50 vs 52 Degree Wedge: The Gap Wedge For Average Golfers

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If you’re in the market for a new gap wedge, you’re probably picking a club between 50 and 52 degrees of loft. Most recreational golfers only need one or two wedges in their bag, and if that’s the case, should you add a 50 or 52-degree wedge?

As a general rule, average golfers will find that a 50-degree wedge will fit in the bag the best. The majority of golfers have a pitching wedge as well as a 56-degree sand wedge, and that means that a 50-degree wedge will fit right in the middle.

Obviously, it’ll depend on how many wedges you want to carry and what loft your current wedges are. I carry both a 50 and 56-degree wedge in my bag and I think it’s the best combo for most. We’ll get into all the scenarios when you might want to have something different.

Should You Use A 50 Or 52 Degree Wedge?

Most golfers have a 44-46 degree pitching wedge, and if that’s the case, having a 50-degree wedge in the bag is the best choice. Adding a 56-degree wedge will evenly space out your wedges and will cover most distances on the course.

I’ve used both wedges in the past, but there really isn’t one answer for everyone. What wedge you’ll add to your bag will all depend on how many wedges you want to have and what your current lofts are.

I have three wedges in my bag, but I’ve also seen people who have five wedges. I’d recommend the three wedge combo for most “average” golfers. Here’s what that looks like:

  • Pitching wedge.
  • Gap wedge.
  • Sand wedge.

Here’s what a four wedge combo looks like:

  • Pitching wedge.
  • Gap wedge.
  • Sand wedge.
  • Lob wedge.

Just a quick note on the lob wedge. A lob wedge is anything 58-degrees and above. Butch Harmon has said in the past that the average player shouldn’t play anything above 58-degrees. I don’t have one in the bag, but even if I did, I wouldn’t go any higher than 58.

The average player shouldn’t carry any wedge higher than 58-degrees.

Butch Harmon

When it comes to what loft you’ll have, you need to look at the loft of your pitching wedge. Then, you’ll want to evenly space out your wedges. It doesn’t matter if you go with the three or four-wedge combo.

Most pitching wedges these days are between 44-46 degrees. Let’s say that’s the case for you and you want to carry three wedges in your bag. You should have these wedges:

  • 44-degree pitching wedge.
  • 50-degree gap wedge.
  • 56-degree sand wedge.

You’ll notice that there are 6 degrees of loft between wedges. That’s enough of a gap that you’ll notice a difference in distances, and you’ll still have the right club for all shots.

Let’s say you want to carry four wedges:

  • 44-degree pitching wedge.
  • 50-degree gap wedge.
  • 54-degree sand wedge.
  • 58-degree lob wedge.

This will be the case for most golfers, but if your pitching wedge is 47-48 degrees, you might have to change things up a bit. The main thing to be sure of is that your wedges are evenly spaced out and you have at least 4 degrees between clubs.

What Is A 50 Degree Wedge Used For?

A 50-degree wedge is considered a gap wedge and is used to fill the gap between your pitching wedge and your sand wedge. Golfers who have a 50-degree wedge in their bag typically have a pitching wedge that’s between 44-46 degrees.

The two common wedges people have are pitch and sand wedges. That leaves a pretty big gap between clubs and is why you’ll want to add a gap wedge as soon as possible. You can use this wedge for full shots from the fairway or bump and runs around the green (when you need height and roll).

If your pitching wedge is between 44-46 degrees, it doesn’t matter if you want to have three or four wedges, a 50-degree is one you’ll want to have.

If your pitching wedge is between 47-48 degrees, it might or might not make sense to have a 50-degree. It all depends on how many wedges you want to carry. For mid to high handicaps, three is plenty.

Can you use a 50-degree wedge as a sand wedge? Using a 50-degree wedge out of the sand isn’t the best choice for most greenside bunkers. The only time you might want to try a 50-degree wedge out of the sand is when your ball is in a fairway bunker.

RELATED: What wedge you should use around the green.

What Is A 52 Degree Wedge Used For?

A 52-degree wedge is considered a gap wedge and is used to fill the gap between your pitching wedge and your sand wedge. Golfers who have a 52-degree wedge in their bag typically have a pitching wedge that’s between 47-48 degrees.

52-degree wedges are a lot less common, and the reason is that pitching wedges are normally 44-46 degrees. Having a 6-8 degree gap between clubs is a bit too much, and that’s why 50-degrees is more common.

Just like a 50-degree, a 52 wedge will be used for full shots from the fairway or for chip shots where you need both height and roll. A 56-degree might not roll out that well, so that’s why you’d want a gap wedge.

Can you use a 52-degree wedge as a sand wedge? A 52-degree wedge should only be used in a fairway bunker. It probably won’t have enough loft to consistently get the ball out of a greenside bunker.

How Far Should You Hit A 50 Degree Wedge?

On average golfers hit their 50-degree wedge 118 yards, but the range can vary between 105 and 125 yards. Longer hitters or golfers who take a full swing typically hit the higher numbers while golfers who take a 1/2 or 3/4 swing end up shorter.

Wedges are scoring clubs and that’s why distance doesn’t matter that much. It’s way more important to place the ball close, and that’s why a lot of better players only take a half swing with their wedges.

I was curious to see how far the average person hits their 50-degree, so I went out and asked 8 different golfers. Here are the results I got:

GolferAverage Distance (Yards)
1105
2115
3110
4120
5125
6125
7125
8120
Average Distance118
See how far average people hit their wedges.

As you can see, the range is a little bit wide, but on average, people hit somewhere close to 118 yards. I hit a bit longer myself, but that’s because I take some loft off by leaning the shaft forward. Anywhere close to this number is good though.

How Far Should You Hit A 52 Degree Wedge?

On average, golfers hit their 52-degree wedge 113 yards, but the range can vary between 105 and 120 yards. Golfers who take a normal swing with their wedge typically end up close to 120 while golfers who take half swings end up close to 105.

Again, I went out and asked 8 different golfers how far they normally hit their wedge. These are the numbers I got:

GolferAverage Distance (Yards)
1115
2110
3110
4120
5105
6110
7120
8115
Average Distance113
See how far average people hit their wedges.

With two more degrees of loft, the 52-degree wedge goes about 5 yards shorter on average. That’s kind of what I was expecting and is why there’s no point in having both clubs. All you have to do is grip your 50-degree an inch lower and you’ll hit 5 yards less.

If you really want to dial in your wedges, you’ll want to focus more on control than distance. Taking a 3/4 swing will normally go 5-10 yards less but your distance control will improve dramatically.


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Jon Webber

Just an average golfer trying to take my game to the next level. Was shooting around 100 not that long ago but have now been in the 80s consistently. Best round to date was 12 over. Best 9 holes were 4 over.

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