Pat Sajak: Do You Have An “A” In Your Bag?

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“Pat, I would like to buy an A please.”  While this statement might sound familiar on one of America’s most popular game shows, it very well could be said in a number of golf shops across the nation.  In this case it might be an “A” wedge (short for an approach or gap wedge).

I just sent my car to a trusted shop to have it winterized. If you haven’t looked at the calendar yet, it is right around the corner.  This is the time of year I want to be sure I have in place preventative measures before they occur when it is ten below outside.  The same kind of foresight goes for your golf bag too and that is a year end tune-up.  The best time to make mental notes is at the end of the season is when things are fresh in your mind.

Listen up if this sounds like you; “Boy, I sure wish I had a club between my PW and SW.  If I did, I am sure I could take some additional strokes off of my game.  Santa Claus, I hope you are listening.”

In these tough economic times, it is best to spend your money wisely.  You are most likely to need a club in the bag that will require you to hit a distance that is between your current pitching and sand wedge than a longer club than say a #3 iron.

Here is a chart of modern day lofts of men’s irons and hybrids.  Please notice the rather large differences in loft between the PW and SW.  Remember that most clubs progress in 3 to 5 degree intervals thus the reason why this is an important addition to the bag.

Wedge ArticleJust like in Wheel of Fortune, sometimes if you ask for an A you don’t always get one.  Why? Unfortunately too few golfers add this lofted club option to their bag which makes it difficult for manufacturers to invest into tooling for every set they produce.  This is why you might see more accomplished golfers carrying a non-matching wedge in the bag to fill a particular gap.

In closing remember this, before you can solve the problem, sometimes you have to buy the A or in this case the AW (approach wedge).


  1. Steve Sammer says:

    I’ve been using an A wedge for 3-4 yrs now and would be lost without it. My S wedge will go about 120 yds and my P goes about 75 with a full swing. The A is perfect for about 100 to 110 away. Then I adjust as needed by shortening back swing.

  2. Steve Sammer says:

    I’ve noticed that some of my shorter irons seem to be sliding under the ball and launching it up more than forward. Have I let my swing chang or have my clubs gotten worn out ? How long do clubs last ?

  3. Jeff Summitt says:


    The grooves on wedges will wear over time. How fast? It depends on your frequency of use. Professional golfers will replace their wedges at least once a year, but look at how often they will practice and play. But as far as you answer about launching it upwards, that very well is a swing change – perhaps trying to sweep rather than hitting down on the ball.

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