5 Reasons Why Women Golfers Should Carry More Wedges

They’re often referred to as the scoring clubs, yet many women only carry one or two of them. Carly Frost explains why adding more wedges to your bag will work wonders for your game

Carly Frost with her selection of wedges
Carly Frost with her selection of wedges
(Image credit: Carly Frost)

The typical standard golf set sold for women contains a pitching wedge and a sand wedge that match the irons in design and style. While these are adequate when you are learning to play, if you really want to take your game to the next level and lower your scores then opting for a set of specialist wedges is advisable.

While specialist clubs are more expensive than those that are simply part of a set, and I’m talking anything from £50 upwards per wedge depending on shaft choice, they are well worth the investment. Here are five reasons why.

Greater Shot-Making Variety

More choice means greater short game shot-making variety. By carrying an extra wedge or two you are widening your scope for creativity and it will help enhance your skills around the greens. 

Take bunker play, for instance, a standard sand wedge has 56 degrees of loft and usually a high bounce. However, many women I play with really struggle to get the swing speed and acceleration through the sand required to loft their bunker shots up and out over steep lips. 

In these instances carrying a lob wedge can be a saviour. Something with 58 degrees of loft or more. I started carrying one of these handy clubs back in my twenties and I have never looked back. I nearly always choose it as my ‘go-to’ club from sand because it simply makes it easier.

Equally, by adding a gap wedge into your bag there are two big bunker benefits: firstly on longer greenside bunker shots, particularly if you have a lower clubhead speed, you’ll find it easier to get distance. Secondly, for the basic greenside sand shot, lower loft is helpful when you need more distance (a back pin position on the green), as you’ll still be able to take a fair amount of sand but the lower loft will help your golf ball cover greater distance, which with a slower swing speed is helpful.

Carly Frost bunker shot

(Image credit: Carly Frost)

Closing Distance Gaps

A standard pitching wedge has around 48 degrees of loft and a sand wedge 56 degrees, sometimes more. Although this might not sound like a huge gap, in reality it actually is. Adding in another wedge, something with around 52 degrees of loft is a great idea. 

These are known as gap wedges and, as the name suggests, they literally bridge the distance gap between the pitching wedge and the sand wedge. A gap wedge usually has around 50-52 degrees of loft. Gap wedges are great for all types of chip shots and they are also brilliant for full shots going into the green from inside 100 yards.

wedge selection

(Image credit: Carly Frost)

Improved Feel And Feedback 

Commonly, pitching and sand wedges that are part of a set are made from a cast head material simply because it is cheaper. This is a firmer feeling metal than those used to make specialist wedges. 

A more sophisticated and time laborious forging process is used to make specialist wedges (hence the added cost). The forging gives the metal head a softer, more pleasant impact feel with less unwanted vibration (especially on those mishits) than a cast wedge. Given that short game shorts are all about feel, this is hugely beneficial.

golf wedge grooves

(Image credit: Carly Frost)

Increased Spin Control 

A considerable amount of research and development goes into the groove design of specialist wedges. Different shapes, depths and sharpnesses of grooves all have clear benefits. The beauty of better grooves is that you get more spin and stop on your shots. 

Do you watch in wonder as professional golfers get their ball to check up on the green or even spin backwards? Ever wonder what special technique they are using? In reality, a lot of that spin is down to the sharpness of their grooves. Professionals often put a new set of wedges in their golf bag every few weeks for this exact reason.

Improved Approach Play

As well as being really useful around the greens, an extra wedge or two can also help improve your approach play. You don’t need power to make the most of these scoring clubs. Any woman, any age, any strength, any standard can benefit from them. As most women can’t reach a typical par-4 in regulation, the right wedge is essential for getting close enough to the hole to make par. Having an extra choice in your bag makes this task easier.

Here's a typical example. A lot of women I play golf with find it very intimidating when they are faced with a pitch shot over a bunker or other hazard. The challenge here requires you to take a full swing with your sand wedge and to really commit to the shot.

If you are a bit scared of this shot you'll decelerate and hit the ground. This can lead to difficulty in controlling distance. Step in the gap wedge to save the day. The slightly lower loft means that you do not need to take as big a swing, and when you are relatively close to the green it can feel more comfortable and less daunting to make a smaller motion.

Carly Frost chipping

(Image credit: Carly Frost)

Carly Frost
Golf Monthly Contributor

Carly Frost is one of the golf industry’s best-known female writers, having worked for golf magazines for over 20 years. As a consistent three-handicapper who plays competitive club golf at Parkstone and the Isle of Purbeck courses in Dorset every week, Carly is well-versed in what lady golfers love. Her passion for golf and skill at writing combine to give her an unbeatable insight into the ladies game.  

Carly’s role at Golf Monthly is to help deliver thorough and accurate ladies equipment reviews, buying advice and comparisons to help you find exactly what you are looking for. So whether it’s the latest driver, set of irons, golf ball, pair of shoes or even an outfit, Carly will help you decide what to buy. Over the years Carly has been fortunate to play some of the greatest courses in the world. Her view ‘from the ladies tee’ is invaluable. She ranks Sea Island, Georgia, USA, where she met her husband, world-renowned golf coach Dan Frost, among her favourite golf resorts. Their aptly-named eight-year-old son Hogan is already hitting the ball as far as Mum and will undoubtedly be a name to watch out for in the future. Carly is a keen competitor and her list of golfing achievements are vast. She is a former winner of the South West of England Ladies Intermediate Championship, a three-time winner of the European Media Masters and she once beat an entire start-sheet of men to the title of Times Corporate World Golf Champion. She has played for both the Dorset and Surrey County Ladies first teams and is known for her excellent track record at matchplay.

Carly holds the ladies course record (68) at her home club Parkstone and her lowest competition round (seven-under-par 65) was carded in the pro-am of the Irish Ladies Open at Killeen Castle, playing alongside Solheim Cup superstar Anna Nordqvist. Although her current handicap index has crept up to 3.7 since Covid she has her sights firmly set on achieving that elusive scratch handicap and hopefully playing for her country when she’s 50.

Carly’s current What's In The Bag? 

Driver: Callaway Epic Max, 10.5° 

Fairway wood: TaylorMade SIM2, 15° 

Hybrids: Titleist TS2, 19°, 21°, 24° 

Irons: Mizuno JPX900, 5-PW 

Wedges: Cleveland RTX, 52°, 56° and 58° 

Putter: Scotty Cameron Futura X5

Ball: 2021 Callaway Ladies SuperSoft