Which degree wedge...?
Is there a general rule which degree wedge you should go for? I am planning on purchasing one soon (i can only afford one at the moment) and wonder which i should go for - i.e which is the best all rounder? Assuming that it even matters for a low handicapper (i play off about 20)? Any advice much appreciated.
Hey Chips, there really is no general rule as to what loft of wedge you should get and it really depends on what kind of shots you want to play with it. If you already have a standard PW(46-48*) and SW(54-56*) then I would recommend that you add a 60* lob wedge. This is a very versatile club that most mid to high handicappers should be able to hit anywhere up to 60-65 yards out. The beauty of the 60* wedge is that it'll give you a chance from virtually any lie and you can play all kinds of pitch, chip, bump & run & flop shots with it from virtually anywhere around the green, simply by changing the position of the ball in your stance. Check out www.cleveland.com for an online fitting guide as to which wedge to play.
Hope this advice is helpful, although I would say demo, demo, demo, as the best wedge is the one that works best for you.
Originally Posted by Noley
I'd agree with Noley in all except the thing about distance. I don't think the lob 60* should be used outside 30 yards. To me it is strictly greenside weaponry, especially out of bunkers and heavy greenside rough, or to carry over hazards (flop). As it is heavy is is usually quite easy to get airborne and stop quickly.
Some of the shots Noley is referring to such as bump and run take a lot of practice with a 60*. You may be better off sticking with 7i / 9i or PW for those. Even the flop shot will take time to build up confidence, but if you are prepared to put the time in, then it can become a very versatile club. You don't need to spend a lot on the likes of Titliest or Cleveland. Dunlop and Hippo do fairly good 60*s for about £20 / 30€. Buy one of those that feels right in your hands, practice like hell and if you get some feel / confidence from it, then "go large" for aforementioned Cleveland.
That's my 2 cent. Good luck. ;)
Assuming you have a PW and SW (about 45-46 and 54-56 degrees, respectively) either a lob wedge (60 degrees) or a gap wedge (50-52 degrees) could be useful. I find my gap wedge to be more versatile than my lob wedge, and a better risk/reward proposition for many greenside shots. If you need a shot that stops quickly at a short pin, there is nothing quite like a lob wedge, though a sand wedge can also do the job most of the time (unless the turf is very short and the increased bounce on the sole of the sand wedge may make one prone to skulling the shot).
I'm of the opinion that "you can't have too many wedges", since so many shots are from within approximately 120 yards and closer. I use the 46 degree PW that comes with my iron set, then 50, 55, and 60 degree wedges with mixed bounce (obviously, the SW has the high bounce; if you are not clear on "bounce", refer to the Cleveland tutorial mentioned in a prior post). Carrying as many wedges "as the law allows" seems to work for me and a lot of people. Others prefer to carry extra metalwoods or hybrids. As long as the final total comes up to 14 or less, do what works for you........
I started off with a 46 PW and 56 SW and added my 60 LW afterwards. I use the LW a lot for both chipping and 60yd and in shots. Lately though, I really need a 51/52 GW cause I have a large yardage gap between my PW and SW. It looks like I'll be carrying 4 wedges soon.
I see that other responders have *assumed* you're carrying a sand wedge, but if you're not, that would be my choice for wedge #2 (added to the PW that comes with most iron sets). The 54-56 degree sand wedge is arguably the most versatile of wedges. If you choose one carefully, you should be able to hit it from 90 yards in, open the blade to play high, soft shots around the green, or even close the blade (playing it back in your stance and keeping your hands ahead) to play bump-and-run shots onto the greens. And of course, there's sand play! For me, the trickiest part of selecting a sand wedge was getting one that I could hit fairly strongly from the fairway. For years, I carried sand wedges that were too heavy, and I hit difficulty hitting them accurately from more than 60-65 yards out. Eventually, I settled on a Callaway X-14 55 degree sand wedge with graphite shaft. I've bumped the swingweight up to about D3, which is where I play all of my irons, and hit it well in all situations. I can hit it 90-95 yards from normal fairway lies, which fits well with the 105-110 yard gap wedge that I also carry. If you're going to use a "sand" wedge for particular fairway yardages, I suggest that you try to find one that doesn't leave you a gap of more than 10 yards to the "normal" yardage of your next wedge up. Most players can hit a given club 5 yards more or 5 yards less without too much trouble, but trying to add or subtract more yards than that from your normal swing with the club is asking for trouble.
Originally Posted by MrChips
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To add to what others have already said - it totally depends on what you already have. If you already have a PW and SW, then you may want a gap wedge if you find a big gap between your 9 iron and PW (or between your PW and SW), in order to fill the gap. The other issue is how you like hitting your SW from the fairway. Some SW's are great in the sand, with lots of bounce, but this can make them heavy and awkward to hit from the fairway. So, you might want something a lot like the SW, but with less bounce. Finally, 60 degrees can be a bit much for higher handicappers, who can tend to pop it up too much. You may find you prefer a 58.
i carry 3 wedges. PW 47*, GW 52*, and SW 56*.
I used to carry a 60* but i found that i can do pretty much everything i want in a lob wedge with my 56*. I picked up a 52* Gap this season and i must say its my most used club in my bag. It's like having an 11 iron. I hit from about 110 yards and in and it also does most of my greenside chipping. My gap wedge is my favorite club in my bag.
The three situations I find improved by a lob wedge for me are: 1. DEEEEEP "bomb crater" greenside bunkers with packed sand I occasionally encounter at one course I play, 2. 15-50 yard pitch shots to tight pins off short to hardpan lie, and 3. the very unusual situation of needing to do a flop shot off short grass. Anything else, and I'm happier with a sand wedge or gap wedge for safety.
Thanks for all the replies guys - most helpful.
I do carry a SW at present and find it a very versatile club, both in bunkers and around the green. I've actually got an old Cleveland wedge (58 degree, and it's called a Short Wedge on the club) that i found on a course years ago. Its always been in my bag but i've never had much joy with it. Nearly always end up skulling it! Although it's ok for when stuck in the really long stuff. Anything short though, i don't even think about it anymore, and just pick up my SW. I don't know if it's the club or just my lack of ability to use it. I will certainly try to demo a 60 degree to see what that's like and if i can handle it.
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Originally Posted by MrChips
If by sculling it you mean you mean that you hit it thin, ie dont go under the ball but slightly top it then dont go more loft just learn to open up the sandwedge a bit more for more loft. If you have a reasonably modern set of clubs and have a club marked PW it is probably around 46-48 degrees and therefore thereis a big gap to your 56* SW Filling the gap with a 52* would be my advice as you would find less problems with thinning the shot
The problem is that by opening up a sand wedge, you take a club that already has way more bounce than a gap or lob wedge and INCREASE the bounce angle by opening it up. Yes, loft is increased, but loft is increased a lot, too. The risk of skulling is maximized by opening up a sand wedge. That doesn't mean that it isn't possible to make a good flop shot off short grass with a sand wedge, but the risk of skulling is greater with an opened up sand wedge (which probably has an effective bounce of 20 degrees or more when opened) vs. a squared lob wedge which has in the ballpark of 4-8 degrees of bounce.
Originally Posted by jim8flog
I hardly ever skull my sand wedge, even when i open it up. I hit it very well usually, and it's my go to club around the green at the moment. The old wedge that i have (a 58 degree short wedge) is the one that i keep skulling and cannot get to grips with. I am not sure what degree my sand wedge is - are they all 56 degree as standard? In which case the 2 degree difference between that and my short wedge seems to make a huge difference in my ability to play shots.
The obvious response is, "Don't fix it if it ain't broke". Do what works for you. If opening up a 55-56 degree wedge works, by all means do it. I was just presenting the theoretical argument for mixed bounce wedges. I do like the mixed bounce idea, and have it in mine. However, I'd be the last to tell someone else to stop doing something that works in their hands.
Originally Posted by MrChips
my two cents...
If you play on a course with softish greens/fairways, the SW will probably have about as much height/back-spin as you need 95% of the time, so go for a gap wedge of about 52 degrees.
If you play on a dry, hard-pan course with lots of bunkers to short side yourself with, go with a 60 degree lob-wedge with limited bounce (assuming you can play with it)
For conditions in between, I'd probably go for the 52 degree I'd guess more club golfers drop shots from miss-hitting a 60 degree than hitting a flop shot 6 inches from the pin. Also most club golfers find the 50-100yard ranges tricky, where a gap wedge makes all the difference to get you onto the green and for a possible 1 putt.
Shafts for wedges?
I just picked up a new set of Taylor Made RAC HTs (graphite shafts) on E-Bay (3-PW). Got them yesterday and can't wait to get out on a course and hit them. Was fitted in a golf store and got sticker shock when I saw the set for $899. Won a bid for $450. I would like to get a few wedges (not necessarily Taylor Made) to complete my new set. Based on what I have read here I'm probably going to start with a new gap (50 degree) and sand wedge (55 degree). My PW is 45 degrees.
I have an old steel shafted sand wedge and a Carbite wedge that I had been using, but think it's time to retire them as well. Should I be looking at graphite shafts for both of the wedges as well? I read somewhere not to get a graphite sand wedge. Is that true?
This would be better as a new thread, rather than a threadjack. I'd suggest restating your question, but by starting a thread. I'm sure you'd get more answers to your question
Originally Posted by Wally
I currently have a regular pitching wedge a 52* gap wedge and a 56* sandwedge. I rarely if ever uuse the 568 wedge, I find that I can do what I need with the gap wedge. Be careful of the lie and amount of bounce the wedges you pick have. To much or to little bounce can be a huge detriment to you if it doesnt suit of swing and style of play. I prerfer littel bounce so the club digs better. But that's just me.
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