Pay close attention and you’ll see professional golfers playing various numbers of wedges and different lofts combinations. Many play with two, but some carry more. Take Phil Mickelson, for example. He’s arguably the best player in the world and he plays with four wedges, including a 64-degree.
So how many wedges do you need? And what loft? With room for only 14 clubs in your bag you need to pick wisely, so hopefully this guide will help you make deciding which clubs to put in your bag easier.
What club will save you the most shots?
Let’s talk about which clubs will give you the best score. When you add a wedge to your bag, you need to take out a club. That’s usually a fairway wood or hybrid. With the extra fairway woods or hybrids in your bag, the easier it will be to hit long shots into long par 4s and par 5s. The more wedges you carry, the less awkward half and three-quarter shots you will have to hit from inside 100 yards.
So what will help your game more? On a regular round, do you struggle with long shots into the green on par 4s and par 5s, or can your pitch shots be a bit wild from 100 yards in? Knowing your game can make this decision a lot easier. Always tailor your bag by picking clubs that help you. Make sure you take advantage of the wide variety of clubs available.
Another factor in the number of wedges you need is what course you’re playing. You’ll see many professionals make slight changes to their bags depending on the course. If you’re playing a long course, then more fairway woods or hybrids would be advisable to make those long approach shots slightly easier. The same is true for shorter courses, where more options and accuracy around the greens would be more appropriate.
Lots of players carry two wedges and play effectively. Many golfers who carry only two wedges are very good at replicating half and three-quarter shots to get more shots out of one club. If you feel like your shorter swings are not consistent enough, try carrying more clubs or improve this by practice using the “clock face” drill. That is, hit half shots at “9” to “3” on the clock face and so on. Make sure you note the distances you get with each club.
The benefit of carrying only two wedges is the fact you can carry extra hybrids or fairway woods. If you’re going to use this system, try a pitching wedge around 48 degrees and a sand wedge around 56 degrees. This will give you a pretty consistent gap between your 9-iron, which is usually between 40-42 degrees.
The most common configuration for most golfers is three wedges. This leaves you room for two fairway woods or hybrids. This combination is a popular choice for club golfers. They lack the distance of tour pros, so the two fairways are needed.
We’d recommend a pitching wedge at around 46 degrees, a gap wedge around 52 degrees and a lob wedge around 58 degrees if you’re looking at using a three wedge system. This gives you an even gap between your wedges of 6 degrees.
If you feel most comfortable hitting full shots, or you really want the most options possible around the greens, then carrying four wedges is the option you should take.
If you go for this configuration, try a pitch wedge at around 46 degrees, a gap wedge at around 50 degrees, a sand wedge around 54 degrees and a lob wedge at around 58 degrees. This should give you a gap of around 10 yards between each wedge.
The key to configuring your wedges loft is to try to keep the gaps between clubs as consistent as possible.
— Joseph Mills