Give Us Your Comments Regarding High-Lofted Wedges

Let’s Hear From You – Thumbs Up Or Down?

On occasion the USGA asks for comments from equipment manufacturers on certain topics.  Their intention is to “protect golf’s best traditions, to prevent an over-reliance on technological advances rather than skill, and to ensure that skill remains the dominant element of success throughout the game.” This is a very noble goal, but it could potentially conflict with equipment advances or inhibit technological growth.

In recent years the USGA and the R&A has conducted research, which in some cases has required changes to the equipment rules. Examples of which are moment of inertia, grooves and most recently club adjustability.  One such topic in the exploratory stages is the impact of high-lofted wedges (for example 60° or higher).

I have already expressed my honest assessment and opinion to the USGA. Now it is your turn to sound off.  Let’s hear from you whether high-lofted wedges (only 60° or higher) have made a positive or negative impact on your, possibly your customer’s or fellow playing partner’s game.

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32 comments

  1. Jacques Piérard says:

    I have experienced different brands 60/61 degree wedge, with low bounce, and use it around the green (within 50 yards) mostly to adjust to the short grass fairways encountered at my home course, if it helps getting the ball in the air, i have difficulty getting the right distance and close enough to the hole for me to get up and down in two with a short put !!!!

    Remember i am a senior and most of the time i am short of the green on most of the Par 4 !!!

    So that club is a must !!!!!

  2. BJ says:

    Truly an irrelevant investigation. I would think that hybrids have had more impact on game improvement that a LW, especially after the recent groove decision. A waste of money and time by a bunch of guys with too much time on their hands!

  3. Brian says:

    Takes lot of skill and practice to use a high-lofted wedge. Flatter the loft, the more chance of blading it. That’s why a restriction doesn’t make sense.

  4. Chuck says:

    Too much skill required to use a high lofted wedge. Unless practiced with every day, I along with my playing partners have trouble controlling distance from green side shots and short approach shots. Scores often go down when this club is removed from my bag.

  5. Jim says:

    I carry both a 60 degree (lob wedge) and 64 degree (flop wedge) in my bag. Although a hybrid 2 iron is my favorite club, the 64 degree wedge is my most used club other than a putter. I believe it takes more skill to hit low shots from 60 yards and in than short pitches. This makes the these high loft wedges useful for the mid to high handicapper. However, I have found that it takes more skill to chip with these 2 wedges than is does a sand wedge. Because of many high lips in my area I use the 60 degree wedge rather than a sand wedge for shots from a sand trap.

  6. Gary Booth says:

    The standard 60 degree lob wedge is a useful club and I can control it fairly well. But I have a lot of trouble with my 64 degree wedge and have stopped using it. I remember hearing David Feherty say on a CBS golf telecast that he had trouble using a 60 degree wedge effectively, and he stuck with his 56 degree sand wedge. Where does that leave the average hacker?

  7. I love higher lofted wedges. I use a set of four wedges, 52, 56, 60 and 64º lob wedge. The choice of lofts and bounce angles gives you that many more options and helps improve your short game. Requires practice though.

  8. Jim says:

    I just made a 60 and a 68 degree wedges and took them out for the first time this weekend.
    It was awful!! I couldn’t hit either one of them straight!
    I’m a 10 handicapper and have been playing for a long time. These high lofted wedges need a lot more attention on the range before I’ll take them back out where it counts!

  9. Joe Easley says:

    I use a 60 degree wedge around the green from 60 yards in. It works for me. However, it takes more pracitce to be good with it. If the USGA thinks that there is less skill involved, they are wrong.

  10. I am 59, started golf 5 years ago, hcp 23, play 1 or twice a week and my 60° wedge is essential for my play within 50 yds from the green. Also, when playing from high places to steep slope green: open the face and ply it as in a bunker and the ball will fall and almost drop dead avoiding uncontrolled roll our of the green. For me it is fair to have it available.
    Besides, it is not an easy club to play, it is not a piece of cake.
    If we used that way of thinking (limiting reasonable progress to improve playing golf) we would be still using persimmon woods

  11. Roy Davis says:

    Over 90% of the world’s golfers will never be a pro or concerned with rules written for pros. I submit that technology will eventually force manufacturers to make both “amateur” and “pro” clubs in order to compete in the marketplace.

    I use a 60-degree wedge about 10-15 times a round and my scores would rise if it were outlawed. Sure, it takes some serious pre-practice with a pro or low handicapper to show the newbie how to use this weapon.
    The most important thing to remember is that you swing this club almost in slow-motion to get the best results. Try this, swing ultra slow while taking an extra long takeaway and complete your follow-through.

  12. Tim says:

    I don’t have anything other than the sand wedge that I used for short clips. I have found that I’m very inconsistant with the sand wedge and perfer to just use a standard pitching wedge and choke down on it. I’m 70 with 6 handicap.

  13. Keith says:

    I have a 60* which I haven’t been using because I don’t have room in the bag. I use an opened up 56* instead. My SW has a relatively narrow sole with not much bounce, but if it was a wide soled high bounce cavity back, I wouldn’t be able to use it opened up on tighter lies.

  14. TONY KUBES says:

    60 degree and higher wedges, in my opinion certainly don’t seem to offer any ”unfair” advantage, they require a lot of practice to use effectively. They are generaly more difficult to hit cleanly, making distance judgement more critical. But they have their place, I usually save them for shots where I really need to get the ball up quickly, like a ”walled” sand-trap

  15. Bruce says:

    I carry a 61 degree wedge, but like others, find it more difficult to hit than a 56.
    Experimenting with wedges, I find the shape of the leading edge of the club face is critical to my success. Most 56, 60… wedges feature a rounded nose designed to let you open the face. However, for me I do not open the face – stay simpler to aim so where the ball hits the face with respect to the hosel is critical- is it out on the blade far from the hosel or in the center of the face??? This curve complicates wedge use for me.
    Thus, my 56 started life as a 52 gap wedge (5 deg bounce) with a leading edge much like a pitching wedge (straight across; no rounded shape). It is a FORGED club head so I bent it to 56 (also picked up 4 degrees of bounce which was fine.
    My 61 had a curved front of the club face, BUT 5 minutes with a bench grinder fixed that and very much helped me improve contact.
    Perhaps someone -Hireko – could offer wedges with a straight leading edge so they can be aimed like any other club.

  16. Jerry McNeil says:

    I am a 68 year old 13 handicap golfer. My 60 degree, wedge with 6 degrees of bounce saves me 4 or 5 strokes a round. At my age I have difficult reaching the longer par 4 and 5 holes in regulation. I can drop a 60 degree wedge a few feet from the hole and make a put to save par or better. I carry 4 wedges, 47, 52, 56 and 60. With little bounce I can use the 60 from the fairway or the rough with equal success and get it to stop near the hole……..it will be the last club I give up…I can give up the 56 degree with 12 degrees of bounce which I use for sand and I can open the face of the 60 and get out of sand most anywhere. I used to chip with the 56 but have learned to use the 52 with excellent results.

  17. Nick Mal says:

    After many years of using a 60 degree LW, I finally ditched it last year. Now the highest lofted wedge in my bag is a 56 degree SW with 14 degrees of bounce and rolled front edge to prevent digging. Most of us play on normal muni or country club courses, so a 60 or 64 degree wedge is not needed. Its not like the greens we play are running 12 or 13 on the stimp. The SW can be opened up several more degrees anyway for flops, and I find having just one club to choose from has made me more consistent for short chips around the greens. I have added a Gap Wedge and several hybrids to my bag, which are much more important than a LW.

  18. Joe L says:

    I would never use anything higher than a 60* wedge, as I would rarely have occasion to hit such a short shot of having to sky it almost straight up for such a short distance, and more likely than not I would skull it and send a low screamer right over the green.
    I have an old, old Dynacraft 60* called a Johnny Revolta model, with a punch dot scored face. It has alot of bounce though, and I use it as my primary sandwedge, and it works like magic for that.
    If I wanted to carry a wedge above the 60* wedge, I would have to drop another club from the bag to stay at the 14 club limit.

  19. Steve says:

    They are a double edged sword. They help to prevent the ball from rolling so far on a fast green, but they take a long time to learn how to hit! Green golfers should not use them at all until they have practiced with them long enough to build confidence in them or their scores will suffer instead of getting better. I like mine for chipping to a hole on a downward sloping green and sand shots from greenside bunkers. Occasionaly, I blade or chunk my shot and pay the price!

  20. Jim Dusbiber says:

    i use 48*, 52*, 56*.

    i have used a 60* and it’s to much of a speciality club that i would use rarely to justify taking one of the 14 coveted spots in my bag.

    when i need to flop it, i just open my 56. to honest, the high lofted wedges have helped a few players. i work in a shop and a player have even gaps and correct bounce angle and understanding how to use the wedges they have, can negate the need for 60 degree and higher.

    i don’t think the USGA needs to be to concerned about these kinds of wedges. besides, they are harder to hit anyways, which just keeps very recreational golfers away from them.

  21. Cody Hamblin says:

    High lofted wedges + high handicap players = wasted strokes

    High lofted wedges + low handicap players = wasted strokes

    High lofted wedges + Tour Professionals = the difference between getting paid and not getting paid (Pelz?)

    Wedges hardly help the average golfer. Here’s why:

    1. High lofted wedges cause golfers to make bad choices. (How many times have you seen your buddies try a flop shot with a lob wedge instead of chipping with a 9-iron?)

    2. There is no reason to take a full swing from 60 yards out.(and NO you dont hit your Lob wedge 100 yds.)

    3. Many average golfers can’t perform a technically sound putting stroke or chipping stroke (the two easiest in the game) and therefore waste their money by buying multiple wedges they can’t hit.

    4. Of all the technological advances that have taken place in the game, wedges have changed the least. High lofted wedges require great skill and imagination to master. Both of which weekend warriors have no great depth in.

    Don’t misunderstand me. High lofted wedges are useful for some players but not all players.

    Most golfers would greatly benefit from taking out their 56 degree sand wedge and 60 degree lob wedge and replacing them with a 52 degree gap wedge.

    I challenge the readers of this to examine what I have to say and evaluate your own game and those of your playing buddies. If you can except a no frills chip instead of a ‘cut lob’ shot you will find that your game will go to the next level faster than you ever imagined.

  22. Gary says:

    I have an 80 degree wedge which I play to 50yards with a full swing, I also use it out of the bunkers and any other shot less than 50 yards. I am a 12 handicap player and would be lost without this club; is it legal?

  23. Jeff Summitt says:

    Gary:

    There is no rule for the maximum loft allowed on a wedge. Is it is legal? Conforming might be a better term. It is only conforming to the Rules of Golf is it had been submitted and tested by the USGA or R&A in which you would need to ask the manufacturer. There are other factors such as groove width, depth and so forth that make a club conforming. But if you get 50 yards out of it without blading the ball, then you must seriously de-loft the club at impact.

  24. Ray Kelley says:

    I am a 62 year old who was playing to a low teens handicap.
    After carrying and misusing a 60 for years, I had a sesion with a really good teacher who showed me that I could be a lot more consistent with the 52 (and the 54 and 56).
    I am amazed at the increase in confidence. And the reduction is scores.
    I’m about 3 down on the handicap and a lot less stressed.

  25. Matt L. says:

    I have a full set of wedges culminating in a 60*. My PW is a standard cavity back, while my AW, SW, and LW are blades. While I do best with the SW (56*), the 60* LW works well out of greenside bunkers, where I would tend to overshoot a green (if I didn’t leave it in the sand) with the SW. I can hit a decent flop shop with the 60* open a bit, but distance control is very difficult. It’s also easy to blade or shank it while flopping. I would imagine that the higher the loft, the lower the bounce necessary to make use of it. For a 64* (which I don’t have), I would guess it would be best to slip it under a tight lie, requiring less bounce. It takes a lot of practice to have skill with flatter wedges, so I agree with others that the USGA should focus on other areas. The recent groove ruling makes these even harder to control, so I agree with others that the USGA should focus on other areas.

  26. Chris says:

    My teaching pro told me that anything over 56 degrees will only get you in trouble. Of course, I had to prove him wrong. “Everyone” is going ga-ga over the 60+ degree wedges, and everyone can’t be wrong, or so I thought. Well, they were for me. I couldn’t keep three shots within 20 yards of each other on the range, and had even more trouble on the course. I took out the 60 and 64 degree wedges, added a 2 hybrid and a chipper and have been much better off for it. The 2 hybrid has put more balls on the green than my wedges ever did, and even though I get laughed at at first with the chipper, I usually bounce the ball off the pin at least once a round. The score is what counts, not what is in the bag, and getting rid of the high lofted wedges were a good thing for me. I would like to see them kept, though, so I can have a better chance of beating my friends and their fad wedges.

  27. I am still a fairly new golfer this go around. I came back 2.5 yr. ago after layoff of 25 yrs. I haven’t used the different wedges enough to make an intelligent comment however I do like what the lob wedge does (stop and hold) and I like what the gap does also when it is need for short to med pitches.

  28. Remickulous says:

    I am 40 and this is my first season golfing. I have gotten down to a 25 handicap and havent hit over 100 in a few months, and I absolutely LOVE my 60 wedge. With 7deg bounce and a nice wide flange, I use it anywhere 80 yards and in – rough, sand, fairway, sometimes fringe…it performs for me like no other wedge. I am moving to the hireko forged 60 with 4 deg bounce to help me lay it open even more. No one I play with uses a 60 and they say I am nuts…until they watch me consistantly put it close to the hole from 80 and in.

    It is not usually an easy club to use, but I have been working hard to get better, and I can only use my 60 in my back yard, so when I can’t make it to the range or the course, the 60 is it. Play it forward, open it up, open the stance, hinge the wrists back and through and I get a nice high flop that stops. Play it back, hinge and hold, and I can make it run. Hit it full, just back of middle, and I can make it spin back or just stop on a dime.

    Take away my 60 and you take away my favorite club…and I am still a friggin 25 handicap. Imagine if I had to use my 52! This is NOT a techno “cheater”, if they want to take away a “cheater”, take away those damn chippers! Make golfers use a real club!!! Leave my wedge alone and we won’t have any problems. That’s all I have to say about that…

  29. Antoine says:

    Hi guys,
    Everybody is talking about loft, if you hit a 70° wedge with no bounce it’s as easy to hit as your 9 iron.
    Bounce is the problem for some players,the more bounce the more difficult to hit.
    If you are serious about golf you need wedges, 52,56, 60° , but you also need practice and a golf teacher to give you the confidence you need to hit a high lofted club with a lot of bounce.
    Have fun, it’s a difficult game.
    Antoine

  30. M R Clag says:

    I am a 10-hndcp senior player. I tried the higher lofted wedges, but don’t have the skill set to use them successfully. That seems to be a theme among the respondants, so it appears that the high wedge loft idea is self-policing.

    I am fortunate to have a very good teaching professional. He can not only teach, but he was accomplished enough to play in six British Opens. In other words, he has been there and knows of what he speaks. He personally feels that 58-degrees is about as high as one needs to go, providing the grind on the sand or lob wedge does allow one to open the blade for the occasional ‘flop’ shot.

  31. Art says:

    I think the USGA needs to stay out of the club making for anyone but highly skilled players. I have and use a 60 and a 64 degree wedge. When I replace them, I would not consider any wedge head that does not have square groovs period.

  32. 9handicapper says:

    It all depends on the course…

    If your playing some of the tough mountain courses in the Carolinas or Georgia where bunkers can be 20yrds long and 6ft deep, then your best pal in the whole world is a 64* degree wedge … you need loft and distance.

    Go play some of the courses at Pinehurst, like the Legacy .. it’s common to find yourself 4ft down and 40yrds to go … you better have a 62 or 64 degree Wedge or you’ll be in there til’ Easter…

    Merry Christmas everyone.!

    -

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