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Why Amateurs Should Stop Carrying a 64-Degree Wedge On the Golf Course

The short game is really where success on the golf course is made — or shattered. Putting gets plenty of attention, and it’s important, for sure, but your ability around the green and sticking the ball close for makeable putts is crucial out there on the golf course.

Learning the game on a golf simulator at XGolf is a fantastic way to learn the game and improve your swing without the pressure of actually getting out on the course before you’re ready. At XGolf and the best golf simulator in the world, you don’t have to worry about the pace of play and there are real-time metrics that you can get on an actual course or driving range without expensive tracking equipment.

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Today’s post is about wedges and why you and all amateurs should stop carrying the 64-degree lob wedge in your bag.

The Four Major Types of Wedges

The kinds of wedges and the number of wedges you carry in your bag often depend on the set of clubs you buy. Most sets come in two standard ranges: 3 iron through pitching wedge or 4 iron through sand wedge. Essentially, you gain either an extra-long iron or wedge depending on what’s most important to your game. Most amateurs should opt for the extra wedge (4 iron through sand wedge set). Long irons are the hardest clubs to hit, and wedges can really save your bacon on the course. Let’s take a peek at each of the four major types of wedges.

Pitching Wedge (44-50 Degrees)

Pitching wedges have the least loft and are something of a bridge between your short irons and wedges. They have a much lower trajectory than other wedges and hit the ball farther distances. It is commonly used by all ability levels.

Gap Wedge (46-54 Degrees

Not every set includes a gap wedge and not every player carries a gap wedge. A gap wedge has more loft than a pitching wedge, which means higher ball flight, a softer landing, and less distance. This is a great club to have if you find yourself in distances too long for a sand wedge but too short for a pitching wedge.

Sand Wedge (54 & 58 Degrees)

The sand wedge is the most versatile of all wedges and a must-have in your bag. They have more “bounce,” the thicker bottom of the club to help get out of the sand (hence the name) and green-side rough.

Lob Wedge (60-65 Degrees)

These are the most difficult wedges to hit (more on that in a minute) and are the most lofted off all clubs. When hit properly, lob wedges generate a lot of spin, flight the ball very high, and are useful for placing the ball close to the hole as a result.

The Numbers

According to stats from Cobra Golf using shot-tracking systems, greens hit in regulation by amateur golfers is actually lower with lob wedges (most commonly 64-degree wedges) compared to sand wedges. Sand wedges generated 53 percent of GIRs, nearly 10 percent more than lob wedges at 44 percent. That comes from an analysis of 762 players who use a 64-degree wedge. How is this possible? Two factors are identified: swinging too hard and poor technique.

Carry Versatile Wedges

Relying on a single wedge is almost never a good idea, the numbers show. Instead, carrying a versatile set of wedges in your bag is the best approach. You should at least carry a pitching wedge (48 degrees), sand wedge (54 degrees), and if you carry a lob wedge, opt for the 58-degree model instead of the 64-degree wedge. As a general rule, the tighter the lie, the less bounce you want. Use the sand wedge from the bunker and rough and reserve the lob wedge for the fairway or other tight lies, according to short-game coach James Sieckmann.

Use Your Body Better

As previously mentioned, struggles out on the golf course with wedges primarily comes down to swinging too hard and poor or improper overall technique. Improved accuracy with lofted clubs happens from the appropriate level of effort. So, don’t go all-out. Big swings make it harder to make strong contact, opening you up for mishits and wayward shots. There are two main areas of the swing in which you should use your body better in order to see improved accuracy and contact.


A short, controlled backswing is always better than a long one. Long backswings force most amateur golfers into adjusting for the intended speed in the downswing, which in turn, creates a poor path to the ball and poor contact with the ball. You also don’t want to forget about your body. Your goal should be to keep your arms matched up with your body. Your body and arms should arrive at the top of the backswing at the same time, unlike what you generate with a driver or long-iron swing.


Swinging aggressively is the only way to generate solid contact — with any club. This is especially true with wedges because you’re often trying to hit a specific number that isn’t your “full swing,” per se. Most amateurs try to slow their swing to take yards off. But this only de-lofts the club and creates poor contact. Instead, move your hand down the grip and swing as you normally would to shave off yards. Practice on the range to figure out how much changing your grip consistently chances the distance the ball carries.

Book Your Tee Time Today!

XGolf Denver (located in the Denver Tech Center) offers an unparalleled level of accuracy and realism to any other golf simulator out there. We use a system of cameras, infrared laser, impact sensors, and advanced gaming software to create a virtual golfing experience, unlike anything you’ve ever seen before.

Plus, with XGolf, there is no waiting around for the group in front of you to finish a hole, you can order food and beverages that come right to you, and you can play the world’s best courses right here in Denver.

Book your tee time at XGolf Denver today and check out the best golf simulator in the world for yourself!