How to Choose the Right Wedges and Build Your Golf Bag Like the Pros

March 27, 2023
6 min

Out of the clubs you have to choose for your golf bag, picking the right wedges can seem the most confusing. After all, you have a lot of options. There are many different types, lofts, and bounces to choose from. 

If you’re confused about what each wedge does or want to improve your club selection, you’ve come to the right place. By the end of this article, you’ll know how to choose the right wedges for your golf bag. Let’s get started. 

When Should You Use a Wedge While Golfing?

First off, if you’re new to golf, you’ll want to know when you should be using a wedge in the first place. To put it simply, you want to use a wedge for short shots when you’re closer to the hole. Typical times you’ll use a wedge are:

  • When you’re within 120 yards or closer to the hole
  • Hitting the ball out of a sand trap/bunker
  • Chip shots 
  • Pitch shots

There are different wedges you’ll use for each of these situations. Knowing how the different types of wedges affect your shot will help you decide which is best.

What are the Different Types of Wedges?

This section will review the types of wedges, how they affect shots, and their use cases. The four main types of wedges are:

  • Pitching wedge (43-47 degrees): If you want a beginner-friendly wedge, the pitching wedge is a great pick. Most people find the pitching wedge easiest to hit with. It’s great for longer shots where having a lot of spin isn’t necessary. Most golfers use the pitching wedge around 50 yards from the hole. 
  • Gap wedge (47-52 degrees): If you’re in a situation where you can’t get enough distance with a pitching wedge, the gap wedge may be your best pick. Gap wedges hit the furthest of the types of wedges. You’ll typically use them around 100-120 yards from the hole. 
  • Sand wedge (54-56 degrees): One of the use cases for this one is in the name. If you land in the sand trap, you’ll want to use a sand wedge. The sand wedge is best for short, soft shots. It is the most common wedge for golfers to use on chip shots. It’s also a good option when you’re in a muddy area or when hitting out of dense rough grass. 
  • Lob wedge (58-62 degrees): The lob wedge is the shortest-hitting club in golf. This club produces a high arc and is great for hitting over obstructions in your way. While the lob wedge has its use case, some golfers forego this club since you can get similar results with a sand wedge if you know the proper technique. 

Now that you know the different types of wedges, let’s look at how you would choose the right ones. 

Guidelines for Choosing Different Types of Wedges

This section will go over different aspects to consider when choosing the best wedges for your needs. 

What is Wedge Loft and Bounce?

Both wedge loft and wedge bounce can impact club selection. You’ll want to know the difference between the two and how they interact to choose the appropriate clubs. 

Wedge Loft

Wedge loft is the main number of degrees you see on the club. Without getting too technical, the higher the number of degrees means the higher the ball flies in the air. So a 60-degree wedge will send the ball flying higher than a 48-degree wedge. It contributes to the different use cases we discussed above. 

Wedge Bounce

Each wedge also comes with a secondary degree system called the bounce. The wedge bounce affects contact, control, and ball spin. The optimal bounce will vary depending on how you swing and the type of turf you’re hitting from. There are typically three main types of wedge bounces, which are:

  • Low bounce (4-6 degrees): A low bounce is great for firm turf or bunkers with harder sand. It’s also a great option for those who hit the ball without leaving much of a divot. So if you’re in a situation where you’ll make clean contact, choosing a low bounce would be best. 
  • Mid bounce (7-10 degrees): A mid bounce wedge is considered neutral ground. A mid bounce is a great choice if you’re on normal turf or just looking for a versatile wedge for most conditions and types of swings. Many beginners will benefit from choosing a mid bounce until they figure out their swing and technique. 
  • High bounce (10+ degrees): If you’re on softer turf, a high bounce wedge will prevent your club from dragging too much. It’s also a great choice for those who make larger divots when they make contact with the ball. Some even say that a higher bounce provides a bit more leeway if you make mistakes. 

As you play more and figure out your style, you’ll find what works best for you when choosing between loft and bounce combinations in your wedges. 

The Theory of 4

When first starting out, a good strategy when picking wedges is the theory of 4. The theory of 4 states that you would carry 4 wedges that are spaced 4 degrees apart. An example of the wedges you would carry in your golf bag could be:

  • 46-degree wedge (pitching wedge)
  • 50-degree wedge (gap wedge)
  • 54-degree wedge (sand wedge)
  • 58-degree wedge (lob wedge)

This gives you one of each of the different types of wedges for different use cases you may encounter on the course. 

How Many Wedges Should You Carry with You?

Most golfers carry either three or four wedges in their golf bags. If you’re just starting, having one of each of the four main types of wedges is a good idea. It’ll help you experiment and see when you like using each one. 

As mentioned earlier, some golfers may choose not to carry a lob wedge because they feel like a sand wedge with the right technique is enough. It makes sense to carry only three wedges in that case. 

What Wedges Do the Pros Use?

You may also wonder what types of wedges the pros use. There is some data about what the top 100 PGA pros use on tour. 

Most Used Wedge Loft and Bounce

Data tracked from the top 100 PGA pros shows that the most common wedge lofts are:

  • 46-degree pitching wedge
  • 52-degree gap wedge
  • 56-degree sand wedge
  • 60-degree lob wedge

Even the average PGA pro nearly stays in line with the theory of 4 when choosing wedges for their golf bag. 

As far as wedge bounce, most PGA pros use a bounce of either 10 or 12. Many pros like using a higher bounce on wedges because it helps prevent any potential drag when making contact with the ball. 

Top Brands Used by the Pros

As far as the most common brands of wedges used by PGA pros, the top 5 brands are:

  • Titleist 
  • Callaway
  • PING
  • TaylorMade
  • Cleveland

If you’re looking for quality, these brands have it down. But if you’re just starting out, many other budget-friendly options are available that still perform well. 


That wraps things up for this one. You should now have a good grasp on which wedges you should pick for your golf bag. 

Remember, there’s no one size fits all solution for the clubs you decide to use. It’s important to experiment. Try different clubs and techniques to see what you like. Many golf clubs and stores let you test clubs or rent them. So you can always try some out before you buy them. 

The most important thing is to have fun! So get out there and start practicing. 

Similar posts

Check out what else we're cooking up at The Club.

Reserve today.

Be among the first to receive the Graff Golf analytics platform upon launch.
Be among the first 10,000 members