By Kathy Gildersleeve-Jensen
2014 PGA National Teacher of the Year
Wedges are intended for executing short shots toward your target. They’re also a great choice for scoring. The general interpretation of a short shot may vary, but it will most likely fall within 120 yards. There are specialized golf clubs with uniquely designed specifications that help with a variety of situations around the greens– from tight lies, sand shots, overcoming an obstacle, high shots, adding spin to the ball, gaining control of an approach area, and more. And a wedge’s specific purpose is to help control these shorter shots and get your golf ball to your target.
Over many years and through many lessons, several things tend to happen: chunky shots resulting in digging the golf club into the ground and the golf ball going nowhere, or a very thin shot, hitting the top of the golf ball and sending it clear across the green. These common errors are ugly. I’d like to use this article to help you decide which wedge to choose and to increase your target awareness by utilizing a more balanced motion.
First and foremost; depending on the situation you are faced with, choose a golf club for the short shot based on the height you need to accomplish the task. The second decision to be made regarding club choice is based on how far the golf ball needs to go. Wedges vary in style and design. here are a few components you need to understand as you make your selection:
- Leading Edge: This is the sharp part on the club face that initially makes the first cut through the grass, sand, or other type of ground situation. Look for sharper edges when purchasing a wedge because it is easier to make the club cut through without grabbing the ground texture.
- Loft: Most manufacturers have different standards, but most common lofts are as follows (in degrees): PW=46-48, Gap, Utility, Target wedges=51-54, SW=54-58, and Lob=58-64.
- Bounce: The back edge on the bottom of the clubface and opposite side of the Leading Edge. This helps slide through the situations like sand. Knowing the texture of the sand at a facility will help determine your choice of wedges. For example, hard compact sand will require less bounce (2-8 degrees) while fluffy sand may require more bounce (8-20 degrees).
- Grind: Is a technique by which the club maker shaves off the bottom edges of the club to accommodate a person’s unique style of golf swing. This process is often used for more advanced players.
- Shaft Flex & Weight: Shaft Flex will be more important for those with a fuller golf swing. The shorter golf swing won’t cause the shaft to bend as much. Graphite is lighter in weight than stainless steel. Also, weight that is located more at the bottom of the head will be helpful for those not taking on much of a divot or sand.
These components will help you understand what you are investing in as you make your selection. When in doubt, always have a conversation with a knowledgeable golf professional.
PnPGolf has terrific ‘RAKE’ wedges that have a heavy weighted dual rail design at the bottom of the golf club. Once the leading edge makes the initial cut, the dual rail design separates the sand or tall grass and causes it to disperse with less effort. It rakes through restrictions and causes the club head to glide straight through without grabbing or twisting the face of the club, resulting in straighter, more well-executed shots. You can find the RAKE wedges at Golf Results Now.
Hot Tip: For short shots, try to hold your swing in balance at the end of your finish. This, too, will help create a more repetitive shot routine and promote personal success for better results and lower scores.