If you’re new to the game of golf, you may have either noticed or been confused by the number of degrees golf wedges have. After all, a wedge is a wedge. Right?
The answer is no, different wedge degrees do different things, and they’re all designed to help you improve your golf game. This is why it isn’t unusual to see people with two or three wedges in their golf bags. Read on to find out more.
Golf Wedge Degrees Explained
Part 1: Wedge Loft
You want to start with the basics when it comes to learning about wedge degrees. We’ll talk about the pitching wedge and any wedge that has a loft over 45 degrees.
Golfers typically use their pitching wedges to high shots around 120 yards, and it is one of the most used clubs in your golfing arsenal. You’re typical pitching wedges with lofts between 46 to 60 degrees.
Approach or Gap Wedges
The approach or gap wedge is typically used to fill the space between your pitching wedge and your sand wedge. Traditionally, they’re slightly more lofted than your standard pitching wedge and have a loft between 50 and 55 degrees.
If you’ve ever seen a golf player on tour hit a full-bodied stroke from the fairway that flies around 100 yards, chances are they were using a sand wedge to do so. However, many players use this wedge for playing out of the bunker, and it has a loft ranging from 54 to 58 degrees.
The lob wedge is designed to throw the ball up very high in the air for short distances. This particular wedge comes with a loft ranging from 56 degrees up to 60 degrees, with 64 being the highest loft available.
Part 2: Wedge Bounce Angle
The bounce angle refers to the slightly curved part on the sole of your wedge. This small part allows your wedge to ‘bounce’ out of the rough or sand without snagging on anything. If you want to see the wedge bounce angle, take your sand wedge and place it in the address position. The space between the ground and the leading edge of your sand wedge is the bounce angle.
High space means you’ll get a high bounce angle, and this can range anywhere from two to eighteen. By selecting the wedge with the best combination of bounce angle and loft, you can massively improve your golf game depending on the course you’re playing on.
If you’re not sure what type of bounce your particular wedge or wedges are, you can always check with your club’s manufacturer website. Additionally, some manufacturers like Titleist will tell you exactly what bounce your club is. For example, the Titleist Vokey 248.06 has a 48-degree loft and a 6-degree bounce.
High Bounce Wedges
The traditional high bounce wedges play the best in the sand and on soft turf. The wedge’s wider flag and its higher bounce angle prevent the club from digging in, and this helps you to create a smooth, even stroke. If you have a steep attack angle, a high bounce wedge could be an excellent choice to improve your game.
Low Bounce Wedges
Golfers use low bounce wedges for tight lined shots and firm turf. The wedge’s more narrow design and the lower bounce angle combine to promote clean contact with every swing. It’s great for golfers who have shallow attack angles, and these types of wedges are found in the lower loft ranges like a gap or pitching wedge. Golfers have an easier time hitting high, soft shots with a low bounce wedge.
Standard Bounce Wedges
A standard bounce wedge is the best for many golfers when it comes to playability and all around versatility. Additionally, players who have a slightly steeper attack angle or players who like to play an open-faced or square faced club out of the bunker.
Part 3: Different Types of Wedge Finishes
Wedges come in all types of different finishes, and most of them are purely for aesthetic reasons. However, it is good to keep in mind that the duller your wedge’s finish is, the less light it’ll reflect. Also, any wedge that has a rusty or raw finish will be more susceptible to rust. You’ll be able to choose from these wedge finishes:
- Black Nickel
- Beryllium Copper
- Oil Can
No matter which degree or type of wedge you choose, it is important to experiment and find the right combination for your individual playing style. Your wedges are an important part of your golf arsenal, and you want to take the time to pick the best ones.