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How To Buy A Wedge

Wedges are the specialty instruments of your golf game. They are used for the challenging, short shots on the green, as well as from the sand. Manufacturers recently have begun changing the lofts on their regular irons, making it imperative that the golfer have the proper wedges in his or her bag to play the all-important short game.

Types of wedges

There are basically 4 types of wedges. Golfers should carry at least 3 of them, preferably all 4.

Pitching wedge

  • Generally has a loft of 46-51 degrees
  • Used for "longer" wedge shots from 125 yards or closer
  • Generally included in most golf club sets

Sand wedge

  • For use primarily out of the sand, but also for closer shots requiring significant height
  • Sand wedges generally have a loft of 55-57 degrees

Gap wedge

  • Between 51-53 degree loft
  • Becoming increasingly popular because of the gap difference between the traditional set of irons and a sand wedge
  • It is basically a compromise between a pitching wedge and a sand wedge

Lob wedge

  • Used for finesse shots over an obstacle and onto the green
  • Commonly 60-64 degrees loft
  • The higher the loft, the higher the ball will go in the air, but the less distance

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Tips on choosing the right wedge

  • Analyze your current set of irons to determine where the "gap" is between your pitching wedge and your sand wedge. Add a gap wedge that fits in the middle of the 2 lofts.
  • The length of your wedges should also mirror that of your regular irons. The wedges will be shorter in about 1/2 inch increments.
  • When choosing a sand wedge, consider the type of conditions in which you play most often

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Shafts

  • Most shafts for all types of wedges are steel, primarily because of its durability
  • Steel shafts are preferred for wedges because their heavier weight helps control the shot

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