Get the Most from Golf Technology-Pitching Wedges to Sand Wedges

By: Jim O Connell

Over time, golf technology has advanced a lot, and understanding the varying features in the clubs we carry in our bag, we must always consider the differences that every club offers us. The variations in golf club loft of the pitching wedge, sand wedge, and also the newer lob wedges that golf technology has brought us are important to understand when choosing the right golf club for the right circumstances.
Most golfers lump the gap wedge, sand wedge and lob wedges together as part of the arsenal of "irons". But a typical set of irons usually consists of 3 iron through pitching wedge, with the other wedges bought separately. Golf club technology has evolved to the point where the loft on the 5 iron, a few years ago about 32 degrees, now is lofted at about 26 degrees. This has led to the increased utilization with the greater lofted clubs, which are designed specifically for golf ball loft, accuracy, and ball control. This group of golf clubs, on account of their value in scoring and the total amount of use they receive for the mid to high handicapper, become a significant part of playing a good round of golf.
Pitching wedge loft, or one club down from your nine iron, is usually at from 45 to 48 degrees, and for a typical male golfer may be hit full at 100 to 110 yards. Lower than that distance, and the golfer will get into those trickyhalf or three quarter wedges. So golf technology has come up with one more solution with the gap wedge. At about 50 to 54 degrees, this club is meant to hit those in-between shots with a full swing, that if practiced appropriately will be hit with more comfort and confidence.
The sand wedge, credited to Gene Sarazen as his contribution to golf technology, is usually about 56 degrees (although I prefer them a bit more lofted) and are flanged to varying degrees around the heal of the club. This prevents the sand wedge from digging into the sand beneath the golf ball. This "club bounce", or spot on the club that actually rests on the ground at address, has the aim of stopping the club head from digging into the ground or sand previous to golf ball contact, and are usually present to some degree on the gap wedge and particularly the lob wedges.
Finally, the club with the greatest amount of loft will be lob wedge, a rather new tool to us golfers. This is usually lofted at roughly 60 degrees and occasionally more, and is frequently rather heavily flanged to produce greater club bounce. With practice this club is a very handy tool around the greens, as you can use this to zero in on a tight pin placement. Because of its greater loft, you can take quite an aggressive swing without worry that the ball will fly a great distance or roll a long way, if at all.
Having control of these golf clubs are sure to lower your score, no matter your level of play. Knowing precisely the differences in these golf clubs, from your loft of the pitching wedge or perhaps a sand wedge, to how a golf ball reacts when coming off your club, takes a great deal of practice. But with some effort, anyone ought to have the ability to master these shots.

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Our website is devoted to assisting the golfer become better in his craft, and enjoy the game to its fullest. If you would like to improve your golf short game, this page should be of benefit, and check this out for "Golf Tips for Playing out of Rough". Our new website always provides new and fresh information plus outstanding offers. Sean O'Kelly is a writer and avid golfer living in London.

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