52 Degree Wedge - What It's Used for and Other Recommendations
If one of your golf clubs is not a 52-degree gap wedge, then you certainly need to keep reading. The skilled minds at Tell Me More Golf believe the 52 degree wedge is so versatile, golfers can quickly improve their wedge game and short game when they add this club to their golf bags.
Because this club has so many uses, it adds more shot options to your golf game and gives you confidence from a variety of distances and lies.
What Is A 52 Degree Wedge Used For
When we talk about a 52-degree wedge we are referring to the gap between most golfers’ pitching wedge and their sand wedge. A pitching wedge generally has about 47 degrees of loft, while a sand wedge has about 56-degrees of loft. That disparity in a loft is what created such a great opportunity to add to your golf bag a club that can be used for approach shots, chip shots, and even bunker shots.
The primary use of a gap wedge is to give golfers a club for the yardage between the pitching wedge and sand wedge.
So many weekend warriors take advice from their buddies. While their hearts are always in the right place, their advice might not stack up. They are told that they need a sand wedge and a lob wedge in their bags. Unless you are a 10 handicap or less, you do not need a 60-degree wedge in your bag. This means that if you have 14 clubs in your bag now, feel free to remove the lob wedge. The sand wedge or 56-degree wedge has so much versatility and options for different features like varied sole grinds, that you really do not need a lob wedge.
Opt for the 52-degree wedge instead. Because it has so many uses, you will quickly get comfortable using it in many situations. Depending on your clubhead speed, you can use the gap wedge from the fairway, or rough from 80-125 yards (or more). The gap wedge also has custom grind options like the sand wedge. This means that you can get a club that is fit for you, and not just another matching club. For example, I have Srixon irons up through the pitching wedge.
My 52-degree wedge is a Cleveland, my sand wedge is a Titleist Vokey and my lob wedge is a Callaway Mack Daddy. These clubs allow me to have every shot I need in the bag, not because they are different brands, but because each one is custom for my game and gives me confidence when I am hitting different shots into and around the green.
52-Degree Wedge Distance
The full swing distance of a gap wedge is going to vary by golfer but generally, a full shot with this wedge will travel up to 125 yards. Of course, it varies but most golfers hit their 52-degree wedge about 100 yards. This means that you do not have to try and finesse a pitching wedge or power through a sand wedge. Rather, you can take a full swing knowing that the golf ball will go about 100 yards. This means that you know what yardage to lay up to on par 5’s or shorter par 4’s.
PGA Tour players all have a gap wedge in the bag. Every golf course that they play calls for having this club in the bag. Whether it is from the rough, or from tight lies, professionals can control the clubface of a gap wedge. Like professionals, you have many different choices in club selection. If you decide to take our advice and put a 52-degree wedge in your bag, below are some suggestions to consider.
CBX 2 Wedge – Cleveland Golf is so well known for their wedges including the CBX 2. This is an extremely versatile wedge for golfers of all skill levels. It has a slightly larger and more forgiving clubhead along with the Cleveland RTX Zipcore technology for added spin and control.
Taylormade Hi-Toe Wedge – As much as Taylormade is known for its drivers and irons, their wedges do not get as much love. The Hi-Toe RAW wedge has a face built for different lies and launches the ball lower with more spin. The Taylormade Milled Grind provides a more traditional look with a similar feel to the Hi-Toe.
Cobra Wedge – This club has SNAKEBITE grooves and a forgiving profile to give you confidence on approach shots and shorter shots around the greens.
Mizuno T-22 Wedge – Mizuno’s craftsmanship is second to none. This wedge is built for looks and feel with different options for different conditions.
Callaway – As Callaway continues to innovate, they certainly hit the mark with the Callaway Jaws MD5. This club has tremendous durability and playability from tight fairway lies and deep rough.
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Situations To Use A 52 Degree Wedge
If you have not picked up on it yet, we highly recommend that you have a 52-degree wedge in the bag. Heck, it could be a 50 or 54-degree wedge as long as it fits that gap between missing yardages. The right clubs in your wedge set will result in lower scoring and more confidence from 125 yards and in. With all that said, when will you use a 52-degree wedge? Let’s go through some common scenarios where the shot calls for a gap wedge.
- 80-125 yards from the green – Yes, we’ve referenced this yardage range several times. But, having watched enough high handicappers pull out a sand wedge and try to hit it as hard as they can only to come up short, I can attest that so many would benefit from a club that allows a full swing at this yardage.
- Longer chip shots – The 52-degree wedge lets you hit a quality chip shot with some spin and roll out. The gap wedge can be great around the greens when you want a lower trajectory but do not want to club down to a pitching wedge.
- Bunker shots – Gap wedges are a great choice for bunker shots, especially longer ones with more green between you and the flag.
Heavy rough – Because a gap wedge has the clubhead profile of a sand wedge, it will more easily cut through rough than a standard iron. Whether high, mid, or low bounce, the 52-degree wedge can really cut through the thick grass.
Frequently Asked Questions: Pitching
How far do you hit a 52 degree wedge?
The distance that you hit your 52-degree wedge or ‘gap wedge’ will depend on your clubhead speed and ability to hit the sweet spot. In general, most golfers will hit the gap wedge about 100 yards making it a great addition to fill in that missing yardage and allowing golfers to take a full swing instead of trying to hit a sand wedge harder or trying to finesse a pitching wedge.
Is a 52 or 56 wedge better?
Both are necessary. As mentioned early, it is my professional opinion that golfers with a handicap higher than 10 do not need a lob wedge. So, if you are looking to remove a club, that should be the first one to go. A 56-degree wedge or sand wedge is also a necessary club. Neither is better. They both serve different purposes in your game.
Is a pitching wedge 52 degrees?
No, a pitching wedge is generally between 46 and 48 degrees of loft. If you bent your pitching wedge to 52-degrees, you would create a gap between your pitching wedge and 9-iron. So, it is best to keep your pitching wedge at its current loft and add a gap wedge.
What is the best bounce for a 52 degree wedge?
While this is going to have some variation based on what type of course you play, the standard advice would be 10-degrees of bounce for a 52-degree wedge. This gives you versatility from all lies in the fairway, rough, and bunkers. It also allows for a little more forgiveness. A low bounce gap wedge can be used if you have heavy rough, but our recommendation is to stick with a bounce around 10-degrees.
Conclusion: Research by TellMeMoreGolf.com
As a junior playing in golf tournaments up and down the east coast, I have encountered a number of different types of grasses. This makes me qualified to say that a gap wedge has so much potential to improve your game.
The 52-degree wedge can be a go-to club for so many different golf shots, from around the greens to longer shots from the fairway and rough. If you are not currently gaming a gap wedge or 52-degree wedge, you should really consider this very versatile golf club.
The experts at Tell Me More Golf can confidently say that your golf game will thank you.
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