nothing seems to feel quite as comfortable.

Moving from old, rather worn cast wedges to new forged ones produced noticeable effects at once. For one thing, the traditional scoreline spacing of the grooves imparted dramatically more spin on the ball: shots flew higher, but not quite as far as with my old cast wedges.

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However, once I figured out where the wedges fit into my arsenal – especially the gap wedge, which ended up replacing my pitching wedge – there was no mistaking the increased feel and control produced by the soft forged steel. If you hit a good shot, you feel it immediately. And if you hit a bad shot, you know that, too.

The only downside to forged clubs is this very softness: I already have one gouge in the sole of the new sand wedge, thanks to an evil little pebble lurking in the depths of a shadowy sand trap.

The verdict is that Scot Baran was right as usual: KZG doesn’t make a bad club. These new wedges are silky smooth and considerably less pricey than those by certain big-name, crap-peddling competitors.

And like all KZG clubs, they are guaranteed not to make you puke.

KZG Forged Wedge Specs

MSRP: $259/set of three, or $89/each
52-degree (GW): 53.5-degree lie, 297 grams, 4-degree bounce
56-degree (SW): 64-degree lie, 300 grams, 11-degree bounce
60-degree (LW): 65-degree lie, 305 grams, 3-degree bounce
54 and 58 degree models coming in 2003
Available shafts: KZG Control Plus, TT Dynamic Gold, Royal Precision Rifle

More information: www.kzgolf.com or phone 800-200-8800

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