History of the Lob Wedge

History of the Lob Wedge

Up to 1931 the only wedge golfers had in their bag was something called a “Jigger”, which was similar to a current day pitching wedge, the Lob Wedge as we know it was completely unheard of. The Sand Wedge was the first new age wedge to be included in the golf bag. In 1931 Gene Sarazen invented the “second wedge,” or sand wedge. He was on a plane flight with Howard Hughes. Hughes pointed out that an airplanes battle with drag was similar to a pitching wedge’s (Jigger’s) battle to avoid digging into the sand in a bunker.

That conversation struck a chord with Sarazen. The next step was for him to take a pitching wedge into his workshop, he soldered varying amounts of metal onto the bottom of it. With a great deal of trial and error he developed a crude version of the sand wedge. The Sand Wedge had the ability to glide through sand very easily without ‘digging in’ or simply ‘Bouncing out’. Gene Sarazen took the club with him to the 1932 British Open, where he kept it hidden from the Royal & Ancient officials. His fear was that they would declare the club illegal before he played. He went on to win the championship, the sand wedge remained legal, and as they say - the rest is history.

It wasn’t until the 1980’s that the concept of the Lob Wedge was looked at. Dave Pelz, was the first golfer to realise there was a need for a wedge that could provide a higher loft - 60 degrees at that time. The concept of the Lob Wedge was formulated to provide a high trajectory with little or no bounce generating large amounts of backspin and little roll of the ball. This helped immensely when landing on the more challenging greens that were being designed during that era.

The Lob wedge is still quite a new addition to the golf bag, Tom Kite was one of the original professionals to use the Lob Wedge on Tour thus influencing other professionals to follow his lead. The founder of the Ping golf range Karsten Solheim, invented the Lob Wedge as we know it today. He named the club the “L Wedge” or the “Lob Wedge”. The wedges developed today can be found in any loft from 46 to 64 degrees with the Lob Wedge at the top end of this varying from 58 to 64 degrees. There’s one thing for certain a well chosen Lob Wedge in your bag will only enhance your short game.