Four wedges often make up the golf kits of many tour professionals, with the lob wedge, pitching wedge, sand wedge, and gap wedge forming the four major mall clubs often used by players.
However, the lob wedge and sand wedge are two of the most popular, adding tons of versatility to the game and offering better ways to hit the green.
Many golfers choose the 56-degree wedge over the 60- degree wedge due to it being easier to use. Having played with both, we can say with confidence that the sand wedge offers more consistency for players and can give almost the same range as the lob wedge. However, it feels easier to control the gold ball on the green.
If you are in a situation where you need to choose one or the other, you might be wondering which wedge you should stick in your kit.
We aim to look at both wedges, making it easier to understand which one is perfect for your game.
You might also enjoy reading: How Far Do Average Golfers Hit Each Club?
What Is The 56-Degree Wedge?
Commonly referred to as the sand wedge, many players choose the 56-degree wedge due to the consistency it offers. It can easily reach the same distance as the 60-degree wedge, with many top players like Tiger Woods proving this fact. Unfortunately, it is easier to control for some amateurs on the golf course.
The 56-degree wedge is specifically designed to help players get onto the green from up close. Due to the angle of the club head, it is far easier to control the distance you are aiming for.
Additionally, the 56-degree wedge is the heaviest club in your kit, often weighing as much as 2.5-pounds, giving it enough momentum to cut through thick rough and sand.
Where is the 56-Degree Wedge Used?
One of the great things about the 56-degree wedge is the versatility it offers. Players can use it on almost any surface if they are close to the green.
However, there are a few situations where the sand wedge excels and offers the best-shot capabilities for players:
- Playing from sand bunkers
- Playing from thick rough
- Chipping from the fringe
- Short fairway approach shots
As you can see, the 56-degree wedge offers a wide array of versatility, and players tend to use it in almost all situations. The sand wedge works best from sand bunkers, and often, many players rely on it for these bunker shots.
If you want to find out more, What Is A 56 Degree Wedge Used For?, I encourage you to read this article.
What Is The 60-Degree Wedge?
The 60-degree wedge can theoretically reach more distance than other wedges in your golf kit. It can lob much higher, which means clearing obstacles becomes slightly easier. Additionally, the 60-degree wedge is designed to help players approach closer to the pin when lodged on the fairway or rough, only a few yards away from the green.
After taking a day and testing the 60-degree wedge, we could notice that it worked wonders when close to the green at a range of 20-yards. It was easy to place the ball closer to the pin.
However, the further we got from the pin, the harder it became to control the distance. Many shots flew over the target, whilst others bounced before the pin and rolled over.
Where Is The 60-Degree Wedge Used?
If you ask any professional golfer, they would tell you the 60-degree wedge is versatile and can be used for longer chip shots. Keep in mind that some of these professional players have been playing for years and are in tune with their clubs.
Tour players will know the exact distance they can reach when using a specific club.
- Longer chip shots (According to club pros)
- Bunker shots
- Shots from the rough
- Clearing obstacles like trees and bunkers
The additional loft the 60-degree wedge offers enables the player to loft the ball much higher. Should you have some form of an obstacle in the way, it becomes increasingly harder to go around.
The addition of this wedge makes it possible to go over some of these obstacles, making it a useful option for longer shots.
Did we mention the difference in distances? The 60-degree wedge tends to have a bigger discrepancy when measuring your longest and shorter shot and finding the averages. With such inconsistent averages, either you need better control, or you should use a different golf club. Since it can take years to understand what you can achieve with a golf club fully, you will need to dedicate some practice time.
If you are interested in finding out What Is A 60 Degree Wedge Used For? I encourage you to check out this article.
Distance Spread Between The Two Clubs
You must have an idea of the distance spread between the 56-wedge and the 60-wedge when playing. You should know the farthest you can hit each of these while accounting for the shortest chip. The difference between the maximum yardage and the minimum yardage is the spread.
After testing both clubs from the fairway, it was easy to note that the spread was much bigger for the 60-degree wedge.
Keep in mind that the aim was to replicate the swing and swing power for consistent results and only use the bounce location of the ball to measure distance. The green can vary, which makes the bounce unpredictable.
|60-Degree Shots||Yardage Attained||56-Degree Shots||Yardage Attained|
|Total Spread||35-yards||Total Spread||26-yards|
As you can see from the table, the 60-degree wedge has a bigger discrepancy when it comes to yardage spread. This means that you could be off by almost 10-yards when making your prediction of how far the club would hit. For the sand wedge, the spread was only 26-yards, making it slightly easier to determine the possible range.
However, you should keep in mind that we are by no means tour professionals, and whilst being a mid-handicapper, the possibility of having maximum accuracy is still something we need to work on.
One thing you can do is to use the table as a bit of a guide. Additionally, if we played more testing shots, we could reduce the spread for each the more you get used to the club.
Chip Shot Averages To The Pin
If you have both clubs and you know they can easily reach the same distance on the golf course, you might want to play around with these clubs to find out which one is better at reaching the pin.
When it comes to reaching the pin, it can be daunting for some. We have gone around a standard flat green and tried a few shots from various positions, including the rough, sand bunkers and fairway.
The aim is to help you understand the average attainable to the pin. Bear in mind that these are also affected by the skill level of the player, but when it comes to consistency, knowing some of these figures could significantly improve your game and club selection:
|56-Degree Shots||Pin Distance||60-Degree Shots||Pin Distance|
While the player’s skills will significantly affect the distance attained, the averages speak for themselves. Controlling the distance on the 56-degree wedge is easier than on the 60-degree wedge.
However, you can see that these distances don’t make as much of a difference, and the average is only different by 1-yard.
The conclusion we could draw from this is that it doesn’t matter which club you choose to approach when chipping from close to the pin. Both would give you similar results. Even if they don’t give you similar results, they are capable of doing so. It would come down to the club you feel the most comfortable with.
Due to the versatility of the sand wedge, it often stands out as the best option when all scores and tests reveal they are tied.
Should I Buy The 60-Degre Or 56-Degree Wedge?
Choosing whether you should choose one over the other can be daunting. However, many of the tests have given the 56-degree wedge a slight edge in competition and averages. Additionally, the pros from local golf clubs recommend that players choose the sand wedge. It is one of the essential clubs in your kit, and you need to learn how to use it early on.
Many professional players will have all four wedges in their kit, which gives them the functionality they need. However, these top players are fully in tune with their golf clubs, which means they would offer these professional players versatility. They can use a different wedge for each situation and have pinpoint accuracy.
The video below compares lob wedge and sand wedge.
If you need to choose between the 60-degree wedge and the 56-degree wedge, we would strongly recommend the 56-degree wedge.
It offers plenty of versatility and will allow the player to manage shots slightly better. Some players will swear by the 60-degree wedge, though. Let us know in the comment section which one you have in your kit.
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