What Is a Lob Wedge Used for?
Every golfer dreams about being able to hit a ball close to the flag consistently from about 50 to 60 yards out.
Until the lob wedge was invented, getting the ball close when the flag is just on the other side of a sand trap was nearly impossible.
You must hit the shot high, and impart a lot of backspin to make the ball stop quickly. Lob wedges can help to accomplish this.
They are usually are about 60 degrees--or more--which makes a golf ball fly about 15 percent higher than a normal wedge. The ball doesn't go as far and stops quickly.
Pick a lob wedge that has a loft of no more than 60 degrees. If it has more loft, it will be very difficult for you to use. Also, you'll find that having a bounce angle of more than 8 degrees will make your shots easier because you will be less likely to take too large a divot with your shots. If you choose a lob wedge with a bounce angle closer to 13 degrees, your lob wedge could substitute for a sand wedge, reducing the need to eliminate another club from your bag.
Practice hitting your lob wedge before you take it with you to the golf course. It has a higher loft than any other club in your bag, so it will travel a shorter distance. Get used to your new club and how far you can hit it with a short or full swing.
Use your lob wedge only when you have a shot that requires a high trajectory and a soft landing. Do not make the mistake of using your lob wedge when you have plenty of green to negotiate and a less-lofted club is more appropriate.
Decide which club you will replace since you will now carry a lob wedge (you are only allowed 14).
Many players eliminate a long iron, since it is the most difficult club in your bag to hit. Others accommodate their new wedge by eliminating a wood if they find it hard to use.
Bill Herrfeldt specializes in finance, sports and the needs of retiring people, and has been published in the national edition of "Erickson Tribune," the "Washington Post" and the "Arizona Republic." He graduated from the University of Louisville.