How Far Should you Hit your Wedges

Dial it In: How Far Should You Hit your Wedges

If you’re like a lot of golfers I’m sure you’ve asked, “How far should you hit your wedges?

It’s a good question because wedges are the scoring clubs in your bag. While distance is a big deal off the tee, it’s not something you should focus on as much with wedges.

Instead, it’s about having the right wedges to ensure there are no big gaps between clubs. This will make it easier to swing with confidence and not lose shots inside 125 yards. 

How Far Should You Hit Your Wedges? 

Golf is becoming more and more a game about distance. While golf workouts and speed training are great ideas, you shouldn’t think about distance as much with wedges.

Instead, think about control. 

If you watch the best golfers in the world – especially guys like Justin Thomas and Tiger Woods – they epitomize this concept. They rarely make hard wedge swings but instead, focus on a smooth, controlled swing.

This is how they control the golf ball flight, spin, and distance unlike most amateur golfers.

Key Takeaways 

  • Knowing your wedges distances is one of the fastest ways to shoot lower scores. 
  • Using a launch monitor can help you dial in your distances for more confidence on the golf course.
  • Elite golfers don’t focus on wedge distances but instead, focus on distance control with a smooth swing. 

Keep reading to learn more about how far you should hit wedges and more wedge tips below.

Control Over Distance 

Golf Distance Control

So why do the best players in the world not walk around touting how far they hit their wedges? Because they know that wedges are about control, not power with shorter shots.

When pro golfers hit hard wedges they generate a lot of backspin. While amateurs want spin, pros want to avoid it because they have so much speed (which equals spin) that it’s nearly impossible to control.

Pros instead try to hit smooth, controlled wedges that hit on the green and stop quickly. Rarely do they have the ball to zip backward once it hits the green as it’s very hard to gauge. 

If you’ve ever played in wet, winter conditions chances are you know what I’m talking about. There’s nothing worse than seeing a great wedge shot hit the green close to the hole, only to spin back 10+ feet (and sometimes is off the green).

By taking a less than full swing it’s easier to hit more of a knockdown shot with less spin. It’s also a higher percentage shot for everyday golfers as it requires less effort. Not to mention a shorter, more controlled swing. 

Learn Your Wedge Carry Distances (Golf Wedge Distance Chart)

The key to mastering your wedge game is learning your distances with the help of a personal launch monitor. This is vital to taking advantage of shots inside 125 yards and ensuring that you don’t have any huge gaps between wedges.

With each wedge in your bag, hit 10-15 shots with a launch monitor. Average out the good shots and throw out the bad ones to create a full swing distance for each club. Log these as a note in your phone or a notecard to put in your golf bag. 

How to Practice with a Launch Monitor

Then, use a launch monitor to find out your knockdown distances. Simply choke up on the club about an inch with a narrower stance to dial in this distance. 

This will allow you to have a full swing distance and a knockdown distance. Which should help you have a club for nearly every distance you’ll face on the golf course.

Here is a look at my golf wedges distance chart:

  • Pitching Wedge: 135 yards full swing / 125 yards knockdown
  • Gap Wedge: 125 yards full swing / 115 yards knockdown 
  • Sand Wedge: 115 yards full swing / 105 yards knockdown
  • Lob wedge: 90 yards full swing / 80 yards knockdown 

Average Distance With a Wedge

Here are some general comparisons to help you compare average wedge distances for amateurs:

  • Lob wedge: 50-90 yards
  • Sand wedge: 60-110 yards
  • Gap wedge: 70-120 yards
  • Pitching wedge: 80-130 yards

As you can see these are a wide variety in the above golf wedge distances for an average player. Because no golfers are the same – nor do they carry the same wedges – as each wedge has a different loft, shaft, clubhead, etc. 

Don’t compare your game to anyone else.

Instead, calculate your distances with each club in the bag and have two distances with your wedges to eliminate gaps. Having your own wedge distance chart will do wonders to your game.

Understanding Each Type of Golf Wedge 

There are four types of wedges to consider putting in your golf bag. Let’s review them to see how each one can help your game on full shots and around the green.

Pitching Wedge

pitching wedge comes standard with every set of irons and ranges between 42-48 degrees of loft. Elite ball strikers might replace a standard PW with an aftermarket wedge like a Titleist Vokey instead. This gives them more workability for full swing shots.

Everyday golfers likely won’t need to replace a pitching wedge though. Using a PW that is the same as the rest of your irons will help with forgiveness and not having a big gap with your 9-iron. Plus, the shaft will match your irons as well.

Pitching wedges are typically used more for full shots but can be used around the greens too. A lot of players like to use this wedge for a bump and run type shot as it’s easier to hit than a sand wedge. 

Gap Wedge

A gap wedge is becoming more standard with iron sets but not always. A GW has 48-53 degrees of loft and is used for a variety of full swing and short game shots. 

I think it’s beneficial to play a gap wedge that matches your PW and the rest of your irons. This will usually make it more forgiving and space the lofts perfectly with the rest of your clubs. 

However, you can always choose a custom wedge that matches your SW and LW. This might include the Callaway Jaws, Titleist Vokey, or another brand. 

Gap wedges “fill the gap” between your SW and PW. They’re great clubs to use for long bunker shots, chipping around the green, and more. 

Sand Wedge 

A sand wedge rarely comes with an iron set but some manufacturers allow you to add them on. These clubs are typically 54-57 degrees of loft and great for all types of full swing and short game shots. You can use them for a lot more than just out of the sand and it’s not uncommon for this to be the highest loft club in the bag. 

Not sure what is the right loft? Check out 54 or 56 loft here.

What Loft is a Sand Wedge

Lob Wedge 

The final wedge that you might consider is the lob wedge which rarely comes with an iron set.

Lob wedges have the most loft – 58-64 degrees and are used mostly around the green. It’s a challenging club to hit “hard” thanks to the design but great for bunker shots, flop shots, and 50-75 yard shots.

Three or Four Golf Wedges? 

One of the most important questions to ask yourself is, “Should I carry three or four wedges?” 

It’s a great question because wedges are the easiest clubs to hit closer to the pin to have more birdie putts. There’s no “right” answer – it’s about finding the right set makeup for your game.

But in general, I think mid to high handicappers should carry three wedges.

This allows them to have more fairway woods, hybrids, and/or driving irons for longer, more challenging shots. Since they don’t have as many wedge shots as low handicaps, having an extra long club can help a ton.

For lower handicaps and scratch golfers I think it’s beneficial to have four wedges.

If you have a consistent swing and hit it long off the tee, you’re going to have more wedges into greens. Having an extra wedge will make it easier to have confidence on those shots and not have as many “in between” club shots.

Regardless of if you have three or four wedges, make sure to space them out in terms of loft. For example, if you carry three wedges and your pitching wedge is 46 degrees, it’s best to have a 52 and 58 degree wedge. Or, if you have four wedges and your PW is 45 degrees, it’s best to have a 50, 55, and 60 degree wedge.

Don’t forget that wedge lofts vary among different golf clubs. They used to be more standardized but they vary so make sure to confirm the specifications online.

Having equal distances between each wedge makes it easier to have confidence on any type of shot on the golf course. Also, don’t forget to check your lie angles to make them the same as your irons (or even flatter) as most clubfitters recommend. 

FAQs About Wedge Distances

Do you have more questions about wedges? If so, keep scrolling through the most frequently asked questions below. 

How far can you hit a 60-degree wedge?

Professional golfers can hit wedges much further than the average golfer. This is because their swing is faster (in terms of swing speed) and also more fundamentally sound which minimizes big mishits. 

The average male golfer hits a 60-degree roughly 60–80 yards. While pros can hit their lob wedges up to 120 yards.

How do you hit a wedge 50 to 75 yards?

The 50-75 yard wedge is a tough shot because it’s a half wedge swing… typically with a LW. It’s easy to decelerate and hit a lot of fat shots. Check out this guide to hit 50-75 yard shots

How far does Tiger Woods hit a pitching wedge?

Tiger Woods is a master of distance control and could probably hit a PW 70 yards or 170 yards if he wanted too. I once heard him in an interview saying that fellow players should never look in his bag to see what club he’s hitting. The reason is that he has so many types of shots with every club, they’ll never know what shot he’s playing. 

He can hit a 7-iron 140 or 150 yards if he needs, or hit it nearly 200 yards. The point is Tiger is the ultimate shot maker but with wedges he prioritizes control over distance. 

What Degree is a Pitching Wedge

Why is a 60-degree wedge hard to hit?

When compared to other wedges, yes, a 60-degree is typically the hardest to hit. While it’s easier from short range around the green, some golfers will struggle with full swings.

The reason is that the design of the club isn’t very forgiving. It’s easy to get the ball to “ride up the face” and hit fat shots. This happens even more when you try and hit a wedge too hard.

What is a 52-degree wedge called?

A 52-degree wedge is referred to as a gap wedge. Other names include UW (utility wedge) or AW (attack or approach wedge). 

Gap wedges range in loft from 50 to 53 degrees, depending on the make/model. These wedges will go slightly longer than a sand wedge (54–57 degrees) but shorter than a pitching wedge.

It’s meant to “fill the distance gap” in your bag between a PW and SW. 

My Experience with a Golf Wedge Distance Chart

Your wedges are the scoring clubs in your bag. One of the biggest mistakes I made earlier in my golf journey was trying to hit wedges too hard – which leads to a lot of fat shots. Now, I rarely hit a wedge at more than 85-90% effort.

Why?

Because swinging hard with a wedge can lead to mishits… even if you’re a consistent golfer. Instead of swinging hard on full wedge shots I focus on swinging smooth and taking more club. I’d prefer to hit a knockdown shot vs. a hard wedge any day of the week.

game improvement wedges

If you watch elite players on the PGA Tour you’ll notice they have amazing tempo and balance with wedges. They aren’t trying to lash at it like they do with their driver. 

Stop hitting wedges at 100% effort and watch your average proximity improve. Make wedge play your strong part for better approach shots and easier birdie putts.

Final Thoughts on Golf Wedge Distances

To reach your golf potential it’s essential to know the distances with all your clubs. But your wedges are even more important as these are your “scoring” clubs. These are clubs that should allow you to improve proximity and hopefully have easier birdie putts – which is why you need a golf wedge distances chart.

Start by getting the right wedges for your game – whether that’s three of four clubs. Then use a launch monitor to get the distances for each club. After you get a full swing exact distance, create a partial shot “knockdown” distance too. 

Knowing your distances will lead to more confidence on the course and a big improvement in your golf game (and hopefully lower scores). Also, check out the best wedges for high handicappers here.