<strong>First Oversize Sand Wedge</strong><br /> 1988 – Dynacraft Giant Niblick Sand Wedge
In the late 1980s, several clubhead production factories offered the service of investment casting various alloys of aluminum. Chiefly, the cast aluminum clubheads were manufactured as low-price metal woods to be sold through mass merchant retailers. Dynacraft Golf Products, the company for which Wishon served both as president and head of product development, was 50% owned by one of the leading clubhead production factories in the golf industry, a company by the name of Dynamic Precision Casting Corporation. Dynamic was one of the clubhead factories with the ability to investment cast various alloys of aluminum.
In what started only as a “fun” project in conjunction with Dynamic, Wishon designed a hugely oversize sand wedge model to be investment cast from high grade 6061 aluminum alloy. After Dynamic cast a number of prototypes, it was found that the giant oversize wedge proved to be very easy to hit shots out of a sand trap. Aware that this is a shot that many golfers struggle with, Wishon asked Dynamic to make a small production run of the wedges, which were called the Giant Niblick after a famous late 1800s oversize lofted iron of the same name.
Long story short, while golfers first had a laugh when first seeing the Giant Niblick, a few shots hit from the bunker soon proved that what first started as a lark could actually be a serious game improvement design. Dynacraft sold tens of thousands of the wedges between 1988 and 1991.
<strong>First Wedges With a CNC Milled Face Combined with Micro-Groove Scorelines for Increased Backspin</strong><br /> 2007– Wishon Golf CX-Micro Wedges
In 1991, Tom Wishon was the first to design a full set of irons and wedges with a fully CNC machined milled face. In 2007, Tom added a unique new scoreline design to a CNC milled Face to enable the CX-Micro Wedges to offer golfers a substantial increase in face to ball friction for enhanced backspin.
In 2006, it was verified in a technical report published by the USGA that the edges of U-shaped scorelines did combine with the face surface between scorelines to increase the total amount of friction between the clubface and the ball. Virtually every other golf company was making their U-shaped scorelines to a width of 0.8mm (0.032”) with a spacing of 2.8mm (0.110”) between each scoreline. Through face impact studies with a hitting robot and with golfers, TWGT discovered that this typical scoreline design used by all other companies allowed the edges of 3 scorelines to contact the surface of the ball at impact.
By reducing the scoreline width to 0.6mm and the line to line spacing to 2.1mm. Wishon’s new “micro-grooves” were not only within the USGA’s minimum spacing requirement of of 1.91mm, but would put the edges of 5 micro-groove scorelines in contact with the ball at impact. This increase in line edge friction with the ball, combined with the additional face to ball friction of CNC face milling, resulted in a TrackMan launch monitor verified increase of 1000rpms of backspin over wedges of the same loft and head weight with typical 0.8mm x 2.8mm scorelines.