What Is An A Wedge?

Have you been looking at wedges in a golf shop? Wondered why some of the clubs have an “A” stamped on the bottom rather than the loft? What is an A Wedge?

That’s because some manufacturers prefer to use names rather than stamping the loft. Depending on the manufacturer the A will stand for either “approach” or “attack”.

What Is An A Wedge

What Is The Loft Of An “A” Wedge (Attack Wedge)?

Generally, you’ll find these clubs have in the region of 50° to 52° of loft. This means they sit between a typical pitching wedge and sand wedge loft.

What Is The Difference Between An A Wedge And A Gap Wedge?

As you can see from the loft on a typical A wedge it sits between a sand wedge and a pitching wedge. You should be able to guess therefore that a gap wedge and an A wedge are effectively one and the same. They are just different names given by different manufacturers.

When Should I Use An A Wedge (Approach Wedge)?

Well, you can use an A wedge for any shot that you might use any other wedge to play.

Obviously your swing speed and quality of strike will determine how far you hit the ball but there’s nothing to stop you from using your A wedge for chipping or bunker play as well.

Having a little less loft than your sand wedge means it might be ideal for longer bunker shots in the 40 to 60-yard range for example.

Why Should I Buy An “A” Wedge Rather Than A Gap Wedge?

If you think adding an extra wedge will benefit your game then there’s nothing stopping you from buying an A wedge or gap wedge in terms of performance. 

You need to find the loft and bounce combination that best suits your current set makeup, swing and course conditions. 

For consistency, you may want to get a wedge from the same company that makes the rest of your irons. If their gap wedges happen to be stamped with an A then that doesn’t really make any difference to its performance.

What Is The Difference Between An A Wedge And A Pitching Wedge?

The biggest difference is going to be the amount of loft on the clubhead. Pitching wedges tend to fall in the 44°-48° range while A wedges will be closer to 50°-52°. 

Depending on the manufacturer you may also find different amounts of bounce available. Some manufacturers may also offer different types of sole grind as well.

How Far Does An A Wedge Go?

That really depends on your clubhead speed and your quality of strike. You would expect it to go roughly halfway between your pitching wedge and sand wedge distance assuming the lofts differ by about the same amount.

Tour professionals will be hitting their gap wedge in the region of 130 yards. Club players are more likely to be in the 80-100 yard range. To get an idea of how far you could be hitting the ball you should try our club distance calculator.

What Is Gapping?

This just refers to achieving consistent distance gaps between each of your clubs. In recent years manufacturers have tended to decrease the lofts on irons in an effort to make people think they were hitting the ball further. Because the sand wedge was usually left at its traditional loft of 56° this meant a big gap grew between it and the pitching wedge which could be as strong as 44° in some sets.

So in order for you to bridge the gap between your sand and pitching wedge, you need a club with around 50°-52° of loft. Without this it means either having to hit a sand wedge extremely hard or take something off your pitching wedge. Neither is probably a good idea for recreational golfers who tend to perform best when making a full swing.

which wedge to chip with
Which wedge to chip with?

What Wedge Should You Chip With?

Ideally, you should try to pick the right tool for the job. As a general rule, it’s best to keep the ball low to the ground as this minimizes your chances of mistakes. 

Over time as you progress in the game you should try to work on using different clubs to produce different types of shots from different lies.

As a beginner, you might find it easier to stick to chipping with just one club wherever possible to eliminate some of the variables. You may decide to chip with your gap wedge or A wedge if it feels comfortable to you and gives you the best results.

Should Beginners Use An A Wedge?

While it is certainly useful having a club for the gap between your pitching wedge and your sand wedge there may be other areas of the game that beginners should focus on before worrying about picking up an A wedge or gap wedge.

Starting out you would probably be better advised to work on your ball striking with your driver and getting reasonably consistent with your irons before looking at specialty wedges. Many beginners neglect to work on their putting when that is a relatively simple area to improve!

Can You Change The Loft On An A Wedge?

Most wedges can be adjusted by a degree or two up or down although it tends to be easier with forged rather than cast clubs. However, it’s probably not wise to change the loft by too much as you are going to alter the amount of bounce as well.

What Is An A Wedge: Conclusion

So hopefully that has cleared up any confusion for you regarding what an A wedge is. It is just another way of naming a gap wedge.

If you are still new to golf then you probably don’t need to worry too much about picking up specialty wedges just yet. Concentrate on developing your swing with the clubs you already have.

Once you get some consistency in your game then you can think about whether you need to add extra wedges to fill out your set and bridge any distance gaps.

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