The loft of your approach wedge or gap wedge is one that can be quite confusing to some people. If you have paid close attention through the last few years, you have likely noticed that golfers are carrying more and more wedges. The reason behind this is the new loft gapping in iron sets.

If you want to hit great shots, and get close to the pin, gap wedges or approach wedges are necessary.

instructor showing Approach wedge loft to golf student

Let’s take a look at what the typical approach wedge loft is and whether or not it is a good choice for you around the green.

Approach Wedge Loft: Everything To Know

The approach wedge loft on a standard approach wedge or Gap wedge is 52 degrees. The basic purpose behind an approach wedge is to fill the gap between the pitching and sand wedge. With a standard sand wedge being around 56 degrees and the pitching wedge being between 44-48, the 52-degree approach wedge fills this gap relatively well.

image of taylormade milled grind 2 wedge - AEC InfoWedge lofts are very important as they will need to work with the other wedges in the bag as well as transition into the irons in the golf bag as well. Most of the time, the pitching wedge loft is the one that we are seeing change.

A standard pitching wedge was typically around 46 degrees, but now some are 43 or 44. This has been done to help golfers get more distance while still being able to hit the ball high. However, now the gap wedges also need to adjust in their loft. Many gap wedge clubs are moving close to 50 degrees to lessen the gap closer to the pitching wedges.

If you have a club with a loft between 48-54 degrees in your golf bag, chances are it could be considered your approach wedge.

What Approach Wedge Loft Is Best?

There is no one approach wedge loft that is perfect. The most important thing is to find a set of wedges that are very nicely spaced for the loft gap. For instance, if you have a lob wedge that is 64 degrees, you may have a Sand wedge that is 58. If instead, you have a 60-degree lob wedge, you may opt for a sand wedge that is only 54 degrees in loft.

The sand wedge loft, lob wedge loft, and even the approach wedge loft is typically all determined by the loft of the last iron in the set. Whatever the last iron is, you will have to plan your wedge lofts accordingly.

This can be done at a golf fitting, or you can simply learn what lofts you are currently using and try to space them out as evenly as possible. Gap wedges or approach wedges are one of the most important because they typically fill the largest gap between golf clubs.

What To Look For In An Approach Wedge

An approach wedge is becoming a club that golfers cannot live without. For so many years, players would just deal with the gap between the pitching wedge and the sand wedge. However, now that gap is getting to be too broad. With today’s modern equipment, you must fill the gap between the pitching wedge and the sand wedge.

Here are a few of the most important things to look for in an approach wedge.

Medium Sole Width

With an approach wedge, you will be hitting shots into the green and chip shots around the green. Many people find that with lob wedges, you are mostly working on greenside shots, but with the approach, things are a bit different.

Ensure that when you stand over the approach wedge, you have confidence about being able to hit this to the center of the green, and at the same time, feel as though you could get it up and down on the green if you needed to.

Low Center of Gravity

An approach wedge typically has a low center of gravity. The lower center of gravity will make the club more forgiving and user-friendly than even a modern pitching wedge. This low center of gravity is essential for the players that need some extra forgiveness.

High-bounce wedges are not always the best when it comes to the approach shots that you are going to hit with this club. The mid bounce wedge models tend to be the best for the average golfers looking for approach wedges.

Clean Leading Edge

The approach wedge should have a clean leading edge. This leading edge will help ensure that golfers get a much cleaner and crisper golf shot, and they will be able to control the ball quite a bit better. The clean leading edge will help with the full swing shots and bunker play, and chip shots.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Now that you have a bit more of an understanding of the gap wedge and all four wedges in the bag let’s answer a few of the most commonly asked questions about these golf clubs.

What Is A 52 Degree Wedge Called?

A 52-degree wedge is typically called a gap wedge, although some will call it an approach wedge. The idea behind this wedge is that it fills a space in a golfer’s bag that is created by the differences in loft between a pitching wedge and a sand wedge.

How Far Should I Hit An Approach Wedge?

Typically golfers will hit an approach wedge around 100 yards. If you are an average golfer, this is a pretty good distance for this club and will help you with approaches and even pitch shots from different distances.

Is An Approach Wedge Worth It?

An approach wedge is worth the money. Three wedges in a golfers bag are no longer enough. Players are serious about getting the ball closer to the hole and doing it with these impressive wedges in their hands. You can’t expect one wedge to handle all of the different types of golf shots that you could run across around the green.


Hopefully, you now have a better idea of the approach wedge loft on your club and how far you may hit it. The approach wedge loft is typically around 52 degrees, but you can see a range of anywhere from 48 to 54. The most important consideration for any player is to ensure that the loft of the approach wedge fits in well with the sand wedges, lob wedges, and pitching wedges in the bag.

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