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Golf Wedges Explained With 5 Simple Points

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Golfers need the right tools to perform well, which is especially true for wedges. Wedges are a particular type of club that golfers can use for several different shots around the green. In this blog post, Golf Wedges Explained, we will explain everything you need to know about them. We’ll talk about the different types of wedges, their lofts, bounce, grinds, finishes, and grooves. So if you’re thinking about buying a set of wedges or want to learn more about them, read on!

1. Types of Golf Wedges Explained

New Titleist Vokey SM8 Wedges on the rack at Howard's Golf

If you’re a golfer, then chances are you’ve used a wedge at some point. But what exactly is a wedge? And what are the different types of wedges that are available? Let’s take a closer look.

A wedge is a golf club used to hit the ball up into the air with a high degree of spin. This spin can help the ball stop quickly on the green or even roll back towards the hole if it lands in light rough. Wedges come in various loft angles, from 46 degrees up to 64 degrees. The most common wedges are the pitching wedge (46-48 degrees), gap wedge (50-52 degrees), sand wedge (54-5 degrees6), and lob wedge (58-60 degrees).

Let’s take a look at each individual wedge…

Related: 7 Tips to Buying Golf Clubs

Pitching Wedge

As a beginner golfer, you likely started with clubs that included a pitching wedge. The pitching wedge is one of the most versatile clubs in your bag, and it’s an excellent choice for shots around the green. But what exactly is a pitching wedge, and how should you use it?

A pitching wedge is a lofted club typically used for shots of around 100 yards. It’s called a pitching wedge because it’s often used for pitch shots, which are high-flying shots that land softly on the green. The pitching wedge loft is more than a 9-iron or 8-iron but less than a sand wedge or lob wedge. This makes it a great choice for shots requiring more distance than a sand wedge but less than a lob wedge.

Gap Wedge

The gap wedge is another versatile club that players can use for many different shots. As the name suggests, it’s designed to fill the gap between your pitching wedge and sand wedge. It has a loft of 50-52 degrees, which makes it an excellent choice for shots of around 100-120 yards.

Sand Wedge

The sand wedge is designed specifically for playing out of sand bunkers. It has a high loft (54-56 degrees) and lots of bounce, which helps the club “dig” its way through the sand and quickly get the ball up into the air.

Lob Wedge

The lob wedge is a high-lofted club (58-60 degrees) designed to play shots around the green. It’s perfect for hitting the ball high and landing it softly on the green. The lob wedge is also an excellent choice for chipping from tight lies.

2. Loft

Golf wedges are lofted clubs that hit short shots with high accuracy, trajectory, and spin. Therefore, the wedge is an essential tool for any golfer.

So why do they have so much loft?

The answer lies in their design. 

Wedges are typically made with heavier heads (around 300 grams) and wider soles, which gives them a lower center of gravity and increases the club’s Moment of Inertia, or resistance to twisting. Wedges are also the shortest iron in the bag averaging around 35 inches in length. Therefore, a wedge is the easiest club to hit in the bag. 

In addition, the extra loft and shorter shaft help generate more spin, which is essential for making the ball dance around the green.

If you’re wondering how let me explain the attack angle…

Attack Angle

Golf wedges are designed for one thing: to help you hit the ball high and land it softly. It has been long believed that they accomplish this by having a very steep attack angle, which causes the club to dig into the turf and create a lot of backspin. The result is a shot that stops on a dime and doesn’t roll out much.

How, you might ask? Well, Because Science!

You see, the steeper the angle of impact, the more spin you’ll get on the ball. And the more spin you have, the more control you’ll have over your shot.

However, a new argument regarding shallow vs. steep angles is starting to emerge.

Many golfers believe that hitting down on the ball will create more spin, but according to 

NextGenGolf, this is not the case.

Here’s the TDLR of the article…

Spin is determined by loft and club speed. If you want the ball to spin and stop, you need to maintain a shallow attack angle while preserving loft. This can be difficult to do, but it's essential for creating the desired effect.

Our recommendation for the right attack angle… Experiment with different attack angles to find what works best for you.

Related: 4 Golf Swing Plane Secrets

3. Bounce

The bounce angle is perhaps the most critical factor to consider when choosing a wedge. The bounce angle is the angle between the leading edge and the ground when the club is resting on a flat surface.

Low Bounce

Low-bounce wedges have a bounce angle of 4 to 6 degrees and are better suited for players who sweep the ball. These wedges are also suitable for tight lies, wet sand, and hard turf. Clubs with less than 8 degrees of bounce are considered “low bounce” wedges. Lob, pitching, and gap wedges usually have the lowest bounce of all, making them the perfect choice for tight lies and around-the-green shots.

High Bounce

A high bounce angle means that the leading edge sits higher off the ground when the sole is rested on the ground. A high bounce angle can benefit players who tend to dig at impact, taking deep divots.

High bounce wedges are better suited for softer conditions, such as parkland courses and bunkers with deep fine sand.

So when you’re looking for a wedge, make sure to pay attention to the bounce and the loft.

Related: Golf Terms

4. Sole Grind

For those who don’t know, the sole grind refers to the additional shaping of the wedge’s sole, usually around the heel or toe. This grinding changes the bounce of the sole, which can be a big help for players looking to hit better shots. Most manufacturers are now offering a range of sole grinds, so it’s worth considering if you’re serious about your game. Just be warned that, because it changes the bounce, a sole grind can also change the way the club behaves on different types of turf.

5. Finishes

Golf wedges come in all different types of finishes these days. You’ve got chrome or nickel finishes that maintain their color and appearance longer. Then you’ve got your unplated or raw finishes designed to wear or rust more over time, which can improve friction and lead to an enhanced spin. And finally, you’ve got your darker finishes which look great initially. Still, over time the paint will wear off on the sole and face to give some excellent wear marks if you like that sort of thing. It just comes down to personal preference regarding what kind of finish you want on your golf wedge.

FAQ’s

What is the order of golf wedges?

There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to wedges. First, wedges can range in loft from 45-64°. Pitching wedges will be lofted from 45-50°, gap wedges from 50-54°, sand wedges from 54-58°, and lob wedges anywhere from 58-64°.

What Degree Is A Pitching Wedge?

Pitching wedges are the most commonly used golf wedges and have a loft of between 44 and 50 degrees. 

What is a 48 degree wedge used for?

Pitching Wedges are typically used for approach shots between 90 and 110 yards, chip shots where the ball should keep low, or long sand/bunker shots. Pitching wedges have the least bounce (2-5 degrees) out of all the wedge types (except lob), allowing golfers to get under the ball for solid contact. When using a pitching wedge, it’s important to ensure that you don’t hit down too much on the ball, as this will cause it to go sky-high and likely land short of the green. Instead, take a slightly longer backswing and focus on hitting the ball in the center for consistent results.

What Degree Is A Gap Wedge?

Gap Wedges are explicitly designed to bridge the gap between pitching and sand wedges. They have a loft between 50 and 54 degrees.

What is a 52 degree wedge used for?

Gap wedges are a great way to hit the ball 100 yards. When choosing a gap wedge, you should pick one with a loft that’s mid-way between your pitching and sand wedges.

Gap wedges with lower amounts of loft are practical when used from fairways or when the ball is on a hard surface. High degrees of loft is beneficial in deep rough, on a soft fairway, or even from a sand trap. Gap wedges are a great addition to your golf bag, and they can help you improve your game.

What Degree Is A Sand Wedge?

Sand wedges have about 54 and 58 degrees of loft, which helps golfers quickly get the ball in the air.

What is a 56 degree wedge used for?

Sand wedges help golfers hit their balls out of the sand, but they can be just as productive from the fairway or rough. The maximum distance golfers hit sand wedges is between 80 and 90 yards. Even among wedges, sand wedges are unique since they are built to help golfers escape the sand. They have the most bounce of any wedge–10 to 16 degrees–and the widest sole width, which means the bottom of the club is wider to help prevent it from digging into the sand. So if you find yourself in a bunker, don’t panic–reach for your sand wedge and start swinging.

What Degree Is A Lob Wedge?

Lob wedges have the most loft of any golf wedges, with a range that goes from 58 to 64 degrees.

What is a 60 degree wedge used for?

The lob wedge is the most versatile club in your bag. It has the highest degree of loft, making it ideal for situations where you need to quickly get the ball into the air. It also has a sharp leading edge and small sole width, allowing you to get under the ball easily. The lob wedge performs well in the deep rough and anytime the ball needs to stop quickly after hitting the ground. Look no further than the lob wedge if you’re looking for a club that can do it all.

What wedges should I carry?

There’s a lot of debate about the best wedge setup, but it comes down to personal preference. Some golfers prefer to use two wedges, while others opt for three or even four.

The important thing is to make sure you have a pitching wedge and a sand wedge, as these will be the most versatile clubs in your bag. Gap and lob wedges can also be helpful, depending on the courses you play and the shots you’re comfortable taking. Ultimately, it’s up to you to experiment with different setups and find the best one for you.

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About Author

You're looking for some help when it comes to choosing the right golf gear, and finding the right set up for your game. Chris Howard has been in the golf industry since 1995, and knows just what you need to take your game to the next level. Growing up on a golf course, Chris has always had a love and passion for the sport. He desires to provide others with a better golfing experience - from helping them choose the right golf gear, to finding the perfect set up for their individual game.

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