Lob vs sand wedge

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Acesteve

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I have always carried one and can't say it did me harm but as my ability has improved I play it sparingly. Typically when I am under an elevated green and needing at least 1/2 to full swing. I tend to want to use the least loft possible to get a ball on the green.

all this may be a nice way of saying that as I've improved I have realized I'm not good enough with this club to use it frequently. I don't feel bad about maybe pulling it 1 time per round. If I felt any confusion I would just remove it from my bag.
 

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RetiredBoomer

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The LW wedge is a club for those with talent. That talent is learned using a SW.
The bounce on most sand wedges makes it too hard to play a soft shot from a tight lie and get the ball up in a hurry.
When you see lob wedges with ten or more degrees of loft, they're really high loft sand wedges, not true lob wedges.

A true lob wedge of any loft has, in my view, 0 to a maximum of 6º bounce. And a fairly narrow sole without excessive camber or radius.
You don't have to play it with hands in front, effectively closing the face.
You can play it forward in your stance and hit a high, soft, very steeply descending shot. A parachute ball.
It isn't even that hard. Practice for ten minutes and you have the shot forever. It's just distance control after that, and that comes from hitting enough of those shots.

But you need the right low bounce wedge.
 
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DG_1234

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Just curious what y’all think - should high handicappers attempt to own/play a LOB WEDGE around the greens? Or are they better off just simplifying things and going no higher than a 54-56 degree SW?
For high handicappers (or any skill level, really) I think the most sensible yardage for a 58* to 64* lob wedge is from about 35 to 80 yards from the hole.
Next to the green it's usually easier to achieve consistent distance control (especially for a high handicapper), swinging a 7, 8, 9 iron or maybe PW or Gap Wedge. Next to the green, the less loft the better because a slightly mishit shot may still end up next to the hole.
 

Scorpion12

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I don’t use nor have ever used a 60* wedge. But I’m not sure I like someone telling me I shouldn’t be using one. That’s like the USGA saying there’s a distance issue and talk about rolling back equipment... “it’s only a 10 or 20% loss in distance...” 20% lost to someone driving the ball 320 yards is different than someone driving them ball 185 yards.

Regardless, if someone wants a lob wedge, then use the lob wedge. If they hit it well, cool. If not, it’s their score and doesn’t affect me
 

DNice26

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I’d also add that loft may also depend on your playing conditions. With my home course, a 58 is all i need. But if I play a fast and firm country club, I like the 60 option. Having the right grind for the course conditions is also pretty huge.
 

RetiredBoomer

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For high handicappers (or any skill level, really) I think the most sensible yardage for a 58* to 64* lob wedge is from about 35 to 80 yards from the hole.
Next to the green it's usually easier to achieve consistent distance control (especially for a high handicapper), swinging a 7, 8, 9 iron or maybe PW or Gap Wedge. Next to the green, the less loft the better because a slightly mishit shot may still end up next to the hole.
Imagine that there's a big deep bunker between your ball and the green.
You're just outside of it.
And on the other side of the bunker, the hole is cut only a few feet inside of the green's edge.

Do you still want to hit an eight-iron? That's why the lob wedge was invented. Short sided lobs. Also to get the ball over an obstacle when you're very close to it.
 

ULEWZ

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For high handicappers (or any skill level, really) I think the most sensible yardage for a 58* to 64* lob wedge is from about 35 to 80 yards from the hole.
Next to the green it's usually easier to achieve consistent distance control (especially for a high handicapper), swinging a 7, 8, 9 iron or maybe PW or Gap Wedge. Next to the green, the less loft the better because a slightly mishit shot may still end up next to the hole.
I agree, I would never use a lob wedge when on the fringe. I would choose my club based on clearing the fringe, and then how much roll out I need. From 35 out, it is the lob wedge. From 50 to 70 out, it is the gap wedge. From more than that, pitching wedge either choked down, or full swing. My sand wedge is only useful to me from the sand, but that just may be my particular sand wedge.
 

razaar

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The bounce on most sand wedges makes it too hard to play a soft shot from a tight lie and get the ball up in a hurry.
When you see lob wedges with ten or more degrees of loft, they're really high loft sand wedges, not true lob wedges.

A true lob wedge of any loft has, in my view, 0 to a maximum of 6º bounce. And a fairly narrow sole without excessive camber or radius.
You don't have to play it with hands in front, effectively closing the face.
You can play it forward in your stance and hit a high, soft, very steeply descending shot. A parachute ball.
It isn't even that hard. Practice for ten minutes and you have the shot forever. It's just distance control after that, and that comes from hitting enough of those shots.

But you need the right low bounce wedge.
To get the ball up for a lob shot with a SW the toe area of the club is where impact happens. Not much bounce under the toe. The ball lobs high and lands dead.
 

RetiredBoomer

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To get the ball up for a lob shot with a SW the toe area of the club is where impact happens. Not much bounce under the toe. The ball lobs high and lands dead.
Ah! I guess I don't have that shot.
I've carried a low bounce lob wedge since the late seventies when I read about them in one of the major golf magazines.
There were but very few made back then.
And my sand wedges tend to be old fashioned oval faced clubs meant just for the sand. I'm hooked on those.
Still, if you have that shot with a modern sand wedge, I'm sure that it's valuable.
 

Bryndom

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For gapping reasons, I carry a 50, 54, and 60 wedge... I typically only use a 60 in very limited occasions:

- greenside bunker where I need a good flop and stop shot
- approach over a greenside bunker without a lot of green to work with
- conditions where I need high launch and high angle of landing to stop bc I've borked my approach
 

razaar

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The
Ah! I guess I don't have that shot.
I've carried a low bounce lob wedge since the late seventies when I read about them in one of the major golf magazines.
There were but very few made back then.
And my sand wedges tend to be old fashioned oval faced clubs meant just for the sand. I'm hooked on those.
Still, if you have that shot with a modern sand wedge, I'm sure that it's valuable.
That shot needs a SW with a lie angle similar to the 8-iron. Those players who don't have a lob wedge and rely on the SW need to flatten the lie angle to play speciality shots.
 

Cam007

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I’d have to agree with people and say it depends on the players confidence and obviously a bit of technique too. I play with a few high caps regularly and one rarely uses his LW but the other uses it often and has about a 20% success rate with it
 

tehuti

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I don’t see a need for it. My 56° SW is as high as I need to go. At least for the near future.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

WMac19

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Generally speaking, I'd have to think it better to forgo the LW, I know that it was the prudent thing for me to do then.

But that's generally speaking as it's always an individual assessment. I've played with some high cappers who were quite adept with the LW.
 

golfinnut

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56* is the highest wedge you will see in my bag. I can hit shots with it the rival some 60* wedges of other players. But it helps to get fitted for your wedges as well, not just the irons. Just make sure the gaps are correct & the bounce is correct for the type of courses you play. Just like with all the wedges, if you are going to carry a 60*, you must practice, practice, practice. Then when you think you've got it down pat, practice some more. (y)
 

Scorpion12

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Imagine that there's a big deep bunker between your ball and the green.
You're just outside of it.
And on the other side of the bunker, the hole is cut only a few feet inside of the green's edge.

Do you still want to hit an eight-iron? That's why the lob wedge was invented. Short sided lobs. Also to get the ball over an obstacle when you're very close to it.
Or one could use a 56* sand wedge, lay the face wide open removing most of the loft, adjust their stance to the target, and slide that club right under the ball... which then goes straight into the bag under because the club wasn’t swung hard enough:ROFLMAO:. I know it can be done because I did it today. A flop shot. By me. I didn’t think it was possible but I saw it in the Phil Mickelson video posted here the other day.
 

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Just curious what y’all think - should high handicappers attempt to own/play a LOB WEDGE around the greens? Or are they better off just simplifying things and going no higher than a 54-56 degree SW?
It depends on the player. I was a high cap for a long time and my short game was the best part of my game and kept me from scoring higher. Take away my lob wedge and my game would get worse
 

Ockham

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I don’t hit a lot of full shots with my more lofted wedges. 75 yds and in, I‘ll usually check the lie and consider a club’s bounce more than loft when deciding between SW and LW. Also, my home course has a lot of greens that slope back toward the fairway. If you get shortsided over the green, you’ll want the 60*.

My favored 60* is PM grind. I’m not a low ‘cap, but I’m very comfortable with it.
 

Acesteve

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seems like most guys here use it sparingly. I'm curious if it relates to needing a relatively big swing near the green? this is my reason, I want the smalles lowest risk swing possible around the green.

If you put me in a driving range setup with 30 range balls, I might mishit one with a LW. Put me on a course in playing conditions, uneven lies, etc and a tendency to rush at the top and I will mishit at least 5. And unlike the range, it costs me at least 2 strokes.

In days of old I used a LW quite a bit but for chipping with very little wrist action and hitting down on the ball pretty hard. Though I don't chip like this any more it was using a LW but with little motion.
 

Luchnia

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If you put me in a driving range setup with 30 range balls, I might mishit one with a LW. Put me on a course in playing conditions, uneven lies, etc and a tendency to rush at the top and I will mishit at least 5. And unlike the range, it costs me at least 2 strokes.
Yep, the course makes the difference. What I found I have to do is be consistent with my body and not get armsy. Also, I tend to not use my lob wedge as much so I really don't get enough time using it and no way to improve if I don't put it to work. I am using it more and more and improving with it. Knowing when to use it is key, too.
 

Tevenor

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I use a 60 and have it matched up to 52 deg and 56 deg wedges. I use all 3 in different ways however. Gapping wise I have 10-12 yes separation on full swings; 52 108-110 yds, 56 96 -98 yds, 60 84-86 yds.

However anything under that I use the for a variety of shots. For example, at 84 yds, depending on lie and target landing, I might a 1/2 52 deg or 3/4 56 deg instead of full 60. My normal chipping club is 56 but on long chips or slow greens, I might use 52. Conversely for fast greens or short sided chips, I might switch to using 60. For sand, I'll use 60 for green side bunkers or light sand bunkers while I'll switch it up to the 56 for wet sand or longer throws to far side green pins. On tight lies say fairway cuts on 50 yrs pitch, I'll open up the 56 and sweep it more often than use the 60 but out if the rough if I need it to land soft even with reduce spin, I'll take a more full 60 swing ( more traditional lob shot ).

In other words, I really don't consider myself to have a dedicated Sand or lob wedge. I have 3 wedges that theoretically I can use for a max level of shot needs.
 

JMB3

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I say bag whatever clubs help your game. Players get high handicaps in lots of different ways. @clarkgriswold have identical handicaps yet the opposite swing issues. So I never understand these types of generalizations.

I have a high handicap, yet the LW is one of my most valuable clubs in my bag. My short game is a strong suit, my approach shots are not, so I often need a LW to bail myself out. That said, I still play 80% of shots around the green low.
 

Trmpt98

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I remember getting my 60 deg and after the first few sessions with it I was wondering why I had bothered. Now it’s one of the best wedges in my bag and one I have the most confidence around the green with. I’ve gotten to the point in my game where I’m working with all wedges to get better around the green but I definitely thing there is a place in my bag for it.
 

NEhomer

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The bounce on most sand wedges makes it too hard to play a soft shot from a tight lie and get the ball up in a hurry.
When you see lob wedges with ten or more degrees of loft, they're really high loft sand wedges, not true lob wedges.

A true lob wedge of any loft has, in my view, 0 to a maximum of 6º bounce. And a fairly narrow sole without excessive camber or radius.
You don't have to play it with hands in front, effectively closing the face.
You can play it forward in your stance and hit a high, soft, very steeply descending shot. A parachute ball.
It isn't even that hard. Practice for ten minutes and you have the shot forever. It's just distance control after that, and that comes from hitting enough of those shots.

But you need the right low bounce wedge.
Agreed and I've been playing a Reid Lockhart dual bounce 60 degree for a few years now. I really think it's more than a gimmick but maybe it's just in my head. Played square, the lead edge is much closer to the ground than with a traditional grind. Layed open, it provides the maximum bounce but the blade isn't fat. My warning about using a 60 degree is to never try to hit a full max distance shot with it. I use mine purely for pitching and flopping around the greens.

 

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