Welcome to another edition of the Fully Equipped Mailbag, curated by Cleveland/Srixon Golf, an interactive series from GOLF.com in which we answer challenging gear questions.
How do I choose the right gap?
One of the quickest ways to organize your short game is to pick the right set of pegs. At first glance it seems easy: Get two or three pegs that look good on you from your local golf shop and be on your way.
Could it really be that simple?
of course not. Talking about golf gear here, there are nearly endless options and opportunities to complete a wedge set. The key is how you start choosing your pegs in the first place.
To choose the correct peg setup, the first logical step is to look at the peg in your kit and build from there. Modern-day betting wedges range anywhere from 43 to 46 degrees in the loft, but it wasn’t always that way.
For decades, wedges had more lofts, ranging from 48 degrees or more. This means it was easier to flush your set of irons to a standard pair of wedges that include either a 54- or 56-degree sand wedge and a 58 or 60-degree lob wedge.
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Cleveland Smart Soul 4
$119.99 – $129.99
Smart Sole 4 makes the short game easier. Featuring an extra wide sole and improved Feel Balancing technology, the Smart Sole 4 offers maximum tolerance and easier vault play for those who need a little more help in the game.
Now that lofts are getting stronger, gap wedges are a staple in the bags of many players who need to bridge the wide gap in the loft between modern court wedges and standard 56-degree sand wedges. A typical gap wedge has between 46 and 52 degrees of loft, which means you want to choose a gap wedge that enables your lofts to be spaced as evenly as possible.
For example, you might have a 44-degree wedge to start with. (And if you don’t know the loft of your width wedge, the club maker can tell you, or most brands and models have lofts listed somewhere online.) Ideally, you’d probably choose a 48 or 50 degree gap. wedge, then either a 54- or 56-degree sand wedge, followed by a 58- or 60-degree lob wedge. In case you were wondering, top wedge brands carry several lofts on each model, making it easy to find a gap that matches the rest of your wedge set.
Once you connect upstairs, this is where you need to make an assessment of how you plan to use it. Most golfers with gap wedges hold it for playing full swing shots and not for great shots around the green. And if the idea of swinging full force with a wedge sounds intimidating, a game-optimization option like Cleveland’s Smart Sole 4 wedge is a solid choice. The Smart Sole comes in a 50-degree gap model with an extra-wide, three-ply sole for maximum tolerance and minimal pits.
Remember that choosing the right gap wedge starts with the pitch wedge, not by choosing a sanding lube or wedge first. And one more thing, if you prefer a gap wedge that looks more like a wedge and looks a lot like the irons in your kit, check with the manufacturer of your iron and see if the company makes a gap wedge version. Many of them do and are usually sold separately.
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