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Sand Wedge For Beginners: A Comprehensive Guide On Sand Wedges

By Golf Wedge Solutions | Golf Wedge Advice

May 15

Of the different types of wedges including pitching wedge, sand wedge, lob wedge and gap wedge, choosing the right sand wedge for beginners is one of the toughest tasks.

Wedges are crucial in improving your short game and turn the scores in your favor easily. Wedges are typically made of steel shafts and are exclusive clubs that change pars to birdies and even save pars near the green.

However for beginners who have not chosen the right wedges that fit their playing style, wedges pose a big problem. Wedges are of different types and specifications. You need to choose a wedge that improves your game rather than obstruct it.

Picking the best sand wedge for beginners

Of the various wedges that a beginner needs, the pitching and sand wedges are the most important. The broad green shots and longer chip shots are done best with pitching wedges. The sand wedge named for its application in bunker shots is the right wedge to have when your ball lands in a bunker.

Designed by Gene Sarazen, sand wedges are apt for use in sand bunkers. A typical sand wedge has a wider and heavier sole design, high loft angle and bounce.

The loft angle in sand wedges typically ranges from 54 degrees to 58 degrees. Loft denotes the angle formed when a club comes into contact with the golf ball while hitting it. Typical loft degrees range from 47 degrees to 64 degrees. With a higher loft you get higher shot elevation and shorter distance.

Bounce angle ranges from 10 degrees to 16 degrees. The bounce is related to the sole of the club. It denotes the energy distribution happening in the club and turf. With the right bounce in your wedge, you can augment your pitching and chipping shots.

The sand wedges have for a long time reigned supreme as the clubs with the highest loft. These were the go to clubs for bunker and chip shots. However, now these wedges are designed with more versatile characteristics, especially due to the invention of lob wedges.

Understanding sand wedges

With the exception of the driver and putter, wedges are the most used clubs during a golf round. This is the reason beginners need to know more about the design of the wedge, its function and usability.

When you get to master the wedges you will need lesser putts. The single most offending mistake that a beginner does during a practice session is not including the sand wedge in the set of clubs he or she carries.

Most often sand wedge for beginners are exceptions that they will do their best to avoid. They either give the excuse of not being able to hit with the wedge or that they are scared of using it. Other excuses include the sand wedge not being part of the club set or keeping it in the last of the list of things to learn.

Sand wedges are designed intrinsically to make the bunker shots stress-free irrespective of the expertise you have in your short game. This is particularly true when you know how to wield the sand wedge.

Sand wedge design

Design of sand wedge includes a bounce or inverted sole. This helps to prevent the wedge from immersing into the sand. Impinging into sand can block the club head leading to the shot being a fat one.

Another interesting design aspect in sand wedges is their weight. They are heavier by about four to nearly 8 swing weights, when compared to the irons. They also possess the widest sole of the golf clubs.

All the design elements including wider sole, heavy weight and inverted form are aimed at dealing with bunker shots effortlessly.

Choosing the ideal sand wedge

When you look for the ideal sand wedge to include to your club set, an important thing to do is analyze the nature of the course you play in regularly.

For courses with shallow and packed sand conditions you will need the following:

  • A sole with slightly narrow width.
  • Moderate bounce ranging from 7 degrees to 11 degrees.
  • A swing weight that ranges from D5 to D8.

The above specifications are ideal for tighter and fairway lies too. However it is best to not consider this for courses that have powdery sand.

For courses which have grainy, heavier weight and loose sand identical to that of gravel, it is recommended to use a sand wedge with the following specs

  • Wider sole
  • Moderate bounce between 12 and 15 degrees
  • Heavy swing weight between D5 and E0

The above sand wedge model is perfect for all fairways except for the hard fairways with lies that are tight.

For golf courses that have fine textured and powdery sand rife with buried lies, you need to have a sand wedge of the following design:

  • Wider sole
  • Bounce degree between 16 and 20
  • A heavy swing weight ranging between D8 and E2.

However the above specs are not ideal for fairways except when you have a plush lie.

In general the design of sand wedge that fare well in all conditions of sand include:

  • A wedge sole ranging between medium and wide.
  • Moderate bounce degree between 12 and 15 degrees.
  • A heavy swing weight 

The above composition works fairly well in almost all fairway condition. The only glitch is you need to possess a higher level of skill in tighter lies.

How the loft influences your decision

The loft of your sand wedge is another important influencing factor. As mentioned before the loft angle ranges between 54 and 60 degrees mostly. Some wedges can go up to 64 degrees. The loft angle choice depends mostly on the loft angle of the other wedges in your club set. The main thing to note here is you should not have a big loft degree gap between the wedges.

Further there are differences in relation to the different brands available. And the extent of your expertise also influences how well a particular design works for you. Based on the attack angle you use for your swing, the bounce may differ. Hence when it comes to choosing the best sand wedge for beginners, it is important to get the assistance of a golf instructor with good experience to guide you on the specifications that suit your particular style and the course you tend to play frequently in.

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All prices are last updated on 2017-08-08 at 22:48 / Product images credit: Amazon.com

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