52-Degree Wedge – What Can It Do For You?

What is a 52-degree wedge? This wedge, otherwise known as a gap wedge, fills the gap in distance between your pitching wedge and sand wedge.

A typical set of irons comes standard with a pitching wedge (around 45 or 56 degrees loft) and a sand wedge (approximately 55 or 56 degrees loft. The 52-degree wedge fits neatly between these two clubs giving you a practical option for distances that are too short for a pitching wedge and too far for a sand wedge.

Any pro will tell you that accuracy from 120 yards into the green is the most critical area of the game. The tour pro makes their score from this range. One of the reasons they excel at these distances is that they have four wedges in their bag. They know that hitting a full shot is much more consistent than a half shot or a  finesse shot. Four wedges allow them to hit the ball the correct yardage with deadly accuracy.

Now the average club golfer does not need four wedges, but the addition of a 52-degree wedge will help you get the ball closer to the pin on those awkward distances between clubs. 

Let’s unpack what a 52-degree wedge does and how it will benefit you.

What Is A 52 Degree Wedge?

As mentioned, a 52-degree wedge is a gap wedge filling the yardage gap between your pitching wedge and your sand wedge. 

The difference between having a 30-foot putt for a birdie and a 15-foot one can come down to a gap wedge. The gap wedge gives you another weapon in your arsenal – one that offers you control and accuracy where it counts most – short distances into the green.

Consistency and accuracy are much easier when you take a full swing and are aggressive at impact. The ‘little’ shots, three quarter or half swings, are more challenging to pull off. 

The professional spends thousands of hours on the range and around the green perfecting their ability to hit finesse shots, which you will not have the time to do. If you can’t put in enough practice to learn these subtle shots, it makes sense to add another club to your bag which can fill this crucial yardage gap.

You can hit your 52-degree wedge full, knowing that you are covering a 10 to 15-yard area accurately that you would have had to force your sand wedge or hit a three-quarter pitching wedge to get right.

How Far Do People typically Hit This Wedge?

Golfers typically hit a 52-degree wedge between 85 yards and 110 yards. The distance you get out of this wedge is dependent on your swing speed and angle of attack.

Being able to hit a shot the proper distance consistently makes the difference between hitting the green and missing it and potentially having a makeable birdie putt instead of an unlikely one.

A club golfer hits their pitching wedge between 100 and 140 yards and their sand wedge from 70 to 110 yards. Regardless of how far you hit your wedges, there will be a gap of around 30 yards between your pitching wedge and sand wedge. Putting a 52-degree wedge in your bag closes this gap.

A 52-degree wedge is a specialized club that gives you additional accuracy. It is a club that all golfers should have in their arsenal.

When Should You Use A 52-degree Wedge?

A 52-degree wedge is a very versatile club. It will add many options to your full shots and open up possibilities with your short game that you didn’t have before. You will be more creative with your pitching and chipping and allowing you to improve your short game overall.

Out Of The Bunker

The long bunker shot is one of the most intimidating shots in golf. We have all been in the bunker 20 or 30 yards from the pin and know that we can’t reach the pin with our sand wedge. 

A 52-degree wedge allows you to play a regular bunker shot and still get to the hole on these longer bunker shots.

The gap wedge is, on average, four degrees less lofted than a sand wedge which means the launch angle is shallower, giving you more run out. The gap wedge also imparts slightly less spin than a sand wedge, allowing you to play a more extended running bunker shot.

Trying To Get Out Of Trouble

The gap wedge is a great troubleshooter. A golfer can find themselves in many situations where although they are not far from the green, they still need to keep the ball low. You may have a tree branch ahead of you, a strong headwind, or want to land the ball and get a lot of run – the 52-degree wedge aids you in all these circumstances. 

It is not easy to keep the ball down with a sand wedge. The ball must be behind your back foot at address, so you strike down, delofting the club. A lot can go wrong with this type of shot, and taking your gap wedge with less loft means you don’t have to move the ball quite so far back at address. 

Having a gap wedge as an option in your bag simplifies the low, short shot.

In The Fairway On Approach Shots

Consistency and accuracy on short approach shots are paramount. Most club golfers expect to land the ball on the green when they are 130 yards or shorter from the hole, and with a good swing, expect the ball to be quite close to the pin. 

Judging the correct distance from the flag is the first step to getting a shot right. Choosing the correct club for your estimated yardage is the second step. 

A problem arises if you don’t have a club that will hit the ball the actual distance you are away from the green  – closer than your full pitching wedge and too far for your sand wedge. 

The remedy is your 52-degree wedge – perfect for this in-between shot. You can do a full swing without manipulating the club, increasing the chance of solid contact, which ensuring the ball will fly the proper distance.

A gap wedge lessens the variables producing more consistent results.

Around The Greens

Nick Fado says the quicker you get the ball onto the green and roll like a putt, the more likely you will get up and down consistently.

If you have green to work with – the pin is across the green, and you don’t have a lot of rough between your ball and the putting surface, a crisp bunt with your gap wedge is a more effective shot than trying to throw the ball high to the pin with your sand wedge.

Yes, you see professionals on television using their sand wages for all kinds of chips and pitches, including the low running shots. They spend thousands of hours perfecting their skill, which is why they have such a variety of shots with a sand wedge.

Rather than try difficult shots, use your gap wedge to get the ball rolling, which will improve your success around the greens.

How To Assess If The 52 Degree Wedge Is Right For Your Game?

The best method to evaluate how a 52-degree wedge will benefit you is to put in some work assessing your game during a round. Make notes of all the distances you have for approach shots from 130 yards out and all the positions you need to pitch or chip around the greens.

Check for the following circumstances:

  • How many times is your approach yardage in between your average distance for a full pitching wedge or sand wedge?
  • How often did you feel you could pitch and run the ball to the pin?
  • How many times did you have a long bunker shot where you wanted the ball to run to the hole instead of spinning to a stop?
  • How many times were you hitting into the wind from a sand wedge yardage?

Your answers will clearly show you how many times a gap wedge would have been the right club to use. And using the right club will give you better results.

Best 52-Degree Wedges

1. Callaway Jaws MD5 52-Degree Wedge


Callaway Jaws MD5 52-Degree Wedge

PROS

  • The clubhead is a manageable size and shape, not unwieldy like some oversized cavity back wedges.
  • Engineered with 8620 Mild Carbon steel gives the club a beautiful soft feel at impact.

CONS

  • The Jaws is priced at the top end of the 52-degree market.



The Callaway Jaws MD5 is a premium wedge renowned for its exceptional feel and versatility.

The wedge produces loads of spin through Callaway’s Offset Groove-In-Groove Technology, giving you check even on half shots and chips.

2. Cleveland Golf RTX ZipCore Tour Satin Wedge



PROS

  • The combination of ZipCore and UltiZip technologies produces unparalleled spin and control.
  • The wedge is heat-treated for extra durability.

CONS

  • They are designed more for the low handicap player.



Cleveland packs the RTX with loads of cutting edge technology, making it one of the most effective 52-degree wedges around.

The ZipCore technology moves the center of gravity to the middle of the clubface, balancing the club and making it more resistant to twisting. These characteristics deliver a better feel, spin, and control.

The precision UltiZip grooves are cut sharper and deeper, allowing the face more extended contact with the ball, further enhancing grip.

3. Wilson Staff Model 52-Degree Wedge


Wilson Staff Model 52-Degree Wedge

PROS

  • The milled face is exceptionally soft and forgiving.
  • The silver satin finish looks good and doesn’t produce glare.
  • Built with 8620 carbon steel creating feel and control.

CONS

  • Produce less spin than some of the other 52-degree wedges on the market.



Wilson uses tour players to help them design wedges that work. The Staff Model is a reliable workhorse that performs expertly where it counts.

The forged face gives a very soft feel, and the precision engraved grooves create all the spin you could want.

Alternate Options For A 52-degree Wedge

If your pitching wedge has 48 degrees loft and your sand wedge is 54 degrees, you might want to add more loft to your wedges by choosing a 60-degree lob wedge rather than a 52-degree gap wedge.

The lob wedge will give you a lot of extra height, which means you can land the ball very softly. You will be able to go for very tight pins and hit the high loft shot, which can get you out of trouble when you are short-sided by the green.

A 60-degree edge has a less penetrating flight which compromises distance and makes playing shots into the wind difficult.

FAQ’s

What Is The Equivalent Of A 52-Degree Wedge?

The 52-degree wedge is not equivalent to any of the other wedges. The club is commonly known as a gap wedge as the club’s loft fits between the lofts on your pitching and sand wedges.

Is A Pitching Wedge 52- Degrees?

No, it isn’t. A pitching wedge usually has a loft between 44 and 48 degrees.

What Is The Difference Between A 52-Degree And A 56-Degree Wedge?

A 52-degree wedge is usually a gap wedge, and a 56-degree wedge is typically a sand wedge. 

A 52-degree wedge has a thinner sole than a sand wedge, as a sand wedge is designed with more bounce to help with bunker shots.

Wrapping Up

Will a 52-degree wedge help you improve your scoring? The answer is a resounding yes.

When you buy a set of irons, they usually come with a pitching wedge and sand wedge. There is a large yardage gap between these two clubs. 

Trying to manipulate your swing to hit the ball a distance the club doesn’t produce – a three quarter shot, for example, with your pitching wedge, or forcing your sand wedge to go further, leads to inconsistency.

The solution is adding a gap wedge which you can hit the distances your other wedges can’t.

A 52-degree wedge also gives you more options with your pitching and chipping. You can hit the ball lower and play for more run on the green.

You are allowed 14 clubs in your bag, and one of the first additional clubs you should get is a 52-degree gap wedge.
There are great options to purchase a 52-degree wedge on Amazon.

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