As someone who’s interested in golf, you’ll often find that golfers focus more on their irons, drivers, and even putters than they’ll ordinarily focus on their wedges. Unfortunately, many do not realize that better wedge play can help them potentially reduce their strokes.
Of course, all aspects of the game are important and can contribute to your overall score, but one aspect that can significantly influence how you play is the wedge. Among the different types of wedges, the most popular wedge is the approach wedge. However, despite its popularity, we still see golfers that don’t know what it is or how to use it; hence, this article.
So, what is an approach wedge? Otherwise known as a gap wedge, an approach wedge sits in-between the sand wedge and the pitching wedge in terms of loft, lie, length, distance, and flight trajectory. The design of this wedge means that it can fill in distance gaps in your bag where it counts.
The popularity of the approach wedge means that many manufacturers choose to call it different names. However, irrespective of the name, its main purpose is to fill in the yardage gap between the pitching wedge and the sand wedge. You probably already know that the loft of a pitching wedge drops into the mid-low 40s, while the loft of a sand wedge stays at the mid-50s. The space between these figures births the need for an approach wedge.
Approach wedges are very versatile, and it is this versatility that makes it a very useful club throughout your round.
How Far Can an Approach Wedge / Gap Wedge Go?
On average, golfers hit their approach/gap wedge 10-15 yards further than their sand wedge and 10-15 yards shorter than their pitching wedge. This figure means that golfers who typically hit 130 yards with their pitching wedge will hit around 115-120 yards with their approach wedge.
The key to using an approach wedge is to ensure that you don’t hit as far as your pitching wedge but still farther than a sand wedge. Having an approach wedge that travels as far as a pitching wedge can put you into problems. Usually, we advise people to go to a driving range that allows them to test different clubs. Here, you can compare different approach wedges with your current set and choose one that matches best.
Choosing Your Approach Wedge Loft
Determining the suitable loft to add to your bag can often seem like a hard nut to crack. Here are some quick tips that can help you choose what would suit your needs:
Start by determining the loft degree of your pitching wedge. The easiest way to achieve this is to google your iron spec. Usually, you’ll find the wedge loft among several other info about it online.
Once you have the loft degrees of your pitching wedge, add 4 degrees to it. This will give you a good idea of the correct loft for your approach wedge. For example, if you use a pitching wedge with 48 degrees loft, choosing an approach wedge of 52 degrees will be the right thing to do.
Benefits of Using an Approach Wedge
An approach wedge will not be this popular if it doesn’t offer so many benefits in terms of performance and versatility. Every serious golfer knows that approach wedges are designed to perfectly fill the gap between a pitching wedge and a sand wedge. However, there are several other advantages of having an approach wedge in your bag beyond this. Let’s talk about some of these benefits:
1. Helps You Beat Harsh Conditions
Compared to a lob or sand wedge, an approach wedge offers more efficiency when you’re out to play in unfriendly weather conditions. An approach wedge allows you to cover more distance with a higher power. Hence, even amateur golfers can trust their approach wedge to help them pull through difficult situations that adverse conditions can cause.
2. Ability To Cover Longer Distance
This one’s a no-brainer – approach wedges feature a unique loft degree that allows them to cover more distance than sand and lob wedges. Depending on a player’s ability, they can expect to cover around 60-110 yards with their approach wedge. This puts you at an advantage when you’re aiming for soft greens from a distance.
3. Consistency and Accuracy
Most people choosing this wedge do it for the accuracy and consistency it brings. Its ideal loft degrees and landing capabilities mean that the wedge would offer more accurate shots than most others. Besides, the ease it offers golfers across different conditions can be all they need to improve their game.
4. Loft Range
The average loft range of an approach wedge is 54 degrees, which is typically lower than a sand wedge and higher than a pitching wedge. This wedge feature means that golfers can easily achieve shorter shots, higher spins, and softer landings.
Conclusion: What is a Golf Approach Wedge?
We’ve given you every basic information you need to know about an approach wedge.
It’s time to make a decision.
Almost every golfer agrees that approach wedges are an essential part of every golfer’s bag. They offer you more versatility with your shots and give you an easy route out of difficult situations. These benefits make them a must-have in the bag of any serious golfer.
A good player knows how to improvise with the approach wedge, which is why it comes in handy in almost all situations.
Different brands design approach wedges with different materials, but it’s more important to find one that would match your height and swing. If you want to improve your game or just want to buy an additional club, you’ll not regret investing in an approach wedge.
Before investing your money, it’s important to research and find out everything you should know about the brand you’re picking.