The Four Different Wedges

The Four Types of Wedges
The following gives you a brief on where each of the different wedges fits in with your golfing requirements. Over time, golf professionals began to realize that most of the strokes in Golf are within 100 yards of the hole. With this in mind, the clubs we carry in our bags have evolved to reflect this. Put simply the type of wedges you carry in your bag can help you deliver the shots you want in your short game. Therefore, set make-up has evolved to emphasize these shots – specifically, with the use of originally three wedges.

All wedges have high lofts typically 45 – 60 degrees to increase the trajectory. Combine this with the “Heavy Sole” weighting and you have a club that will help you swing through sand or grass. Most wedges are heavier due to the extra weighting but all have their own advantages which suit a particular distance or lie. Real consideration needs to be taken over something called “Bounce Angle”. Bounce angle helps the club “bounce” out of the rough or the sand without getting stuck in there.

Sand Wedge
A good Sand Iron has a high bounce angle even though at a maximum of 16 degrees this is still quite tiny. It has 54 to 57 degrees of loft. The characteristics of a Sand Iron demonstrate that the trailing edge of the club head is lower than the leading edge thus giving greater bounce. This is why a good sand iron is a must, especially to get out of those bunkers – we’ve all been there! It makes sense to use a club with a high bounce angle in soft, sandy or fluffy lies.

Pitching Wedge
The Pitching Wedge has a loft of 45 to 49 degrees and is typically found in most golf sets. Of the three wedges it is normally used for the longer approach shots - up to 120 yards for men and 90 yards for women (depending on the strength of the individual). The pitching wedge has minimal bounce as it is normally hit from the grass. A high level of bounce is undesirable as it would make it difficult to get the club head under the ball causing you to thin it.

Lob Wedge
Then we come to the Lob Wedge which completes the set of the original 3 wedges. The loft is from 57 degrees upwards with some newer clubs going as high as 64 degrees. Obviously the Lob Wedge is used for shorter distances (approx 60-65 yards max) around the green. This is where “touch and feel” come in allowing you get the ball up quickly and allowing softer landings and backspin on the greens. There is minimal bounce (0-10 degrees) which is ideal where there is little room under the ball as a minor mistake could cause the club head to bounce causing you to “thin” the ball. The Lob Wedge has a sharp leading edge and a thin sole. This club enables you to take a full swing when close to green as the ball will fly short and high. There is a great advantage to using a Lob wedge when encountering a wet bunker shot
 
The Gap Wedge (4th Wedge)
The general loft of the Pitching wedge has decreased and therefore left an appreciable “Gap” between the loft of the Pitching Wedge and Sand Wedge. For a long period of time the loft of a pitching wedge was around the 50 degree mark. The Sand Wedge lofts stayed at 54/55 degrees. The “industry standard” for Pitching Wedges now is around 46 degrees, therefore there is an 8 degree gap between the them. Over a period of time the Gap Wedge has become a necessity for some players and fits in between the pitching wedge and sand wedge at around 50 degrees.
 
As a foot note, as you add more weight to your golf bag with additional clubs/equipment. This would be time to consider investing in a Remote Golf Trolley, recent information suggests that using a Remote Golf Trolley can remove between 3 - 6 strokes off your handicap!