Whether you've been playing your whole life or a whole week, having the right clubs in your bag will make a big difference in your golf game. One of the most important club selections is your short irons, particularly wedges, which are typically used from 120 yards and in. It's the area of the course where more than 70 percent of your shots are made and known as the scoring zone. Selecting the right wedge or wedges for your game is vital to success.
Determine your skill level. Surprisingly, the less skill you have with a golf club, the fewer wedges you'll want to carry. It's not uncommon for low handicap golfers to have four wedges: pitching, sand, gap and lob. For a beginners, a pitching and sand wedge are generally plenty to start out.
Decide on the lofts you need. Loft is the angle of the club face compared to the shaft, and different wedges come in a variety of options. The typical range is 47 degrees for a pitching wedge, which flies farthest, to 64 for a lob wedge.
Choose your bounce. Bounce is a combination of factors on the bottom (sole) of the club that will help you make proper contact, including angle, width, the rocker and the camber of the head. The bounce you want should be based on where you typically play. If you play on less forgiving, firmer surfaces, like links-style courses, you want a lower bounce. If the terrain is softer and you can take a larger divot, look for a medium to high bounce.
Pick a club face material. Most golfers are familiar with chrome-plated clubs, but today's wedges come in a variety of material types. The material you choose, from chrome to nickel to beryllium copper, will not only determine how the club looks but, more important, how it feels. Test a variety of types and see which one feels best to you.
Get fitted. When you think of a custom club, you may see dollar signs, but having your clubs custom fit is no more expensive than buying a name brand off the rack. Get clubs that fit your size and swing type, allowing you to hit better shots and helping to prevent injury.