Outfitting your golf bag as a beginner can feel a little intimidating. With so many clubs to choose from, you can’t help but wonder which ones you really need as a beginner golfer. Apart from a driver, irons, and a putter, every golfer should carry at least a wedge or two in their bag. In this guide, we’ll dive into the basics of golf wedges and which ones you need as a beginner golfer so you can hit the course with confidence.
What is a Golf Wedge?
Golfers use wedges for their short game, which is typically any shot 135 yards and under. Wedges are necessary for getting out of bunkers or getting onto the green with as much control as possible. These clubs are just as important as your putter or driver.
Wedges are differentiated by the varying degrees of loft built into each clubface that get the golf ball into the air at a certain angle. The higher the degree of loft, the higher the shot–which means a shorter average shot distance. Each type of wedge falls into a specific loft degree range which can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Even 1° of difference can significantly impact your game.
Learn more: Ultimate Guide to Golf Wedge Degrees
Types of Golf Wedges
There are four types of wedges golfers can carry in their bags, each with a specific purpose. As a beginner, you may not need all four wedges in your bag right away, but it’s important to know what each one does when you’re ready to add more clubs to your arsenal.
The pitching wedge is among the most common golf wedges and is included in most beginner golf club sets. In truth, pitching wedges are a must in every golfer’s bag, from beginner to expert. Pitching wedges have a lofted face of about 45°-48° and are designed to hit farther than the other wedges mentioned here. Because of its comparatively low loft degree and capacity to hit longer shots, pitching wedges are often counted among golf irons instead of wedges.
Learn more: Ultimate Golf Iron Guide
The gap wedge literally bridges the gap between the pitching wedge and the sand wedge. Gap wedges have a loft of 48°-52° and can hit anywhere from 90-120 yards. Gap wedges are perfect for shots where you need distance, loft, and bounce. Many golfers reach for a gap wedge when they want the golf ball to get more airborne than a pitching wedge can achieve.
As its name might indicate, the sand wedge is perfect for getting out of bunkers–but that’s not all. Sand wedges are popular for their incredible versatility and ability to hit full shots, half shots, chip shots, and more. Sand wedges are one of the best clubs for any golfer, especially beginners, and high-handicappers. Sand wedges typically have a loft of about 54°-58° to help get the ball up in the air and bounce once it lands. The maximum distance for a sand wedge is about 90-100 yards.
Lob wedges have a loft degree of 58°-62° and are used for short but high shots that have very little bounce. Shots hit with a lob wedge travel 60-90 yards on average, which makes this wedge great for controlled shots you need to hit over a feature or stop quickly once they land. Lob wedges can be a bit more technical and tricky for beginner players.
Which Wedges Do Beginners Need?
Though largely a matter of both opinion and skill level, the best wedges to carry are the pitching wedge and the sand wedge. A pitching wedge can give you enough distance to get right up to the green from the fairway, and a sand wedge can get you out of tight spots or get you closer to the hole. Together, these wedges can cover a wide range of distances and navigate almost any situation.
Golfers can carry up to fourteen clubs in their bag, but that doesn’t mean you need all fourteen clubs to play. If, as a beginner or high-handicapper, you find you need more options for your short game, then add in the gap and lob wedges–otherwise, the pitching wedge and sand wedge will be more than enough to play a great game of golf.
View Stix 9-Piece or 11-Piece Golf Club Set →
Best Wedges for Beginner Golfers
At Stix, we designed all our clubs with superior performance and ample forgiveness, making our clubs the best for casual golfers, beginners, and high-handicappers. Our clubs are intended to scale with you as you improve so you can use them for years without sacrificing performance.
You’ll find a pitching wedge and a sand wedge in all of our golf club sets. These wedges should be perfect for all your short-approach shots, no matter the situation. Our pitching wedge is 45° which should help you achieve maximum distance with our club compared to others with a higher degree of loft. Our sand wedge is 56°, right in the sweet spot between higher and lower lofted clubs. You’ll get a great bounce from our sand wedge, which will really come in handy on less-than-perfect shots.
Looking to outfit yourself with the full wedge arsenal? Our Complete Set of 14 clubs includes all four wedges, so you can really dial in each shot and fill in any gaps in your shot distances.
Pick the Right Clubs for Your Game
If you’re a beginner golfer or a high-handicapper, you may not need all four wedges in your bag at a time. What’s best is to know your skill level, your average shot distance, and what you’re looking for in a golf club. Pick the wedges that fill in any of your distance gaps, and choose clubs with great control and forgiveness. You’ll be sinking more shots before you know it and having a great time doing so.
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