The Difference Between a Pitching Wedge and a Lob Wedge

By Larry Anderson

two clubs on grass with ball
The clubs golfers use are akin to the tools in a toolbox. Golf clubs have specific purposes and are used to accomplish different things. Pitching wedges and lob wedges are two of the most specialized tools in the bags of golfers. While both have the word "wedge" in their name, there are differences between the two, and differences in how they are used.


When golfers buy a set of clubs, that set most often includes only one wedge, the pitching wedge. The club is considered a standard part of a set of golf clubs. A lob wedge most often must be purchased on its own, separate from a regular set of clubs. This is because lob wedges serve a more specific purpose than pitching wedges.

Loft Degree

The higher the loft degree of a club, the easier it is for a golfer to hit the ball high into the air. The typical pitching wedge has between about 44 and 50 degrees of loft, while the typical lob wedge has between 60 and 65 degrees of loft. As a result, all things being equal, a golf ball struck by a pitching wedge travels farther and lower to the ground than a ball struck by a lob wedge. Distance is one of the main differences between the clubs. Most golfers can hit a pitching wedge between 110 and 140 yards, while the maximum distance a ball can be hit with a lob wedge is about 70 yards.


Golfers use pitching wedges in instances where they are between about 110 and 150 yards from the green. But these distances vary by individual golfers; it depends how far they can normally hit a pitching wedge. In addition to approach shots to the green, golfers also use pitching wedges to hit out of a sand trip, particularly if it is 100 or more yards from the green and anytime they need to get under the golf ball, but make sure it travels low to the ground. Lob wedges are more useful right around the green. These are finesse clubs that are used to hit the ball high in the air and have it land without rolling too much. In addition, because of their high degree of loft, lob wedges can be used in tight-lie situations, or where golfers need to get the ball into the air quickly.


Of all four wedges (lob, sand, gap and pitching wedges) and, indeed, all irons, the lob wedge is the shortest club.

About the Author

Larry Anderson has been a freelance writer since 2000. He has covered a wide variety of topics, from golf and baseball to hunting and fishing. His work has appeared in numerous print and online publications, including "Fargo Forum" newspaper. Anderson holds a Bachelor of Arts in print journalism from Concordia College.