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52 54 & 56 degree golf wedges on black sheet

What Are the Differences Between 54 and 56 Degree Wedges

Updated On November 29, 2022

You may have noticed a wide variety of wedge loft options on the market in the last couple of years. This is entirely on purpose. Lofts are getting more robust, and the gaps between the lob wedge and the pitching wedge are getting broader. 

This is where the 56 degree wedges and 54 degree wedges come into play. Typically, these wedges are considered sand wedges, and both have quite a bit in common. However, you will have to spend a significant amount of time figuring out which one is the best option for you. 

Let’s look at the differences between 54 and 56 degree wedges and what else you need to consider before you use or purchase one. 

54 vs 56 Degree Wedge: What Are the Differences?

54 degree wedges and 56 degree wedges are very similar in the loft. However, there are some apparent differences when it comes to playability that players should take into consideration.


The 54 degree wedges and the 56 degree wedges are similar when it comes to distance. However, the 54 will go further than the 56. A little confusing, but let us explain. For example, a lot of players that use a 56 for a 90-yard shot will see that their shot distance actually ends up being closer to 85 yards. 

Clubs like fairway woods and hybrids, longer clubs, have a significant influence on distance. However, when it comes to wedges, it’s not all that important. The total distance you can send your ball should not be your only motivation when choosing a wedge. 


You can control the shot a little bit easier if you use a wedge that has a lower loft. This control stems from keeping the ball flight accurate and down. The one thing you should always keep in mind is the higher a ball gets, the more likely errors will occur. 

Many players that choose the 54 wedge are going in with the mindset of keeping the ball under control by trying to control the flight path as much as they can and keeping the ball as straight as possible. Golfers are looking for lower ball flights because they allow the golf ball to quickly come to a stop when they come in contact with the green. 


The usability of a golf wedge is often described as how easy it is to hit the ball with more than a full standard swing. When using a wedge, you want to make sure you can hit half shots, ¾ shorts, small pitch shots, and also chip shots. 

Even though the usability of both the 54 degree wedge and the 56 degree wedge, the 56 wedge is less difficult to handle. 56 degree wedges tend to have extra loft in comparison to 54 degree wedges which makes those higher shots an option. You can also deloft the club a bit and still get a shorter ball flight. 


Forgiveness is tricky, but not when it comes to these two wedges. Forgiveness is usually tough because how much forgiveness you get is all going to depend on what style and brand wedge you get. Fortunately, with 54 and 56 degree wedges, most players find they have the same amount of forgiveness. 

For most golfers, skulling and chunking shots are the big worries with wedges. The thing is, you have an equal chance of chunking or sculling with both options. Additionally, the amount of bounce the wedge has will also influence the total forgiveness. 

The bottom line is if you want more forgiveness, look for a blade vs. cavity-back wedge. These wedges are what make it easier to get the ball pin high. 


The greatest difference between a 54 degree wedge and a 56 degree wedge is loft. The 54 degree wedge has two degrees less loft than the 56 degree wedge. The 56 having two more degrees makes it easiest for you to hit shots that are high in the loft. 

What you need to keep in mind is if the loft is higher it’ll be easier to get the ball over a bunker. This is a crucial thing to consider because both wedges are most often used from tight lies or greenside bunkers. Those struggling to get enough loft on their shots will like what the 56 offers. 


Most manufacturers make both 54 degree wedges and 56 degree wedges. However, there have been instances where the 54 degree wedges are not available. 

Wedges are sometimes sold in sets of threes. For example, you’ll often see 52, 56, and 60 in a set. It’s essential to keep this in mind because if you’re just looking for a 54 degree wedge to fit into your golf bag, you may not be able to find a 54 wedge. 

What is a 54 Degree Wedge Used For?

A 54 degree wedge is a type of sand wedge. Golfers use it out of bunkers and around the green. A 54-degree wedge is a good choice for players with another wedge that’s around 50 degrees and a 58 degree lob wedge.

Almost all players have a wedge between 56 and 58 degrees and a pitching wedge. You may notice that this leaves a significant gap in your clubs. You should fill this gap as soon as you can.

54 degree wedges are not necessary to play, but there are certain circumstances when playing where you’d want to use one. For example, if you have a sand wedge that is 56 degrees, we can’t recommend going and grabbing a 54 degree wedge. However, if you have a lob wedge that is 58 degrees, we do suggest adding a 54 wedge.

As some of you may or may not know, sand wedges can be purchased with different amounts of bounce. You want to make sure this is something else you’re looking at before making a purchase. If you’re someone who hits behind the ball or often plays on wet courses, you’ll want to get a wedge that has a bounce that is higher than ten degrees. If those things don’t apply to you, you can pick up a wedge that has a seven to ten degree bounce.

What is a 56 Degree Wedge Used For?

A 56 degree wedge is a type of sand wedge. Golfers use it for chipping around the green and hitting the golf ball out of the sand. This type of club is the highest loft an average player should carry and is one of the most used clubs.

Right up there with a pitching wedge in terms of importance, you’ll want to have a sand wedge in your golf bag. Sand wedges are one of the most versatile clubs since you’ll be able to use it around the green, on the fairway, and from the bunker. 

For most players, a sand wedge that has at least 10 degrees of bounce is ideal. More bounce means you’ll have an easier time getting the ball out of bunkers. 

How Much Distance Can You Get with a 54 Degree Wedge?

Our research concluded that the average distance a golfer can achieve with a 54 degree wedge is 92 yards. However, the range can vary from 75 yards to 110 yards. Players who can do a complete swing can reach higher numbers, but most players take a 1/2 to 3/4 swing with their wedge.

How Much Distance Can You Get with a 56 Degree Wedge?

Our research concluded that the average distance a golfer can achieve with a 56 degree wedge is 84 yards. However, the range can vary anywhere from 75 yards to 105 yards. Players who can do a complete swing can reach over 100 yards; however, most players take a 1/2 to 3/4 swing with their wedge.

54 vs 56 Degree Wedge: Which One Should You Use?

Average players can play with three wedges in their bag, and if that’s what you’re looking to do, then we recommend picking up a 56 degree wedge. Overall, it’s the better choice. However, for players that are okay with carrying around four wedges, we recommend a 54 degree wedge because it evenly spaces out the degrees.

For most, a 56 degree wedge is better at getting the golf ball out of the sand. It’s also easier to get the ball up over things like a bunker. The first step to finding out what wedges to carry you’ll first want to figure out how many you want to have in your bag.

As you get better, you may find that you want to have four or five wedges. We would like to mention, though, that mid-to-high handicaps only need three wedges. Those wedges are:

  • Gap wedge
  • Sand wedge
  • Pitching wedge

Here is some more information on the three wedges listed above. The gap wedge should have a degree between 50 and 52 degrees. Your sand wedge should have a degree between 54 and 56, and your pitching wedge should have a degree between 44 and 46 degrees.

Ideal Three Wedge Setup:

  • 50 degree gap wedge
  • 56 degree sand wedge
  • 45 degree pitching wedge

Ideal Four Wedge Setup:

  • 50 degree gap wedge
  • 56 degree sand wedge
  • 45 degree pitching wedge
  • 58 degree lob wedge

About the author 

Bobby Hurst

Bobby Hurst Is the founder of He has been an avid golfer and instructor for over 20 years. He has always been passionate about the sport for as long as he can remember and considers the site as a passion project where he gets to share his love of golf with other avid golfers. He considers golf to be a sport that exercises both the mind and body; which is why you will constantly find him out on the course at least once a week. On his games, he enjoys trying out new techniques, and equipment. You can find his golfing tips, and reviews on some of the best golfing equipment on the site.