Pitching Wedge Vs Sand Wedge Vs Lob Wedge

In a 2012 article, Golf Digest rated Seve Ballesteros as the greatest wedge player in history. And it is hard to argue with them. I recommend taking a leaf out of Seve’s book to help you improve your pitch and chip shots to lower your scores.

For starters, you can understand the difference between a pitching wedge vs sand wedge vs lob wedge.

The point of this post is to help you understand the features of each club and the best shots to play to enhance their performance.

Intro To Wedges And The Different Types In Your Experience

Since I have an erratic long game, I have to rely on my wedge play and putting to save me more often than not.

I am an average golfer who swings a driver around 90 mph. As a result, I send my average full pitching wedge shots 110-yards in normal conditions. But, I also use my pitching wedge to chip from the rough.

I don’t use a sand wedge as often as I should and only employ it to hit full shots between 70 and 90-yards.

Contrary to the norm, I use my 60-degree lob more than any club in my wedge arsenal. In normal conditions, I like to put the ball up high and stop it dead which the compact lob wedge blade enables me to.

Even though my coaches disagreed. The weaker loft and smaller blade help me get out of the sand trap with ease.

Pitching Vs Sand Vs Lob Wedge Overview

A pitching wedge contains the strongest loft of the three clubs and is used for short-range full shots. According to Golfweek’s William McCoy, these do not exceed 140-yards for the average male golfer and 90-yards for females.

A sand wedge is often used by players from the bunker. Or on full shots from between 50 to 90-yards for the average male. Ladies tend to use this club on strikes ranging from 30 to 50-yards.

Finally, a lob wedge is ideal for getting your ball high in the air and stopping it quickly. It is also handy for a flop shot over a bunker or obstacle.

What Exactly Is A Pitching Wedge

Golf Monthly’s Elliot Heath explains that a pitching wedge is the strongest lofted wedge and produces increased distance over a sand or lob wedge.

What Degree & Distance

Golf Monthly’s Elliot Heath explains that the average loft of a pitching wedge is 44.5-degrees. However, some brands will create strong lofted models with 42-degrees of loft, such as the PXG 0211.

McCoy suggests that the average male sends a pitching wedge anywhere from 100 to 140-yards. While female players hit it anywhere from 70 to 120-yards. Of course, distance is impacted by the wind, humidity, time of the day, and the quality of your ball striking.

How To Choose Bounce/Options

Vokey wedges suggest that bounce describes the angle between the leading edge and the sole’s lowest point.

They suggest that players with a shallow angle of attack and those who take minimal divots suit a low bounce wedge.

Conversely, a mid-bounce wedge is ideal for those of you with a neutral attack angle, while a high-bounce wedge helps those with steep attack angles.

What Kind Of Shots Is It Used For?

A pitching wedge is used for full shots under 100-yards for the average male and 70-yards for females.

What Exactly Is A Sand Wedge

As its name suggests, a sand wedge is constructed to help you navigate out of bunkers.

Furthermore, the wedge produces less distance compared to a pitching wedge. But it delivers a higher apex, suitable for getting the ball up and over obstacles.

What Degree & Distance

Heath further states that the average loft of a sand wedge is 56-degrees.

As a golfer with an average swing speed based on Golf Magazine’s standards, I hit full sand wedge shots from 55 to 85-yards out.

What Kind Of Shots Is It Used For?

You can use a sand wedge to play bunker shots, chips, and full shots, from close in.

What Exactly Is A Lob Wedge

A lob wedge is the most lofted club in the bag and helps you equip your short game with airtime and spin.

What Degree & Distance

Following Heath’s advice, we see that the average lob wedge is 60-degrees. However, you can find stronger lofted lob wedges that contain 58-degrees of loft and weaker options up to 64-degrees.

From my experience, I cannot hit a lob wedge beyond 65-yards, anything longer than that, and I tried to force it. That causes me to generate excess spin and lose distance and accuracy

What Kind Of Shots Is It Used For?

Lob wedges can be used to chip, play flop and bunker shots, and even hit full shots when you are relatively close to the green.

Do You Need To Carry All Three

You don’t have to carry anything that you are not comfortable playing. However, I suggest that you carry these three wedges.

Because they bridge the distance gap left when you only use a pitching wedge and lob wedge. Or a sand wedge and lob wedge.

If you leave one out, you will likely lack 10-degrees of loft in your game, which will hurt your distance.

Which Are The Most Popular?

A pitching wedge is the most common wedge, as it is generally included when you acquire a complete set of irons.

The next most popular is a sand wedge with the lob trailing in third. That is true for amateurs but varies for PGA and DP World Tour players.

The excessive loft on a lob wedge is difficult for high handicappers and beginners to control.

Can A Sand Wedge Replace A Lob Wedge?

Yes, a sand wedge can replace a lob wedge. Both in terms of the spin you generate and shots you can play.

However, the added option of the lob wedge enables you to gain height and spin faster than with a sand wedge.

Should High Handicappers Use A Lob Wedge?

From my experience, high handicappers have no business playing with a lob wedge.

You will likely generate excess spin on most shots causing you to lose distance and accuracy. Furthermore, the compact face profile is unforgiving and can result in several shanks.

What About Mid to Low Handicappers

I would recommend that mid to low handicappers play with a lob wedge to give them that extra loft for flop shots.

Plus, the additional spin it produces is ideal for holding narrow greens where an extra bounce sends you off the side.

Best Wedges Reviews With Pros And Cons

Best Pitching Wedge

TaylorMade SIM2 Max OS

The forgiveness and ease of playability of TaylorMade’s SIM2 Max pitching wedge is the reason it tops my list for the best pitching wedge.

With 43.5-degrees of loft, it is strong and offers the distance needed for full shots. However, its high launching nature produces a high launching ball with a steep descent along a steep angle to optimize shot stopping power.

The Cap-Back design brings stability to the clubhead at impact and helps to lower the CG to promote a higher launch. Additionally, the Inverted Cone Technology (ICT) expands the sweet spot to reduce sidespin on mishits and promote straighter, accurate shots.

Finally, the employment of the Echo Damping System rids the club of unwanted vibrations on off-center strikes.

Even though the TaylorMade SIM2 Max OS irons are designed for high handicappers and beginners, mid-handicappers could use their forgiving qualities.

Pros and Cons


  • Forgiving
  • Optimizes distance
  • High launching
  • Reduces vibrations at impact
  • Enhances shot stopping power


  • The strong loft is not ideal for chipping around the green.
  • Traditionalists will not appreciate the oversized profile

Overall Score: 96/100

Check Out More Reviews Here:


Best Sand Wedge

Cobra King MIM Black Wedge

The Cobra King MIM Black wedge is a slick-looking sand wedge. It is metal injection molded to deliver the company’s softest wedge and is coated with a black matte finish to reduce glare and eradicate distractions during your shots.

Furthermore, the MIM wedge includes a CNC-Milled face which produces sharper grooves and a circular milling pattern to enhance spin across the face.

In addition, the stronger lofted sand wedges in the set feature narrow deeper grooves. While everything north of 56-degrees is set with wider shallow grooves. The engineers do this to maximize the spin delivered by each wedge.

Finally, this wedge is available in three grind options. Versatile best suits players with shallow angles of attack or when playing firm course conditions.

Widelow is ideal for those golfers with neutral attack angles. And Classic is a high bounce wedge that works for those of you with neutral to steep attack angles.

Pros and Cons


  • Glare resistant
  • Optimal spin
  • Progressive grooves
  • Three grind options
  • Smooth feel


  • High handicappers may find that the profile is too compact.

Overall Score: 94/100

Check Out More Reviews Here:


Best Lob Wedge

Titleist Vokey SM8

Bob Vokey is no stranger to a quality wedge, and he has delivered again with the Titleist SM8. The wedge features a chrome finish to deflect glare and repel moisture away from the face.

While the CG is positioned high and forward to improve MOI for optimal trajectory.

In addition to the impeccable MOI, the spin milled clubface contains wide shallow grooves. This not only optimizes your spin and control on each shot. It also provides an exceptional feel.

There are six different grind options for the SM8. However, you may need to visit one of their partner fitters to acquire your preferred choice.

The Titleist Vokey SM8 is a superior wedge designed for players looking to get their ball high and generate optimal spin in their short game.

Pros and Cons


  • Three grind options
  • Enhanced spin
  • Optimal trajectory
  • Smooth feel


  • You need to visit a fitter to find your preferred grind option.

Overall Score: 95/100

Check Out More Reviews Here:


Final Thoughts

In concluding our review of a pitching wedge vs sand wedge vs lob wedge, you now know the difference between the three.

A pitching wedge is the strongest lofted of the three options and goes the furthest, while a sand wedge is best suited to bunker shots and chips. Finally, a lob wedge is ideal for mid and low handicappers to send their ball high and generate optimal spin around the green.

If you are searching for a new pitching wedge, consider the TaylorMade SIM2 Max OS. However, if your current sand wedge is not working out, think about trying the Cobra King MIM Black wedge.

Lastly, those who seek a lob wedge may want to test out the Titleist Vokey SM8.