♦ Types of Wedges
Types of wedge
There are 4 main types of wedge heads: Pitch; Approach; Sand & Lob. These wedges all have varying degrees of loft, which determines the distance they will carry the ball.
Probably the most popular name in wedges is Vokey by Titleist. However, Tom Wishon is the leader in professional custom clubfitting design and technology. All manufacturers make wedges and there are hundreds to choose from. Every golfer will carry a pitching wedge & sand wedge. Depending on the standard of the individual’s game, they may choose to also carry an approach wedge and / or lob wedge. There is a wedge for every occasion.
The wedges that you choose are obviously very important, as the short game is where most shots can be saved. That is why the loft of the club head, as well as the lie should be considered carefully, when changing clubs or just adding to your existing wedge set.
Each type of wedge has a specific loft, & this loft determines ball speed & launch angle, which is why each of your wedges hit the ball a different distance. As the loft of the club becomes steeper, the distance the ball will carry reduces by approx. 10 yards per club.
Although all wedges have a certain loft depending on the wedge, the loft only has to be fractionally out to affect the distance the ball carries, and in turn leave a gap in the distances between your wedges. Bearing in mind how many manufacturers exist, the chances that they will all deliver every wedge with the correct loft angle is miniscule.
The other important angle of the club head is the lie, which refers to the angle the sole of the club, at address, when it meets the ball. When the club meets the ball, the sole must be parallel to the ground, in order to send the ball to its intended target. If the toe of the club is sticking up in the air, the player will tend to pull shots. Conversely, if the toe of the sole is down, the club is too flat, and the player will push the shot. The more lofted the club, the more pronounced the misdirection.
Lie angles are determined more by the size and build of the individual golfer. By altering the lie angle by a degree or so, the club will sit parallel to the ground and produce the perfect shots we all desire.
The majority of golfers buy their wedges “off the shelf”. Less than 10% of golfers have ever been fitted for lie, and had their wedges adjusted accordingly. The reason is lack of knowledge. This is where a wedge specialist can help. Using a loft & lie machine, all your wedges can be custom fitted by adjusting the loft & lie angles to suit your actual needs, taking into consideration your swing speeds, launch angles, and gaps in your wedge distances, together with your build.