Wedges are some of the most important clubs in a golfer’s bag. There’s a reason they’re called “scoring clubs,” as they are used from short yardages close to the hole, from bunkers, tall grass and a number of other lies. Wedges are the clubs golfers attack pins with.
Golf rules state each player cannot have more than 14 clubs in his or her bag at one time.
For that reason, obviously carrying five wedges between 52 and 60 degrees would be next to impossible, unless you were playing on an executive course, a par-3 course or any other type of golf course where longer clubs were not needed.
Let’s talk wedges:
The wedge, most notably the higher lofted wedge, is designed to lift the golf ball as quickly as possible and each wedge is measured in degrees. The degrees on the club are the angle of the clubface in relation to the ground.
Ideally, the best wedges to have will allow you to carry your most common approach distance in yardage. If most approach shots are within the 100-yard range then the correct wedge loft is one that allows you to carry that particular distance with a full swing, and the same holds true if you were 70, 80 or 90 yards out.
Here are four wedge lofts:
- Pitching Wedge – 45 to 49°
- Gap Wedge – 50 to 53°
- Sand Wedge – 54 to 58°
- Lob Wedge – 58 to 65°
Every golfer is different and these wedge lofts need to be adapted as so.
Some of the best advice to share with golfers regarding their wedge lofts is to be very conscientious of their “gapping.” Make sure the gaps between all of your lofts are consistent. Instead of having wedges at 48, 50, 56, 60, try going with something more like 46-50-54-58.
Effective gapping will help with understanding better your yardages.
Another important component when making the best choice of a wedge is bounce. While often overlooked, bounce is critical for understanding certain shots.
Bounce is the angle of the club’s sole to the ground.
A wedge that has a high bounce angle will most often yield better results when hitting from loose sand in a bunker or from high grass. Using the same though process, a lower bounce wedge will give better results from shots from thin sand in a bunker or tight lies.
Wedge Bounce Descriptions
- High Bounce – for deep rough, tall grass, fluffy sand
- Low Bounce – fairway shots, compacted sand, tight lies
- Standard Bounce – soft to normal conditions, players who leave shallower lies
Wedge grooves are essential in spinning the ball. The grooves of the club are the element of the club that grips the golf ball, causing it to rotate post-impact. This is what creates the spin. Sharp, fresh grooves help with spin, but the shape of the grooves (whether it’s U-grooves or V-grooves) make just has heavy of an impact.
New groove policies by the USGA have changed the grooves on both the amateur and professional levels.
The shafts on the wedge will also help with the spin and speed of the ball. Granted it is not not as much as the club head, the shaft plays a major role in spin. Today’s wedge shafts come in a wide spectrum of either soft flexes to firm, depending on your particular golf game.
Shafts play a major role in trajectory. If you want the ball to fly lower, you must hit stiffer shafts with a lower kick point. Higher shots require softer shafts with a high kick point.