How to Properly Gap Your Wedges
Refining your wedge play can go a long way towards knocking a few strokes off that scorecard.
Most rely on one, maybe two golf wedges from round to round – a standard pitching wedge and either a sand or gap wedge. During particular distances or situations you might feel like you don't have enough or have too much with just two wedges on hands. Odds are you've chunked, skulled, caught it thin, scooped it or bladed it—we've all been there.
Typically, these predicaments occur when you alter your swing based upon the distance.
Properly gapping your wedges is the solution
Avoid having to alter your natural swing. Select different lofts for different distances. Discover the wide range of wedge lofts you can add to your bag from Golf Galaxy.
Variables To Consider
The width of the sole of the club head measured from the leading edge to the trailing edge. Wider soles increase the effective bounce of a wedge.
The curvature of the sole measured from the leading edge to the trailing edge.
The angle formed between the centerline of the golf shaft and the ground when the club is soled in a neutral position.
Measured in revolutions per minute, backspin is affected by club loft, angle of attack, golf ball construction and environmental factors. Backspin may be estimated based upon the ball trajectory in the second half of flight or more precisely measured by a launch monitor. A backspin that is too high results in shorter carry and roll distances. Backspin that is too low reduces carry distance and can cause instability in flight.
- Round Grip: A grip that is uniformly round in cross-section
- Ribbed/Reminder Grip: A grip with a slightly raised area (rib) running along the underside of the grip
- Grip Size: Grips come with varying wall thicknesses and can be applied with extra layers of tape below the grip to increase the size (each layer of tape adds approximately 1/16" to the grip size). Proper grip size enables maximum control and comfort. For most players, proper size is indicated by the fingers on their left hand slightly touching the palm when the club is gripped
Understanding & Measuring Bounce
A very important, but somewhat misunderstood, element of wedge design is bounce angle. By definition, bounce is the angle created between the sole line of the golf club (the line from the leading edge to the trailing edge) and the ground line at address.
Wedges are designed with a wide variety of bounce angles and sole shapes to appeal to different playing styles and course conditions. Determine what type of player you are:
- Driver/Digger: A driver or digger wedge player has a steeper angle of attack, often using less hand action and a stronger grip. This player may also position the ball back in their stance and trap the ball at impact. They play their best with wedges that have wider soles, more bounce and less camber.
- Slider/Sweeper: A slider or sweeper wedge player has a shallow angle of attack and often is someone who uses more hand action. This player generally uses a wedge with a narrower sole, less bounce and more camber.
For the non-Tour golfer who doesn't have access to a van full of different wedges, wedge specialist Bob Vokey has some simple advice: Bounce is your friend. Wedges with a moderate amount of bounce are versatile for golfers who play on a variety of courses with differing turf and sand conditions. Further, most amateur players benefit from employing more bounce since they typically don't hit shots as consistently as a Tour professional.
Information derived from the Bob Vokey website.
The Wedge Selector below takes into consideration the iron set you have and the loft of the wedge included within that set. This wedge loft serves as the primary reference point from which each wedge is gapped thereafter. For added context as to how wedges (PW, AW/GW/UW, SW, LW) are typically gapped by loft, reference the General Specification Ranges chart to the right.
|General Specification Ranges
*"AW" = "Attack Wedge," "GW" = "Gap Wedge," "UW" = "Utility Wedge." Brand to brand, the labels may differ, but AW/GW/UW all relate to the same general range of wedge loft.
Wedge Selector Instructions:
- Select your iron set brand.
- Locate your iron set.
- Click on the suggested wedge loft range for your 2nd, 3rd and 4th wedges.