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Information on Golf Club Wedges

by Larry Anderson

    Pitching wedges are the most common type of wedge, primarily because they are included in nearly every set of clubs that golfers buy. But there are three other types of wedges–gap, lob and sand–that can help golfers be even more effective in their short games. Each wedge is different and helps golfers accomplish different tasks.

    Pitching Wedge

    Pitching wedges have less loft than any of the other wedges. In most cases, the loft on a pitching wedge is between 44 degrees and 50 degrees. When golfers make a good swing with a pitching wedge, which includes getting under the ball and sending it into the air, the average shot will travel between about 110 yards and 140 yards. By getting the ball into the air, golfers can minimize how far the golf ball will roll once it is on the green. As a result, golfers can hit their shots right at the pin.

    Gap Wedge

    Gap wedges have more loft than pitching wedges, but less than lob and send wedges. In general, gap wedges have between 46 degrees and 54 degrees of loft. Gap wedges are so-named because they are meant to fill a gap. Golfers use them when the shots are too long to use a sand wedge, to short to use a pitching wedge. With a regular swing, the average gap wedge shot travels from about 90 yards to 110 yards. Because gap wedges do not come standard with most sets of golf clubs, check the loft before purchasing one. The loft of the one you select should be about halfway between the loft of your pitching and sand wedges.

    Sand Wedge

    Most golfers think of the sand trap when they think of their sand wedge. And that is what these wedges are designed to do. But sand wedges are more versatile than that and can be used anytime golfers need to hit a 90-yard shot or so. They have more loft that a gap wedge, but less loft than a lob wedge. Most sand wedges have between 54 degrees and 58 degrees of loft.

    Lob Wedge

    When you get under the ball and hit a good shot with a lob wedge, the ball shoots into the air quickly, travels high and lands after traveling about 70 yards. That's because lob wedges have the most loft of any golf club. Most wedges of this type have between 60 degrees and 65 degrees of loft. They are best used for short shots around the green, or anytime you need to get the ball into the air quickly.

    Feel for Club

    Hold a wedge and practice swinging it before you buy it. Ask if you can hit a few balls with it. Wedges are used primarily around the green and, as such, are more of a finesse club than most others in the bag. As a result, the feel of the club is important. Wedges are made from a variety of different materials that have varying degrees of flex, so choose the one that feels best to you.

    About the Author

    Larry Anderson has been a freelance writer since 2000. He has covered a wide variety of topics, from golf and baseball to hunting and fishing. His work has appeared in numerous print and online publications, including "Fargo Forum" newspaper. Anderson holds a Bachelor of Arts in print journalism from Concordia College.

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