It’s a recurring nightmare as I stand over my approach shot 95-yards out on the 16th at my home club, as the distance is too far for a full sand wedge and too short for a pitching wedge. I didn’t know a 50 degree wedge existed. It could have solved my problem.
This guide will explain what a 50 degree wedge is and how to use it. To help you make an informed decision, I will also share some of my favorite gap wedges.
This golf club is a great tool for improving your game.
Before we proceed, I recommend bookmarking our guide covering the 54-degree wedge style. This will help you determine which lofted sand wedge is best for your swing.
What is a 50-Degree Wedge?
The strongest lofted gap wedge available is the 50-degree wedge. A gap wedge or approach wedge bridges between your pitching and the sand wedge to ensure that all bases are covered in your short game.
Golfers use a gap wedge to hit full shots at close range. They also use it for a chip, bump-and-run or chip shot.
How far do people typically hit this wedge?
Golf Monthly reports that the average male can hit a gap wedge of 100 yards while females can score up to 85 yards. These figures don’t give any insight into the handicaps or conditions of the players.
My case is 95 yards on a flat layout and a clear day. I swing a driver at 87 mph, which gives me a medium swing speed. This category will likely be populated by average golfers.
Which are the Best Situations to Use a 50 Degree Wedge?
Full Short Shots
I can swing 50 degrees of loft at 95 yards, which is an average of 95 yards. My gap wedge saves me the trouble of hitting a half-pitching or forcing a sand wedge.
I have ruined many beautiful drives because I didn’t have a gap wedge in the bag, and resorted to a half-struck, overpowered pitching wedge.
Instead, swing easy and let the ball fly.
Long Bunker Shots
A 50-degree gap wedge is ideal for longer bunker shots, where you feel you’ll leave it short with a sand wedge. The chances of hitting the putt with a sand wedge in the bunker are higher if you don’t have to force it out.
You’ll find that not every greenside bunker is tiny and pin-high, which is why a gap wedge is an excellent option to carry in the bag.
While many golfers will choose a sand wedge for chip shots, a gap wedge can also be used. A gap wedge is often used for chip shots that are mid- to long. The higher loft gives my ball more power.
These situations can lead to my ball launching higher than intended due to weaker lofts on a sand wedge or lob wedge. This can result in a loss of forward momentum.
The 50-degree loft also has the advantage of being effective on short- to mid-pitch shots. If I have less green to work with, the loftier pitching wedge might cause my ball to roll past the cup.
The solution is to use a gap wedge with a weaker loft. You’ll notice that it generates sufficient spin and control to help run the ball up to the cup.
We’ve all been there. You hit your golf ball into the woods, and there is no clear path to the pin. You can either hit your ball into the woods with a long-iron or chip out onto the short grass to ensure it is in a safe place.
The 50-degree wedge’s higher loft reduces the likelihood of getting under it and knocking into the timber.
Run and Bump
A gap, just like other wedges can be used for bump and run shots. A 52-degree wedge has enough loft to slow down your ball on approaches, but not enough to make your bump-and run into a chip shot.
Are You Really Going to Need a 50 Degree Wedge in Your Bag
Yes, you do need a 50-degree wedge in the bag. You will be able to control the flag more effectively if you cover all distance gaps in your bag.
In my junior years, I lost many opportunities due to a badly shaped wedge or a poorly cooked pitching wedge. I would have had more birdie chances and won more silverware if I had a gap wedge.
Instead of focusing on your long game, you can add more wedges to the fray to cover every aspect of your short-game. This is the best method to lower your handicap.
The Best 50 Degree Wedges currently on the Market
Callaway Mack Daddy JAWS 5
Callaway Mack Daddy 5 Jaws Wedge
The tour-tested C and w grinds have been updated to make it easier to play more greenside shots. The traditional shaped lob and sand sand wedges have been replaced by a compact player-preference design in the gap and pitching to create a seamless transition to an iron set.
The Callaway Mack Daddy JAWS 5It is a high-spinning, affordable wedge that will complement your pitching wedge and shortirons. It is ideal for mid-handicappers who want a versatile sole grind with a high spin rate and a great feel.
Callaway crafted JAWS 5 out of 8620 mild steel carbon steel. This steel emits a soft touch at impact and crisp audio. You’ll see that this wedge is available in only one sole grind, which may deter some golfers.
However, the S-grind sole was medium-width and provided enough heel relief to allow for clubface contact. This allows average golfer the ability to get under the ball, and produce a high shot that hits softly close to the target. It also performed well on medium and firm turf.
Finally, I appreciate the hardworking JAWS MD 5 Groove microfeatures. They increased friction between the clubface & ball to produce amazing spin. This increased my control on chip shots, full shots, and bunker shots.
- It helps average golfers get under the ball
- Soft Feel
- Moderately reasonable
- Clean turf interaction
- Extraordinary spin
- I don’t care for the four medallions at the back of my club.
- The clubface’s black finish may wear away sooner than expected
Cleveland CBX2 Edge
More weight is distributed around the perimeter to allow for greater forgiveness at impact. Three different sole grinds offer more versatility to execute any shot on the course. GelbackTPU Insert with enhanced feel balancing technology reduces vibration for a pure impact feeling.
Cleveland is a master at making quality wedges that are affordable and of high quality for those with higher handicaps who want forgiveness and more spin. You’ll notice that it features a hollow cavity back design, which may put superior golfers off. This design is essential to limit spin drop offs across the clubface.
Engineers were able to place weight around the perimeter of the clubface for increased stability and higher moments of inertia (MOI). As a result, the clubface did not twist during my swing and remained square to the target at contact.
Cleveland’s Enhanced Feel Balancing Technology further boosts forgiveness by shifting weight to the toe of the gap wedge. This creates a slight draw bias for combat, right misses to right-handers and left misses to lefties.
Additionally, CBX2To maintain a delicate and satisfying feel, Cleveland has eliminated vibrations from off center shots. Cleveland designed this wedge with an V-shaped sole to give it a better bounce on full shots. This is ideal for steep attack angles.
Finally, the 4th Generation Rotex Face Tech gave me enough spin to make a great game-improvement tool. The tour zip grooves cut into my ball at contact to create superb drop-and-stop spin.
- Combat right-handers with right-handers
- Eliminates vibrations from off-center hits
- Spins a lot
- Profiles with excessively large dimensions
- Restricted workability
Titleist Vokey SM9 Tour
The 50-degree wedge is for the most skilled golfers who want playability, aggressive spin, controlled flight, and playability. Bob Vokey, the master, has created a masterpiece with the SM9 Tour. It looks great and performs as a gap wedge should.
Vokey and his team started with the trajectory. Vokey and his crew moved the CG slightly forward to control your launch and trajectory. This design also allowed for better contact with the golf ball, and a more flexible flight to allow for greater short-game control.
You’ll find that the Vokey SM9 Tour provides tough grooves which were heat treated to last longer. This heat treatment and longevity allow the gap wedge to produce superior friction for higher revolutions per hour.
Titleist also offers the SM9 Tour gap wedge with an F-grind design. This provides mid to low bounce and allows for better performance on tight lies and more firm turf conditions. Vokey says that the F-grind is best for players with a shallow angle who want to get a lower bounce from the turf.
- Super Feeling
- Durable grooves
- Exceptional spin
- Controlled ball flight
- Promotes workability
- Only one grind option is available for the 50 degree wedge