Be a real golfer: your guide to the gap wedge

Mike Stachura

The gap wedge is the result of manufacturers wanting you to believe you hit your new 9-iron 10 yards farther than your old 9-iron, when, in fact, all they did was reduce the loft of your new 9-iron, so it’s really your old 8-iron. That’s why you need a gap wedge.

Say you hit your 9-iron 135 yards and your sand wedge 85 yards. you’ve got 50 yards to cover but perhaps only a pitching wedge to do it. As they say in the backroads of Maine, “you can’t get there from here.” These are your scoring clubs, and precision is key. you can’t be precise hitting half and three-quarter shots with longer clubs. you need a gap wedge.

“I tell people to look at the highest-lofted club and the loft of the highest-numbered iron in their bag,” says Ping’s lead wedge designer, Mike Nicollette. “Then it’s just math to work out how many clubs they want to fit in that gap.”

Most sets today include the option of adding a gap wedge (usually 49 to 54 degrees of loft) to fill that void from pitching wedge (45 to 48 degrees) to sand wedge (55 to 60). Also, you’ll want as much forgiveness in the design of your gap wedge because it will be a full-swing club much more than a finesse club. The gap wedge also has the benefit of less bounce (the sole angle), which makes it more effective for hitting running chip shots off tight lies.

COPYRIGHT 2006 Golf Digest Companies

COPYRIGHT 2008 Gale, Cengage Learning

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