While most weekend warrior golfers only carry two wedges in their bags (pitching wedge and sand wedge), the majority of PGA Tour golfers carry four different wedges.
One golf club that has risen in popularity in recent years is the 52-degree wedge. Should you add one of these to your bag?
A lot of people don’t fully understand what a 52-degree wedge is and what it’s used for, so we’ll cover those questions first before moving on to cover which brands are best.
For golfers that just need a quick recommendation, here are our top choices:
Table of Contents
What is a 52 Degree Wedge?
A 52-degree wedge is called a gap wedge. While almost all golfers are familiar with the pitching wedge and the sand wedge, not many golfers know much about the gap wedge.
As its name implies, the gap wedge is meant to “fill in the gap” between the sand wedge and the pitching wedge.
How Far Do People Typically Hit This Wedge?
The majority of amateur golfers will hit a 52-degree gap wedge between 70 and 100 yards.
The average PGA Tour pro will hit a gap wedge about 125 yards.
Best Situations to Use a 52 Degree Wedge
1. Out of the Bunker
While most golfers opt to only use their sand wedge to get out of the bunker, sometimes a gap wedge is the better option.
For example, let’s say you happen to crush your tee shot into one of those annoying fairway bunkers. Your handy GPS says that you are still around 100 yards away.
This is the perfect time to break out your gap wedge. Why? Because the pitching wedge may not have enough loft to get you over the lip of the bunker and you probably won’t be able to hit your sand wedge that far!
Try out the gap wedge and knock it close to the pin!
2. Trying to Get Out of Trouble
Another time to utilize a 52-degree wedge is when you are trying to get out of trouble on the course. Let’s say you are trying to get the ball over a tree that is in your way.
After studying your shot, you think the pitching wedge won’t have enough loft to get over the tree and a sand wedge will get over it but won’t get you on the dance floor.
Bust out the 52-degree gap wedge and you should be home free!
3. In The Fairway on Approach Shots
Most golfers don’t think about hitting their gap wedge from the fairway. This is unfortunate because there are plenty of times during a round of golf when you’ll be faced with those pesky “in-between” distances.
Let’s talk about the best time to hit your gap wedge from the fairway.
Let’s say that you typically hit your sand wedge about 60 yards and your pitching wedge about 80 yards. Your GPS watch says you are 72 yards from the pin. This is the ideal time to hit your gap wedge since you’ll be more likely to stick the ball on the green with it.
If you choose a sand wedge in this situation you’ll likely overswing since you know you’ll need a little extra oomph to get to the flag. If you go the pitching wedge route, you’ll have to use one of those awkward ¾ swings that are tough for most amateur golfers to master.
You’re almost always better off hitting a full shot, and the gap wedge would allow you to do so in this scenario.
4. Around the Greens
Another great time to utilize your gap wedge is when you are near the green and need to pull off a good chip shot. A key to hitting the perfect chip shot is to get enough roll on the ball.
If you chip with a sand wedge or a lob wedge, you’ll usually get too much air under the ball and it won’t roll out far enough.
Since the gap wedge doesn’t have as much loft, it is often the much better option when chipping around the greens because you’ll get more of a roll out.
So… Do You Really Need a 52 Degree Wedge?
Yes, all golfers should eventually add a 52-degree gap wedge to their bags. While beginner-level golfers can get away with not having a gap wedge for a while, eventually they will need to add one when they get their distances dialed in.
Once a beginner has a general idea of how far their pitching wedge and sand wedge will go, it’s time to fill in the gaps with a gap wedge (see what I did there 😄).
The Best 52 Degree Wedges Currently on The Market
1. Cleveland Golf CBX2 Wedge
Cleveland Golf has been making phenomenal wedges since 1979. This 52-degree gap wedge would make the perfect addition to your golf arsenal. This is currently Amazon’s #1 Best Seller in wedges for the following reasons:
- High level of forgiveness because of the hollow cavity design
- More versatility thanks to the three different sole grinds
- Amazing feel- no more annoying vibrations at impact
- Maximum spin and control around the greens because of the sharp grooves
2. Callaway Mack Daddy
Another solid option for a gap wedge is the Callaway Mack Daddy. Callaway has a fine reputation in the golf equipment industry and they’ve been around since the 1980s.
When you buy a Callaway golf club, you know you are getting good quality. Oh, and let’s face it, the Mack Daddy nickname of this club is so cool!
- More spin than some other brands because of Callaway’s groove in groove technology
- Made with four sole grinds to suit any type of golfer
- Wide range of loft and bounce combinations
- Fantastic feel when hitting the golf ball
- Available in two different looks: Platinum Chrome or Black Matte Finish
3. 2019 Cobra Golf King Mim Wedge
Here’s another fantastic option if you are looking to add a 52-degree wedge to your golf bag. Cobra has been making quality golf items since the early 1970s.
The brand has risen in popularity thanks to PGA Tour star Rickie Fowler. Here are a few things to like about this gap wedge:
- Highly durable because of Metal Injection Molded construction and 304 stainless steel
- Precise grooves and face
- Golfers rave about the consistency and spin they can generate with this club
- Nice looking chrome finish gives it a sleek look
4. TaylorMade MG1 Chrome Wedge
TaylorMade is one of the best in the business when it comes to making quality wedges. This company has been around since 1979 and puts loads of resources into their research and development.
Once golfers switch to TaylorMade, they never want to swing another brand. Here are some highlights of their 52-degree wedge:
- Consistent turf interaction thanks to the precise CNC milled grind
- Maximum spin because of the perfect side walls and edge radius
- Weighted perfectly for better balance throughout your swing
- Soft feel
- Made of 8620 carbon steel
5. Wilson Staff Model Men’s Golf Wedge
Wilson has been making golf clubs since way back in 1914 so they have stood the test of time. This 52-degree wedge is highly rated on Amazon with a score of 4.9.
Here are some things you’ll love about the Wilson Staff gap wedge:
- Made with input from tour pros so you can be confident that the wedge performs at the highest level
- Unbelievable feel around the greens for precise chip and pitch shots
- More consistent contact: face and score lines made with ultimate precision
- Great spin and control
6. Titleist Vokey Men’s SM8 Tour Chrome Wedge
If price is no object, you’ll love the Titleist Vokey 52 degree wedge. The perfect grooves and bounce will dramatically improve your short game and you’ll love how this club feels.
Titleist has been making golf clubs since 1962 so you can rest assured that you’re getting a fantastic gap wedge.
- Provides both distance and trajectory control
- Wide variety of soles to fit any golfer’s game
- Plenty of spin and control on the greens
- Strong and durable