Callaway, Graves Golf, Moe Norman and Roger Cleveland

How about these names together…?

A little over a year ago,  I had the wonderful opportunity to spend some time at Callaway Golf with Roger Cleveland discussing the new Moe Norman Signature wedge(s) we created with Callaway Golf.

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Roger and me (Tim) at Callaway Performance Center talking wedges

As some of you know, about 3 years ago, Callaway Golf Corp. contacted me and we discussed creating a Moe Norman Signature wedge line in conjunction with their wedge system designed by Roger Cleveland. Of course, we agreed, and about 9 months later, the “Moe Norman Signature” wedge was born.

First a little background about the partners in the group:

Callaway Golf – Assume everyone knows about Callaway Golf. Rated as the top golf club manufacturing company in the golf industry and at this time has the # 1 rated Driver, Fairway wood, hybrid, irons and putter (Odyssey). The Mac Daddy wedge created by Roger Cleveland has rated the #2 wedge in the golf industry and is projected to be #1 by the middle to end of this year. Callaway Golf is the leader in the golf industry in R & D (Research and Development) and is known for their innovative standards and the extremely high quality in their products.

Graves Golf Academy / Moe Norman – The Graves Golf Academy teaches the Moe Norman single plane golf swing (has done so for the past 20 years) and is the leader in the golf industry in teaching the single plane swing. The Graves Golf Academy also holds the trademark and intellectual property rights of Moe Norman in which we are responsible for protecting all rights/trademarks, etc. of Moe Norman and his estate.

Roger Cleveland – Roger founded the Cleveland Golf Company in 1979, and quickly become one of the leaders in the golf manufacturing and equipment in the golf industry. In the 1980’s he produced at that time, the top-selling wedge (588) and was rated as the top wedge in the golf industry. He sold the company in the mid-80s at which time he was asked to join Callaway Golf by Ely Callaway. He has been with Callaway for 21 years in which time he has helped design and implement many of Callaway’s clubs and in particular their highly rated wedges. Roger Cleveland is known in the golf industry as a master wedge designer, creator, and builder.

Anthony Taranto – Anthony is the “artist” at Callaway. Some of you might have seen all the different color schemes and designs Callaway has put in their wedges for different individuals. Anthony helped us design the look and color scheme for the Moe Signature Wedge.

Specifics about the Moe Norman Signature wedges:

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It is a Callaway Mac Daddy (IV – 2019 version) wedge designed with Moe’s characteristics (what he liked) in a wedge. In other words, it has the highest technology in the wedges (grooves, face, etc…) with the characteristics that make it the perfect single plane wedge(s).

Grooves – the grooves of the wedge(s) were created and designed by Roger Cleveland to give the wedges optimal spin and feel in the short game. Each different wedge (pitch vs. gap vs sand vs lob, etc..) are designed with different grooves as each club is used in different circumstances and requires different spin and has the new groove in groove technology creating the best possible spin and feel in wedges. (Read more about the science of spin below). 

Grind – the grind of the sand and lob wedges are a C type grind. This grind allows the leading edge of the club to remain close to the ground when ball position is adjusted back, to mid to forward in the stance. In particular, with the lob wedge – when lob/flop type shots are played forward in the stance, the leading edge of the wedge must stay close to the ground. If not, you will thin, blade or even top these type of shots. (Moe used to grind the leading edge of his wedges to create this C-grind in his wedges before this technology existed). The grind of the gap wedge is an S-grind. A grind that has a “straighter” leading edge on the club.

Shaft – The shaft is a steel shaft that is on the “heavier” end of the scale of steel shafts. This is because all wedges are short clubs in comparison to the other clubs in the bag. As Roger said, you must have the feel in the wedges to have a great short game and the only way to keep feeling in the wedges is to keep weight in the shafts. Moe always had steel shafts in wedges and often discussed the feel in his wedges with these shafts.

Length – This was a topic I discussed a lot with Roger. We discussed Hagen, Sneed, Mickelson, Hogan, Trevino, Speith, (Moe of course) and a few others. One very common similarities between all these great players who all had great short games are they played their short game shots by using different heights in their different shots. I remember asking Moe about this and his response was I don’t play by distance, but rather by “height”. In other words, the higher you hit the shot, the more spin you can create, the lower you hit the shot, the more roll you will have, etc. etc. When discussing with Roger this issue, he talked about how all great players play by height and these different heights and distances are not only created by ball position and loft of the clubs, but by choking up and down on the grip. The more you choke down, the shorter the club, the shorter you will hit the shot, etc. In fact, this was so important to Moe in his short game, his wedges were slightly longer than conventional wedges so he could choke up and down on the club for maximum feel and optimal height/distance control in his wedges. We have added this to the Moe Wedges – making them slightly longer for each individual fittings to accommodate for this characteristic.

Leading Edge of the Wedges – Moe liked having a slightly rounded leading edge in his sand and lob wedges and a “flatter” leading edge in his pitch and gap wedges. The reason has he wanted a leading edge that would “cut” through the grass/ ground/sand, etc. in his shorter type shots (sand and lob wedges) and a leading edge that would be a little more “square to the target” in his longer wedge shots (gap and pitch). This is exactly the way the Mac Daddy C grind (lob and sand) and S grind (gap and pitch) wedges are designed.

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Grip – The Graves Golf Academy Moe Norman specialty grip in on all the wedges. This grip is fit to an individual’s hand size to optimize feel and release in the wedge. Roger absolutely loved our grip. For two particular reasons. 1. It has to mark in which you can choke down on the grip and keep your trail hand in the proper rotation when choking down. And 2. The grip has a mark for the lead hand grip thumb position. He discussed how critical it was to have the lead hand thumb in the correct position on the grip to have the wedge “work properly”. He also discussed how some many average golfers have the lead hand thumb in the wrong position and can’t work the wedges properly. An improper hand position will not allow for proper club head movement which leads to bad mechanics and obviously a poor wedge game.

Lie angle – The lie angles of good player’s wedges (Moe’s included) are slightly flatter than the rest of their clubs (set). The reason is as you choke down on the club and/or drop your hands slightly to create more loft on the club, the wedge needs to be a little flatter to accommodate. The Moe Signature line wedges when custom built are set to these standards for each individual (in particular in the sand and lob wedges).

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Signature – Each wedge has Moe’s signature laser etched on the neck of the club. This signature is unique to only these wedges and signifies the wedge was designed with Moe’s uniqueness and characteristics of his wedges.

As you see there was a lot of detail and specifics put into these wedges. We are extremely excited to now have the wedges available to anyone interested. They are available in the following lofts:

48, 50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60 and 64 degrees.

They are also available in Chrome or Matte Black finish.

Each wedge will be customized for an individual’s fittings for length, lie angle, shaft flex (steel), grip size with the GGA specialized grip, etc. using the individual’s size in conjunction with the wedge’s unique characteristics (listed above).

I recommend including the lob (58 or 60*) and sand wedge (54 or 56*) in everyone’s bag to maximize their short game.  Many should also add the gap wedge (50 or 52*) if they do not already have one with their current set.

Everyone’s bag should include at least the following wedges (to maximize the scoring part of their game). 

Pitching wedge (typically matches their set (matches 9, 8, 7 iron in bag in model and shafting). – (Between 40 and 46*)

Gap Wedge (can match set (PW, 9, 8, 7 iron in bag) or can be a Mac Daddy Signature wedge. (Between 47 and 52*)

Sand Wedge – Callaway Mac Daddy IV Signature Wedge (54* or 56*) – built as described above.

Lob Wedge – Callaway Mac Daddy IV Signature Wedge (58 or 60*) – built as described above.

As Roger said (and is our (GGA) core believe) – everyone should have a GREAT short game. And with the correct equipment, correct fundamentals, and practice everyone can have a great short game. As 75% of scoring occurs in the short game, this will eventually lead to a great golf game.

The price of the Callaway MD IV Moe Norman Signature wedge(s) is $159 per wedge.

(This price ($159) is increasing next month…)

This includes all customization, etc…  To understand how we fit your wedges perfect – please:  CLICK HERE

Please contact me timg@moenormangolf.com if interested or if you have any questions.

As each wedge is custom built to each individual, it takes about 2 weeks for the wedges to be complete from time of order to shipment.

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PS. I filmed a video with Roger Cleveland at the Callaway Performance Center in Carlsbad, CA. Discussing the Moe wedge(s), his philosophy of wedge design, all the great players he has worked with, Moe and Moe’s wedge game and wedges (had some with me for Roger to see, etc..), etc.

To see video:  CLICK HERE

(Click on video middle of page…)

Please contact me timg@moenormangolf.com  or tgraves@moenormangolf.com if interested or if you have any questions.

We will work on your custom fitting.

More about the Mac Daddy IV Wedges:

The Science of Spin
 
Cutting grooves requires tremendous precision in pursuit of aerospace-grade tolerances. Typical steps include fly-cutting the face, cutting the grooves and applying some form of surface roughness to the flat part of the face between the grooves. The Advanced Research Team scrutinized each of these elements closely in search of ways to improve them. A great deal of discussion and debate led the group to agree that the process of rendering a groove could be more
precise and consistent from one end of the groove to the other, and from one groove to another.
 
That led them to develop a new, proprietary saw-cutter only Callaway has, with eight saw-blades oriented to mill the groove horizontally for a tremendously precise process. The wall-angle of each groove was increased to an ultra-sharp 5° in wedges 54° loft and above (20° in pitching and gap wedges). The 5° angle promotes more spin and control, especially out of the rough, in wet conditions, and around the green.
 
The saw-cutter is replaced after every 15 clubheads to ensure every groove is cut with maximum precision. “The degree of care and attention that goes into the cutting process has a clear impact on performance,” said Cleveland.
An additional groove, called the “Nip-it Groove,” was added at the very bottom of the face. It’s especially useful for keeping the spin-rate up on shots hit low on the face.
 
Groove-in-Groove™ Technology
 
Callaway has in the past applied texture to a wedge’s face using a laser. Though it initially promotes more spin, the texture lacked durability and wore down quickly.
The Callaway Team explored new textures and new ways to apply them that would result in real and lasting spin benefits. Approximately two dozen micro-texture configurations were tested, including micro-negative, with the texture depressed into the surface, and micro- positive, with a raised texture. Even different blast media were pursued as a method of activating the surface roughness of the club.
 
“We arrived at Callaway’s new ‘Groove-in-Groove’ technology in which two micro-positive ridges are applied to the flat parts of the face, parallel to the grooves,” said Cleveland. “The ridges form a micro-groove between them, which is why we named it Groove-in-Groove.”
 
Groove-in-Groove technology and the Nip-it Groove gives the MD4 84 potential points of contact to interact with the ball.  “The more potential points of contact you have, the greater the friction between the cover and clubface, which is what generates spin,” said Cleveland. “Elevating the MD4’s number of contact points to 84 should help any golfer get more spin and control on full and partial shots, whether you’re a Tour pro or 25-handicapper.”
 
THE NEW STANDARD FOR WEDGE PERFORMANCE
 
100% Inspection Process
 
Every MD4 groove is 100% inspected with a digital stylus and special software to assure the tightest tolerance within USGA rules. That’s a first for Callaway, and the final piece to the puzzle that helps MD4 wedges achieve the high standard of wedge performance for which they are designed to deliver A New Standard for Wedge Performance
Roger Cleveland and the Advanced Research Team worked together to leave no stone unturned in their quest to make the new Mack Daddy 4 wedge the highest performing wedge. In a long and storied career devoted to the advancement of
wedge design, Cleveland calls MD4 his greatest work.
 
“The combined experience, brainpower and energy that went into questioning the status quo and developing a new production process, more precise groove architecture and our Groove-in-Groove technology has led to a superior wedge
that promotes superior performance,” said Cleveland. “We’re extremely proud of it.”
 
 

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