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What To Know Before Buying A Pitching Wedge

The traditional way that irons have been sold is in matching sets from the long irons, usually threes, up to pitching wedge. The development of a lob wedge with a loft of 60 degrees or more have focused golfers’ minds on the wedges as a whole. Many now carry three wedges, the standard pitching wedge, sand and lob. The result has been that current opinion tends to favour the wedges matching with each other rather than worrying whether the pitching wedge matches with the other irons, three up to nine. That makes the buying decision on a pitching wedge something that requires more time.

The pitching wedge is a versatile club used for a high approach to a green but also for chipping around the green when golfers want to carry the ball quite a way to the pin but still get some run as well. The loft of a pitching wedge is a little under 50 degrees and years ago it was even used for bunker shots until it was realised that a higher loft might do a better job.

When it comes to buying a pitching wedge there are several decisions to make:

  • Loft which can vary by around 3-4 degrees in a pitching wedge.

  • Shaft Length

  • Lie and Bounce Angle

  • Material (copper, nickel or steel)

  • Grooves (U, V or square)

You can get aid on the web for further details on those variables while you also need to look at the club head size because oversized heads are now available. The advantages that oversized heads have include a bigger sweet spot and hence they are more forgiving. They are also slightly heavier which some golfers like but inevitably there is the odd disadvantage. The main one is that there is more head that can be caught if you need to play a shot from out of the rough.

All the top manufacturers seek loyal customers who time and again return to them when they are replacing their old clubs. Inevitably that means those players are likely to select a pitching wedge from their favourite manufacturer. That might be perfectly sensible but it makes sense when it comes to a pitching wedge to try it on the practice ground before buying. Because there are some fairly basic differences amongst wedges in design, size of head etc., perhaps the best idea is to take a few to try?

Grooves are an important factor because you can expect more spin the more grooves there are on the club face. Likewise the more the loft the more natural height you can achieve but sometimes the less distance. If you are carrying three wedges you might decide that the shot you face would be better executed by leaving your pitching wedge in the bag but the one you select must be capable of doing a good job for you when the circumstances demand. That being the case take your time over the decision to buy.

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