The Wedges You Need in Your Golf Bag

The rules of golf state you can have no more than four­teen clubs in your bag. You can have any com­bi­na­tion of woods, irons, wedges and put­ters as long as the total num­ber does not exceed four­teen. Many golfers have three woods, a hybrid or two, six to eight irons, two or three wedges, and a put­ter. What clubs are in your bag depends on your cur­rent abil­i­ty and per­son­al pref­er­ences.

The wedges you car­ry in your bag play a vital role in your suc­cess. The short game is arguably the most impor­tant piece in becom­ing a bet­ter golfer. The wedges in your bag can either be the same mod­el as your irons and an exten­sion of the set, or they can be a sep­a­rate set all their own.

Begin­ner golfers many times use wedges that are part of their iron set which is per­fect­ly fine. Almost all sets of irons include a pitch­ing wedge, with most hav­ing a loft angle between 46 and 48 degrees. Most iron sets have options for addi­tion­al wedges, includ­ing a sand wedge. Some begin­ner and high hand­i­cap golfers have the pitch­ing wedge as the only wedge in their bag, but it is high­ly ben­e­fi­cial to have a sand wedge in your bag. Sand wedges typ­i­cal­ly have loft angles between 54 and 56 degrees. A sand wedge also has a wider sole and a high­er bounce angle. The bounce angle lifts the lead­ing edge of the club off the ground. The design of the sand wedge along with prop­er tech­nique, allows you to hit sand shots from green side bunkers close to the hole. A sand wedge also lets you use a full swing to hit shots clos­er to the green instead of using a pitch­ing wedge with a short­er swing.

There is usu­al­ly eight degrees of loft angle between a pitch­ing wedge and a sand wedge. This leaves a sig­nif­i­cant gap between the full swing yardages of each club. Hav­ing to hit a yardage in between those would require using a pitch­ing wedge with less back­swing. Dial­ing in the dif­fer­ent yardages you can hit each of your wedges with vary­ing swing lengths takes con­sid­er­able prac­tice time. Using a gap wedge is an eas­i­er short term way to hit the yardages in between your pitch­ing and sand wedges. A gap, or approach wedge, has a loft angle between 50 and 52 degrees and allows you to uti­lize a full swing to fill the yardage gap between your pitch­ing and sand wedges.

One final wedge that is avail­able for golfers is the lob wedge. A lob wedge has a loft angle of 58 to 60 degrees or more and is designed to get the ball in the air quick­ly allow­ing you to stop it on the green with min­i­mal roll out. A lob wedge is com­mon­ly used by advanced play­ers as it can to dif­fi­cult to hit con­sis­tent­ly. Advanced golfers some­times replace their gap wedge with a lob wedge while oth­ers car­ry four wedges.

The ide­al num­ber of wedges for a high hand­i­cap or begin­ner golfer aspir­ing to play bogey golf is three — a pitch­ing wedge, a gap wedge, and a sand wedge. Mas­ter these three wedges and your short game will dri­ve your suc­cess in becom­ing a bet­ter golfer.

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