When you first begin and are new to golfing, you probably have tons of questions about the different golf clubs and why there are so many. In particular, a very common question asked is what the difference is between a sand wedge and a lob wedge.
These two wedges are mistaken for each other constantly by newcomers, which isn’t surprising considering the two are very similar. Keep reading to learn more about the lob wedge vs sand wedge.
The Differences Between Lob Wedge Vs Sand Wedge
There is one huge feature that is different between a sand wedge and a lob wedge. This difference is going to be in the loft degree of the club. Lob wedges will have a loft ranging from 58 to 64 degrees and sand will have a loft ranging from 54 to 57.
While this is the largest difference of the two different wedges, there are a few other small differences:
- A lob wedge has a higher loft degree than a sand wedge.
- Lob wedges will have more of an open clubface.
- A sand wedge is mostly used to help remove a ball from the sand while a lob wedge is great for use anywhere on the course.
The sand wedge was first introduced during the 1930s by Gene Sarazen. It was designed to help golfers get their golf balls out of sand traps and bunkers. With a loft ranging from 54 to 57 degrees, the sand wedge makes it easier to increase the height of your shot and allows the ball to make it out of the sand.
A standard sand wedge is typically a little heavier and produces some extra bounce than regular golf irons. This gives it the necessary power to get your ball out of the bunker and back onto the green. In some cases, you can buy a set that comes with an already included sand wedge, but this isn’t always how it works.
When to Use a Sand Wedge
Based on the name of this wedge, it is pretty easy to determine what the best use for this iron is. However, a sand wedge can also be more than just a way to get your ball unstuck from the sand. Some golfers will even use it for their pitch shots. A sand wedge also has the ability to be used for a full approach from a minimum of 80 and a maximum of 100 yards.
Do I Need a Sand Wedge?
It will benefit you extremely to include a sand wedge in your golf set. This wedge will be the most effective at getting you out of bunkers and sand traps, which will be really helpful if you haven’t quite figured out how to aim properly yet.
The lob wedge is newer to the golf community than the sand wedge. It was first introduced during the mid-1980s. The release came with the increasingly difficult designs of greens during the time. There is some debate over who actually invented this iron, but it is most commonly said to be invented by Dave Pelz.
A lob wedge will typically have a loft degree ranging from 58 to 64 degrees, but it is most common to see them between 58 and 60. This wedge also has a shorter shaft, thinner leaning edge, and decreased bounce than you will find in a sand wedge. It is highly uncommon to find this wedge in a set, so it usually has to be bought separately.
When to Use a Lob Wedge
A lob wedge is typically used whenever you feel like using it. Golfers with more experience will use it when they do their pitch shots and their approach shots from the rough or fairway. Golfers with less experience are generally not as confident with this club, so it won’t be used the same way.
You will commonly see newer golfers using their lob wedge in a bunker without much green, when a difficult shot is needed around a part of the green, and when they are stuck deep in the rough on the outside of the green.
Do I Need a Lob Wedge?
Most pros will say that you will not need to have a lob wedge. When you are a beginner, you will have an easier time learning how to adjust how you hold the club at an angle that effectively changes the loft of another wedge to a larger degree like a lob wedge in seconds.
When it comes to high handicaps, it is debated whether it is necessary or not to have a lob wedge. Most will say that only highly skilled players need a lob wedge as those with a handicap will not benefit from a lob wedge at all.
However, every golfer is different, and you might benefit from a lob wedge more than another golfer would. You can always test out the lob wedge and see how you feel about it before trying to make a decision on if you want to add it to your set.
How to Decide What Wedge to Add
It can be tricky to determine whether you should add a sand wedge or a lob wedge to your golf set, but luckily there is a way to make it easier. While there is no right number of how many wedges you should have available to you in your golf bag, there is a recommended gap between them that will help your game.
You should have roughly a 4-degree loft degree difference between each wedge. If your pitching wedge has a loft degree of 48, and you are looking at a sand wedge with a 56-degree loft, you will need to consider adding a 52-degree lob wedge to your lineup.
However, a lob wedge isn’t always necessary for everyone. You might have better luck with your 56-degree sand wedge than you would with a 52-degree lob wedge. This is completely up to your personal preference. It is recommended to have three wedges, but you can have as few or as many as you want.
Regardless of how many wedges you want to carry, you will want to make sure you have wedges with the right bounce angle and grind for you personally. For example, a wedge with a wide sole will typically have more bounce and will be beneficial if there are steep angles on the course.
If you have to decide between picking one over the other, you will likely have more luck with a sand wedge. This is because they are extremely versatile and have the ability to get you unstuck from tough places.
It can be difficult to tell what the differences are between a sand wedge and a lob wedge, especially if you are new to the sport of golf. At first glance, you might think that there isn’t a difference between the two irons, and that’s because there isn’t very much difference between them at all.
The main difference between a lob wedge and a sand wedge is the loft degree. Sand wedges will have a loft between 54 and 57 degrees, while a lob wedge will have a loft degree between 58 and 64. There are also some smaller differences to keep in mind when considering the differences between a lob wedge vs sand wedge, including the clubface.