As you make the transition from beginner golfer into an intermediate player, you might find yourself digging into the finer points of the game or nuances in clubs, like the different degrees of golf wedges. The right golf wedge can absolutely level up your short game and take you from bogie to birdie overnight. But how do you pick the right wedges? And what’s with all the different degrees?
In this guide, we’ll go over the ins and outs of golf wedges, loft degrees, and what each wedge is used for. Once you finish this guide, you’ll be able to pick out the perfect wedges for your set and take your golf game to the next level. Let’s get started.
What Is a Golf Wedge?
A golf wedge is a club designed for shorter shots, like pitching, chipping, and getting out of bunkers. Wedge sets can include a pitching wedge, gap wedge, sand wedge, and lob wedge. Each has different degrees of loft depending on its purpose, so you’ll want a few different wedge types in your bag to truly elevate your game. Every golf club is measured by the degree of the club’s face but wedges feature the most extreme angles of any club in your bag. The higher the angle the higher the shot, which in turn, will result in shorter average distances.
Learn more: How to Hit a High and Low Golf Shot
Golf Wedge Degree and Distance Chart
Type of Wedge
Club Distance (Avg.)
Types of Golf Wedges and Their Uses
Here are the most common wedge types, the range of loft in degrees, how far they hit, and their typical uses.
The pitching wedge is one of the most common golf wedges and is included in all Stix iron sets. The pitching wedge loft is about 45-48 degrees–the lowest of all the wedges mentioned here–which means it has the longest range out of the wedge types. Pitching wedges are used for longer approach shots to the green, up to 135 yards.
How is a Pitching Wedge Different from a 9-Iron?
In many ways, a pitching wedge and a 9-iron have very similar functions. They are both designed to give the ball height and distance on approach shots. However, there are key differences between the wedges that golfers should know.
A 9-iron has a lower loft than a pitching wedge, ranging from 40-44 degrees, and also has a longer shaft than a pitching wedge. 9-irons are versatile, must-have clubs that allow golfers to get decent distance and height on the ball while still maintaining good control over their shot. A pitching wedge has a shorter range than a 9-iron, so they are often an asset to have when you want to increase the accuracy of your longer approach shots.
The Stix gap wedge loft is 52 degrees which means the ball will travel a slightly shorter distance than with a pitching wedge. It’s perfect for those roughly 100-yard shots that require some finesse but still a bit of power too. The gap wedge is important because, as the name suggests, it bridges the gap between the pitching wedge and the sand wedge, giving you more versatility when you don’t quite need the ball to travel far, but you need a bit more power than a sand wedge will give.
Also known as a 56-degree, the sand wedge loft is about 54-58 degrees to help you get out of sand traps and bunkers but, despite its name, the sand wedge does not exclusively need to be used from the sand. The bottom of a sand wedge is typically rounded so it can slide through sand without meeting resistance. The rounded bottom also produces a higher degree of bounce, which makes them a bit more forgiving with inaccurate hits. Depending on your ball’s lie and if you’re hitting off grass or sand, shots with sand wedges should travel about 80-100 yards,, making them an extremely versatile wedge to have in your bag and likely your go-to club for chipping.
A lob wedge has the highest degree of loft of any club in your bag at about 58-62 degrees. Lob wedges get your ball into the air quickly, (especially if you take a larger swing), and higher than any other club in the bag. For a short shot that you want to stop quickly or a shot that you need to hit over a feature, a lob wedge is the best choice.
How to Determine Which Wedges You Need
At this point, you might be wondering which wedges you need in your golf bag. You could cover your bases and get all four types, but do you really need to? Let’s break it down to see which wedges you should add to your set.
Count Your Clubs
The maximum number of clubs that a golfer can carry in their bag is 14. Sometimes it just comes down to how much room you have. If you’ve already got 11 clubs, then you’ve only got room for three wedges. If you have ten clubs, you could do all four wedges. A pitching wedge is a must, so at Stix, we sell the remaining clubs discussed in this article in three wedge sets and two wedge sets so you can quickly add what you need to your bag.
Know Your Loft Range
The general consensus is that you should have about four degrees of loft between each wedge. You might intuitively know this already if you’re consistently adjusting the power of your shots. So, take a look at your clubs. If you have a 46-degree pitching wedge, a 56-degree sand wedge, and a 60-degree lob wedge, you might want to consider adding in a gap wedge to… well, fill the gap in loft degrees between your pitching wedge and sand wedge. Carrying a 52, 56, and 60-degree wedge set gives the casual golfer the range they need on most courses.
Consider Your Capabilities
A lob wedge can actually be a bit technical for the beginner golfer, but we find that it can really dial in your game. A lob wedge gives you a bit more control over those high, short shots and has a much softer landing than a sand wedge does. If you’ve been rocking three wedges for a while now and want to take the next step with a new club, a lob wedge is absolutely the way to go. But if you’re a casual golfer consistently making decent short shots with your sand wedge, you can probably pass on a lob wedge until you feel like you’ve mastered the clubs you already have.
Ready, Set, Swing
By now, you should have a decent grasp of wedge degrees and their various uses, as well as an idea of which ones you might need. Remember, you don’t need every club on the market. Whether you need a full set of golf clubs or that perfect wedge set, Stix has you covered.
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