How to choose the perfect set of wedges for your golf game

Thomas Tanner
Mar 09, 2018
7 minutes
On this page

Wedges are used in the scoring zone of golf, and just as the right ones can help you make birdie or get out of a tricky situation with par, having the wrong wedges can leave you dreadfully exposed out on the course and cost you shots. The purpose of this article is to help you broaden your understanding of wedges with a view to choosing the right number and set up of to best suit your game. By reading on we’re assuming you know and understand the differences between Pitching Wedges, Gap Wedges, Sand Wedges and Lob Wedges and the varying lofts of each.

Wedges can often look very similar and seem very basic in terms of technology, but trust us when we say they're not. Understanding the different types and specifications of wedges is vital for you to having a set up to get the most out of your game.

Your Last Iron

One the most common considerations with wedges is where do we start assembling the wedges set we need? Every one of us is different; we have different sets of clubs, which we hit the ball different distances. Some modern iron sets are extremely strongly lofted as the never ending search for "distance" goes on.

We caught up with Vokey wedge expert Jeremy Stone at the PGA Show and he gave us a great piece of advice on where to begin, regardless of what set we have.

"Every golfer has to look at their last iron. Whatever the number is, say 120 yards, they still have to cover 120 yards to the hole. That’s where wedges play a role."

Consistent Gapping

So now that we have a start point, from the last iron in your set, we need to establish some criteria for our wedges. The first being we need to have wedges you can use your stock swing with rather than having to manipulate or change something to hit a number.

"Give a golfer more consistent stock swings. We're all really good at that driving range swing, where we struggle is when we take it to 9 o'clock and swing three quarters. Which is where we introduce inconsistencies."

But How Many Wedges?

So we’re now starting to build a formula for finding our wedges. Start with the loft of your last iron in your set, and add four degrees which will equate to about 10-15 yards. But by that 15-yard logic three wedges might span a gap of 45 yards, four wedges would span 60 yards. So how many wedges do I need to cover the last 120 yards to the hole? This is a dilemma that not only amateurs face, but Tour players too. Let’s look at some of their bags to give us some further help.

Jordan Spieth Jimmy Walker
Vokey Design 46-10 F Vokey Design 48-10 F
Vokey Design 52-08 F Vokey Design 54-08 M
Vokey Design 56-10 S Vokey Design 60-04 L
Vokey Design 60-04 L

Titleist see a even split of 3 and 4 wedge setups so there really is no one right solution. The number of wedges YOU will carry will also be a function of what is happening at the other end of your bag. If you need a hybrid or extra fairway wood, you might have to sacrifice a wedge; as it must add up to 14 clubs! Whatever lofts you choose, and Jimmy Walker and Jordan Spieth choose different ones to each other, the key is to have consistent gapping irrespective of the lofts.

Now On To Bounce

Now another key consideration when selecting your wedges is "bounce.” As well as going consistent distances, we also need our wedges to perform different tasks such as hit out of bunkers, nip it off a tight lie or hit a high flop shot. This is where bounce comes in.

Let’s quickly refresh our memory as to what bounce does. When the wedge hits the ground during a shot, the club bounces on or through whatever surface is under the ball. Bounce involves two key factors; the sole design and the angle of the leading edge at address. Bounce is the angle from the leading edge to where sole touches the ground and it's there to stop a wedge from digging into the ground and getting stuck there leading to all kinds of nasty outcomes!

As well as the loft stamped on wedges, you'll pretty much always see another smaller number on there. That is the bounce angle.

Low bounce wedges are usually 4 to 6 degrees and are favoured by players in hard pan conditions like links courses or used by elite players who are so precise they can pick the ball off any lie. Low bounce wedges are also handy for bunkers without much sand in them!

Most wedges are mid bounce or 7 to 10 degrees of bounce which is versatile and suits the average club player.

High bounce wedges have more than 10 degrees of bounce and are used by players in softer parkland conditions, where the bunkers are deep and often too by those to tend to dig the club during the strike.

There's More!

For those of you who would like to tackle the even more advanced topic of Grind in wedges, make sure you check out our separate video on that very subject, looking at the new SM7 wedges from Titleist.

But For Now

There's a lot more to wedges than meets the eye and hope you can now choose the right wedges for your game.

Further reading

A wedge is a wedge, right? Well, not so hasty! Do you have a steep or shallow attack into the ball, is the sand at your local golf course soft or hard, are the fairways rock hard – or does it always rain where you live; is the rough long or short, what sort of grass is it, do you prefer to run the ball up, or throw it up high?