Selecting the right wedges for your golf bag, and game, can be a daunting task. First, these finely-crafted clubs encompass an expansive range of lofts – usually from 45 to 62 degrees – including pitching, gap, sand and lob wedges.
Second, wedges are usually an “after-market” purchase made once golfers have either acquired a new set of irons or bought them as supplements to their old ones. Different manufacturers and models feature an almost limitless combination of loft, lie, grind and bounce. There are different varieties of each of these aspects that benefit different swings. It’s best to work with professional fitters to figure out what works best for you.
Finally, but most importantly, many golfers don’t know the true distances they hit each of their wedges. As such, determining the proper gaping between them becomes sheer guesswork. The fun part can start: dialing in your distances by getting out there and playing a few rounds with the Arccos Caddie App.
Arccos players have a handful of tools available to them to not only aid the process, but also significantly lower their scores in a short period of time.
When it comes to wedge play, Arccos Ambassador Ryan Crysler, senior instructor at Butch Harmon Floridian, has a high-level goal for his tournament-caliber students: hit every green in regulation.
“Whether it’s a chip, pitch, bunker shot or full-swing, they must hit the green,” Crysler says. “You’d be surprised how aggressive some juniors are and miss the green with simple pitches to tucked pins.”
An aggressive goal, for sure, and one that wouldn’t be possible without the analytical detail provided by the Arccos Caddie App. Crysler has his students carefully track their club-level data for each wedge, focusing on where they miss greens: left, right, short and long.
“So for example if a 54-degree wedge has a 20% miss right, we ask the player to aim five yards left of the intended target,” he says. “For more precision, we ask them to hold up a finger to the target and find their aim point left or right of the target.” This information is available to every Arccos player by tapping on the “Clubs” icon at the bottom of the screen.
Arccos Ambassador Trillium Rose, director of instruction at Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, Md., leverages Smart Distance Club Averages and Smart Range to help her students dial in their short games.
Smart Distance is the estimation of an Arccos player’s expected distance on a well-struck shot. Based on historical data, it excludes mishits and abnormally long shots to provide an exponentially more accurate account of true club distances. Smart Range is Arccos’ estimation of a player’s expected range on well-struck shots. A narrower range is indicative of more consistent shot performance.
Arccos Smart Distance takes the 70th percentile of all of your shots with a specific club. This helps to exclude punch shots, bad shots and even those abnormally long drives.
Pro Tip: iOS users can turn off smart distance directly in the app and curate shots themselves. If you prefer the old method, please go to 'Player' on the bottom toolbar, select 'Settings' in the upper right hand corner and then turn off 'Show Smart Distance.' Note: SmartDistance is permanently on for Android Users
“I want to know the precise distances I’m hitting my wedges on the course and Arccos provides that,” Rose says. “I can determine if there are overlapping club distances, for example, if a pitching wedge travels the same distance as a gap. Or if the difference in distance is too great, if a pitching wedge averages 120 yards and the gap averages 90 yards, for instance.”
One of the first things Rose does with her students is check their wedge gapping, starting with pitching wedge down to lob wedge (if they carry one). She recommends six to eight degrees of loft separate the four wedges. Even then, they need to be tested under real playing conditions.
“Even if you have access to a loft and lie machine, you need on-course data about your wedges, especially if they’re made by different manufacturers,” Rose adds. “Arccos provides players with the data points they need to make informed decisions.”
Strokes Gained Analytics Feature
Arccos players can utilize the Arccos Caddie App’s groundbreaking Strokes Gained Analytics feature to quickly, and accurately, determine if they’re losing strokes in their wedge game.
RELATED: How Strokes Gained Analytics Can Help Your Game
After selecting your target handicap (ranging from Tour player to 20) and number of rounds to factor (between one and 50), Arccos delivers Strokes Gained Analytics to your “Player” profile, accessible by tapping the icon in the bottom left corner. It is suggested to use the last 5 rounds as that is most indicative of how you are currently playing.
Strokes gained are broken down into four areas, SG Driving, SG Approach, SG Short Game and SG Putting. To drill-down on your wedge play, look at SG Approach from 50-100 yards and SG Short Game. If you’re losing strokes in either or both of these areas, it might be time to reassess your wedge mix.
“Start with a 50-degree wedge for distances between 90 and 110 yards, 54 degrees for 60-90 yards and 58 degrees for 20-60 yards,” Rice says. “When selecting appropriate wedges for your set also be aware that the popular 'scoring' wedges so common nowadays – the ones that have degrees on them – will typically cause the ball to fly shorter than the wedge that is an extension of your set.”
Pro Tip: Get more tips from Ryan Crysler, Trillium Rose and Andrew Rice in the Top 3 Insights section of the Strokes Gained Analytics feature. Just click on the “Arccos Tip” in the bottom of each insight.