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Sand and Pitching Wedges
Wedges have shorter handles than other clubs in the bag. The golfer has to get closer to the ball in order to get the elevation they need to make the shot. Wedges, especially the pitching wedge, are for short shots, usually no further than one hundred yards.
The primary use for a pitching wedge is to get the ball up in the air quickly. Distance is not as important as elevation, at least initially, but the golfer does want the shot he or she made with the pitching wedge to reach the green, preferably with the ball rolling close to the cup.
The sand wedge is primarily used to get golf balls out of sand traps, especially if the sand trap is close to the hole. Because of the angle of the club's head, the pitching wedge is for extremely short distances, say within fifty yards of the green. This club is designed to get the ball in the air in a hurry.
The sand wedge, though, can also be used to get a ball out of a tricky situation. Because of the angle of its loft, approximately seventy-five degrees if properly struck, a golfer can get the ball over trees and back onto the fairway. However, if the golfer in question blades the ball, all bets are off. Blading the ball is when a golfer does not get under the ball, but hits closer toward the middle of the ball. While the ball will get in the air, it will not go very high, and it will most definitely go further than the golfer intended. However, this is the same for all clubs, not just wedges. With the wedge, though, blading is more noticeable as the ball will fly the green, costing the golfer a shot.
The pitching wedge and the sand wedge can be used in the place of a chipping wedge, yet another in the family of wedges. Chipping is done when the approach shot is close to the green, but doesn't make it onto the green. Chipping can be done when the ball is as far out as one hundred yards, though this is a more difficult type of chip and the golfer may want to consider a different club altogether.
To use the sand wedge in the place of a pitching wedge, the ball should be fairly close to the green, say, within twenty five yards. This is because the shot should be softer, more for loft than distance, and with the angle of the sand wedge's club head, it is easy to get under the ball too much and get virtually no distance on the shot.
To use the pitching wedge to chip with is easier, as the club head on the pitching wedge is not as angled. Foot placement is important here, as the golfer must decide if he or she wants more loft than distance.