Improve your short game by keeping a variety of wedges ready in your arsenal. Dependent on the situation, you can take optimal advantage by using a specific wedge grind. With so many different models and styles available, it may be difficult to decide which to equip yourself with. With a 3 wedge set, you can be sure to have the essentials ready to go for your next tee time.
Types of Wedge Grinds
There are several types of wedge grinds with varying degrees of loft which are to be used for different purposes. Gap, sand, and a lob are the ones every golfer should have for their short game setup. Typically, more shots are taken within the 100-yard range when compared to the rest of the course, and about 25% of all shots are made with a wedge. Let’s discuss these 3 types and why they will give you an advantage.
52 Degree Gap
A gap wedge is often referred to as an attack or utility wedge, and as the name suggests, is used for the “gap” when the distance is too short for a pitching wedge yet too long for a sand wedge. It has the second lowest loft, between 46 and 54 degrees, and allows you to easily cover between 90-110 yards. A 52 degree gap wedge will allow you to hit a shot with a higher and shorter trajectory than when using a pitching wedge. The shot will also go lower and longer than if hit with a sand wedge, effectively allowing you to “gap” the bridge between these 2.
56 Degree Sand
The sand wedge has a loft between 52 and 58 degrees and is also shorter than other clubs, giving the ball more spin when hit. They are not just used to get out of the bunkers and back into the green, but also to make your way out of the mud and soggy ground. Sand wedges can also be seen used on the fairway when there is a particularly short and high pitch shot and the ground is soft. Although the bounce can make using the sand wedge tricky, it can be used effectively on the fairway as long as the surface is not too hard.
60 degree Lob
With more loft than any of the wedges, the lob has anywhere between 60 and 65 degrees and is the newest type available. It is the wedge to use when a lot of air is needed and to cover a distance fewer than 70 yards. Lob wedges are very handy to have since they can be used for precision shots all around the green.
How do I choose a wedge grinder?
Long story short: for optimal performance, choose a wedge grind based on your specific swing style and the condition of the course you will be playing on. Most golfers keep a minimum of 3 wedges in their bag. The proper usage and selection of one allows you to consistently manipulate factors such as spin, power, and bounce. Knowing when to use a gap, sand, and a lob depends not only on the situation and shot you are attempting to make but also on your swing and arc, among other factors. With a solid technique, wedge grinds can elevate your performance and allow you to make precision shots more easily.