Hello! Welcome to my first post about my first passion in life – golf!! Todays post is going to be all about Sand Wedges. What are they? What are they used for? Whats the history of these clubs? Are there specific Sand Wedges for females? Anyway, this post will clear up a few common questions a new golfer may find helpful.
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What is a Sand Wedge?
A sand wedge may sound like a sandwhich but that’s where the similarities end! A sand wedge is also known as a sand iron and would be used to play a ball that has landed in a sand bunker. Not the funnest position to get stuck in!
Characteristics of a Sand Wedge
Sand wedges or sand irons are a golf club or more accurately a golf iron that is an open faced wedge designed to give you the ability to get under your ball and have it flying out a sand bunker. These irons have the widest sole of any wedge and this gives it the biggest amount of bounce to let the head of the club glide through the sand as opposed to dig into it.
Today sand wedges are generally the heaviest iron in a golfers kit with the vast majority weighing around about 40oz of 1.1kgs. The shaft of a sand wedge is quite short and has a loft of between 55-56.
When to Use a Sand Wedge
Like I’ve mentioned this iron is specifically for getting out of sand bunkers. If you are quite the capable golfer you can expect to hit between 80-100 yards full swing with a sand wedge. There is also another iron called a lob wedge that has an even higher loft to get even higher and even more spin. This is typically a club professionals use and I can’t say I’ve tested it out!
Main Difference of a Sand Wedge vs. Other Irons
If we take a close look at the irons of a golf bag you will notice that the sole of the club is perpendicular (90 degrees) to the shaft. If we take a look at the sand wedge you’ll notice the sole of the club is angled to the ground. Why? Well there are 3 main reasons for this – Momentum, Ease of Swing/Gliding and for getting under the ball even if it is buried.
An increase in the weight of the club head allows for greater momentum to swing through and get the ball high in the air.
The angle helps to keep the edge away from the ground/sand at the bottom of the swing meaning it won’t dig into the bunker and muck up your shot. Instead the club will skim perfectly over the surface.
If your ball is completely covered in sand or dug quite far in then you need all the help you can get to remove it from the bunker. The club head needs to get underneath the ball to get it up and out of the bunker. The angled head helps achieve this!
Tips for how to use a sand wedge:
I can only dream of playing like this guy! Useful tips nonetheless.
History of Sand Wedges
If we dial it back to the 1920s there was a ‘spoon’ club which would work as the name suggested to scoop the ball out of the sand. Over time this club grew in popularity and the sand wedge was designed! Although I imagine it wouldve taken some time to fine tune the sand wedge, there were designs with concave faced wedges which were banned in 1931. Now days if you don’t have a sand wedge you might find yourself in a bit of strife if you hit the bunker. There is the option to use your pitching wedge which has slightly less loft but if you keep the club face open you can expect a high trajectory.
Female Sand Wedges
For the female golfers there are indeed sand wedges for you! While the club face and loft won’t vary too much from the male version your shaft material will be completely graphite – like all your clubs should be!
Sand wedges are a very important iron to have in your golf kit! If you don’t have a sand wedge you could always try using your pitching wedge but make sure you leave the club face open.