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.
Have you ever wondered what a 56-degree wedge is?
Even if you know what a 56-degree wedge is, do you know the proper times to use it on the golf course?
If you answered no to either of these questions, this article will help you give you a clearer picture of the 56-degree wedge.
A lot of golfers don’t fully understand what a 56-degree wedge is and what it’s used for.
Find out what a 56-degree wedge is and what brands are the best. Our goal is to help you decide which brand of 56-degree wedge is right for you and your game.
For golfers that just need a quick recommendation, here are our top choices:
Table of Contents
What is a 56 Degree Wedge?
A 56-degree wedge is often referred to by most golfers as the sand wedge. It provides a high amount of bounce and allows golfers to get out of many sticky situations on the golf course. Every golfer should have a sand wedge in their golf bag for this very purpose.
The sand wedge was invented in the 1930s by a legendary golfer named Gene Sarazen, who won seven major championships. Sarazen is one of five golfers in the game’s history to win the “Grand Slam” (winning each of the four major tournaments).
The sand wedge is usually the heaviest club in the golfer’s arsenal, as it typically weighs around two and a half pounds. The extra weight helps prevent the clubhead from digging into the sand. This leads to fewer of those painful chunk shots out of the bunker.
How Far Do People Typically Hit This Wedge?
As with any other golf club, the yardage distance it will travel depends on a variety of factors like a golfer’s size, skill level, and clubhead speed. Keep in mind that these distances are based on taking full golf swings and not bunker shots.
Beginner-level golfers hit their 56-degree sand wedge around 60 yards. This is because newer golfers usually have slower swing speeds and often don’t hit the ball flush.
Most experienced amateur golfers hit their sand wedge about 80-90 yards. Finally, pro golfers on the PGA Tour typically hit their sand wedges anywhere from 110-115 yards.
Best Situations to Use a 56 Degree Wedge
Out of the Sand
As its name suggests, the 56-degree sand wedge is primarily used for getting out of bunkers and sand traps. The 56-degree wedge has plenty of loft and this allows golfers to dig the golf ball out of those dreaded sandy lies. The club is uniquely designed to cut right through the sand and lift the golf ball out.
The 56-degree wedge can help you still save par even after an unintentional trip to the beach. You no longer have to worry about the sand ruining your great round.
When Chipping Out of Thick Rough
You know that annoyingly thick rough that sits near some greens? The 56-degree sand wedge is the perfect golf club to use when chipping out of that tall stuff.
The high bounce angle will allow you to cut through the thick grass and still get the ball high enough in the air for a soft landing on the green. This means you don’t have to panic when you see a difficult lie in the rough.
Out of the Fairway
This may sound a bit confusing, but the sand wedge can be a great club to hit full shots out of the fairway with. Many folks wrongly assume that you can only hit the 56-degree wedge out of the sand. This could not be further from the truth.
The 56-degree wedge is perfect for those full shots that are in between a pitching wedge and a lob wedge. This makes it a valuable club during those in-between types of distances. Remember that the key to hitting good wedge shots is to never overswing, so keep it smooth and easy!
When Trying to Get Over a Tree
There are several other instances where a 56 wedge can be used on the golf course. Let’s say you’re in the fairway or light rough but are having to hit a high shot over a tree that is in your way. You need a club that can provide the maximum level of trajectory.
This is a great time to hit a 56-degree wedge so that you can safely hit your golf ball over that tree. Most golfers know that sometimes even a pitching wedge doesn’t have enough loft to get over some of the tallest trees on the course.
On the Fringe
This is another perfect time to chip with your 56-degree sand wedge. When your ball is on the fringe on the green, the 56-degree wedge will allow you to pop the ball high enough in the air.
This should allow you to land the golf ball close to the pin with not a lot of rollout. Now, knock in that close par putt!
So… Do You Really Need a 56 Degree Wedge in Your Bag?
Absolutely, every golfer should have a 56-degree sand wedge in their golf bag. Though you can, in theory, chip out of bunkers with a pitching wedge, it is much more difficult because of the lesser amount of loft and bounce. This is especially true in those pesky deep sand traps with a huge lip.
The sand wedge is quite possibly the second most important club for your short game, outside of the putter. A golfer simply will not shoot their best score without a sand wedge in their bag. The 56-degree wedge is the perfect club of choice when a golfer is stuck in one of those elongated greenside bunkers.
Another big reason that golfers must have a 56-degree wedge is the high level of versatility that it brings. Golfers can hit full shots, chip shots, pitch shots, or those low, bump and run shots with the 56-degree wedge.
Just like any other golf club, though, you have to put in enough practice time to feel comfortable hitting the 56-degree wedge. Once you put in the necessary work, you’ll be able to fully utilize this club. Once that happens, you’ll be well on your way to shooting lower scores.
The Biggest Keys to Hitting The 56 Degree Wedge
1. Never Overswing
Any time you are about to hit a wedge shot, remind yourself that you are aiming for precision and not distance. Remember what the great Nick Faldo said about hitting the perfect iron shot. “Never swing with more than 80% effort.” You can apply Faldo’s wisdom to wedge shots as well.
2. Play the Ball Closer to Your Back Foot
Since the 56-degree wedge is a shorter club, you need to make sure to play the golf ball closer to your back foot. This allows for the ideal attack angle on wedge shots. A good rule of thumb is to make sure the buttons of your shirt are in front of the golf ball on all wedge shots.
3. Put a Little More Weight on Your Front Foot
When hitting a 56-degree wedge, you want a short, compact swing. Remember, you are hitting a wedge, not a driver or fairway wood. Aim to keep about 60-70% of your weight on your front foot. This will keep you from having a swing that is too long for wedge shots.
4. Stay Smooth and Controlled After Contact
After making contact with the golf ball with your 56-degree wedge, work on achieving a smooth follow-through. This will keep you from putting too much spin on the ball and losing control.
Best 56 Degree Wedges Currently on The Market
When it comes time for you to buy a 56-degree wedge, there are plenty of trustworthy brands on the market. Here is a shortlist of 56-degree sand wedges that we highly recommend. We hope this list helps aid you in your decision.
1. Cleveland Golf CBX 2 Wedge
Cleveland Golf has been making phenomenal wedges since the late 1970s. Here are the reasons this golf club has a 4.8 rating on Amazon with almost 1,000 reviewers.
- Tour satin color makes this club really stand out
- Highly durable because of the alloy steel material
- Provides plenty of forgiveness thanks to the hollow cavity blade design
- High level of versatility: three different sole grinds allow you to more easily hit full shots, chips, or pitches
- Perfect Feel at Impact- no more uncomfortable vibration
- Maximum spin and control thanks to the Tour zip grooves
2. Callaway Mack Daddy CB Wedge
Callaway also offers an excellent option for a 56-degree sand wedge. Though Callaway is a bit pricier than other brands, you get to choose whether you want your wedge made out of graphite or alloy steel. Here are a few reasons to consider buying the Callaway Mack Daddy 56 degree wedge.
- Groove in Groove Technology leads to plenty of spin around the greens
- Highly versatile thanks to the four different sole grinds
- Available in a wide variety of bounce combinations
- Crisp turf interaction makes for a great feel
- Large face means a higher level of forgiveness
3. TaylorMade Golf MG2 Wedge
TaylorMade has a stellar reputation amongst golfers of all skill levels. Golfers rave about the nice feel of this 56-degree wedge and how it helps them easily get out of trouble on the course. Here are the best features of the MG2 sand wedge.
- Increased feel and pinpoint precision because of Raw Face Technology
- Maximum spin around the greens thanks to ZTP Raw Groove Design
- Consistent performance regardless of the type of shot or weather conditions
- TPU Insert in the back cavity leads to no vibration and a solid feel at impact
- Weighted perfectly due to the Thick Thin Head Design
4. Wilson Staff Model Men’s Golf Wedge
The Wilson brand has been one of the best in golf for more than 100 years! Wilson Staff irons are responsible for 62 major titles over the last 107 years. It’s hard to argue with that high-level performance and winning tradition. Here are a few reasons to look into buying the Wilson 56 degree sand wedge.
- Soft touch and amazing feel
- High level of control around the greens
- High-density Pattern leads to more consistent contact
- High toe design is perfect for when you want to hit shots with an open face
- Wilson’s PGA Tour players helped with the design
- Available in 3 different styles: Standard, Hi-Toe, or Tour Grind
5. Mizuno T20 Golf Wedge
Though they’re well known in the baseball world, Mizuno has been an underrated golf club manufacturer since 1933. These folks know how to make quality wedges. Here are the top features of the Mizuno T20 56 degree sand wedge.
- Performs well even in wet conditions due to the hydro flow micro-grooves which help keep water off the face of the club
- Great spin and stability because of the tapered blade design
- Forged perfectly to increase softness and consistency
- Made with some of the best CNC milling machines in the world
- Comes in a satin chrome or blue ion finish
- Available in 10 degrees or 14 degrees of bounce
6. Titleist Vokey SM6 Jet Black Wedge
The Titleist Vokey is an excellent choice if you need a new 56-degree sand wedge. Here are a few reasons why you can’t go wrong with this club.
- Jet black color has a sleek look to it
- Generate More Spin than ever thanks to the parallel face texture and consistent groove edge
- High level of Versatility for any skill level or weather condition
- Specifically engineered for a consistent feel
- More custom options than any other brand of wedges
- Easy to control your distance and trajectory because of its precise Center of Gravity