Wedges are the most important clubs around the green, as around 70% of shots are played from 100 yards or less. Here’s your buying guide to find pitching wedge for your golf play.
Why pitching wedge is important
Wedges are crucial for getting birdies from the fairway or saving par after a missed green, but they can also cause major problems for the golfer struggling within the 100-meter radius. It is therefore crucial that the wedges you have in your bag suit you and support your game.
The first and most widely used wedge is the pitching wedge. It generally has a loft of 47 to 50 degrees and is primarily used for full turns in the green and longer chips. Pitching wedge usually comes with every iron set - although some players replace it anyway. It connects to the 9 iron with its loft. The typical loft angle ranges from 46°- 50°. It is mainly used for longer strokes on the green - tournament players hit a pitching wedge about 110m.
Many golf club sets today tend to give the pitching wedge a lower loft and thus make it "longer". This suggests to the player on the one hand that he has more length in his strokes, on the other hand, there is a gap in the stroke distances, which makes a gap wedge necessary.
Best pitching wedge bounce
Pitching wedges have low bounce which is ideal for difficult locations and hard surfaces. The combination of less bounce and a thinner sole lowers the front edge of the head and thus ensures a clean contact.
Pitching wedges with low bounce are ideally suited for players who prefer a creative game around the green and in the bunkers and who have a flat attack angle. Less bounce and a narrower sole mean it's easier to keep the face open and hit high flops with soft landings and also for making longer approach strokes.
Most manufacturers specializing in best pitching wedges such as Cleveland or Titleist specify the bounce for their clubs (e.g. a Titleist Vokey 248.06 has 48 ° loft and 6 ° bounce). Other ways to experience the bounce is to visit the manufacturer's website or simply ask the golf club retailer.
Best pitching wedges materials and finishes
Pitching wedges have different surface finishes - e.g. black nickel, chrome, beryllium copper, rusty, or 'raw'. Below is a selection of common coatings and their advantages.
The traditional coating most wedges come in is chrome. It delivers the classic look, a soft, solid feel and at the same time protects the racket from corrosion.
Pitching wedges with platinum-chrome finish offer even more spin and control than their predecessors' thanks to the new, extremely sharp groove design and the proven groove-in-groove technology.
Black nickel is a special color variant of the classic chrome coating. It offers the pitching wedges the same durability and soft, solid feel as the traditional chrome plating.
Similar to the black nickel finish, nickel offers a mixture of the soft properties of the alloy with the durable properties of the surface. The matte color of the nickel also reduces possible reflections that can occur with shiny materials and gives the wedge a traditional look.
These untreated steel pitching wedges are made to rust over the years. The corrosion on the surface gives the player a more immediate feel and increases the spin that is transferred to the ball. These pitching wedges are also matte but have the shortest lifespan of any finish and are typically used by better players.
Modern raw pitching wedges have been fundamentally redesigned and now has sharper, deeper, and tighter grooves with sharper radii as well as a laser-etched profile.
This finish is offered by some top-tier companies and is the result of special heat treatment. This process produces an anti-reflective appearance and a soft feel. Over time, the Oil Can finish will develop more and more into a Rusty/Raw finish.
This finish ranks among the properties of the Oil-Can variant and the Rusty/Raw variant and produces an extremely soft feel. The difference to the options mentioned above can be found in the material development. Over time, the beryllium copper finish or alloy becomes darker because oxygen reacts with the metal.
The difference between the finishes of the best golf pitching wedges is mainly cosmetic - it depends on which finish you like best. The only difference in practice is that a matte finish reflects less sunlight, which can sometimes be irritating, and that an Oil Can or Raw Finish was designed by the manufacturer in such a way that it rusts over time - according to the manufacturer, the rough surface should be specified give the ball a little more spin.
Shafts of pitching wedges
Almost all golf pitching wedges are delivered with steel shafts, with the exception of clubs that are part of a graphite shaft set. Most wedges also come with a standard wedge flex in the shops. In terms of flexibility, this resembles a steel shaft with a hardness of 'stiff' but is cut to the length - or shortness - of a wedge. It should offer the maximum feel and the greatest possible accuracy, but generally, the flex is less important in short clubs such as wedges.
How to choose the best pitching wedge
Like all other clubs, pitching wedges should be individually tailored to the respective player. With the help of an experienced fitter, it is possible to determine the ideal combination of loft, bounce, and grind for your pitting wedge.
Customized golf clubs may not make the game easier, but at least make it more reliable. And since precision is the order of the day with the so-called scoring clubs, you should make an appointment with an experienced fitter before buying.
With wedge fitting, the aim is to achieve constancy in the lay length differences. In addition to the distance covered, a tailored pitting wedge also has the advantage that it increases the versatility of the shots around the green.
We hope this little introduction has been helpful to you. Ultimately, however, there is no alternative to simply trying out a few pitching wedges and seeing which one suits you best. Give a club a try and see if you can see any improvement over your current wedges.
Mike is a weekend golfer from Connecticut and a devoted fan of the game who turned his passion into the writing experience. Any day he keeps it under 80 is a cool day. When he's not writing about golf his is playing it.