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How many wedges should I carry? It's a question we often get asked, and with room for just 14 clubs in the bag, it can be tough deciding which ones to put in, and which ones to leave out. In the video and article below we look at some of the factors you should be considering...
To get the answer to this question you need to evaluate your whole game. What are your strengths? How often do you use certain golf clubs? What sacrifices are you willing to make? And how many different clubs do you hit chips with? Answering these questions will help you work out how many wedges to carry.
For many golfers, this will probably come down to a choice between losing a wedge and adding a fairway wood. By doing this, it improves your chances of hitting more long par 4s and par 5s.
However, if you lose a fairway wood and add a wedge, it means you can hit more fuller shots into greens, therefore avoiding more awkward half and three-quarter shots from inside 120 yards.
What wedges can I choose from?
After your 9-iron comes a choice of wedges, which can range in lofts from 45-64°. Normally, these lofts will be displayed on the heads.
Traditionally, pitching wedges will be lofted from 45-50°, gap wedges from 50-54°, sand wedges from 54-58°, and lob wedges anywhere from 58-64°.
Two wedge system
When it comes to dialling in yardages, a lot of players use the 'clock face' drill. This is where distance is controlled by the hand position in relation to an imaginary clock face (six o’clock being the ball position).
This allows for a range of different yardages and, therefore, more confidence replicating the sort of half and three-quarter swings this method relies on consistently. If you do decide on this method, then you may well benefit from ditching a wedge and carrying an extra fairway wood or hybrid.
If this is your preferred choice, we would recommend opting for a pitching wedge around 48° and a sand wedge around 56°. This will give you a reasonably even gap from your 9-iron, which is usually lofted between 40-42°.
Obviously, this leaves you with a reasonable gap between 48˚ and 56˚, but if you are confident hitting half shots with your wedge, it will leave you with more options at the other end of your bag.
Three wedge system
Arguably the most common choice for club golfers, three wedges leaves you with room for two fairway woods, which is often more important for players who lack the distance that Tour Professionals can muster.
If you do choose a three wedge system, we'd recommend something along the lines of a pitching wedge at 46°, a gap wedge at 52°, and a lob wedge at 58°. This gives you an even 6° gap between clubs, providing all the options you need.
Four wedge system
Longer hitters of the ball will naturally leave themselves more wedge shots so will favour this system. If you are hitting the ball consistently further than 280 yards off the tee, then this will be best for your game.
Alternatively, if you are not comfortable hitting half wedge shots, more options will let you commit to a full swing more often. So there is plenty to consider when asking how many wedges should I carry?
If you go for this method, the best way to achieve your ideal gaps between clubs is to get even loft gaps. So, starting from a stock 46° pitching wedge, you can then add a gap wedge at 50°, a sand wedge at 54° and a lob wedge at 58°, which should equate to 8-12 yard gaps for the average golfer.
As with so many gear choices, knowing how many wedges to carry requires some careful thought. Keeping in mind the strengths and weaknesses of your game is essential. Of course, getting a full wedge fitting is usually the best way to go but if that's a step too far, hopefully the advice in this article and video is useful.
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Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.
Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.
Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?
Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°
Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°
Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°
Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW
Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°
Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
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