What Is A Gap Wedge – When To Use It Vs Pitching Wedge

Choosing the right wedge these days can be very confusing, with so many wedge options, lofts, bounces and grids, it is very easy for you to get confused.

Today we will hopefully make sense of all this confusion and make the choice easy the next time you go to buy a club.

The main thing you will need to consider is the loft of your clubs to match up your Gap Wedge to the set. We will get into all the details below.


Gap Wedges Overview

The Gap Wedge is not some special weapon that will make you hit it closer than another club. A Pitching Wedge was originally invented for pitching and shorter shots towards the green, while a Sand Wedge was originally invented to get out of the sand.

When these were originally invented the lofts were around 4 to 5 degrees apart. Since Iron lofts started to get stronger the Sand Wedge stayed the same and the Pitching Wedge stuck with the iron set making the loft stronger too.

This produced a gap between the Sand Wedge and Pitching Wedge, hence why the Gap Wedge was invented. It’s sole purpose is to fill the gap now created between the Sand Wedge and Pitching Wedge.

With the current lofts of Irons these days the Gap Wedge is a must.


What Degree Is A Gap Wedge

Have a look at the table below, this should give you an idea of what loft Gap Wedges are. Gap Wedges are also referred to as AW (Approach Wedge)

Sand Wedge

Gap Wedge

Pitching Wedge

56 – 53 Degrees 52 – 49 Degrees 48 – 42 Degrees


How To Pick The Right Loft Gap Wedge

Having the right loft gap on your wedges is incredibly important. If either of your wedge’s lofts are too close to each other you will have two problems.

One, you will have two clubs that hit it a similar distance because the lofts are similar, and two, you will have two clubs with too big of a gap between them, because the gap in the lofts are too far apart.

We suggest picking your Gap Wedge based on the loft of your Pitching Wedge. You generally want the degree to be 4 or 5 degrees apart, this will give you a nice 10 to 12 yard gapping between clubs.

So, if your Pitching Wedge is 45 degrees, then you will need to choose a Gap Wedge with a 50 degree loft.


Do All Gap Wedges Look Like A Blade

The short answer, No. Club manufactures nowadays make a Gap Wedge (AW) that fits into the irons set especially with the Game Improvement Iron category, this is because Gap Wedges are used more for full shots these days, so you will need the forgiveness the iron technology has.

Blade style irons don’t usually have a Gap Wedge option, as better players would use the standard Gap Wedge. Better players will also use the Gap Wedge for shots around the green more than full shots, so they won’t be needing the forgiveness the game improvement options have.


What Shots Should Be Played With A Gap Wedge

The Gap Wedge is a very versatile club, it can be used for full shots or shots around the green. Full shots with a Gap Wedge will range from 80 to 110 yards.

For shots around the green, using a Lob Wedge to get over a bunker or loft it up high will be the better club, but the Gap Wedge is perfect for any bump and run style shots.


Should Every Bag Have A Gap Wedge

Yes we recommend every bag to have a Gap Wedge, or at least have the right gapping between your wedges.

As you become a better player, sticking the ball closer to the pin will be more important and having an extra wedge option will become more useful.

What Club Could It Replace

A Gap Wedge shouldn’t replace a club, it should be an addition to the bag.

With a 14 club allowance you should have plenty of space in your bag to add a Gap Wedge.


What Degree Is Best For Chipping?

Try think about it like this, a Lob Wedge has the most loft, so it should be used to get the ball up quickly like over a bunker, or when you don’t have a lot of green to work with and need to stop the ball quickly, it can also be used out of the bunker.

A Sand Wedge can be used for mid trajectory chip shots, as you can get some good height on it, and it will still roll out a bit. This club can also be used out of the bunker.

The Gap Wedge has the least loft out of the 3, meaning you should be using it for lower shots like the bump and run. Use this club when you have lots of green to work with, as it is best to get the ball rolling as soon as possible.

The Pitching Wedge is used more for full shots or for longer bump and run shots. Because it doesn’t have a lot of loft it is hard to use it for chipping, lob shots and getting out of the bunker.


Are There Different Gap Wedges For High, Mid & High Handicappers?

Yes, like we mentioned before, you get the traditional Gap Wedge, which looks like a blade, and doesn’t have much forgiveness.

Now manufactures have designed a Game Improvement Gap Wedge which fits nicely into the rest of your iron set, this club will have the same technologies your Irons would have, making it easy to hit with loads of distance.


Can You Bend The Loft And Lie Of A Gap Wedge

Yes you can, most Gap Wedges are made from softer steel allowing them to be bent a few degrees. Gap Wedges that for part of a set might be more difficult as they are usually Cast Steel, which is harder to bend.

Be careful when bending the loft of the wedge as it will affect the bounce of the club, the more loft you give the wedge the more bounce it will have, and the more you deloft a wedge the less bounce it will have.


Advantages Of Gap Wedges

The Gap Wedge can be a very beneficial club in your bag. It can fill the gap between your Sand Wedge and Pitching Wedge, allowing you to hit a smooth shot, instead of forcing a Sand Wedge or hitting a soft Pitching Wedge.

It can also be used around the green for bump and run shots. These types of shots are much easier to play instead of a high flop shot straight at the hole with a Lob Wedge, it is much easier to get the ball rolling as soon as possible on the green.


Disadvantages of Gap Wedges

There are no disadvantages for using a Gap Wedge, this is a very versatile club, and can be used in many situations.

The only time it may be a disadvantage is if you have another club that is a similar loft, or you use a Gap Wedge that doesn’t have enough forgiveness for your ability, but these are easily avoided.


Gap Wedge Vs Pitching Wedge

A Gap Wedge will have more loft than a Pitching Wedge, this means the Pitching Wedge will go further than a Gap Wedge.

Both of these clubs can be used for bump and run shots around the green and full shots


Gap Wedge Vs Approach Wedge

A Gap Wedge and Approach Wedge are exactly the same club, some golf club manufactures use a Gap Wedge and some use a Approach Wedge.

They both range from 53 – 49 degrees of loft, the most popular being 50 and 52 degrees.


Gap Wedge Vs Sand Wedge

A Gap Wedge has more loft than a Sand Wedge, this means the Sand Wedge will go shorter than a Gap Wedge.

A Sand Wedge will be used more out of the bunker and for chip shots, where the Gap Wedge will be used more for bump and run shots around the green and full shots.


Best 3 Gap Wedges Reviews


TaylorMade Milled Grind 2

TaylorMade’s flagship wedge is called the Milled Grind 2, there are a few unique aspects to this wedge, the first being, every process the club goes through in production is machine milled, this means that every wedge that comes out of production is exactly the same.

The second uniqueness of the wedge is it’s Raw Face, the face rusts over time increasing spin in wet conditions, the great thing about it is, only the face rusts, while the rest of the wedge stays nice and fresh.


  • The complete process is milled grind
  • Raw face for extra spin
  • Comes in two finishes, Chrome and Black
  • Ranges from 64 to 48 degrees


  • The rust can damage your ball
  • Not many bounce and grind options

Overall Score: 96/100

Check Out More Reviews Here:




Callaway JAWS

The Callaway JAWS wedge is Callaway’s number one wedge, and as the name states these things have a serious bite to them. This beautiful looking wedge has an extremely good feel as it is made from 8620 Mild Carbon Steel.

The JAWS wedge was designed by Roger Cleveland and has two finishes, Platinum Chrome and Tour Grey. It has an incredible 23 different loft/bounce combinations with 5 grind options, and are available in women’s specs.

The Groove-In-Groove technology is a bonus, adding to the amount of spin you get on shorter shots.


  • Made from 8620 Mild Carbon Steel
  • Groove-In-Groove for extra spin
  • Comes in two finishes, Platinum Chrome and Tour Grey
  • The JAWS wedge has 23 different loft/bounce combinations
  • 5 grind option for all your needs


  • To many bounce, grind and loft combinations can get confusing
  • Groove-In-Groove might damage your ball on fuller shots
  • May be variations in production

Overall Score: 95/100

Check Out More Reviews Here:



Titleist Vokey SM8

The Titleist Vokey Wedges are the pinnacle of all wedges, and the SM8 range does not stop there. The new SM8 wedges feature a new progressive center of gravity, this produces more forgiveness and accuracy. By using tungsten weighting they have placed the center of gravity in the front of the wedge to increase MOI.

The SM8 wedges like the Callaway JAWS have a number of bounce and grind options, the lofts vary from 62 to 46 degrees. This gives the player an unlimited variety of options to choose from.

The grooves on the SM8 wedges are precisely engineered through a Spin Milled machine, this process maximizes spin and durability. There are also Micro-grooves cut between the grooves to optimize spin around the greens.


  • Designed by Bob Vokey
  • Various loft, bounce and grind options
  • High MOI for maximum forgiveness
  • Spin Milled grooves


  • To many bounce, grind and loft combinations can get confusing
  • It has a thicker top line, which may be off putting to some

Overall Score: 96/100

Check Out More Reviews Here:




All wedges are important, not just the Gap Wedge, but the Gap Wedge can be a very versatile club as it falls right in the middle of the Sand and Pitching Wedge.

You are still able to hit it reasonably high and they are great for bump and run shots. The Gap Wedge wasn’t designed to replace a club, but rather to add to your bag in between the Sand and Pitching Wedge. Iron sets these days have gotten much stronger lofts, it has left a gap between the Sand and Pitching Wedge, this is why the Gap Wedge was designed.

Be sure to check the loft of your Pitching Wedge before you buy a Gap Wedge, as you want the gapping to be correct. Aim for 4 to 5 degrees between clubs, this will give you the perfect distance between each club.