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Wedges - are 50 and 56 enough?


stormin70
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I’ve been playing 3 wedges in 50/54/58 for the last several seasons and I’m really starting to wonder if just a 50 and a 56 would be a better pairing for me.  I tend to use my 50 mostly for full shots and my 54 for 90% of my sand, chips and pitches.  My 58 doesn’t see a lot of action unless it’s a flop or I’m stuck in a tight green side bunker.

 

Have any of you been here before?  Has it worked for you to not have a lob wedge?  I’d love to hear your thoughts...

Edited by stormin70

Titleist TS2 D (10.5*) KuroKage Black DC 50 S

Titleist TS2 F (16.5*) KuroKage Black DC 55 R

Titleist TS2 H (21.0*) Tensei CK Pro Red 60 R

PING G410 Crossover (23.0*) Alta CB 70 Red R
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Cleveland CBX-2 (50, 54, 58) Dynamic Gold 115 WF
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I’ve got the same wedge setup and it works for me.  My 58 works when I’m short sided or where a bunker shot less than 30 yards arises.  I carry 14 clubs and my yardages are covered.  You’ve got to decide if you’re going to cover other areas needed in the bag or you simply want to reduce clubs carried.  By the way, I’ve played with just a PW & 56 SW in the past with no issues!

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I don’t see why it wouldn’t be enough. If you don’t have an issue getting a 56 to stop when you need it to or can land it soft enough when you need to then it’s plenty. 
 

Its not all that functionally different than my 52/58 set up. 

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It's old school but yes it will work.  Tom Watson uses this setup.  Also don't be afraid to go 50-58*.  Especially if you really like your 58, sure the gap is a bit big but you really only need to learn one little 3/4 shot with the 50 to fill the gap.  

 

 

If the 56 has a grind that lets you open it up a bit then you can basically "Seve" it and hit a lot of shots.  

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In 2017 I started redoing my wedges away from PW + 50-54-58.

 

I went a season with 48-54-60 (see below). The 60*/10 was a MD-PM U-grind. Didn't work that well out of uneven rough lies, and it was unreliable on distance for more than a half swing

 

The 60* got bumped out of my bag by a 58*/8 C-grind after a half-hour range following the local PGA Thanksgiving sale.

 

The 50-56 might work if you are a feel player who can "touch" the ball into all those drop spots inside 50 yards.

 

The 58*? You don't need a 58* - until you do! Last season I committed to going with either a 7i chip or a LW cut for greenside inside 20 yards. During the tournament stretch, I canned three greenside 58* shots for birdies.

 

image.jpeg.5965100561595bea8aca05a2049c965a.jpegIt depends on what you can get done with a 50 + 56. Give it a try and see how things work out.

 

And, my crystal ball says... on some courses your 50 + 56 will work, on other courses you'll need a different mix.

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What's In The Bag (Summary as of October 2020)

 

Driver:  Tour Edge EXS 10.5°, set 9.5°; weights neutral   ||  FWs:  Calla Rogue 4W + 7W

Hybrid:  Calla Big Bertha OS 4H at 22°  ||  Irons:  Tour Edge CB Pro Tungsten 4i-9i

Wedges*:  Calla MD3: 48°... MD4: 54°, 58° ||  Putter: Ping Sigma G Tyne (face-balanced) + Evnroll Gravity Grip

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Are you trying to free up a spot for a club? I could get by without my 58 but there may be times when Id miss it. For a while I went without a 4 iron and carried 13 clubs but there were a few times I wish I had it for a tee shot. So now I have a U85 as a 4. I’m allowed 14 clubs so I’d rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it. I feel the same way about the 58 since I play a lot of low risk bump and runs with the PW or 7i. If I need to get the ball in the air it’s 54 or 58. 

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I only use my 56. But I'm weird like that. I bought a 50 and a 60, used the 50 a little but I am better with my PW. The 60 I never really found a use for it since my 56 seems ok.

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I find my 50 and 56 are enough when I back them with a 60 and 64 ...

 

i will say I played scratch in university 30 years ago with a 50* pw and a 55* sw ... back when you carried 1 and 2 irons to impress

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2 hours ago, stormin70 said:

I’ve been playing 3 wedges in 50/54/58 for the last several seasons and I’m really starting to wonder if just a 50 and a 56 would be a better pairing for me.  I tend to use my 50 mostly for full shots and my 54 for 90% of my sand, chips and pitches.  My 58 doesn’t see a lot of action unless it’s a flop or I’m stuck in a tight green side bunker.

 

Have any of you been here before?  Has it worked for you to not have a lob wedge?  I’d love to hear your thoughts...

 

I think you answered your own question. You really don't need it. Just upon the 56 a little more and lower your hands for a higher shot.

 

I like a 50, 54, 58 or 59 setup. I can weaken the 54 to 55 and add a bit of bounce 50, 55, 59 - I have fast greens and like the higher loft.

 

Doesn't sound like you want to use one, so leave it out of the bag.

Edited by SwingMan

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I recently added a LW and the main reason was that my distance precision in the 30-70 yard range with a SW was an opportunity for improvement. Using a more lofted club has tightened that up, as I had hoped. So be sure to factor in that part of the game, in addition to short game.

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SW| Maltby M-Series+ Tour w/DG Black Onyx S400 TI

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I tried going with a 3 wedge setup of 46, 52, 56 for most of this past season, but I found it very difficult to use the 56 as my highest lofted club.

 

For me, my wedge game wasn’t advanced enough to be able to manipulate the 56 and open up the face enough to control shots within 30 yds of the green.

 

I’ve settled on a 46, 52, 58 wedge setup for this upcoming season and feel really good about it...but you have to find what’s best for you.

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For years I played a 52-56-60 because...well that’s what my dad gave me in my first full and real set. Today, 25 years later, I play 54-60 and I can chip circles around what I used to be able to do. Learning to use the wedges for different shots has helped my game tremendously and has been pretty fun learning as well. This also allowed room to add a club at the top of my bag.

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I went with the 46, 52, 58 wedge set up for a while. It was fine and opened up another spot at the top of my bag. However, I’m a rather long player and found out that having tighter wedge gapping at the bottom of my bag was more help extra club at the top. Ended up going to 46, 50, 54, 58. Everyone’s mileage will vary and will be dependent on your length off the tee as well as the types of courses you play.

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I've played every combo from a 47° PW at various times. 50/56, 52/56, 52/58.

 

The 50-52 are both full swing clubs and get a lot of use around the green and the 56 and 58 are mainly used out of bunkers so not worlds apart for me. 

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Most mid to high cappers would probably do just fine without a "lob wedge" of 58 to 62 degrees.

 

But there's a reason that every(?) professional on any tour has one in their bag: They lower scores if one knows how to use one.

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Depends on the greens you play. If you play a really top tier course with fast fast greens then a higher lofted wedge comes in handy if you are a lower HC and can play it.

Also, if you have some skills and play a 56 with some heel relief, no reason why you can't open it a touch and make it play like a 58-60*.

Test the 50-56 for 10-15 rounds and see if your HC changes, my guess is it probably won't.

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18 hours ago, cardoustie said:

i will say I played scratch in university 30 years ago with a 50* pw and a 55* sw ... back when you carried 1 and 2 irons to impress

 

I used a 56* SW for greenside cut shots for 10 years before Tom Kite showed us the LW in 1980s.

 

That said...

13 hours ago, Feelingofgreatness said:

Depends on the greens you play. If you play a really top tier course with fast fast greens then a higher lofted wedge comes in handy...

 

Not just top tier courses. The 1990s residential golf surge brought us lots of cruel greens. Developers thought their semi-private could host the US Open if the putting surfaces were tough enough, and birdies weren't too easy. So, I sometimes need a LW so the 15-yard splash shot doesn't roll off the far end of the green. Again, you don't need a LW - until you do!

 

I've played a handful of classic courses built before World War II. The holes are challenging, but most greens let you play for a bogie if you mess up. Not so for some of the 1990s greens. 

What's In The Bag (Summary as of October 2020)

 

Driver:  Tour Edge EXS 10.5°, set 9.5°; weights neutral   ||  FWs:  Calla Rogue 4W + 7W

Hybrid:  Calla Big Bertha OS 4H at 22°  ||  Irons:  Tour Edge CB Pro Tungsten 4i-9i

Wedges*:  Calla MD3: 48°... MD4: 54°, 58° ||  Putter: Ping Sigma G Tyne (face-balanced) + Evnroll Gravity Grip

Ball: Calla SuperHot (Orange preferred)  ||  Bag: Sun Mountain Three 5 stand bag

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     * MD4 54°/10 S-Grind replaced MD3 54°/12 W-Grind.

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I used to have a 48, 56, an 60 wedge setup for years until I got sick and tired of gripping down on my 48 to make partial shots.  Got rid of my 60 and put in a 52 in its pace and couldn't be happier.  Since I make full swings on my 48 and 52, I do most of my short game shots with my 56 and now very adept to using its bounce to its fullest. 

Because my wedge game is so much better, I can also use my 52 or even my 48 to do my short game shots as well.

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Yes it is enough, based on how you described yourself as a player.

 

I went to 46 for full and pitching shots and 54 for sand and chips. Makes life a lot simpler in my humble opinion.

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My PW and GW match my set and are 43 and 48.  I added a 52 and 56 and there are times where I miss not having a 60.  To be honest the 56 works just fine and if I add a 60 than I would have to pull a club out of the other end of the bag.  Not sure I want to do that. 

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Wedges ___ Titleist Vokey SM8 52.08F & 56.08S
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Making a similar change myself for this upcoming season, going to PW-52-58, from pw-50-54-60. I found the 50 and 54 to just be too close and I had a hard time choosing the correct shot to play, and I was playing tiny blade wedges. So went to the CBX in 52,58 to add some forgiveness and hopefully simplify shot options for me. 

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16 hours ago, Obee said:

Most mid to high cappers would probably do just fine without a "lob wedge" of 58 to 62 degrees.

 

But there's a reason that every(?) professional on any tour has one in their bag: They lower scores if one knows how to use one.

I'd say the knowing how to use is key.  I think the push for am's to cap out at 58* is just that, most are trying to hit shots they/we shouldn't with a 60*.  So they tell us stop at 58*.  Tom Kite didn't add the 60* in the 80s to try and full swing it.  Get out of jail club is what it was designed for I believe.

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My home course is short, and if you can hit decent drives you're rarely more than an 8-iron out on par 4s.  Par 5s are Driver -> hybrid or Driver -> 3 wood.

 

All the par 3s are reachable with a 7 iron or shorter.

 

So I occasionally dropped the 3, 4, 5 and 6 iron from my bag, and rarely carried both a hybrid and a 3 wood.  My wedge setup, if I wanted to get weird, was:

 

45* PW - part of my iron set

48* RTX 4

51* RTX 4

54* RTX 4

58* RTX 4

61* RTX 4

64* RTX 4

 

And I'm here to tell you that yes - 50 and 56 is plenty.

 

It was great having all those wedges, and I loved being able to make the exact same swing with all of them and cover every yardage range inside of 145, but less is more.  I should have spent all that time and money just getting better with a couple of them.

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