Are you Using the Right Golf Wedge?
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Have you purchased a set of professional golf clubs, but are unsure about what type of wedges to use? As an avid golfer, I found that understanding the different styles of golf wedges can be cumbersome, even difficult.
I even wonder why I need more than one in the first place. If you are looking to improve your short game, using the right type of golf wedge can help.
Golf wedges come in a variety of styles, all of which are meant for a different aspect of improving your golf game. Much like a tool box, each club is meant to serve a specific function. Wedges are utilized to send the ball high into the air with the hopes of landing so the ball doesn’t roll too far.
When purchasing a set of new clubs from a professional golf shop, typically you will receive a pitching wedge with your set. However, for those of you who are interested in adding more golf wedges to you set there are many different types of golf wedges to pick from.
According to Globalgolf.com:
“Wedges are very closely related to irons in that they both have the same look and build. The difference comes in the lofts of the clubs. Wedges have a higher degree of loft and are designed for very high accuracy and more spin than regular irons.”
If you are unsure about which golf wedge is right for you, you’re not alone. With many options available on the market knowing what type and how to implement wedges to improve your game can sometimes be difficult or frustrating.
Knowing The Basics
According to GlobalGolf.com, the first step is to know what your handicap/or level is. The second aspect is to understand what type of clubs make up an entire set and how many you should use during a game. GlobalGolf.com states,
“The rules of golf limit you to carry no more than 14 clubs in your golf bag from putter to driver. That doesn't mean you absolutely need 14, just that 14 is the maximum allowed.”
The basic types of golf clubs are:
- Fairway Wood
- Iron Set
Golf Wedges: Lofts & Distances
45 to 50 degrees
51 to 53 degrees
54 to 58 degrees
58 to 60 degrees
110 to 140 yards
90 to 100 yards
80 to 110 yards
80 yards and under
Understanding the Different Types of Golf Wedges
In most cases, you will receive a pitching wedge with the purchase of a set of golf clubs. The Pitching Wedge is the most common type of golf wedge and many golf connoisseurs choose only to use the Pitching Wedge.
Lofts range from 44 to 50 degrees; the Pitching Wedge is most useful to when taking an approach shot anywhere from 110 to 140 yards. However, by easing up on your swing, you can utilize your Pitching Wedge for shorter shots.
The most important aspect to using the Pitching Wedge is to concentrate on getting the wedge underneath the ball before swinging. Mastering the Pitching Wedge takes time and practice. Once you are able to use the golf wedge correctly, your short game should improve bringing lower scores overall.
When using the Pitching Wedge, only take the club back as far as you need to. For example: if you are taking a shot at 120 yards it may require a full swing, however, if you are taking a chip shot from 15 yards off the green, you will only need to a half-swing, if not less.
As the name implies, the Sand Wedge is designed to help golfers improve their chances of hitting the ball out of sand traps or bunkers. Sand Wedges can be used for lofts ranging from 54 to 58 degrees or about 90 yards.
Additionally, Sand Wedges are versatile and I prefer to use them when I am hitting from the sand, fairway or rough. Another good aspect to the Sand Wedge is the ability to put a spin on the ball because they are shorter than other golf wedges. However, in an article on Golfmagic.com called, "Wedges 10 Things to Know" provides even more, insight.
"Because of its wide, rounded and curved head, the SW is ideal for deft little chips from the fringe and for playing those belly-wedge putts from the collar of greenside rough (striking the ball on its equator with the leading edge).”
The Gap Wedge does exactly what its name implies; it fills the gap between pitching wedges and sand wedges. When one won’t do the trick, the Gap Wedge is an excellent option.
Depending on your handicap, you can typically use the Gap Wedge to a distance of 110 to 140 yards. The loft range is anywhere from 46 to 55 degrees, meaning if you are using a Gap Wedge you need to be certain the loft is near halfway between the Pitching and Sand Wedges.
As the wedge with the most loft, the Lob Wedge ranges from 60 to 65 degrees. The Lob Wedge is not designed to hit the ball far distances (about 70 yards is the max) on a full swing.
One of the things I discovered while using a Lob Wedge was the ball will go high and land softly. As a result, I found the Lob Wedge to be one of best choices when finesse is needed around the green. Moreover, the Lob Wedge can help get under the ball easily and pop it up in tight spots.
Overall, choosing the right type of golf wedge can be tricky, but with the right amount of information, practice and patience each wedge can be useful to improve your game. Globalgolf.com also mentions that another important element to remember when using wedges is,
“Wedges also have "bounce". Bounce is the angle from the leading edge of the clubface to the bottom of the sole. The higher this angle is, the easier the club will bounce off of the ground (rather than dig into it), which is good for chip shots around the green.”
Do you have a preference in golf wedges? Does one work better for you than others?