Luke is an avid weekend-warrior golfer from the East Coast who plays golf more than he cares to admit.
Cue the epic debate of what is the official sand wedge degree!
Sand wedge degree answer:
Sand wedges are either 54 or 56 degrees and the two different lofts of wedges are preferred in a standard round of golf.
Are you ever staring at your bag for the bunker to green approach shot and in front you is a mess consisting of a lob wedge, sand wedge, gap wedge, and that awkward club you found on the 4th hole?
What degree is a sand wedge appropriate here – or should you bump and run it with a random club you saw used in that one YouTube video?
We’ve all been there and understanding what degree sand wedge you should use in order to save that par is important to not only your handicap – but your ego.
Our Sand Wedge Recommendation:
Not all pitch shots are made equal
When looking to purchase new wedges, it can often be quite difficult to discern what sort of sand wedge loft you should purchase. If you’re only golfing recreationally, then there’s no need for more than, say, 2 or 3 wedges. But, what degree is a sand wedge optimal for you or your next shot?
Often, the choice comes down to picking between the most minimal of differences between degrees, such as a 54-degree wedge and a 56-degree wedge, and it means that many people tend to ask: What’s actually the difference?
So if you’re trying to decide between two differing wedges, then read this guide and find out some of the differences between these two different angled wedges and what sort of difference they can make when you’re playing!
What Is The Sand Wedge Degree General Rule?
Typically, golfers tend to prefer a 56-degree angled wedge which is the wedge that is most likely going to compliment a lot of different golfer’s pitching and gap wedges.
This degree of golfing wedge would also provide you a more even gap between your wedges, and will also double as the most versatile sand wedge should you need it.
This all depends on the clubs that you already have, and the number of wedges that you’re willing to carry around. The best strategy is to try and spread out the wedges evenly, which is something that we’ll cover further on within this article.
What’s Better: 54 Or 56 Degree Angle?
If you’re golfing recreationally, then the best idea is to have 3 wedges in your bag, so if you’re looking to keep to this three wedge rule, then the best idea is to choose a 56-degree wedge.
However, if you’re willing to carry four wedges, then it’s a smart choice to choose a 54-degree angle, which will mean that your wedges are spaced out much better.
2 Degrees of loft will very rarely provide much of a noticeable difference on your shots, especially when evaluating the distance. However, a lot of people tend to find that the 56-degree wedges are much more consistent for shots around the green.
A 56-degree wedge is also a sand wedge, which means that it’s perfect for getting you out of any bunkers that you may find yourself in. So is definitely a worthy addition to your clubs if you want a more versatile option in your collection.
What Wedges Do I Carry?
A lot goes into deciding what wedges to carry on the course, for a start, you’ll have to decide how many wedges you want to carry for a start.
This all comes down to personal preference, some people decide to carry two wedges with them, but others prefer to carry up to five wedges with them, and play with a higher handicap!
Typically, you’ll begin to want to increase the number of wedges to around 4 to 5 wedges. In the meantime, however, and especially for mid to high handicaps, then you should suffice with just three wedges. To start with 3 wedges, we recommend these three to begin with:
- A pitching wedge
- A gap wedge
- A sand wedge
Ideally, you want to keep your pitching wedges at a 44-46 degree angle, your gap wedge should be at a 50-52 angle, and then your sand wedge should be between a 54-56 degree angle.
However, keep in mind that you should keep the angle of these wedges spread out evenly. The ideal angle spread for a 3 wedge should look like this:
- A 45-degree angle pitching wedge.
- A 50-degree gap wedge.
- A 56-degree sand wedge.
This is a setup that you’ll see a lot across courses everywhere, especially among recreational golfers. However, if you want to step up to carry 4 wedges, then this angle spread should be perfect:
- A 45-degree angle pitching wedge
- A 50-degree gap wedge.
- A 54-degree sand wedge.
- A 58-degree lob wedge.
The 3 wedge setup is best for golfers who are on a bit of a budget, as any golfer knows that wedges can be expensive! Additionally, a 3 wedge setup will also provide a consistent increase in the loft with your other clubs too and will work fine for most people.
What Degrees Are Sand Wedges?
Sand wedges are either 54 or 56 degrees and the two different lofts of wedges are preferred by different people depending on multiple factors.
54-degree wedges are a type of sand wedge and are used for helping you to get out of bunkers, as well as play around the green. This size of wedge is excellent for those who have a 58-degree lob wedge, and require a wedge that is a little closer to 50 degrees.
A 56-degree wedge is also considered a sand wedge and is used for hitting out of sand bunkers, as well as chipping whilst on the green.
This size of loft is a great option, being arguably one of the most common sizes of clubs, and is typically the highest lofted club that most golfers tend to carry.
Why Have A Sand Wedge?
Sand wedges should be the second wedge you have in your golfing bag after a pitching wedge, and there is a good reason for this.
These wedges can prove to be absolute life savers if you end up hitting into a bunker, or you can use them from the fairway, as well as on and around the green.
The best advice for picking a sand wedge is to ensure that it has at least 10 degrees of bounce, as this will better help you to hit balls out of sand bunkers due to it digging a lot less.
To summarise, sand wedges tend to come with either 54 or 56-degree lofts, and which one you pick is dependent purely on preference, the number of wedges you decide to carry, and the spacing between the clubs you carry.
The 56-degree wedge is arguably the most popular and the most versatile, but if you have 4 or 5 wedges in your bag then you’re best off opting for the 54-degree wedge instead