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3 or 4 wedge setup?


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Including your pitching wedge, do you play 3 or 4 wedge setup?

 

I have been playing PW, 50*, 54* and 58* for a while but thinking of moving to PW, 52*, 58* to add a 3 iron between 4 iron and 5 wood/2 hybrid.

 

Any advantages/disadvantages you noticed with the 3 wedge setup? Is the distance gap manageable with full and half swings with this wedge setup?

 

Edit: PW = 46*

 

 

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I've played it both ways. For about five years I played set PW (46) and 50, 54, 58 in the old Cleveland CG14s.   When I got new wedges, I went with 48-54-60 for a season, but then dropped th

If there is a more common thread topic here I don't know what it is.  Here is how to figure it out.   If you are playing a modern set with a wedge of 45* or less you will need some sort of G

I use a mowed field and hit 20 balls using each club with each swing. I also use wash cloths placed every 5-10 yards to better evaluate carry, especially when I'm close to "dialing it in".

I can drop a wedge but I prefer not to. I am not trying to have perfect 12y gaps above 185y as I don't play a lot of shots there. Short shot: yes please. Having versatility from 125y in is why I game 46/50/55/60. I can drop the 60 and game say 46/52/58: I prefer that then just stopping at 55/56. 

 

For gapping I practice 3 positional shots (1/2, 3/4 full) and record my distances. There is some overlap in raw distances but shot flight and wedge bounces are a bit different to help adapt to the course. A full 55 vs a 3/4 50 may both go 95-100y but how they get there are a bit different. 

 

Besides...if I carry less wedges, that means less Miura wedge ho'ing. That makes me sad. 

 

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I've gone back and forth over the years I feel like one year I will get stuck between clubs up top and the next year I will feel like I'm getting way too cute with wedge shots because I need one more wedge. Ultimately landed in the best scenario being that I moved to stronger lofts in the 4 and 5 irons to decrease the top end Gap so I could keep the extra wedge.

 

That said if you aren't interested in stronger 4 and 5 iron lofts the key to determining the best route is how often you practice/play. In order to cut out a wedge your distance control with what remains has to be phenomenal because you will constantly be between clubs on the bottom end having to manufacture shots. If you practice/play a lot and are comfortable taking a lot of half and 3/4 swings and playing knock downs etc. you'll be fine with the 46-52-58. If you don't practice and play as much as you'd like and your yardage control isn't as tight as it could be you should keep the extra wedge.

 

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I play 4 wedges. pw is 46. I go 46, 50, 54, 60.  I like the distance a stock 75% 54 gives me which is why it is staying at 54 instead of 55. One thing as others have mentioned is do you need versatility in your short game? I’ve found for me because I hit a 190-195 6 iron with traditionally lofted JPX 921 tours that I do not need an extra club at the top but would rather have more options in the short game. My 60 is for around the green and bunkers only. 54 does most of my touch shots and my chipping with green available is anything from a 7 iron to my 54. Typically do a PW or a 50 if I need more check. 
 

ive considered switching to a 5 wedge set up and getting rid of a 2/3 iron on some courses. To give another full shot club like a 58. So 46, 50,54,58 and 62ish. 

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I go 46-50-54-60

 

I then go 4i (22) and 3h (18). The gap here is 20-25 yards. I'm not really worried about that gap because it doesn't come up much. When it does,  it's almost always on a par 5 2nd. I can get the 4i to 210 and can get it to roll out further. I can take something g off the 3h too. I have shot options at the 215-220 spot, or I just leave myself with the best leave for an easy up and down.

 

Having tight gaps at the bottom is a ton better for me. 

 

If your bottom gaps are withing 12 yards then go ahead. If you have a big gap at the bottom then I would opt for tighter bottom gaps. How often does that 3i distance come up for you?

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I tried 47, 52, 56 for most of this season, but realized quickly how much easier it is to control shots from 10-75 yds with a 60. Now I’ll be working on a 47, 52 @ 53.5, 60 set up over the Winter. Tried the 4 wedge setup with 47, 52, 56, 60 for a brief stint, but found I didn’t use the 56 much since all the shots I can take with a 56 I can make with a 60 or 52-54 depending on the yardage and lie.

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I gamed the 46-48/52/58 combo for years.  2 years ago I went to a 4 wedge setup with 46/50/54/58.  I tend to like this set up more currently.  I agree with above that with a 3 wedge set up it's very critical to learn your 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 yardages.  If you get those you can get around the course just fine.  

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46, 50, 56, 60

 

I dont know what I would drop a wedge for. I'm sure I'd be fine playing a 46, 52, 58 setup but for what? If i had to drop one club as it is, id probably switch out my 20 and 23 hybrids for a 21. 

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14 minutes ago, scooterhd2 said:

46, 50, 56, 60

 

I dont know what I would drop a wedge for. I'm sure I'd be fine playing a 46, 52, 58 setup but for what? If i had to drop one club as it is, id probably switch out my 20 and 23 hybrids for a 21. 

I dropped down to 3 wedges to put a 3-iron in the bag. Have Driver, 3W, Hybrid, 3-9. If the 47, 53.5, 60 experiment doesn’t work I’d go back to 47, 52, 56, 60 and drop the 5 or 6 iron.

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playing 4 including the PW: 47, 52, 56, 60 - this has been the case for a long time

 

I think if I played a little more aggressively on par 5s, I'd consider dropping one, but even so, I like having these options.

 

With that being said, one of my goals/experiments for 2021 is to work on hitting a greater variety of shots with fewer clubs (which will definitely apply to the wedges). 

 

 

 

 

 

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14 minutes ago, ChipNRun said:

I've played it both ways. For about five years I played set PW (46) and 50, 54, 58 in the old Cleveland CG14s.

 

When I got new wedges, I went with 48-54-60 for a season, but then dropped the 60* for a 58*. (Had trouble with distance control on 60* for anything more than a half swing.)

 

Three wedges are easier to manage, and practice. Only trouble is I have a gap of from 98 yds. with 48* down to 120 with 9i. To cover the gap I can play 48* back an inch to deloft, or choke down on the 9i.

 

Part of the choice comes down to this: Are you primarily a mechanic or feel player?

 

A mechanic benefits from the 7:30, 9:00 and 10:30 clockface positions a la Dave Pelz. This usually involves a wedge matrix for 4 wedges x 3 partial swing positions. And, you can choke down a bit on shaft for further refinements. Just make sure you don't end up on slow-play clock for over-analysis. I use a modified Pelz with three wedges and help from 9i.

 

A feel player has a sense of how far each wedge flies, but relies on tempo and feel to control the shorter shots. I played with an assistant pro who was a feel player, and he was very precise inside 70 yards just by using tempo. He used 3/4 swings for longer wedge approaches.

 

Whatever works!

Great explanation @ChipNRun this is very well written! The last set that I had that I learned to play on only had a 47 PW and a 60, but found a way to manage and work around it by cranking the 60 up to 85 yds on full swing! For a brief period this season I had a 4 wedge setup of 47, 52, 56, 60 and it just felt like an unnecessary luxury. Going to roll with a 47, 53.5, 60 setup for Winter practice going into next season and commit to getting a full understanding of yardage ranges for each of these clubs and what will be necessary to manage a course comfortably!

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For years I used 47, 54, 60 and more recently went to 47, 50, 54, 60.  I had a 25 yard gap between the 47 and 54, and I felt like there were a lot of shots in that range that I felt uncomfortable with.  Not only is letting the gas 20 yards off a PW difficult, but I would also rather do a 75% swing with my 54, rather than needing to crank out every yard.  Currently, that extra wedge is at the expense of a 3 wood, which I rarely ever used or hit well.  Instead, I'm able to be more comfortable with the wedges and focus my long game around long irons and hybrids, which are very useful at my home course.

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I’ve settled on 51-56-60 in a 4-wedge setup with 46 or 47 degree PW.  Target half swings at 40-60-80-100 yards.  Sold off my 54-60 and 52-58 sets earlier this year; and tried 45-50-54-58 this winter and couldn’t effectively adjust distance control.  For my long club transition, I’ve played 3W-5W-4Hy for a long time; however, will try 4W-3Hy-4U this spring.

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For me currently it depends what irons I'm playing.  If I play my weather lofted Ap2 irons then I play 48/54/58.

 

If I play my stronger lofted ping i500 then its:  45 (set wedge) 48/54/58.

 

I am fine playing 3 wedges with the AP2s as I can manipulate the Ap2 9 iron more, but not so much with the ping i500s with the hotter face and less spin. 

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I have been playing an iron set of 4-P for some time now and my wedge set up has been 50. 54. 58 which has given me 4 degrees of loft between my PW through the 58.  Set up has worked great for me but I am thinking of changing to 50, 56, 60 for more versatility around the greens.  The increased gap from 50-56 is minimal on full shots for me, but the drawback is my 54 is virtually automatic from bunkers.  However I like the 56 around the greens for more control.  Seems as if my 54 rolls out too much and my 58 checks up to quickly.  I play more shots from around the green than I do from bunkers and that is why I am leaning towards the new set up.

 

The 4 iron in my set is 21 degrees, so basically a 3 iron loft, so I have no need to add a longer club as the next club up in the bag is my 18 degree hybrid.  My thoughts have always been that I will have and play more shots with wedges than I will with longer irons or hybrids.

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I JUST went back to a 4 wedge setup - 46, 50, 54, 60, 50 being the new one. My P7MCs are setup a degree strong and 3/4" longer so I had a gap from PW to my 54 I just haven't been able to fill too effectively. 

 

Pulled the 3W for now as I rarely ever hit it - pretty much always opt for my 5W. So we'll see how it goes. 

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I've got 46, 50, 55, 60. I've wanted to drop a wedge, but I just can't. I'm way too used to the 60 for a variety of shots, and it's very low bounce and I encounter a LOT of waste areas/super firm sand. The 55 is higher bounce and I really like all three swing lengths with it, and it's my go-to when I get around soft sand. My conundrum is that I'd like to hit hybrid into shorter par 5's, I'd like to have a driving iron, and I'd prefer not to lose the 3-wood. But I have to pick 2. I'm in a coastal area, so I figure the driving iron will likely cost me the 3-wood. If it's blowing and I really want a DI that day, the odds are I'm not going to ever need a 3-wood. I see a decent number of long par 3s, so If I'm 205 into wind or 220 without wind, that hybrid really needs to stay. I tried doing 5-degree gaps through the iron set at one point to ditch a mid-iron but I just never got comfortable with it. Most of my challenges are just because of too much time and familiarity and not enough current practice time to reset everything.

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3 wedge setup 

46° PW

52° GW

58° LW

 

I was 56/60 for many years when I was young (yes the Tiger influence), but found the 60 was unnecessary and was harder to be consistent with on full swings. Also as lofts decreased my gap from PW to SW got too large. 

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I’ll always carry 4 wedges... mostly because i could drop two of my three longest clubs without it changing much (3w, hybrid, 4 utility). I simply don’t need many options over 200 yards. 
 

my goal this off season is to dial in yardages for shorter swings on a simulator and see if I can dial in yardages better...

 

just comes down to what distances you are commonly hitting into greens... if you have a lot of less than full swings, it probably makes sense to carry more wedges... I’d you are hitting a lot of long irons, it makes more sense to carry less wedges.

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