How Far You Should Be Hitting a 52 Degree Wedge (Skill Based)
Written by Brittany Olizarowicz

Britt O has been playing golf since the age of 7. Almost 30 years later, she still loves the game, has played competitively on every level, and spent a good portion of her life as a Class A PGA Professional. Britt currently resides in Savannah, GA, with her husband and two young children. Current Handicap: 1

Updated on January 12, 2024

The 52 degree wedge (aka gap wedge) ends up being around a 100 yard club for the average golfer.

If you play a good amount of golf, chances are you know how often you will have the 100 yard shot to come up.

Whether it’s an approach shot on a shorter par 4 or the distance you left yourself on a par 5, let’s take a look at how far you should be hitting your 52 degree wedge and what it takes to hit it well.


A beginner golfer should get anywhere from 80 to 90 yards with this club.

If your 52 degree wedge matches the irons in your set, and is more of a cavity back style, expect to get a little extra distance with the club. For those that have more of a blade-style wedge, the consistency can be difficult.

Expect the 52 degree wedge to fly fairly high up and land on the green softly. This wedge has good spin characteristics but certainly not as much spin as a 56 or 60 degree wedge.

High Handicap

High handicap golfers struggle with inconsistencies in their swing. One day you can feel like you really have it together, and the next, things are kind of coming apart for you.

Inconsistency in golf is common, and the exact reason why you can expect the golf ball to travel anywhere from 85 to 100 yards for a higher handicapper.

The 100 yard range is for the players with fast swing speeds. It’s a common misunderstanding in golf that all higher handicappers are slower swing speeds; this isn’t the case. In fact, sometimes squaring up the clubface for a faster swing speed player is even more difficult.

High handicappers should be aware that sometimes if you hit the 52 degree wedge a little thin, it will travel through the green and could put you in trouble.

Mid Handicap

The mid handicapped golfers are those that typically have around a 15 handicap. These golfers see about 100 yards with the 52 degree.

Most mid handicappers have better consistency than the higher handicappers and beginners.

This explains why you see some players hit it about 105 at times. When the center of the clubface is struck, the ball goes considerably further and has better accuracy.

Mid handicap golfers need to pay attention to distance control with the 52 degree. This club can be really helpful from 75 and even 50 yards when used correctly.

Low Handicap

Low handicap golfers are those that typically shoot less than 80. One key characteristic of lower handicap golfers is they often have faster swing speeds. Expect these shots with the 52 degree to be between 105-115 yards.

For a really fast swing speed, you may see 120 or more.

Most low handicappers can continually hit the center of the clubface, and this increases total distance.


Professional golfers have lots of club head speed and plenty of consistency. Expect these shots to travel 125 yards or more on a consistent basis.

As I mentioned for the mid handicappers, professional golfers need to be able to use their 52 degrees from a variety of areas on the golf course. The 52 is a great choice for professionals from bunkers that are a little further away or if they want to hit a 100 yard shot and take a little less swing.

Although it may not be as highly used as the 56 and 60 degree, there is still a place for this on the course.


Best Scenarios to Use This Club

I was keeping the 52 degree wedge in my bag for the 100 yard shot only.

This was a mistake.

I recently started using it for 50 yard shots and greenside bunkers just a little further from the hole. I found that I really like it for chipping, and it gives me a bit more confidence, similar to how I feel with the pitching wedge.

Longer Greenside Bunker Shots

The great thing about your sand wedge and lob wedge is that they get the ball up in the air quickly. However, this can also cause issues.

If you still have 15 yards to the pin and your sand or lob pops your shot right out of the bunker, it may come up well short of the hole.

Instead, take out the 52 degree and take the same size swing.

The ball will still get up high enough, but it gets a few extra yards and should release more toward the hole. Without having to feel like you are taking a bigger motion or swing, you can get your golf ball to the hole with ease.

Approach Shots

The 52 degree wedge is great for approach shots to the green; it stops quickly and is usually accurate.

I will also suggest the 52 degree wedge as a good option when your ball is in a little bit of rough. If you have a blade style, wedge the 52 will cut through quite well. It won’t spin as much when it hits the green, but it should stop relatively close to the pin.

When laying up on a par 5, think about where you will drop the shot so it ends up at a distance you are comfortable with. The 100 yard marker is a popular spot for many golfers, and the average distance of 52 degrees is the correct club of choice.

Medium Length Pitches

What I like about the 52 degree wedge and its capabilities on the course is that you don’t need to take quite as big of a swing, but you can still get consistent results. Sometimes when golfers swing with a 56 degree sand wedge, they take a full swing and make some mistakes at the top of the backswing.

Instead, think about hitting a 52 degree wedge and taking a three-quarters or even a half swing.

The results could be very beneficial, and you can keep the ball under control.

If you have the wedge in your bag, why not learn how to use it properly?


Other Clubs Commonly Used to Replace a Gap Wedge

The 52 degree wedge can also be called an approach wedge or even a utility wedge.

However, with modern lofted golf iron sets, it’s important to look at the actual lofts of your clubs; your gap wedge could be a lot stronger than 52 degrees. If that is the case, your average distances will be longer.


Tips to Improve How You Use This Club

The most important thing to remember about the 52 degree wedge and your ability to hit it on the course is that total distance and swing speed should not be your premium concern. In fact, you will be much better off working on hitting a 50, 75, 90, and 100 yard shot, all with the same club, than hitting one of these 130 yards.

We have the pitching wedge if we really need more distance on our approach shots. Here are some of my best tips for getting the most out of your 52 degree wedge.

  • Don’t be afraid to use the wedge from a greenside bunker where the pin is not close to you, the 52 degree should get it over the lip, and you will get extra distance without trying too hard.
  • Keep the ball centered in the middle of your stance so you can get better consistency with the 52 degree.
  • Always make sure the shafts you have in your 52 degree are similar to those in your iron set. If there’s a big difference in shaft type, it could cause performance issues.
  • The 52 degree wedge needs to be hit in a way that allows you to compress the ball and maximize spin, making sure the divot is occurring after hitting the ball.
  • When the pin is in the back of the green, take out the 52 degree on pitch and chip shots. The ball will roll out a little further than with other wedges and save you some strokes.
  • Finally, don’t assume your current gap wedge is 52 degrees, it could be a 50 or even 48 degree wedge, and this will impact the total distances of your shots.


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Brittany Olizarowicz

Britt O has been playing golf since the age of 7. Almost 30 years later, she still loves the game, has played competitively on every level, and spent a good portion of her life as a Class A PGA Professional. Britt currently resides in Savannah, GA, with her husband and two young children. Current Handicap: 1