Golf can be made easier by using the right wedges.
Here’s what I mean… the average golfer (roughly a 15 handicap) only hits four or five greens in regulation.
This means that you have 13-14 chances to get your ball up and down if you miss it. These shots are easier when you have the right tools.
Most golfers get lost when trying to decide if they need an approach or sand wedge loft and if they even require lob wedges.
Before you buy any other wedges I suggest finding your PW loft first as it’s arguably the most important wedge in your bag. This will make it difficult to find the right wedges for your bag. Continue reading for more information about the average pitching wedge loft as well as tips and tricks to improve your short game.
What is the Degree of a Pitching Edge?
The pitching wedge loft can vary depending on the club manufacturer, but is generally between 43-47 degrees.
Loft wedges with lower loft are used for game improvement and supergame improvement iron sets. These clubs are designed for golfers with higher handicaps and are more accommodating. They are strong lofts which increase the club’s distance.
The Callaway MAX OS light irons, for example, are very forgiving and can be used by less consistent golfers. The lofts are stronger to increase range and the PW is a 43-degree wedge. This loft was typical of a 9 iron in the past. This is why it’s crucial to find out your PW loft before buying a gap wedge or sand wedge.
Iron sets with stronger lofts are less forgiving, particularly blades and muscle backs. These clubs aren’t as forgiving as they’re made for more consistent golfers. Instead, they prioritize shot making instead of distance (as their swing creates plenty of distance already and don’t need the extra help).
For example, Callaway Apex TCB irons have more loft and the PW in the set has 46 degrees of loft. Blade iron sets may have 47 degrees of loft, while others might have 46.
Don’t forget that more loft means less distance. Now that you have a better understanding of pitching wedge loft, let’s get into why this is so important.
How do I locate my Pitching Wedge Loft
Most pitching wedges don’t make it obvious what degree of loft the club is which is unfortunate for amateur golfers.
Because you can’t gap the rest of your wedges accordingly. This makes it easy to buy other wedges (GW, SW, and LW) that don’t have the right lofts to complete your set.
Before you buy any other wedges or tools, be sure to research the specifications of your iron set. For example, just type in “Titleist T100 iron specs” and you will get a chart that shows the loft for each club in the set.
Once you know your pitching wedge loft, then you can buy other wedges to ensure they’re spaced out properly. This will ensure that there aren’t any large gaps between your wedges, which can make it difficult for you to score at certain distances. We will be discussing the importance of having three wedges in your bag, as well as some tips for buying the right ones.
Adjusting the Pitching Wedge Loft
Once you find the PW loft of your club, don’t forget that you can also get your lofts adjusted to bend it stronger or weaker too. You can add a degree of loft to your PW if it is 45 degrees. Just take it to a certified club fitter and they’ll bend it accordingly.
You can usually bend a wedge about two degrees in either direction and we don’t recommend doing more or you risk damaging the hosel.
Don’t forget that when you bend a wedge, you also adjust the bounce angle too. A 54.08 sand wedge will give you 54 degrees of loft and 8 degrees of bounce. If you bend it to 56 degrees, it will add 10 degrees to the bounce.
Read our complete article on Wedge Bouncing.
Standard PW vs. Standard PW vs.
Although most iron sets come with a pitching wedge, you can always purchase a different one. You can buy a PW to match your other wedges if you own a Titleist T100 set of irons and a Vokey wedge set.
But I don’t recommend this type of wedge for most golfers. The PW in your iron set is typically more forgiving than a premium wedge such as the Vokey.
If you switch from a T100 to a Vokey 46degree WP (even though the loft is identical), you will likely lose distance. The T100 wedge is thicker than the irons. This means that there is more mass behind the ball, which can impact total distance. The Vokey is also less tolerant.
For most golfers I recommend keeping your PW. It’s easier to hit, gapped with your 9-iron perfectly, and has the same shaft as the rest of your irons.
I’d only recommend switching your PW if you’re a skilled golfer who wants more creativity in your wedge game.
FAQs about Wedges and Scoring clubs
Do you have any questions about wedges? Continue scrolling to see our most frequently asked questions.
Is a 60 degree wedge a pitching tool?
A 60-degree wedge is not a lob wedge (LW). Lob wedges are the highest lofted club in the set, and they are designed to get the ball in the air quickly. A typical lob-wedge has between 58-60 degrees of loft.
Most amateur golfers don’t hit their lob wedge more than 75-80 yards with a full swing. But it’s frequently used by pros and amateurs alike from close range. It’s a great club with tons of versatility to help your scrambling around the greens.
However, lob wedges might not be the right tool for everyone. Some players may have difficulty making contact.
Is a 56 equal to a pitching wedge or a 56?
A 56 is a sand-wedge (SW) and not a pitching tool. Sand wedge loft ranges from 54 to 57 degrees. Amateurs and professionals use the sand wedge as one of their most popular clubs.
Some players add a wedge to their bag. Others prefer a sandwedge as it has the most loft. A sand wedge is ideal for full swings, as it can go further than an LW and makes it easy to hit a lot greenside shots.
Is a pitching knife 52 degrees?
A pitching wedge has a loft of between 43 and 47 degrees. It depends on the iron set and manufacturer of the club.
Gap wedges (also known as an approach wedge) provide a solution from the “gap” between your PW and SW. This gap is typically between 10-12 degrees and a large distance between the clubs. The GW fills this gap perfectly and ensures that you have a club that can hit shots within 125 feet.
Although they have more loft than a pitching, gap wedges serve a similar purpose. A GW is used to shoot all types of shots, including chip shots and full wedges.
If you don’t have a gap wedge yet, I highly recommend getting one. It’s easy to hit, reliable, and will get regular use during the round for all types of shots.
Do all iron sets include pitching wedges?
Pitching wedges are included in almost all iron sets. It should be included in your set unless you ask for it to be removed by choosing a 4-9 iron.
What are the best 3 wedges to carry?
Many golfers prefer to carry three to four wedges.
If a set of clubs only has a SW and a PW, a beginner golfer may only need two wedges. However, the vast majority of players opt for a third wedge or even a fourth wedge.
With 3-4 wedges, you have tons of options to save strokes and create short shots. You can have three wedges or buy a set of wedges. There are two options.
- Pitching wedge
- Gap wedge
- Sand wedge
This setup will give you 4-6 degrees of loft between each club. Your sand wedge will be the highest lofted club in your bag. This is a good setup for beginners who aren’t ready to hit a LW consistently and can add an extra fairway wood or hybrid to help with their long game.
The third setup, if you have three wedges, is:
- Pitching wedge
- For weak gap wedges, strong sand wedge
- Lob wedge
The loft would usually be around 46 – 54 – 60. This isn’t as common for the average golfer but something that pros do more regularly.
This setup has a problem. There are large gaps between clubs. This will require more knockdown shots to get creative and ensure you don’t lose any shots from not having enough wedges. When selecting golf clubs, one of the most difficult decisions is how many wedges to use. Make sure to experiment and discover what works best for you.
Should you hit full shots using wedges?
Yes and no. Here’s why…
Yes, you should hit full shot for certain approach shots with specific wedges (like a GW or PW), but it all depends on your skill. For beginners and high handicappers, you should only use a pitching or gap wedge to hit full wedges. These clubs can be used for full swings, but they also work around greens.
But you shouldn’t hit full high lofted wedges if you’re a beginner that hasn’t developed a consistent swing yet. It takes great timing and good ball striking to hit hard lob or sand wedges at a longer range. This can lead to a lot of missed shots or flubs.
(Click here to learn how to hit the 50-75 yard wedge shot.
Even professional golfers don’t hit a ton of full swing wedges with an LW or SW either. They don’t because when they swing full with short clubs, it creates maximum spin.
While the average golfer may want more spin, professionals actively avoid it. They produce so much backspin that it’s hard to judge and can easily spin off the green.
It is better to swing less than full (aka a knockdown shot), as it reacts consistently to the green. It will hit the green once, maybe twice, then stop and spin back off the green.
You can read more about the difference between a wedge swing and an Iron swing here.
Which chipping wedge is the best?
For chipping, I recommend a GW or PW. Chipping is all about flighting the golf ball down and getting it on the green so it’s rolling like a putt.
This is best done with a PW, GW or WL as they have less loft that a sand orlob wedge. The ball will release more quickly once it hits green. This is great for a bump and run shot.
Chipping is all about loft. If you have less green to work, pitch shots and flop shots will require more loft.
You want to know more about pitching and chipping? Click here to see the complete article.
Final Thoughts about Golf Wedges
The manufacturer and type of your golf club will determine the loft of your wedge. They generally range from 43-47 degrees of loft.
Pitching wedges are great clubs, especially for amateurs and beginners, as they’re pretty easy to hit. They’re easy to hit with full swing shots and also help with a lot of short chip shots from around the green.
The pitching wedge included with most iron sets should be used by amateur golfers. These are more forgiving than other aftermarket wedges, such as the Titleist Vokey, and offer more forgiveness on off-center strikes. A larger clubhead means they have more carry distance.
But if you’re a more skilled player, a premium pitching wedge might help your golf game inside 125 yards. Regardless of what type of wedge you choose, make sure the loft works with the rest of your set so you don’t have any big distance gaps.