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When people first start getting into golf, the first thing they’ll often focus on is selecting the right club for each shot.
It can turn into a real obsession for some people as they experiment with a wide variety of different equipment and try to learn everything they can about each club.
In this article, we’re going to help you get a better understanding of one of the most significant aspects of a golf club: the degree of loft.
When it comes to the pitching wedge, specifically, the degree of loft is between 44 and 48 degrees.
If this doesn’t mean a whole lot to you, don’t worry. Everybody has to learn about these fundamental terminologies to get better at golf so stick around to learn more about what loft is, why it’s important, and how you can apply it to your game.
What Is Loft In Golf?
Loft in golf refers to the angle that a club face makes when striking a ball.
This angle is measured from the ground up to the point where the face meets the ball.
Quite simply, the higher the loft, the steeper the angle will be and the lower the loft, the flatter the angle will be.
It’s essential to remember that not all clubs will have the same loft, even if they have the same name.
For example, a club like a 7-iron can be known to have a few different levels of loft which will vary depending on the manufacturer.
It won’t always be obvious from just looking at the club whether it has a particularly high or low level of loft, so it’s important to find this out before deciding to purchase any.
Why Does It Matter What The Loft Of A Club Is?
As mentioned above, the loft of a club determines the angle of its face when hitting a ball.
A simple way to think about loft is that the lower it is, the further the ball will travel. However, sheer distance isn’t something that we’re always looking for on the golf course.
A club like a driver is simply designed to hit the ball as far as possible and it, therefore, has the lowest loft of any golf club.
On the other hand, clubs like wedges and irons are much better designed for precision and accuracy rather than trying to simply get the ball to travel as far as possible.
A higher loft also means that the ball will tend to travel higher when struck. This is simply a matter of angles and basic physics.
For that reason, shots with a higher-lofted club will cause the ball to roll less after landing, allowing for a more precise shot in general.
How To Measure Your Own Loft
Like we said before, it’s not always obvious what the loft of a club is, so you might have to employ your own methods to find out for sure.
There are several ways to measure your own loft, one of which is using a protractor to draw a line across the face of the club.
Then, using a ruler, measure the distance from the top of the line to the bottom edge of the club.
Another way to do this would be to place the club head on a flat surface and then hold a yardstick against the face of the club while measuring the distance from the yardstick to the bottom edge of where the club head meets the yardstick.
Once you’ve found out exactly how much loft there is on your chosen club, you should know enough to make an informed decision about buying it.
When Should You Use A Pitching Wedge On The Golf Course?
The pitching wedge is a very versatile tool, and it’s used by many players who want to add some extra spin to their shots.
It’s most appropriate to use a pitching wedge for approach shots to the green and getting yourself as close to the flag as possible.
If you can somehow manage to chip it into the cup, all the better. However, this is not the main aim of using a pitching wedge.
Quite often, a shot with an iron will get you pretty close to the green, and sometimes you’ll even land right on it with an iron shot.
However, if you find yourself a few dozen yards from the green and want to line your putt up perfectly, the pitching wedge is typically the club to go for.
This is because it allows you to control the speed of the ball as it comes off the face of the club, giving you a chance to stop it dead on the putting surface.
Of course, you don’t need to use a pitching wedge for every approach shot to the green, but it does come in handy at times.
So, if you’re playing a round of golf, and you find yourself struggling to get your approach shots close to the hole, try using a pitching wedge instead.
How Is The Pitching Wedge Different From Other Wedges?
We’ve already established that pitching wedges have a loft between 44 and 48 degrees, but it’s not the most lofted golf club in most people’s bags.
Let’s take a closer look at some other wedges:
Gap Wedge (50-54 Degrees)
Gap wedges are a fairly new development in golf and don’t even feature in some people’s bags at all.
It was designed to provide a middle ground between pitching wedges and the higher-lofted sand wedges.
In general, you’d use a gap wedge in much the same way as a pitching wedge, but perhaps for closer approach shots.
Sand Wedge (54-58 degrees)
As the name suggests, the sand wedge is designed to help you get out of bunkers.
It has a rounded base which is great for cutting through the sand in the bunker and avoiding getting it stuck.
This club should really only be used for bunker shots, as it falls short in other ways when used from fairways.
Lob Wedge (58-62 Degrees)
Finally, the most lofted wedge in your collection will often be the lob wedge.
As you might expect, these are great for shots of precision and great accuracy, where you might want the ball to stop dead after landing.
Shots taken with a lob wedge will typically sail high into the air, making it difficult to judge properly without some practice.
Pitching wedges are a useful addition to any golfer’s bag, and they’re easy to learn to play well with.
You may not always feel like hitting a pitch shot, but if you do, then a pitching wedge could prove invaluable.
If it’s not a part of your repertoire already, we’d definitely recommend getting yourself a pitching wedge and getting some practice in with it!