Pitching Wedge Vs Sand Wedge

This post was most recently updated on January 22nd, 2022

Pitching Wedge Vs Sand Wedge

Published By Lawrence Smelser Last Updated on January 22, 2022 by Editorial Staff

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?

Both the pitching wedge and the sand wedge are high loft clubs.

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

8 to 10 degrees of loft makes a massive difference in the flight of the ball.

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.

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

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.

They 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.

A sand wedge is best suited for the sand trap. However, if you’ve got to pop the ball up quickly and drop it right at the hole, the sand wedge can come in handy. You’ll just need to be quite a bit closer to the green.

Also, 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.

The problem with using a pitching wedge in the sand is lack of consistency. 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.

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.

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.


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.

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About The Editorial Staff

The Editorial Staff at Golfible is a team of golfing geeks and enthusiasts led by founder Alec Rose. All have the same obsession with golf tech, equipment updates and avoiding rain on the course.

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