Choosing the right wedge on the golf course can often become situational as you understand what is in front of you.
You will use an approach wedge in golf differently than a pitching wedge in golf. This is why golfers need to have a good appreciation for the variables at play including how a golf wedge should be used.
Two options that often get compared are an approach wedge vs a pitching wedge.
An approach wedge or gap wedge is designed to offer an increased loft degree of 50-52 and less distance. In comparison, a pitching wedge offers a loft degree of 46-48 and an increased distance of up to 120 yards.
The approach wedge vs gap wedge debate is an intriguing one. You will want to know how to make the most of a golf wedge by understanding the value it brings as soon as a shot is played.
This includes how you are going to use the golf wedge and where you are going to use it on the golf course.
This guide will compare the approach wedge to the pitching wedge and show how to choose between different golf wedges. This includes learning more about the golf wedge loft and distances.
Golf Wedge Loft Chart
|Type Of Wedge
Whether it is the pitching wedge loft or the approach wedge loft, it’s important to appreciate the slight differences between them.
For those who are looking to enjoy an increased loft angle with the golf wedge, it’s time to use an approach wedge.
A few degrees will make a difference when it comes to ball flight.
Golf Wedge Distance Chart
|Type Of Wedge
In general, the pitching wedge is going to hit the golf ball further. You can end up getting 10+ yards in added distance with the help of a pitching wedge.
You are not going to see the same distance when using an approach wedge in golf.
What Is A Pitching Wedge In Golf?
A pitching wedge is designed as an in-between golf club. It is commonly used in situations where it’s too close for a golf iron and simply too far for a more traditional wedge. This wedge has a reduced loft degree as most golfers will lean towards a sand wedge for those situations.
It tends to work well for those who are looking to hit the golf ball for at least 100+ yards and want to make sure the ball gets closer to the hole.
Using a pitching wedge in golf helps with these scenarios.
What Is An Approach Wedge In Golf?
An approach wedge in golf is designed for shorter distances. It is also known as a gap wedge and is commonly used for scenarios where a short shot is required between 70-110 yards. It has a raised loft degree, but does not offer the same distance as a pitching wedge in golf would.
Using an approach wedge when golfing is often a good option to have in the golf bag.
Advanced golfers will often use a gap wedge or an approach wedge for these situations because the shorter shots are just as important as the longer ones.
Benefits Of A Pitching Wedge For Golf
1. Good For Medium Distance Shots
Playing with a pitching wedge in golf means looking at the distance of your upcoming golf shot.
How far do you want to hit the golf ball?
When comparing the approach wedge vs pitching wedge distance, you will realize medium-distance shots are easier with the pitching wedge. It offers 10+ yards for those in-between shots.
2. Helps Close The Gap
The purpose of a pitching wedge when golfing is to help close the gap.
What does this mean?
Imagine you are stuck in a situation where the golf iron should not be used. For example, you are going to end up hitting the golf ball too far away from the hole due to how strong the golf iron is.
This does happen and that is when it’s time to take out the pitching wedge as a golfer. The pitching wedge helps close those gaps during play where you want to hit a shorter shot than what a golf iron is going to allow you to manage.
3. More Control
The standard pitching wedge is going to offer more control over those medium-distance shots.
It is difficult to control them.
Most golfers only think about the sand wedge when it comes to uneven surfaces. Yes, a sand wedge is great for those softer surfaces but what about control when you want to hit the golf ball around 100 yards?
This is when you will want to take a look at playing with a pitching wedge.
Cons Of A Pitching Wedge For Golf
1. Not Ideal For Shorter Distances
One of the negatives of a pitching wedge when golfing would be the shorter shots.
Yes, it will work well when you are playing a shot that is around 120 yards but what about those shots that are only 60-70 yards?
This is when you have to start taking a look at using an approach wedge as a golfer. It is going to do a lot better for those shorter shots.
The pitching wedge is not good for shorter shots and is not going to turn out the way you want it to.
2. Requires Practice
Practicing with a pitching wedge is a must.
You will have to take the time to hit a golf wedge at the driving range or attempt to use a pitching wedge on the golf course a few times.
The reason you will want to do this is to get a better handle on these shots that are going to be around 110 yards or so.
It is not easy to manage those shots and you can often not hit them hard enough or overflight the golf ball.
This type of practice is something you do need to factor in when investing in a new golf wedge.
Benefits Of An Approach Wedge For Golf
1. Great For Pros
When it comes to the pros of an approach wedge in golf, you have to understand that it is all about a golfer’s expertise too.
Are you someone that has been golfing professionally for a while?
If so, it makes sense to use an approach wedge when golfing. Professional golfers use approach wedges or gap wedges because they work well. These are the types of golf wedges that will add more control to a golfer’s game and give them more options to work with.
The same does not always apply to those who are newer to golf.
2. Ideal For Short Shots
When golfing with an approach wedge, you are going to realize it does well on those shorter shots.
This means shots that are slightly under 100 yards.
You are going to have ample control when playing with an approach wedge and that is what makes it useful as a golfer. You will feel more in control with the ball flight of an approach wedge and it’s going to land where you want it to.
This is one of the main reasons golfers buy an approach wedge and include it in their golf bag when given the chance to do so. It will make a difference.
Cons Of An Approach Wedge For Golf
1. Does Not Work For Beginners
As for the negatives of an approach wedge in golf, it’s important to start with one issue that does stand out.
It is not going to be good for a beginner.
Beginners should not use an approach wedge because it will overcomplicate the game and it is not as easy to hit those short shots anyway.
You will want to keep things simple and use a traditional wedge and see if you can hit the shot where you want to.
Adding an approach wedge to a golf bag will make things harder than they need to be moving forward.
How To Choose Between An Approach Wedge And A Pitching Wedge
1. Consider The Distance Of The Shot
To choose between a pitching wedge and an approach wedge, you have to start with how far you’re planning to hit the golf ball.
Do you want to hit it around 120 yards? Do you only want to hit it for 70 yards?
These are important questions because the distance is going to dictate how far the golf ball is going to go with the help of a golf wedge.
The approach wedge is going to do better with shorter shots while the pitching wedge is going to help with the longer shots around 120 yards.
2. Assess Your Experience Level
With the pitching wedge vs approach wedge in golf, you also need to go back to your game.
Are you a pro? Are you someone that is just building out their golf bag and learning how to play golf?
These are two different situations to be in as a golfer.
For new golfers, it is best to use a pitching wedge. It is the safer wedge and it is more well-rounded for the game you are going to be playing on a golf course. High-handicappers use pitching wedges for a reason.
On the other hand, a pro golfer will use an approach wedge when golfing. It will do a lot better for those shorter shots to be more accurate.
This applies to any type of golf club including a golf chipper.
3. Check The Surface
What type of surface are you going to be playing on?
It’s important to use a pitching wedge when you are attempting to hit the golf ball far and want to get the ball flight to be spot on for more distance.
On the other hand, an approach wedge can work well for those situations where you just want to drop the ball into a gap on the course and make sure it stays closer to the hole.
What Is The Average Loft For An Approach Wedge?
The average loft for an approach wedge is between 50-52 degrees. This is ideal for those who want to hit the golf ball across a shorter distance and make sure it lands in the right spot.
What Is The Average Loft For A Pitching Wedge?
The average loft for a pitching wedge is between 46-48 degrees. This is ideal for those who want to hit the golf ball across a slightly longer distance of around 110-120 yards. It will then offer more control in those situations.
Who Should Use A Pitching Wedge?
A pitching wedge can be used by any golfer. It is recommended for beginners to use a pitching wedge in golf because it offers more control and tends to work well for the situations a new golfer is going to find themselves in.
It is rare for other types of wedges to be used by beginners. Although, it is also common for beginners to use a sand wedge for softer surfaces where a golf ball is going to have to be played out of.
Who Should Use An Approach Wedge?
An approach wedge should only be used by professional golfers or those who have been golfing for numerous years with success. The approach wedge helps “fill the gap” according to the pros because it is ideal for shorter distances.
Do Pros Use An Approach Wedge?
Yes, pros do use an approach wedge in golf and it is common for them to take it out when they need to hit the golf ball across a shorter distance with complete control.
Since professional golfers have more control over their golf swing, it’s easier for them to get the ball to land where they want it to using an approach wedge or a gap wedge.
Pros use a gap wedge to maximize those shots in that range.
Does An Approach Wedge Go Farther Than A Pitching Wedge?
No, an approach wedge does not go farther than a pitching wedge. The approach wedge will only go between 60-110 yards while a pitching wedge can go up to 120 yards depending on how it is used by the golfer.
How Far Should An Approach Wedge Go?
An approach wedge should go approximately 60-110 yards when used on the golf course. It is designed to offer increased ball flight but less distance on shots. This helps control golf shots for pro golfers.
How Far Should A Pitching Wedge Go?
A pitching wedge should go approximately 70-120 yards when used on the golf course. It is designed to offer reduced ball flight with more distance. This is great for beginners and those who want a good in-between wedge.
It’s all about understanding how each type of golf wedge works when choosing between an approach wedge vs pitching wedge as a golfer.
An approach wedge or a gap wedge has a loft of 50-52 and tends to work well for shorter shots around 60-110 yards. It is commonly used by pro golfers. In comparison, a pitching wedge is more universal and works well for beginners with a loft of 46-48 and can work across long distances of up to 120 yards.
It’s best to choose the right golf wedge based on how you are going to golf.
Just like choosing the right flex for a golf iron, you have to get this right based on your technique.