What Degree Is A Pitching Wedge?

July 26, 2010

What degree is a pitching wedge? is the fourth most-asked question on Ask.com. Their answer: 45 degrees.

That’s not a good answer. The loft of a modern pitching wedge is usually somewhere between 45 - 53 degrees of loft. It varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, and from set to set. The TaylorMade R9, for example has a pitching wedge with a 46 degree loft. Callaway’s X-24 HOT irons are a 45. The Callaway Diablo Edge is a 44. The Titleist MB is a 47.

Moreover, loft has changed over time, as manufacturers have tweaked sets for more distance by strengthening lofts. A “classic” set of irons probably has a pitching wedge with a loft at the higher end of the 45-53 degree range.

It also strikes me that the question really wasn’t very good. There are two measurements for clubheads that are expressed in degrees: loft and lie. I assume, however, that the questioners at Ask.Com are wondering about the loft.

Loft is the angle at which the club face tilts backward, and controls the trajectory of the ball. All things being equal, a higher loft will make a ball fly higher.

Lie, on the other hand, is the angle between the centerline of the shaft and the ground. When properly fitted to a player, a club with the correct lie angle will rest on a point directly under the club center, with the shaft in the player’s hand in a correct playing position. If the lie angle is too flat, or too steep, shots will tend to be offline.

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  • May not be a good question- but between the X-24 article and this one I finally went and checked loft for my X-20 PW and AW (45 and 50).

    I have been wondering because I recently replaced the AW-50 with a Cleveland Niblick 49, and I am hitting the Niblick with a full swing, nearly as long as the PW.  I keep wondering if I have too much overlap, but actually it is probably correct. 

    Also, I had heard that Callaway had made the X-24s stronger than the X-20s, but the lofts and lengths are identical.

    Posted by martin on 07/26

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