How to Choose a Wedge – 5 Tips for Beginners
When a golfer gets to a lower handicap, there is a good chance his short game is solid. Of course, that is due mainly to the time they put into practice and playing. It is also because they most likely have the right wedges for their game. If you ever asked yourself how to choose a wedge, you might find some answers here.
You should not just walk into a golf store and choose the first wedge you like. There is more to consider for that process. Having the wrong wedge for your game can lead to inconsistency and eventually to bad results and/or frustration.
The last thing you want is to see bad shots when you put yourself in a good position in the fairway or around the green. Now, there are several things that have to come into the equation. The ultimate goal is for you to find a wedge that will suit your game so you do not have to adapt to it. The following tips will help you get to the wedge that will work the best for you.
1. Know Your Gapping
One of the first steps when choosing a wedge is knowing your distances. In other words, which gap will the wedge I am buying fill? The rule of thumb is that the loft difference between your clubs should be around 4 degrees. Meaning, if your 9 iron is 41 degrees, your pitching wedge should be 45 degrees.
Now, that is a general rule which does not have to be followed. What should be followed is the distances you hit with your clubs. You should know what distance you would like to be reaching with your wedge. Again, on average the distance between clubs is anywhere between 10 and 15 yards.
Ideally, you have an idea of the gap which will narrow your choices already. From there on you can move on to the next steps in choosing your new wedge.
2. What Is the Wedge’s Main Purpose?
There is actually more to this than it seems. Not every golfer uses the wedges for the same purpose. Are you going to be hitting full shots? Is it going to be used for finesse shots only? Do you plan to chip with it just around the green or from longer distances too? Is your preference for a lower or higher ball flight trajectory?
Once you answer some of those questions, you will get closer to your wedge. Not all wedges are built the same. That goes even with wedges from the same brand with the same lofts. They will have different characteristics that are mostly related to the grind. Some wedges like the Titleist’s Vokey have different grinds for each wedge loft.
3. Your Typical Playing Conditions
This is something I did not think about at first. No matter how trivial it sounds, playing conditions make a difference when it comes to wedges. As I have mentioned above, there are different types of grinds for every kind of wedge. On top of that, there are also different bounce angles for each type of grind.
The major factor in choosing the right bounce angle is the firmness of the ground at the course you play most often. If you are in drier conditions with firmer fairways, your bounce angle should be lower. On the other hand for softer fairways, you should ideally have a higher bounce angle.
The simple explanation is when it is softer then the wedge will dig easily into the ground and a higher bounce angle will help with better contact. Regarding firmer fairways, the lower bounce angle will help the wedge glide helping with better contact.
4. Budget Size
Most of us have a certain budget when it comes to buying golf equipment. Luckily, there are a lot of options on the market when it comes to wedges. Tests done by industry experts do show differences in performance among brands. Nonetheless, that does not mean you have to buy the latest and most expensive wedge.
There are less expensive brands that are almost as good as the more expensive ones. The difference is usually in details that are not going to be crucial at the recreational level. Then there is the option of buying last year’s models which are often sold at a discounted price. The point is you can find a solid wedge for your budget.
5. Fitting Might Be an Option
Even when you have all the necessary info it could be overwhelming to go to a store and shop for a wedge. It is easy to get lost in all the numbers and different club settings. Sometimes you might not be able to identify what type of wedge would suit your swing the best. If you fall into this category, don’t worry, custom club fitting might be the solution.
Yes, custom club fitting comes with a price. Despite it costing money, it could pay off down the road. Fitters have all the data that will help them make suggestions for the best club for you. Technology came a long way and the numbers don’t lie. You don’t have to go by their suggestions, but you will have a better idea of where you’re at.
Wedges are your scoring clubs, have that always on your mind. If you have a strong wedge game, you have a better chance of lowering your score. For that to work, you have to have the right clubs in your bag. Having clubs that suit your game can help you become a more consistent golfer. That is something we all aspire to.
Next time you are considering a new wedge, keep in mind all the suggestions above. Again, you can always ask for expert advice at your local golf store or golf course. When it comes to golf clubs, make sure you do your homework before getting new ones. Your game will be grateful and you will have much more fun while playing.
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