What Is A Sand Wedge?

Golf Bags On The Patio

By Steve

Everything You Need To Know About Its Loft, Bounce & Distance

If you’re new to golf, you may be wondering what a sand wedge is and why it’s an important club to have in your bag.

A sand wedge is a type of golf club that is specifically designed to help you hit shots out of bunkers (which are full of sand) as well as other situations around the green.

The sand wedge typically has a loft between 54-56 degrees, which is higher than most other wedges except for a Lob Wedge (which is usually 58-60-62-64 degrees).

This higher loft helps to get the ball up in the air quickly, which is important when you’re trying to escape a sand trap as there is usually an elevation that you need to get over.

Additionally, sand wedges usually have a higher degree of bounce, which helps prevent the club from digging into the sand or turf and allows for cleaner contact with the ball.

Don’t worry I’ll explain what bounce is a little further in.

Overall, the sand wedge is a versatile club that can be used for a variety of shots around the green, including chipping, pitching, and bunker shots.

Understanding the loft and bounce of your sand wedge is crucial to making the most of this club and improving your short game.

Loft of a Sand Wedge

Importance of Loft

When it comes to sand wedges, the loft is a crucial factor to consider.

As I mentioned the loft of a sand wedge typically ranges from 54 to 56 degrees.

The higher degree of loft helps to lift the ball out of the sand and onto the green.

Additionally, the loft of a sand wedge also plays a vital role in determining the distance the ball will travel.

Vokey Oil Can Wedge

Bounce of a Sand Wedge

Sand wedges are designed to help you get out of bunkers and onto the green.

They have a feature called bounce, which is the angle between the leading edge of the clubface and the trailing edge.

The bounce of a sand wedge is an important factor to consider when selecting the right club for your game.

Understanding Bounce

Bounce is the angle created between the leading edge and the lowest point of the sole or trailing edge.

This is the area of the club that hits through the ground as it contacts the ball.

The greater the wedge bounce degree, the higher the leading edge is off the floor when you address the golf ball. (Which if you’re not careful can lead to thinned shots)

Having the proper wedge bounce and grind option promotes optimal contact, control, and ball spin.

A sand wedge with a higher bounce angle will have more resistance to digging into the sand, making it easier to get the ball out of the bunker, assuming you use the right technique.

On the other hand, a sand wedge with a lower bounce angle will have less resistance to digging, which can be useful when playing on firm or hard-packed sand.

However, it can also cause the club to dig too much into the sand, making it more difficult to get the ball out of the bunker.

Either way you will need to practice your bunker shots – make sure you watch our video coaching how to play bunker shots

Bounce Variations

Sand wedges will normally have between 8 and 14 degrees of bounce.

Wedges with 8-10 degrees of bounce are considered to be mid-bounce, while anything over 10 would be considered high bounce.

Players tend to choose mid bounce wedges to create shots around the green, as they help achieve exact distance and trajectory control.

Mid bounce wedges are suited for almost all swing types, they most favour a neutral swing style with a moderate attack angle.

High bounce wedges are those with more than 10° of bounce, designed for softer turf, fluffy lies, and bunkers with soft sand.

High bounce sand wedges are ideal for preventing the leading edge of the club from dragging too much in the sand.

High bounce wedges are also helpful to players who take deeper divots with a digger steeper attack angle.

Your sand wedge will probably have more bounce than your other wedges because it’s used a lot more for bunker shots.

It’s important to note that the bounce of a sand wedge can also be affected by the grind of the sole.

Grind refers to the shape of the sole and how it interacts with the ground.

Different grinds can be used to adjust the bounce angle and make the club more versatile for different playing conditions.

How far does a Sand Wedge Go

Factors Influencing Distance

The distance coverage of a sand wedge is influenced by several factors.

The most important of these factors is the loft of the wedge. The higher the loft, the higher the ball will launch, resulting in a shorter carry distance but a steeper descent angle.

Another factor that influences distance coverage is the bounce of the wedge.

Wedges with higher bounce angles tend to produce shorter shots with less spin, while wedges with lower bounce angles tend to produce longer shots with more spin.

The type and speed of swing also plays a vital role in how far the wedge will go.

Equally a full swing will produce much more distance than a partial swing.

Average Distance Range

If you push me for a distance I would say the average distance for a sand wedge is between 80 and 100 yards.

However, this will vary depending on the golfer’s skill level and swing speed.

Beginners may find that their sand wedge shots travel less than 80 yards, while more experienced golfers may be able to hit their sand wedge 100+ yards.

It’s important to note that distance coverage can also be affected by the type of ball being used, the lie of the ball, and the condition and firmness of the course.

For example, a ball lying in thick rough will require a more powerful swing to get it airborne and achieve the desired distance.

So Should You Buy A Sand Wedge

Remember, choosing the right sand wedge is a personal decision that depends on your skill level and playing style.

Every player has their own unique technique, and should use wedge bounces and grinds that are fit to their own swing styles.

I always recommend trying out different clubs to find the one that works best for you.

I find I change my wedges every season or two.

I’m currently alternating between using both a 56 degree Vokey SM8 and a 60 Degree Vokey SM9 but then sometimes taking them both out of my bag and just using a 58 Degree Vokey SM8.

And then I get on the course and only use a 50 degree for nearly all my mid wedge shots…

my wedge play has always been the biggest weakness in my game, despite my best efforts and countless lessons, I’m still rubbish with them even after 20+ years of playing

I love this game!