The pitching wedge is arguably the most essential golf wedge in the bag. Not only is this club used for approach shots into the green, but also bump and runs, pitches, and chip shots. If you are playing in a tournament where you can only bring a few clubs, the pitching wedge is likely in your top three.
The pitching wedge loft has changed through the years. With modern technology, we have seen proper loft gapping become a serious issue for golfers. Let’s look at the loft of a pitching wedge and how to make sure yours is what you need for your game.
What degree is a pitching wedge?
A pitching wedge should be 45 degrees of loft or within the range of 43-48 degrees. Every golf manufacturer has different lofts for their pitching wedges.
Game improvement type pitching wedges made for increased distance and easier performance can have lofts around 42-43 degrees.
Pitching wedges that are blade style players type wedges will have lofts closer to the 46-48 degree range.
As important as the loft of your pitching wedge is, it is only relevant when compared to your gap wedge, sand wedge, and lob wedge. The loft gapping is the most important part of setting up the perfect wedge set.
To properly gap the lofts of your pitching wedge, gap wedge, lob wedges, and sand wedges you will need to know the loft of your pitching wedge and then some of the best practices for customizing your wedge lofts.
We go into much further detail in our recent post Types of golf wedges here.
What degree of loft is my pitching wedge?
It’s great to know what the ideal loft of your golf club is, but what about determining the current loft of your Wedge?
This process is quite simple. Every golf manufacturer publishes specifications about the loft of their golf clubs. If you have a stock golf wedge, then you can simply research the wedge loft on the company website or give them a quick call and explain the model number.
However, some wedges are already custom-built, and the wedge loft may have changed. In this case, you can use a lie loft machine to measure. If you don’t have on yourself, a local club fitter or golf shop will have one for you to use.
How to choose the right pitching wedge loft
If you are purchasing a set of custom clubs or are simply interested in tinkering with your wedge lofts, there are a few crucial determinations to make.
Determine Current Club Specifications
You must determine the lofts of your current wedges. It is important to look at everything from gap wedges to lob wedges when you start this process. The pitching and sand wedge are the most used in the bag, but you need the lofts of everything you have before you can determine if your pitching wedge is the proper loft.
Think About The Use of The Club
What do you use your pitching wedge for?
Some golfers will only use the pitching wedge as an approach wedge into a green. These players typically choose a more lofted club for greenside and short game performance. Other players will use the pitching wedge for pitch shots or to hit more lofted shots around the green.
When determining which pitching wedge loft is right for your game, consider what you use the golf club for. If it is mostly approach shots, the loft can be a little lower. For those hitting shots around the green with the pitching wedge, the slightly higher iron lofts may be better. I would also advise taking a few different pitching wedges out for a few hours of practice. We usually suggest someplace like Topgolf, since top golf pricing is relatively affordable and it has several locations
Number of wedges in the bag
The gapping of your Wedge will change depending on how many wedges you have in your bag. Club manufacturers assume that most players are carrying four wedges at this point. However, this is not always the case for most golfers.
If you have just the pitching and sand wedges or pitching Wedge and sand and lob, then the gaps between these wedges may be slightly wider. This should not be an issue as long as they are evenly spaced.
Check The Progression Into The Irons
So many golfers will ensure that their wedges all work together as a set, but they forget to check the degrees of loft that their nine-iron has. You must ensure that the wedges blend well together and that they also transition into the set properly.
If you do not do this, you will find that there is a significant gap between the pitching wedge and the nine iron. The idea is to have a gap of around 10 yards from one club to the next. If your sand wedge loft and lob wedge loft are too close, the difference in yardage may only be three or five yards, certainly not enough to justify carrying both clubs.
Loft of wedges – What are the ideal lofts of a set of golf wedges?
Every golf club set is different when it comes to the loft of the golf clubs. You will have to spend some time studying your game and seeing which lofts are the best for you from a performance standpoint. However, it is helpful to have a general idea of the range of these lofts.
- Pitching Wedge: typically around 45 can be as low as 41 and as high as 48
- Gap Wedge or Approach Wedge: normally around 50 but will range from 48 to 54
- Sand Wedge: ideally 56 degrees but can vary from 50 to 58
- Lob Wedge: primarily a 60-degree wedge but will range from 56 to 64
As you can see, there is a wide range between each of the ideal wedge lofts. Most golfers will have something around 45, 50, 56, 60. This is a good progression and spaces out the loft of the wedges quite well. Depending on the type of golf irons you have, these wedge lofts will go up and down.
We hope you now have the information to choose the best pitching wedge loft for your game. The pitching wedge is an important club, and many golfers assume that their wedges are properly loft gapped for their game.
Every golf game is different, and with the short game being such an integral part, it is essential to have a thorough understanding of the impact of these lofts.