There are two basic types of golf wedges used by most beginner golfers: the pitching wedge and the sand wedge. While your golf club set may come with other wedges, these are the most important and widely used when learning to golf.
To identify a wedge, all you have to do is look at the bottom of the club. A pitching wedge will typically be labeled with a “P” or “PW” on the under side of the golf club. While a sand wedge will be labeled with an “S” or “SW” to designate sand wedge.
The Short Game
Wedges are used as you are approaching the green. You may often here this type of shot referred to as an “approach” shot, for that reason. Typically you will use a wedge when making an approach shot after you are within 100 – 120 yards of the green. This portion of a golf hole is commonly referred to as the “short game“, because the ball travels a shorter distance. Short game shots in golf can be some of the most difficult to master, as they require a bit of feel to get the correct distance and height.
Next to your putter, wedges are the shortest clubs in your bag. The pitching wedge and sand wedge are shorter because they are not meant for long distances, but rather for height and short shots that get the ball to stay on the green. These two clubs have a higher “loft”, meaning that the angle of the club is much steeper and is designed to lift the ball into the air.
Let’s review some of the terms we’ve used in this article so far:
- Approach Shot – Any golf shot who’s intended target is the green.
- Short Game – The segment of a each golf hole that ranges from 0 to 150 yards from the pin.
- Loft – The angle of the club face, which is designed to give either distance of height to a golf shot.
While you may be tempted to use your wedge at various times during the game, keep in mind that a sand wedge or pitching wedge will only move your ball about one hundred yards at the most. This is why they are used to get the ball to the green or out of a sand trap.
Pitching wedges are used to get your ball to the green from the fairway or rough. If you need to make a short shot to the green, using an iron will cause your ball to go beyond the green, which will cost you extra shots. Using a pitching wedge will get you closer to the hole because the ball travels higher, but a much shorter distance.
A sand wedge is used mostly to escape sand traps that are near the green. Like a pitching wedge, you will be able to move the ball about one hundred feet and away from the sand trap. This wedge is also better for dealing with the perils of sand. Learning how to use the sand wedge is important because if you don’t get the club under the ball, it won’t move as far as you need it to.
When learning how to play golf, you should practice using wedges as they can come in handy when you need to be more precise in your shot. Because a wedge will drive the ball higher in the air than others, you can use them to get around certain objects and land closer to the green.
As a golfer, you have to be selective about which golf clubs to use when playing a game. Choosing the wrong club may result in hitting the ball too far or too short. If you are unsure about which clubs to use, remember that wedges are for short distances only and other clubs will be able to hit the ball much farther.