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3 or 4 wedge setup?


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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 play 3 wedges

 

46 p760 

54 sm7 

58 sm7

 

not even gaps on paper but my wedge play has gotten so much better.

 

3 full swing yardages

3 yardages 9-6 clock

3 yardages 8-4 clock

 

I’ve additional yardages for each of the above gripping down 1 inch and 2 inches as well as playing with ball position and face angle.

 

Don’t miss the 50 degree at all.

Edited by justcallmemoses
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Just got a shortgame lesson at my club with the pro who played on the PGA tour

 

My setup: PW (46), 50, 55, 60, (optional 64 when I don't play 5w)

 

He had me go on Trackman to do the Combine test where you get points for proximity to hole hitting my 50,*55*,60* wedges at the following distances:

  • 50, 55,60 (usually about club head feeling like taking back to 3 o'clock for me),
  • 70, 75, 80 (usually about hands feeling like taking back to 3 o'clock for me)
  • 100, 115, 125 (3/4 swing)

As someone who rarely practices and mostly just goes out to play, I feel like this gives me a pretty good general reference point. I plan to put in some more shortgame work in and print out these exact distances of these 3 sets of short game distances on a label printer and stick it on my shafts haha.

 

I used to play PW (46), 56, 60--and that gap was too large for me between PW and 56. But getting more efficient on my irons/woods allowed me to swap out some of my fairway woods to play just Driver (290 carry), 4w (240-260), 4 bent bent to a 3.5 iron (carry 225-230),5 (210),6 (195),7 (180), 8 (170), 9 (155), pw (145), 50 (125), 55 (115), 60 (100), putter + the option to put in either 2H or 5W or 64 depending on the course.

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I roll with 4 wedges:

Ping i210 P (45)

Ping i210 U (50)

Ping Glide 54 SS

Ping Glide 58 WS

 

If I am playing in firm or tight conditions, I swap the 58 WS out for a 58 SS for the lower bounce. 

I have three swings for each club so I have a lot of options to get to a number with the trajectory and roll out I want. 
 

Why do I choose 4 wedges?  The biggest reason is that it is the biggest strength of my game. Since I am a good wedge player, I can actually make use of the variety.  I use the different loft and bounce options to my advantage whenever possible. I suppose if I was a REALLY good wedge player, I’d practice opening the face, changing bounce, etc.

 

My long game, on the other hand, isn’t good enough to take advantage of lots of options....so I stack the bottom of the bag.  If I improve my long game enough so I am going for a lot of par 5s in 2, I may reconsider. 

 

Driver: PING G410 Plus, Fujikura Pro 2.0 Tour Spec 6S
3W: Titleist D917 13.5 @ 15, Fujikura Pro 2.0 Tour Spec 7S
5W: Titleist D917 18 @ 18.75, Fujikura Pro 2.0 Tour Spec 8S
Hybrid: Titleist 816 H2 21 @ 22, Diamana D+ 100 Hybrid
Irons: PING i210 (5-U), Nippon Modus 120S
Wedges: PING Glide (54 SS, 58 WS), PING CFS Wedge
Putter: PING Sigma 2 Arna
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

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12 hours ago, BallerNate said:

Oh Ok, cool! I’m usually on WRX on my phone, and for some reason can’t see signatures.

Usually on my phone as well and wish it showed signatures. Puts other posters comments into context much better. 

 

23 hours ago, dlygrisse said:

Very sensible setup with today’s strong lofts.  

Yeah I’m sure I could benefit from more stock swing distances if I played 52, 56, 60. But for my skill level and swing speed, inside 80 yards isn’t a full swing with any wedge so I can make both work. Having the low bounce or high bounce option helps me decide based on the lie which for me is more important than a 4 degree or 6 degree loft gap. The wide sole on the 58 also means I have a bit more room for error if I get steep on a harder swing. 

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On 12/21/2020 at 7:31 PM, glm said:

2 wedges

50-pw

55-sw

This! 🙂  My wedge is 50* and the SW 57* Old school.

 

If I am playing a more modern set then its generally a 52* and 56* in addition to the wedge.  Other than the Ping L Wedge I have a hard time with a blade 58 or 60.

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Thanks to @Myherobobhope I started reading “Your short game solution” by James Sieckmann! Here’s what Sieckmann writes about how many wedges you should carry:

 

”The correct answer depends on how far you typically hit the ball. If you’re a power player (i.e. you can hit your PW 130 yds or farther), you should carry 4 wedges: Consider a loft combination of 46, 50, 55, and 60 degrees. This will likely give you two wedge options for shots less than 100 yds with no more than a 20 yd gap between successive clubs (an accepted “golden rule” for set makeups). If you’re a short hitter (shots with your PW carry 100 yds or less), you can get away with just 2 wedges (a 48 degree PW and a 56 degree SW for example). If, like most recreational players, you fall somewhere in the middle, you should opt for a 3 wedge setup, again paying mind to the golden rule. Consider a 48 degree PW, a 54 degree SW, and a 60 degree LW.”

 

He also recommends of course to get fitted by your local PGA professional/knowledgeable fitter to experiment with different lofts, bounce angles, and grinds to help maximizing improvement as well.

 

Looking forward to finishing the rest of this book and practicing the strategies...my goal is to make the wedge game a strength in my game by the end of next season!

Edited by BallerNate
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16 hours ago, rkillian said:

Usually on my phone as well and wish it showed signatures. Puts other posters comments into context much better. 

@BallerNate I can only say from my Android:  Keep auto rotate on, view phone horizontally/landscape, and the signatures will show as long as your wrx settings have "view signatures" on.  In vertical/portrait mode, it won't show unless your browser is set to view "desktop site" which I find too cumbersome. 

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41 minutes ago, joostin said:

@BallerNate I can only say from my Android:  Keep auto rotate on, view phone horizontally/landscape, and the signatures will show as long as your wrx settings have "view signatures" on.  In vertical/portrait mode, it won't show unless your browser is set to view "desktop site" which I find too cumbersome. 

Hmm...Ok, thanks. Just tried landscape view and also tried to see if I have a “view signature” setting off...negative on both. I can see signatures on my laptop, but maybe it’s because I have an iPhone. Just tried to ask the moderator on forum support though, so we’ll see.

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Low bounce lob wedge is the x factor. If you play a course that requires that club you know it. Most places you can get away without one, but if the greens are really fast and/or really firm (tight, firm fairways compound it) you better learn to use that club. 

 

If you do have that stick in your bag its really hard to manage with only 3 cuz its questionable from the fairway (or at least hard to justify when you can use a 56F style club instead). But I could see doing it if you practice a lot and like to dial in distances by feel. 

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Lots of ideas but it all comes down to your preference with wedges. Are you comfortable with mostly full swings or can you hit your number with a 3/4 and half swing regularly? 

 

I hit it long but have confidence and preference to hit less than full wedge shots. Also, if I carry 4 wedges, I lose a 220 club or a 240 club and that makes a big gap on par 5s or a long par 3 into the wind. 

 

Everybody has a good idea but needs to decide what works for their own game and course. 

 

And I will probably change my mind next week!!!

Edited by Dave22
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40 minutes ago, Dave22 said:

Lots of ideas but it all comes down to your preference with wedges. Are comfortable with mostly full swings or can you hit your number with a 3/4 and half swing regularly? 

 

I hit it long but have confidence and preference to hit less than full wedge shots. Also, if I carry 4 wedges, I lose a 220 club or a 240 club and that makes a big gap on par 5s or a long par 3 into the wind. 

 

Everybody has a good idea but needs to decide what works for their own game and course. 

 

And I will probably change my mind next week!!!

For sure, I agree with this 100%! The more I read different ideas and perspectives, the more I see how much it comes down to personal preference and what you are comfortable with. What is most important in your bag set up, how comfortable you are hitting different distances from 20-120 yds, and what clubs you’re most comfortable with in hitting those distances.


I found it really interesting that Sieckmann, one of the gurus of wedge play, said “most recreational players” should opt for a 3 wedge setup, and shorter-hitters 100 yds and in “could get away with just 2 wedges”...definitely thought he would’ve recommended 4 wedges for most players like most experienced players do.

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Srixon Z U85 (20*) / UST Mamiya Recoil 95 F4

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I face the same dilemma all the time.  Either 50-54-58 wedges or 52-58 with extra hybrid at the top.  I typically carry 3w and 5w along with 19 degree hybrid and a 21 degree in which case I carry 52-58 wedges.  For me, if I’m going to play in a tournament, I will try to play a practice round first to get a feel for the course and see if I need the longer clubs more than an extra wedge.  As examples, there may be par 3’s that just suit a 5w more than a 19degree, but you want the option to carry farther out of the rough with that same hybrid if needed.  Or on the other hand, there may be holes where you will need to hit a 50 degree wedge into a green as opposed to the 52.  Therefore, I don’t know there is a ‘right’ answer, but it depends on your game/skills and strategy for how to play the course. 

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On 12/21/2020 at 2:28 PM, 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!

This is well said. Start with mastering a 50y shot. For me thats a 60* little back in my stance, then go “hip to hip” as Hogan said. 

Bring it back to hip high and follow through hip high full speed. 

Master this and you can bring it back little more for 60y, little less for 40y. 

Do the same on a 52* and you have a 70y shot. Do this with a PW and 90y shot. Then its matter of “mechanics” and you can work all different types of shots. 

I play 52-58/60 depending on wedges and bounce. I made this change years ago to give me more versatility at thetop. Allows me a 7w and a 3/2i for different shots off tees and my course the back 9 has a few trick holes where position and shot making is key.

But this all really comes down to which course you play and how you play it. Rory and Tiger swap out clubs all the time. Rory changes his wedges out while Tiger changes his 5w/2i. But learning to manupulate wedges and shots allows you to learn inother irons. My 7i is $ from under trees out from woods and this same technique gets me 100y roll with 7i way back in my stance.

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I play a 4 wedge setup, i like the ability to use different wedges for different things. 

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For the foreseeable future I will stick with 45° PW, 50° GW and 56° SW. My 20+ handicap game is not nuanced enough to need any more than that. And frankly I'd rather learn how to hit intermediate shots and bump and runs with confidence. It's a struggle right now. But if I stick to the plan it will eventually work out. 

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I guess the term wedge is arbitrary but we're victims of our time. Most people probably carry 3-4 wedges. Years ago when PW was 50* and there was no lob wedge, people carried two wedges. Now 46* PW which are standard even in most players sets, you can go 46, 50, 54, 58 and have nice gapping. For the super GI category, you have PW at 43/44, then everything after that is a wedge, so you could easily be at 5. With the Titleist T400, it starts with 38* PW...an 8 iron by even modern players set standards, but I digress. With 38* pw, you're off to the races. If you go 4^ difference until 58/60 at the bottom of the bag, then there's six wedges. On a recent podcast that Shiels was on, they used the analogy of taking a large size article of clothing and putting small on it to make people feel better. This describes the loft jacking. As I'm sure has been said, it's more loft than label.

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I think there is connection between a golfer's swing speed and the number of wedges that they carry, especially for high level amateur and professional players.  But, I think that for the vast majority of the rest of us, the number of wedges that we have in our bags is much more dependent on the shots that we need to play with our wedges and how we prefer to play them.  

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Decision on 4 Wedges is mostly for shot versatility. 
Because a 9iron is now ~41 degrees, I game: 46, 50, 56, 61

All the different grinds and bounce should allow for full creativity.  The club best for each shot and lie and your swing - fallout could mean closing the club face = increase turf interaction; opening the club face raises the leading edge.

Understanding the specs and good practice sessions with fitted equipment will help with these scoring clubs. 
I agree with saving a club for versatility in the Hybrid/Crossover club end too though.  i.e. 21 deg 7Wood and 24 deg 4 Crossover for shot shaping. 

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12 minutes ago, Shiprx said:

I'd just like to shoot an 85. It's been one of my resolutions for the past 2 years and I just can't seem to figure it out, which has been frustrating given how much I've played, practiced, and spent on lessons. I've got one more crack at 85 tomorrow, so with a lot of luck I'll be posting a new goal by the days end...

I play with 4 wedges

 

TM SLDR P (46)

Cleveland 2.0 Rotex (52)

Cleveland 2.0 Rotex (56)

Cleveland 2.0 Rotex (60)

 

Difference distance + play n tech method to get solid to the green or hole

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1 hour ago, Pomps said:

I guess the term wedge is arbitrary but we're victims of our time. Most people probably carry 3-4 wedges. Years ago when PW was 50* and there was no lob wedge, people carried two wedges. Now 46* PW which are standard even in most players sets, you can go 46, 50, 54, 58 and have nice gapping. For the super GI category, you have PW at 43/44, then everything after that is a wedge, so you could easily be at 5. With the Titleist T400, it starts with 38* PW...an 8 iron by even modern players set standards, but I digress. With 38* pw, you're off to the races. If you go 4^ difference until 58/60 at the bottom of the bag, then there's six wedges. On a recent podcast that Shiels was on, they used the analogy of taking a large size article of clothing and putting small on it to make people feel better. This describes the loft jacking. As I'm sure has been said, it's more loft than label.

 

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46 minutes ago, Funkytee75 said:

Decision on 4 Wedges is mostly for shot versatility. 
Because a 9iron is now ~41 degrees, I game: 46, 50, 56, 61

All the different grinds and bounce should allow for full creativity.  The club best for each shot and lie and your swing - fallout could mean closing the club face = increase turf interaction; opening the club face raises the leading edge.

Understanding the specs and good practice sessions with fitted equipment will help with these scoring clubs. 
I agree with saving a club for versatility in the Hybrid/Crossover club end too though.  i.e. 21 deg 7Wood and 24 deg 4 Crossover for shot shaping. 

 

Now this I like. When you think about "tools" in the bag, this is the way to to approach it. You'll have so many different shots that require different technique but also different clubs. Picture the guy that gets fit who's steep and plays on soft courses and has the highest bounces wedges. What happens when he's on the deadpan rough with no grass 8 yards off the green. I will be the first to say it's the player, but the player needs the right tools. 

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On 12/30/2020 at 7:01 AM, MichiganGolfNut said:

I face the same dilemma all the time.  Either 50-54-58 wedges or 52-58 with extra hybrid at the top.  I typically carry 3w and 5w along with 19 degree hybrid and a 21 degree in which case I carry 52-58 wedges.  For me, if I’m going to play in a tournament, I will try to play a practice round first to get a feel for the course and see if I need the longer clubs more than an extra wedge.  As examples, there may be par 3’s that just suit a 5w more than a 19degree, but you want the option to carry farther out of the rough with that same hybrid if needed.  Or on the other hand, there may be holes where you will need to hit a 50 degree wedge into a green as opposed to the 52.  Therefore, I don’t know there is a ‘right’ answer, but it depends on your game/skills and strategy for how to play the course. 

I am 100% in agreement with you here.  I have a number of options in long end, depending on course conditions and alternate between PW, 52, 56, 60 and PW, 52, 58.

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11 hours ago, Pomps said:

I guess the term wedge is arbitrary but we're victims of our time. Most people probably carry 3-4 wedges. Years ago when PW was 50* and there was no lob wedge, people carried two wedges. Now 46* PW which are standard even in most players sets, you can go 46, 50, 54, 58 and have nice gapping. For the super GI category, you have PW at 43/44, then everything after that is a wedge, so you could easily be at 5. With the Titleist T400, it starts with 38* PW...an 8 iron by even modern players set standards, but I digress. With 38* pw, you're off to the races. If you go 4^ difference until 58/60 at the bottom of the bag, then there's six wedges. On a recent podcast that Shiels was on, they used the analogy of taking a large size article of clothing and putting small on it to make people feel better. This describes the loft jacking. As I'm sure has been said, it's more loft than label.

Thats nutso. Wow. Not to mention my buds who play P790’s are already buying 48/49* gap wedges, or the p790 gap plays like a standard PW so then 3 wedges adter that. I laugh at them with their 185y 7i/8i but then they carry it over trees while I have to hit my 6i under or around trees.. =(

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-  MPh5 4-5, MP25 6-p w/CTapers 120s
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Golf is what you make of it.  Play grateful and accepting. We are all lucky to have it!

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On 12/27/2020 at 10:25 AM, BallerNate said:

Do you measure all your distances at the driving range, a simulator, or on the course with a tracking app?

 

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".

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JBeam Bullet 10*                           Fujikura Ventus Black 6X

Exotics CBX119 15* 3WD.             Fujikura Ventus Red 8X

Exotics CBX119 18* 5WD              Accra Tour Z RPG 382 M5

Exotics CB2 21* 7WD                    Fujikura Ventus Red 9X
MIURA CB57 5-7                            MCI MMT-125TX

MIURA Tournament Blade 8-P      MCI MMT-125TX
Chikara V1 Proto 52, 57, 61           MCI MMT-125TX (8-iron)

Cameron 009 Prototype 1.5 Beach 34/350 (A010656)

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1 hour ago, nitram said:

 

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".

Interesting...whatever works! Do you live on a farm or acreage, or is that at a public park? I don’t know if I could do that at the parks around here...probably wouldn’t be too popular with the neighbours, Lol!

TaylorMade SIM Max D (10.5*) / UST Mamiya Helium 5F4

TaylorMade SIM Max D (16*) / UST Mamiya Helium 5F4 FW

Srixon Z H85 (19*) / Project X Hzrdus Black 6.0

Srixon Z U85 (20*) / UST Mamiya Recoil 95 F4

TaylorMade P770 (4-PW) / Project X Rifle 6.0

Cleveland RTX Zipcore (50-54-58) / Dynamic Gold Spinner

TaylorMade SOTO Tour Preferred (36")

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I've got the room and use my place to hit balls and work out trajectory, ball shape, and carry yardages. When it comes time to see how the ball is gonna react on a green I have access to the university facility at the golf course.

JBeam Bullet 10*                           Fujikura Ventus Black 6X

Exotics CBX119 15* 3WD.             Fujikura Ventus Red 8X

Exotics CBX119 18* 5WD              Accra Tour Z RPG 382 M5

Exotics CB2 21* 7WD                    Fujikura Ventus Red 9X
MIURA CB57 5-7                            MCI MMT-125TX

MIURA Tournament Blade 8-P      MCI MMT-125TX
Chikara V1 Proto 52, 57, 61           MCI MMT-125TX (8-iron)

Cameron 009 Prototype 1.5 Beach 34/350 (A010656)

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5 minutes ago, nitram said:

I've got the room and use my place to hit balls and work out trajectory, ball shape, and carry yardages. When it comes time to see how the ball is gonna react on a green I have access to the university facility at the golf course.

Sweet...sounds awesome!! Wish I had that much space to practice...very cool! I’ve got my garage where I only have enough clearance to hit short irons, and my driveway, Lol!

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TaylorMade SIM Max D (10.5*) / UST Mamiya Helium 5F4

TaylorMade SIM Max D (16*) / UST Mamiya Helium 5F4 FW

Srixon Z H85 (19*) / Project X Hzrdus Black 6.0

Srixon Z U85 (20*) / UST Mamiya Recoil 95 F4

TaylorMade P770 (4-PW) / Project X Rifle 6.0

Cleveland RTX Zipcore (50-54-58) / Dynamic Gold Spinner

TaylorMade SOTO Tour Preferred (36")

🇨🇦

 

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