Best Lob Wedges

Updated October 2020
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Buying guide for best lob wedges

An aspect of golf that often goes unnoticed among average and high-handicap golfers is the quality of shot they make from 150 yards and closer to the green. They tend to focus more on drives and putting than these approach shots. But when golfers actually track the number of swings they take during a round from 150 yards and closer, they’re often amazed at how many shots they waste in this area of the course.

One way to cut down on mistakes made around the green involves having more success with your wedges. A wedge is a club typically designed for use 120 yards and closer to the green. A mistake at this location could land you in a sand trap or so far from the hole that you’re staring a three-putt in the face.

The lob wedge has gained popularity over the past several years, and in this buying guide, we help you learn more about this specialized club. Read on to learn about picking an angle, bounce, grind, and other helpful information.

Clean your lob wedge after every shot. This club digs into the ground regularly, so it will be wet and dirty.

Key considerations

The type of lob wedge that best fits your swing depends, in large part, on your expertise in the game. Lob wedges generate significant height on the shot, greater than nearly any other kind of wedge, as well as plenty of backspin on the ball.

However, to end up with the desired result, you need to have a consistent swing. If you mishit a ball with your lob wedge, you’re likely to hit an ugly line drive that flies far over the green and into big trouble in the rough or worse.

In short, you shouldn’t expect to purchase a lob wedge and immediately gain success. Spend some time practicing with it to learn how you can best fit this club into your style of play.

Picking an angle

To select the best angle in a lob wedge, look at the other wedges in your bag. The majority of golfers want a gap of 4 to 6 degrees between clubs if they’re carrying four wedges and 6 to 8 degrees if they’re carrying three wedges.

Let's say you’re carrying three wedges in your bag. If you have a 44-degree pitching wedge, you may want a 52-degree gap wedge and a 60-degree lob wedge. If you’re carrying four wedges, you may want to consider pairing wedges of 50, 56, and 62 degrees with the 44-degree pitching wedge.

Did you know?
The marking on the lob wedge usually reflects its loft angle (60, 62, or 64). Other wedges, like pitching and sand wedges, may have a P or S marking.
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Features

When selecting a lob wedge for an experienced golfer, you will want to pay attention to a few other design aspects of the golf club, including bounce and grind.

Bounce

The bounce refers to the sole or bottom of the club when it contacts the ground. Rather than digging too far into the turf or skimming across the turf, having a bounce on the wedge that matches your swing helps it stay on target with the ball, delivering more club force to the ball than into the turf.

When golfers talk about the bounce of a wedge, they primarily refer to the bounce angle of the sole of the club. You can see the bounce angle when the club rests on a flat surface. This is the angle of the sole of the club to the ground. At the time of address, the wedge does not sit flat on the ground. Instead, the sole has a shallow angle to the ground.

Low-bounce: A low-bounce wedge angle will be up to 6 degrees. It is best used on courses with extremely firm fairways. This type of lob wedge allows the golfer to dig into the firm ground just enough for a proper swing angle rather than bouncing off the ground and striking the ball in the wrong place. Few golfers use a low-bounce lob wedge.

Mid-bounce: A mid-bounce or standard-bounce lob wedge has a bounce angle between 7 and 12 degrees. This is a popular type of lob wedge because it works nicely for a variety of swing paths and course conditions.

High-bounce: A high-bounce angle on a lob wedge measures 12 to 18 degrees. This type of lob wedge works perfectly for someone who digs deeply into the turf with a normal swing. It flattens out the club face path as the club penetrates the ground, preventing it from going too deep. If you play on courses that are often damp, a high-bounce lob wedge is a smart pick.

Grind

Sole grind in a lob wedge refers to the shape of the sole. Players often choose a standard grind across the entire sole. More experienced players may want a particular type of grind near the heel or toe of the club to help with particular swing types and with shot making.

A golfer looking for a particular grind in a lob wedge may want to have a professional fitting of the clubs to help them determine the best grind to use.

Did you know?
Pitching wedges and sand wedges have been part of the game of golf for over 90 years, but lob wedges are newer, gaining popularity in the past few decades.
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Lob wedge prices

Inexpensive: The least-expensive lob wedges do not contain advanced technology in the club face, like varying bounces or grinds. Therefore, it will not be possible to generate a highly controlled spin on the ball with a less-costly lob wedge. Expect to pay $30 to $50 for a product like this.

Mid-range: A mid-range lob wedge may have one special feature to help the golfer tailor the club to their game. Usually, this feature is an option for a particular bounce. A lob wedge like this may cost between $50 and $90.

Expensive: The priciest lob wedges give the golfer multiple choices for the bounce, finish, and grind. You may pay $90 to $200 for this type of lob wedge. The biggest brand names sell in this price range, too.

Did you know?
Some pro golfers carry an X wedge with a loft angle greater than the maximum 64-degree loft of a lob wedge, but this is rare.
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Tips

Here are the different loft angles you can select for your wedges. These are the most typical angles in the club face, although some wedges may have loft angles outside of these numbers.

  • Pitching wedge: The pitching wedge is the most common type of wedge, as it is often included in a set of irons you may buy. It has a loft angle between 42 and 48 degrees.
  • Gap wedge: The recent introduction of the gap wedge gave golfers a wedge that fit between the pitching and sand wedges. It has a loft angle between 48 and 54 degrees.
  • Sand wedge: The sand wedge is another common type of wedge. Despite its name, you can use it anywhere on the course, including from a sand trap. It has a loft angle between 54 and 60 degrees.
  • Lob wedge: The lob wedge has a loft angle between 60 and 64 degrees.
Some golfers describe the lob wedge as the club they trust when they need to execute a “delicate” shot, such as when a short shot must carry a water hazard or sand trap before landing on the green.

FAQ

Q. What makes a lob wedge different from other types of wedges?
A.
The angle of the club face is the key difference. The lob wedge has the steepest angle on the club face, measuring at least 60 degrees. This type of angle creates more loft on the ball than other wedges. High-level golfers can generate a higher amount of backspin on the ball with a lob wedge than with other wedges.
 

Q. Should I try full-swing shots with a lob wedge?
A.
Typically, a golfer will not use a lob wedge for full-swing shots, although some low-handicap players have the skill for this shot. A golfer is more likely to use a lob wedge for a half-swing shot when they’re pretty close to the green. The height on a lob wedge shot makes it a good choice to go over a sand trap and stop the ball quickly on the green (called a lob shot) from a short distance.


Q. Should I carry a lob wedge in my golf bag?
A.
For golfers adhering to the rules of the game, this is the million-dollar question. The rules limit golfers to 14 clubs in the bag, so adding a lob wedge means another club may have to go. Note that recreational players don’t always adhere to the 14-club limit.

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