A wedge is among the most important clubs in a player’s arsenal. Thanks to its unique shape and heft, a wedge is typically used for making difficult shots from rough terrains or sand traps. Aside from providing the required loft, the right wedge helps generate sufficient backspin that keeps the ball in one place once it has landed.
Experts realize that a balanced set of golf clubs contains an optimal combination of pitching, sand, lob, pitching and gap wedges designed to meet the golf player’s need. However, if you are in search of a tool that will help the ball escape the green side bunkers, it is essential you invest in a quality sand wedge.
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A sand wedge typically ranges from 54 to 58 degrees. As the name indicates, these wedges are designed to escape from green side bunkers because of its heavier and wider design on its sole.
Over the years, the sand wedge has been commonly used as a go-club for chips and bunker shots near green. It was also the highest lofted club a golfer could find in his bag until the lob wedge came along.
Using a regular golf swing, most players can hit sand wedges around 90 yards. Sand wedges are typically shorter than most clubs and are designed to help golfers put spin on the ball. Also, due to the customized club face, sand wedges are prone to be heavy.
Sand wedges become popular in 1935 and were invented by Gene Sararzen. While several manufacturers were struggling to come up with a design that would comply with the R&A and USGA rules whilst solving the problem of sand wedges, Gene Sarazen came up with the design of his sand wedge.
His design featured a flat face instead of using a concave design that was considered necessary for designing sand wedges. Needless to say, his design managed to effectively get the ball off the sand. Eventually, Gene Sararzen won plenty of tournaments using his design, causing the world to take notice.
As mentioned above, a sand wedge typically features a high loft spanning 54 to 58 degrees. The other clubs inside your golf bag gear have their sole parallel to the ground. This gives the club the necessary bounce it needs to propel the ball from soft, fluffy sand. This design adds weight to the club face, which makes sand wedges heavier than other clubs in your golf club.
According to golfers, the sand wedge is quite special. Most golf courses feature a sand bunker in and around the green. Experts know only a sand wedge can be used to give golfers a measured shot they are aiming for from the sand trap. A sand wedge has plenty of qualities that help it stand apart:
Wondering how you can use a sand wedge to its best potential? A sand wedge is typically a golfer’s highest-lofted club, if the player does not carry a lob wedge with a higher lob. Sand wedges are typically used for a variety of short shots outside of bunkers that require a greater height. However, a sand wedge’s main function is to aid the golfer’s escape from greenside bunkers.
With the help of the bounce plate in the sand wedge, players can dig the wedge into the sand, far enough to get under the ball. An experienced player will be able to achieve this much easily compared to a novice. The ball glides forward, allowing the golfer to make solid contact and hit a loft, short shot. Since the soft wedge is shorter than other clubs, it allows players to put a spin on the ball
Now that we have discussed how and where golfers can use sand wedges, it is essential we talk about when NOT to use a sand wedge. As a general rule of thumb, it is best you do not hit a sand wedge when the ball is positioned on the bare ground or on hard packed dirt.
The club’s bounce plate is constructed to bounce off soft ground, whereas on a harder surface, the club head is likely to bounce off the ground whilst striking the middle of the ball. Most experts and professionals prefer using another lofted club or pitching wedge without a bounce plate when dealing with bunkers with hard sand.
There are a number of factors a golfer should consider whilst choosing the best sand wedge. Like any other club, golfers should ensure the wedge is tailored according to the individual. The perfect sand wedge that could be suitable for you might not be suitable for another golfer. Here are a couple of factors you must consider first:
Just because a particular club is called a sand wedge by a manufacturer, you should not assume it has the same loft as the rest of the brands. While some manufacturers set their loft at 56 degrees, others may set them at 54 degrees. This is important as some players may be on the lookout for more loft than others.
Typically, golfers are generally on the lookout for increasing amounts of loft. While choosing between a 56-degree and a 54-degree sand wedge, golfers are likely to opt for a 56-degree one. A higher loft makes hitting floating shots from the sand much easier.
When it comes to choosing the right sand wedge, players can choose from a plethora of materials and finishes. Experimentation is the only sure to way to determine whether a greater amount of spin with some materials would work for you or not.
Typically, golfers are comfortable with a heavier sand wedge instead of a normal iron. The added weight allows golfers to get through the sand more consistently, helping you lift the ball on to the green.
Most players prefer using soft forged steel to achieve a greater amount of spin. However, different steels can have a variety of different finishes. Some sand wedges feature a chrome plate finish that prevents the club head from rusting over time.
Other wedges may feature a gunmetal finish that reduces the glare as the edge is blacker. You will also find wedges that do not have a finish at all, while this causes the wedge to rust, some players prefer this type over others.
Regardless of the material you choose or prefer, it is essential you ensure the wedge grooves remain sharp and clean. This helps ensure that maximum spin is imparted on the ball.
The amount of bounce may vary from sand wedge to sand wedge thus is essential that you select the right sand wedge that is most suitable for you. The bounce a sand wedge can offer determines whether your sand wedge will stay in the bunk or whether it will escape on the green.
The bounce angle is achieved when the rear edge of the sole of the club is under the leading rage. This difference in height enables the rear edge to guide the club up from the sand and not allow the front edge to dive into the ground.
Golfers who like to call themselves diggers and take many big divots and sands while using a sand wedge are likely to benefit from a wedge with a larger bounce angle, typically ranging from 12 to 14 degrees. However, golfers who take shallow or little sand are likely to benefit from a sand wedge with a lower bounce angle, typically ranging from 6 to 8 degrees.
Rest assured, if the ball is sitting in the fairway, 75 yards from the greens, you still have a shot to increase your score and be crowned the winner. Fortunately, the control and loft in your sand wedge offers you the perfect chance to hit the ball near the hole whilst making it stop completely.
However, this is a position many golfers cannot master as luck takes a backseat to technique and skill, provided you are skilled enough and know how to play the shot. Here are a couple of tips you should keep in mind while hitting the fairway:
Most beginners shy away from using sand wedges in the fairway since they fear the shot will come up too short and will cause the ball to blade over the green. According to experts, a club shaft that leans back towards the golfer’s leg is a common cause of both misses.
To solve this problem, ensure the ball is in the middle of the stance and the handle is pointed towards the inside of your right thigh. Hinge your wrists at 90 degrees on the backswing. You may start the forward swing by rotating your lower body whilst facing the target. It is essential you maintain proper wrist hinge until you hit the ball.
While professional players are able to use their sand wedges to huddle chips close to the hole routinely, beginners often end up falling short of the hole. However, players can simply learn to control to the distance by varying the trajectory.
According to experts, the simplest way to do it is to hit lower or higher shots. On the other hand, advanced players can experiment with squaring, opening the clubface at the time of the address.
Learning how to master precise distance control will allow you to score better the next time you are using a sand wedge from the fairway. For better shots, it is recommended you learn how to control the distance of the shot by adjusting the length of your swing.
Additionally, practice sand wedge shots by using a half swing, a quarter-length swing and three-quarter swing. Also, pay attention to how far you can hit the ball with each swing. This will allow you to calculate how long your swing needs to be when you hit a shot on the golf course.
Some players only swing one of their arms while using three-quarter or half-length sand wedges that results in inconsistent contact. It is recommended you allow your shoulders to rotate and move a little backwards.
For a forward swing, it is essential you strive for a follow-through position using your right knee, with the club and your navel pointing towards the target. This will keep your club and your arms working together throughout the movement.
While sand wedges are primarily used for hitting the ball out of sand bunkers, the club can come in handy in various other places. Typically, most sand wedges are about 56 degrees, making them perfect for shooting high pitch and short shots.
Additionally, the club’s bounce plate makes it an exceptional choice for hitting on hard ground. Ensure the turf is soft before using the club from the fairway.
In order to hit a soft, high pitch shot using a sand wedge, golfers must have full control of their arms and hands, while keeping the rest of their body perfectly firm.
According to experts, golfers must set up their weight on the front leg, ensuring the ball is positioned opposite the front foot. Swing the golf club back and forth like a pendulum so ensure the club’s weight naturally uncocks the wrist towards the bottom of the downswing.
These clubs are a premium choice for hitting from a downhill lie. Such a lie is likely to result in a flatter shot, hence using a lofted club like a sand wedge can help compensate for the downhill lie.
While preparing yourself for this shot, remember to play the ball two inches further back than normal. You must set your hands little bit forward. Keep your hands on the front of the club head and balance your weight forward throughout the downswing.
Want to invest in the best sand wedges for your weekends at the golf course? Here are some of our top recommendations:
Some notable features of this gold wedge include:
The Wilson Harmonized Golf Wedge is a professional new wedge that is being popularly sold in pro shops. The innovative design offers players more flexibility when playing around the green. Use this club to play shots with greater accuracy.
Consumers like how the golf wedge offers a great value for its price while offering perfect weight and balance. What’s best is that the wedges make a great gift for dads and golf enthusiasts. Because of its low price tag, the golf wedge is an excellent choice for beginners and novice golf players who do not want to spend excessively.
Some notable features of this product include:
The Callaway Mack Daddy PM Grind (Matte Finish) is an exceptional quality wedge that features a trendy, modern design. Golf players can choose from a right or left-handed wedge according to their hand orientation.
Golfers can efficiently use this wedge to dig the ball out of soft sand. The grooves and overall shape of the clubhead further increases the performance of the golf club, resulting in a better game.
Some notable features of the product include:
The Wilson Staff Men's Harmonized Black Chrome Golf Wedge is a high quality wedge that features an exceptional design. The innovative sole design offers players more options around the green, resulting in improved performance. Golf players can use this product for long bunker sorts, full shots and greenside chipping.
Some notable features of this product includes:
The Taylor Made Tour Preferred EF Wedge is among the most high-end products in the market and is suitable for golfers who want to make the most out of their investment. The shaft is made using steel while the overall wedge is constructed using quality materials.
Some notable features of the Cleveland Golf Men's 588 RTX Satin:
The Cleveland Golf Men's 588 RTX Satin is among the best golf wedges in town. It is available at a reasonable price which means it is suitable for both beginners and professionals. The product has a variety of features that makes it stand out from other features in the crowd.
To make the most of your purchase, don’t forget to check out the customer reviews of the abovementioned products. This will help you get an idea of how the product was received and whether customers were pleased with their purchase or not. For more information, do not hesitate to contact a brand representative. Many brands offer bundle deals so you can get the best value out of your purchase good luck.
Over the years, the sand wedge has been commonly used as a go-club for chips and bunker shots near green. We hope this handy guide has provided you all the information you need to invest in the best sand wedge. Good luck!