James Patrick Wedges
It starts in the Kyoei foundry in Japan where they forge heads out of 1025 carbon steel specifically for James. They come with conforming or non-conforming grooves from Kyoei. Other than that they are pretty raw. There is lots of extra weight all over on the hosel, heel, toe, back, just about everywhere something will have to be ground off or drilled out, which allows James to grind each head to the exact specs he or the customer desires.
The one signature feature that most of his wedges will have is tungsten weight plugs. This allows him to move the center of gravity further from the hosel, typically right to the dead center of the face. He also can control the headweight and swingweight nicely with the plugs too.
Another key feature is an aggressive heel grind. His wedges have one of the thinnest heels around. It doesn’t look that way at quick glance but when you investigate it is pretty impressive. The design is said to allow for cutting through the rough or opening the face for the flop.
Last but certainly not least is the finish on these wedges that are far beyond what you will find anywhere else. I saw: raw, polished, gun blue, PVD, matte black, and coming soon black chrome. The stamping, paint fills, etc are all additions to these works of art. There were some really cool ideas that he is incorporating into his stampings. There are subtle to extreme options when it comes to stamping.
As for the artist himself, he is simply a down to earth nice guy from Minnesota. He has some other part time jobs to keep the bills paid, but you can see his passion is wedges. Sure he plays softball, which hurts his golf game, but when it comes to wedges he really knows his stuff. He can grind a wedge like nobody’s business.
He has a modest in garage shop with just about anything anyone would need to make a custom wedge. Watching him grind was really a treat. You know you’re watching an artist when he gets everything ready to go, then pops in some headphones and grinds to music. You could just see him getting in a groove with the music and the machines. Sure he has all the precision instruments to make sure it turns out just how he wants but the beauty of an artist is that he can just eye ball much of it, no markings, no computers, just the artist’s eye for perfection. (Isn’t that really the way most artists work?)
If you want your wedges to be works of art, contact James, he will set you up with some beauties. The new line will be launching soon, so get your orders in early since all that hand grinding takes some time, but it is worth it. Right now he figures it takes him one entire day for a 3 wedge set, so don’t expect to get your wedges tomorrow. His semi-stock (or pre done) line will run around two and a quarter and will be more readily available while the fully custom line will be closer to three and a quarter and obviously take a little more time. I can’t wait to try some works of art on the course; they sure are impressive in his shop.
For more information: www.jamespatrickgolf.com