When To Use a 56 Degree Wedge (Plus Tips)

Golf is a sport that not everyone will understand. Without interest and dedication, the sport will be nothing but hitting a ball with a stick. But for those determined to improve their game, golf is a rewarding sport that requires skill, practice, and precision. Experts know that the right clubs make all the difference on the course, so having a 56-degree wedge in your bag is essential.

“A 56 degree wedge makes a difference?” you might ask. Absolutely! You use different clubs for different situations on the golf course, and this particular club is versatile. You can use it in a multitude of cases, and if you’re a beginner, you’ll often find yourself reaching for this club.

What Are the Different Types of Golf Clubs?

For beginners, it’s vital to understand the different types of golf clubs and what they’re used for. There are five types of clubs:

  • Woods: The longest shafts and largest club heads of all the clubs for long shots
  • Irons: A versatile club you can use for long and short shots
  • Hybrids: A cross between a wood and an iron
  • Wedges: A club with a higher loft angle used for short shots
  • Putters: The shortest club with a flat face used for the final shot on the green

What Are the Types of Wedges?

If you meet another beginner and ask if they have a wedge in their bag, they’d probably say no. Many golfers think that wedges are only for experienced golfers, but that’s not the case. Here are the different types of wedges and what each one is used for.

Pitching Wedges

This type of wedge is the standard club with the lowest loft angle. Golfers use a pitching wedge most out of all wedges, especially for approach shots or chip shots. This wedge has the least bounce, so it’s not ideal for shots from the sand.

Gap Wedges 

Gap wedges are slightly higher in loft angle, coming in between a pitching wedge and a sand wedge. These wedges are versatile and can be used for various shots. Golfers use gap wedges when they need more loft or more distance.

Sand Wedges

Sand wedges are designed with a flatter sole and more bounce. You use them for shots from the sand or when you need to get the ball out of tough lies. These wedges are also used for high-flop shots.

Lob Wedges

Lob wedges have the highest loft angle, making them perfect for shots when you need a lot of height. These wedges are used for shots around the green and can also be used for flop shots.

The 56-degree wedge falls under the sand wedge category, and you’ll want to have one if you’re starting to get serious about golf.

What Is a 56-Degree Wedge?

Often referred to as the sand wedge, a 56-degree wedge gives a high amount of bounce, allowing golfers to get out of sand traps or rough lies. Sticky situations on the golf course? Use your 56 degree wedge! This club is adaptable and can help you in all sorts of tough spots.

Edwin Kerr MacClain invented the sand wedge in 1928. It’s typically the heaviest club in a golfer’s bag, weighing about two and a half pounds. Its weight prevents the club from getting stuck in the sand, making it easier to hit the ball.

56 Vs. 60 Degree Wedges

It’s a standard for golfers to have a complete set of irons, a sand wedge, and a 60-degree wedge. However, a 56-degree wedge and other sand wedges are more appropriate for beginners or average golfers. Lob wedges, including 60-degree wedges, are better for more experienced golfers.

60-degree wedges are excellent for launching the ball high and landing softly on the green. 56-degree wedges, on the other hand, are ideal for hitting out of the sand or behind the golf ball. It has a higher bounce than most wedges, allowing the club to glide through the sand. If you’ve experienced digging in the sand with other wedges, you know how frustrating it can be!

When To Use a 56 Degree Wedge

“Versatile” is the perfect word to describe a 56 degree wedge. You can use this club in various situations, making it one of the most essential clubs for your arsenal. Here are some of the best times to use a 56-degree wedge.

Greenside Bunker Shots

Getting out of a bunker can be difficult, especially if the ball is buried deep. But with a 56-degree wedge, you have a much higher chance of making a successful shot. The club’s high amount of bounce allows it to glide through the sand, making it easier to hit the ball.

Partial Pitch Shots

Partial pitch shots are shots that don’t require a full swing. You can do a partial pitch shot between 20 and 80 yards with a 56-degree wedge. Doing so is also a great way to improve your accuracy and control.

Smooth Full Shots

Smooth full shots are a great way to improve your game. You can easily make accurate full swings if you can control your 56-degree wedge. It will come in handy, especially when you’re in the sand. A 56-degree wedge is excellent for smooth full shots to the maximum distance you can hit while maintaining control.

Greenside Chipping

Chipping is a great way to get closer to the hole, and a 56-degree wedge can help you do just that. The club’s high loft allows you to chip the ball high in the air, making it easier to land on the green and roll toward the hole.

Long Bunker Shots

Bunker shots can be difficult, but a 56-degree wedge can help you get out of tough lies. It’s ideal for long bunker shots of 30 to 50 yards.

Chipping Out of Thick Rough

Thick roughs often lie close to the green, making it difficult to get out. But with a 56-degree wedge, you can glide through the grass without much effort.

Out of the Sand

This situation is probably the most common use for a 56-degree wedge. It’s designed to help golfers get out of sand traps and does a great job at it. When you’re in the sand, reach for your 56-degree wedge to get out.

Get Over a Tree

If you find your ball behind a tree, you can use a 56-degree wedge to get over it. A pitching wedge doesn’t have enough loft to do the job, and a 9-iron will likely hit the tree. A 56-degree wedge provides the maximum level of trajectory to get the ball over the tree and onto the green. 

On the Fringe

A 56-degree wedge can also be useful on the fringe, allowing you to pop the ball high enough and land it close to the pin. There won’t be a lot of rollouts, so you’ll have a better chance of making the putt.

Out of the Fairway

56-degree wedges make full shots that are in between pitching and lob wedges. When you’re in the fairway and need more loft than a 9-iron, but can’t go all the way to a lob wedge, use your 56-degree wedge instead.

How Do Golfers Use a 56 Degree Wedge?

The key to using the 56-degree wedge is making the best of its bounce. Like any wedge, it’s best to make solid contact. You should also control the ground contact spot. You need practice and good technique, like the Dave Pelz clock system, to master the 56-degree wedge. The club has much potential, but learning how to use it properly takes time and effort.

How Far Do Golfers Hit the 56 Degree Wedge?

The distance depends on your size, clubhead speed, and skill level. Beginners often have slower swing speeds, hitting the 56-degree wedge around 60 yards. Experienced amateurs may hit it 80 to 90 yards, and pro golfers around 110 to 115 yards.

Should High Handicap Golfers Use a 56 Degree Wedge?

The 56-degree wedge is perfect for every golfing journey. Other clubs can be harder to hit compared to this club. Golfers of all skill levels can use it, from beginners to pros. Because of its versatility, you can become familiar with the lofts and eventually make better shots. The club can do it all, so it’s a great choice to carry on any course.

Tips for Using a 56 Degree Wedge

Like any other club, the 56-degree wedge takes patience, command, and practice to acquire. But once you get the hang of it, making great shots will become second nature. Here are a few things to keep in mind when using this club.

Don’t Overswing

This tip goes for any club, but especially the 56-degree wedge. Many golfers make the mistake of swinging too hard, thinking they must put all their strength into it. But the 56-degree wedge already has a high loft, so you only need a smooth, controlled swing to hit the ball well.

Play the Golf Ball Closer to Your Back Foot

Playing the ball closer to your back foot gives you more time to hit the ball before the ground. You also get ideal attack angles and more power. Positioning the ball too far forward will cause you to hit it fat while setting it too far back will make you hit it thin. Find the sweet spot and you’ll be hitting good shots in no time.

Put More Weight on Your Front Foot

When making contact with the 56-degree wedge, put at least 60 percent of your weight on your front foot. It allows you to transfer your weight more efficiently and make a cleaner hit. Having more weight on your front foot helps you make a short and compact swing, giving you more control over the ball.

Maintain Control After Contact

Many golfers think that their job is done once they hit the ball. But it’s the opposite. Once you make contact with the 56-degree wedge, stay smooth, maintain control of your swing, and follow through. You don’t want too much spin on the ball, so keep a level swing and light grip.

Key Takeaways

The versatility of the 56-degree wedge makes it a great choice for any golfer. While many believe it’s only for professionals, high handicappers and amateurs can use it just as well. It’s an ideal club for anyone who aims to improve their game, so have one in your bag the next time you hit the course. Regardless of your handicap, the 56-degree wedge can help you make those difficult shots and lower your score. Now, knock it out of the park!

Never Miss an Update

Share this article!