A pitching wedge is one of a maximum of 14 clubs permitted to be carried by a player under the Rules of Golf. A pitching wedge is usually used for shots of 110 yards or less, but it may also be used in a variety of fashions near greens, out of sand, even out of the woods. Its variety of uses often makes it one of a player's favorite clubs.
Pitching Wedge Angle
Loft is the element in a golf club that usually determines the flight pattern of a golf shot. The lower the degree of loft, the lower the flight path of the ball but the farther it will travel. Older pitching wedges had lofts of 48 to 50 degrees, but with the advent of sand wedges, lob wedges and gap wedges, the loft of pitching wedges today typically is in the range of 45 to 48 degrees.
Pitching Wedge Attributes
The bounce angle is determined by the position of the trailing edge relative to the leading edge when the club is squarely positioned. The sole width and geometry (sole camber) play important roles, together with the bounce angle, to affect the club's playability for different types of shots. The bounce angle of a pitching wedge may range from 0 to 5 degrees.
Pitching Wedge Fitting
Since wedge loft determines trajectory, a player should be careful in determining which wedges to use. The pitching wedge should follow in sequence with other wedges and should be selected to properly fit the player's swing. Some teachers place tape on the wedge's bottom, or sole, then instruct their students to take practice swings on a practice mat and adjust based on marks on the sole. Heel or toe digging affects direction and distance. Having your wedges custom fit by a golf shop or club manufacturer can help ease these problems.
Pitching Wedge Uses
The pitching wedge is a favorite club for many golfers. It usually is for approach shots from 75 to 110 yards, but players also may find it useful for chipping around greens, where some players hood – or lean forward – the face to subtract loft on pitch shots when there is green available to permit the ball to land and run. Players also use pitching wedges for some longer bunker shots and pitch-out shots from trouble situations. The minimal bounce permits easy control and makes solid contact virtually assured.