Golf clubs tend to have a variety of names and even nicknames associated with them.
The UW is a club that many golfers have in their bags but will still not be certain what they are used for.
If you have a UW golf club in your bag and are unsure what it means, when to use it, and how it can help your golf game, we are here to help.
Keep reading to find out more details about a UW and what it will mean to you as a golfer.
What Is A UW Golf Club?
A UW is also called a utility wedge.
The utility wedge is similar to a gap wedge in that it has several different purposes in the bag.
With a UW, you can hit approach shots into greens, fill the gap between your pitching wedge and sand wedge, and hit short chip shots around the green.
A golf UW is typically going to have around 50 to 54 degrees of loft, depending on the golf club set makeup of your clubs.
The UW is the same as an AW golf club that some golf club sets may have.
The decision to name the utility wedge the UW is something that golf companies will consider, and therefore, there is no specific reason that a club will be called a UW and not a gap wedge.
If your golf club set has a UW, you should be using it for various shots out on the golf course.
Where To Use A UW
The UW is a very useful club to have in the golf bag.
If you are unsure as to where this club should be used or how to use it, we have all the answers that you will need.
Let’s take a look at where to use a UW and how it can help to benefit your game.
1. Approach Shot To The Green
If you are approaching a green on a par four or par five and it seems like you are a bit too close to hit your pitching wedge, the UW is a great golf club to try.
The UW is a utility wedge that will help golfers of all abilities be able to hit around 100 yards.
Of course, the distance is going to be determined by swing speed and the strike that you make with the center of the club, but the UW is typically a 100-yard club for many golfers.
The way that golf courses are set up can often mean that you get quite a few of the same distances into greens throughout your round.
You may find that every time you lay up on a par five, the distance is 100 yards.
Certain par three shots could be 100 yards as well.
If this is a distance that you struggle with, attempt to hit your UW and see how close to that 100-yard number you can get.
Ensuring that you know exactly how far you hit your UW will only help you become a more accomplished golfer.
2. Chipping And Pitching
Chipping and pitching is another excellent way to use the UW.
When you can chip and pitch small shots to get them close to the hole, you will lower your scores considerably.
Chipping and pitching are going to be different for every hole you play as well as every golf course you play.
There are truly no two chips or pitches that are exactly alike.
This is why it is essential to ensure that you have a variety of different golf shots that you can hit.
The UW is very good for a golf shot with a slightly lower trajectory which rolls for quite a few feet when it lands.
The UW typically has more spin and a bit more stopping power than a pitching wedge, but not as much as the sand wedge.
With a UW, you can learn to hit shots from the rough and the short grass.
3. Bunker Shots
Bunker shots come in a variety of lengths.
Some bunker shots are very close to the pin and require you to hit a lob wedge to get the ball up and down quickly.
However, other bunker shots can be twenty or thirty yards from the pin.
These are some of the hardest golf shots to hit, but the UW can help make things a bit easier.
A UW is a golf club that will give you just the right distance and launch for these longer bunker shots that are typically quite difficult to hit.
A bunker shot can be difficult for some golfers, so having a UW in the bag that you can trust is very important.
What Wedges Should A Golfer Have In Their Bag?
Most golfers have between two and four wedges in their golf bags.
Ideally, you will want to have room in your golf club set makeup to accommodate four golf wedges.
The golf wedges that you should own include the pitching wedge, the gap wedge, the sand wedge, and the lob wedge.
Each of these wedges will play a different role and allow for varying levels of performance.
When you approach a shot on or near the golf green, the most important thing is to have more than one option.
Having a few different club choices and varying types of golf shots will only help you become a much better short game player.
1. Pitching Wedge
The pitching wedge is a golf club that comes as part of the iron set.
Although in recent years, you have been able to purchase a golf wedge that is separate from the iron set and add it to your clubs, the pitching wedge is a staple in the game of golf.
Most of the time, the pitching wedge will have the least amount of loft of any of your wedges.
The pitching wedge becomes an excellent option for bump and run type shots and slightly longer approach shots to the green.
Golfers won’t typically use a pitching wedge out of the sand because the loft is just not high enough.
However, a pitching wedge is a great club to have lots of confidence in.
2. Gap Wedge
A gap wedge is a club that has quite a few different names.
Gap wedges can be called utility wedges, gap wedges, approach wedges, and sometimes players just identify them by the loft of the club itself.
The gap wedge essentially fills the gap between the pitching wedge and the sand wedge.
This is important because of the modern-day lofting of golf clubs.
When a golf club is made today, it is made with much less loft than it was just a few years ago.
The idea behind this is to try and help players get more distance with their golf shots.
With the lowering of the center of gravity in the golf clubs, this has become possible.
However, there have been other issues with players getting almost too much power from their wedges.
Most golfers find that the gap wedge or UW goes just as far as the old pitching wedge did.
If you upgrade your golf set and find that you are getting lots of extra distance, chances are it has something to do with these new modern lofts in the golf clubs.
3. Sand Wedge
A sand wedge is a club that many golfers only use out of the bunker.
If this describes you, then you are missing out.
Sand wedges can be used on all types of shots around the green, not just out of the bunker.
The sand wedge usually has about 56 degrees of loft and will fly quite high coming off the face of the golf club.
Sand wedges and pitching wedges are golf clubs that you must keep in the bag regardless of your skill level as a player.
If it is possible to expand to four wedges, that is great, but you will always need at least these two in the bag.
4. Lob Wedge
A lob wedge is a golf club that has the most loft.
These will typically have about 60 degrees of loft and be built to hit very high lofted shots.
Lob wedges are known for their wide-open faces and wide soles.
Many new golfers are scared of the lob wedge because it is not always known to be the most forgiving club in the bag.
However, once you get used to the lob wedge and learn how to hit it properly, you can quickly get impressive performance with it around the greens.
How Do I Know If It Is Time To Upgrade My Golf Wedge?
If you think that it may be time to add a UW to your golf bag or to upgrade the one you have, there are a few things to consider.
Golf wedge technology does not tend to change quite as often as golf driver or iron technology.
Therefore, if you get a great set of wedges, it could last you for quite a few years.
The grooves on your golf wedge are perhaps the most important feature.
Each of these grooves will interact with the dimples on your golf ball to ensure that you get an impressive spin on each of your wedge shots.
Spin on wedge shots is essential to get the ball to stop in place and be able to control what you are doing around the greens.
The grooves of your golf club need to be sharp and clear of debris in order to function properly.
Golf grooves on wedges will wear down, and over time, they will need to be sharpened or replaced.
If your golf grooves are barely recognizable, you will need to start shopping for a new wedge.
As we have mentioned, a golf wedge is a club that is not going to change its technology quite as often as a driver or a set of irons.
However, if your golf wedges are more than five years old and you play quite a bit of golf, you may want to look into an upgrade.
Chances are the grooves have seen better days, and there are probably new golf wedge options on the market that offer better performance.
The newest wedges have lots of spin, more forgiveness, and an even better feel than we have ever seen before.
The performance of the wedge really has to do with how it responds to your shots.
Do you feel confident in how far the ball will roll or release once it leaves the club head?
Overall, the performance of a wedge should determine if it gets to stay in your bag.
Many golfers feel that they are incapable of getting spin on their golf wedge shots.
With the current technology on the market, all players should be able to get some spin and stopping power from their golf wedges.
4. Blade/Cavity Back Style
The blade style golf wedges have been the standard on the market for many years.
Cavity back style golf wedges are more of a new addition, and they are helping to increase forgiveness and overall performance.
The cavity back style wedges are very easy to hit around the greens and on the approaches.
If you find that you need more forgiveness from the wedges that you currently have in your bag, consider switching to a cavity back style, and you will see a tremendous difference in performance.
Do I Need A UW In My Golf Bag?
A UW or utility wedge is a very helpful club to have in the bag.
The hard decision becomes whether or not to take out a fairway wood or hybrid to make room for this UW.
Essentially, you can only have 14 golf clubs in your bag, and therefore, each of the clubs has to have a reason to be there.
The main reason to put a UW in your bag is if you feel there is a big difference in yardage between your pitching wedge and your sand wedge.
If you can hit your pitching wedge 120 yards and your sand wedge 80, this is too large of a gap.
The utility wedge will perfectly fill this gap and leave you better equipped to make any shot on the golf course.
By ensuring that your clubs are correctly loft gapped, you can increase your shot-making ability and shoot much lower scores.
Hopefully, you now understand how you can utilize that UW golf club that has been in your bag.
This is not a club to shy away from.
If you are looking to start playing better golf, try and incorporate all of the clubs in your bag and put together a set that works for the strengths and weaknesses of your game.
The UW is an excellent addition to the world of golf, and it is necessary for many golf club sets on the market.
Don’t let the name of this club confuse you all that much.
The UW golf club is the same as an approach or a gap wedge that we see across several different manufacturers and brands.
What companies decide to name their wedges is entirely up to them, but it can create some confusion among golfers.