Buying guide for Golf Wedges
Whether you are trying to get out of a bunker, or looking to successfully tackle your short game, golf wedges offer you maximum control, making them a vital component in your arsenal of clubs. It is important to make sure that you have a decent set of wedges in your bag as these are usually the clubs you will use around the green. They can often determine whether you get up and down in two to save par, or whether you will make bogey.
Most sets carry a pitching wedge (normally 45°- 50°) and sand wedge (normally 54 – 58°). Here you will find a full range of wedges, including Gap Wedges (normally 50-54°) and Lob Wedges (normally 58-64°), all available to help ensure you’re able to handle the various scenarios you could be faced with during a round.
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An ideal time to use a chipper would be when you are just off the green, but not in high grass. You can play a chipper in the same way you would play a putter but the small amount of loft on the club means you are able to lift the ball past any hazards that might be lying between you and the hole.
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At GolfLife Shop we stock a wide range of branded wedges and chippers to suit all golfing abilities.
Wedges Are About Control And Feel
To get the best results, it is desirable to get a set of wedges that complement each other, as you do when you buy fairway woods or irons. This usually gives you clubs with similar feel that are designed to cover distance gaps.
Wedges have really come a long way for the club golfer in the last few years, and many options are available to you to make sure that you can tailor your set of wedges to your playing style.
One thing to note about wedges is that, like irons, they are about control rather than distance. You should not be dissuaded from buying wedges because they do not have cavity back heads. On the contrary, wedges give a much superior feel when they have a traditional blade shape which helps when trying to develop touch around the greens.
There are several different finishes available for your wedges; mostly it is down to personal preference which you buy. Satin and gun metal finishes reduce glare from the sun.
Chrome gives a classy shine to your wedges, and some types, like oil-can finish, make the metal rust slowly over time to give the wedge better spin with time.
Pitching And Gap Wedges
Pitching wedges – are a great club to consider for chipping around the greens. The low loft gets the ball rolling nice and quickly compared to the other wedges. They also cover the 90-110 yard range for most average golfers.
Most iron sets come with a pitching wedge so you need to decide if you really need one. If you decide that you like to use the PW around the greens you should definitely go for a blade pitching wedge for more feel.
Gap wedges (50-54 degrees) – If you find that you are often stuck between a sandwedge and pitching wedge, you may not have to change your swing to hit the distance you want. With a gap wedge you have a club that fills in this gap and is also a useful chipping and pitching club.
Sand Wedges And Bounce
The Sand Wedge – usually has a high bounce as this allows the club to glide through the sand at just the right level to take enough sand to get under the ball but not too much to dig in too far.
Many people are now using lob wedges with high bounce from bunkers now, which is equally good, but you should be aware that high bounce clubs are less suited to other types of shots. A low bounce club is very useful from tight lies like hardpan or hard fairways. It allows the club to get under the ball without hitting the ground and bouncing into the back of the ball.
Low bounce is especially useful when you want to open up the face of the wedge to hit a more lofted shot. When this is done with a high bounce club, it makes it all but impossible to get under the ball.
Lob Wedges And X Lob Wedges
Lob wedges typically range from 58-62 degrees of loft and are essential for hitting high flop shots around the green. A good lob wedge can really bring excitement to your game when you encounter a tricky shot. With many of the new wedges with square grooves you will also notice dramatic spin with these clubs, provided you use a suitable ball.
X lob wedge – This is a wedge with a very high loft (62+ degrees). These can be useful to hit the ball very high and land softly around the green. They can be very useful if you find it difficult to get the ball high in the air on pitches and chips, but they do not hit the ball very far on full shots at around 50-60 yards at the most.
Using wedges and irons to chip around the green can be very frustrating at first. When you lose confidence in your stroke and do not follow through on your shot, it is common to see high handicap players hitting the ball heavy (when you hit the ground first and the ball ends up very short of your target).
Chippers, as the name suggests, are used predominantly by players who struggle with their greenside chipping.
With a conventional grip they can be used like an iron or putter, and come at a length slightly longer than a putter. They are not designed for a full swing and only for the chips around the green. They have the loft of a wedge and a smooth base so they can pop the ball up in the air and onto the green without the worry of sticking in the grass.
Some chippers are available which allow you to use both sides of the club, which is useful if you get stuck on the wrong side of a tree and can not play your shot on your preferred side.
Be warned though, as double sided chippers are not permitted in competition as stipulated by the R&A, although you could use it in an informal round.
If you really struggle with chipping around the green then you should consider these as a viable option, otherwise you should probably go for a range of wedges with varying lofts and bounce options.
Although wedges are more difficult to use for some, they are far more versatile and they will be a club you will want to be able to use to improve your game.