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The Best Wedges for High Handicappers

by Joe Miegoc

    High handicappers usually don't play often, so the necessity of having and using the so-called scoring clubs becomes even more important. A variety of wedges should be considered, including the pitching wedge, lob wedge, sand wedge and gap (between pitching and lob) wedges. Although difficult to hit by the high-handicap golfer, 60-degree and higher wedges may also be used.

    The Pitching Wedge

    The pitching wedge is one of the scoring clubs, so named because of its use in getting the ball close to the hole and thus saving strokes. The loft of a pitching wedge is generally 45 to 48 degrees, and it's generally used from 75 to 110 yards from the hole. A highly-lofted club allows the ball to get airborne quicker, and the inability to get the ball airborne is often a fault of the higher handicapper. The pitching wedge may also be used for chipping around the green.

    The Sand Wedge

    Sand wedges, with 56 degrees of loft, are valuable for use not only in bunkers but also in high grass around greens and even from 50 to 75 yards from a green. Another scoring club, the sand wedge was invented by Gene Sarazen, a winner of golf's career Grand Slam who saw a need for a club to help him get out of bunkers yet land and stop quicker than the typical wedges of his time.

    The Lob Wedge

    High handicappers who have difficulty playing from tight, or bare, lies and who have a propensity for taking large divots should consider carrying a lob wedge in their bags. The lob wedge should have no more than 60 degrees of loft. With its comfort level, the lob wedge is also suited for use out of bunkers. The lob wedge's popularity has come from its various uses as a comfort club among the scoring clubs.

    The Gap Wedge

    The gap wedge -- a wedge that falls in loft between the pitching wedge and lob wedge -- can be used in a variety of ways by the high handicapper. The club is suited for use in pitch shots where height and a soft landing are needed, or even from bunkers, depending on comfort levels. The loft should be 50 degrees, to fit the "gap" between the pitching wedge (45 to 46 degrees) and sand wedge (55 to 56 degrees).

    About the Author

    Joe Miegoc is an experienced professional writer with a background in sports, political writing and public relations. He has worked in media for newspapers and in public relations with the United States Golf Association. His writing experience includes books, newspapers, national magazines and online publications. Miegoc holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from East Stroudsburg University.

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