The Ultimate Guide to Golf Wedges
Aside from having quality golf equipment, experience, and practice, a golfer needs to know when and how to apply their clubs - or in this case, wedges.
Sometimes called scoring clubs, golf wedges are a unique sort of club that golfers can use for a variety of shots around the green that seem to be surrounded by an air of confusion, and we're here to clear things up.
In this ultimate golf wedges explained guide, we'll cover the different types of golf wedges, shots you can play with them, loft, bounce, grind, finishes, the best golf wedge for golfers of all levels, and end with some of the most common FAQs. Let's demystify your short game shots once and for all.
Different Types of Golf Wedges Explained
The function of a golf wedge is to hit the ball high up with a high degree of spin, in an attempt to get the ball to ascend and descend sharply. They're played for a variety of reasons such as clearing hazards or rough terrain, getting out of the bunker, or generally any shot where you want to get up and out.
While golf wedges are available in various loft angles from 46° to 60°, the four most common wedges are lob wedges, sand wedges, gap wedges, and pitching wedges. We'll start with the highest-lofted wedge and work our way down.
Sometimes called an extreme wedge, a typical lob wedge falls within the 58° to 64° range. This creates a step angle of ascent and descent with a minimum amount of roll.
A lob wedge is the go-to club for chipping from tight lies, hitting a flop shot, shots around the green, or any other shot where you want the ball thrown extremely high with a soft landing.
Sand wedges also have a higher loft of 54° to 58°, and as its name suggests, is uniquely designed for getting your golf ball out of sand bunkers. The higher loft essentially acts as a shovel to get golf balls out of sand traps.
You can play a sand wedge for bunker shots, full swing shots, half swing shots, a flop shot, and pitching or chipping around the green.
With a loft of 50-52°, gap wedges are for shots that aren't a good fit for your sand wedge or pitching wedge, but somewhere in between.
They're pretty versatile wedges that can be used for a number of shots, including full shots, half-swing shots, and bump-and-runs that are on the higher end.
Used for shots of roughly 100 yards, a pitching wedge loft is 44° to 49°. Just like a sand wedge or attack wedge, pitching wedges are named after their purpose of pitching.
The go-to wedge for beginners, a pitching wedge can be used for full-swing shots, knockdown shots, bump-and-runs, pitching, and chipping.
Shots You Can Play with Wedges
While it's debatable as to whether or not wedges are the most versatile clubs in your golf bag, there's no question as to how versatile they are.
Here's a handful of the many wedge shots you can play:
Chip shots are typically played when you want to hit the ball from the rough, fairway, or fringe and have it roll up to the hole with little bounce.
A gap wedge is most golfers' go-to for chipping, but a pitching wedge may work better if the ball is in thick rough.
You want to play pitch shots in instances where you have a shorter distance to the green than a chip shot and want a higher trajectory over a shorter distance with more bounce than roll.
As the name suggests, playing these shots with a pitching wedge is ideal.
While a flop shot is one of the most difficult shots to make, it's extremely useful once mastered. Hitting a successful flop shot calls for high levels of experience, skill, precision, and accuracy to strike the ball with a high trajectory and the right amount of spin.
To achieve the amount of height and spin combined with a soft landing needed for this shot, use a lob wedge of 60° or higher.
As the name suggests, bunker shots are played from a sand bunker and require a different technique than most other wedge shots seeing as you need to factor in the sand along with the ball and target.
Sand wedges typically are used for sand shots, although you can play these shots with lob, pitching and sand wedges. Hitting a well played wedge shot out of the bunker will depend on a number of factors such as your skill level, course conditions, and whether or not the ball landed in deep fine sand or coarse sand.
Loft refers to the angle of the clubface relative to the ground and determines the trajectory of the ball as well as the amount of backspin.
The higher loft of golf wedges, when compared to other clubs such as irons or drivers, allows for golfers to get the ball up in the air fast and high with a lot of backspin. This is why the ball stops quickly on the green when struck with a wedge.
Sole grind refers to the shape and design of the sole (bottom of the clubhead) of a club, specifically golf wedges, and can have a massive impact on how the club interacts with the ground, turf, or sand. This interaction can vastly improve a golfer's performance.
There are several different sole grinds that blunt and trail the leading edge of the clubhead in various ways, but the standard grind that comes with most wedges are versatile enough to be used in a variety of conditions.
Bounce angle refers to the angle between the leading edge and the sole of the club when at address. This determines how the wedge interacts with the ground, turf, and sand.
High bounce wedges have a more rounded sole made to "glide" through the ground, sand, or turf. A high bounce wedge is ideal for getting it out of the bunker, shots from tight lies, and if you have a steep attack angle that leaves behind deep divots. Lob wedges and sand wedges tend to have high bounce.
Mid bounce wedges are somewhere between low bounce and high bounce clubs with an angle between 8 to 12 degrees. This mid range bounce angle allows for versatility and performance on a number of life and playing conditions out on the golf course. Generally, gap wedges have a medium to low bounce.
Low bounce clubs have a more flat sole made to "dig" into the ground, sand, or turf, making them ideal for shots that have to be played from deep, heavy bunkers. Pitching wedges typically have low bounce.
While finishes are an aspect to be aware of when choosing a wedge, it doesn't have any significant impact on your short game performance. It's mainly personal preference of appearance. As a matter of fact, the wear and rust that comes from unplated or raw finishes can improve friction and therefore spin.
The most important aspects to look out for when choosing a wedge is loft, grind, and bounce seeing as these features affect the way the club interacts with the ground, sand, or turf.
The Best Golf Wedge
The best wedge for golfers of all experience levels is the F2 Wave Series Wedge from GoGolf365.
Featuring a re-positioned hosel that eliminates shanking, a face-forward design & wide, dual-bounce sole that works wonders in the bunker, and a set of regular, parallel grooves with unique, curvy lines in between for added friction and backspin, the F2 Wedge will make you the master of your wedge game once and for all.
The F2 Wedge is available for both right and left handed golfers in the following loft angles:
• 52° gap wedge
• 56° sand wedge
• 60° lob wedge
• 64° ultra lob wedge
Stop shanking, blading, and chunking your short game shots and start getting up and down from everywhere with the F2 Wedge today.
How many wedges should you carry?
While the number of wedges you should carry depends on personal preference, skill level and playing style, it's common for most golfers to carry between two and four wedges. It's best to carry a sand wedge, a gap wedge, and a pitching wedge, but more experienced players can add a lob wedge to their bag.
What 3 wedges to carry?
While it's up to personal preference, the 3 wedges most golfers carry a lob wedge along with a pitching and sand wedge.
What are the 4 types of golf wedges?
The 4 types of golf wedges are a pitching wedge, gap wedge, sand wedge, and lob wedge. Each type of wedge is available in varying degrees and serves different purposes.
What are 52 and 56 wedges used for?
Generally, 52° wedges are used for short approach shots and pitching, while 56° wedges are used for more full shots such as sand shots and longer pitches.
What is a 60 degree wedge used for?
A 60 degree wedge is used for short shots around the green that call for a high loft. These shots mainly include pitching, chipping, and flop shots, but a 60° wedge can also be used for certain sand shots when you need to get the ball out of the sand with a high trajectory and lots of backspin.
What degree is a pitching wedge?
The degree of a pitching wedge is typically around 46º - 48°. The degree generally falls between that of short irons, like a 9-iron and 8-iron.
What degree is a sand wedge?
The degree of a sand wedge is usually around 56° - 58°, designed specifically to use in sand bunkers.
What degree is a lob wedge?
A lob wedge typically has a loft angle of around 60° - 64°.
What is bounce on a wedge?
Bounce on a wedge refers to the angle between the sole of the club and the ground when at address. Bounce helps golfers determine how the club will interact with the ground, which can have a significant impact on the trajectory, spin, and control of the ball.
All the best,
The team at GoGolf365