When I first became a golf professional, I had several students tell me that the “loft” wedge was a club they would never use.
When I realized that by “loft,” they meant lob wedge, I wanted to learn more about why so many high handicappers and beginners were scared of this club, because its very similar to the sand wedge.
I love both the lob and sand wedge. I’ve learned to use each in the unique ways they are designed to help for approach shots, chip shots, sand shots, and pitches. If you’re unsure about why you have these wedges, how they can be used, and what their purpose is, you can check out our lob wedge vs. the sand wedge guide.
Overview of a Sand Wedge & Lob Wedge
Before you can decide when you should use the lob or sand wedge, it is important to understand what each club is and how they are made. Here is a brief overview about the lob wedge, sand wedge, and what you can expect.
Sand Wedge Overview
A sand wedge golf club has between 54 to 58 degrees loft. The club is also known as a sand wedge and can be used anywhere on the course. The sand wedge is an excellent club for getting out of sand traps because it has a high initial loft, and a soft landing.
Some golfers prefer a sand wedge that is unique to their game, while others prefer something that matches the rest. A sand wedge will give you plenty of spin, great performance around the greens, as well as excellent control over your golf shots.
Lob Wedge Overview
The loft of a lob wedge is typically between 58 and 62%. This will almost always be the highest lofted club in a golfer’s bag.
The lob wedge is a great club for high pitch, flop shots, bunker shots without any green, and many other purposes. Some lob wedge shots are higher than others, so be aware of this when choosing to use the club.
While lob wedges are most commonly sold in a blade-style, there are also some cavity back wedges. Most lob wedges can’t be found in a standard golf iron set.
Differences between a Sand Wedge and a Lob Wedge
The sand wedge is more like the lob wedge than it is different.
Each club should be used to get the ball as close as possible to the pin as you move closer to the green. The clubs are all similar, but there are some unique differences.
Remember that there may be differences between Titleist sand wedges and Cleveland lob wedges.
The loft of a lob wedge is higher than the sand one. Higher loft usually means more forgiveness. The forgiveness is almost the same for both the lob wedge or the sand wedge.
The lob wedge is often considered unforgiving by the average golfer. This is because an error with the wedge can cost you a shot.
Since you will be closer to the pin, when you miss, it could go over the back of the green or end up well short of the target, and it’s frustrating.
If you intend to carry a lob and sand wedge in your bag, ensure there is at least 4° of loft between them. It doesn’t make sense to have a 56° sand wedge or a 58° lob wedge in your bag. They are too similar.
The sand wedge can be used to hit farther than the lob wedge. Many golfers find that their average sand-wedge full swing shot can fly 75-100 yards.
The lob wedge’s distances are usually shorter, at 75 yards. The average golfer does not take a full-swing lob wedge shot as it is not the most efficient shot when it comes down to getting to the pin.
Professionals can hit a lob wedge considerably further, but they won’t typically use a full swing lob wedge on their approaches to the pin.
Distance shouldn’t be an issue when choosing the best lob wedge and sandwedge for your game. Even though you hit the sand wedge further than the lob wedge, it’s still good to have both in the bag.
This is how a pitching wedge can go further than your 50-degree gap wedge.
Both the sand and lob wedges are designed to spin when they hit a green. My 60-degree Lob has always been easier to spin than the sandwedge.
This is due to the club’s extra loft and the groove patterns that are often found on its face.
The best place to get spin is the lob wedge. It lands softly on green and is not designed for long roll. You won’t have to hit a flop shot just to see spin; even with little chip shots, the ball should stop quickly.
A golf club’s bounce is unique. However, a lob wedge can increase the likelihood of having a higher bounce angle.
This does not mean that the lob-wedge cannot be ordered with a lower bounce.
Wedge bounce adds some forgiveness and makes it easier to get the wedge’s leading edge connected with the golf ball. This bounce can make it less likely that you will miss your shot if you tend to chunk or skull the ball.
When to use a Lob wedge
Now that you have a better understanding of what a lob wedge is, it’s time to know when to pull it out of the bag. I was playing with a friend while they were playing golf. They had a clear chip to the hole at the fringe and nothing but green between them.
The lob wedge was not the right choice. The ball was too high and the distance control is very difficult. It is crucial to know when to take the club out of your bag.
These are my top times to use a golf lob wedge.
It took me a while before I realized how amazing the lob wedge was out of a greenside bunker. There is no better club if you don’t have much green. It’s so easy to get this up and down, and you will have no trouble stopping it.
It is very similar to playing a greenside bunker shot using a lob-wedge. The technique and the form are identical. The only difference is that it won’t go quite as far as your sand wedge.
In the Rough to The Pin
If you are in the rough and don’t have much green to work with, the lob wedge can get up in the air and stop on the green rather quickly. Rough can create a barrier between your clubface and the ball, which can cause a lot more roll out on your golf shots.
If you want to avoid that, it’s best to use the club with the most spin; the lob wedge is certainly that club.
Anytime you are hitting a shot up to a green that is higher than you, it’s essential to use a golf club with plenty of loft. Elevated greens can cause the ball to roll back at you so it is worth using a club like the 60 degree wedge to lift it up enough to reach the green.
If you are short-sided,
Think about the lob wedge if you have little green to work from. This is one club that you can stop quickly. A lob wedge is the club of choice if you want to avoid a 15 footer coming back at your pin.
When to Use a Sand Wedge
My go-to tool for shots around the green is the Sand Wedge. The sand wedge, however much I love and have learned to love the lob-wedge, is still a staple in my arsenal.
Full Approach Shots to the Green
Golfers will often use their sand wedge to complete a full swing approach to a hole when they are less than 75 yards from the green. This full approach shot swing will travel between 75 and 100 meters and will stop quickly if it touches the green.
Mid To Long Greenside Bunker Shots
Sand wedges make greenside bunker shots a lot easier. Adjust your stance, and angle of the club head to ensure you end up in a great shot position.
The wedge will be your preferred club for most bunker shots.
Lofted Pitches to the Green
The sand wedge is great for getting the golf ball up in the air. You can expect lots of loft and control as long as your shots are well-hitted.
You will be able to use a sand wedge of different yardages and avoid double or triple bogeys. This shot can help you save a lot of money.
Do You Really Need Both Clubs in Your Bag
I recommend that you have both clubs in your bag. Both the sand wedge and lob wedge have their own characteristics and can be used in different places on the course. It is a smart idea to have both clubs in your bag.
It is important to remember that your lob wedge should have at least three to four degrees of loft between it and your sand wedge. Without this loft difference, the launch angles will be too similar.