Pitching Wedge Vs Sand Wedge

You may be wondering why golfers have both a sand wedge and a pitching wedge? Couldn’t you get by with only one of the two? Truthfully, to play your best golf, you will benefit greatly from having both.

Do You Need A Pitching Wedge And Sand Wedge?

Do you need a sand wedge? Yes, both the pitching wedge and the sand wedge are high loft clubs and serve distinct purposes in a game​.

The pitching wedge generally has a loft of 45-50 degrees, and the sand wedge usually sits around 56 degrees.

Also, sand wedges have different designs and weights that make them more suitable for sand play.

They have a bounce angle and a more substantial weight ratio to help them cut through thick sand, so the club doesn’t get caught up and affect the shot.

Pitching wedges do not have these design specs, making them less ideal for sand shots. Also, pitching wedges do not create the same trajectory, so getting the ball past the hazard lip may be tough with a pitching wedge.

📋 Keep in mind: 8 to 10 degrees of loft makes a massive difference in the flight of the ball.

Lie Angle Of Pitching Wedge And Sand Wedge

The most significant difference you’ll find between a pitching wedge and a sand wedge is the lie angle. As previously noted, pitching wedges usually lie between 45 and 50 degrees.

A sand wedge will have a loft of 54 to 58 degrees, with the majority falling around 56 degrees.

When To Use A Pitching Wedge Vs. A Sand Wedge

What is a pitching wedge used for? A pitching wedge should be used when on the fairway or rough for approach shots, or when doing some higher trajectory short pitch shots around the green​

Whether you’re considering a sand wedge or pitching wedge, both are great for creating spin and distance, while also giving you the control you need to keep your short game tight and accurate

Also, pitching wedges can handle difficult lies around the green, allowing you to create sufficient spin and punch on your shot.

When to use a sand wedge? A sand wedge is best suited for the sand trap, especially when you need to pop the ball up quickly and drop it right at the hole​. You’ll just need to be quite a bit closer to the green.

📋 Keep in mind: A sand wedge has a little more trouble with thick grass, and it can be tough to hit soundly without a decent lie.

Distances Of Pitching Wedges And Sand Wedges

Pitching wedges can fly further than sand wedges. Pro can hit a pitching wedge around 135 yards, whereas amateurs will usually hit one closer to 100 yards, give or take.

A sand wedge lacks the ability to fly far but pops up quickly. A typical amateur can hit a sand wedge between 50 and 75 yards.

Meanwhile, pros can hit a sand wedge 100 yards but would most likely be hitting a pitching wedge in the majority of situations.

Can A Pitching Wedge Be Used As A Sand Wedge?

You could use a pitching wedge in a sand trap. Similarly, you could use a 9-iron or a 7-iron in the sand as well.

While you could use sand wedge for pitching, it’s important to remember that a pitching wedge in a sand trap may lack consistency since it is designed for grass and hitting shorter approach shots​.

Sand wedges are specifically designed to handle sand conditions and will allow for a more forgiving swing and impact.

What Three Wedges Should You Carry?

For the best possible results, you should carry a pitching wedge, sand wedge, and a lob wedge in your bag.

You will cover all your bases with short approach shots with the pitching wedge, hazard exits with the sand wedge, and tricky high trajectory needs with the lob wedge.

📋 Keep in mind: The lob wedge will offer you a tool to pop the ball more quickly than any club around the green, allowing you to get over trees and stop the ball suddenly on the green.


With a pitching wedge and a sand wedge together, you’ve got a dynamic duo that can cover all your close-range bases.

If you decide to go with one of the two instead of both, you’ll be leaving yourself at a disadvantage. Any comments and questions can be left in the section below.


Is a pitching wedge the same as a sand wedge?

No, a pitching wedge is different from a sand wedge. A pitching wedge has a loft between 45 to 48 degrees. While, a sand wedge has a loft angle of around 55 and 60 degrees. A sand wedge has a bounce angle of 10-16 degrees, and a pitching wedge has an 0-5 bounce angle. So they are not the same.

Should I chip with a pitching wedge or a sand wedge?

You can use a chip with a sand wedge if you want to prevent the ball from rough surfaces. It  has the ability to pass the ball through the obstacle because it is more prone to chunking or topping the ball, in that case, you can use a chip with a sand wedge. Also, if you want to get a  trajectory with a low roller, you can use a chip with a pitching wedge.

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Lawrence Smelser has been part of the Golfible writing staff since 2019 and is a freelance golf journalist. Smelser has covered the PGA Tour including the U.S. Masters with Augusta.com. He holds a journalism Bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M and a Master’s journalism degree from the University of North Texas. Learn more about our team at Golfible on our About Us page.

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