Loft of wedge around the green

For 5 years I have used a 58 deg wedge around the greens.  I left the club at the practice area at Hiddenbrooke and it wasn't turned in, so I have been playing with my 54 deg wedge instead. 

Bottom line:  I'm saving 2-3 strokes a round.  Perhaps a more skilled player could hit the 58 deg with consistency, but (unwillingly) switching to a less-lofted club helped my game.  Just my $0.02,

I actually prefer to use my 8 iron when I'm right around the green.  Less loft, more control.  That's just my opinion.

Personally, I use a VSM 52, 56 and 60 around the green. IMO, different lies require different wedges and types of shots. One angle and bounce does not fit all circumstances. So much depends on what is between the ball and the hole.

For a long time, I primarily used my 52 for most situations and became so comfortable using it that I used it in situations where it probably wasn't the most ideal. I finally realized, if I want to really be great around the greens, I needed to get just as confident with my other wedges, so that I always had the nice touch that I had developed with my 52, but now with the perfect wedge for the job in my hands.

I put in a lot of practice time with each wedge. Eventually I started to use the right wedge for the job during my rounds. Today, I am just as confident with my 60* as I am with my 52*. Chipping out of deep rough  or over a greenside bunker to a short-sided pin no longer freaks me out. I'll pull out my 60 and  believe I can stop it by the hole. Whereas, before, when I automatically grabbed my 52,  I would think "if I get lucky I might get this not to run too far past ."  I use both by 56 and 60 in greenside bunkers now, depending on type of sand and distance to the pin. Sometimes I even use my 52 for  greater distance from a bunker. I sometimes open the face all the way, sometimes not. Depends on many factors. Learning to use one club for all situations is certainly not a bad thing, but  learning to use all your wedges for a variety of conditions and lies gives you even more options when it matters.

Serge W

For 5 years I have used a 58 deg wedge around the greens.  I left the club at the practice area at Hiddenbrooke and it wasn't turned in, so I have been playing with my 54 deg wedge instead. 

Bottom line:  I'm saving 2-3 strokes a round.  Perhaps a more skilled player could hit the 58 deg with consistency, but (unwillingly) switching to a less-lofted club helped my game.  Just my $0.02,

I've cut my wedge setup to 3 wedges - AP1 PW, SM4 52-12 and 60-10 (bent to 59).  I was carrying 50-08 (bent to 49) AND 54-14 Spin-Milled c-c wedges before getting the 52-12 and found I didn't use the 54 too much. 

 I've trained myself to use a 6 inch backswing on the 52 for bump n run shots from 10-15 yards.  It also has a little bit more fortitude for long bunker shots vs the 54 and has enough bounce for soft sand.  Also only lose about 2-3 yards on a full shot vs the 50.  Finally less work from 50 yards because a half swing will work vs taking a full swing pitch with the 60.

I've gotten pretty proficient on my 60 over the past 6 months.  I started out with an SM2 60-07 and 64-07 in 2009 and morphed to a 62-07 in 2011 (it had a wide sole) because the other two had limitations.  Briefly tried out a 58-04 and it was rarely used (mainly bunker shots since it played more like an old school SW).   I use it for a lot of greenside bunker shots and within 40 yards when I don't have much green to work with.

I played with a do-it-yourself set of irons between 2009-2011 and almost never used a lob wedge.   I got extremely proficient with the SW (55*) and used it for a lot of short game.  When I upgraded my irons in 2011 (used Eye 2s for a little over a year), I went to 50 and 54; the 50 worked  much better than my set W.

Much like Doug.  48 degree within 50 yards, 54 around green/soft sand, 58 for short sided shots in enough grass to not putt.

To be good around the greens, you have to use the best club suited for the lie and type of shot you need to hit. This may vary from a 3-wood or putter to a 60 degree wedge. Confidence and trust are the keys. practice-practice-practice. Do not feel afraid to hit the shot needed. If you are, pick a different club and try a shot that you trust. I love to pull off the shot I plan. It makes you feel really great; and it turns a maybe bogey or double into a tap in par. Jim

I think it really depends on the shot that is needed.  I carry 4 wedges and they all perform differently depending on the type of shot and lie.

At one time (for about 4 years) I carried a 64 degree wedge.  They come in handy but are rarely used.  They are, more or less, a brute force club from short distances.  I've gotten more proficient with a 60 and mine has enough bounce for soft sand and thick grass but I can switch to a digging shot for tight lies.

Given the fact that AP1s are one club longer loftwise, with a 52-12 and 60-10 (bent to 59) it is a return to old school golf.  Pitching wedges in the '60s and '70s were 51-52* and sand wedges ~58*.

At one time I carried 5 wedges -  PW,50,54,58,62.   The other variant was PW SW (55), 60, 64.  History has it that about 99 percent of my shots were with the sand wedge.  It gets too confusing to have different wedges for diffierent situations.   Sometimes you benefit with fewer wedges because you learn more capabilities.

What I like about the 52-12 is that it stops the ball better than a 50 and has more fortitude than a 54 for long bunker shots in soft sand and 80 yard shots. 

That's really interesting.  I guess losing the 58* is a blessing in disguise.

I love my 56* and use it for most chip shots.  However, for some more "stock" chip shots, I have a go to swing that I'll practice from 7 iron all the way down to my 60*.  I've got a pretty good idea what the ball will do (roll out, spin, distance, etc) with each club and one swing.  It's really helped my short game.

Some will carry PW, GW, SW, LW and XW (47, 52, 56, 60 and 64) and use the wedges as an extension of the iron set.  If you think about it, a full swing with a 64 for most is about 50 yards, a 60 around 65 yards, a 56 around  80 yards, a 52 around 100 and PW about 120.

 

Lou G

Some will carry PW, GW, SW, LW and XW (47, 52, 56, 60 and 64) and use the wedges as an extension of the iron set.  If you think about it, a full swing with a 64 for most is about 50 yards, a 60 around 65 yards, a 56 around  80 yards, a 52 around 100 and PW about 120.

 

Lou:

I use my wedges as I stated above for all sorts of short game shots from around the green and am pretty happy with how it all works for me. Regarding your comments about using them like an extension of irons, I do that as well. I don't know about others, but I hit a full swing 60 degree wedge a little further than you suggest (and I am by no means a long hitter) between 75 and 80 yards. I can hit any of my other clubs the same distance, but  from that distance, I am most confident that I will be close with a 60* if the lie is good (along with the swing). At the same time, if I am 50 yards from the pin, on the fairway with no bunker or hazard to clear, I usually pull a 52* or PW and hit  what I call a 'chipitch' shot. Ball back in stance, weight forward, hands back to about 9 oclock then through to 3 o clock. (depending on which club I pull). I can get it close nearly every time.. My point being, for me, having the ability and confidence to play different shots depending on what the lie and  conditions call for, is a beautiful thing. As I said in my earlier post, I used to basically play just one wedge for the majority of shots from inside  40 or 50 yards. I was very confident with it. However, learning to play all my wedges from all conditions, has really helped me to do much better around the green. 

Doug E

Lou G

Some will carry PW, GW, SW, LW and XW (47, 52, 56, 60 and 64) and use the wedges as an extension of the iron set.  If you think about it, a full swing with a 64 for most is about 50 yards, a 60 around 65 yards, a 56 around  80 yards, a 52 around 100 and PW about 120.

 

Lou:

I use my wedges as I stated above for all sorts of short game shots from around the green and am pretty happy with how it all works for me. Regarding your comments about using them like an extension of irons, I do that as well. I don't know about others, but I hit a full swing 60 degree wedge a little further than you suggest (and I am by no means a long hitter) between 75 and 80 yards. I can hit any of my other clubs the same distance, but  from that distance, I am most confident that I will be close with a 60* if the lie is good (along with the swing). At the same time, if I am 50 yards from the pin, on the fairway with no bunker or hazard to clear, I usually pull a 52* or PW and hit  what I call a 'chipitch' shot. Ball back in stance, weight forward, hands back to about 9 oclock then through to 3 o clock. (depending on which club I pull). I can get it close nearly every time.. My point being, for me, having the ability and confidence to play different shots depending on what the lie and  conditions call for, is a beautiful thing. As I said in my earlier post, I used to basically play just one wedge for the majority of shots from inside  40 or 50 yards. I was very confident with it. However, learning to play all my wedges from all conditions, has really helped me to do much better around the green. 

Those are my personal distances and I hit a 7 iron "average" (145 yards).   The one thing that has been pretty strong since 2006 is my short game. I also do the opposite of "using the wedges as an extension of the iron set" - I use the 7-PW as an extension of the wedge set.  I also carry 11 clubs in my bag (13* draw driver, 910F 19*, 910H 21 and 27*, AP1 7-PW, SM4 52-12 and 60-10, White Hot 7H putter) so I do a lot of shotmaking practice (I have a go-to choke down stinger shot for 200 yard par 3s with the driver).  I have my Sm c-c 50-08 and 54-14 in my reserve bag and can bring them online in a week or so but am doing well with the 52-12 so far (been using it for almost 2 months now).    I've been using the 60-10 (bent to 59) for 6 months now and it is a go to club from 40 yards in where I have to stick it and has been my main greenside bunker tool.   My LW-XW combo between 2009-2011 was SM2 60-07 and 64-07 and, while they each had great shots in their own right, they had limitations (60-07 out of soft bunkers and 64-07 off tight lies); I went to a SM c-c 62-07 in mid 2011 because it did what both SM2s did (only limitation was distance - full shot was 55 yards and full pitch about 35).  Turns out the SM4 60-10 stops the ball better than the 62-07 or 64-07 and has more distance plus it works better out of bunkers than the 60-07, and I can hit it off tight lies.  I also had essentially a one wedge game from 50 yards in between 2006-2009: 258-12 Tour Chrome (I had an Alien 64-05 that I would use every now and then; horrible off soft lies though).     

May have to re think the 52-12 vs 50-08 and 54-14 idea.(at least at Riverwalk anyway - the greens are much softer there).  Key thing is extensive sand practice next 2 weeks. 

Good thing I kept my 50 and 54.

Lou G

May have to re think the 52-12 vs 50-08 and 54-14 idea.(at least at Riverwalk anyway - the greens are much softer there).  Key thing is extensive sand practice next 2 weeks. 

Good thing I kept my 50 and 54.

Made a small adjustment to the 52 (shaft length to 35 1/4").   Improvement in the way it hits.  Sox highlights later on..

 

The best way to determine which wedges is to use constant distances between clubs, much like the advice offered by Pelz years ago.

Pick a club that hits 100, and then each club will be about 15 yards different.  So if you hit the GW 100, then the SW will go 85, the LW 70, and the XW 55.    Some people say clubs are about 10 yards different, but that doesn't really agree totally with the Trackman data published about the tour.

Same the other way.  If the GW goes 100, then the next club is the one you hit 115, then 130, then 145 etc.

So you wind up eventually with a set that hits:

P, 55, 70, 85,100,115, 130, 145, 160, 175, 190, 210, ...