What Wedges Do I Need? The Keys To Boost Your Short Game!
There is no standard answer for how many wedges you need to carry around in your golf bag.
As unsatisfying as that might sound, there are many variables for wedge selection, such as size and course conditions. Not only do pros suggest thinking strategically about your skills before packing up your bag, but they also recommend changing it up from golf trip to golf trip to accommodate each course’s many variables.
The fact of the matter is that to maximize your potential as a golfer, you must also allow yourself to shoot as many different types of shots as possible.
If you’re unsure which wedges will widen your range — and, more urgently, which wedges to stock in your bag — read on for our quick guide to golf club strategy.
How Many Wedges Should You Carry in Your Golf Bag?
Many novices think of the wedges as individual clubs, their value only determined by their number. But instead, try to think of them in terms of a system.
Do you need a system of two wedges, both of which work to complement each other? Or do you need more to navigate a course that demands many types of lofts?
Below is an elaboration on some selections of wedges and how they function when grouped together. You can use this guide to determine what works best for you and your game.
Though wedges traditionally are acknowledged in groups of three — a pitching wedge, a sand wedge, and a lob wedge — many golfers make do with just two. While only carrying two wedges is undoubtedly the most efficient option (and comfortable to lug around if you are without a caddy, of course), you should pick which two very carefully.
The most common wedge to leave behind is the lob wedge since this type can be difficult to wield and take time to master due to having a lot of loft. Especially if you are a beginner, a 56-degree edge can be a pretty good replacement for the lob. It accomplishes a similar short game while being much easier to handle.
Less loft means you’ll be able to control your distances a bit easier. It cuts down on your messy, bladed shots. Since the purpose of wedges is to reduce the number of shots you’re taking, consider forgetting the lob altogether in favor of two wedges with lesser loft.
Wielding a lob beyond your control can also be dangerous, particularly in tricky weather conditions. Be sure to think of your safety first before overestimating your skill level to prevent golf injuries.
Just because you’ve decided to go ahead with the standard three-wedge system doesn’t mean that you are completely covered. Nor does it mean that you are off the hook for planning your setup strategically.
So, even with three wedges, you’ll still be faced with the question of which to prioritize over others.
Wedges come in a wide variety of sizes and drive capacities, otherwise known as lofts. It would be best to evaluate the specific degrees you need to match your desired drive size and fill the gap between your pitching wedge and sand wedge. The gaps will be a crucial indicator of your needs.
Most pros follow the rule of thumb that there should be roughly four degrees of loft between wedges. For instance, say you have a pitching wedge of 48-degrees that you know has the potential to sail an average of 110 yards. Your 56-degree sand wedge can only make it about 80 yards. You need to find a 52-degree wedge to fly about 95 yards and fill the gap in your setup.
Also important to consider is the suitability of your grind for the shots you hope to hit, on top of the types of courses you plan to play. Bounce angles, which refer to the height of the leading edge as it rests against the ground, dictate the grind, as does the type of shot you're hitting.
Suppose your stance typically produces a steep angle with large divots. Experts suggest going with a wide-soled wedge for more bounce. On the other hand, golfers who swing at a more shallow angle or sweep the ball do better with a more narrow sole and lower bounce on their wedge.
Ultimately, not all wedges produce the same results. So, let your knowledge of your golfing habits guide your decision for which wedges make the cut in your three-club system.
Though you might feel as though you are carrying extraneous weight for no reason, there are plenty of times when an extra wedge in your system comes in handy. Four in your setup is particularly wise if you have extra space after removing an extra-long iron or another club not so regularly used.
Carrying around four wedges is relatively common with golfers whose game fluctuates and who struggle to find consistency at times. If you find your swings and drive capacity completely changing from one game to the next, it’s acceptable to add an extra to compensate for whatever gaps you foresee.
For example, say you don’t have that three-quarter swing perfectly defined just yet. You can bring a fourth wedge with you to help you experiment. Or, add an extra fairway wood if you’re trying to hone in on specific yardage you’ve been struggling to achieve.
If you are having trouble delineating your swing variations yourself, keep track of your statistics and let these facts guide you on the course.
Having a bag setup that changes over time is a natural part of improving as a golfer. Indeed, most setups involve a bit of trial-and-error anyway.
While the three-wedge setup standard might try to tell you otherwise, nothing is saying that you can’t bring more or fewer wedges out on the course with you.
So, have fun with it and play around with which extra wedges you think are most handy and strategic to bring with you.For golf bags to accommodate your wedges regardless of the system, check out Stitch Golf today!