New to golf or just not sure exactly what golf wedges are? They’re short irons with a lot of loft. They are not meant for distance shots, but golfers can use them to hit high shots so that the ball lands on the greens. Here are three characteristics of wedges that you’ll want to familiarize yourself with:
Clearly an important part of every golfer’s game, wedges create birdies and save pars. There are four different types of wedges, each with its own degree of loft serving its own purpose. For instance, golfers who struggle around the greens may not be using the right type of wedge for the shot. So how do you know what wedge to use for what shot?
In this guide, I’ll go over golf wedges and how to use them to assist your game.
What Are Wedges Used For?
Before I jump into the types of wedges out there let’s talk a little bit about what they’re used for. Golf wedges are ideal for approach shots and designed with soles specific for their purpose. Players who want more precision in their short game will invest in one or all types of wedges, which I’ll cover in the next section.
Wedges are also known as scoring clubs and have the largest loft. This enables them to produce spin. Spins and lofts allow balls to rest gently on the ground, helping the player attack the flagstick without any obstacles. Having the right wedge can really step up your game and add impressive results to your score.
Type of Golf Wedges
There are 4 types of golf wedges: pitching, gap, sand, and log wedges. The pitching wedge is included in type golf club sets, while the other three are usually sold separately. Each type serves a different purpose to help perfect golfer’s shots.
Pitching Wedges (PW)
The most common type is the pitching wedge which is typically used for full shots into greens and longer chip shots with a loft between 44-48 degrees. When the ball is struck right, it will travel about 110-140 yards.
Yes, pitching wedge angles have the least loft when comparing them to the rest of the wedges. Most modern sets available tend toward a lower lofted pitching wedge to blend in with longer hitting iron designs. The PW is commonly used by players trying to hit the green.
Gap Wedges (GW)
The name says it all – this type of wedge fills the gap between the PW and the sand wedge (SW). It’s sometimes referred to as an attack wedge (AW) or utility wedge (UW) this type has the second least loft of any wedges. They tend to carry a loft of 50-53 degrees and are suited for fuller shots. Golfers will normally hit a gap wedge between 90-110 yards.
Players add this type to their bag to bridge a distance gap and offer more options near the green for pitches that don’t include a full swing and longer chips. GW don’t come in standard club sets. I suggest looking at the loft of your PW and wedge before selecting a gap wedge. Your GW should have a loft in between the two.
Sand Wedges (SW)
The sole of the sand wedge is heavier and wider than other types making it easy to escape from greenside bunkers. Before the lob wedge came along, the SW was the highest lofted club in a player’s bag with a loft of 54-58 degrees.
Most golfers will hit a SW around 90 yards with a regular golf swing. It is designed to help golfers hit their ball outside of the sand traps. Shorter than other clubs, SW help place some spin on the ball.
Lob Wedges (LW)
The newest of wedge designs is the lob wedge. This one offers a high loft of about 60-64 degrees which allows golfers to deliver more height and spin with shots near the green.
Lob wedges usually travel about 70 yards and are typically used more to flop shots, hit chips, and bunker shots. These types are not included in golf club sets, consequently, need to be purchased separately.
I recommend having four degrees of difference between all your wedges. For instance, if your PW has a 47-degree loft than you need a 51-degree GW, a 55-degree SW, and a 59-degree LW.
Choosing the Right Wedge
In order to become the best golf player, you can be, it’s necessary to select the right wedge for your golf bag. Below are the factors you need to consider in order to invest in the perfect wedge for your playing style.
The loft of a wedge refers to the angle created between the wedge and an imaginary vertical line. Shots with more loft on a wedge are higher resulting in more ball flight with less distance. Most golfers who play professionally will carry 3-4 wedges because they can have variation when playing their short games.
What is bounce on a wedge? It’s the section of the club that hits the turf, causing it to “bounce” through the surface underneath the ball at impact. A bounce angle is added to prevent wedges from digging into the sand or turf. Many people believe that wedges sit flat on the ground when they do not.
What is considered a low, mid, and high bounce wedge?
This term describes the shaping of the wedge’s sole, which is usually around its heel or toe. Many manufacturers now offer a wide range of sole grinds in addition to the standard wedge sole. What they do is grind the soles to suit certain turfs or shots.
Wedges are made in a variety of materials that include many different finishes. While different finishes feel almost identical, they offer wedges a distinct look and color to suit players likes and preferences.
Spinning a Wedge
You want to learn how to spin a wedge and improve your game? Golf wedges are great when you need to hit shots toward the green. These types of golf club wedges add spin to your shot and enable you to land the ball on the green.
To improve your spin, you need to improve your putting position by following these 5 simple instructions:
This guide should give you all the necessary information about golf wedges. Learning to use them properly can easily become one of your deadliest weapons as an experienced player.
As you improve your technique and obtain more experience, you’ll be able to tell which wedges are right for you. As you grow in your playing ability, you’ll also learn how to perfect your swing with a wedge. Best of luck!