Filling the golf bag is an art form unto itself. With the USGA’s 14-club limit, golfers are forced to pick and choose the appropriate clubs for their needs on the golf course.
However, anyone that’s spent even a small amount of time on the golf course knows that attempting to predict where the ball will land and which club to use next is a crap shoot. Simply put, golfers never know which lies they’ll face on any given shot or obstacles they’ll need to hit over, under, around or through to reach their intended targets.
With that in mind, we decided to dive deep into the golf bag to examine which weird club every golfer should reserve one of their limited 14 spots for. Our choice has a bit of history. It’s won major championships, Ryder Cups, many millions of dollars on the PGA Tour and has even led to a professional having his own “meme.”
When it comes to weird clubs, there aren’t many weirder than the 64-degree wedge. And, given the incredible performance the club has provided in many tough situations for golfing legend Phil Mickelson, we see no reason why it shouldn’t be your “weird” club, too.
Mickelson’s 64-degree lob wedge provided him with the ability to get up-and-down like no other player in the history of the PGA Tour. Mickelson is sometimes better when faced with a classically tough lie than when given the chance to two-putt for par.
In the many memorable performances in Mickelson’s storied career, it’s his precision around the green when facing adverse conditions that stands out as perhaps the biggest key to his success. And, he owes much of it to the 64-degree lob wedge.
Golf can be very unfair. You can find yourself short of the green on your approach shot despite hitting the exact yardage and location as intended. You can watch your ball trickle just outside of the fairway and into thick rough next to a greenside bunker. You can stand over a ball on the left side of the green with only three feet worth of landing area to give yourself a chance to make par and wonder, “How on earth am I going to pull this off?”
A 64-degree lob wedge can be your secret weapon. It can be your pin-seeker from nearly any location around the green. Still don’t understand us when we say that the 64-degree wedge is our choice for the one “weird” club every golfer should have? Below, we examine three situations that could be best resolved with the 64-degree lob wedge:
1. Deep greenside bunker
Picture this, your approach shot found the greenside bunker and trickled to its lowest point. As you approach the ball to begin planning your shot, you see that the green and pin are elevated from the bunker, making this tough shot even tougher. Needing to get the ball high quickly, you pull the 64-degree wedge and take a full swing on the ball. The loft in the club makes it easy to get yourself out of this tough situation.
2. Tree in your way
Often, you’ll find yourself still in play but facing a shot that requires immediate high carry over a tree or other obstruction. You’ll swing with confidence knowing that the club’s 64 degrees of loft can get the ball up and in a hurry. The random greenside tree that punishes other players won’t be a problem thanks to your 64-degree wedge.
3. Deep rough, tough pin
Because the golf gods are fickle, pin placement is often torturous when you’ve found yourself stuck in greenside rough. While you may not face a shot requiring incredible height and loft, you may need the ability to pop the ball up in the air and land it softly just a few yards away. As Mickelson has shown throughout his career, the 64-degree lob wedge is ideal for these types of scenarios. Getting up-and-down is much easier with this weird, quirky club in your bag.
Indeed, filling a golf bag is tough work. Golfers must be diligent in their thinking and understand that even well-thought plans can be challenged when on the golf course. If you have an open spot in your 14-club golf bag, consider the 64-degree lob wedge as your “weird” club of choice. You may find yourself using it more than anticipated.
— Ben Larsen