The pitching wedge is a popular golf club with a high degree of loft and a short shaft, allowing players to hit the ball with control and height on shots that are close to the green. According to Golf Digest, the standard loft of a pitching wedge has dropped over the years. Formerly, a pitching wedge typically had a loft of approximately 51 degrees. Today, however, pitching wedges most often have lofts ranging from 45 to 47 degrees, though they can be as high as 50 degrees.
Wedges and Lofts
The pitching wedge is one of four wedges commonly used by amateur and professional players. The other three wedges are the lob wedge, the sand wedge and the gap wedge. The lob wedge has the greatest loft at 58 degrees or higher. The sand wedge has the next greatest loft -- approximately 56 to 58 degrees -- while the gap wedge fills the gap between the pitching wedge and sand wedge with lofts of between 50 and 54 degrees. The drop in loft of the pitching wedge over time has made it a club that produces more distance and less height than it previously did, leading some players to use a gap wedge for shots they once reserved for a pitching wedge, according to Golf Digest.