The Ultimate Guide To Approach Wedge Loft


Understanding your approach wedge lofts, the distance you can put on the club, and how much spin you can get on your shots can help you shave tons of shots off your round. 

As a general rule, an approach wedge has a loft of 50-54 degrees, but some manufactures have lofts as low as 46; it has more loft than a pitching wedge 45-48 degrees, less loft than a sand wedge 54-58 degrees. Aim to hit your approach wedge around 60-100 yards to add extra spin to pitch to the green

In this guide, we’re going to address how and when to use your approach wedge, what lies are best to use an approach wedge on, and the different types of approach wedges; read on to find out.

Take a look at the best approach wedges on Amazon below

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How Many Degrees Is An Approach Wedge? 

The approach wedge generally has a loft of 50-54 degrees, you can customize the loft of the club you buy to provide you with more height on your shots or more backspin from 60-100 yards out from the green.

The great thing about an approach wedge is how versatile they are around the greens and on approach to the greens. The loft of an approach wedge makes them a great tool to use from 100 yards out. But even then, you can use them for bump and runs, chips, dinks, and even some flop shots around the green. 

Ideally, you’ll want to use your approach wedge from between 60 and 110 yards out. The loft the club gives you allows you to lift the ball up in the air and attack the pin from a distance that may be a little shorter than your pitching wedge, which you should aim to hit 110 to 120 yards.

The approach wedge is one of my favorite clubs for chipping around the green. Its versatility and dexterity as a wedge make it a great tool to use if you’re trying to get out of some sticky rough or want to nip a cute bump and run towards the hole.  

If you are curious about what clubs you should use for chipping around the green, I wrote an article all about the different clubs you can use which I encourage you to read!

The approach wedge has a very similar design to a pitching wedge. Both clubs are for longer distance pitches, and as they are angled with a slightly higher loft than a sand or lob wedge, they have a slightly lower trajectory or angle of attack on the green. 

That means they don’t provide quite as much spin as a lob wedge can and may be tricky to use from sand traps around the course, but they are a great club to use in wet conditions and when there is a lot of wind on the course. 

In adverse conditions, you could use this club a lot more effectively than a lob wedge or sand wedge, as you will get more distance and power through the shot, which can sometimes be key when hitting shots from the saturated ground or when playing into the wind.

You will also be able to approach soft greens from a distance with this club, but you will struggle to pitch onto harder greens with an approach wedge. For shorter approach shots on harder greens, I would recommend using a lob wedge. 

Playing the course and the conditions you face is one of the hardest things to do as a golfer. The more you practice in the wet, the better you’ll become when playing in adverse conditions.

But if you’re struggling to hit the ball in the wind and rain, there can be no better solution to helping you play better than having a lesson with a coach. Check out my coaching guide for more information on how you will learn to play the course conditions during your lessons. 

What Is A 52-degree Wedge Called?

A 52- degree wedge is an approach wedge, it provides golfers with the distance and spin to place shots onto the green from 100-110 yards out. It is lighter than a pitching wedge (44-48 degree loft), providing more accuracy and spin on each shot

The 52-degree wedge is the best approach wedge in your bag. As its name suggests, it provides golfers with enough distance, spin, and accuracy to loop bombs up from the fairway and onto the green from all sorts of terrain. 

It is a great club for getting that awkward distance between your sand wedge and your pitching wedge from about 110 yards out. Most who would try to achieve that distance with a pitching wedge may over-cook or under-hit the shot, but a firm swing with your approach wedge will help you get that distance easily without having to overpower the shot. 

That is why it’s referred to as the approach wedge. Approach shots from awkward distances around the green are so hard to get right, and that’s why you’ll want to take a look at getting an approach wedge, which can help you save shots, landing the ball straight onto the green. 

If you’re a beginner golfer and are in the market for a new gap wedge, I recommend looking at the Callaway Mack Daddy. Available on Amazon now at the excellent price of around $129/£93 this wedge is a superb kick-starter to help you hone in on distances between 110 and 120 yards.

It is a very forgiving club but will also help you add extra spin onto your shots, giving you great accuracy and range around the greens. 84% of buyers on Amazon have rated the club a five-star golfing tool, which means they are in very high demand. You’ll have to act fast to secure yours. 

What Degree Is A TaylorMade Approach Wedge?

TaylorMade approach wedges usually come in either 50 or 52-degree lofts. You can also purchase customized 54-degree TaylorMade wedges, but it’s best to try to strike an equal balance with all your clubs, so you have an even spread of distance between each of your clubs. 

From their milled-face wedges to their Hi-Toe wedges, TaylorMade produces some of the best, high-performance clubs on the market, which are great for those looking to improve their game and save shots from the fairway to the green. 

TaylorMade design and produce multiple types of approach wedges that come between 50 and 54-degrees in the loft. But commonly, their wedges only range between 50 and 52 degrees if you’re buying a set of clubs online. 

And there’s a reason for that.

TaylorMade specializes in providing golfers with a great suite of clubs that can help you reach any distance you want from around the course. Golfers should look to hit a wide range of distances with their clubs, and that means not having two clubs that are too similar to each other. 

You’re going to want to work out how many wedges you want to put in your bag, depending on the combination of distances you’re comfortable hitting with each club. Most golfers prefer to use a combination of three wedges that typically includes a sand wedge, lob wedge, and pitching wedge. 

But it can be very useful throwing a gap wedge in there too, that can help you achieve a greater spread of distances on your approach to the green. If you are curious about how to organize 14 clubs in your golf bag I wrote an article all about preparing your golf bag for a round that I encourage you to read!

A sand wedge ranges in loft from anywhere between 54 to 58-degrees; there is no point in buying a 54-degree approach wedge. Effectively you’re just buying a long sand wedge which is counter-intuitive for your golfing game. 

For that reason, you’ll find a lot of TaylorMade approach wedges will be around 50 or 52-degree clubs. As a result, they will help you reach distances between 90 and 110-yards, while a 54-degree club will be pushing approximately 100-yards. If you try to hit longer distances with your 54-degree, you’ll lose the accuracy and backspin on the shot, which you’re looking to achieve when you play with your wedges. 

Amazon has a variety of TaylorMade clubs available on their golf equipment pages. Depending on what sort of wedges you’re looking for, you can find clubs that will help you achieve greater spin or more bump and forgiveness if you’re playing from difficult lies or playing from the harder ground.  

A great approach wedge to give you more spin from 110-yards out is the TaylorMade Milled Grind Hi-Toe approach wedge.

This is a great club also if you struggle to hit the sweet spot on your wedges too. The entire face of the Milled Grind Hi-Toe is a sweet spot, and wherever you make contact with the ball, you’re bound to get a lot of backspin coming thorough on the shot, with the face being covered entirely in milled grooves. That makes it a great club if you’re learning to put more spin on your shot, as well as for intermediate golfers looking to get a better connection on the shot. 

For those wanting more forgiveness, I advise you to opt for the MG2 Wedge, which is available on Amazon in both left and right-handed settings. TaylorMade produces this club in a variety of different lofts, so if you like the feel o this club, you can buy it in a full range of lofts, from 50-degrees all the way up to a 60-degree lofted club. 

The club gains its forgiving traits from the bounce of its TPU insert, fitted to the back of the clubhead; this is a vibration dampening system that players can use to create a substantial and positive impact on the golf ball. Combine that with the club’s precision-milled clubface, and you’ll be able to strike flush shots from tough lies and longer distances around the course. 

Is An Approach Wedge The Same As A Gap Wedge?

As a whole a approach wedge is the same as a gap wedge, the name differences arrise from marketing some manufactures choose to call them gap wedges whilst others call them approach wedges. Approach/gap wedges provide the difference in loft and distance between a pitching wedge (45-48 degrees) and a sand wedge (54-58 degrees)

Approach/gap wedges provide a little more loft than your pitching wedge whilst being a little lighter to hit as its clubhead is a lot less meaty than that of a pitching wedge. 

From 100 yards out, it is the perfect club to pinpoint the ball onto the green, and while many golfers like to use their pitching wedge to strike the ball from around 110 yards, many do over-cook the shot and put too much power through their swing, which can cause them to overshoot the green.

If golfers manage to find the green with their pitching wedge, the ball is likely to skirt off to the back as players struggle to put as much spin on the ball with a lower lofted pitching wedge. 

Conversely, a sand wedge is a much more lofted club and is mostly used to help golfers escape sand traps and poor lies around the green. Golfers should aim to strike their sand wedge between 50 and 100-yards and give golfers a lot of backspin and height on their shots. 

For that reason, the gap wedge is useful because it fills the gap between the pitching wedge and the sand wedge while blending in different aspects of both clubs. As a result, it can provide more accuracy than a pitching wedge and sometimes give a very similar level of spin to a sand wedge. 

Wedge Loft And Distance Guide

Club LoftDistanceBest for…
Lob Wedge58 – 60 degrees45 – 90 yards Chipping around the green, getting out of tall and deep traps, cutting through long grass, great for chipping on greens too. 
Sand Wedge54 – 56 degrees50 – 100 yardsRecovery from long grass and sand traps around the green, and also great for approach play up to 100 yards towards the green.
Approach/Gap Wedge 50 – 52 degrees60 – 11 yardsApproaching the green, accurately landing the ball on the dance floor, and generating more spin from longer distances. Can also be a good club to use to play bump and run shots up to the green and is also great for recovery shots from long grass.
Pitching Wedge46 – 49 degrees70 – 120 yardsApproach play to the green from longer distances, also great for small bump and runs around the green, and can be used from sand traps on fairways if you are a little further away from the hole. 

To help you better gauge the differences in loft and distance between each club, I’ve put together this handy table, which provides a few tips and hints on when to use each club. The table will help you customize your golf bag to enable you to strike the right balance in your wedge play, between recovery shots, lofted shots, bump and play, and long-range approach shots. 

When choosing which clubs you want to play with, it’s best to work on a trial and error approach.

Before you buy a new approach wedge, it’s important to attend a club fitting session to understand the loft, feel and distance you can put on the ball using that club. I suggest you read my article where i explain how important a club fitting session is.

My top piece of advice is not to negate the usefulness of an approach wedge. They can provide you with a new loft of a club which many golfers don’t use but can seriously help you save shots from the fairway to the green. For that reason, the gap wedge is a massively underrated club that more golfers should take advantage.

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