In a golf club set, the highest-loft clubs are called wedges. They’re primarily designed for short-approach shots (100-120 yards in), pitch shots, chip shots, out-of-sand strokes, and when the golfer wants the ball to have a sharp ascent and descent. While wedges technically count as irons, golfers generally view them as belonging to their own category.
Up until the latter years of the 20th century, even the most advanced golfers carried only two wedges (sand wedge and pitching wedge). However, as more advanced wedge shots became increasingly common, manufacturers began producing other wedges such as gap and lob wedges.
But what exactly are these specialized wedge shots, and how do you hit them more accurately? What are the main factors to consider when buying a wedge? Where can you purchase the best wedge setup for a high handicapper? We’ll be answering these questions in the following article. Read on.
What are the different parts of a wedge?
Wedges are characterized by having the highest lofts and the shortest shafts of all golf clubs. Because of this, they’re usually referred to by their loft rather than their name. For instance, a lob wedge may also be identified as a 60-degree wedge.
Things to consider when choosing a wedge include:
The part of the wedge that strikes the turf, or “bounces” the club through the ground as it hits the ball is called the bounce. Bounce encompasses various elements of the sole design, such as sole width, bounce angle, leading edge, camber, and rocker.
The purpose of the bounce (and especially the bounce angle) is to keep the wedge from digging into the ground and stopping its momentum as it impacts the ball.
This is the angle created between the face of the wedge and an imaginary vertical line. The greater the loft on your wedge, the higher the ball will fly and the less distance it’ll cover. To have enough variation in your short games, it’s a good idea to have 3-4 wedges in your kit, with the loft gaps varying about 4 degrees between each club.
Unless the wedge is a part of a graphite club set, it’ll usually come with a steel shaft. Since flex is less important in short clubs, the wedges that use a steel shaft normally have a standard “wedge” flex. This is more akin to a stiff shafted steel shaft in terms of flex, but adjusted to fit the shorter club.
The term “sole grind” is used to refer to the additional shaping of the wedge’s sole, typically around the toe or the heel. The purpose of different sole grinds is to make the club more efficient for specific shots and turf conditions.
What are the different types of wedge shots?
There’s no doubt that getting on the green is one of the most challenging parts of golfing. Things only get trickier if you have trouble putting your wedge shots close to the cup. Since every wedge shot is unique in its own way, having a firm grasp of the available options is crucial in order to get the most out of your shot.
Here are the 3 main wedge shots:
- Pitch. As approach shots with a wedge go, the pitch is basically your bread and butter shot. Its main advantage is that the golfer is able to control the distance of the shot by managing their swing speed and their backswing.
- Chip. The chip is usually thought of as the most important wedge shot. This is because a good chip will typically get the ball so close to the cup that the putt is no longer an issue.
- Flop is by far the most difficult of all types of wedge shots. The goal is to slide the club under the ball and launch it on a steep ascent, while also causing it to stop as soon as it hits the ground.
How do I hit different wedge shots well?
It goes without saying that mastering the pitch, chip, and flop is a lifelong endeavor. Luckily, there are ways to soften the learning curve and expedite the entire process. Here are a few tips:
1. The pitch is a whole-body shot
During a pitch, don’t use a full swing unless you’re at the limit of your reach. All you need is a fluid swinging motion that sends the ball as close to your target as feasible. Furthermore, the pitch shot allows you to manage the spin on your ball depending on what the green requires, so keep that in mind when hitting a pitch.
2. When chipping, follow the Rule of 12
The Rule of 12 is a measure of how long the ball will roll depending on which club you’re using and how far the ball has to fly before hitting the ground. First, search for the easiest surface to land the ball at on its way to the cup, then choose the right club for the job.
Here are a few general rules:
- SW: one yard in the air for one yard of roll
- GW: one yard in the air for two yards of roll
- PW: one yard in the air for three yards of roll
- 6-iron: one yard in the air for seven yards of roll
- 7-iron: one yard in the air for six yards of roll
- 8-iron: one yard in the air for five yards of roll
- 9-iron: one yard in the air for four yards of roll
Remember that the roll of the ball is exponential to how far it needs to fly before touching the green. For example, 3 yards in the air will usually result in a 9-yard roll. Other things to consider when hitting a chip include the wind, slopes, elevation, lie of the ball, green speed, and more.
3. Flops take a LOT of practice
For some golfers, flops are nearly impossible to pull off, so don’t get discouraged if you can’t hit one yet. The best way to begin practicing this shot is with a lob wedge or another high-lofted wedge.
Your goal is to graze the grass right beneath the ball to fling it straight up into the air. Ideally, the ball should be sitting on top of, or slightly deeper in, a soft and long-grained surface. If the ball is buried deep where you need to strike against the grain, a flop is almost certainly going to fail.
Where can I buy the best sand wedge for high handicappers?
No matter how talented you are or how great your technique is, hitting an effective wedge shot is virtually impossible if you don’t have the right wedge clubs in your arsenal. This is where BombTech Golf comes in!
We’re a manufacturer of state-of-the-art golf clubs and irons that specializes in providing players of all skill levels with the top-of-the-line equipment they need to take their game to the next level. Our founder, Tyler “Sully” Sullivan, firmly believes that making premium golf clubs widely available at a reasonable price is the best way to promote the sport and provide everyone with a truly fantastic golfing experience.
We can offer you these superior prices because we sell all of our clubs online, which ensures low overheads by cutting out the middleman. Whether you’re looking to buy our limited edition black iron set, our golf stand bags, or the best wedge setup for a high handicapper we produce, you can count on us to ship your items quickly and offer you a full 60-day return policy. Place your order today!