What Golf Wedge Do I Need?
By: Norman Stanley
Golf wedges are your money clubs, allowing super accurate, softly landing shots into the firmest of greens. Nearly seventy five per cent of your golf game is played from 120 yards out Knowing your golf wedges will assist you to choose the correct one or two or four. Many pro golfers now carry 4 wedges at least and US golfer Phil Mickleson carries five! often leaving his driver out of the bag because he knows it is the wedges that will carry him through a game. If you want more bang for your buck forget about the super duper driver, the hyped up rescue wood and invest in some wedges.
Most sets come with a pitching wedge . Lofts range from 47 to 50 degrees and these are the least lofted of all the wedges. Use from about 120 yards out.
A newcomer, the gap wedge fills the gap between the pitching wedge and the more lofted sand wedge. Gap wedges are commonly around the 51 to 55 degre mark.
Surprisingly enough the sand wedge is used for playing in the sand. Lofted to around 56 to 58 degrees the sand wedge is mostly used from the green side bunkers. Opening or closing the face will, like all wedges allow for a degree of variation in ball flight.
A further refinement in the wedge armoury, the lob wedge has a loft of around 60 degrees and allows a very high, very soft landing shot from close range. Ideal for the firmer greens the lob shot will drop and stop. Wedges of up to 64 degrees are starting to appear, another indicator that
are where the action is.
What is bounce and what bounce do I need?
Bounce is a combined factor of width of sole,angle of club edge to the ground and head design.Many pros will have the bounce angle adjusted to the particular conditions of a course but for the rest of us a the standard bounce of about 16 degrees will perform better on a softer course whilst the low bounce clubs, 12 degrees, are more suited to the firmer turf of a links course.
Most but not all wedges come with a steel shaft with a wedge flex, i.e. stiff, this is to give better feel whilst striking the ball.
Club heads come in a variety of finishes and it really down to personal preference however wedges with a raw or 'rusty' finish will give better backspin due to the grippier finish. An old trick with these clubs was to leave them in the rain to rust and then give a quick wire brush for maximum spin rates. Balls will quickly split or tear with these clubs.
So invest in your game and invest in a wedge.