Every golf bag needs one or more wedges. These clubs are some of the most important pieces of equipment that a golfer needs.
A wedge can help determine the distance you hit the ball, how accurate your shot is, and, most important of all, it can help you get out of difficult situations such as a bunker. Simply put, having the right wedges can make your golf game improve.
When it comes to choosing what loft wedges you need, you should consider a number of factors. These include what degree wedges you require, the types available, and what they should be used for on a golf course.
In this article, we are going to improve your understanding of a loft wedge so you can work on improving your skill level. If you’re brand new to the world of golf, you may be wondering what a wedge is.
Well, wedges are clubs that have the highest loft in a golf club set. They are specially designed for playing shots out of the sand and tricky situations. They allow you to play pitch shots, chip shots, and short approach shots for a sharp ascent and descent.
Wedges are made of irons with a higher degree of loft to determine the distance with every full swing.
When considering a loft wedge, you must think about how many you need. Let’s take a look below to answer all of your questions about loft wedges.
Different types of wedges
This is the most common wedge in the game of golf. Pitching wedges are the lowest-lofted but hit the ball the furthest distance.
These wedges typically vary between 44 - 49 degrees depending on the manufacturer. They are usually capable of hitting the golf ball approximately 110 - 120 meters.
A pitching wedge is considered one of the basic clubs in a golf bag and this is why you will often find it in a club set when first purchased. To identify a pitching wedge, look for the letters “PW” inscribed on the club’s head.
A sand wedge is made to help golfers hit shots out of bunkers or the rough more easily. A sand wedge loft is from 54 - 58 degrees and can send the golf ball 70 - 90 meters with a full swing.
A sand wedge is designed with a heavier and wider sole so you can achieve better chips and bunker shots on the course.
Gap wedges are variety wedges that are used when a pitching wedge hits the ball too far or a sand wedge hits the ball too short of a distance.
A gap wedge is used to fill the gap between a pitching wedge and a sand wedge. This is because it has more loft than a pitching wedge but less than a sand wedge.
The loft degree of a gap wedge varies from 50 - 54 degrees. Again, this depends on the manufacturer. You should be able to identify your gap wedge with the initials “GW” on the club head.
However, it can sometimes be referred to as a utility wedge (UW) or an attack wedge (AW). Whatever you call it, it remains one of the most important wedges on the green.
A lob wedge is the newest type of wedge. It has the highest loft in golf at around 60 - 64 degrees. This produces more height and ensures an improved spin when compared to other wedge types.
Lob wedges are typically used for hitting flop shots, bunker shots, and chip shots. They are one of the best clubs for improving your game results, no matter what level you’re at.
How many wedges you need?
The number of wedges you have differs from one player to the next. Some golfers only have one wedge while others may have four.
To determine how many you need, you should consider what level you are at in golf and how seriously you take the game.
If your skill level is quite low and you just want a wedge to get through a few rounds of golf once or twice a year, then one pitching wedge should suffice.
If you play regularly and take gold quite seriously, then you may want to equip yourself with at least two wedges; a pitching wedge and a sand wedge. This will help you correctly hit a bunker shot as pitching wedges have no bounce to them.
A sand wedge is designed specifically for such situations.
If you are pretty experienced and have a high level of skill, then you should have three wedges: a pitching wedge, a sand wedge, and a lob wedge.
You will need to buy a sand wedge and a lob wedge separately as the pitching wedge usually comes with your iron set. Sand wedges tend to be 54 or 56 degrees while lob wedges are generally 58 or 60 degrees in loft.
Your sand wedge is best used for bunker shots, certain pitch shots, and a few longer wedge shots. The lob wedge is better used for getting shots up in the air to land softly. You can also chip with all wedges when required.
This is for the advanced player or pro. If you’re very good at golf, you may need four wedges: a pitching wedge, a gap wedge, a sand wedge, and a loft wedge. The lofts of these will be around 45, 50, 54, and 58 degrees or 45, 50, 55, and 60 degrees. Either or should be suitable.
You ask many golfers and they will believe that a loft of 55 is more than enough. However, others prefer the idea of having a 60 wedge for hitting high but soft shots.
Consider the gaps you’re trying to fill in your golf club set
You should inspect your iron set online to find out what the highest lofted club is that you own. You can do this by typing in your iron club followed by specs. All the information you need should appear to help you understand what you’re missing.
You may find that your highest lofted club is a pitching wedge. If you’re a very skilled golfer, then you should be looking to own four wedges.
Therefore, you will need three more. You need to ensure that you have at least four degrees of loft between your clubs. If not, the distance that your shots fly won’t be very different, whatever wedge you use.
Therefore, if your pitching wedge has a loft of 45 degrees, you should get a gap wedge at 50, a sand wedge at 55, and a lob wedge at 60.
Over the years, many club manufacturers have gradually decreased the loft of their clubs so they can fly further.
This is important to remember if you’re a good golfer but not a great golfer. If your pitching wedge is the highest lofted club at 44 degrees, you should consider getting a gap wedge at 50 degrees and a sand wedge at 56 degrees.
This leaves a gap of 6 degrees in between each wedge which is more than enough for a good golfer.
It’s down to personal preference but we recommend that you have the exact same difference in loft/degrees between each club for better usage.
Let’s take a look at the wedge sets that are best suited to different levels of golfers:
- Wedge combos for beginners or high handicappers - Pitching wedge (56), Pitching wedge (54)
- Wedge combos for mid handicappers - Pitching wedge (50)/Gap wedge (56) Pitching wedge (52, 58), Pitching wedge (52, 60)
- Wedge combos for regular, serious golfers - Pitching wedge (50)/Gap Wedge (55, 60), Pitching Wedge (50)/ Gap Wedge (54, 58), Pitching wedge (52, 60 for the three wedge combo), Pitching wedge (50, 56 for the three wedge combo)
Choose the wedges
Once you know what lofts of wedges you need, you will have to decide which ones you will purchase. Overall, wedges are all made similarly.
Of course, you will notice some difference between a cheap wedge and a top-quality model but even then, the difference won’t be as evident as you may think.
You should keep a budget in mind and only spend as much as you’re comfortable with spending.
Consider cheaper wedges from brands such as Wilson if you have a tight budget. If you are able to spend more, you could invest in higher-end wedges that will help spin the ball more and offer better consistency over your distance control.
If you’re happy to splash the cash, consider the Callaway Mack Daddy 4. This is on the higher end of the market; they tend to provide the most spin and are excellent for the best possible check-up on chips and pitches.
For the best value for money, we recommend the Cleveland RTX 588 2.0 wedge. Although quite expensive, Cleveland’s wedges are very popular amongst golfers of all levels.
For the feel of impact and distance control, it is certainly worth the long-term investment. If you wish to save more money but not compromise the wedge’s performance, you may like the standard 588 RTX wedge.