How Many Wedges Should I Carry In My Golf Bag?

How many wedges should you carry? Here, we take a look at the possible options for your game

How Many Wedges Should I Use
(Image credit: Kevin Murray)

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.

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 (opens in new tab), 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°.

How Many Wedges Should I Use

Wedges also offer a variety of bounces and grinds.

(Image credit: Kevin Murray)

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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.

How Many Wedges Should I Use

How many wedges do you carry?

(Image credit: Kevin Murray)

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.

How Many Wedges Should I Use

(Image credit: Kevin Murray)
Matt Cradock
Freelance Staff Writer

Matt studied Sports Journalism at Southampton Solent University, graduating in 2019. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly and the PGA, he covers all aspects of the game, from Tour news to equipment testing and buyers’ guides. Taking up the game at the age of six, Matt currently holds a handicap of 3 and despite not having a hole in one…yet, he has had two albatrosses. His favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.