How Do I Use a Golf Gap Wedge?

By Patrick Cameron
A gap wedge helps you bridge the gap between your pitching wedge and your sand wedge.
A gap wedge helps you bridge the gap between your pitching wedge and your sand wedge.

For golfers, the term "gap wedge" may sound mysterious. But the name comes from the purpose of the club--filling the gap between a traditional pitching wedge and a sand wedge. A pitching wedge tends to have a loft of 47 or 48 degrees, a sand wedge 56 degrees. With conventional hitters, you'll find approximately 25 to 30 yards of distance between the two clubs. The gap wedge, at 51 to 52 degrees loft, was built to bridge that gap.

Step up to address the ball.

Position the ball in the middle of your stance. Too far back and you can hit the ball thin. Too far forward and you can hit the ball fat.

Place your hands slightly forward of the ball. Do this so that, if you dropped a line down from the knuckles on your non-lead hand (the hand farthest from the target) to the ball, the line would scrape along the front side of the ball.

Align your hips, feet, shoulders and knees. They should be straight on with your target line. Your spine should be straight, with your weight 60 percent on your front foot.

Bring the club back, keeping the club out away from the body at the height of your backswing. You want the backswing to be shorter, not allowing an out-of-control shoulder turn. Ideally, the club shouldn't wrap around back behind the head, which collapses the elbow. At the top of the backswing, the club should be at about a 45-degree angle out over the body.

Take a full swing at the ball (that's why you bought the gap wedge, so you could go at it hard) and come down, hitting the ball at the bottom of your swing. Take a small divot.

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