Mastering Golf Wedge Distances: Pitching, Gap, Sand, Lob

This post may have affiliate links and as an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
golf wedge distances main image

Answering the question ‘how far do wedges go?’ is important in helping amateur golfers to understand their golf wedge distances. When you play golf, it’s important to understand the differences in distances from your pitching wedge, gap wedge, sand wedge and lob wedge as well as which ones you should even carry in your bag in the first place.

Knowing this can make all the difference on approach shots and chip shots as it will help you to hit more accurate shots when you are approaching the green with better distance control.

To help you get a better sense of the loft of these golf clubs, what their differences are and which ones to include, this article will break down various wedge lofts, distances and their purpose so that you can decide which ones to use and understand whether you can get more distance from your wedges.

Wedge Distances: How Far Should I Hit My Wedges?

When it comes to wedge distances for amateur golfers, a 48 degree pitching wedge can be expected to travel 120 yards, a 52 degree gap wedge 100 yards, a 56 degree sand wedge 80 yards and a 60 degree lob wedge 70 yards.

By knowing how far each of these wedges go a golfer will be able to get the most out of their golf game. It will help with better wedge selection as you approach the green.

In general, your golf club selection from within 120 yards of the green will depend on several key factors. These include the terrain of the golf course, the lie of the golf ball and the overall distance to the hole.

Comprehensive Golf Wedge Distance Chart for Amateurs and Pros

Pitching Wedge120 yards140 yards
Gap Wedge100 yards125 yards
Sand Wedge80 yards110 yards
Lob Wedge70 yards90 yards

Our golf wedge distance chart provides an outline of how far each specific wedge can be expected to travel on average when you hit the ball.

Average Distance For Each Wedge: How Far Does Each Wedge Go?

Below we summarize the above golf wedge distances chart for each of the potential wedges in your bag so that you can decide which one’s might be best for you to include.

48 Degree Wedge Distance (Pitching Wedge Average)

A 48 degree wedge distance is 120 yards for most amateur golfers and around 140 yards for professionals when using their pitching wedge.

52 Degree Wedge Distance (Gap Wedge Average)

A 52 degree wedge distance is 100 yards for amateur golfers and around 125 yards for professional golfers using their gap wedge.

56 Degree Wedge Distance (Sand Wedge Average)

A 56 degree wedge distance is 80 yards for everyday golfers and around 110 yards for pro golfers using their sand wedge.

60 Degree Wedge Distance (Lob Wedge Average)

A 60 degree wedge distance is 70 yards for an average amateur golfer and 90 yards for an average professional golfer using their lob wedge.

When To Use Each Wedge Type

Understanding the appropriate situations for utilizing different wedge types can significantly enhance your golf game. Here’s a breakdown of when to employ specific wedges:

  • Pitching Wedge (48 degrees): Ideal for approach shots from fairways or rough within approximately 120 yards.
  • Gap Wedge (52 degrees): Best suited for mid-range approach shots between 90 to 110 yards or for chipping around the green.
  • Sand Wedge (56 degrees): Designed primarily for escaping bunkers due to its higher bounce and loft, but also useful for full shots up to 80 yards.
  • Lob Wedge (60 degrees): Perfect for short shots requiring high trajectory, like delicate chips or shots over hazards.
Wedge DegreeShot TypeDistance Range
48° Pitching WedgeApproach ShotsUp to 120 yards
52° Gap WedgeMid-range Approach, Chipping90-110 yards
56° Sand WedgeBunker Escapes, Full ShotsUp to 80 yards
60° Lob WedgeDelicate Chips, High Trajectory ShotsShort Distances, Typically under 70 yards

Why Are Wedges Important For Golfers?

Wedge play is an important component of a good golf game from beginners to mid handicappers to low handicappers, and they make up an important part of a golfer’s bag. In fact the wedge can make or break a score on a hole.

That is why investing in a quality wedge such as the Callaway Mack Daddy 5 Wedge can be imperative for peak performance.

Some of the leading golfers in the world such as Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson are experts with their wedges and have used them as a foundation for their success. In Dustin Johnson’s case it has been something that has been pivotal to his improvement (GolfWeek).

Wedges are important for golfers because they are used as part of the short game which is important to practice from within 100 yards into the green.

Wedges themselves are very flexible golf clubs and can be used for approach shots, bunker shots as well as chipping and pitch shots around the green. By working on your short game you will be able to hit your wedge shots closer to the flag which means fewer putts and will help to reduce your handicap quickly.

Which Wedges Should I Carry In My Golf Bag?

You will want to include a mixture of wedges in your bag. This will help you to accommodate a range of different scenarios and distances. We would recommend that in your bag you have no less than three wedges but you may wish to carry four.

It is a good idea to keep a good balance between all wedges to ensure plenty of variety with your wedge lofts. An example selection of wedges that you could go for would be a selection of a pitching wedge, gap wedge and sand wedge.

However, you may also want to swap one of these out for a lob wedge. The leading professionals have a mixture of wedges in their bag and there really is no right or wrong answer (GolfWRX).

The degrees of loft of these wedges differ and affect the distances that each of the wedges will travel. For example a pitching wedge will have the longest carry distances and have a loft of 45-50 degrees. Whereas a lob wedge will have the shortest carry distances and have a loft of 60-64 degrees. A gap wedge and sand wedge will fit in between these two ranges with a gap wedge being around 52-54 degrees and a sand wedge around 56-58 degrees.

As we’re sure you can tell, these variations in loft can make a huge difference in the distance of your shots from inside 125 yards.

Therefore, it is important to choose wisely as you are only allowed 14 clubs in a bag and you will want to ensure that you leave plenty of room for other golf clubs too.

What Are The Wedge Distances For PGA/ LPGA Professionals?

On average a professional golfer on the PGA Tour or LPGA Tour will hit pitching wedges an average distance of 130-150 yards. However, each golf professional will hit the golf ball at different distances.

This has been evidenced with the driver by Bryson DeChambeau as he has managed to increase his carry distance off the tee through practice and training specifically towards increasing swing speed and power.

However, there is the famous golf phrase ‘driving’s for show, putting’s for dough’ and a strong wedge game can be pivotal in having real success on the golf course. It is important to remember that this is not expected of amateur golfers to hit the ball as far and you shouldn’t be comparing your distances to those of professionals, especially starting out!

Additionally, to give a better sense of other distances for professionals, a sand wedge would carry approximately 110-130 yards and lob wedges would be best used for full swings below 100 yards.

Another thing to note is that professional golfers are meticulous in their preparation. Most amateur golfers only have a sense of their distance for full swings whereas PGA Tour and LPGA Tour pros will keep yardages for a full swing and partial swing with each of their wedges.

Correlation Between Scoring Average and Proximity to Hole

In an intriguing correlation within the PGA Tour stats as of July 2023 in the 2022-2023 season, four out of the top ten players boasting the lowest scoring averages are also among the top ten for proximity to hole from less than 100 yards. This underscores how mastering short-range precision can markedly elevate a golfer’s overall performance.

Iconic Wedge Shots in Tournament Golf History

Let’s delve into the annals of golf history to highlight the significance of wedge shots in tournament golf. Phil Mickelson’s heroic 3-wood from the fairway and his wedge shot at Muirfield during The Open in 2013 is a prime example of the tactical use of wedges under pressure. Meanwhile, who can forget Tiger Woods’ extraordinary chip-in on the 16th hole with his wedge at The Masters in 2005?

Despite facing a slippery slope, he made one of the most memorable shots ever seen. These two instances provide a stark contrast between aggressive play (Mickelson) and precision execution (Woods). Both situations underline why understanding your wedge distances and honing your short game skills are pivotal for any golfer aiming for success on every green.

Measuring Distances

There are several different ways that you can learn more about your own individual golf wedge distances. Firstly, you could invest in an accurate golf launch monitor. You can choose from a range of options ranging from budget choices such as the Flightscope Mevo or the more expensive SkyTrak.

A good launch monitor will give you the details that you need for your carry distances. This will help you to learn more about how far you hit your wedges and how you can improve your distances.

Strategies for Wedge Distance Control

Mastering wedge distance control requires understanding the trajectory and spin of each shot. To achieve this, practice is key. Start by creating a consistent swing that delivers solid contact with the ball every time. Use different wedges to understand how loft impacts distance and trajectory. Practice partial swings to manage distances shorter than your full-swing yardages. A well-executed punch or knockdown shot can also be effective in controlling distance, especially in windy conditions. Lastly, don’t forget about the mental aspect – visualizing the trajectory and landing spot before executing your shot can vastly improve accuracy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I get a 56 or 60 degree wedge?

Choosing between a 56 or 60 degree wedge depends on your gameplay needs and shot preferences. A 60-degree (lob) wedge is ideal for short, high-trajectory shots where you need the ball to land softly with minimal roll. On the other hand, a 56-degree (sand) wedge provides more roll and is great for bunker plays.

To decide which suits best, consider your most common scenarios on the course and choose accordingly for an efficient short game strategy.

What is a 56 degree wedge used for?

A 56-Degree Wedge (a Sand Wedge) is used when golfers find themselves in the bunker. With this wedge you will be able to get the ball in the air easily and still get a reasonable roll on your chip shots.

What is a 60 degree wedge used for?

A 60-Degree Wedge (a Lob Wedge) is used when golfers find themselves near to the green. With the higher loft, golfers will be able to land the ball softly on the green.

Should I get a 52 or 54 degree wedge?

When choosing a 52 degree wedge or a 54 degree wedge the decision will come down to your yardage gaps with your other wedges such as your pitching wedge and sand wedge. You will benefit from having an even split between your wedge degrees.

Wrapping Up: Mastering Wedge Distance Control

Wedge distances vary depending on factors such as wedge lofts from the different wedge clubs and surface terrain from where you will be hitting the golf ball from.

They also vary depending on your experience and handicap. Being able to hit your wedges a sufficient distance is important, however what is even more important is working on your golf swing to ensure that you can hit consistent shots.

This is also important for hitting consistent yardages with each of your clubs such as your irons.

When choosing which wedges to include in your golf bag you have a range of options ranging from a pitching wedge, gap wedge (approach wedge), sand wedge or lob wedge.

When selecting which ones to prioritize (if you aren’t carrying all four) you’ll want to make sure that you have a good balance of different clubs and that you know which golf club to use when. This will mean choosing an even spread of wedges with different lofts in your bag as this will give you plenty of variety to choose from.