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Lob Wedge vs Sand Wedge: What’s the Difference?

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting in the golf world, you’ve probably heard of both lob wedges and sand wedges. But, what’s the difference between them? Which one should you be using?

Well, we’ll break it down for you and help you figure out which wedge is best for your game!

Is There a Difference Between the Lob and Sand Wedge?

As the names suggest, the lob wedge is designed for loftier shots meant to fly high and land softly. This wedge type is ideal for short-distance finesse shots that need a bit more heft than your average pitching wedge.

Sand wedges, on the other hand, are built for a lower trajectory and greater distance. The flatter design gives you more control over your shots, especially when hitting out of wet or compact sand.

The lob wedge is generally built with a shallower angle, around 58 – 64 degrees of loft, than the sand wedge, around 54 – 57 degrees. This means that it’s easier to get under the ball and hit upwards for loftier shots.

Why Do You Need a Sand Wedge?

The sand wedge is a necessity for anybody who plays on a course with bunkers or even just tends to miss the ball when hitting from the grass.

If you’re a golfer who has trouble getting shots to fly where you want, the sand wedge will help you hit higher and harder without sacrificing accuracy. This means that if you’re looking for more power but need that accuracy to stay in the fairway, then this is the club you need!

Why Do You Need a Lob Wedge?

If you’re a pro or just someone who loves to use short-distance finesse shots, then the lob wedge is perfect for you. With its shallower angle and smaller head, it provides more control in your swings.

The flatter design also makes this club great for hitting the ball out of the sand.

The Normal Order of the Wedges

When it comes to the golf wedge in your bag, there’s a specific order that you should be using them. Here’s a breakdown of the normal order of the wedges and when you should be using them.

Pitching Wedge

This is your go-to club for most short distance shots around the green. The pitching wedge is designed for accuracy and control, so use it when you need to make a precise shot.

Iron Wedge

The iron wedge is perfect for shots that need more distance than a pitching wedge can provide. Use this club when you’re out on the fairway and need to hit the ball further towards the green.

Sand Wedge

As its name suggests, the sand wedge is designed for shots in the sand. The flatter design and greater surface area means that this club provides excellent control when you’re trying to hit out of wet or compact sand.

Lob Wedge

Perfect for loftier finesse shots, the lob wedge is built with a shallower angle than your average pitching wedge. This wedge is designed for shots that need more heft but still need to travel a shorter distance.

Which Wedge Is Best for You?

If you’re an average golfer or are just beginning to learn the game, then it would probably be best to go for the lob wedge. These wedges were designed with versatility in mind and can help players of all skill levels execute different shots when on the course.

On the other hand, if you’re a more experienced golfer, you might want to opt for a sand wedge to give yourself maximum control over your shots. These wedges are excellent for deep bunkers or if you’re simply looking for more distance off the tee.

Do I Need a Lob Wedge in My Bag?

The best way to determine whether or not you need a lob wedge in your bag is by finding out how far you typically hit the ball. If you have an average range of about 150 yards, then a pitching wedge should suffice for most shots around the green.

However, a lob wedge might be a wiser choice if you tend to hit it further than that. As always, the best way to determine which specific club you should use is by practicing different types of shots on an actual golf course.

Should High Handicappers Use a Lob Wedge?

A high handicapper is someone who struggles to hit the ball squarely and usually “hosel” it. This refers to when you hook or slice the ball because of a bad swing. If this sounds like you, you’ll benefit from using a lob wedge instead of iron or sand wedges.

The lower angle on these designs allows you to make a more controlled and accurate swing. This will help you make the ball go where you want, which means that even if it doesn’t end up in the fairway, at least it’ll be somewhere close.

Choosing Wedges for Your Golf Bag

When you decide to have different wedges in your golf bag, here are the steps you should follow.

Step 1: Check Current Equipment

At this point, you should check the wedges that are already in your equipment. If there’s a pitching wedge and an iron wedge, then you’re good. If there’s only one type of wedge, then it’s better to replace it with another club instead of having two of them for no reason. 

Step 2: Calculate Necessary Lofts

The first step to finding the right wedge for yourself is determining your ideal loft angle. A lob wedge will be perfect if you’re an average golfer because it has the shallowest angle out of all types of wedges.

However, it’s best for high handicappers to replace iron wedges with sand wedges instead, as these are designed to give you more control.

Step 3: Determine Wedge Behavior on Golf Course Soil Conditions

This step determines the behavior of your wedge on the course’s soil conditions, so it’s vital. If there are no specific soil conditions (dry or wet) for your course, then it’s not essential. But, if there are, you should choose the one that best fits your game. 

For example, if dry soil conditions surround you, then it might be best to get a pitching wedge with grooves on its face that promote penetrating power and high spin rates. 

On the other hand, if there are very wet conditions, you should consider getting a sand wedge because it will help improve your feel of the ball.

Step 4: Choose the Type of Shaft

Once everything is settled, choose what type of shaft you want to have. If you’re someone who doesn’t have any problems with his/her golfing ability, then the shaft should be the same as that of the other clubs in your bag.

However, if you’re a high handicapper, then it’s best to choose a shaft that’s lightweight and has significant flexibility.

Step 5: Choose the Best Grip for Your Hand Size and Style of Swing

As you probably already know, the grip is an integral part of your golf club. It’s what you’re going to use for a connection between your hand and the club, so it needs to fit well with your body in order for you to be able to perform at optimum levels!

If you have a smaller hand size, then it’s best to get a small grip. A medium-sized grip is ideal for average hand sizes, while larger grips are perfect for players with large hands. 

Also, if you happen to have a slower swing speed, like the chip shot, then it’s recommended that you get a smaller size. Soft and thin grips are optimal in these scenarios. On the other hand, faster swings, like the full shot, may require medium to large-sized grips.

Step 6: Figure Out Bounce

This is an extremely important step. Before you get your new wedge, make sure that its bounce angle matches the loft of your pitching wedge. Bounce is the angle at which your club’s sole gets up from the ground when striking a shot.

If you have a lob wedge with too much bounce, it should be precisely the opposite. You need to figure out which bounce angle is best for your game and what’s comfortable in terms of striking the ball, so you should do some research before buying a wedge.

Final Thoughts

Your golf game is not complete without a sand wedge and a lob wedge. The difference between the two wedges is in how high of an angle they can hit from. Therefore, it’s essential that you understand what each one does before you decide whether or not you need them in your bag!

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