If you are looking for a gap wedge, you probably want one between 50 and 52 degrees of loft. You may ask why you can’t have one of each in your bag. Well, you can, but remember, you’re limited to 14 clubs total, as per the rules of the game.
This is why most recreational golfers only use two or three wedges: one 50 or 52° gap wedge, a pitching wedge, and a sand wedge. So, should you add a 50-degree or 52-degree wedge to your bag?
The big question is which wedge is the better one of these two, or whether they’re both equally good. The guide will help you find out what the key benefits of each of these products are, and if there are any situations in which one is better than the other.
Additionally, we will point out any possible downsides to the two wedges.
What Is A Gap Wedge?
A gap wedge is a wedge with an angle around the 50 degree mark. A gap wedge is called so, as it’s designed to sit right between your sand and pitching wedges.
Typically, the gap wedge is used for distances too short to fall into the pitching wedge’s wheelhouse, and too long for the sand wedge.
This wedge is also known as an A-wedge, attack, or approach wedge. Gap wedges are usually sold individually, but, occasionally, are sold as part of a set with both the sand and pitching wedges. Lofts of gap wedges typically range from 50° to 54°.
That said, there are some manufacturers who create wedges of the gap variety with lofts as little as 48°. This wedge has a strong loft that is perfect for chipping and pitching around the green.
For high shots or perhaps even short trajectory shots, the gap wedge works well, but it takes some time to master, so you tend to only see experienced players using this club.
Steel is usually the material of choice for gap wedge shafts. Wedges with steel shafts can help you control your shots, and they’re supremely robust. Conversely, graphite shafts allow you to achieve greater distances whilst simultaneously reducing impact transition to the hands.
What Is The Purpose Of A 50° Wedge?
A 50° gap wedge is the most common choice because it sits directly between a pitching and sand wedge in terms of loft. Equidistant from both other common wedge types, it fills the gap between them perfectly, offering a shot that’s entirely its own.
However, this centralization relies on your pitching wedge being between 44 and 46 degrees and your sand wedge being between 54 and 56 degrees. If that’s not the case, 50 is no longer directly in the middle.
As a result, your 50 degree gap wedge will perform too much like whichever wedge it’s closest to in terms of loft, meaning the shot it provides won’t be different enough to warrant giving the club a spot in your game bag,
Is A 50 Degree Gap Wedge Really Needed?
Golfers who wish to improve their game will benefit from the use of a 50 degree wedge. Golfers will use the 50 degree wedge to ensure the ball stays on the fairway when hitting short shots. When the ball goes into the rough, they are also used to help get the ball out of trouble.
The 50 degree wedge is typically used by players who want to make sure they stay on target. Players often use the 50 degree wedges because they don’t have enough distance control with their irons. This allows them to hit longer shots without having to worry about overshooting the ball.
How Much Bounce Should A 50-degree Wedge Have?
First, let’s discuss what bounce actually is.
When a club bounces, an angle is formed between the leading edge and the trailing edge. This part of the club makes contact with the ground as the face makes contact with the ball. As a result of a higher bounce, the leading edge will be higher off the ground at address.
Generally speaking, a 50° wedge will have less of a bounce than a 52 degree wedge.
A 50° wedge bounce is approximately 5-8 degrees on average. Some specialty wedges, however, have a higher bounce at 12°.
If you are playing golf on a firm course, or if you are using a golf club with a beveled edge, a bounce of 8° is absolutely perfect. When you make shallow swings and maintain solid connection with the ball, you’ll really feel the benefit of 8 degrees.
When you are playing soft, mushy courses or find yourself stuck with a tricky lie in wet grass, a 12-degree bounce is perfect for a 50-degree wedge. This bounce will also work exceedingly well If you’re playing a tight, firm lie.
Furthermore, a 12° bounce may be a good idea if you tend to dig when you pitch and chip. Full swing wedge shots will also benefit from this bounce.
The Distance Of A 50 Degree Wedge
On average, males cover 95 yards with a 50 degree wedge. In comparison, female golfers can typically strike a ball 62 yards with a 50 degree wedge.
The gap wedge is best recommended for players wishing to cover a distance of approximately 90 yards.
The 52 Degree Wedge
The 52 degree wedge will help you eke out a little more distance than its 50 degree counterpart.
The 52 degree wedge is ideal for any golfer at any handicap who are looking for something that will really help their score and cope with different scenarios on the course. This can be from in the bunker or around the green.
The 52 degree gap wedge is manufactured and sold in sets or as an individual blade style. Callaway, Taylormade, Titleist, Cleveland, and Cobra are some of the companies that produce them.
Players who use pitching and sand wedges with slightly higher degrees of loft will benefit from using a 52° instead of a 50.
The Purpose Of A 52 Degree Wedge
The general role of the 53 degree gap wedge is exactly the same as the 50. It’s designed to sit in the gap between the two primary wedges, but the slight difference in degrees does change the nature of your shot.
From inside and outside of 100 yards, the 52 degree club can be used for approach shots. Besides playing around the greens, players can also use it when trying to chip out of the rough. In order to control the distance inside 100 yards, golfers can easily use a half-swing or a three-quarter swing.
To chip near the greens, gap wedges are ideal. The ball will roll more on the green if you use a gap wedge with a 52-degree angle.
Try playing a few shots with a 52-degree wedge on a practice green or range to see what kind of shots you are comfortable playing.
How Much Bounce Is There In A 52 Degree Wedge?
Typically speaking, Dry and firm surfaces with tight lies require bounces between 0 and 10 degrees. Bounces between 10-16 degrees are recommended for rainy and soft conditions. But the 52 degree gap wedge is a different kettle of fish.
No matter the terrain, your 52 should always have a bounce between 8 and 10 degrees. However, within this zone, there are even more precise sweet sots.
Clubs with a bounces closer to 8 degrees are more suited to firm courses with heavy bunkers, and clubs with a bounce closer to 10 degrees will be better for soft ground performance.
The Distance Of A 52 Degree Wedge
In the case of a 52 degree wedge, the average distance for men is between 80-115 yards. The average distance for women is between 60-80 yards. The distance will vary depending on a golfer’s skill level and length.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are The Different Degrees Of Wedges?
Wedge angles range from 48 degrees to 50 degrees, 52 degrees to 54 degrees, 56 degrees to 58 degrees to 60 degrees to 64 degrees. The 50 degree wedge will fit perfectly as the approach wedge if a player chooses to have three additional wedges and a modern-day PW.
Is A 50 Degree Wedge Better Than A 52 Degree Wedge?
If you tend to prefer some layoff, the 50 degree wedge would be a better choice than the 52 degree wedge. If you are hoping to achieve some full shots or short shots, the 50 degree wedge will again be preferable to the 52 degree wedge.
Ultimately, however, it comes down to what type of golfer you are and what type of club you prefer to play. It is up to you to decide whether you are better off with the 52 degree wedge or the 50 degree wedge. You will be able to pick the one that fits you best after you have tried both of these wedges out.
For A Gap Wedge, What Is The Best Loft?
You can play distances between 80-100 yards more accurately with a gap wedge with a loft between 50-55 degrees rather than pushing for more distance with a sand wedge or less than a full swing with a pitching wedge.
We really recommend you get one that best fits your style of play.
Can A 52 Degree Wedge Be Used To Hit A Bunker Shot?
Yes, it can. An overly lofty shot with a 56 or 60 degree could be ineffective at 20-30 yards in a bunker. Consider hitting the same shot with a 52-degree wedge and watching it fly slightly lower and a bit farther with some roll.
The gap wedge division includes the 50 degree wedge and the 52 degree wedge. 50 degree wedges are a better option than 52 degree wedges if you prefer to have some layoffs.
It is preferable to use a 50 degree wedge to cover some extra distance or to achieve some a nice tidy short shot when compared to a 52 degree wedge.
If you own a 46 degree pitching wedge, we recommend getting the 50 degree wedge instead. If you have a 48 degree pitching wedge, a 52 degree wedge would be a better choice, as it fills the central gap between your other wedges.