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I’m sure you know that everyone hits their club’s different distances, but I’m also sure that you’re curious how you stack up to everyone else. I was interested as well, so that’s why I went out and asked a number of golfers how far they hit their wedges.
For standard 3/4 to full-length shots, the average distance recreational players hit a pitching wedge is 116 yards, 103 yards for a gap wedge, 88 yards for a sand wedge, and 73 yards for a lob wedge.
What’s important to note is that these numbers don’t take into account mishits. These are for well-struck and full-length golf shots. Most people don’t take full swings with each club, so that’s something to keep in mind. Let’s jump into the full details for each wedge.
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How Far Does The Average Person Hit A Pitching Wedge?
On average, recreational golfers hit their pitching wedge 116 yards, but the range can be between 100 and 140 yards. For shorter pitches or shots that require a 1/2 swing, the average distance will be much less.
I know how far I hit a pitching wedge, but that doesn’t give enough info to figure out what the average number is. I asked a few people I know and also checked some online forums. Also, where you live plays a role in the distance. You can see how weather and temperature affect golf ball distance here.
Here are some of the numbers I got from 10 different golfers:
|Average Distance||116 Yards|
As you can see, the numbers range quite a bit. The shortest distance was 100 yards while the longest was 140 yards. The average of 116 yards is actually very close to the middle, which makes me believe it’s pretty accurate.
I know that most people won’t take full swing with their wedges. Taking a 3/4 or 1/2 swing usually helps you control the ball better. The question I asked was how far a standard full-length shot would your pitching wedge go. These are the numbers that I got back.
To sum things up, if you can hit your pitching wedge somewhere close to 115 yards, you’re pretty close to average. Anything around 100 or less, you’re a bit shorter than most. Anything over 140, you’re a big hitter (nice job).
How Far Does The Average Person Hit A Gap Wedge?
On average, recreational golfers hit their gap wedge 103 yards, but the range can be between 90 and 120 yards. For shorter shots that only require a 1/2 swing, the average distance will be much less.
Since not everyone carries a gap wedge, some of these numbers are from different people than above. Golfer #10 in the pitching wedge section isn’t necessarily golfer #10 here. Anyways, I asked them how far they’d hit the ball with their gap wedge if they took a full standard swing. Here are the results:
|Average Distance||103 Yards|
The numbers are a bit tighter than before, with the shortest distance being 90 yards and the longest being 120 yards. The average number was 103 yards, which is about 13 yards shorter (on average) compared to the PW.
What you’ll also want to note is that gap wedges can be different distances. Your gap wedge could be 50-52 degrees, but it could also be bent to add or subtract a degree.
To sum things up, if you can hit your gap wedge somewhere close to 100 yards, you’re pretty much average. Anything less than 90 yards and you’re a bit less. More than 120 and you’re doing just fine.
How Far Does The Average Person Hit A Sand Wedge?
On average, recreational golfers hit their sand wedge 88 yards (full shot), but the range can be between 70 and 110 yards. Most golfers don’t take a full swing with their sand wedge, and since that’s the case, your distance could be less.
Pretty much everyone will carry a sand wedge but everyone will hit the club differently. Higher handicap players will probably swing a lot harder with their sand wedge while better players swing slower for more control. That leaves a whole range of distances. Here’s what I got:
|Average Distance||88 Yards|
The numbers are spread pretty far apart with the shortest distance being 70 yards while the longest being 110 yards. The average distance was 88 yards for a full swing, which was 15 yards shorter (on average) compared to the gap wedge.
Essentially, what this means is that most people will grab a sand wedge when they’re 85-90 yards out. Better players will most likely take out a gap wedge and take a 1/2-3/4 swing to get the most control.
To sum things up, if you can hit your sand wedge somewhere close to 90 yards, you’re pretty average. Anything less than around 85 yards and you’re a bit below. Anything more than 100 (consistently) and you’re doing well.
How Far Does The Average Person Hit A Lob Wedge?
On average, a full shot for a recreational player with a lob wedge will be 73 yards, but the range can be between 60 and 90 yards. Most golfers only use their lob wedge around the green, so chances are, you won’t ever take a full swing.
I don’t know about you, but I pretty much never take full swings when I have a lob wedge. There was just too much loft on the club to hit it that consistently. The only place I’d use it was around the green and when I had to chip the ball over something.
I was still curious to see how far others hit their lob wedge though. Again, I asked 10 different players how far they typically hit this club. Here were the responses:
|Average Distance||73 Yards|
Again, the spread was pretty wide with the shortest distance being 60 yards and the longest being 90 yards. The average number was 73 yards for a full shot.
The average distance was 15 yards shorter than the sand wedge. I think the reason is that most people have a tough time compressing the ball with their lob wedge. They end up scooping the ball, it goes way too high, and they don’t get much distance.
To sum things up, if you can hit your lob wedge somewhere close to 75 yards, you’re doing well. Anything less than 60 yards and you have some work to do. Anything nearing the 100-yard range and you’re getting to PGA level.
What Are The Different Types Of Wedges
Pitching wedge: The PW is the most common wedge golfers will have. If you buy an iron set, a PW will likely come with that. It’ll have somewhere around 42-46 degrees of loft and can be used from the fairway and for chipping around the green.
A PW is probably one of the easiest clubs for people to hit from the fairway. If your ball is close to the green, you don’t have any obstacles, and you want the ball to roll a decent distance, this could be a good choice.
RELATED: What You Need To Know About The Pitching Wedge
Gap wedge: The GW is the third wedge most people get and is used to fill the “gap” between your PW and your SW. It’ll have somewhere around 50-52 degrees of loft and can be used from the fairway and for chipping around the green.
RELATED: 50 vs 52 Degree Wedge: What You Should Use
If your ball is somewhere close to the green and you don’t have any obstacles, most “average: golfers will chip with their PW or GW. If you want your ball to go a bit higher and not roll out as much, a GW could be the right choice.
Sand wedge: The SW is the second most common wedge people will have. It’s probably the most versatile wedge because it can be used from the fairway, from the bunker, for chipping and launching the ball over something.
RELATED: 54 vs 56 Degree Wedge: What You Should Use
A SW has somewhere around 54-56 degrees of loft. If your ball is behind an obstacle or you’re close to the green and don’t want the ball to roll out much, your SW could be the right choice.
Lob wedge: The LW is usually the last wedge you’ll want to add to your bag. It’ll have at least 58 degrees of loft and should only be used by better players.
RELATED: 58 vs 60 Degree Wedge: What You Should Use
The only time you’d want to use a LW is when you really need to get the ball in the air and have it stop quickly on the green. It’s an advanced shot, and that’s why it’s suited to better players. Ever top the ball and have it blasted across the green? Yeah, that’s really common for this club.
Learn More: If you’d like to learn more about the different types of wedges and when you might want to use them, be sure to check out our full guide.
What Wedges Each Type Of Golfer Should Carry
When deciding on what wedges to carry, you really need to take a look at your skill level. Being a beginner golfer and having 4 different wedges really doesn’t make much sense. As you get better, you’ll want to have more wedges.
What wedges should a beginner and high handicap carry? For beginners and higher handicaps, having a pitching wedge and a sand wedge in your bag will be the best combination. A pitching wedge is perfect for fairway shots and bump and runs while the sand wedge is good for bunker shots and short chips.
What I’ve noticed is that it’s easier to get consistent when you have fewer clubs. I used to carry 14 different clubs, which means I need to learn how to hit 14 different clubs. Once I took half the clubs out of my bag, that’s when consistency started improving.
As long as you have a PW and SW, you should be able to handle any situation. Work on the basics and then add a GW when you can shoot in the 80s. Get a GW that’s equally between your PW and SW.
One thing you also might consider is using a chipper wedge around the green instead of a traditional wedge. Something like the PING ChipR could be worth checking out for hitting bump and runs.
What wedges should a mid handicapper carry? For mid-handicap golfers, having a pitching wedge, gap wedge, and sand wedge in your bag will be the best combination. It’s best to space out your wedge loft as equally as possible.
Once you work your way into the 80s, it’s time to think about adding another wedge. You should already have a PW and SW, so that means you’ll want to add a GW that’s between 50 and 52 degrees.
The choice comes down to the loft of your current clubs. You’ll want to have the loft right in the middle. If your PW is 44 degrees and your SW is 56 degrees, a 50 degree GW is the right choice.
Learn More: If you’d like more info on how many wedges the average golfer should carry and why that’s the case, be sure to read our full guide.
What about a lob wedge? Butch Harmon once said that the average player shouldn’t use anything above 58 degrees. That basically means that a lob wedge probably is too lofted for most.
That’s why I’d only recommend adding one if you’re a better player and actually need it. This is probably someone who shoots in the low 80s and 70s.
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