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One major influence on how good you can be when you are close to the green with your short game is actually the tools that you are using to play those shots. Historically golf clubs came with 2 different wedges we had sand wedge, pitching wedge and the rest of the irons, but because over the years the different manufacturers have actually made their wedges a bit stronger a pitching wedge is now about 46 degrees some even 43 degree pitching wedges and that means your pitching wedge can go a long way and although that’s quite nice to say well I can hit my pitching wedge and it goes a 130 or 140 yards which was unthinkable a few years ago, that can actually leave you with a massive hole in your bag that from a 130 yards you have only got one club left which is your sand wedge. So now we need to look at repositioning some more wedges into our set to give us a different variations, different yardage gaps. So I would encourage most people to carry the wedges I do which is actually a full wedge system. So I have my pitching wedge, which is about 48 degrees, then I have my gap wedge at 52 degrees, a sand wedge at 56 degrees and a lob wedge at 60 degrees.

Now if you think about through those numbers there is 4 degree space between each club. Now often you will find that each degree will change the distance you hit the ball by about 3 yards. So we have got this nice even split there where each club is going a different distance from the next one. If I took one of those wedges out I would have a huge hole in my bag where I have got one club that goes a distance to the front of the green but my other wedge goes way over to the back of the green. So by putting those extra wedges in I can split that yardage gap quite nicely. So what I would suggest is take your wedges to the practice ground, hit some full pitching wedges, hit some full sand wedges and just have a look at how far that gap is between them and if the gap is too big, if it’s more than 20 yards consider putting a club that’s directly in the middle of those yardages all those lofts. So possibly adding a gap wedge into your bag. Then if you are hitting your sand wedge and it’s going too far not going high enough particularly for the little flip shot around the green it should land and stop on the green consider putting a lob wedge in your bag which is more loft at 60 maybe even 62, 64 degrees particularly if you play a golf course as big bunkers and small greens where you need to hit the ball right over the bunker and get it to stop.

The other consideration then is the bounce angles now with the sand wedge we want a lot of bounce, bounce is the angle of the bottom edge of the golf club is below the leading edge of the golf club and in a bunker we need the bounce angle to hit the sand and kick the ball back out, but with a lob wedge and the gap wedge you don’t really need that much bounce angle you want to be able to play that ball of a tight to lie. So particularly with your lob wedge look for something that has very little bounce. Or I will put it another way, that when you lay it on the floor on a tight lie the leading edge should be nice and close to the ground if that leading edge is sitting well off the floor you are going to struggle to get the club underneath the ball.

So consider your lofts so you get nice yardage gaps, consider the bounce angles on the clubs and also just make sure you have a nice even spread in your bag. If you have got 3 or 4 woods a couple of hybrids loads of long irons but only 1 or 2 wedges I think you have got the weighting the distribution in your bag wrong, I would like to see you carry at least 3 if not 4 wedges particularly if your pitching wedges goes more than a 100 yards you need to put in an extra couple of clubs in just to bring that yardage in when you are a bit closer you get a lot of those shots on the golf course if you don’t have the right tools you will struggle when you close to the green.