Bunkers are one of the most visually appealing parts of the golf course. The beauty of the pristine sand is accentuated by the lush greens adjoining it. This beautiful sight holds one of the hazards of the game which is different from the rest in as much as it requires a different club and a different shot to pay it.
Sand wedge is a specialist weapon in the armory of the golfer. Though sometimes the sand wedge is used for chipping around the green also, its primary use is in the bunker. It is specially designed to get you out of the bunker. In fact if you try playing the same shot with any other club you will not be able to escape the bunker. A pitching wedge is also used as a substitute but sand wedge is the primary weapon for the bunker.
What is it about the sand wedge that makes it suitable for bunker play? Well. There are three main design features
The sand wedge has a very high loft, typically 55-60 degrees. Compare this with the club falling in the other extreme of loft scale-the putter which has a loft typically between0-4 degrees. Or take the driver, which has loft between6-15 degrees. The purpose of this loft is to achieve good height for the ball. This is necessary because typically all bunker beds are at a lower level than the green surrounding it and you need to loft the ball high to get out of the bunker. Sand wedge achieves this easily if correctly played.
This is another design feature which is unique to the sand wedge. This club has a sole which is rounded. Further the sole is lower than the blade of the club. The effect of this design feature is that when the club hits the sand behind the ball it does not dig into the sand and get stuck there which will be disastrous for the shot. The bounce of the club allows it to glide through the sand smoothly.
Toe to heel design
This design feature gives oval appearance to the sand wedge which is different than other clubs. This design also prevents the club from digging in and slide under the ball without getting stuck.
When you hold a sand wedge in your hand in the bunker, you should realize that you are holding a specialist club for a special shot in golf.