A wedge is a club that you’ll find yourself relying on often, whether you’re dealing with a tricky shot off the green, or you’re stuck in a sand trap. But understanding wedge gapping and loft can teach you how to choose the right wedge, based on your skill level and shooting goals. Whether you prefer to use three wedges or four, finding out how to gap them to improve your yardage will be essential since it can have a big impact on your score and your overall performance.
Choosing the Right Amount of Loft
There is no shortage of wedges on the market these days. Many are golf tech-heavy and claim they can take your game and yardage to the next level, but this doesn’t mean they’re the right club to gap your distance from one club to the next. In fact, this will be based on how many wedges you use, how far you can shoot with each club, and what your performance needs are.
You need to be able to smoothly execute a shot with a wedge if you want to lower your score. To do this, you’ll need to choose the correct loft. If you’re not able to get the ball on the green using your wedge, then your game is in big trouble. Lowering your handicap and avoiding a double bogey comes with choosing a club with the right amount of loft.
If you want more shooting options, then loft is what you should be paying attention to. Meeting with a fitter can do wonders in terms of ensure you have the right type of gapping action going on from wedge to wedge.
When choosing wedge loft, the first step is often determining how far you can hit. You’ll choose the lofts on your wedges based on the various distances you hit the ball, so you should have a wedge that’s able to cover every yardage. Most golfers tend to carry a gap wedge in order to avoid a significant gap between their sand and pitching wedge.
If you’re able to work with a club fitter and use a launch monitor, then this will help to determine your yardage for each type of wedge, making it much easier to determine what lofts you need in order to gap yourself properly. Not leaving any large holes in the distance between your clubs is the key to choosing your collection of lofts.
It’s important to understand that there really aren’t any standards in the industry when it comes to the pitching wedge. This can have a major impact on how many wedges you end up carrying around in your bag and what loft they are.
The current trend involves going for lofts that are progressively stronger, which is said to increase the type of distance every player hits with their pitching wedge. This type of wedge used to be around forty-eight degrees, but these days, they tend to fall in the forty-four to forty-five-degree region, which is why using a gap wedge has become very important.
If you have a sand wedge with a loft of fifty-six degrees, this would end up leaving a significant gap in yardage between both clubs. You need something in between these clubs that’s around fifty degrees. Many golfers will hit better with a full swing as opposed to trying to hit with a wedge that’s at eighty percent of its normal yardage.
The Right Number of Wedges
Some players will carry around three wedges in their bag, while others will bring along four, counting the pitching wedge. If the pitching wedge you have is around forty-six degrees, then you might be able to get away with using a gap wedge that’s fifty-one degrees and a sand wedge that’s around fifty-six degrees. Most wedges can also be bent at a degree weaker or stronger in order to accommodate your personal preferences.
Many players prefer to carry four wedges because it offers more options around the green. The addition of a lob wedge can be a great idea because it allows the player to quickly get the ball into the air without the need to manipulate the clubface.
Most players tend to miss more than seventy-five percent of green shots in regulation during a match, which means that they’re going to have a wedge in their hand inside of one hundred yards on most holes. If you carry more wedges around you’ll have a bigger arsenal of trajectories and distances that you can play.
However, every player is unique, so it can make more sense to lug around four wedges based on the types of shots you enjoy playing.
In order to choose the perfect mix of lofts, you should determine how far you can hit different lofts on full swings and how far you can actually hit.
The key to ensuring you have all of your bases covered is to avoid significant gaps between your wedges, ensuring you can handle any type of shot on the course. Finding the right mix of wedges will basically ensure your success and can lower your score instantly.
In terms of performance, you’ll notice a slight difference between each model, which can include a small change in stock shaft options, sole grinds, and spin production, not to mention forgiveness and head construction. There’s often a big difference in the feel and head shape, but these are basically secondary factors that you should pay attention to once you’ve gapped your wedges properly. Once you’ve gapped your wedges properly, you’ll have more confidence in regard to how far your wedges will fly.
For many players, their gaps may prove to be somewhat even, but in reality, they may be too close together. Do you really need to use four clubs for a distance range that doesn’t cover over thirty yards? For some players, the answer will be no, so they’ll need to reconsider their wedge makeup in order to achieve the type of twelve-yard gaps that many prefer.
Most golfers, especially experienced players, have different preferences concerning what their yardage gaps will be on full swings. Typically its ten, fifteen, and twenty yards. Basically, the more full swings that a golfer makes with their wedge, the tighter that gap in yardages should be. Some players never max out their wedge and prefer to alter their trajectory and hit finesse shots. This type of golfer will usually play with wedges that have wider yardage gaps since their distances tend to be based more on feel.
Regardless of the type of wedge game you have, gapping correctly will still be crucial, since if you don’t know how far your wedges can take you, you won’t be able to play your best.
Bending a Wedge
In order to achieve more consistent gaps, you can bend the wedges you already have to lofts that create the types of gaps you need. The other option is to identify the lofts that don’t work for you and replace them with the best golf wedges. I recommend the Wilson Staff Men’s Harmonized black chrome golf wedge, which is a pretty versatile club and one that you’ll find yourself reaching for often.
When you alter the loft of a club, this will involve bending it stronger or weaker, which will change more than the loft. Bending will change the bounce angle on the sole of the wedge, in addition to the offset amount. When you add loft, it will remove offset and increase wedge bounce.
Most pros are usually okay with bending a wedge by one or two degrees, but any more than that and the performance of the club will become affected.
If you’re shopping for the best golf wedges for mid handicappers, then you’ll want to dial in your distances without the need of bending the loft. There are many viable options on the market. Many manufacturers will offer every loft between forty-five and sixty-two degrees, which means that each wedge is designed to play at a specific loft. This will allow the bounce and sole grinds to remain consistent from club to club.
Whatever club you purchase, you must make sure that you get to the course to determine how far they can fly. Only this can help you to understand what additional lofts you’ll need to fill the gaps in your wedge game.
Understanding wedge gapping and loft will help you choose the right clubs to improve your performance and basically make you a better player. Before you run out and buy up any set that claims they’ve got your gapping covered, make sure you test your performance on the green using each type of wedge, notate how much yardage each club gets you, and then determine which clubs and the type of loft you’ll need to close the gap and find the models that will suit your needs on the course and make you a better, well-rounded player.