How Far Do You Need to Hit Your Wedges?
Did you know that roughly one in seven Americans play golf annually? With the game constantly growing, knowing how to get the most out of your round of 18 is crucial.
To master the wedge, some players create a wedge distance chart. But how important is the wedge to your game, and how can you benefit from using these clubs?
If you're interested in learning more about using your wedge, we're here to offer guidance. Read on to learn more about how to pick a wedge and improve your game.
What Wedges to Bring
Beginner players often have difficulty differentiating their clubs from each other. One of the most challenging areas is telling apart different pitches, wedges, chippers, and irons. These clubs all have a similar appearance, with the dominant difference being the tilt of their clubface.
The tilt of a clubface is the angle at which the head of the club sits. The "flatter" the angle, the farther the ball will go, generally speaking.
Conversely, clubs with an angle that sits more flat are better for getting under the club. These clubs are great for a stroke that sends your ball higher than average. As a trade-off, your ball often won't travel as far, making it better for precision short-distance shots rather than to get down range.
The first and arguably most common is the pitching wedge.
A pitching wedge typically has a clubface tilt of about 48 degrees. While this sounds like a significant tilt, it's not nearly as severe as some of the other wedges you can find.
Instead, pitching wedges are great for marrying height and distance. These clubs are good for when you need to go from a decent distance down the Fairfield to the green.
These are great introductions to the world of wedges, as they play similarly to irons that don't have as severe of a tilt.
Sand wedges have a considerably deeper tilt than a pitching wedge at about 56 degrees. While there's a range of about 54-56, most are closer to 56. A few inches lower tends to be "gap wedge" territory.
As the name suggests, the sand wedge is ideal for getting your ball out of a sand hazard. These may include bunkers, sand pits, or sand traps.
The low tilt of the clubface helps golfers get under the ball. Afterward, a follow-through on your swing lifts the ball upward.
Since the sand wedge is more focused on lifting the ball, they aren't ideal wedges for distance. However, since this club isn't focused on distance, you don't have to stress how far your ball goes as much.
If you need a more significant tilt than a sand wedge, a lob wedge is your next tool. The lob wedge is generally the club with the most intense degree of tilt in golf.
Lob wedges go to about 58 degrees. These clubs are for sending your ball high and having it come down on a relatively straight trajectory. As such, the ball rarely rolls as far.
Due to these factors, a lob wedge is almost never the wedge you pick for distance. Since it's mostly for height, some golfers leave it out of their wedge distance chart.
With these wedges, you'll have every wedge you need. However, some golfers may prefer to have something to fill the gaps.
For this purpose, the gap wedge is ideal. The gap wedge fills the distance between the sand and the pitching wedge.
With a gap wedge, you have the distance of a pitching wedge with the loft of a sand wedge. It's ideal for hits from the rough where you're still a decent distance away.
Making a Wedge Distance Chart
With your wedges decided, your next step is to make a wedge distance chart. But how does one get started?
As the name suggests, this is a graph that shows the distance of how far your strokes go with each wedge. You can often find averages that compare the charts.
However, it's best to make your own so you can see how you perform with each wedge. Do you go farther with your gap wedge than your pitching wedge? Is your lob wedge going farther than necessary instead of high?
These questions are often answered by keeping track of the data. You may have an easier time getting solid contact with a club face of a certain tilt. Others may leave you slicing it out of an inability to make proper contact.
Maximizing Your Distance
With your chart made, you can look at some methods on how to improve those distance numbers. Here are some tips on how to get the most out of your golfing techniques.
Your first step is to think of how much power you're putting into the swing.
Power is the strength of your swing and how hard you hit the ball. Contrary to many assumptions, more power doesn't always mean the ball goes farther.
For example, a lob wedge would likely send the ball higher rather than farther. In some examples, this may end up shortening the distance of the ball. High winds or some backspin may make the ball not go as far.
Better Your Swing
Speaking of your swing, what improvements could you make to it?
Your swing is the most important part of your game, even more so than having the right club. You should practice your golf swing accuracy and technique until you feel comfortable.
It's important to note that your swing will change with your clubs. Wedges use a more narrow stance and a shorter swing with a less intense bodily turn and follow-through. Mastering this stance and swing will help your wedge game immensely.
Perfecting Your Wedge Game
Whether you're making a wedge distance chart or working on getting out of the bunker, wedges are an ideal addition to your golf bag. Do your best to master your swing and practice with a handful of wedges at first. Once you're comfortable with them, move on to others to find the best clubs for your game.
Curious about how to get started with improving your wedge game? Contact us at Northland Country Club to start your golfing journey.