54 Vs 56 Wedge — Which Wedge Is Better?

54 vs 56 Wedge and Picking One to Be a Better Wedge

Any golfer looking to score better knows he needs to have a sharp short game. Picking the right wedges to play with is an important part of assembling your golf bag. However, there are a lot of wedges to choose from.

Have you ever wondered whether you should put a 54 vs a 56 degree wedge in your bag? What’s the difference between the two clubs?

The Tell Me More golf pros are going to explain the differences between the 54 and 56 degree wedges and how you can fit them into your golf bag to ensure you’ve got the versatility to attack the pin and go low.

54 vs 56 Wedge and Picking One to Be a Better Wedge

Picking One: Which Wedge Is Better?

54 vs 56 wedge loft of wedges in iron set for tell me more golf

There are several factors into picking which wedge is better for you and your game. The difference in loft is only 2 degrees, but those two degrees can put a significant gap in the loft between your gap wedge and your lob wedge.

Distance control is critical with wedge shots, so understanding the yardage on your full shots, as well as chip shots and pitch shots, will go a long way towards making the right decision based on your game.

Loft of Wedges in Iron Set

Many iron sets available on the market come with a pitching wedge and a gap wedge in the bag. A pitching wedge loft is normally between 43 and 47 degrees.

A gap wedge is normally between 50 and 54 degrees.

For example, if your pitching wedge is 47 degrees, and your gap wedge is 52 degrees, to keep the 4 degree gap that most players like between wedges, the 56 degree sand wedge would be an excellent choice.

Buying a Set of Wedges

If, however, you will not keep the wedges that came with your irons, then you will want to gap them based on the loft on your 9 iron.

If your 9-iron is 42 degrees of loft, you’ll want to get a pitching wedge with around a 46 degree loft. Then you’ll want a gap wedge with 50 degrees of loft and a sand wedge with 54 degrees of loft.

Mizuno, Titleist Vokey, Callaway, TaylorMade and Cleveland make some of the best wedges you can purchase with varying degrees of loft and degrees of bounce to fit your game.

How Many Wedges You Can Carry

Count your clubs plus your putter up to the 9-iron and subtract that from 14 to see how many wedges you can carry in your bag. If you’re carrying a Driver, 3-Wood, 5-Wood, and you have a 3-iron in the bag, you’ll only be able to carry three wedges.

If the set-up skips the 3-iron then you can carry 4 wedges. It’s important to gap the differences between the loft of clubs properly so there are no gaps larger than 4% or 5% throughout your bag.

Depending on your game and the courses you play, you may need the extra club on the low-iron side of the bag, or on the wedge side.

Your Skill Level

PGA Tour players typically prefer wedges with a low bounce. This is because they are adept at opening the clubface to hit a variety of shots around the green like bunker shots and chipping from tight lies.

Beginners should look at clubs with a higher bounce. This allows them to keep the clubface square when hitting the golf ball, without the leading edge digging into the ground.

For most golfers, wedges with medium or high bounce are a solid choice. This gives the golfer the flexibility to open the face when necessary, which also increases the bounce angle.

There is no one-size fits all set of wedges for your golf game. Everyone’s swing and game is different, so it pays to take the time to do some research and find the wedges with the right loft and bounce for your game.


With two degrees more of loft, the 56 degree wedge can hit the ball higher and have it land softer and with more backspin than a 54 degree wedge.

On average, golfers can hit a 56 degree wedge about 85 yards.

This average depends on the skill, the power of the golfer, and the type of shot they are hitting. Full shots can go 10 to 20 yards further, three-quarter shots 5 to 10 yards less.

A 56 degree wedge is a solid choice if it’s the highest lofted wedge you can put into your bag. With the additional loft you can still comfortably hit bunker shots, flop shots, and other tricky shots around the green.


Benefits Of A 54 Wedge + Average Distance

With two degrees less loft, the 54 degree wedge is sometimes called a strong sand wedge. The ball will have a lower, more piercing ball flight and land with less backspin than a 56 degree wedge.

On average, golfers can hit a 54 degree wedge around 95 yards.

This average depends on the skill, the power of the golfer, and the type of shot they are hitting. Full shots can go 10 to 20 yards further, three-quarter shots 5 to 10 yards less.

Having a strong sand wedge in your bag is valuable because of its versatility. It’s a sand wedge so it’s great for bunker shots, but with a few degrees less loft you can feel comfortable chipping and hitting pitch shots around the green.

Different Wedge Setup Examples

Deciding how many wedges you want to or can carry, depending on what is in your golf bag, is an important step in selecting the correct wedges.

Spacing of Gap Between Degrees of Clubs

Try to avoid spacing of over 5% when selecting wedges, starting off of your 9-iron or whatever is the highest lofted club in your bag before choosing a 54 degree or 56 degree wedge.

The Bounce of the Wedge

A drier, firmer course might require you to select wedges with a low bounce. Courses that are moister or have fluffy bunkers might need wedges with a higher bounce.

The angle of attack of your swing is also something to consider when looking at the bounce on their wedges.

Here are different wedge set-up examples based on the clubs in the bag:

3 Available Wedges – 9 Iron 40 Degrees

Pitching Wedge – 45 Degrees LoftGap Wedge – 50 Degrees LoftSand Wedge – 54 Degrees Loft

3 Available Wedges – 9 Iron 42 Degrees

Pitching Wedge – 47 Degrees LoftGap Wedge – 52 Degrees LoftSand Wedge – 56 Degrees Loft

4 Available Wedges – 9 Iron 40 Degrees

Pitching Wedge – 45 DegreesGap Wedge – 50 DegreesSand Wedge – 54 DegreesLob Wedge – 58 Degrees

4 Available Wedges – 9 Iron 42 Degrees

Pitching Wedge – 47 DegreesGap Wedge – 52 DegreesSand Wedge – 56 DegreesLob Wedge – 60 Degrees

FAQ Section

What’s the Difference between a 54 and 56 wedge?

The basic difference between a 54 and a 56 degree wedge is two degrees of loft. Two degrees of loft might not sound like a lot but can be an average of 10 yards in total distance.

If you’re only going to have three wedges in your golf bag, a 56 degree wedge will be useful for shots out of the sand trap, and flop shots.

Another factor to consider is the bounce on the club. A low bounce is great for players who play in firm conditions and take a small divot. A higher bounce for softer conditions and those players who have a steeper angle of attack and take larger divots.

Are They Both Considered Sand Wedges?

The loft of sand wedges is between 54 and 58 degrees, so they consider both the 54 and the 56 degree wedge sand wedges. A 54 degree sand wedge is called a strong sand wedge since it has less loft.

What is the loft difference between 54 degree and 56 degree wedges?

There is a two degrees difference in loft between a 54 degree wedge and a 56 degree wedge. The two degrees difference in loft can equal to 10-15 yards distance on full shots.

A 54 degree wedge will hit lower shots, further, with less backspin. The 56 degree wedge will hit the ball higher, shorter, and it will land more softly with more backspin on the ball.

Conclusion: Research by Tellmemoregolf.com

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Putting a 54 versus a 56 degree wedge in the bag can be a tough decision as there are many factors in play dictating which might be the better club for your game.

If it’s the highest lofted club, you can fit into your bag, then the 56 is a superb choice. If you can still add a higher degree lob wedge, you’ll have even more options for scoring shots from the fairway and around the green.

Your swing and the course you play can dictate the type of bounce you’ll need to hit crispy shots at the pin. Do your research and find the right 54 or 56 degree wedge to put into your golf bag and watch your short game improve quickly.


Patrick Corley

From a golf scholarship to a Southern California University, to a private golf coaching career and an instructor position at a nonprofit organization, I’m here to help you get better at golf! With my 50+ years of golf experience; I bring you Tell Me More Golf. A golf coaching website that helps your game with instructional golfing content that’s ultimately geared toward making you a better golfer and having more fun!
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