Did you know that more than 70% of your game is played from one hundred yards or closer? For clubs often referred to as “specialized irons,” you’ll find yourself pulling wedges from your bag more often than you’d think. With our comprehensive golf wedge buying guide, you will know exactly how to choose golf club wedges that suit your game.
In a round of golf, the shots inside 100 yards could easily account for 65% of your score.
Due to the precise nature of wedge grooves, these clubs wear down quickly.
As few as one thousand shots with a typical wedge can erode groove edges
a thousandth of an inch and surface roughness as much as 40%. That’s why consistently replacing those old wedges with fresh new ones will keep your grooves and your game sharper than ever.
1. What Are the Different Wedge Types?
The gap wedge, sand wedge and lob wedge form the different categories of wedges. The most commonly used wedge, the pitching wedge, is often included in the sale of a typical set of irons while the other three types of wedges are usually sold separately.
• Pitching Wedge | Loft Range: 44 to 49°
If you’re a beginner, it’s a good idea to master this wedge before filling your bag with other wedges. Gap and lob wedges are used by better players, and while sand wedges are more commonly used by golfers of all skill levels, you’ll want to learn how to use the more basic club first.
• Gap Wedge | Loft Range: 50 to 54°
This wedge earns its name because it closes the “gap” in loft between the pitching wedge and sand wedge. Rather than trying to under-swing a pitching wedge or over-swing a sand wedge, a gap wedge allows you to swing fully and hit the ball the desired distance, filling the gap between the maximum distances of pitching and sand wedges.
• Sand Wedge | Loft Range: 54 to 58°
This wedge was designed to make shots out of sand bunkers easier as its sole is specially formed and weighted to effortlessly slide through the sand. The sand wedge helps get the ball into the air quickly, and if played properly, helps the ball stop quickly on the green.
• Lob Wedge | Loft Range: 59 to 65°
This wedge allows players to lift or “lob” the ball high into the air. The ball’s descent will be steep, allowing it to land on the green with little or no roll. It’s the ideal club to use when you have a shot that requires high trajectory and a soft landing, like when you’re trying to clear a hazard or put it close to a green-side flag.
2. Loft & Gapping
Loft is a measurement, in degrees, of the angle at which the face of the club lies relative to the shaft. Loft gives you an idea of how far the ball will travel and the type of trajectory it will have. Wedges have the highest lofts of any club, which means they provide the highest trajectory and the shortest distance. Ideally a player should have four degrees of difference between them. This way you establish proper gapping, enabling you to always hit a full shot, and increase your chances of landing near the pin.
Wedge lofts range from the standard Pitching Wedge to the highly-lofted Lob Wedge.
Bounce angle can range from 0 to 14°.
Bounce angle is a measurement in degrees of the angle from the front edge of a club’s sole to the point that actually rests on the ground at address. It is most commonly applied to wedges, where a bounce angle can range from 0 to 14°. A higher bounce will keep the club from digging too deeply into turf or sand, and will improve shot-making ability if your ball is resting on longer grass or soft, fluffy sand. If your ball is resting in the fairway or on harder sand, you’ll need less bounce.
The face of the wedge has a textured surface. Some have specialized textures include laser etching, or finishes designed to form rust.
Grooves work much like the tread on tires, channeling away water, grass, and debris. They grab the ball and create spin, which helps produce the proper shot trajectory and ball-stopping power when it hits the green. However, a few years ago, after it was discovered that deep grooves found on some wedges gave golfers who used them an unfair advantage, the USGA and R&A (golf’s ruling bodies) implemented a rule restricting groove volume and edge radius as a “condition of competition.” With a reduced volume, more material stays between the ball and the face of the club at impact, resulting in a higher launch angle and less backspin. Some wedges feature a vintage finish that will rust in a way that complements the sound and feel inherent in the metal. Soon they will take on the character and finish that suits your style of play. Other wedges utilize laser etching to optimize ball-to-face friction and create maximum spin. These are two features to keep in mind as you’re searching for the right wedge(s).
How To Shop For Wedges On TGW.com
Our website can help you choose the best wedge(s) for you. Just click on the “Equipment” tab and then select the “Wedges” category. From that point, you can refine your search by hand, brand, finish, loft, bounce, and flex. The website will narrow the field of products based on your selection. If you find a wedge you would like to purchase (and they are customizable), we can custom fit that club with several easy measurements and a quick assessment of your game. Also, don’t forget about our pre-owned wedges, which can be viewed by clicking on the “Pre-Owned” tab located at the top right corner of our site. Most of these wedges have had very little usage and only show minor hit marks or cosmetic blemishes.