What is AW Golf Club (A-Wedge) and How to Use It

Jimmy Dodo
Looking to bridge the gap on the golf course? Discover the versatility of the AW golf club - What is an AW club, and how can it elevate your short game? Golf enthusiasts often find themselves puzzled by the presence of the letter "A" or "AW" on certain golf wedges. Wedges are a vital part of a golfer's short game, making the correct selection essential for shots within 120 yards.

While the right choice of wedges is critical for approach shots, putting is equally vital for success in golf, regardless of the course's difficulty. This guide underscores the importance of selecting the appropriate clubs and developing a sound approach for effective putting, emphasizing that mental toughness and recovery skills are equally essential for maintaining focus during challenging moments on the course. For those who have encountered the term "AW golf club" and are uncertain about its meaning and significance, the article sheds light on the AW club's role and why it should be considered for inclusion in a golfer's equipment.

Table Of Contents

Meaning of AW Golf Club

The "A" or "AW" stamped on golf clubs signifies the club's classification as an "Approach Wedge," which is essentially a Gap Wedge (GW). This type of club falls between the loft of a Pitching Wedge (PW) and a Sand Wedge (SW). It is often referred to as an "Attack Wedge" as well. The primary function of an Approach Wedge is to hit the ball higher, allowing golfers to get closer to the hole, especially for shorter shots or when dealing with limited green space. The terms "AW" and "Gap Wedge" are interchangeable and commonly used in golf to describe this versatile club, making it a popular addition to golf bags due to its utility.

AW Loft Degree

Approach Wedges typically have loft angles ranging from 48 to 51 degrees, with 50 to 51 degrees being the most common. They are a crucial part of a golfer's set, complementing the Pitching Wedge, and are primarily used for full or fuller partial shots, providing good distance gaps between clubs in relation to the 9-iron.

Depending on the golfer's skill level and swing speed, a full-swing AW should carry 9-15 yards shorter than a PW. The loft of these wedges varies, with game-improvement options having as little as 48 degrees, while those designed for low-handicap players typically fall in the 50 to 52-degree loft range.

Gap Wedges, sometimes called Approach Wedges or Attack Wedges, bridge the gap between a Sand Wedge and a Pitching Wedge, offering more loft (typically between 49–53 degrees) and a slightly shorter shaft length. These versatile clubs are suitable for various shots, including chip shots, long bunker shots, and approach shots.

Their loft ranges from 46 to 52 degrees, providing golfers with a broad spectrum of options to suit their playing styles and needs. Approach wedges, with lofts ranging from 48 to 54 degrees, cater to different aspects of the game, from full swings at longer distances to versatile mid-range shots and precise short shots around the green.

Uses of Approach Wedge in Golf

Golfers use the AW for various purposes on the golf course, owing to its unique characteristics and loft. Here are some common uses of the AW in golf:

Other Abbreviations of AW in Golf

This abbreviation is known by various names, including A-Wedge, AW, Approach Wedge, Attack Wedge, G-Wedge, GW, Gap Wedge, U-Wedge, UW, Utility Wedge, and simply by its loft in degrees, 50° or 52°, all serve the same fundamental purpose. It is designed to bridge the loft gap between a Pitching Wedge and a Sand Wedge. Different manufacturers may use these varied names, but the club's primary role remains consistent—to provide golfers with a versatile club that ensures a smooth transition in loft between the PW and SW. Regardless of its name, having such a club in a golfer's bag is widely recognized as essential for optimizing the short game and covering specific yardages effectively.

The Difference Between Approach Wedge, Pitching Wedge, Lob Wedge, and Sand Wedge

Approach Wedge, Pitching Wedge, Lob Wedge, and Sand Wedge are all types of golf wedges, each with distinct characteristics and specific uses on the golf course. Here's a breakdown of the differences between these four types of wedges:

  1. Pitching Wedge (PW). Typically, it has a loft angle ranging from 44° to 48°, though this can vary between club sets. The PW is primarily used for approach shots from around 120 to 150 yards. It provides a relatively low trajectory and is suitable for full swings.
  2. Approach Wedge (AW). Generally has a loft angle between 48° to 52°, with the most common lofts being around 50° or 51°. The AW, also known as a Gap Wedge (GW), bridges the gap between the PW and SW. It is typically used for approach shots from around 100 to 125 yards. The AW offers a higher trajectory and increased control than the PW, making it ideal for landing the ball softly on the green.
  3. Sand Wedge (SW). Sand wedges usually have a loft angle between 54° and 58°, with 56° and 58° being standard lofts. The SW is primarily designed for bunker shots and short greenside shots. Its high loft allows golfers to get the ball out of sand traps and produce high, spinning shots that stop quickly on the green.
  4. Lob Wedge (LW). Lob wedges have a loft angle ranging from 60° to 64°, although some may have lofts as low as 58°. The LW is crafted explicitly for very short, high, and precise shots around the green. It excels at getting the ball up quickly and landing it softly. Golfers often use the LW for flop shots and when they need to clear obstacles or land the ball with minimal roll.


Q. What is an AW golf club?

An AW golf club, also known as an Approach Wedge, is a type of golf club with a loft angle that typically falls between a Pitching Wedge and a Sand Wedge. It is designed to fill the loft gap between these two clubs.

Q. When should I use an AW golf club?

AW clubs are typically used for approach shots from approximately 100 to 125 yards. They offer a higher trajectory and more control than a PW, making them ideal for softly landing the ball on the green.

Q. Can I use an AW for other types of shots, such as chip shots or bunker shots?

Yes, AWs can be versatile and used for various types of shots, including chip shots, bunker shots, and pitch shots, depending on the golfer's skill and preferences.

Q. Can AW clubs be bought individually, or are they typically part of an iron set?

AWs can be purchased individually and as part of an iron set, depending on the golfer's preferences and equipment needs. Many golfers opt for individual AWs to ensure they have the loft and brand they desire.

Q. What loft options are available for AW golf clubs, and how do I choose the right loft for my game?

AW clubs typically come with loft angles ranging from 48 to 52 degrees. The choice of loft depends on your individual preferences, playing style, and the distance gap you want to cover in your set. Golfers often select a loft that complements their PW and SW, ensuring consistent yardage coverage.


The AW golf club, known by various names such as Approach Wedge or Gap Wedge, is a crucial link between the Pitching Wedge and the Sand Wedge in a golfer's set. With loft options ranging from 48 to 52 degrees, it provides versatility for various shots, from approach shots to chips, pitches, and bunker play. The AW's inclusion in your bag can significantly enhance your short game and overall performance on the golf course, offering precision and control for specific yardages. Regardless of skill level, golfers can benefit from understanding their playing style, distance needs, and loft preferences when selecting the correct AW for their game.

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