Do I Need A Gap Wedge? (Explained)

Ever feel stuck on the course because your pitching wedge flies too far and your sand wedge lands short? This is a common problem for golfers.

The answer might be a gap wedge.

This club usually has a 50-52 degrees loft, and is designed to fill the space between your pitching wedge and sand wedge, giving you more options for close shots.  

But do you really need one? Let’s find out!

When Do You Need a Gap Wedge?

Here’s when you need a gap wedge:

Large Loft Gap

If the difference in loft between your pitching wedge and sand wedge is really big, like more than 10 or 12 degrees, then chances are you’re gonna need a gap wedge.


A big loft gap like that means there’s going to be a pretty significant distance gap between those two clubs, and that can make it super tough to control your distances accurately.

Also Read: 54 or 56 degree wedge

Like, let’s say your pitching wedge is 44 degrees, and your sand wedge is 56 degrees. 

That’s a 12-degree difference right there!

In a situation like that, you could be looking at a distance gap of 30 yards or more between those two clubs. Trying to pinpoint a specific yardage in that big gap is really, really hard. 

You’d probably have to really slow down your swing with the pitching wedge or really swing super hard with the sand wedge, and neither of those options is ideal. 

That’s where a gap wedge can really help out.

Inconsistent Distance Gapping

Take a good look at the distance gaps between all your wedges and irons.

If you notice that some of those gaps are way bigger than others, with an inconsistent pattern, then a gap wedge could really help smooth things out and give you a more consistent progression. 

Having those big gaps here and there can totally throw off your rhythm and distance control.

For example, let’s say the gap between your 9-iron and pitching wedge is 15 yards, but then the gap between your pitching wedge and sand wedge is 25 yards. 

Also Read: does a dent in a driver affect it

That kind of inconsistency can really mess with your head. 

You have to make all these little adjustments to your swing to account for the different gaps, and that can lead to mishits and poor distance control. 

Difficulty Controlling Distances

Are you constantly struggling to hit the right distance when you’re in that in-between range, outside of your pitching wedge but short of your sand wedge?

Or do you have to really mess around with your swing to try and cover that gap?

That’s a pretty clear sign that you need a gap wedge. 

Having to make all those swing adjustments can lead to inconsistent ball-striking and poor distance control.

Let’s say you’ve got a 110-yard approach shot. Your pitching wedge normally goes 100 yards, and your sand wedge goes 120 yards.

You might have to really swing hard with the pitching wedge or really hold back with the sand wedge, and neither of those options is ideal. You’re probably not going to hit a very solid shot. 

Also Read: Does adjusting driver loft open face

But what if you had a gap wedge that’s designed to go 110 yards?

You could just make your normal, comfortable swing and have a much better chance of hitting it flush and controlling the distance.

When You May Not Need A Gap Wedge

Here’s when you won’t need a gap wedge at all:

Consistent Yardage Gapping

Does your current set of wedges and irons already give you a nice, consistent progression in distance, with gaps of around 10 to 15 yards between each club?

You might not necessarily need a dedicated gap wedge.


For example, let’s say your pitching wedge goes 130 yards, your gap wedge (or one of your irons) goes 115 yards, and your sand wedge goes 100 yards. 

That’s a pretty good setup that covers a wide range of distances without any huge gaps. 

In a situation like that, adding another wedge might not really give you much of an extra benefit, and it could even lead to some redundancy in your yardage coverage.

Personal Preference

Some golfers just prefer to keep things simple and have fewer wedges in their bag.

They’d rather rely on their ability to control distances by making little adjustments to their swing, rather than having a separate club for every possible yardage gap.

If you’re in that camp and you don’t really struggle with big distance gaps, then a gap wedge might not be an essential addition for you.

Like, if you’re confident that you can swing your pitching wedge a little harder or a little easier to cover a range of distances, or if you can easily adjust your sand wedge swing to take a little off when you need to, then you might not need a gap wedge. 

At the end of the day, it’s a matter of personal preference and what works best for your game.

Skill Level

For golfers with exceptional distance control and trajectory management, a gap wedge might not be as big of a deal.

These are the types of players who can consistently control their distances and trajectories with pinpoint precision, even when they’re facing bigger gaps between their wedges.

We’re talking about pro golfers and elite amateurs here.

If you fall under this category, you’d already know you don’t need a gap wedge!

But for the vast majority of amateur golfers out there, having a properly gapped set, including a gap wedge, can be a huge asset in improving distance control and scoring better.

Leave a Comment