Finding the Best Wedges

Posted on Jun 2, 2015

Golf wedges are growing more and more in popularity in recent years. Wedges can improve the way you play and can really make a difference on the golf field. Wedges are irons with a loft bigger than 44 degrees but most modern clubs are made with a loft between 48 and 60 degrees.
When it comes to finding the best wedges, you have to take into consideration several factors that can affect your game.

Types of wedges

The wedges can be divided into four distinct categories:

  • Pitching wedge (PW): This is the most common wedge often included last in a club set (eg the # 3 to # 5 PW or PW). The opening is 44-47 °, you will usually reach a field of 100 meters or less.
  • Gap Wedge (GW):
    The Gap wedge is also known as the Approach wedge. This wedge is between PW and SW, with a loft between 51 and 55 °. A Gap Wedge is often used to hit a shot with a higher trajectory.
  • Sand Wedge (SW):
    SW has a loft from 54 ° to 57 °, the standard being 56 °, with a bounce to 2 digits (minimum 10 °), and a wide face.
  • Lob Wedges (LW):
    This is a wedge that we find more and more in the bag of golfers. Indeed, for very high shots with minimal turnover and close to the field, it’s the perfect club. Usually at 60 °, the LW is one of the shortest hitting clubs.

Choosing the bounce angle

Wedges clubs differ by their loft but also by their “bounce”. The bounce of a wedge is determined by the bounce angle.

  • Wedges with reduced bounce (0 ° to 10 °)
    The reduced bounce wedge (0 ° to 10 °) is ideal for all shots played on sand or hard terrain. This reduces the bounce associated with a thin sole which grants a more direct contact. It’s perfect for players who want to be creative with a relatively flat ball hit.
  • Wedges with increased bounce (10 ° to 14 °)
    Golfers who hit the ball with a more vertical angle of attack provide more spin on the ball and can benefit from wedges with a low bounce angle (less than 8 degrees), but it is the minority of golfers. Most golfers should use more bounce, between 10 and 14 degrees.
  • Determine the bounce of a wedge:
    Most brands like Cleveland and Titleist mention the club bounce angle (eg. Titleist Vokey 248.06 model indicates a degree of opening of 48 degrees and a rebound of 6 °.)

Wedge shafts

As putters, the shaft is less important than drivers, fairway woods or series of irons. The wedges are usually mounted on a fairly rigid shaft that maximizes the precision.
Most wedges are mounted on steel shafts, except for graphite golf shafts. Graphite golf shaft transmit fewer vibrations to the golfer’s hands than steel shafts.