Lob vs sand wedge

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Buster1

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I carry a 60* lob, and I practice with it. But admittedly, it can be tricky to finesse accurate distances. Repeatable swings give repeatable distances for all my other wedges, but the 60* is tough. I find myself using it less on course.
 

Steve-O

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I guess I technically have two. I have a 60 degree CBX bent to a 59 for proper gapping, and a Smart Sole 2.0 S wedge, which is 58 so I think it's technically a lob maybe? The Smart Sole is great for deep rough or sand, where I typically find myself once or twice a round. The regular lob though, I actually could do without. It is challenging to hit full swing and when I do hit it right with a full swing I get about 60 yards carry, which I can more reliably accomplish with a 9 o'clock pitch shot with a regular club like my pitching wedge or a 9i. I do find it useful for a high chip or short pitch over an obstacle, maybe if I'm against an elevated green or playing a course with bad turf conditions between my golf ball and the green and the pin is close. But this happens like once every 5 rounds maybe, and I could probably do well enough with another club. When I reduce clubs to lighten the load for walking or for travel, it's the first club to get left at home. If I had it to do over again, I probably would not spend the money on it.
 

DG_1234

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I guess I technically have two. I have a 60 degree CBX bent to a 59 for proper gapping, and a Smart Sole 2.0 S wedge, which is 58 so I think it's technically a lob maybe? The Smart Sole is great for deep rough or sand, where I typically find myself once or twice a round. The regular lob though, I actually could do without. It is challenging to hit full swing and when I do hit it right with a full swing I get about 60 yards carry, which I can more reliably accomplish with a 9 o'clock pitch shot with a regular club like my pitching wedge or a 9i. I do find it useful for a high chip or short pitch over an obstacle, maybe if I'm against an elevated green or playing a course with bad turf conditions between my golf ball and the green and the pin is close. But this happens like once every 5 rounds maybe, and I could probably do well enough with another club. When I reduce clubs to lighten the load for walking or for travel, it's the first club to get left at home. If I had it to do over again, I probably would not spend the money on it.
Excellent post, especially the part about reliability of the 9 o'clock pitch shot with a PW or 9-iron. It's much, much easier to get the ball consistently near the hole doing that than it is by swinging a more lofted club.
Regarding the L wedge, I agree with your commentary that (as you have a Smart Sole 58*) the CBX 59 is not needed . Have you considered the Smart Sole Chipper ?
The CC chipper sole is similar to the SS L sole you're already familiar with, and you might find that the chipper is useful, especially on courses where the green side lies are tight, without much grass, either firm hardpan or soft ground. The SS chipper sole , short shaft length, slight forward lean shaft orientation, balance/weight of the club etc... makes playing green side run shots with it easier than when swinging putter, 9,8-7-iron, or wedge.
 

WLG1952

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I carry 4 wedges 48-60 degrees. I dedicate a lot of practice time to my zero bounce LW. I use it in bunkers more so than my SW. Especially is firmer sands, or bunkers with little sand in them. Somerimes even off tighter lies.

The truth for me is, knowing what I know now, I could just as easily get by with just my 48* PW, and 56* SW. Just opening, or closing (hooding) the club faces would do almost the same jobs as my 52* AW, and my 60* LW.
 

Drumdog

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I have a neighbor that is about a 25 hdcp. He carries a 60* wedge and uses it extensively around the green.
Quite honestly it's the best club in his bag. He's always coming up short on approach shots and then pulls that thing out and does very well with it.
I think it's a personal preference whether you're a higher handicap or not.
 

Jmk202

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Idk I spent a ton of time when I was first leaning the game, practicing chipping with a 60*. It taught me a ton about controlling the loft, and different ball flights. Now it's my favorite club.

I think if your gonna practice with it a lot it's worth it, but if you want minimal practice but to just go out and have a good time, no. Don't touch it.
 

Snowman

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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.
re: the bold - I once heard it said, "If you can putt, putt; if you can't putt, chip; if you can't chip, pitch". That's how I tend to approach things. If I have an open shot to the green with nothing in the way, I'll almost always have better results playing a bump and run with a lower lofted club than I would trying to fly a pitch in and stop it close. On those shots I'll shamelessly leave my wedge in the bag and "putt" with a 7 or 8 iron.

As for the original question, I think it has more to do with what club you're comfortable/confident with than it does with the player's handicap and/or the loft of the wedge. A friend of mine is absolute nails with a 64 degree wedge and he uses it for everything within about 80 yards of the green. I can't hit one to save my life, it's a completely useless club for me.
 

jvbart

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I’m a high handicapper but need a 60 as I’m a long hitter and need it for gapping. I hit my 60 about 90-95 yards on a full shot. I chip with my 56 most of the time but the 60 is very handy for short shots going over bunkers and anything under 90 yards
 

DG_1234

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I have a neighbor that is about a 25 hdcp. He carries a 60* wedge and uses it extensively around the green.
Quite honestly it's the best club in his bag. He's always coming up short on approach shots and then pulls that thing out and does very well with it.
I think it's a personal preference whether you're a higher handicap or not.
Sorry, but I've read this type story often and it does not make sense to me.
How can a 25 handicap "do very well" with a 60* (or any other short game club) if he is shooting 100 ? If someone is "doing well" with a chipping/pitching club that means they are consistently getting the ball near the hole and making lots of up and downs. This does not equate to a 100 shooter.
 

-CRW-

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I’ve always played a lob wedge exclusively around greens. It’s always been easier for me than a lower loft club. It launches higher, spins more, and lands softer. If you can hit a SW around the green you can hit a LW. If you encounter a problem with a LW it’s the bounce/grind, not the loft.

I’ve also never understood guys that want to try and chip with multiple clubs that all carry and roll out different distances. It’s much easier to try and master one club.
 

DG_1234

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I’ve also never understood guys that want to try and chip with multiple clubs that all carry and roll out different distances. It’s much easier to try and master one club.
The reason is that one green side swing works for several different chipping clubs, from 5-iron to PW or GW. And one can slightly mishit the lower lofted clubs but still get the ball next to the hole. In contrast, high lofted wedges require a consistently precise-square strike (which is hard to achieve from less than ideal lies).
 

OGputtnfool

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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?
Depends on how you define high handicapper, but for the most part the answer is gonna be "the higher lofted the club, the lower percentage the shot".

That being said, there are exceptions to every rule and there are some players that are exceptional in one aspect of the game that are horrid at everything else and it anchors their handicaps.

I'd say most 18+ handicappers should stick to a lower lofted wedge. Your example of 54-56 might be good. However, a 60° wedge with ample bounce (maybe even in the 12° range) could be playable for these players, too.
 

OGputtnfool

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20% lost to someone driving the ball 320 yards is different than someone driving them ball 185 yards
Yes, it is, but the longer hitters lose more in that scenario.
 

Gman79

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I love a 60* from close range but never execute full shots...i think the 60 allows food stopping power on the wedge.
 

Steve-O

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Excellent post, especially the part about reliability of the 9 o'clock pitch shot with a PW or 9-iron. It's much, much easier to get the ball consistently near the hole doing that than it is by swinging a more lofted club.
Regarding the L wedge, I agree with your commentary that (as you have a Smart Sole 58*) the CBX 59 is not needed . Have you considered the Smart Sole Chipper ?
The CC chipper sole is similar to the SS L sole you're already familiar with, and you might find that the chipper is useful, especially on courses where the green side lies are tight, without much grass, either firm hardpan or soft ground. The SS chipper sole , short shaft length, slight forward lean shaft orientation, balance/weight of the club etc... makes playing green side run shots with it easier than when swinging putter, 9,8-7-iron, or wedge.
Thank you. I have thought of that and many options. I don't mind not using up all 14 of my slots as I like to go to 11 or 12 clubs and a small mega lite bag to take up less space when on car trips and have less to carry if I walk to play. I've also thought of trying out a traditional 58 or 60 wedge (not a CBX) with close to no bounce. I would probably experiment with a used one first. Then again, my short game seems decent with what I have, better than typical for my handicap I think. I struggle more with the longer full-swing shots.
 

JMB3

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Sorry, but I've read this type story often and it does not make sense to me.
How can a 25 handicap "do very well" with a 60* (or any other short game club) if he is shooting 100 ? If someone is "doing well" with a chipping/pitching club that means they are consistently getting the ball near the hole and making lots of up and downs. This does not equate to a 100 shooter.
You assume that the high handicapper is sitting next to the green in 2. That’s not often the case. Many high cappers are high cappers because they get in trouble off the tee (penalties, trees, deep rough, tops, wrong fairway, etc.).
 

Mad_Brad

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I carry a 54 and a 58, and preference on almost all shots is to use the 54.

Could almost always use a little bit more rollout, and the 58 is really used for emergencies only.
 

Turtlerancher

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Sorry, but I've read this type story often and it does not make sense to me.
How can a 25 handicap "do very well" with a 60* (or any other short game club) if he is shooting 100 ? If someone is "doing well" with a chipping/pitching club that means they are consistently getting the ball near the hole and making lots of up and downs. This does not equate to a 100 shooter.
As stated by @JMB3 above, my scoring issues as I'm learning have progressed from spraying off the tee to last year my irons. I've gotten my distance with them pretty consistent but still am working on dispersion. Pin high and slightly off the green mostly has really made me work on short game, hence the need for a choice of wedges and different shots up close.
 

ApexFan

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I use a 60 degree and I’m a high HC. I find it to be useful in a number of situations.
 

InTheRough

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I don't think there are any rules with wedges. If you practice with them, you can get good with them. If you spend time hitting your lob wedge, you can get good with it even if you play at a 25 HC - however, if you play at a 25 HC and are really good with your LW, I'd suggest you practice more with your 6 iron and driver.
 

Scorpion12

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Yes, it is, but the longer hitters lose more in that scenario.
You've got me there and make a very good point. Still though 20% of 320 is 256... and 20% of 185 is 148. (got to show off my sweet math skillz. (thanks google))

256 off a tee is still very respectable. At least to me it is, and 148 off the tee is not. If rollback ever happens I'm playing nonconforming equipment.
 

baddog

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Its a widely held belief that most high caps would be advised to avoid the lob wedge and just stick to a 56 degree.
A lot of widely held beliefs in golf are no longer true and this may be one of them. High lofted wedges are much more forgiving these days and much easier to use in a wide range of conditions. Let's not forget the multitude of high lofted, high handicapper "lob" wedges like the Sure Out that really do work. This brings me to point two, which is, a lob wedge is much more then just a lob wedge. I use mine from the sand, for chipping and making pitches. And for many the "lob" wedge is really their primary wedge, e.g. many players just carry a 52° and a 58°.

All that said, I think there are other factors that are more important in whether you should carry a 58°, a 60° or even higher.

1. The courses you play. 2. What conditions you play in. 3. Your skill with a higher lofted wedge or just as a wedge player in general. High handicapper or not.

I enjoy playing a 60° usually, but in winter with dormant Bermuda conditions that can be tight, wet, grabby and bouncy all at the same time, I switch to a 58° because the 60° becomes a liability and is just no fun. Some courses I play just don't require a high lofted wedge and I can just bag a 56°. A lot of players are obsessed with even number gaps or exact distance gaps with wedges and I think this is dead wrong. Any wedge is a short game tool and I never worry about what the carry gaps are past my gap wedge. Think quiver with your wedges and buy the tools you need.

It's no longer the era of Tom Watson, but I do have a collection of Ram Tom Watson Troon Grinds. They were some serious flop machines.
 

revrat

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My wedges are currently 50/54/58. I can go several rounds without pulling the 58, and when I do, I generally regret it and wish I had pulled the 54 instead. I'm considering dropping it for a ham sandwich and a glass of bourbon.
 

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