What Is a Lob Wedge Used for?
Just like there are several different golf irons in an iron set, there are four different types of golf wedges: the pitching wedge, the gap wedge, the sand wedge and the lob wedge. The leading edge of each type of wedge has different degrees of loft, which makes each of them unique in different chip shot and short game situations.
Ranging from 58 to 62 degrees, the lob wedge is a golfer’s highest lofted wedge and overall highest lofted golf club in their golf bag. Golf shots hit with the lob wedge include short shots and approach shots from the fairway where you need to quickly get the golf ball high in the air, a feat that the only 60 degree wedge can accomplish better than any other club.
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.
Picking the Correct Degree Lob Wedge
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, unless you’re a professional golfer on the PGA Tour. 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.
Simulate Golf-Game Like Scenarios
Practice hitting your lob wedge before you take it with you to the golf course, especially things like bunker shots, flop shots and pitch shots you will likely use the versatile lob wedge in in a real golf game. Get comfortable with the fact that it is the highest lofted 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.
Know When to Use your Lob Wedge
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 clubface is more appropriate.
Decide Which Club to Replace
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. Some will also sacrifice a second putter or second driver they may carry with them.
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.