What is an AW Golf Club, What Does It Do & When To Use One

If you have seen the abbreviation AW when referring to golf clubs, you’re probably wondering what it actually stands for, which club it is and when to use it.

Quick Answer: An AW is an approach wedge often referred to as a gap wedge by some golfers and companies. The two names basically mean the same thing and can be referred to each other interchangeably.

The approach wedge golf club is a popular club that is carried in a 14-club golf bag because of its versatility and usefulness on the golf course. Although there are many different types and brands of approach wedges, all of them are somewhat similar.

Let’s jump into some of the most common questions regarding what an approach wedge is and other important questions about them.

What is the Degree of Loft in an Approach Wedge?

The normal range of loft than an approach or gap wedge has is 46 degrees to 52 degrees of loft.

The range is basically the largest range of degrees of loft that any type of wedge has on the market. It is nice because it gives more options for golf consumers and can accommodate for different types of golfers and their needs.

How Far Does an AW Golf Club Go?

It is always tough to throw out numbers on how far a golf club goes because there are so many factors involved. Factors such as swing plane, swing speed, contact, and other various factors can come into play.

But a rough estimate is that men hit an approach wedge 70 to 110 yards and women are around 40 to 70 yards. Remember, that is a very general estimate.

What Are Popular Uses for an AW Golf Club?

Not only are approach wedges used for approach shots to green from the distances above, but they can also be used for other instances on the golf course.

Gap wedges are really useful with shots that need a high trajectory due to an object or not much green to work with and the ball can’t roll out much. Also, AW can be used to hit pitch and chip shots around the green.

It all really depends on your preference because you would use a pitching wedge, sand wedge, or an approach wedge obviously.

How Do You Swing an AW Effectively?

The swing that you perform on your short irons is practically the same as the kind of swing that you would want for your gap or approach wedge. It involves the ball in the middle of your stance and a steep swing to get the ball up in the air.

A knockdown shot is also effective if you do not need a full swing to reach your target with your gap wedge. Basically, it is the same swing as your normal swing for wedges and irons.

What Are Popular Brands of Approach Wedges?

A ton of companies make wedges as we all know in the golf industry. But, there are several companies that are definitely at the top of the ladder in the approach wedge game.

Some of the best companies that make them are Cleveland, Titleist, and Callaway. If you are shopping around for approach wedges that are not those name brands, then it does not necessarily mean that it is not a great product.

Just check feedback and the reviews online to gain a better judgement of whether or not it is a good wedge to spend your money on.

How Does an Approach Wedge Compare to Other Wedges?


An approach wedge compares to other wedges because of the loft and distance that you can hit the wedge.

For instance, a pitching wedge is the lowest lofted wedge and goes the farthest distance. Next, an approach wedge or gap wedge goes the next farthest. A sand wedge comes in after that. Finally, a lob wedge is the shortest in terms of distance and highest in the loft category.

To clarify, the order of most distance to the least is:

  • Pitching wedge
  • Approach wedge
  • Sand Wedge
  • Lob wedge

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