Wedges can be complicated to many players, especially for those who are just starting out. We often hear players inquire about sand wedges, ask for the rundown on them and whether or not they’re actually necessary. Do you have questions on how to use sand wedges? Don’t worry; this isn’t uncommon, and we’ve got you covered! The first step to understanding sand wedges and how they work in golf is knowing its loft and the effect it can have on your game.
Let’s review what loft is, what a sand wedge is, sand wedge design, sand wedge loft, and more!
What is Loft?
Since this article is going to be focusing on the degree loft of a sand wedge, let’s quickly go over what loft is. Loft is the angle between the ground and the face of the club. The loft of the club controls how high the ball goes in the air when you hit it and how far the ball will travel.
Golf clubs like drivers and woods have flatter loft angles, almost perpendicular to the ground. This angle generates a lot more power and distance, which is required of these types of clubs.
For approach play, height and control are more important than power. Because of this, wedges have a more dramatic loft angle that provides better height and control while giving up power and distance.
What is a Sand Wedge?
A sand wedge is primarily used to get the ball out of sand traps or bunkers. Additionally, golfers use it for shorter approach shots. It lets golfers make high shots with bounce on the bottom of the club. The bounce that it can make is what makes sand wedges so effective at escaping short grass and sand. It allows the ball to cut through tricky terrain instead of staying stranded.
Sand wedges are also great because they won’t send the ball flying in the opposite direction from where you want it to go. The shorter bounce means your ball will travel high but won’t travel too far once it’s struck.
Over time, you’ll notice that you’ll become more accurate with your shots. It’s always easier to have consistency with a full swing from a sand wedge than doing a reduced swing with a pitching wedge when hitting closer shots.
The Design of a Sand Wedge
Sand wedges have been reinvented, and they’re now the heaviest iron in a golfer’s bag. Most modern sand wedges weigh around forty ounces. Sand wedges usually have a design that features a very short shaft. The shaft usually measures between eighty-four and ninety-one centimeters. This shaft size is the shortest in the back.
What Degree is a Sand Wedge?
A sand wedge typically has a loft between fifty-six and fifty-eight degrees. In most golf club sets, the sand wedge will be the club with the highest loft. This makes it one of the most important clubs in your golf bag!
The higher the loft, the more height your shots will get. However, it’s important to note that this does impact distance. This type of loft angle has a much lower maximum distance, and golfers will find it harder to break one hundred yards with a sand wedge than they would with, say, a nine iron. This is okay because a sand wedge isn’t meant for distance.
A sand wedge is used for full shots that need to be hit within a certain distance, they are also your go-to club for escaping out of a tricky spot. Also, as the name suggests, it’s main purpose is to help you when your ball is stuck in the sand!
When Should I Avoid a Sand Wedge?
Now that we’ve gone over what loft is, what a sand wedge is, and its degree, you’re probably wondering whether or not you can use it all the time. Even though a sand wedge will work for so many plays, there are still some instances where you can’t use it.
For example, say your ball made it into the sand. You would think this is a good time to use your sand wedge, right? Not necessarily. Just because your ball is stuck in the sand doesn’t mean you should use it. There are times when it’s not the greatest option.
As we explained above, a sand wedge was created to have a lot of bounce. While this makes it a great option for long grass and soft sand, it can be a pretty large disadvantage for times when you need to play on hard surface like compacted sand. With the kind of bounce a sand wedge offers, you may strike the ball near the middle which can cause a mistake.
In these kinds of situations, many pro players choose to use a pitching wedge or even a nine iron to avoid the bounce. They do this because your more likely to perfect your shot. We usually suggest that players try to feel out the situation before making a decision on a club.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner, hobbyist, or pro golfer, knowledge of loft angles can help you perfect your shots early on. Perfecting shots is crucial for lower scores. Sand wedges are among the most popular wedges you can buy and play with. Most likely, if you’ve already started shopping around you’ve come across them more than other wedges. Keep in mind that a sand wedge has a loft degree of between 55 degrees and 58 degrees. They work best for shots on sandy ground.
When determining what wedge to use for your shots, you’ll need to figure out what bounce and loft settings best suit your specific swing. In this article, we’ve also went over the bounce a sand wedge offers, what it stands for, and how it can affect your game. A good option for getting an excellent loft and bounce combination is to custom fit your wedge.