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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