Lob Wedge vs Pitching Wedge (Key Differences)


The game of golf can be confusing.

Golfers often question how many wedges they should carry and fail to understand the key differences between each of their wedges.

Our recommendation at golfjourney365 has been to carry a minimum of 3 wedges and for most golfers up to 4 to 5 wedges.

With 60% of golf shots taking place inside of 100 yards, having precision and the ability to hit the ball on the green and close to the pin is essential and also the quickest way to improve your golf score.

While many people might spend time hitting driver after driver at the driving range, the quickest way to lower your score is to get better inside of 100 yards.  When a golfer can combine a quality short game with the ability to swing with plenty of swing speed (see training protocol below), the opportunity to become a golfer that can shoot in the 70s consistently is right in front of you.

Let’s dive into today’s topic!

Lob Wedge Vs Pitching Wedge

The key difference is the amount of loft.  A pitching wedge will generally have 48 degrees of loft, while a lob wedge will have between 58 and 60 degrees of loft. Overall, the pitching wedge will travel further and at a lower ball fight, while the lob wedge will fly shorter with more height.

They are both essential clubs in the golf bag and at a minimum the golfer should carry the following wedges:

  • Pitching Wedge (48 Degrees)
  • Sand Wedge (54 Degrees)
  • Lob Wedge (60 Degrees)

This would provide a 6 degree difference between clubs and is a quality option for the higher end golfer who is able to control their distances through swing length, ball position or swing speed.

The other option is the following setup:

  • Pitching Wedge (48 Degrees)
  • Gap Wedge (52 Degrees
  • Sand Wedge (56 Degrees)
  • Lob Wedge (60 Degrees)

This would provide a 4 degree difference between clubs and is a better option for those that prefer to take closer to a full swing.  The 4 degree difference is the general setup throughout the bag in the difference between the irons.

The lob wedge becomes an essential club when a shot requires plenty of loft from a short distance.

Lob Wedge vs Pitching Wedge (Key Difference)

  • When to use each club
  • How to use each club
  • Should you chip with each club
  • How to measure your carry distance with each club

Lob Wedge vs Pitching Wedge: When To Use Each Club

For most golfers, the average distance of a pitching wedge will be between 100 and 130 yards.  At the 48 degree loft, the average golfer will be able to carry the distance above.  Of course there will be outliers on both sides of the range.

The pitching wedge will often be used in that range and the full swing to 90% swing is often utilized.

The lob wedge will be used in the 50-100 yard range for the average golfer.  Many golfers will learn to control the loft through ball position to add distance or reduce distance.  Many golfers give very little thought to the height of their shot, but with a lob wedge this is essential because of the amount of loft on a lob wedge.

Lob Wedge vs Pitching Wedge: How To Use Each Club

For the average golfer, the pitching wedge is going to be close to a full swing on the majority of shots.  As the golfer progresses with their game, they will learn the feel of a 90%, 80% and even a 70% swing to control the distance.  The best golfers have a variety of shots they can hit each each club.

The key here is to play the ball around the middle of the stance, but experiment with moving the ball slightly back or slightly forward to change the distance and the height of the shot.  Go ahead and take a full swing and get an idea of how far the shot will travel.

With the lob wedge, the golfer will want to play the golf ball slightly back of center and ensure they hit the ball before the ground.  With the extra loft this is essential or you will find yourself hitting 20 yard flop shots that are no good, especially if hitting over a water hazard.

The key with both shots is to hit through the ball and make sure you don’t slow down.  Too many golfers, when trying to reduce their distance, will slow down through impact, which can cause a poorly struck shot and a devastating result.

Lob Wedge vs Pitching Wedge: Should You Chip With Each Club

Yes, while I hit the majority of my chip shots with the lob wedge, there will be a time and a place for a pitching wedge to be used around the greens as well.

I find it difficult to hit some of the shots with a pitching wedge because of the lower amount of loft.  The main times when I am using a pitching wedge will consist of times when there is plenty of green and I want to get the ball rolling towards the hole.

On many courses today, the undulations that exist in addition to the speed of greens, makes the lob wedge an excellent option.

The shame in the game of golf is that many golfers do not start off with a sand wedge and lob wedge and instead try to force shots with the pitching wedge around the green.  Even the beginner should invest in a sand wedge or lob wedge and spend time around the practice green to master some basic chip shots that will make the game more fun!

There are golfers that prefer to hit every chip shot with just one club, while there are others in the camp that believe you should make a similar motion with every chip, but simply change the loft and have the loft be a slight variable that you can control as well.  Ultimately, the key is to be confident over the shot.  A confident hit shot with the wrong club is often better than an unconfident shot with the right club.  Be confident, pick your club and commit to the shot!

When faced with a 100 yard shot, keep in mind that the PGA Tour average proximity to the pin is 18 feet from 100 yards. Keep your expectations realistic!

Lob Wedge vs Pitching Wedge: How to measure your carry distance with each club

I would highly recommend each golfer create a distance chart like the sample below:

ClubCarry Distance (100%)90%80%
P Club130123115
Pitching Wedge118110102
SW Club1059791
LW Club908274

This might be the most important information you can use to help you play quality golf.  I have heard so many stories and have seen it first hand where golfers completely over estimate how far they hit each iron.

They hit one pitching wedge 135 yards one time and think this is their carry distance.  So they step up to a 135 yard shot, hit the pitching wedge and end up in a bunker.  They blade it out of the bunker and are looking at a double bogey as their reality.  Instead, if they had the right club and hit the 9 iron iron, their chance of hitting the middle of the green would increase greatly!

How can you create your own chart?

Option 1: I would highly recommend a launch monitor!

These portable devices can be used at the driving range, golf course or set up in your home net or golf simulator.  These devices are game changers not only on being able to map your bag and know your distances, but they also provide quality feedback after on every shot and provide the following information:

  • Carry Distance
  • Spin Rate
  • Launch Angle
  • Spin Axis
  • Total Distance
  • Ball Speed

This information will help you map your bag, decide on which clubs are best for your game, develop a stock shot and much more.  I love using my SkyTrak 365 days a year in my golf simulator setup.

The process for mapping your bag can looking something like this:

  • Hit 5 shots with each wedge in your bag.
  • Log the carry distance and total distance for each shot.
  • Eliminate any outlier numbers (poor hits or low spin rates).
  • Take the average and create a map of your bag.

If you visit any PGA Tour event you will see plenty of golfers utilizing their launch monitors.  While most can’t afford a Trackman, there are some very affordable options in the 500-2000 dollar range.  I own the SkyTrak and think the world of it.  

Here are the top 3 options to check out:

Option 2: Use a Driving Range or Open Field

If you can’t afford a launch monitor at this time, here is another option.

  • Find an open driving range or open field
  • Take 10 balls of the type of golf ball you play
  • Pick a target and either walk it off or use a rangefinder.
  • Hit 10 shots with each wedge in your bag and take an average.
  • Your rangefinder can help you get a specific distance.

Go ahead and create a chart of each club and their carry distance like the one above.

BONUS TIP: HOW TO INCREASE SWING SPEED!

I believe many used to believe, well this is just how fast I can swing.  

Recent training tools have started to change many minds.  We have seen many of the professional golfers get longer and longer with their tee shots as a result of additional swing speed.  You will find many touring pros using the SuperSpeed System, which I highly recommend.

As soon as the golfer starts to try to get more power by swinging harder on the course, they will often lose consistency..  Instead the golfer should train for additional distance and speed in specific training sessions.

Let’s face it, we all want to hit the ball further!  The good news…there is a way to increase your driver distance that doesn’t include spending $500 on a new driver.

You can train for speed and get some amazing results with SuperSpeed Golf.  It worked for me and I believe it can work for many (especially if you make a commitment and actually use it)

I believe many used to believe, well this is just how fast I can swing.  

Recent training tools have started to change many minds.  We have seen many of the professional golfers get longer and longer with their tee shots as a result of additional swing speed.  You will find many touring pros using the SuperSpeed System, which I highly recommend.

SuperSpeed Golf is one option to increase your swing speed through a science based overspeed training approach.  In simple terms, you train by swinging a lighter club (20%) faster than you swing your driver.  Over time, by training at a higher speed, your mind and body feel safe to swing that fast with your normal driver, resulting in an increase in driver swing speed.

The SuperSpeed System provides 3 different weighted sticks and takes the golfer through a training protocol every other day for about 15 minutes.  The golfer can expect to see a 5-8% increase in swing speed, resulting in 20-30 yards for most golfers.  The great news is that the 5-8% can be expected as early as the first training session.  The additional speed will become more permanent after about 30-60 days of training.

My own experience has been an increase of 7-10 miles per hour on average from between 98-101 all the way up to 106-109.  My goal is to hit the PGA Tour average of 113 mph in the coming months.  I will continue to train every other day and watch in amazement as I am hitting drivers longer now than ever before!

Phil Mickelson has been known to increase his swing speed in the past year or so and is close to 120 miles per hour in his swing speed.  There are potential results for golfers of all ability levels and age!  

Check the current price on SuperSpeed Golf System, here!

Original Swing SpeedAfter 4-6 WeeksNew Carry DistanceTotal Distance
95102245265
100108259279
105113271291
110118283303
A complete game changer! The extra speed/distance is impressive!

Take Action – What You Can Do Today to Get Better

What does this mean for you?  I believe in the following recipe to get better:

1 – Improve your motion in the golf swing by identifying a golf instructor.  Here are some options:

Here is a list of golf instructors that we have reviewed:

2 – Train to swing faster and improve your swing speed.  Here are some options:

Looking to gain more Speed and Distance in your swing. Two Options:

3 – Understand course strategy and work to break through your next barrier.  Here is a series on breaking through:

We have provided guides on how to break 100, 90, 80 and 70. Check out more below, if interested.

4 – Practice Frequently

Did you know that I build a golf simulator in my garage and have played over 500 rounds of golf on my SkyTrak system?  It has been a game changer and one worth checking out. Here are some of my other posts on golf simulators frequently asked questions:

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