Most recreational golfers only carry a pitching wedge and a sand wedge in their golf bag.
However, if you want to take your golf game a bit more seriously you will likely need at least 3 or 4 wedges to cover most distances on a golf course.
For the average golfer, carrying a 44-degree pitching wedge, a 50-degree gap wedge, and a 56-degree sand wedge, will make for the ideal three-wedge combo. However, how many wedges you should have really depends on your skill level and play style.
Most amateur and beginner golfers don’t fully comprehend the use of a 52-degree wedge and generally stick to the basic three-wedge combo.
So, in this guide, we will learn what a 52-degree wedge is, when it should be used, and how it can benefit your short game.
Here's What's In Store For You...
- 1 What Is A 52 Degree Wedge? – All You Need To Know
- 2 How Far Can You Hit The Ball Using A 52 Degree Gap Wedge?
- 3 When To Use A 52-Degree Wedge?
- 4 Do You Really Need A 52 Degree Wedge?
- 5 Differences Between Pitching Wedges, Gap Wedges, Sand Wedges, & Lob Wedges
- 6 The Best Golf Wedge Manufacturers
- 7 Final Thoughts
- 8 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Is A 52 Degree Wedge? – All You Need To Know
A 52-degree wedge is referred to as a ‘gap wedge’. This is because the 50 and 52-degree wedges fill in the yardage gap between a traditional pitching wedge and a sand wedge.
The ‘degrees’ in golf wedges refer to the loft the golf ball will get once you hit it clean.
The higher the loft degree of the wedge the greater the height you are going to get on your swings.
The best gap wedge will allow you to get greater loft than a pitching wedge but less loft and/or height than a sand wedge or lob wedge.
The best gap wedges also have slightly oversized and weighted heads and are made from stainless steel construction with a stepped steel shaft that provides excellent feedback and feels on your golf swings.
The slightly oversized head makes for more forgiving off-center shots while the increased weight of the head allows for better control and follow-through on your strokes.
If you carry a pitching wedge that is between 46 and 48 degrees and a 56 to 60-degree sand wedge or lob wedge, a 52-degree wedge will make for the ideal gap wedge.
How Far Can You Hit The Ball Using A 52 Degree Gap Wedge?
For most golfers, a 52-degree wedge, from a reputed manufacturer, can be used to hit a golf ball 70 to 100+ yards with relative ease.
Some golfers can achieve an 85-yard distance even on a half swing.
The average PGA Tour Pro Golfer can achieve distances of 125 yards or more when using a 52-degree wedge.
When To Use A 52-Degree Wedge?
Gap wedges should only be used when hitting full shots from the fairway or when trying to chip the ball from greenside bunkers to achieve more height and roll.
Here are some situations where a 52-degree wedge can come in really handy!
1) When Playing Out Of The Bunker
Most golfers prefer to use a sand wedge for bunker shots.
However, in some instances, using a gap wedge might be a better more aggressive option.
If your ball lands some 100 yards away from the pin on let’s say a fairway bunker, this would be the perfect time to bring out your 52-degree gap wedge.
In such an instance, a pitching wedge will lack the loft required to get you over the lip of the bunker and a sand wedge would lack the distance required to get the ball close to the cup.
With a 52-degree wedge in your golf bag, you will have a far better shot at recovering from such a situation by being able to knock the ball close to the pin even from this far out!
2) When You Find Yourself In A Spot Of Trouble
We have all been in that situation at the golf course where trees or other tall obstacles come in the way of our otherwise perfectly lined shot.
This is another perfect situation to bust out the 52-degree wedge that will allow you to get the loft and distance needed to get the ball close to the pin somewhere on the green.
Such a scenario would normally stump a beginner golfer, especially, if they are only carrying a sand wedge or pitching wedge.
The pitching wedge might get them the distance they need but not the desired loft, whereas, a sand wedge would get you the desired loft but lack distance.
This is why having a gap wedge is so important. It allows you to have more versatility when it comes to covering certain distances and can greatly help in lowering your handicap and improving your overall game.
3) On Approach Shots From The Fairway
The 52-degree wedge is also ideal for those “in-between” distances when playing from the fairway.
Let’s say you find yourself on the fairway some 70-75 yards from the pin.
With a sand wedge, you can probably get about 60 yards of distance even if you strike the ball really well.
On the other hand, the pitching wedge will easily get you to 80 yards, so you would likely overshoot.
This is where it would be a wise idea to bring out your gap wedge.
A half swing on a 52-degree wedge should allow you to easily land the ball in the scoring zone allowing you to line up your approach shots better and lower scores.
4) When Playing Chip Shots Around The Greens
The gap wedge also comes in really handy when you are really close to the green and need to pull off a chip shot to try and get the ball into the cup.
The key to landing an awesome chip shot lies in getting enough roll on the ball. This is hard to do with a lob wedge or sand wedge.
However, the gap wedge is perfect for such a situation as it doesn’t have as much loft allowing for better roll and distance control on your chip shots.
Do You Really Need A 52 Degree Wedge?
In most cases, even average golfers would need either a 50 or 52-degree golf wedge to deal with different course conditions.
Once you have a fair idea of how far you can hit the ball using your pitching wedge and sand wedge it is time to invest in a gap wedge that yes, fills in the gaps!
This gives you more versatility and multiple loft options when playing your strokes on the golf course.
Differences Between Pitching Wedges, Gap Wedges, Sand Wedges, & Lob Wedges
The primary difference between the different wedges is the degree of loft that each of these golf clubs can provide.
The greater the degree of loft the higher the ball soars after connection.
1) Pitching Wedge
The pitching wedge is the most common of all wedges found in almost every set of golf clubs.
This wedge can have a loft degree ranging from 44-49 degrees. The pitching wedge is great for hitting shots from 100 to 125 yards away.
2) Gap Wedge
Gap wedges are predominantly used by the more avid golfer and come with a loft degree that can range from 50-53 degrees.
These clubs can be used to hit the ball at a distance of 90 to 110 yards preferably from the fairway.
Your gap wedge should always have ideally a 4 to 6-degree difference in the loft.
So, for example, if you have a 48-degree pitching wedge, you will need a 52-degree gap wedge, a 56-degree sand wedge, and a 60-degree lob wedge to complete your full set of wedges.
3) Sand Wedge
This wedge is specifically designed to get golfers out of situations where their ball has landed in sand or high grass.
Sand wedges have loft degrees that range from 54 to 58 degrees and have a much heavier head weight.
They can be used to cover distances of about 70-90 yards and offer minimal roll but far greater height which can be useful in many situations.
4) Lob Wedge
The lob wedge can be used to hit the ball a distance of 60-70 yards and can have loft degrees ranging from 59 to 65 degrees.
This wedge is best for low-handicap golfers that want enough loft and extra spin on their strokes even when hitting full-swing shots.
The Best Golf Wedge Manufacturers
The best gap wedges money can buy are the Cleveland RTX Zipcore wedges that offer consistent performance and phenomenal results.
Cleveland wedges are used by many PGA Tour Pro golfers and if you can afford it this is the wedge you want!
However, plenty of other golf club manufacturers are also worth the mention such as Callaway, Cobra, TaylorMade, Titleist, and Wilson.
These manufacturers also offer wedges with innovative features that allow you to have more bounce options, added spin rate, and different lofts thanks to interchangeable sole grinds.
Having the right golf gear can make golf a lot easier to play and in turn a lot more fun.
This includes having a gap wedge that falls in between your pitching wedge and sand wedge.
Using the right wedge at the right time can greatly help improve your short game by offering far more options when playing from the fairway and the greens on the golf course.
The right degree wedge can also help you achieve those long bunker shots that simply weren’t possible with a traditional pitching wedge or sand wedge; allowing you to lower scores and hit a much wider range of shots.
If you have only been playing with a pitching wedge and sand wedge it is time you fill in the gap by investing in a gap wedge.
No pun intended! 😉
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Which Wedge Is Best For Chipping?
The pitching wedge or gap wedge is best for playing chip shots in and around the green. The gap wedge is perfect for standard shots while the pitching wedge is ideal when the ball is sitting up in the rough.
Is A Gap Wedge The Same As A 52 Degree Wedge?
Any wedge that offers between 50 and 53 degrees of loft is considered a gap wedge. So, yes, a gap wedge is the same as a 50-degree or 52-degree wedge.
When Should You Carry A Full Set Of Wedges?
Only the most avid professional golfers that are seeking to maximize their options when it comes to strokes under the 125-yard distance would ever find the need to carry a full set of five wedges. In most cases, four wedges should suffice. The average golfer can make do with just three.