Choosing which wedges to carry is easily one of the most difficult choices golfers must make. With so many different options, deciding which wedges fit your game and the courses you’re bound to play is difficult.
But, we’re here to help. In fact, we’ll educate you on the various types of wedges and the differences between them. Along the way, we’ll determine the wedge that provides the most versatility. Let’s begin with the different types of wedges:
With lofts between 46 and 48 degrees, pitching wedge distances typically range from 110 to 140 yards, depending on the golfer. Pitching wedges are the most common types of wedges and often come standard in most sets of irons. The pitching wedge is used mostly when facing short approach shots or chipping around the green.
Carrying an average distance range of 90 to 110 yards, gap wedges range between 51 and 53 degrees of loft. Gap wedges get their name from filling the distance gap that falls between the two formerly standard wedges in a set of golf clubs — the pitching wedge and the sand wedge. Gap wedges do not come standard in golf sets.
From 54 to 58 degrees, the sand wedge typically travels 80 to 110 yards. The sand wedge originally found its way into many golfers’ bags due to their ability to hit the golf ball out of sand traps and greenside bunkers. Their ease of use out of the rough and on chip shots, however, have made sand wedges virtually standard in most golf bags — and some golf sets.
Carrying lofts of 58 to 60 degrees, lob wedge distances range from 50 to 80 yards. Typically a club you’ll only find in the bag of a highly skilled golfer, the lob wedge is relatively tricky to hit in some situations. But it comes in handy in thick rough or deep bunker situations.
And the winner is…
While all types of wedges will certainly add value to a golfer’s bag, the sand wedge should be considered the wedge that provides the most versatility. Thanks to the overall availability, ease of use and unique loft settings, the sand wedge can help a golfer in so many situations.
- Have a short approach on a par 4? Use a sand wedge to dial in distance and get the ball up high in order to stop it quickly near the pin.
- Need to bump and run to try and save par? Hit down a bit on the golf ball using your sand wedge, generating pin-seeking spin without sacrificing feel and touch.
- Need to get out of the greenside bunker? The sand wedge was built to handle that task.
- Facing tricky chip with limited space for the ball to roll before the cup? The loft your sand wedge carries is perfect for negotiating this difficult shot.
Inside of approximately 110 yards, there is no better club to help you get it close to the pin. The sand wedge undoubtedly provides the most versatility for most golfers.
— Ben Larsen