What's up with the Scratch 8620 wedge? Scratch Golf’s reputation has mostly been based on making smooth-as-silk forged wedges. The 8620 wedge lineup is successful, but it’s a different animal altogether.
Without a doubt, these clubs are beautiful. But, instead of being forged, they’re investment-cast. Forged Scratch wedges have always been a little pricier than their competition, but you can get one for much less money than other high-quality cast wedges, not to mention a forged club. The pricing makes a this wedge an option for price-conscious golfers who want top scoring-club performance.
Erik and I encourage you to read this review of the cast Scratch 8620 wedge. You’ll learn how these wedges are made and what they look like. Then I’ll share my on-course experiences while playing this wedge.
Made from the same 8620 carbon steel as many other high-quality wedges, each Scratch 8620 wedge is CNC-milled to precise specifications. This precision milling ensures the face is textured (sort of like you’d see with a Titleist Vokey Design Spin-Milled wedge) but perfectly flat. The texture and precise grooves created by CNC milling enhances the club’s ability to promote spin.
There are three main types of swings (digger/driver, driver/slider and slider/sweeper), and using a wedge with the sole grind that’s appropriate for your swing makes it easier to make crisp contact. That’s why Scratch Golf uses various “standard” sole grinds for its 8620 wedges. The digger/driver sole grind is designed for golfers who need lots of bounce on their wedges because they have steep swings and take big divots. The sweeper/slider sole grind has much less bounce and is suited to players who have shallow swings and take small or no divots. The driver/slider sole grind falls in between and is intended for players whose swings are neither too steep nor too shallow. The different sole grinds are a big benefit, as playing a club with the wrong amount of bounce can be a huge mistake.
Every Scratch 8620 wedge uses a proprietary “ABC” (“All Bite, No Chew”) groove technology. What makes the grooves different from those on other wedges? To promote spin they’re machined to the maximum allowable width and depth, but the edges are rounded slightly to reduce the potential for damaging your ball’s cover.
The head of the wedge is a classic teardrop shape, and it looks smaller than the heads of many of its competitors. The club’s leading edge is slightly rounded and the toe is high. To reduce sun glare, the finish is a beautiful “Brushed Satin” (despite the finish, I noticed some glare during a round on a bright, sunny day, but I’m sure it was less than I would have seen if the club had a highly polished chrome finish).
The club head’s “clean” design gives it an elegant look. For example, the company’s stylized “S” logo is the only marking stamped on the back. And the top line is fairly narrow, giving it a look that appeals to skilled golfers. At address, the club frames the ball nicely. The milling marks and grooves look aggressive and make you feel as though you’re about to make the ball check-up and dance.
You can buy a Scratch 8620 wedge in various lofts, including 47-, 50-, 53-, 56-, 58- and 60-degrees, so you have several options. True Temper Dynamic Gold steel shafts are stock, but multiple shaft options are available for an upcharge. I tested a 56-degree wedge, which I used as my sand wedge that day.
Out on the course, I got plenty of spin on my approach shots – just as much as I’ve had with any wedge I’ve tested - even the Titleist Vokey Design Spin Milled wedges. However, I also discovered that although my Scratch 8620 wedge did put lots of bite on the ball, it also caused some minor damage to the ball cover. I wouldn’t say it shredded the cover, but I could see small marks left by the aggressive grooves.
My full shots flew high, as you’d expect from any quality wedge. But, I also found it pretty easy to do short bump & run chips. The release on my low running chips was predictable and stayed under control. Bunker shots from compacted sand were “okay” (sometimes I feel like I’m the world’s worst bunker player), but fluffy sand gave me a few more problems. Finally, as you’d expect from a cast club, the feel on impact wasn’t buttery-soft like a forged wedge, but it was still more than acceptable.
The Bottom Line: You can pick up a Scratch 8620 wedge at various online shops, often for around $70. I doubt you’ll find anything better (or even as good) for such a low price. In fact, at that price, a Scratch 8620 wedge is a bargain that’s hard to pass up.