The wedges are one of the most important equipment needed in the game of golf as it helps in terms of distance, accuracy and most importantly get out of difficult situations and better the chances of a golfer having better game results if he/she knows their ways around about it.
This article is to help golfers improve their understanding of a wedge; its types, usage, the various lofts available and those needed to improve each skills level game. For those who are new to the game of golf the first question that pops to mind remains: what is a wedge?
Wedges are clubs with the highest loft in any golf club set specifically crafted for shots played out of sand, pitch shots, chip shots, and most especially short approach shots which ascend and descend sharply. These Wedges are made of irons with higher degree of loft which determines the distance upon every full swing, for most golfers it is often within the 120yards radius.
Type of wedges includes the following:
Pitching Wedges (PW)
The most common wedge in the golf industry is the pitching wedge. These wedges are the lowest-lofted and hit the ball the farthest. A pitching wedge loft often varies between 44-49 degrees pending on manufacturer and it’s is capable of ensuring a ball distance of about 110-120 meters. A PW is considered one of the basic golf club as it is usually included in a club set and is often identified with the letter PW inscribed on the club head.
Sand Wedges (SW)
This wedge is designed to enable golfers easily hit shots out of bunkers or rough, sand wedge loft often varies from 54-58 degree and it can boast of a 70-90 meters with a full swing. This SW is designed with heavier and wider sole to ensure better chips and bunker shots.
Gap Wedges (GW)
A gap wedge is a variety wedge used when the pitching wedge hit the ball too long or a sand wedge hit the ball too short. This wedge is used to fill the gap between the PW and the SW because it has more loft than the PW and less loft than the SW.
The Gap wedge loft degree varies from 50-54 degree depending on manufacturers and is often identified with the letter GW inscribed on the club head. Though it is sometimes referred to as the utility wedge (UW) or attack wedge (AW). It still remains a very important wedge on the green.
Lob Wedges (LW)
This is the latest addition to the type of wedges; the lob wedge is the highest lofted in golf today with a loft of around 60-64 degrees to produce more height and improved spin compare to other wedges.
The LW is mostly used to hit flop shots, bunker shots and chip to improve game results irrespective of skill level.
Having understood the meaning of a wedge and the various types available another term important to the subject topic is the “LOFT”
What is a Loft?
The loft is the angle between the club face and its shaft, the importance which is seen when an increased loft results in higher elevation and less distance while a lower loft implies less ball elevation and increased distance.
What Degree Wedge Do I Need?
Any beginner who often struggles to hit his/her ball to a preferred direction would have little to worry about cause it would not matter much, however any skill level golfer who often falls short on distance using sand wedge or too long using pitching wedge is definitely at the right place.
While most golfers are often confused on which wedge would best improve their game, here are the solutions to help your game results.
Read more: The Most Forgiving Wedges For Every Budget
The skill level of the golfer often determines the wedge best suited for a golfer’s game; an amateur golfer will be fine with just a pitching wedge 44-49 degrees, while beginner golfer who have mastered his/her distance hoping to improve would need a Pitching Wedge and a Sand Wedge of 54-58 degree to help improve distance accuracy and get out of tricky situation.
However, intermediate skill level golfers would need 3 wedges to improve their overall game results, the pitching wedge for distance wedge shot, the lob wedge of 60-64 degrees for higher ball elevation and the sand wedge for bunkers shots and pitch shots. Any of the above wedges can be used to chip the ball.
Pro golfers might need all four wedges thereby ensuring they’re well prepared for any possible outcome, while most golfers believe a 60 degree loft wedge offer more loft than needed, the two best loft combinations to get excellent results are 45, 50, 55, 60 and 45, 50, 54, 58 degree wedges.
Having a PW, SW, GW and LW is the best wedge combinations for any professional golfers as it offers various loft options as well advantages.
Best Loft Combinations for All Skill Level Golfers
Any golfer hoping to get the best outcome of any golf game should know that keeping the right wedge combination is very important to ensure significant deference between shots elevation and distance, while the gap between wedges must not be less than 4 degree loft to ensure each wedge cover all bases particularly for very good golfers who will need all four type of wedges in their arsenal. Other good but not excellent golfers in need of three wedge types can keep at least 6 degree loft in-between clubs and 8 degree if they which to include a lob wedge.
Though the pitch wedge often come with a club set, there is need to know its degree of loft to ascertain the right degree of wedges to purchase to complete your wedge loft combinations. For instance if your Pitching Wedge is 45 degree, a good combination would be a GW of 50, SW of 55 and LW of 60 to complete the set.
Here are some useful loft combinations for readers.
Wedge combinations for high handicappers:
- PW and 54;
- PW and 56.
Wedge combinations for mid handicappers:
- PW, 52, 58;
- PW, 52, 60;
- PW, 50 (GW), 56.
Wedge combinations for serious golfers:
- PW, 50 (GW), 54, 58
- PW, 50 (GW), 55, 60
- PW, 50, 56 (for three wedge combination)
- PW, 52, 60 (for three wedge combination)
Note: the selection of any combination is mainly influenced by personal preference.
Buying the Best Wedge
Deciding on best wedges to buy is often a challenging task. Most golfers are often divided between low budget plans or finding the best value on the market due to the very competitive market, while the difference between a cheap wedge and premium wedge is barely noticeable and the need to exhaust your finance for a tad of spin is not advisable. Here are the best wedges available in today market
BEST OVERALL: Callaway Mack Daddy 4
This premium quality is not only the best but also the wedge with the best spin for golfers who don’t mind splashing a little cash as it improve spin and quality, though the Cleveland boast of better distance control.
BEST VALUE WEDGE: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Wedge
The Cleveland is reputable for standard Wedge production over the years and the 588 RTX 2.0 is credence to this. This wedge offers optimized distance control and spin to improve game results. While it recent drop in price due to newer series remains a major advantage.
BEST CHEAP WEDGE: Wilson Harmonized
This Wilson wedge is the best for golfers with minimum budget, though it cannot be compared to premium quality wedges but offers quality features. This cheap wedge ensures you don’t miss out on much while guaranteeing little impact financially.
It’s the best time to ask questions and give us your feedback in comments.