Written By: Chris Conley
Here at AGG we run into this scenario a lot during our reviews, a great product that will surely help your game but produced by a company you probably haven’t heard of it. We recently tested the DJ-11 line of wedges, from Fourteen, and think that Fourteen should be a household name.
Why the name Fourteen? Simple the maximum number of clubs a golfer is allowed to have in his or her bag is 14, at Fourteen they believe in equipping the golfer with the very best 14 clubs possible to help their individual game. Fourteen began as a club designer and worked side by side with some of the biggest names in the industry to help design clubs. During the 1987 PGA season Scott Simpson won the U.S. Open with a set of SX-25 Irons that were designed by Fourteen. In 1987 they released the Tarako Iron which would prove to be the first what we now know as Hybrid Irons; after years of success in the club designing industry in 2002 Fourteen officially launched themselves as a brand and entered the club making business. Word of this quickly took off and caught the attention of Ernie Els, who won THE OPEN Championship that year using a set of HI-858 Irons by Fourteen. Fourteen is best known for their wedge design and is credited with producing the first wedges you saw on tour with people backing the ball up on the greens. Their goal is to make a club that is easy to swing with no resistance, this is directly related to their logo, a simple feather. Much like a feather falling easily from the sky, Fourteen builds their clubs to replicate this in your golf swing.
So two Major Championships under their belt, and a line of wedges that are geared to helping get the ball in the air from tough lies and stopping the ball on the green makes me believe Fourteen is here to stay.
About the DJ-11
The first honest opinion of the DJ-11 when unwrapping it was the bulkiness of the club head, most of my wedges (currently hitting SCOR) are very thin lined almost that of a forged blade Iron. The DJ-11 is thicker and wider, but that would proof to be a benefit more than a hindrance when hitting the DJ-11. First thing is when addressing the ball from any lie, the shaft offset and the deep club head inspires confidence, when you line up your shot with this club you won’t second guess yourself. The back of the wedge combined with it’s extra wide sole gives the wedge a game improvement, cavity back feel and look; however it also allows the ball to get in the air quickly, fly high and stay online. The wide sole will blast through the thickest of rough and any bunker consistency you come up with. I am not used to chipping with a 60 degree wedge from around the greens, but after a few practice chips, I discovered if I put the ball back in my stance the ball flight lowers slightly and I can stop the ball where I want it too. Normally I chip with a 54 or 52 degree wedge because I always flub the shots with my higher lofted wedges. However with the DJ-11 with 60 degree loft, even shots that were mishit higher on the club face would go the correct distance, instead of flubbing them 5 yards like most of us are used to. The club is made very well and the easiest way to see this is with full shots, on a full shot you almost can’t tell you made contact as there is little sound off the club face yet I’ve never hit a 60 degree wedge farther than the DJ-11. The trademarked feather logo sits in black on the cavity portion of this wedge that is beautifully finished in a satin.
The biggest thing in my opinion the DJ-11 has going for it is the bunker play, I’ve always been decent out of the bunker, but I always hit more of a low flying bunker shot no matter the loft of the club. With the DJ-11 and not altering my swing at all my bunker shots were flying twice as high and landing twice as soft, I still love my current wedges in my bag, but my 58 might kicked out to put this 60.
Just because you haven’t heard of a company doesn’t mean they are not worth trying, Fourteen has two majors under their belts and a site full of clubs that will improve your game. While the lower handicap player might be put off by the bulkier design, it still would help improve their game. If you are a higher handicap player who struggles around the green on in tough lies, the Fourteen DJ-11 wedge of any loft will improve your game, I still haven’t found another club that makes bunk shots so easy.