Types of Wedges & Their Uses

When golfers buy a set of golf clubs, there are a number of clubs included. One of them is usually a pitching wedge. That is not the only type of wedge available. The three other types are sand wedges, lob wedges and gap wedges. Each of these types of wedges have different degrees of loft, and as a result, are used for different purposes.

Lofts & Distances

Pitching Wedge Gap Wedge Sand Wedge Lob Wedge
Loft 46 to 48 degrees 51 to 53 degrees 54 to 58 degrees 58 to 60 degrees
Distance 110 to 140 yards 90 to 110 yards 80-110 yards 80 yards and under

Pitching Wedge
Of all the wedges, pitching wedges have the least loft. Generally, the loft of these types of wedges is between 44 and 50 degrees. When a golf ball is properly struck with a pitching wedge, it will pop up into the air and travel from about 110 to 140 yards. The pitching wedge is most often used by golfers trying to hit the green. Since the ball should be traveling high in the air when hit with a pitching wedge, it should not roll very far on the green.

Gap Wedge
Gap wedges have the second-least amount of loft of any of the wedges, generally between about 46 and 54 degrees. Gap wedges are meant to be used on shots that are too short for a pitching wedge, but too long for a sand wedge. Most golfers hit gap wedges between about 90 and 110 yards. The golf ball should fly high when properly struck with a gap wedge. Gap wedges do not come with a standard set of golf clubs. Before selecting a gap wedge, look at the loft of your pitching wedge and sand wedge. Your gap wedge should have a loft that is between the two.

Sand Wedge
As their name implies, sand wedges were created specifically to help golfers hit their ball out of sand traps or bunkers. However, they are versatile clubs and golfers use them whether they are hitting from the sand, fairway or rough. Sand wedges generally have a loft between 54 and 58 degrees. With a regular golf swing, most golfers hit sand wedges between 80 and 110 yards. Sand wedges are also shorter than other clubs, which helps golfers put spin on the ball.

Lob Wedge
Like gap and sand wedges, lob wedges are not included in most golf club sets, and as a result, must be purchased separately. They have the most loft of any wedge—between about 60 and 65 degrees—and are most useful in situations around the green that call for precise shots. Golfers generally hit lob wedges under 80 yards, and they are designed to send the ball high into the air. Lob wedges are also useful in situations wherein golfers need to hit the ball and have it rise into the air quickly.

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