Wedge selection is arguably the most important choice golfers make when choosing clubs. So many shots are hit from 150 yards and in. It is vital to make sure the gaps in loft are correct, as well as the bounce of the club having a good feel for each individual.
Loft can be started with the standard loft of the pitching wedge in any given set. This loft will typically vary from 46º to 48º. The next wedge (gap wedge) should be 4º higher than the pitching wedge. If the pitching wedge is 46º then ideally the gap wedge should be 50º. The same goes for the the difference between the gap wedge and the sand wedge. If the gap wedge is 50º the sand wedge should be 54º.
The lob wedge will be a little different. This is based on the skill level of the golfer getting the wedge. The lob wedge gives you the option to create a larger gap in the loft from the sand wedge to the lob wedge. The problem with that is, if the loft is more than 4º different, the yardages the golfer hits the ball will be much different.
Let’s say for example the sand wedge is 55º. The person with this club hits it roughly 120 yards. Ideally, they would need a club that goes about 105 yards. That would be a 59º-60º wedge. However, they might want to hit the ball much higher with their lob wedge, and want to use something from 62º-65º wedge. This takes a lot of yardage from them. They just went from picking a 105 yard club, to picking an 85 yard club. They will then need to learn how to hit their sand wedge shorter distances to make up for that gap. Taking yardage off shots opens the doors for mistakes, and that’s why it’s recommended to keep that 4º with all wedges.
The bounce of the club is the width of the clade of the club. It is all the players preference, and it really depends on the type of courses they play and the shots they want to hit. The bounce is measured from 0-14. 0-5 Would be considered low bounce. 6-10 would be considered mi-bounce. 11 and up is considered high bounce.
Questions to ask when determining bounce would be:
Do you like to take a divot when you hit a wedge shot, or do you like to scoop it off the ground?
Do you the courses you play on typically have very tight lies with short grass, or do the fairways tend to be a little fluffy?
If a player tends to scoop the ball off the ground, they would want to lean towards a lower bounce club. This makes it easier to slide the club under the ball. By hitting down on the ball, it makes the mid to higher bounce wedge more effective.
If the player is making their choice based on the grass they’ll be playing off, they will need to determine the length of the grass. If the fairways are fluffy and they are able to get the club down below the ball, they would want to go with a higher bounce wedge. If the fairways are tight with short grass, the lower bounce wedge would make it much easier to hit the ball.
TaylorMade TP ATV Wedge
With a thinner face, the ATV design allows for lower bounce on full and chip shots, but it also allows you to open the face and have a higher bounce. Standard lofts for this wedge are 52º, 54º, 56º, 58º, and 60º.
All wedges come stock with a carbon steel KBS Tour Shaft.
Callaway Men's Mack Daddy 2 Golf Wedge
Co-designed by Phil Mickelson, this wedge is went to maximize spin and the ability to hit a flop shot. It ranges in lofts from 56º to 64º to allow players an easier time of getting it higher faster.
A main advantage for this wedge is it has 39% more groove surface area. This allows for more spin, even when it isn’t hit in the center of the face. The toe is also higher. This distributes the weight in a manner to make it easier to hit out of high rough.
Cleveland Golf CG15 Black Pearl Tour Zip Wedge
The Zip Wedge is is a very classic looking wedge, however the surface is very rough due to laser milled grooves.
There are many loft options for this wedge, ranging from 46º to 64º.
Also, the toe has a narrow sole, while the heel has a wider sole. This allows for an easier time in the sand traps around the green.
Callaway Golf X Series Jaws CC Wedge
The Jaws CC Wedge ranges in loft from 50º to 64º. TO increase spin, there are 21 CC Grooves. The triple net forging allows to get maximum spin even out of the rough.
Multiple finish options are available for this wedge. There is a Slate finish, they say will rust over time, or a brushed chrome finish. There is also a choice of a Dynamic Golf S300 stiff shaft or a Fujikura 85 ST graphite shaft.
As you can see, there is a lot more that goes into picking out a wedge other than how it looks, or what other people say they like. Choosing a wedge is all personal preference, on what each player individually needs.
Players like Phil Mickelson switch out wedges almost every week, depending on the course they’re playing. length of rough, and the fairways plays a huge role. As well as how much sand is on the course.
Another factor could be how long the course is. If the course is short, they might throw an extra wedge in the bag, but it the course is long, and they think they might need aextra long club, they might take a wedge out, and put in an extra hybrid.
If you aren’t sure about some of the things we talked about, the best thing to do is consult with your local PGA professional. They can start you in the right direction. Get out there and knock those wedges close!