The loft of the club is measured in degrees and is the angle of the clubface. You should choose wedge lofts that will help you hit it closer to the pin from your most common approach yardages. As you build your wedge makeup,ideally you will have a 4 to 5° difference in loft between each one. Here's a rundown on the typical wedge lofts.
PW – 46 to 48°
AW/GW – 51 to 53°
SW – 54 to 58°
LW – 58 to 60°
Bounce is the angle of the sole to the ground. Wedges with a higher bounce angle perform better out of the fluffy sand or high grass. A lower bounce wedge will perform better on courses with tight lies and thin bunker beds. Match the bounce recommendations below with the course conditions you encounter most:
High Bounce (above 14°) for tall grass, deep rough, and fluffy sand
Standard bounce (10°-14°) for normal to soft conditions or those who leave shallow divots.
Low bounce (0-10°) for tight lies, fairway shots, and tight, compacted sand.
Wedges come in a variety of finishes including polished chrome, satin, black/gunmetal and raw. All finishes wear slightly over time and you should choose the one that sets up best to your eye at address. The only finish with performance benefits is the raw finish which will rust over time and helps add spin.
Q: What type of wedges are best for me?
A: The bounce of a wedge plays a key role in determining how it performs in different conditions, especially with your sand wedge. If you play on courses with lush conditions and fluffy sand, a high bounce wedge will benefit you most. If you play with tight fairways and hard conditions, low bounce wedges are better.
Q: Is there one optimal wedge set makeup?
A: There is not one recommended wedge makeup for all golfers. The most common fault is for a player to carry a pitching wedge and sand wedge and no gap wedge. This can be a problem if you have trouble hitting a 3/4 effort PW or are inconsistent powering a SW the distance you need. So, if you currently carry a PW and SW think about adding a gap/approach wedge (50-52°) to help you fill in the space between clubs so you can hit a full shot. The goal is to have 4-5° between your wedges to maximize distance control.
Q: Are there performance differences between the types of wedge finishes?
A: The finish on most wedges is simply cosmetic and offers you the opportunity to find the one that appeals to your eye at setup. Raw tour grind (RTG) wedges will rust over time and will impart slightly more spin on the ball.