As a beginner golfer, you want to ensure that you are equipped with the best equipment that will see you progressing in the game and developing with each shot. Golf clubs can be a costly investment and for this reason, you want to ensure that you are purchasing ones that are going to be influential upon your improvement in the game.
You may find that you take up golf only to discover that it isn't a hobby that you want to pursue. This could result in an expensive but wasted investment.
For this reason, as a beginner, you don't want to buy a huge variety of clubs only to find that half of them aren't put to use. It is worth investing in the essential wedges before progressing onto a more advanced set while you develop a feel for the game. If you enjoy playing golf you may then decide to invest in some more expensive wedges at a later stage.
A golf wedge belongs to the iron family of clubs and is intended to be used on shorter and sharper shafts. A wedge tends to have a heavier clubhead than most other clubs along with a higher loft and shorter shaft.
Wedges are intended for achieving shots with higher flight and greater accuracy. In fact, according to research, wedges are used to achieve a quarter of all shorts on the course, hence why many would consider them to be a vital aspect of the game. Not only are they helpful to beginners but those who typically struggle to progress through the course are also likely to benefit from the use of a wedge.
With a greater emphasis on control rather than power, a wedge helps to get the ball closer to the hole. Increased ball flight can be achieved as a result of the high loft.
Some wedges may be easier to hit than others and for these reasons, beginner golfers, in particular, may develop a preference towards a particular type of golf wedge. Golf wedges can be identified by the four following categories and you may require a varied use of each depending on the shot. The golf wedge configurations are as follows a pitching wedge, a gap wedge, a lob wedge, and a sand wedge.
As high lofted clubs they can reach a varied distance expanding from 40 - 120 yards. Out of all of the clubs available, golf wedges have the highest loft and this can vary from 45 to 64 degrees.
Getting to grips with the golf jargon can seem a little overwhelming, particularly if this is the first time you've ever stumbled across a wedge and you’re a little uncertain as to how it is intended to be used.
Most golf club sets contain a total of 12 clubs, this includes three kinds of wood, seven irons, and a putter. You will likely have a hybrid of some kind in your club set too. The amount of clubs that you are already carrying inside your golf bag is likely to determine how many wedges you can carry. Some golf sets will contain this amount while others may contain more or less.
If you are unable to carry a selection of wedges, as a beginner you should aim to carry a sand wedge. As your skill develops you may then swap this out for another wedge or you may choose to alter the contents of your golf bag so that it contains fewer clubs and more wedges.
For those that are unfamiliar as to what wedges should be contained inside your golf bag, there isn’t a specific amount that you are expected to carry. There are rules in place that suggest you must use a pitching wedge, a gap wedge, a sand wedge, or a lob wedge. However, when the round begins you are expected to have 14 clubs or less inside your golf bag. As a beginner, you are likely to have a preference for a specific wedge that you feel is the most beneficial for your game.
Below, we have identified the intended purpose of each individual golf wedge and how they can be beneficial throughout different parts of the game.
A Sand Wedge
A sand wedge is designed with an open face. As its name suggests its primary purpose is to get the ball out of the sand bunkers. Courtesy of the wider sole, it has a greater amount of bounce which can make it difficult to use on harder surfaces. Despite a sand wedge being made to serve this primary purpose, it can also be used on the fairway. A sand wedge is in fact considered to be the best option for beginners as it is a high lofted club. Many golfers would agree that a sand wedge is a vital addition to your golf bag.
A Gap Wedge
Gap wedges are referred to as the middle option between a pitching wedge and a sand wedge. It is intended to be used to achieve greater control on shorter shorts. A ball that is hit with a gap wedge should have a higher flight. A wedge of this kind should be used on shots that are too short and high to be hit with a pitching wedge and shots that are too low and long to achieve with a sand wedge.
A Pitching Wedge
A pitching wedge tends to have the lowest loft as little as 45 degrees and is typically used for hitting shots with a high and short trajectory. It is often sought after by golfers who want to gain greater distance on their shot. A pitching one is one of the most commonly used and while it is commonly sought after by advanced players, as a beginner you may not choose to use this kind of wedge until your experience has developed and you have gained more confidence in the game. However, depending on the loft of your pitching wedge as a beginner you may find this type to be the easiest to come to grips with.
A Lob Wedge
This wedge is also known as a lofted wedge or an L-wedge. A lob wedge provides more loft on each shot. Your lob wedge shouldn't have a loft that is greater than 60 degrees. This kind of wedge is used on shots with a high arc. You will often find that golfers used this wedge to achieve greater shots over hazards and other obstructions you may stumble upon as you progress through the course. A lob wedge can be a little difficult to hit and so you may choose to advance to this wedge once you have developed your confidence with the skill primarily.
What are the best wedges for beginners?
Below, we have identified our top picks of some of the best wedges available that we would consider to be worthy of a purchase. Of course, the market offers many different options and you are likely to make your choice based upon your preference and feel for the wedge.
For players who struggle with the short game, the C3i wedge has been specifically designed to make shorter shots easier. It is a very forgiving wedge and features a bevelled leading edge which allows for consistent contact.
Something we particularly favor is the 65-degree loft which requires little effort to hit the ball high. You don’t need to have a particular swing technique to achieve impressively high shots when using this wedge.
Courtesy of the higher center of gravity you are also provided with greater stability upon impact. All in all, this wedge is effective in making shots much easier to achieve.
Wilson is a brand that is renowned for producing excellent quality clubs and the Harmonized Golf Wedge is no exception. Courtesy of its solid build, this wedge delivers impressive performance.
With a particular focus upon accuracy, the sole grind allows players to achieve higher shots, and the blade shape provides enhanced versatility in the sand, rough, or fairway.
It’s also forgiving which allows for greater consistency in achieving clean shots. A quality wedge that isn’t going to break the bank.
Another dominant brand within the golfing industry is Cleveland. As a cavity-backed wedge, it provides you with greater flexibility in each shot and the dynamic sole offers greater versatility to hit a variety of shots on the course with success.
Thanks to the hollow cavity design additional weight is evenly distributed for greater forgiveness in each shot. Aside from this it also features 3 different grinds for enhanced versatility to ensure that this wedge performs well in the sand and turf.
With a focus on game improvement, this is a great addition to a beginner's golf bag.
What should a beginner look for in a golf wedge?
As a beginner, a golf wedge that offers maximum forgiveness is going to be essential. Forgiveness refers to the construction elements of the club or wedge that reduce the impact of a poor swing.
As expected a club has maximum forgiveness if they offer lots of these features in their design. A cavity design or perimeter weighting is going to be preferable for beginners as these kinds of clubs have greater forgiveness. As your skill develops you may then decide to venture into clubs and wedges with a different design.
The wedge bounce is known as the area of the club that comes into contact with the ground when you are hitting the ball. The bounce promotes greater contact and control along with improved ball spin.
Ideally, a beginner golfer should opt for a wedge with a medium bounce. This is commonly opted for amongst players who are hoping to achieve greater accuracy in the distance of their shots as well as improved control.
As you embark on your journey around the course it is preferable to have a range of wedges available. You will find that some wedges are considered to be more versatile than others.
A pitching wedge is deemed to be one of the most versatile as it is suitable for hitting a range of shots. As you develop a feel for each of the wedges you will find that they are likely to cope better in different course conditions and different swings.
Unfortunately, your golf wedges aren’t going to last forever, regardless of their build quality, at some point, they are going to begin to deteriorate.
Typically, a wedge is expected to last for around 65-75 rounds before displaying any visible signs of deterioration in quality. As such when this does become an issue it is highly likely to impact your performance. When in peak condition, your wedge should improve your confidence allowing you to develop your game improvement.
Unlike most other clubs, the market offers some pretty affordable wedges that aren’t going to break the bank. Of course, they are likely to cost more than a hundred dollars, however, this should be expected if you are looking for a high-quality wedge.
The price can also differ between the brands. As a beginner, if you are on a budget, as you browse through the selection available you will find that there are many great value options on offer.
A wedge is intended to provide you with control rather than power hence why they are often used by beginners or those who are looking to improve their shots. A sand wedge, a pitching wedge, a gap wedge, and a lob wedge can each come in useful in their own way.
While many would suggest that a sand wedge is an essential addition to a beginner's golf bag others may argue that a pitching wedge is more valuable to the game and improvement. It is likely that as you develop a feel for these wedges you may develop a preference towards one in particular.
You aren’t required to carry all of these wedges inside your golf bag right away and you may find that you reach for one wedge in particular over the others. As your confidence develops in using a particular wedge, you can then begin to introduce the other options to the game to aid in improving your skills further.