What are the different types of wedges?
A lot of attention is placed on driving, mainly because of the distance you can get. Even more attention can be places on putting, due to the fact that putting puts you in the hole, which is the aim of golf. But what is often forgotten is the amount of shots that you have to make from less than 120 yards from the flag. Including putting, 70% of the shots you make on a golf course are within 120 yards, and this is why wedges that you have are so important. As well as woods and irons, most pros are carrying about 3 and even 4 wedges.
Wedges carry a variety of different lofts, ranging from as low as 45 degrees up to anywhere around 65 degrees. Due to this variety, they can be used for a wide range of shots. With a full swing, a wedge can hit a ball from as low as 60 yards up to as high as 150 yards. This is for professionals though, for beginners the variation will only be about 25 yards, but that can still make a big difference in your game.
You can only have 14 clubs in your bags, and you should put a lot of thinking into the amount of wedges that you carry to make the most of that 14. To get the most consistent performance from your wedges, you should look at them as you would irons, matching lofts, lengths and the feel of the clubs to get the right combination.
The pitching wedge is particularly good for making shots from the fairway towards the green from around 100 yards. The loft on the pitching wedge is between 47 and 49 degrees.
Then there is the gap wedge, which is also used on the fairway and also for longer shots from bunkers. The lofts on the gap wedges vary between 50 and 54 degrees.
Sand wedges are specially made for playing shots from bunkers, particularly the deeper ones, or sending up high shots from the fairway. The lofts available are around 55 to 57 degrees.
If you are in very steep bunkers or need to play a high shot that would land softly without rolling a great deal then you should look at getting a loft wedge, which features loft angles of about 58-60 degrees.
Golf is not a game which is just about smacking the ball around a field. The best golfers can hit the ball but also understand course management. Course management is about picking the right shots and the right clubs at the right time. The choice of which wedge to play, and which to carry in your bag, is an integral part of course management.