The majority of your shots in a round of golf occur inside the 100 yard marker, otherwise known as the scoring zone. Most golfers, especially beginners, do not think to carry a gap wedge. But a gap wedge will provide opportunities to be more aggressive and get that up-and-down when you need it most, a sure way to lower scores. Let's look at why the gap wedge is such an important but yet a very under utilized golf club.
Most golfers certainly understand the importance of the short game. One way to become more accurate when you have that opportunity for par or birdie, is to carry a wedge that will allow you to be more aggressive on the approach shots. By and large, it is easier to hit a full shot with a gap wedge as opposed to hitting a 1/2 or 3/4 shot using a pitching wedge. Having a gap wedge available in your bag, will provide otherwise missed opportunities in a round of golf to play those full shots.
Gap wedges are also called Approach and Attack wedges and as a norm, range from 50 to 53 degrees -- the more common probably being 52 degrees. But more important than the loft itself is to properly space your wedge lofts to provide the best coverage -- ideally the increments should be four or five. Because different lofts primarily equate to distance, spacing lofts will broaden your effectiveness for each yardage. For example, your Pitching Wedge is 48 degrees and the Sand Wedge is 56 degrees -- a gap wedge of 52 degrees would be ideal. This would give you the best coverage, closing those yardage gaps that fall between the pitching and sand wedge.
Another important aspect to be aware of is the bounce angle of your gap wedge. Because gap wedges are normally used in the fairway or bump and runs, it may be more beneficial to use a lower or standard bounce. Although this comes down to personal preference and the course you most commonly play, a high bounce may not be required for a gap wedge.
There are many great gap wedge manufacturers. Some of the more popular ones include Cleveland, Titleist, and Callaway. Other lesser known but very good gap wedges include Adams, Ben Hogan, Orlimar, Ping, PureSpin, Taylormade, and Wilson.
You may be missing a lot of opportunities to improve your scoring inside the scoring zone by not carrying a gap wedge. Add a gap wedge and watch your score plummet.
Written by Dan DeRoeck
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