Approach wedge / gap wedge: matched with irons or wedges

If you use an approach or gap wedge, do you prefer it to be more like your highest lofted iron or your lowest lofted wedge? What did you consider when deciding between the two?

Maybe matching it with your irons is better if you tend to use it more for full swings? Maybe matching it with your wedges gives you more spin and allows for more creativity around the greens?

Possible myth: I’ve heard that one of the reasons that iron sets tend to include an approach wedge now is that they’ve gone so strong in their lofts (“gain 10 yards just by buying our clubs!”) that the approach wedge is closer in loft to an older pitching wedge.


My Gap/Sand/Lob are a set (50*-55*-60*) and as mentioned in another thread have different bounce types. I think these types of sets are probably best for your average golfer as they can cover lots of different shot types without needing to put a whole lot of thought into it. Beyond that, it’s really about feel and preference and making sure that you don’t have any glaring distance gaps that could negatively impact you game (+1 for a good fitting here).

On the subject of sets (especially GI and distance irons) now including gap/approach wedges, we could easily wind up in a long debate about loft jacking. My personal opinion in short is that, yes, there is marketing to it where they want to claim longer irons. There is a legitimate performance piece behind it as well where they can get the height and spin characteristics of traditionally higher numbered irons in lower lofts (and more distance) through technology. Since most amateurs tend to miss short, this does provide legitimate value. Additionally, since a lot of higher handicap players shy away from the low irons anyways (having been replaced with hybrids), starting the iron set at a 5 or even a 6 instead of a 3 or 4 makes a lot of sense.

Oof, thank you for bringing that up. I definitely didn’t mean to start a debate about loft jacking, though I see now that I may have come across that way. I only mentioned it because it increases confusion for me to have this choice, and understanding why it exists could help me better evaluate it.

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Im contemplating my next bag rebuild already, and have some long term plans…

Set wedge: I like the gi nature of it and usually use my gap wedge for longer approach shots (50 and up). I tend to use my gap wedge for the bump and run around the greens and not much else.

“Pro” wedge: I’m currently playing a 50 degree sm7. I like that it generates more spin on longer shots but don’t love the lack of forgiveness… it’s also sort of an odd man out as it doesn’t really match my other wedges or my irons… that’s my fault.

Depending on how I like them, I might go 3-4 of the “new” mizuno wedges… ideally, I’d have matching wedges from gw to lob wedge… pitching wedge will likely stay a set pitching wedge unless I really like the mizuno (or possibly callaway).

My current working theory is I’d rather give up a marginal amount of workability for some forgiveness… but I also want to maximize spin in my wedges.

My guess is the “new” breed of wedges are going to really help amateur golfers around the greens… I’m excited to try them.

No worries. I don’t really understand why folks care so much about it either way. I don’t really care about the number/letters on the club, just how far it goes and how consistently. Now THERE’S an idea for a customized set, instead of any sort of designation or even loft on it, just have a little stamp with your average carry distance :smile:

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Previously, I always went with a GW as part of my iron set. Hogan does not currently offer GWs as part of their iron sets so I went with a GW to match my wedges (which are also Hogans). I do enjoy the greater versatility that is offered by my current 50 degree Equalizer wedge in comparison to the previous iron set GWs.

My GW is my first wedge. I virtually never use my PW for anything other than full swings, so it is for all practical purposes my 10 iron. I do use my GW for full swings, but the GW/SW/LW are also all used for partial swings (I have a 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4 distance for each of those clubs), so those three clubs are used as wedges in my bag.

That’s also the place where my club setup physically divides: I play Sub 70s 699 Pro irons 5-PW, and their forged wedges in 50°, 54°, and 58°.


I think you kind of nailed it with the full swing/partial swing aspect. Because I like to use my gap wedge almost always for full shots, I prefer it to match my iron set.

Although, as I type this I now realize that maybe I only use it for full shots because it’s not a seperate wedge where I could have chosen the grind/bounce/etc to make it easier to be more versatile. :thinking:


This is a great topic and a new one for me. I just bought a set of Mavrik irons that included an A wedge. This is the first time in my long golfing career that I’ve had a matched gap wedge to my set. So far, the results are very good. I feel like I have the distance dialed in pretty well and that might be because of the natural flow to this wedge from its PW brother.

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I play a 50°, 54°, 58° my PW is 45° To me and where my game is currently, this is perfect gapping on non windy days to give me a full swing with my three additional wedges from 120 down to 90 yards.

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I have to say, this has made me think more about my approach with wedges…I don’t often hit a gap wedge where I’m expecting an exceptional amount of spin (I either swing it hard enough that it will have enough, or I’m playing a bump and run)… so maybe I should be playing a dedicated GI iron…

Sadly, the used market is messed up right now, so I have no confidence in my ability to find a CMB Gap Wedge… I’ll try, I guess.


I play Mizuno jpx 850 pro. PW is 46 degrees. First wedge is a 50 degree Vokey. I have an old set MX-300 with mizuno wedges(50-54-58). They alle have the same shaft. But the difference between my PW and the 50 is much bigger than between the other wedges 54-58 degrees. The PW gives a lot of distance maybe i need to bent it to 47 degrees. Anybody with the same problem ?

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I’m kind of torn. I like my gap wedge that is not part of the set around the greens, but I wish it were more forgiving with a wider, smoother sole for full shots. Kind of curious about Cleveland’s CBX wedge they are coming out with. Might be the best of both worlds?

I have an older set of clubs (late 90s I’m guessing), including pitching wedge. Are the approach wedges and gap wedges mainly for dialing in gaps in yardage between clubs? Beginner here, as soon as I learn golf terms, new ones are coming into use!

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My current set has a 45deg Pw. (my previous set had a 50deg pw). I play with my 45deg Pw and a 55deg sw. I play by feel rather than distance and play 3/4 and half shots with both depending on how quickly I need the ball to stop.

Yes approach and gap wedges would be clubs that are higher lofted than a pitching wedge. If your PW gets you 130, your A wedge should get you around 110 and your Gap around 90. This is of course just a guess because loft and your swing speed are big factors.

I have tried every loft and grind of wedges. My problem is that I use my wedges for a wide variety of shots. Both around the green and full fairway shots plus bunker play. Never can find clubs that perform for all shots. Recently replaced my set gap wedge with a Maltby TSW 50 and built the 54 and 58 also. Perfect for around the green and full shots. Best I have played. Jury is still out on sand play since our bunkers are so bad I totally avoid them.

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I don’t think there is one club that will do everything around the greens… my goal is to have a reliable workhorse that I use most of the time, and then wedges on either direction of that for different finesse shots.

What sort of bunkers are you usually playing out of? The hard pan, thin bunkers are brutal! Regular bunkers just requires buying into the idea of hitting behind the ball and committing to the swing for me.

Great topic. My PW is 45, GW is 50 (both Mizuno jpx 900), then SW is 56, LW is 60 (both Cleveland).

I bought them for full swing gapping with the lofts, but have found that I never use a full swing for anything more lofted than my GW. From 100 yards in, I’m much more comfortable with different length swing GW than a full SW or LW.

I also prefer to chip/bump with my 8 iron when possible…using the “Rule of 12” chipping. I only use the SW in the sand (I don’t like the bounce from the fairway or rough) and the LW when I’m forced to go high around the greens or in thick rough around the greens.

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So I’m tracking my Tiger 5 in the DECADE app and had 5 bogeys from 150 in my last round… I think I’m moving back to my Vokey 50 degree in the short term… I’m looking to buy a new set of irons, and not sure if I’ll go with a set GW or get a 3rd Sub70 GW (and which shaft I’ll match the wedge with)… I’m probably going to end up in C-Taper X shafts in my irons, and my wedges all have S300s in them… so I’d be the odd duck gaming wedge shafts lighter than his iron shafts.