Golf wedges are a very important part of the makeup of any golf club set.
If you don’t have the right wedges in your bag, you will struggle to hit the golf shots that you want, especially around the greens.
A gap wedge is an important club that fills the space between your pitching wedge and your sand wedge.
Without the gap wedge in the bag, there are going to be issues with your ability to hit a variety of shot heights and distances.
However, making sure that you purchase the correct gap wedge loft and style can be a bit tricky.
Getting something that fits your game and the set makeup you have will only help ensure you get the performance you need on the golf course.
Here is everything you need to know about loft and performance of a gap wedge.
What Loft Is A Gap Wedge?
A gap wedge will be between 50 and 54 degrees of loft.
The range of loft on a gap wedge seems to change from time to time because of the lowering of lofts from many of the golf manufacturers.
Many golf manufacturers are taking what was once a pitching seven iron loft and putting it in their eight irons.
This essentially allows golfers to hit their eight iron as far as they were once able to hit their seven iron.
Since the new advancements in center of gravity have helped golfers to learn how to hit the ball high, even with the lower loft, the lowering of iron lofts is getting even more popular.
What has happened because of this loft changing is that there is now an even greater gap in golf club loft from the pitching wedge to the sand wedge.
This gap needs to be filled because, otherwise, there will be large distance gaps in a golfer’s bag.
The gap wedge perfectly fills this space and provides quite a bit of functionality on the golf course.
The loft of a standard gap wedge is right around 52 degrees.
However, depending on the lofts of your other wedges, it is important to look at whether a 50- or 54-degree gap wedge could make more sense for your golf club set.
A gap wedge loft is important because it needs to appropriately fill this gap in your bag.
If you have a 56-degree sand wedge in place, it won’t make much sense to put in a 54-degree gap wedge.
Therefore, this concept of proper loft gapping should help golfers looking to have more precise performance in their game.
How Far Should You Hit A Gap Wedge?
Distance in golf really comes down to a math formula.
Golfers with more clubhead speed who can hit the ball near the center of the clubface are going to get a lot of distance.
Players who tend to struggle with swinging the club fast or miss the club on the heel or toe a lot will struggle with distance.
The combination of speed, accuracy, and efficiency in the swing is going to create distance.
Therefore, there is no universal yardage that is going to work for all golfers hitting a gap wedge.
However, many players will find that their gap wedge yardage is going to be right around 100 yards.
This is important to consider because the 100-yard marker is a place you may find yourself quite often when on the golf course.
If you are near the 100-yard marker, you need to have a club that you trust to get you on the green from this distance.
For many goffers, this club ends up being the gap wedge.
The more you learn to use this and get closer to the pin with your shot, the easier it is going to be to make a putt and be on your way to the next hole.
Most golfers will find that as soon as they add a gap wedge to their golf bag, they are going to use it quite a bit.
Do All Golfers Need A Gap Wedge?
Golfers who have a large gap between their sand wedge and their pitching wedge are going to need something to fill that gap.
This gap is what creates the need for the gap wedge.
In order to determine if you need a gap wedge in your bag, you must first take a look at the different clubs that you already have in your golf bag.
Do a bit of research to see what the lofts are and whether or not you see six, eight, or even ten-degree loft gaps between these clubs.
Ideally, you would want to have around four degrees of loft between each of the wedges in your set.
Some golfers have a gap wedge that is sold as part of their complete set of irons, but others will add the gap wedge on as an additional choice.
If you are shopping for a gap wedge, you may get confused by some of the names for gap wedges on the market because, as we have mentioned in the past, the golf terminology can take a bit of getting used to.
What Are Other Names For A Gap Wedge?
The gap wedge is not always called the gap wedge, and this can get confusing for some players.
You can see the gap wedge referred to as both a gap wedge and an approach wedge.
Some golf companies even call this a dual wedge for the dual purposes that it can serve.
When trying to build out a golf set, these different names can get really confusing and leave you wondering whether or not you have properly equipped yourself for a round of golf.
The best way to ensure that you are getting a gap wedge is to check the loft of the clubs.
If something is in that 50- to 54-degree gap, chances are it is a gap wedge.
Companies like Titleist started realizing that they would need to make more wedges in a set as soon as they started trying to compete with these lower lofts in golf irons from other companies.
This has led to some Titleist golf sets have a W1 and a W2.
This is the same as a pitching wedge and then a gap wedge, but it is just how the company likes to display its irons.
Therefore, if you are going to purchase a gap wedge, you need to make sure that you are carefully inspecting the lofts of your current clubs and adding a golf club that will work best for your game.
Not all gap wedges are going to match with your iron set.
These types of wedges typically offer much more spin and a more customized performance around the greens.
If this is something you may benefit from, consider adding in the wedge as an extra and not purchasing it as part of your golf iron set.
What Is A Gap Wedge Used For?
A gap wedge is used for several different types of shots around the green.
Knowing all that your gap wedge can do can only help ensure that it will last long term.
Let’s take a look at what a gap wedge is used for and how it can help you improve your golf game.
1. Approach Shots
The gap wedge is very commonly used for approach shots to golf greens.
If your pitching wedge is a bit too much club and you know you can’t get there with your sand wedge, the gap wedge is a perfect choice to consider.
Approach shots into greens can be on a par four or a par five, but they are critical.
The closer you can get to the hole, the better the chance you have of being able to make your putt
There is a big difference between hitting the ball to four feet and hitting the ball to 24 feet.
The better you can get at narrowing down these gap wedge shots and completing them efficiently, the greater your chances of becoming a great player.
Overall, the approach shots to the greens are going to be a great place to learn how to use your gap wedge.
You may notice that many companies actually call their gap wedge an approach wedge simply because it is so well known for this type of golf shot.
2. Long Bunker Shots
Long bunker shots are another great option for the gap wedge.
A sand wedge typically has the perfect loft and bounce to escape from a bunker.
However, sometimes the bunker is in the front of the green, and the pin is all the way at the back of the green.
If you pace off this shot, you may realize it is a 30- or 40-yard shot.
Of course, there is a significant difference between a 30- or 40-yard shot and a 10-yard bunker shot.
Using the same sand wedge and expecting the ball to go just as far is not the smartest decision.
Instead, it makes sense to change the club up a bit.
The gap wedge tends to have enough loft to get out of the bunker and a lower loft to help it fly further to a pin.
This combination should be considered and then used when you have a long bunker shot ahead of you.
The long bunker shot is one of the more difficult golf shots, and using a gap wedge to help you perfect it can really make a significant change in your game.
3. Pin At The Back Of The Green
When you have a lot of green between you and the pin, you should consider a club with a lower loft.
Most of the time, getting a shot together that will roll part of the way to the hole is going to be a smarter choice than flying a shot all the way to the cup.
With a gap wedge having a slightly lower loft, you should be able to hit this about halfway or a little more to the hole and then have it roll the rest of the way.
This means that players need to take a smaller swing and, therefore, have a lower risk of hitting a really poor shot.
We are impressed with the gap wedge’s functionality around the greens, both out of the rough and from the short grass.
The combination of loft with the forgiveness and variability of the wedge makes it a very smart play for many golfers.
The pin being in the back of the green won’t be a problem for long when you learn how to use your gap wedge properly.
4. Ball Flight Control
Although sand wedges and lob wedges are great for getting high loft, they can be a bit harder to control from a ball flight standpoint.
Since the ball can fly so high with these clubs, you will notice that you can’t knock the flight down when necessary.
The gap wedge is a much better choice when you need to hit a chip or pitch a bit lower.
Having that 50 to 54 degrees of loft mean that a golfer can control the flight and get the ball to perform in a much different way.
Now that you know everything there is to know about the gap wedge loft, it is a good idea to start checking on the lofts of your wedges.
Chances are that some things may need to be adjusted.
Many players put a set of clubs together over time, and it leaves some issues with wedges and their loft gapping.
Any time you add a new club to your set, make sure that it fits in with all the others.
If you are not careful about this, you will end up with significant gaps between the clubs in your bag.
Instead, start being careful about the clubs you invest in, and you will always have the proper club to grab when a shot presents itself on the course.