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The gap wedge problem

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Anyone who is playing a modern set of game-improvement irons is probably familiar with the predicament of choosing lofts to fill out the top end of the bag.  For most sets of irons aimed at those who are looking for a little help with ballstriking, the pitching wedge is commonly 44-45 degrees and if your set came with a matching gap wedge it is probably 49-50 degrees.  This leaves a huge distance gap for people familiar with a 56 degree sand wedge.  What is the best, or at least preferred, solution?

 

The Cleveland wedge displays you will find at Dick's sporting flat out say that we now need two gap wedges(!) as they prescribe a 48/52/56/60 wedge set for anyone playing GI irons.

 

An alternative might be to use the GW included with your GI iron set and simply move to a 54 degree sand wedge (or matching for your set).

 

I suppose for the real tinkerers, one could have the irons loft all bent two degrees weak and go from there, but that seems highly inadvisable considering the effect on bounce angle and wide-sole design that is critical to the performance of irons in this category.

 

Finally, there is the option to learn to play according to the loft gap and implement partial swings to cope with this specific distance on the course that is neither long nor short.

 

I've basically given up on distance gapping for the time being, and gone with a 52/58 setup to complement my strong-lofted PW, but I'm always looking for new ideas to regain what used to be a comfort zone for me.  Maybe that is a 54 degree someday, but of course that would be the one wedge I don't already own!

post #2 of 14

If I already had a 50* GW, I would then get a 54 and a 60*. Also be aware of the bounce you need for your area, and playing conditions. Bounce is your friend.

post #3 of 14

I use a 48˚ PW bent from 47, and go with 6 degree gaps in my wedges. I left the gap between 9 and PW at 5 degrees because I like the 9's distance. The lofts in my set are a bit more traditional but the cavity provides enough forgiveness for me.

 

The only peculiar bit about my wedges is that I barely ever use my 54 out of sand. The full shot gapping is pretty nice but I might either find another wedge of the same loft or go with a 52 that matches my irons and the 60 I use from nearly every lie anyway. The smartest thing for me to do is use my PW for more shots whenever possible though, because it's hard to keep the others down on some shots. The 52 might launch really high but go the same distance as the 54... It's an endless cycle but it works for now. I'm greedy to want a club that's used for more than 100-120 yard full shots but I guess I still haven't had nearly as much time with that club as my others.

 

My brother goes with his 52 for every shot he can, and got a matching 58 but he still uses the GW most of the time. For him, it's all about getting into range of that 52 so he can hit the green and score.

post #4 of 14

The Cleveland display 48 - 52 - 56 - 60 is suggestion you replace your iron set's PW with their 48*.

 

One thing to be aware of: what is the incremental difference in shaft length? Vokey and Callaway have 1/4" differences between types of wedges (i.e., SW is 1/4" shorter than the GW), while Cleveland 588 series has 1/8" difference,

 

Your numbered irons normally have a 6i that 1/2" longer and 4* stronger in loft than the 7i, which translates into 10-12 yards more distance for the average golfer.

 

If you have shorter 1/4" shaft length differences between types of wedges, this means the yardage difference may only be 8 yards. If you like this it is fine (smaller distances between wedges up close), or you might go to 6* loft gaps between wedges.

 

Also be aware of the "lob effect." Many people find that for 60* wedges and some SWs, a 3/4 swing hits the ball higher - but not much longer - than a half swing. 

 

Puzzling this out works best if you locate a demo day or golf expo where you can hit different wedges off actual turf. It's heaven when you can find it. It helps you figure out how high - and far - wedges go with different length swings.

 

FYI, lots of golfers have gone with your 52, 58 coverage above the PW.

post #5 of 14

My PW is 45* so I went with 50*/54*/58* for my wedges.  But has posted above, going with 52 and 58 (or 60) would close the gap as well.

post #6 of 14

My set goes to 5 degree lofts between clubs starting at the 9-PW so I just continued with that to keep it consistent. Was able to take a wedge out going with 49-54-59 and replace it with a 7w. To make it as versatile as possible I ordered custom wedges with sole grinds recommended specifically for the area I live in based on my swing type. According to the pro that fit me I am a nipper.

post #7 of 14

50, 54, 60 is what I use.

 

PW is 47

post #8 of 14

I'm used to using a 45° PW which averages 125 yds.     A 50° gap wedge barely goes 100 yds for me, so I've been experimenting with a 48, 52, 56, 60 setup ... FIVE wedges.     Seems a little ridiculous ... but I can't come up with anything better to deal with those 105-115 yard shots.    Anyways, this year will be a big experiment - will also try a 45, 50, 54 & 58 wedge setup & see how that works out.    Gapping wedges seems to be the most challenging part of my  club selection ...

post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 

I'm playing off a 44 degree PW.  I have a 50 degree cavity-back GW from another set and also a 52 blade-style wedge with an S400 shaft in it.  I think I'm going to spend my next range session trying to see if I can hit the 52 past the 50, which might be possible given that the 52 likely has a higher center of gravity and a stiffer, higher-kick shaft in it.  Perhaps just that is the answer: a higher lofted GW, but one that is designed to produce a penetrating flight, allowing greater distance on full shots but greater height on partial swings.

 

BTW I'm sure about what I saw with the Cleveland display.  They recommend PW/48/52/56/60 assuming a 44-45 degree PW.

post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by inthehole View Post
 

I'm used to using a 45° PW which averages 125 yds.     A 50° gap wedge barely goes 100 yds for me, so I've been experimenting with a 48, 52, 56, 60 setup ... FIVE wedges.     Seems a little ridiculous ... but I can't come up with anything better to deal with those 105-115 yard shots.    Anyways, this year will be a big experiment - will also try a 45, 50, 54 & 58 wedge setup & see how that works out.    Gapping wedges seems to be the most challenging part of my  club selection ...

 

 

What I do for yardage gaps, like yours, 125 pw vs a 50* is to use the PW but choke down and make a 3/4 swing, but Accelerate through the ball. I regularly practice 75 to 110 yd shots with my PW, as my next wedge is a 54, which goes about 85yds. You can vary the ball placement for high, or lower shots, just as you would for other shots.

post #11 of 14

^ yeah, I need to come to grips that there's not enough slots in the bag to have the luxury of hitting full shots with a crapload of tightly gapped wedges.     I guess I'll have to learn to hit half & 3/4 power shots after all .... not liking it, but hey, it's just one more thing Ill have to practice and gain confidence with ...

post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by inthehole View Post
 

^ yeah, I need to come to grips that there's not enough slots in the bag to have the luxury of hitting full shots with a crapload of tightly gapped wedges.     I guess I'll have to learn to hit half & 3/4 power shots after all .... not liking it, but hey, it's just one more thing Ill have to practice and gain confidence with ...

 

 

They aren't that hard, once you get use to hitting them on a regular basis. The trick is, to be able to consistently hit them while playing on the course..lol 

post #13 of 14

If you have a matching gap wedge around 50° or so I'd suggest a 54°, 58° set up or you could even go 55°, 60°. To do that, however, you'd likely have to get a 54 or 56 bent as most don't actually make a 55°.

post #14 of 14
I have a 45 pw which goes abt 110-120 a 55 sw which goes 90 max, both of these came with the set. I tried a 60 and 58. Was very uncomfortable with the 60 so got a 58 which goes 55 -60 max...
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