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How to Play Different Wedges

How to Play Different Wedges

How to Play Different Wedges

Why there four various wedges in golf — and when and how to play different wedges.

How to Play Different Wedges

Our PGA Pro tells us how to play different wedges.

Wedges are considered some of the most crucial scoring clubs in the bag. With a variety of lofts covering 20 degrees, wedges will provide several different shots, trajectories and scoring options.

If you want to improve your game, master the many different wedges and improve your game from 100 yards and in.

How to Play Different Wedges

Rickie Fowler clearly likes — and is sticking with — his Titleist Vokey pitching wedge.

Pitching Wedge

The pitching wedge generally has between 44 and 48 degrees of loft. In addition, a pitching wedge typically is included in a standard iron set.

The pitching wedge is an important addition that is used for full swings, pitches and chips around the green. 

Gap Wedge

In the past, a set of irons typically comprised of 3-iron through pitching wedge. However, long irons are often replaced with hybrids now, and the set today usually includes a gap wedge

When looking at how a gap wedge is situated for your game, first recall that a pitching wedge usually has around 44 to 48 degrees of loft. Then the sand wedge has between 54 and 56 degrees of loft. Irons typically have a difference of four degrees between each club. Now consider that golf companies have been strengthening the lofts of irons for years.

Therefore, a set of clubs could produce a “gap” of nearly 10 degrees of loft between the pitching wedge and the sand wedge. And a difference of 10 degrees of loft could result in as much as 40 yards on the course.  

The gap wedge is meant to provide a bridge between the pitching wedge and sand wedge. The gap wedge usually has between 50 to 52 degrees of loft.

The gap wedge is also referred to as a utility wedge and attack wedge. Players generally use the gap wedge for full swings, chips and pitches. 

How to Play Different Wedges

The sand wedge usually has the most loft of all clubs.

Sand Wedge

The sand wedge is much more versatile than only being used out of a greenside bunker.

In fact, many players skip a lob wedge and utilize a sand wedge as their most-lofted club. The sand wedge features 54 to 56 degrees of loft. A thicker topline and sole make the sand wedge more forgiving and easier to hit out of a bunker.

In addition, bounce on the sand wedge makes it easier to hit from a bunker. However, higher degrees of bounce make it easier to hit from a bunker but more difficult to hit from a tight lie. On the other hand, less bounce makes it easier to hit from a tight lie and slightly more difficult from a greenside bunker.

How to Hit Different Wedges

Just because Lefty likes his lob doesn’t mean you should necessarily use one. It’s a specialty club that’s tough to hit.

Lob Wedge

Many amateurs watch Phil Mickelson hit amazing lob shots and instantly think the lob wedge should be the go-to club around the green. Unfortunately, a flop shot should be a last resort when you can’t putt, chip or pitch the shot.

The lob wedge is the most difficult wedge to hit, and takes practice and skill to hit consistently.

The lob wedge is a specialty club that allows you to produce a high ball flight and stop quickly around the green. The lob wedge typically has anywhere from 58 to 64 degrees of loft. Therefore, players will not normally make full swings with the lob wedge. Rather, players utilize the specialty wedge for chips, pitches and bunker shots.

How to Hit Different Wedges

The lob wedge is difficult to master but fun once you do.


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