56 or 60 Degree Wedge Around the Green?

Whether you are a beginning golfer or a course veteran, we all have questions about what wedge you should be using around the green.

Should you use a 56 or 60-degree wedge around the green? When chipping around the green, golfers like to use a 56-degree wedge when in a sand bunker or when faced with a longer chip. Golfers use a 60-degree wedge when a chip requires the golf ball elevate quickly and land softly with little roll. 

Many golfers think they should use only one wedge for every shot around the green. The problem with this approach is that each chip may demand a different type of shot. While the pros on TV might be able to make minor adjustments using the same club, golfers like myself, have found it a lot easier to use different wedge lofts to simplify the short game.

When to Use a 56 and 60-degree Wedge

I had this very same question when trying to improve my short game. I loved chipping with my 60- degree wedge, but I found that it was very inconsistent when chipping long distances. So I started using my 56-degree wedge when a shot required more roll, and it changed my game! Here are a few examples of when I have found it best to use a 56 or 60-degree wedge:

  • Ball in rough just off the green – Try using a 58 or 60-degree wedge. The higher loft of a lob wedge will help pop the ball up in the air and land softly onto the green.
  • Golf ball in the sand – If your ball is in the sand, try using a 54 or 56-degree wedge. These clubs are also known as a “sand wedge” and have a larger bounce angle to help pop the ball out of the sand.
  • The golf ball is just off the green on the fringe – If your ball is just off the green, and you have a lot of room to work with, try using a 54 or 56-degree wedge. Using a sand wedge when just off the green will still allow the ball to have backspin but will come off the clubface at a lower angle than a lob wedge so the ball can roll nice and close to the hole.
  • The golf ball is behind a hill or bunker – If your golf ball is behind a bunker or hill and you need to hit over them, use a 58 or 60 degree. The higher loft of these clubs will help the ball go high into the air and land softly onto the green with little roll.

Can You Use Other Clubs to Chip With?

After messing around with my 56 and 60-degree wedges, hitting different types of shots, I also wanted to experiment chipping with other clubs to see if it helped. And it did! Here are a few examples of when to use other lofted clubs that have helped my game immensely:

  • Using a pitching wedge or 9 iron – I would recommend trying pitching or 9 iron around the green when you want to keep the ball nice and low, and you have a lot of green to work with. I’ve found it best to use these clubs when you are just off the green, and you treat this shot like a big putt. The ball will pop up and then roll out towards the hole.
  • Using a 6 or 7 iron- Just like the above example, you can use these clubs when you are just off the green. However, I found that using a 6 or 7 iron when you are 25-30 yards away from the green is excellent for golfers wanting to gain some confidence. If the green isn’t elevated and there aren’t any sand traps near the green, using a 6 or 7 iron and making a putting swing, will keep the ball nice and low and it will roll up onto the green. Even if you don’t make the best contact, the ball will still generate roll that will get you closer to the hole.
  • Using a 62-64 degree wedge – Yes, these wedges do exist! While not widely used because of their difficulty to control, a 62 or 64-degree wedge will make your golf ball immediately jump up into the air and have little to no roll on the green. I recommend these wedges for experienced golfers or golfers who want extreme versatility around the green.

What Wedge to Use for Different Green Speeds

Depending on where you play golf, you might encounter greens that are lightning fast or greens that require a crochet mallet to even get to the hole. Here are my suggestions for when to use a 56 or 60-degree depending on green speeds:

  • Fast greens – If you are playing a course that has fast greens, try chipping more with your 58 or 60-degree wedge. The higher loft angle will generate more spin and help the ball stay on the green.
  • Moderate greens – Greens that aren’t too fast or slow will require a mixture of both sand wedge and lob wedge shots. Use some of the examples above on when to use which club.
  • Slow Greens – Slow greens may require you to use lower lofted clubs like your gap wedge and pitching wedge. Using these clubs will keep the ball low and roll out closer towards the hole.

Adding the Right Wedges to Your Bag

Knowing when to use your 56 and 60-degree wedge can really make you lethal around the greens. However, it sometimes isn’t as easy as picking up any old sand wedge or lob wedge and heading to the course. Here are a few things to keep in mind when selected or evaluating the wedges in your bag:

  • Are you playing the right wedge bounce? –  Having the right wedge bounce is very important for a golfer. If you tend to make little divots in the ground and have a shallow chipping style, it might be best for you to look at wedges with lower bounce angles. If you are like me and come down steep and the ball and tend to make a divot, it might be best to look at wedges that have larger bounce angles.
  • Update your wedges every few years – Depending on how much you play golf, your wedge grooves will start to fade after about two years of playing. Faded grooves will create lower backspin on your shots and cause a lot of inconsistencies with your distance control and accuracy. So make sure that you update every so often!
  • Adding new grips to your wedges – Just like the grooves of your wedges, the grips of the club start to fade after one year of playing. The last thing you want is for your hands to slip and you smoke your ball past the green! It’s super simple to put on a new grip. Just take your wedge to your local golf store or course and ask the pro to put on your desired grip. Easy is that!

Related Questions

Can you use a 60-degree wedge in the sand? Golfers can use a 60-degree wedge from the sand. It is recommended that their 60- degree have a higher bounce angle to help the club glide through the sand.

How far does a 60-degree wedge go?- For the average golfer, a 60-degree wedge will travel 50-75 yards, landing softly with little roll.

What is a 58-degree wedge called? – A 58-degree wedge is classified as a lob wedge and usually comes in wedges sets of 50-54-58 degree

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