Lob wedges have recently become ubiquitous in golfer’s bags. These high lofted wedges make hitting high launching, shot landing shots easier. Many players have adopted these clubs are their go-to wedge for greenside bunkers when attacking difficult pins.
Finding a lob wedge that matches your swing and determining when to use this club can be tricky. The market for this specialized wedge has grown and weekend golfers have begun to choose this club more and more, we found it important to help you understand the components that make this club work and which model is right for your game. Below, we will take a look at each aspect of this club and how they all work together to help golfers utilize this advanced wedge.
Top 5 Best Lob Wedges
When Do You Use A Lob Wedge?
Lob wedges are often used from distances inside 100 yards when golfers feel comfortable making great contact. Due to the increased loft of this wedge, some golfers may find striking the golf ball consistently to be difficult. This difficulty leads golfers to choose their lob wedges only when near the greens or attacking tucked pins near the edges of greens.
Finding the Right Lob Wedge for Your Golf Game
When selecting a lob wedge, choose a loft that will allow you to carry your golf ball an adequate distance near your nearest wedge. For golfers with 54 degree sand wedges a 58 degree lob wedge may blend well. Other players choosing 56 degrees for their sand wedges may use lofts of 60 and beyond in their lob wedges. Understanding how often you will be hitting this club with full swings and how regularly you will rely on this club around the greens will help you fit your new club to your game.
Spending $150 on another new club for your bag can be difficult to digest. Many budget friendly options can be found that provide outstanding performance. Older model lob wedges can still help you improve your game and give you a new array of greenside shots without breaking the bank.
Types of Wedges
Other types of wedges should be used with your lob wedge to help you achieve a balanced golf bag. Golfers typically choose between three and four wedges. Set compositions of pitching wedge, sand wedge, and lob wedge or pitching wedges, gap wedges, sand wedges, and lob wedges respectfully. Knowing which set is best for you is player specific but generally, a four wedge setup is recommended.
Pitching Wedges (PW)
Pitching Wedges are often sold alongside golf iron sets. These pitching wedges will have lofts that compliment the adjacent 9-iron loft. These clubs are typically around 45 and 46 degrees of loft but may go up to 48 degrees in more bladed iron models. It is important that all golfers understand their iron lofts and have them tested once a year to ensure they are in proper increments.
Gap Wedges (GW)
Gap Wedges help to complete the distance gaps left behind by stronger lofted pitching wedges and 54 to 56 degree sand wedges. Using a gap wedge with between 50 and 52 degrees of loft often times helps golfers get more from their short games.
Sand Wedges (SW)
Sand Wedges can be the highest lofted wedge for golfers choosing not to include a lob wedge into their set. This has become less common and most golfers use sand wedges between 54 and 56 degrees. These clubs are built to be versatile so golfers can hit many shots from near the green and fringes.
Lob Wedges (LW)
Lob Wedges are specifically designed with lofts 58 degrees and above and give golfers more options to hit creative shots to pins. Lob wedges have become important as green speeds have increased and pins become more challenging targets. Skilled golfers can use these wedge to hit high flying flop shots or high spinning chips around undulating greens.
Each wedge is built to perform specific tasks around their standard lofts. Pitching wedges and gap wedges are design predominately for fuller golf shots into greens from the fairways and roughs. Sand and lob wedges are designed for full shots as well as partial, chip, and pitch shots from fairways, roughs, bunkers, and hazards. These intended uses make the design of each wedge unique even among their shared components.
The clubhead of all Wedges are made up of:
Sole = This part of the clubhead determines how the club will interact with the turf before, during, and after impact.
Bounce and Grind =The bounce and grind of a wedge has a critical impact on how it plays when golfers manipulate the angle of the clubface when striking the golf ball. More on each of these later.
Face and Grooves =Wedge clubfaces are cut with grooves that help retain spin rates when golf balls are struck from the rough and tall grasses found around golf courses. These highly specialized faces help golfers stop their golf ball on the greens with pinpoint accuracy.
Wedge are classified based on their lofts and thus, the loft of each wedge has profound implications on that club’s performance. The loft will largely dictate how far the golf ball travels when struck with the club. Golfers should strive to space the lofts of their wedges so their carry distances have no more than 12-15 yards of separation between each club.
The bounce of a golf club is determined by measuring the angle created by the leading edge and the ground when the club is placed squarely behind a golf ball. This angle can vary from 4 degrees up to 14 degrees and beyond. Understanding your swing characteristics and the types of course conditions you play in most will determine which club bounces are matched to you.
Types of Bounce Wedges:
Low Bounce Wedges (4-6 degrees) = are designed for shallow swing golfers who play predominately on firm, dry golf courses. These low bounce options are popular in lob wedges for their ability to glide between tight lies and the golf ball for high flop shots.
Mid Bounce Wedges (8-10 degrees) =are designed for a wide range of golfers and most sand wedges will come stock with these bounces. These bounces help blend full swings and low velocity chip shots for different situations on the golf course.
High Bounce Wedges (12 + degrees)=are designed for wedges that will be used mostly on full swings or on golf course that usually play wet and soft. These bounces can offer golfers more forgiveness but sacrifice versatility when chipping around the greens. Players struggling from bunkers may also find relief in full sole and high bounce wedges.
Beyond just the bounce angle, the grind on the sole of your wedge will determine its playability in various lies and with changing face angles. Grind shapes help golfers use one wedge to hit many different shots through face manipulation and different swings. Recently, sand and lob wedges with crescent shaped grinds have gained popularity for their ability to reduce the effective bounce angles of the club when the face is opened. This shape allows the wedge to sit more closely to the ground with an open face to helps golfers hit high flop shots while still maintaining forgiveness on full shots when the clubface is square.
Finishes are coated to wedge to help improve durability and reduce sunlight glare. The finish on each of your wedges should be something you enjoy looking at. In your higher lofted sand and lob wedges, a darker finish may help eliminate sunlight glares that can happen during summertime rounds. Player preferences should be catered to with each wedge as the performance is largely unaffected by its color.
Choosing a wedge shaft is often an overlooked part of buying golf clubs. Golfers tend to simply accept whatever shaft the manufacturer places in their model of choice. We believe that wedge should be tested just like your irons and woods and the shafts you choose should reflect those results. Golfers tend to choose wedge shafts that fall into three categories. The first, are the golfers who accept the manufactures shafts and do not alter their wedge. The second, are golfers who match their wedge shafts with the shafts in their irons. Thirdly, golfers may opt to put wedge shafts in play that are heavier in weight but lighter in flex than their iron shafts to help maintain the overall club weights of these shorter golf clubs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Golf wedges encompass a large umbrella of different clubs. Below, we have outlines some frequently asked question that golfers raise when buying their wedge sets.
Q: What Degree is a Pitching Wedge?
A: Pitching Wedges are generally bought in an iron set and will be marked with “P” or “PW.” This can be confusing when attempting to determine what loft your specific club is. Online, club manufacturers will list the lofts and lies of all their clubs in the product spec sheets. We also advise that you take your clubs to a club building expert to have the lofts and lies checked yearly and adjusted to help you hit your ideal distances.
Q: What Degree Should My Sand Wedge Be?
A: Sand Wedges are usually between 54 and 56 degrees. Your sand wedge should be around 4-6 degree separated from you gap and lob wedge clubs. Golfers with 50 degree gap wedges will likely favor 54 or 55 degree sand wedges while golfers with 52 degree gap wedges can find a 56 degree sand wedge to fill their distances more appropriately.
Q: What is a Gap Wedge and Do I Need One?
A: Most golfers will have bags that dictate they include a wedge between their pitching wedge and sand wedge. Gap wedges usually come between 50 and 52 degrees and can be bought as part of your iron sets or as specialized clubs like sand wedge options. Finding a wedge and loft that bridges your carry distances of your pitching wedge and your sand wedge can mean lower scores from a simplified short game.
Top 10 Best Lob Wedges
TaylorMade ATV Wedge
The TaylorMade ATV Wedge is a great option for a versatile lob wedge at an even better price. Golfers get the best of both world by saving money and getting a club that instantly adds improvement to their short games. The ATV wedge is designed with a signature sole from TaylorMade that helps the club hug the ground when the face is open making it ideal for golfers looking to hit flop shots with their lob wedge. Experimenting golfers may find this club to be perfect for exploring additional shots around the greens without making the larger financial investment for higher priced wedges.
TaylorMade Milled Grind Wedge
The TaylorMade Milled Grind Wedge is the most controlled wedge TaylorMade has ever produced. Using a new 100% milling process, TaylorMade build the Milled Grind wedge to the tightest tolerances possible. A winner of Golf Digest’s Gold medal, the Milled Grind wedge is an outstanding performing club for the serious golfer. Played on tour by the likes of Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, and Dustin Johnson, the Milled Grind wedge is great for the better players looking for ultimate playability in a compact wedge.
Mizuno S18 Wedge
Since it was first released in late 2017, the Mizuno S18 Wedge is the perfect solution for the golf purist. Boron Grain Flow forging allows Mizuno to create a wedge that feels as good as their legendary irons. Available in various finishes, lofts, grind and bounces, the S18 wedge earned a Gold medal for its performance, feel, and ability to suit a wide range of golfers. From scratch golfers to high handicap players, the S18 wedge is the best feeling lob wedge in our list.
Mizuno T7 Wedge
The Mizuno T7 Wedge is another offering from Mizuno for the budget conscious. Available at a recently reduced price, the T7 wedge offers any player a great new short game weapon for a fraction of MSRP. Exceptional feel and beautiful aesthetics make the T7 wedge both eye catching and a pleasure to hit.
Wilson Harmonized Wedge
The Wilson Harmonized Wedge may be the best wedge in our list for its price. Available for less $30, the Wilson Harmonized wedge is the perfect option for golfers looking to experiment with new equipment without regretting their purchase. This wedge packs top of the line performance into a simple package that Wilson uses to save customers money. If you are looking for your first lob wedge and are unsure of how you will like this specialized club, the Harmonize is a great first step.
Cleveland RTX 4 Wedge
The Cleveland RTX 4 Wedge is Cleveland Golf’s offering for the player looking to hit a wide variety of short game shots. Featuring bounces in XLOW options, RTX 4 offers golfers more choices for their swings. The RTX’s precision milled face and deep grooves help regulate spin rates from all lies and its tour inspired shape will appeal to a wide range of golfers. While it may not be for everyone, the XLOW option in the RTX 4 wedge makes it a great choice for golfers looking specifically for lob wedges.
Callaway Mack Daddy MD4 Wedge
The Callaway Mack Daddy MD4 Wedge is one of the most consistent wedges ever produced. Groove-in-groove technology allows Callaway to regulate spin rates from anywhere on the course. Roger Cleveland designed shapes and fell coupled with Callaway technology makes the MD4 an obvious choice for Golf Digest’s Gold medal award. With a wide range of lofts, over five bounce and grind combinations and four finishes, there is a MD4 wedge for every golfer.
Cleveland CBX Wedge
The Cleveland CBX Wedge is the most forgiving wedge Cleveland Golf has ever produced. Designed with a cavity back clubhead to mirror modern irons, the CBX wedge is perfect for slower swing players and high handicappers. Any golfer looking to add distance in their wedges will be amazed at the improved ball speeds from the CBX wedge. As lob wedge are difficult to hit due to their loft, the CBX provides relief in the lob wedge category.
The Xe1 Wedge is a departure from the stigma that normally accompanies “as seen on tv” golfing products. The Xe1 wedge is truly special in its ability to help golfers out of bunkers and from tall grass with its wide sole. Golfers may find relief in this club from increased forgiveness and improved launch. If you are looking for help around the greens and inside 100 yards without spending too much the Xe1 wedge is for you.
Ping Glide Wedge 2.0 Wedge
The Ping Glide 2.0 Wedge combines Ping’s advanced engineering process in cavity back iron technology and tour inspired wedge shapes. The Glide 2.0 from Ping was awarded a Gold medal from Golf Digest. Golfers of all abilities will find the increased ball speeds and forgiveness from the Glide 2.0 wedge beneficial in their short games. If you are often coming up short of greens or find lies in the rough difficult to manage, the Glide 2.0 wedge may offer improved performance in your hands.
What Lob Wedge Should You Buy?
Understanding how you intend to use your lob wedge is most important when considering which model to buy. For golfer looking simply to add another club for full swing distances inside 100 yards, full sole lob wedges around 58 degrees of loft may be best. Golfers looking to add versatility to their short game and give them more options around the greens may find crescent shaped lower bounce options to give them an advantage accessing pins. Testing these clubs for their distance as well as, their playability on particular and chip shots can give golfers insight into how each model performers in their hands. Focus on lofts, grinds, and bounce angles when testing different wedges to help guarantee that your new club is adding new facets to your golf game. Thanks for reading.