Pitching Wedges –the Key to Your Short Game

Most beginner golfers and even professionals loose strokes playing their short game. Unfortunately many golfers find their ball lands in the grassy area surrounding the green or a sand trap, they are then confronted with the tricky shot of pitching the ball onto the green and getting it close to the pin without overshooting the green.

 

When in the ruff or sand, the golfer is faced with a difficult choice of determining the conditions and choosing the right club for the shot. Pitching onto the green can be done with any club from a 3 wood to a 60 degree pitching wedge. Quite often beginner golfers will choose a seven iron regardless of the conditions, find pitching the ball difficult, and not get very close to the pin. A pitching wedge should be chosen based on the distance the ball needs to travel to the pin, condition of the grass or sand, and wind may be a factor. A lot of this knowledge will come from trial and error as well as regular practice. As a rule of thumb there are 4 basic types of wedges to choose from.

 

The pitching wedge typically has 45-49 degrees of loft and is used for longer shots. Men will typically hit about 110 yards and women about 90 yards. It’s most often hit from the grass, and has minimal bounce of about 2-5 degrees.

 

The gap wedge typically has 49-54 degrees of loft and is used for shots of about 100 yards for men, and about 95 yards for women. The bounce is typically 5-12 degrees; getting a little more loft on the ball then the pitching wedge. You should choose a loft that divides the “gap” evenly between your pitching and sand wedges. For example, if you have a 48-degree PW and a 56-degree SW, buy a gap wedge that is 52 degrees. This club is also known as a “dual” or “attack” wedge.

 

The sand wedge typically has 54-57 degrees of loft and is used for shots of about 90 yards maximum for men, or about 80 yards for women. It also has the most unique club head, with a lot of bounce ranging from 10-16 degrees and another feature called heel-toe camber. Heel toe camber is what gives the sand wedge an oval shape on the bottom of the face. Finally, sand wedges have more sole width (the distance between the leading and trailing edge). All these features are designed to reduce the risk of digging to deeply into the sand. On occasion sand wedges may be used from the grass if the circumstances are right.

 

The lob wedge typically has 57 or more degrees of loft and is used for shots of about 65 yards maximum for men, and 60 yards for women. These clubs are also referred to “finesse” wedges, and are for “touch” shots around the green that need to get into the air quickly and land softly. The bounce is minimal from 0-10 degrees, because there is usually very little room under the ball, and a tiny error can make the club bounce off the ground causing a bad shot. It has less sole width and a sharp leading edge. One reason many players like this club is because it allows a full, unrestricted swing to cover a short distance, rather than making you shorten your swing. The ball flies short and high.

 

Practice and choosing the right wedge will improve your short game, allow you to hit more greens in regulation, and will likely result in more pars. Just remember your short game is usually what will make or break your game, so you want to have the right club for the job.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/golf-articles/pitching-wedges-the-key-to-your-short-game-540381.html

About the Author

Tracy Patton and father Paul Carlson started EzyGolf a discount golf store after their own passion for the game. While not the greatest golfers, they have a lot of fun trying to play and working together. Please visit: www.theezygolf.com.


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