Featured Item
December '07
The Wilson Sandy Andy Wedge

There have been some marvelous wedges produced over the years. Certainly the RAM Watson Scoring System as well as Spalding Johnny Miller designs are on the short list. And no one would leave out Hogan Sure Out's or the classic designs of Roger Cleveland. Even un-traditional productions from Alien are a must for the wedge honor role. But overall, one has to give extra merit for the family of Wilson wedges, beginning with those of the de facto sand wedge inventor, Gene Sarazen, the first member of the Wilson Staff. Wilson has consistently provided the golf market with effective wedges since 1930 and continues to do so today. Among the best of the Wilson wedges is the Sandy Andy, which has the longest production run of any wedge ever made. Introduced by Wilson in 1961, it had a continuous marketing cycle through 1989, some 28 years! It was even re-introduced around 2005, still under the Wilson trademark.

The Best Wedge Player

Although wedge selection is mostly a matter of individual 'feel', we are all influenced, at least initially, by marketing propositions and how others perform with particular clubs. I have always been influenced but what the top amateurs use. Amateurs aren't paid to use or promote equipment like pros - in fact they are prohibited from doing so. So when Tiger Woods won the US Amateur three consecutive times sporting Mizuno MP 29's, one had to take serious note of what equipment he was using.

Books have been written on how athletes sometimes achieve 'the zone'. You know, you make 3 birdies in a row, or shoot that unconscious front or back nine. But what if you're in the zone all the time? In the early 1960's I played with a golfer who was always in 'the zone' with the wedge. The individual was a natural talent shooting 67 at age 13 with no prior lessons or professional instruction. He went on to win many local competitions in Virginia including State level events. His strength was his wedge game and from 100 yards in, he had no equals. Being in the zone is not luck. It is a near-magic state where things come together especially where there is great pressure to perform. When you watch a person "chip-in" with their wedge on a 'must have' situation on one hole and then "chip-in" again on the next hole which was also a 'must have', you begin to believe in 'the zone'. And when that same person 'holes out' a 'must have', last hole, 90 foot sand bunker shot from an unhittable, buried lie off the reverse slope of a wet sand trap to a raised green, it's a surrealistic experience just witnessing the shot ...

... and what wedge did this player use for such miracles -- the Wilson Sandy Andy.

Sandy Andy Models

The Sandy Andy was introduced by Wilson in 1961. The opening image of this feature section is from the US patent and shows the design geometry which is explicitly rationalized in the narrative. For those enthusiasts of foundational information it is worthwhile reading the 'sand wedge golf club' patent issued to Archibald Turner assigned to Wilson Sporting Goods on 2/23/1963. It can be found on the internet at www.freepatentsonline.com/3079157.html. For those needing a less comprehensive rationale consider Wilson's initial advertising ...

"Sandy Andy"-new sand trap "escape artist." D8650--"SANDY ANDY" SAND WEDGE ---- Completely new! Thin head design. Blade has deep grooved back and specially weighted sole ... Balanced and counter balanced. "Sandy Andy" rides through sand and pops ball up and out of any trap... cannot dig into sand... blade design prevents ball from traveling to far. Crested frame face scoring... Sparkling chrome plated Head-Speed shaft... Round, Bell top grip of embossed red and black calfskin.

Over the wedge's lifecycle, the design did not vary much, probably attributable to its successful career. Some pictures of the various models with descriptions are given below.

The initial design D8650 with R61 engraved on the sole to right of the words SAND WEDGE

The 1970 designs had the R61 under the sole engraving SAND WEDGE, the patent number noted under the word Wilson and the trademark registration logo added. There were several models: D8662 - aluminum shaft and panel leather grip; D8663 - aluminum with composition grip; D8664 - Steel shaft with leather grip; D8665 steel with composition grip

In 1973 the SANDY ANDY on the sole was scripted and registration mark added to sole. the familiar parallelogram with music notes was added to the back. Two models were offered: D8604 - steel Astron shaft with leather grip; D8605 - steel Astron with composition grip. The earlier models had the sand blasted area accented on the sides by trophy engravings. At some point, likely in the later 1970's these accents were removed.

In 1983 the parallelogram was replaced with R61 on the back. The two design offers were: D8720 - lightweight steel shaft with composition grip; D8724 - Lady Sandy Andy

1988 was offered in a BeCu format as Model R8705