How to Pick the Proper Loft of 3 Wood for Your Game

Depending on who you talk too, selecting the proper 3 wood is a challenging task. Some styles are designed to fit your eye and others are like having a useless stick in your hand. After going through my fitting, I think I have an understanding on how to pick the proper loft of 3 wood for your game. It is not a difficult chore, but does take a bit of effort.

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The Loft of Your Favorite Wedge

I like to ask inquisitive questions to get the mental juices flowing. Every once in a while, the question sparks an usually high quantity of responses that garners some very interesting findings. A couple of days ago, my question about your favorite wedge was just enough to get the ball rolling. Additionally, I found out something that I had suspected, but no can confirm as an interesting phenomenon that affects virtually all golfers who carry more than one wedge.

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Choosing a New Wedge

Today I received an email from a friend asking about wedges.  He is a good golfer and getting better all the time.  He was talking about which wedge he needed from 110 yards. As we had played quite often, I was familiar with his game and was able to explain that he required a 52 degree wedge.  As our discussion continued I realized that selecting the correct club is very important to all aspects of your game.  So I did some research and this is what I came up with:

Pitching Wedge

A pitching wedge has a loft of about 48 degrees.  This club comes with most sets and is used for long approach shots.  The distance varies, but I suggest that it is used by most amateurs from 130 yards or closer.

Gap Wedge

Gap wedges range from 50 and 54 degrees. The distance the ball travels varies from about 110 to about 75 yards.  It allows for a bit of action on the ball and probably used most of the time.

Sand Wedge

Sand wedges range from 54 to 58 degrees.  Many players use a sand wedge for some approach shots as well as sand shots.

Lob Wedge

Lob wedges range from 58 and 62 degrees. The lob wedge allows for a greater amount of spin and is used to fly over hazards or when you are pin hunting.

One of the things to be aware of when purchasing a wedge is the bounce.  The conditions of the course, especially the traps, will determine the bounce required when using a  wedge.  See for an explanation on bounce.

I use a 48 degree pitching wedge, 52 degree gap wedge, a 56 degree sand wedge and a 60 degree lob wedge.  I have experimented with different lofts, but I have found that these wedges work best for my game.

Now back to my friend.  Ultimately he made the best decision.  He decided to try out a few wedges before making his purchase.  He was going to try wedges with different loft, brand and bounce.  I suggested that it was a great idea and thus has sparked the reason for this blog.

When picking a club, I recommend that you go the to range, golf store, putting green and practice with your intended choice.  Most courses have demo wedges/clubs and will allow you to take them on the course for a test run.  By doing a bit of research before you buy, you will be happy with your choice and likely lower your score.

How you do you pick your clubs?