Choose the Correct Wedge Lofts For Your Game

By Brett Bennett
November 2, 2014

The Best Golf Wedges to Have in Your Bag

The PGA Tour features “What’s In Your Bag” segments, where PGA Tour players open up about their club selections giving reasons for each club’s purpose in their golf bag. As an amateur golfer, a lot can be gleaned from this valuable advice.

Each player is only granted 14 clubs in their bag. Among those are wedges– your scoring clubs. It is absolutely essential to select the correct wedge lofts.

After knocking a long drive down the middle of the fairway, often times you will find yourself with a distance for which do not have a wedge. This happens more times than not.

So how do you prepare with the proper wedges for your game?

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Wedges give you versatility not only with approach shots, but in diversifying your shots selections around the greens as well. Many amateurs play the game with glaring gaps in their wedge lofts; that would be the same as not having a seven iron in your iron set.

How crazy of a thought is that?

I am not suggesting adding a 64 degree wedge which virtually only Phil Mickelson can use effectively. Instead, we are trying to fill in the pitching to sand wedge loft gaps and establish an equal variances between the wedges lofts that we have in our bag.

Before we add to our bag, we need to review what is in the bag. From my experience in teaching, a commonly missing wedge from an amateur’s set is a club to fill the gap between the pitching wedge and sand wedge.

A pitching wedge loft typically will be between 46 and 48 degrees. But now we jump to our sand wedge which may have anywhere from 54 to 56 degrees of loft.

So what’s missing from this? What is a 52 degree wedge?

 

A 52 degree wedge is called a gap wedge. This wedge is crucial to being able to play our approach shots properly without having to hit a three quarters wedge or trying to take a big swing at a sand wedge. The gap wedge gives us another option to hit a full shot. It ranges from 50 to 52 degrees of loft and proves to be another useful tool to create different shots around the green.



Choosing the correct wedge lofts consists of maintaining either three or four wedges– rarely less. Again, we are allotted 14 clubs in our bag, so almost all golfers differ their selections. Some may choose to have one less wedge to allow for a longer club in their bag, such as a hybrid or fairway metal.

To properly know how to set up our bag of wedges, we must know how many degrees of loft our pitching wedge has. As mentioned above, a pitching wedge usually has a range of degrees between 46 and 48. We are looking for the continuity of loft between our wedges.

If we have a 46 degree wedge, I would recommend having a 50 degree gap wedge, a 54 degree sand wedge and possibly a 58 degree loft wedge. On the flip side, if our pitching wedge loft is 48 degrees then I would look into adding a 52 degree gap wedge, a 56 degree sand wedge loft and possibly a 60 degree loft wedge if you would like.

(Many people may just stop at a sand wedge because of the difficulty associated with using a 58 or 60 degree wedge effectively. This club can create a high trajectory that may be difficult to control for some players.)

These are just a few recommendations on how to choose the right wedge set up. Take a couple minutes to take a look at your bag to see what your own set up currently is. A guided evaluation of your wedges may just lead you to lower scores!

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6 Comments

  1. I prefer using a 58 degree wedge, as I don’t want the dilemma for pitching and sand shots whether to use the lob or sand wedge, but have a 52 degree gap wedge which would probably be better a 53, as my pitching wedge is 48 degrees

  2. I currently have a 52 degree wedge with 8 degree bounce and 1 putter . I am a beginner . Can this wedge be used in the sand?

  3. Paul, thank you for commenting.

    It can be used in the sand, but you’re going to have some difficulty. 52 degree wedges do quite alright from the sand, but because of the loft will come out lower and roll out further. I would suggest getting a 56 or 58 degree wedge if you want to hit a few more versatile bunker shots.

    Thanks and good luck!

    — Troy

  4. I bought new Amp Cells over a year ago and they say my pw is 44 and gw 49, I was think of getting a 56 sw and 60 lob. Does that make sense?

  5. Great question, Terry.

    I would take note of the gaps, making sure they’re consistent. A 5-degree gap would be nice, so thinking if you bent those to 45, 50, 55 and then left the 60?

    I think you’ll definitely need something with more loft than your 49, so great choice!

    — Troy

  6. I appreciate it. I am going to take my pw and gw in to see where they actually measure to be. I picked up a 56 and 60 to try out, i knew i needed something else for sure.

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