54 vs 56 Degree Wedge: What The Average Golfer Should Use?

When it comes to golf, you only really need around two to three wedges in your bag for recreational games.

So, that begs the question, which wedge is best for your golf game? Which should you choose?

Most casual golfers have a difficult time choosing between the 54 and the 56 wedges.

I personally use a 54 degree wedge. I have found that it fits the gaps between my lob wedge and my pitching wedge best. Now that is not the same for everyone, but that is my experience.

In this article, we will discuss both the 54 and 56 wedges to help you decide which is best for you as an average golfer. Let’s get into it! 

Table of Contents

What Are The Three Wedges The Average Golfer Needs?

The average golfer will typically need the three following wedges: 

  • Pitching wedge 
  • Sand wedge 
  • Gap wedge 
  • Both the 54 and 56-degree wedges are considered sand wedges. Let’s take a more in-depth look at them both! 

What Is A 54-Degree Wedge?

The 54-degree wedge is typically considered to be a sand wedge and is used for bunker shots and around the greens for chip shots and pitch shots.

This is the perfect wedge for the average golfer who has a 59-degree lob wedge, and any other wedge that is close to 50-degrees. 

Golfers typically use the 54-degree wedge to bridge the gap between a sand wedge and a pitching wedge.

It is used for shots that are far too short to have the coverage of a pitching wedge, and far too long to have the coverage of a sand wedge. 

What Is A 56-Degree Wedge?

A 56-degree wedge is also considered to be a sand wedge. It is primarily used for hitting golf balls out of the sand trap, as well as chipping around the green and sometimes the occasional flop shots.

The 56-degree wedge is one of the most popular clubs in golf. The average golf user should carry no higher loft than this. 

If you have a pitching wedge of around 44-45 degrees, then having a 56-degree sand wedge is best. 

Why Is It Important To Pick The Right Wedge?

Choosing the right wedge can make or break your game. If you don’t pick the right wedge setup, you may end up with a club that doesn’t fit your swing.

You may not even know if you’re using the right wedge until after you’ve already started playing. 

This is why it is important to understand what each wedge does before picking them up. Once you do, you’ll be able to pick the right wedge for your game. 

So, Which Is Better: The 54 or 56 Degree Wedge?

Let’s find out which golf wedge is better for the average golfer!

Generally, golfers consider the 56 wedge to be better than the 54 wedge. Let’s take a look at why!


If the average golfer only needs 3 wedges in their bag (although some players will carry four wedges), then the 56-degree wedge is automatically the better choice. 

With a 56-degree wedge, you only need to have a:

  • 45-degree pitching wedge 
  • 50-degree gap wedge 

For the ideal golfing wedge set-up! 

However, with a 54-degree wedge, it is better to add another wedge for the perfect set-up, so it would look a little like this:

  • 45-degree pitching wedge 
  • 45-degree sand wedge 
  • 50-degree gap wedge 

with an additional:

  • 58-degree lob wedge 

It is far cheaper and easier to carry about 3 golf wedges, which makes the 56-degree wedge the better choice.

Many people have also stated that the 56 wedge is more versatile and easier to use than the 54 wedge.

However, it does come down to what you want, and the choice can differ between the average individual golfers. 

Loft Progression

Generally, a 56-degree wedge will follow the loft pattern of irons very well. For example, with a PW club, there is a 44 loft and a 5 loft increase, while with an S2 club, there is a 56 loft and a 6 loft increase. 

So, the average golfer will fair perfectly well with a 56-degree wedge as their highest lofted club. 

What Kind Of Bounce Do You Want For Your Sand Wedge: 54 vs 56 Degree Wedges?

When deciding on a 54-degree or a 56-degree wedge, one of the many factors you need to consider the kind of bounce that you want for your sand wedge. 

Most 54-degree wedges have a bounce of around 11 degrees, while most 56-degree wedges have a bounce of around 11-14 degrees.

The more bounce you have, the easier you will find it to retrieve your ball from the bunker because it will not dig in as much. 

Most golfers consider 10-degrees of bounce to be perfect for sand wedges, so again this comes down to the personal preference of the golfer. 

How Far Should a 54-degree Wedge Be Hit?

What 54 vs 56 Degree Wedge What The Average Golfer Should Use

How far a wedge should be hit can help you decide which you would prefer, based on your golfing technique!

On average, a 54-wedge is hit at 92 yards, but it can range between 75 and 110 yards. This is dependent on the full swings of the golfers.

If the golfer takes a full swing with their wedge, then it will go further, but most golfers will only take a 3/4 or even 1/2 swing with the sand wedge. 

How Far Should A 56-Degree Wedge Be Hit?

The average golfer hits their 56 wedge at 84 yards, but it can range from 75-105 yards. The stronger the swing, the further the wedge can hit.

So, golfers who take a full swing with a 56-degree wedge will generally hit over 100 yards with a full shot, but most golfers will only take a 3/4 or even 1/2 swing. 

Which Wedge Is Harder To Hit?

Generally, wedges that are lofted higher will be harder to hit than wedges lofted lower.

This is because the face of the wedge (leading edge) becomes more horizontal as the loft increases. So, there is less wedge face to try and hit, thus making it more difficult.

So, the 56-wedge will be harder to hit consistently.

Although the 56-degree wedge and the 54-degree wedge are very similar, so the difference in difficulty here may be marginal for most players. 

When To Use The Different Wedges

While the 56-wedge is considered better than the 54-wedge for most golfers, many golfers choose to invest in both, because both clubs are great in respective scenarios. Let’s take a look at this in more depth!


If a golfer is  55-60 yards away from the green,  it is better to use the 54-wedge. This is because the distance that the 54-wedge can travel is greater than the 56-wedge.

But, if a golfer is only 45-50 yards away from the green, then a 56-wedge club is the best one to use.


However, if you are stuck in difficult terrain, like sand or mud, then either sand-wedge will be suitable for getting you out and back on the green. 

So, if you want to get very technical about it, then you can use distance as a factor in choosing both clubs!

Although, it is important to note that there is not much difference between them in this regard, either. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Wedges Should An Average Golfer Use?

This comes down to personal preference. In general, an average golfer should use a 56-degree wedge.

However, if they want to hit farther distances, then they should consider using a 54-degree wedge instead. 

Which Wedge Is Best For Chipping?

In general, the 56-degree wedge is best for chipping. It has less of a tendency to hook or slice, making it easier to chip with. 

How Long Does A Golf Club Last?

The length of time that a golf club lasts depends on how well it is cared for. If you properly maintain your clubs, they will last for years.

But, if you don’t care for them, they will break sooner than expected.

How Can I Improve My Golf Swing With A Wedge?

Wedge swings are generally recommended for beginners who need to work on their swing mechanics.

If you already know how to swing correctly, then you don’t need a wedge. 

Wedge swings are also recommended for people who have been playing for a few years but still feel like they have room for improvement. 

You can improve your game by practicing with a wedge. Practice with a variety of wedges, including ones with different degrees of loft.

This will help you become familiar with the different types of wedges available. 

You can also practice with a wedge when you’re having trouble with a particular shot. When you practice with a wedge, focus on keeping your body balanced throughout the swing. 

Which Sand Wedge Is The Most Versatile Between the 56-Degree And The 54-Degree Wedge?

If you want to play around with different wedge options, then the 56-degree sand wedge is probably the most versatile option.

It is capable of hitting just about everything. 

What Should Beginner Golfers Look For In A Wedge?

When buying a new set of wedges, look for something that feels comfortable in your hand. You don’t want to buy a set of wedges that feels too big or heavy. 

Look for wedges that have a soft grip. This makes it easier to hold onto the club while swinging. 

Look for wedges that have good balance. You shouldn’t be able to tell which way the face of the wedge points simply by looking at it. 

Final Thoughts

 When it comes to sand wedges, both the 54-degree wedge and the 56-degree wedge are very similar.

The 56-wedge is considered to be more versatile and easier to use. It has an excellent loft progression and works well to get your golf ball out of a variety of difficult terrains.

However, the 54-degree wedge works in a very similar way, it is also an excellent option for getting the golf ball back on the green, and can also go further distances when hit at a full swing. 

So, it comes down to personal preference. However, it is important to note that the average golfer will only need two to three clubs in their bag when playing recreational golf.

This consists of a pitching wedge, a sand wedge, and a gap wedge. Because of this,  the 56-degree sand wedge is more suitable for average players, as the 54-degree wedge requires an additional lob wedge. 

We hope this article helped you to understand what average players should look for when it comes to choosing between the 54-degree and 56-degree wedges.

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