Usually golfers talk about how far they hit the tee shot, or their 7 iron but very rarely do we talk about wedge distances.
On my channel, I can't stop talking about the importance of the game inside 125 yards. This is very often wedge range for golfers and the scoring zone to reduce your handicap.
It's very important to know how far each wedge goes. It's also important to have excellent distance control with the pitching wedge, gap wedge and sand wedge so you hit the ball close to the hole.
So how far should you hit your wedges? Different wedges have different degree lofts and the distances for average male and female golfers are between these distance ranges:
- Sand wedge 65 to 80 yards
- Gap wedge 80 to 110 yards
- Pitching wedge 90 to 120 yards
It does not matter if you fall into the average above or not. The important part is:
You must KNOW your carry distance with each wedge factually accurate! We cannot use our ego distance for wedges. It's about precision, not power.
Controlling the distance of each wedge is the key once you know your normal distance that you hit the ball 8 out of 10 times. When you know how far you hit them, you can then control the distance so you are never in doubt approaching flags.
The wedge game is the key to scoring in golf. As a mid or higher handicapper, and even a lower handicap, the wedges will not miraculously bring you more birdies. The wedge game reduces the big numbers on your scorecards to more controllable bogeys and double bogeys instead of triples or more.
Which Wedges Should I Carry?
A modern pitching wedge has 48 degrees of loft while a sand wedge has a loft of 56 degrees. It's perfectly acceptable to use only these two wedges. After some time and experience, you might notice a distance gap between the two clubs that needs to be filled with a gap wedge.
I recommend that if you have 1 year of experience under your belt in golf that you have 3 wedges – a pitching wedge, a gap wedge and a sand wedge. You can have 4-6 degrees of loft difference between each wedge.
If your pitching wedge is 48 degrees, you can use a gap wedge of between 50 or 52 degrees of loft and a sand wedge with 56 or 58 degrees. Your preference will make the choice for you.
As mentioned above, you only need to know your carry distances - it does not matter the distance or the wedge. It must make sense for YOUR game If you know that information, you have power in your game to score well.
If you are an average hobby golfer trying to break 80, 90 or 100, we must understand that we just won't hit that many greens. So using the distances above as a guide, you can create a distance range for yourself.
- 100 breakers will hit 1-2 greens in regulation
- 90 breakers will hit 2-4 greens in regulation
- 80 breakers will hit 4-8 greens in regulation
- par breakers will hit 8-12 greens in regulation
By default, we are scrambling with our wedges. The average golfer trying to break 80-90 will miss upward of 10 greens per round - well over 50%. This is normal and is nothing to be ashamed of. But the fact is that the wedge game will be where the score is decided between in the 80s or in the 90s.
Wedge Distance Chart
How Far Should You Hit a 56 degree Wedge?
How Far Should a 60 Degree Wedge Go?
Why Should I Have Many Wedges?
The main reason to have a 3 wedges is so that you can hit the ball a specific distance when you really need it. When you have confidence in the distance you can hit the ball with a certain wedge, you will feel committed and hit the ball closer to the cup for an easier par or bogey save.
Inside the wedge range, confidence is most important to avoid the dreaded fat shot or thin shot. Having the correct wedge for the task will reduce your stress and lower your score.
How to Measure How Far You Hit Your Wedges
We cannot use guesses or estimates and there is no need to.
There are three easy ways to learn your wedge distances:
- Go to a Trackman bay at a driving range or indoors. You can hit balls and the Trackman will collect the information for you and give you a great spread of data and an average number.
- Go to a field and hit your wedges. Try to see how much they are bouncing. You can leave a golf ball bag where you were hitting the balls and shoot a rangefinder back to the bag from where the ball were landing on your shots. This is a very accurate way to know.
- You can check this out o the course. When you play a social or casual round, hit 3-4 balls to the green with your selected wedge. Shoot the distance to the pin. hit the appropriate wedge and then over the entire round, notice how far short or how far long you were in relation to the pin. This is also a very accurate way to gauge your wedge distance. To make this even more accurate, use a GPS watch to track the distance from where you hit it to where it landed.
The key is to remember DO NOT use the AVERAGE number. Use the number that comes up most often. So if the most common number for your PW is 110 and 113 and 115, then you know your wedge distance range is 110 to 115 yards. If you have a few outliers like 126 and 98, you should ignore those.
You have to remember to be brutally honest and do not lie to yourself. Use the club that works, not the club that impresses other people.
How to Hit the Partial Shots
It never matters how many wedges you have in the bag, you always seem to have those in between shots.
What do you do if you have 95 yards but your gap wedge goes 90 and your pitching wedge goes 100-105?
Here is the key:
Look at the green.
Where is the pin?
How many yards of green do you have from the pin to the front edge?
How many yards of green do you have from the pin to the back edge?
In the example above, you can hit the ball up to 115 yards without missing the green. In this instance you should hit the pitching wedge because your distance range is 100-105. That means at the most you will have a 30 foot putt but you will be on the green even with a poor strike. Ignore the flag!
If you hit a 90 yard gap wedge, it can also work if the front of the green is flat and there is no hazard or chance of spinning down a hill. I would err on the side of caution and ignore the flag and get the ball to the middle of the green.
This is an easy solution.
You don't need to compare your distance to others. The key is to KNOW your own game so you can use your exact distances and shots to keep your score down with great wedge play.
Inside 125 yards is the vital part of golf and hitting the green 6 or 7 times out of 10 is a great achievement because even the pros only hit 70% of the greens from this distance. Keep your wedge game strong!