Alright, this article is going to be short and sweet. I’m tired and ready for bed, but I’m determined to write this real quick to get it out of my head and in writing.
So, you have a driver. You have a three wood, maybe another fairway wood. You might have a hybrid or two, and you’ve got irons. You probably have a putter as well, but you are confused about what wedge lofts you need. What degree wedges should you get? Here’s where I come in, with a short explanation. It is an easy, three step process to find out what loft wedges (in degrees) that you need.
Step 1: Consider how many wedges you need
Some golfers have 1 wedge. Some golfers have 4. How many do you need? Well, it depends on how good you are and how seriously you take the game. If you aren’t very good, and just want a wedge to get you through some rounds a couple of times a year, you will do just fine with only one pitching wedge if that’s all you’ve got.
If you take golf a little more seriously, you might want to have at least 2 wedges. One pitching wedge, and one sand wedge. This will ensure that you are able to correctly hit (or learn to hit) a bunker shot. It’s very hard to learn how to correctly hit a bunker shot with just a pitching wedge, as a PW has no “bounce” to it. The sand wedge will typically be bought separately, as the PW will be included in your irons.
If you are a pretty good golfer, you probably need 3 wedges: one pitching wedge, one sand wedge, and a lob wedge. Your pitching wedge will most likely come with your iron set, and then your sand wedge (SW) and lob wedge (LW) will be bought separately. Sand wedges are typically 54 or 56 degrees, while lob wedges are normally 58 or 60 degrees in loft. Your sand wedge will be for bunker shots, some pitch shots, and some longer wedge shots. Your lob wedge will be for shots that you need to get up in the air and land softly. You can choose to chip with any (or all) wedges.
If you are a very good golfer, you might need 4 wedges: a PW, a GW, a SW, and a LW. The lofts will be roughly 45, 50, 54, 58. Another combination would be 45, 50, 55, 60. Either one is fine. Many golfers believe a 60 is more loft than you need, but I really like the idea of having a 60 wedge for shots that I really want to hit high and soft.
Step 2: Find out what gaps you are trying to fill.
Alright, get ready to do some work. You need to check your iron set online and see what the highest lofted club you have is. For example, I cam currently playing Mizuno JPX 825 Pro irons. I would start by typing in “Mizuno JPX 825 Pro irons specs”. I can see that my highest lofted club in the iron set is my PW, which the website shows is 45 degrees. I’d consider myself a very good golfer (most of the time), so I’m looking for four wedges. I already have one (the PW), so I want three more. I want to make sure I have at least 4 degrees of loft in between my clubs, or else there won’t be a significant difference in the distance that shots fly. So, I’m thinking that I should get a set of wedges like this: 45 (Pitching wedge), 50 (Gap wedge), 55 (sand wedge), and 60 (lob wedge).
I’ll do another example that would apply more to good, but not great golfers. Let’s say that you look up your PW and it turns out to be 44 degrees. Many club manufacturers have been slowly decreasing the loft of clubs over the years so that they would fly further. They are essentially just turning an old 6 iron into a 7 iron today. Anyway, if you wanted three wedges total, a combination would be: 44 (PW), 50 (GW), and 56 (SW). That leaves 6 degrees of gap in between your wedges, which is fine for a good golfer. If you’d prefer to have a lob wedge instead, you could do 44, 52, 60, leaving 8 degrees of loft in between wedges. Again, it all comes down to personal preference. It won’t make a big difference either way. I just like to have my wedges with the exact same difference in loft/degrees between them.
Below are some other examples of wedge sets that you might find useful.
Wedge combos for beginners/high handicappers:
- PW and 56
- PW and 54
Wedge combos for mid handicappers:
- PW, 50 (GW), 56
- PW, 52, 58
- PW, 52, 60
Wedge combos for serious golfers:
- PW, 50 (GW), 55, 60
- PW, 50 (GW), 54, 58
- PW, 52, 60 (for three wedge combo)
- PW, 50, 56 (for three wedge combos)
Step 3: Pick what wedge(s) you are going to buy.
So now you know exactly what lofts of wedges you want. Now, you need to decide which ones you are going to buy. I’ll try to make this a little easier for you, based on your budget. In all honestly, wedges aren’t made all that differently. Sure you will notice a small difference between a cheap wedge and a top-of-the-line wedge, but it won’t be HUGE.
For that reason, I’d suggest that you only spend as much money as you are comfortable with at the time being. If you are tight on money, consider getting some cheaper wedges from Wilson. If your budget is pretty unrestricted, then you might want to shell out the extra money for higher end wedges that will spin the ball a tad more and be more consistent with distance control.
You can also check out my article below for the best golf wedges on a budget (all under $50).
Best Cheap Wedge: Wilson Harmonized
If you want a cheap wedge that will perform nearly just as good as the higher end clubs, this Wilson wedge is the one for you. Is it cheap? Absolutely. Will it spin as much as a premium wedge? No, but close. Will it have the distance control of a $100 wedge? No, but again close.
The Wilson Harmonized Wedge is one of the best selling wedges on Amazon for good reason. It’s priced low enough to get golfers to check the reviews and see how others like it. I’ve never had a Wilson wedge before, but the reviews definitely make me want to consider it. Many golfers think that wedge brands hardly differ, but I’m sure there is a small difference.
If you are wanting to save some money, this is the lowest price wedge that I would ever recommend someone buy.
Best Value Wedge: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.o Wedge
Cleveland started as a wedge company, and that has always been their focus. Their wedges are extremely popular, which led me to purchase them many years ago. I still use my set of Cleveland 50, 54, and 58 wedges. They feel great at impact, and I am very confident in the distance control. I know that if I hit them how I want to, they will go the exact distance that I want.
Around the green, I think they check up more than other wedges in general. I love the feeling up hitting a pure chip or pitch, knowing in the air that the ball is going to spin and stop pretty close to the hole. Overall, I am super pleased with my purchase, and would buy again 100%.
In my opinion, the Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 wedges are the best value wedges on the market right now, as their prices just dropped from the release of the 3.0 series. If you want to save even more money without comprising performance, consider getting the standard 588 RTX (no 2.0) wedges.
Highest Spinning Wedge / Best Overall: Callaway Mack Daddy 4
If you don’t mind shelling out a little more money, consider getting a Callaway Mack Daddy Wedge. These wedges are at the higher end of the market, but they perform (and look) great. If you want the most spin and check-up possible on short shots like chips and pitches, these are the wedges for you.
Personally, I don’t think the distance control is as good as the Clevelands, but the spin is definitely greater. It in the end, it’s all about what you prioritize. If you want to save money or have the most amount of distance control, stick with something else. If you want the best spinning wedge on the market at a slightly higher price, this is the wedge for you.