A sand wedge is a golf club used to stroke a golf ball from a bunker, also known as a sand trap. It is generally similar to other wedges, which are in turn a type of iron, but the club has some specializations to aid it in its intended purpose.
This accomplishes three things; first, this design generally requires more material, which increases the weight of the clubhead for more momentum and places that weight low and forward in the clubhead for higher launches.
Second, the angled sole lifts the leading edge off the ground at the bottom of the swing, preventing the club from "digging in" to softer lies such as muddy ground, thick grass and of course sand, instead tending to skim over the surface. This in turn allows players more flexibility when addressing the ball; the player can line the ball up in the center of their stance and take a "normal" swing in which the club will skim over the turf before contact with the ball, or alternatively they can move the ball rearward in their stance (towards the right foot for a right-handed player) and strike the ball earlier in the swing. The natural consequence of such a shot, executed correctly, is that the clubface has less loft at contact, so the ball is launched at a lower angle for more distance. Without bounce, such a shot even if executed correctly will generally cause the club to dig into the ground after it contacts the ball which, with such a high-lofted club, prevents the player from following through on their swing and can cause injury.
Lastly, when playing from a bunker, the ball may have buried itself deeply into the sand (depending on the sand's consistency and the degree of impact, the ball may be completely submerged). To lift it out, the clubhead must contact the ball from underneath, meaning the leading edge of the club must sometimes be an inch or two (2-4 cm) under the surface of the sand at contact. The angle of the sole counteracts the natural downward pressure of the club face digging itself ever deeper into the sand, making it easier to swing the club down under the surface of the sand and then lift the club, and the ball, back out again.
Other clubs, especially short irons and other wedges, now incorporate a small degree of bounce to assist in plays from the rough or other soft lies, but the sand wedge will typically have the highest amount of bounce of any club in a player's bag. There are however exceptions; Callaway Golf for instance markets a "Big Bertha" line of irons in which the lob wedge has significantly higher bounce than the sand wedge.
Researchers Submit Patent Application, "System and Apparatus for Measuring Parameter Data on Impact of a Golf Club Face with a Target Surface", for Approval
Dec 13, 2012; By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Politics & Government Week -- From Washington, D.C., VerticalNews journalists report that...
Wipo Publishes Patent of Charter IP for "System and Apparatus for Measuring Parameter Data on Impact of a Golf Club Face with a Target Surface" (Canadian Inventors)
Nov 30, 2012; GENEVA, Nov. 30 -- Publication No. WO/2012/158863 was published on Nov. 22. Title of the invention: "SYSTEM AND APPARATUS FOR...
Wipo Publishes Patent of Karsten Manufacturing, Eric J. Morales and Erik Henrikson for "Golf Club Face Plates with Internal Cell Lattices and Related Methods" (American Inventors)
Mar 29, 2013; GENEVA, March 29 -- Publication No. WO/2013/043240 was published on March 28.Title of the invention: "GOLF CLUB FACE PLATES WITH...