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Know Your Wedges

By on May 11, 2013

Presented by Dennise Hutton.

Pitching Wedge

Pitching wedges are the most commonly used of the golf wedges. With a loft of between 44 and 50 degrees, they are the least lofted wedge and typically used for approach shots between about 35 and 100 metres. This distance varies greatly depending on the strength of the golfer and their ability level. For example a women golfer compared to a male golfer or a single figure handicap golfer and a 36 handicap golfer. Golfers usually use pitching wedges for approach shots to the green and for chip shots that they want to keep reasonably low. Pitching wedges have the least amount of bounce – generally between about 2 and 5 degrees – of any of the wedges (except, sometimes, for lob wedges). This allows golfers to get the front edge of the club underneath the ball and still make solid contact.

Sand Wedge

Sand wedges are designed to help golfers hit their balls out of the sand, but can be used from the fairway or rough. These wedges have between about 51 and 56 degrees of loft, which help golfers get the ball in the air quickly. The maximum distance golfers hit with sand wedges is between about 25 and 80 metres. Even among wedges, sand wedges are unique since they are built to help golfers escape the sand. They have the most bounce of any wedge – 10 to 16 degrees – and the widest sole width, which means the bottom of the club is wider to help prevent the club from digging into the sand. Due to the way sand wedges are made, they propel the ball quickly into the air and cause it to spin. As a result, a ball struck by a sand wedge generally stops more quickly than if it were struck by another club. That is assuming you strike it pure. The difficulty for the average golfer is that the bounce sometimes causes the golfer to blade the ball, ie hit it half way up the ball or hit behind the ball. This is why I suggest that you make sure that the lie your ball is on is not to bare.

Gap Wedge

The Gap Wedge is used to cover the distance between your wedge and sand wedge. For instance, if you hit your wedge 90 metres and your sand wedge 70 metres the gap wedge should be a distance in between, say 80 metres. A gap wedge is designed specifically to bridge the gap between the pitching and sand wedges. When choosing a gap wedge the loft should be mid-way between the pitching and sand wedge. Gap wedges with lower amounts of loft are effective when used from fairways or when the ball is on a hard surface, while those with high degrees of loft are especially useful in deep rough, on a soft fairway or even from a sand trap.

Lob wedge

Lob wedges have the highest degree of loft of any of the wedges – 58 degrees to 70 degrees. They are best used in situations when golfers have to get the ball into the air quickly and have it land softly so it does not roll. As a result, lob wedges are often used around the greens and in other situations in which a finesse shot is necessary. They also perform well in the deep rough and anytime the balls needs to stop quickly after hitting the ground. Lob wedges have a sharp leading edge and a small sole width, which allows golfers to get under the ball easily and send it into the air.

If you need help or what to go to the next level give Dennise a call on 0410 611 792 or email  She can tailor a programme to your individual needs.

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