When you are looking to purchase either your first set of golf clubs, or you are replacing a well-used set, it’s important to get the decision right – these clubs are going to last you for a long time to come, so you need them to not only help you develop your skills and hobby, but also to be durable and also contain everything you need, without having to purchase extras.
One particular piece of equipment which should be included in any good quality set of clubs is a pitching wedge. Of course, any standard set of clubs should include the following as a general rule:
• Three woods (size 1, 3, 5)
• Seven irons
• Pitching wedge
This is the basic. The rules do however state that a golfer can carry any combination of up to 14 clubs in one bag, so for this reason you need to look at the particular equipment you’re going to need for your hobby and make sure you fit it in, without going over your requirements, and therefore over your budget.
The pitching wedge you will generally find included in your basic golf club kit is not the only wedge you can have or need, as you will also find sand wedges, lob wedges, and gap wedges very useful in your hobby and to develop your skills. Each of these wedges has a different degree of loft and distance, and they are used for a variety of different shots and in different circumstances.
What is a pitching wedge, and what is its degree?
A pitching wedge has the least loft of all the available wedges, and when it hits the ball it pops into the air and travels an average of around 110-140 yards. It’s loft degree is 46-48. This particular wedge is used by golfers who are attempting to hit the ball into the green, and whilst the ball will travel a considerable distance in the air, it is not a wedge that is really used for travelling long distances on the green itself.
A gap wedge on the other hand is the next up in terms of loft distance, and is generally used for shots that are too long for the next wedge up, a sand wedge, but too short for a pitching wedge – somewhere in the middle. A gap wedge is not generally included in a standard golf set when bought, so this is something you may need to consider buying additionally. The loft degree is 51-53, and when hit correctly the ball will travel an average distance of 90-110 yards.
If you are wanting to hit your ball out of a bunker or sand area then you will be needing a sand wedge, and this is a very flexible wedge to have in your golf kit. You can easily put more spin on the ball when you use this wedge, so it is a consideration for any golfer. The loft degree of this particular wedge is 54-58 degrees, and the ball should travel an average distance of around 80-110 yards.
Finally, we have the lob wedge, the shortest distance on average. A lob wedge certainly isn’t included in the majority of standard golf kits, and you will need to buy it separately if you want to have this particular club in your kit. If you are wanting to achieve a very precise shot, as your skills develop, then a lob wedge is the club you need, with an average loft of 58-60 degrees, and a distance of around 80 yards or less – as you can see, this is more about being on point, rather than hitting a long distance away.
Is a pitch wedge really that useful?
Whether you are a seasoned golfer or you are just starting out, you will need a variety of different clubs and wedges in order to reach every shot, and to easily beat the competition as you learn more and more. A pitch wedge allows the ball to travel further than any other type of wedge, so if you are in a situation which requires distance, rather than precision shooting, then a pitch wedge is the one you should be reaching for – for this reason you will find this wedge in most standard golf club sets at purchase level.
Yes, you should also look at other wedges to create your complete set, because one game of golf certainly calls for a variety of different shots and precision types, and in order to be the best you can be, you will need to become experienced and familiar with all of them. As a first starting point however, a pitching wedge, with its lob degree and travelling distance, is the one you should go to for longer range shots, and the first one you should familiarise yourself with when you begin your golfing habit.