Why Do Wedges Have a Heavier Swing Weight Than Irons?

A Look at Wedge Swing Weight

If you glance at the swingweight specification for the name brand wedges you will notice they are higher in relationship to their numbered irons.  This is for a very good reason as often times golf wedges are played from thicker grass and soft sand where the additional weight will help plow through those conditions.  In addition, the wedges are not all swung with a full swing.  The additional weight provides momentum on short ¾ and waist high swings as well as retains a certain amount of heft when the player chokes down on the grip.

The heavier head weights of golf wedges provide more momentum with shorter swings thereby helping get the ball up and out around the green

Many golfers simply don’t possess the fine motor skills in the hands, wrists and arms to take something that is light in their hands and make those delicate little pitch or chips shots around the green.  The results are those chili dips, double chips or even “skulling” the ball over the green that lead to wasted shots, a high score, fits of rage, broken shafts and the threat to quit the game.

If you often find yourself, a fellow player or customer who has problems around the greens on a routine basis, start looking at increasing both swingweight and overall weight.  It may be as simple as adding weight to the head via lead tape, a heavier shaft, Tour Lock Opti-Vibe mid weight or a longer length. Unlike iron heads which are relatively the same from one manufacturer to the next, the same cannot be said about wedges. Many name brand manufacturers will decrease the golf wedges in ¼” lengths to maintain swingweights to 2-4 points higher than the rest of the set.  This is why there is no magic formula when it comes to wedge fitting as it comes down to an individual basis. Don’t worry if it may take a D8 swingweight to accomplish a player’s goal; it is the final outcome that matters most.

Below is what you may expect from on off-the-rack wedges in regards to length and swing weight.

Club Length Swing Weight Range
PW 35.75" D2 - D3
GW 35.50" D2 - D3
SW 35.25" D4 - D5
LW 35.00" D4 - D5

Chippers are an alternative to wedges

Many golfers may cringe when they hear the word golf chipper, but in some cases it can be a vital club for those with woes around the green.  The heads are generally heavier than a typical wedge to encourage following through by providing more momentum. The argument from naysayers is that it takes the space of one other club in the set.  Taking a longer low-lofted club and trying to chip the ball over a small mound and land near the hole won’t cut the mustard a lot of the times.  Plus, by choking down doesn’t provide enough heft in the player’s hands.  If adding a chipper saves 2, 3 or more strokes from occurring during a round, it is well worth replacing a less-often used club in the bag.

There are simply too many choices a customer has in regards to equipment available today plus the ability of being fit to accept poor results from off-the-shelf products.  The fact is most shots wasted in a round of golf come from 100 yards and in making wedge fitting important or at least the time to experiment to see if improvements can be made.