Some golfers carry both a pitching wedge or a sandwedge. This is a huge loft gap if you have a modern pitching and sand wedge with 44 degrees of loft.
The loft gap leads to a distance gap, and for many players, it’s right around that 100 yard mark. Golfers who notice large loft gaps in their bags will often use an approach wedge to fill them.
We have all the answers you need to know about the loft of an approach wedge, how it can be used, and more.
Table of Contents
- What is an Approach Wedge?
- What is the Loft on an Approach Edge?
- Difference between an Approach Wedge and a Gap Wedge
What is an Approach Wedge?
An approach wedge is a club that fills in the gap between a pitching wedge or sand wedge. Golfers often find this gap to be problematic as it can make it difficult for them to hit certain shots.
The problem, of course, is that you are stuck with hitting half a pitching wedge or trying to step on a sand wedge; it’s not the best choice.
It is easy to fill in with an approach wand. The terms gap wedge and approach wedge can be interchanged. While some may say the approach wedge is for shorter shots, it can be used interchangeably to refer to lofts from brands that offer both an approach and a gap.
It is sometimes called the utility wedge by companies like Ping. Here are some facts about the approach wedge, its performance and other details.
The approach wedge has a loft of approximately 48 to 52 degrees. It can be used as a 70- to 110-yard club depending on your swing speed. Golfers with a faster swing speed may be able hit the approach wedge closer towards 115 to 120. However, this requires a great hit.
Slow swing speeds can cause golfers to miss 60 yards. To help increase distance, a graphite shaft is recommended.
An approach wedge is more forgiving than a pitching wedge because it has similar loft to a pitching one. The ball should fly straight up. Blade-style approach wedges are more precise and less forgiving than traditional ones.
Some golfers choose an approach wedge that matches their irons, while others opt for a unique wedge designed for the short game.
An approach wedge can either be played from the rough or the sand trap. Approach wedges have a lot of spin, but it is better to hit from the fairway than from the rough.
The approach wedge is best used in the sand trap, which is just a few yards from the green. This wedge can sometimes be more effective than the sand wedge from the bunker if you have only 20-30 yards to work with before you reach the pin.
Take a look
An approach wedge’s look is usually more open than other irons in a set. The approach wedge is designed to inspire confidence by allowing you to get the ball up in air and have it stop quickly on the green.
Feel the difference
The brand of club you choose will affect how comfortable you feel. Most golfers prefer an approach wedge with a little more softness. Softness improves the ball’s reaction to the club face and makes it easier on the green to stop it.
This is precisely why some people choose to use a more blade-style wedge for their approach, leaving behind the bulkier cavity backirons.
You won’t always be using your approach wedge for the smallest shots around the green, yet still, some of these can be delicate enough that you will want to feel in control of the club at all times.
Golfers know that having a sand, lob, and gap wedge (approach) that matches is a huge benefit. You can hit the shots you want with a bit more consistency thanks to the bounce, spin, feel, and feel.
A game improvement set includes a pitching wedge and an sand wedge. Many new players get this set. A cavity back style gap wedge with loft that fits between the clubs will be of great benefit.
Consider the leading edge when choosing an approach wedge. Make sure it appeals to your taste. A wider sole is recommended for those who prefer a standard pitching wedge. A blade style approach is the best for those who want a cleaner, crisper look.
What is the Loft on an Approach Edge?
A standard approach wedge has a loft of 50 degrees. The loft of an approach wedge can vary depending on the brand and club you choose. Expect a loft closer 48 if you have a game improvement set that includes a matching approach.
The pitching wedge is a lower lofted club with around 44 degrees of loft. The higher lofted clubs such as the 52 and 54 degree approaches are usually blade-style options. These can be put into a golfers bag if needed.
The stock lofts for a set are 52, 56 and 60, respectively. In this instance, the 52-degree wedge would be used as the approach. The trajectory of shots with the approach wedges is slightly different from the pitching wedge’s and slightly lower than that with the sand wedge.
The approach wedge is a great option for a day when you want to keep your ball down but still get plenty of spin on your shot.
Difference between an Approach Wedge and a Gap Wedge
If you have been trying to determine the difference between a gap wedge and an approach wedge, chances are you won’t find too many differences. These clubs are two different ways of saying “a wedge that fits between the sand and the pitching.”
This is sometimes called an approach wedge by some companies, while others call it a gap or gap wedge by others.
Both will be used to fill in the loft gap in your bag. Players can hit approach wedges in a variety of ways: full shot swings, longer pitches around the green, and bump and run shots.
Your lie on the course will dictate how you use your approach wedge. Expect a mid-range trajectory with lots of spin and control. If you are having trouble with your short game, it is worth checking out the tools that you have.
For those that have still not considered an approach wedge, take a good look at your lofts and ensure that you don’t need one of these in place.