What’s a gap wedge and how does it improve your shots
When you want to cover a distance that the sand wedge or pitching wedge cannot accomplish because of being too long or too short, gap wedge is the ideal wedge to use.
So, what’s a gap wedge used for precisely?
It is the ideal wedge to use when you are near the green. This specialized wedge has an angle of club head that lies in between the sand and pitching wedges.
What’s a gap wedge angle apt for?
The angle or loft of gap wedge usually ranges from 50 degrees to 54 degrees, while the pitching wedge is near 45 degrees and sand wedge near 55 degrees.
Generally the loft is based on the model and brand of club you use. The loft degree is of moderate to low and is also known as approach wedge.
Because of the loft degree the gap wedge is used to replace any of the three wedges namely pitching, sand and lob wedges.
Gap wedge is a newer addition when compared to the other wedges and was created when golf manufacturers began reducing loft degrees in the pitching wedges in the past few years.
Both amateurs and professional players use gap wedges now.
What’s a gap wedge made of?
Steel is the material used for making gap wedges. This is because it is sturdier than the graphite material used in some models of gap wedges.
You can wield more control over the shot with a steel gap wedge due to its durability.
Graphite material has its own advantages like giving more distance for the golfer and avoiding the impact of shock created by the shot.
How much distance can a gap wedge cover?
The distance covered by a club is influenced by its loft angle. Most gap wedges can cover 90 yards easily which is actually lower than what a pitching wedge can do. This is around 105 yards.
But when compared to sand wedge which covers about 70 yards this is higher. The exact distance varies based on the golfer.
To know whether you need to use gap wedge in your game, you have to practice at hitting the pitching and sand wedges and identify the distance difference between the two.
If the distances you cover with the wedges are satisfactory to you, it is not necessary to consider the gap wedge.
Advantages of using a gap wedge
Many golfers are ignorant about what’s a gap wedge use for. Here are a few important benefits of using a gap wedge.
Gap wedges are crucial now because of the difference of 10 degrees that exists between the sand and pitching wedges. A few decades back the difference was just 5 degrees. This increase in difference has led to the origin of gap wedges.
To compensate the difference of over two clubs gap wedges have become an important part of the game. Golf instructors generally recommend a four degree difference between all wedges you use.
Another significant deciding factor on gap wedge use is the bounce it provides. You can get over 6 degrees of bounce, so you can hit on any type of surface whether it is soft, dry or hard fairways.
Bounce as you know is the distance of leading edge from the club face bottom. A good bounce helps to improve your shots through grass, sand, etc.
Gap wedge is preferred by golfers when they are looking to add more ball height than what they can achieve with sand or pitching wedge.
Short grass, long grass, and rough and in the fairways are some of the situations gap wedges can be used effectively.
What to look for in the finish of a gap wedge
To gain more momentum on the spin, it is vital for the gap wedge to have the appropriate finish. Wedges may have dark, rusted or chrome finish.
What’s a gap wedge finish capable of? Darker surface has softer feel with textured finish for better spin.
With wear of the finish over time you can expect a reduction in the spin. This is why it is necessary to have the finish well protected by regular maintenance.
Not familiar with using a gap wedge? Here is how you can practice with the new iron
Gap wedge is a golf club that goes beyond the sand wedge and produces a shot that is shorter when compared to pitching wedge. Therefore, buying a gap wedge that has a loft degree between that of your sand and pitching wedges is necessary.
In general range of gap wedge is 50 degrees to 54 degrees. Men can hit to around 100 yards with the wedge, while women about 85 to 90 yards.
Here are some tips to practice your gap wedge and give the edge your repertoire needs.
· To start with, you have to know the distance you can cover using the gap wedge and compare it with that of the other two wedges you use namely pitching and sand wedges.
· Hit a minimum of 10 balls. Note the distance each ball has landed and the height of each ball for all the three wedges. Now you will be able to understand the distance you can reach with each of the wedges.
· Now repeat the drill with changes done to the positioning of the ball. Place the balls across from the front foot’s insole and hit from the trailing foot.
. You are sure to find a difference in the shots and backspin crated. Do this for the other wedges too to know how the ball position can influence the spin.
· Now use half swing on the gap wedge taking care not to keep the arms parallel to the ground. This will help you gain more control over the course instead of the course deciding your play.
You need to remember that range practice can never substitute playing on the course. You are not allowed to hit off from the turf, so you keep practicing off mats only.
Moreover practicing under the natural conditions will help in better honing of your skills than using a practice range.
With hands-on practice, you will find the answer to what’s a gap wedge really used for? And you can learn how it can turn your game into an enjoyable one easily.