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My search for the perfect vintage wedge ended last weekend at Strong’s Golf in Santa Rosa, California. Hiding in the $10.99 wedge bin was this classic beauty, the Walter Hagen Dual Wedge.  The wedge, along with the putter, is perhaps the most personal of clubs.  Grass type, course style, ball, season, and weather all play into the desired features of one’s wedges.  I learned the game on a nine hole par 3 course where every green was small and elevated like a tiny volcano.  As such,  I was forced to open the faces of my wedges and play high, soft pitches with clubface layback where the club hits the ball and turf at about the same time. These type of shots work best on firm turf and you need a moderate to high amount of bounce on the bottom of your club along with a softer front edge.

I really don’t know much about this wedge at all.  It has an old Rocket shaft with a red band which I assume is from the 50′s or early 60′s.  I assume it’s referred to as a “Dual Wedge” because at 53 degrees it could serve as both a gap wedge and sand wedge.  I had mine bent to 56 to work as a sand wedge and to use primarily around the greens at the TRGA events which caps lofts at 56 degrees.

There are many modern wedges that I’ve used with success but most of the classic wedges I’ve used have  a razor sharp front edge, no bounce at all, or a massive amount of bounce that makes playing from the fairway difficult.  Here’s what I like about this club:

  • Nicely rolled front edge to avoid digging.  The club won’t catch in the ground if you hit it a whisker fat.
  • Reasonable amount of bounce.  Enough to play the shots I described but not so much that it’s hard to hit a full shot from short fairway grass.
  • Extremely smooth through the sand.  Pops the ball out beautifully, owing partially to the overall weight and partially to swept edges of the design.
  • Old Rocket shaft is better than I expected on full shots.  My one gripe is that I don’t think it’s stiff…more like a firm but I rarely go after it with a sand wedge so I’m happy to swing smoother to accommodate the shaft.
  • No offset
  • Not overly large or small.

If anyone knows more about this model or has other vintage wedges to recommend, please let me know.  I’d love to get a another of these to set at 51 or 52 degrees.

9 Responses to “Classic Club Profile – Walter Hagen Dual Wedge”

  1. Avatar of Blade Junkie Blade Junkie says:

    Your wedge looks great Riley. I like the way it sets up behind the ball. I always fancied getting hold of a Wilson R-20, R-90 or JP II … particularly the latter as that was what Seve used and his short game was pretty handy!

    Recently I have been concentrating on iron set purchases that include a SW, so that I don’t have to bother with sourcing complementary wedges for the set. I agree with you that the retro sand wedges usually have alot of bounce and big flanges, which makes them great in sand but less versatile elsewhere. I find the PW becomes the “go-to” short game club, and I think I’m getting better as a result of playing/practicing from 80 yards in with just that one club. I dare say that is just my imagination though!

  2. Avatar of freddiec freddiec says:

    I’m with Blade Junkie, its a great looking wedge. I like the very min. offset and rounded toe. Reminds me very much of the Staff JPII 55 deg from the Mid 1980s, which IMO was one of the best wedges.

  3. Avatar of dpark dpark says:

    I agree that is a great looking wedge. I am playing a lot of vintage golf now and finding a good vintage SW has been difficult. I started with a Wilson Dynapower SW but the sole was so wide and the leading edge so sharp, that with less than a perfect swing, the was a high probability for a poor result. I moved on to a Hogan Special SI SW which is much more forgiving (but newer)

    As FreddieC mentioned the JPII 55* wedge is pretty similar and I just picked one up on ebay for $15 in great shape, but both the JPII and the Special SI are from the 80s and I would like something older. This may become a new search for me on ebay :)

  4. I had the same experience with the Dynapower SW. Great from sand, too wide a flange to play easily from the fairway or tight lies around the greens. Played a few more rounds with this Hagen wedge and results are still great except the grooves are worn. I’m interested in JP wedges too…let us know what kind of results you get from the JPII.

  5. Avatar of dpark dpark says:

    Here are pics of my JPII sand wedge (I hope the add image feature works)

  6. Avatar of dpark dpark says:

    Cool, it worked. Can seem to only add one pic at a time. so here is a pic of the sole.

  7. Avatar of Neil - NMM Neil - NMM says:

    dpark said “finding a good vintage SW has been difficult”. Very true. Took me ages before I found Ben Hogan PC wedge that suits ” my swing”, it’s a bit beat up, and will try and post a piccy soon.

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