What Is an 'Attack Wedge' in Golf?

There is a golf club that is part of the wedge family and that goes by several different names, one of which is "attack wedge." The attack wedge is high-lofted, used for shots into the green when precision is key — when you want to attack the pin position. In a set of golf irons/wedges with graduated lofts, the attack wedge falls in-between the pitching wedge and sand wedge.

The attack wedge, in other words, is the exact same thing as a gap wedge, which is the more commonly used term. The attack wedge fills the gap in loft between the pitching wedge (mid-40 degrees in loft) and sand wedge (mid-50 degrees in loft), giving golfers a more precise club than those two to use when the yardage calls for it.

Other names for the attack wedge are approach wedge, A-wedge, auxiliary wedge and dual wedge. As noted, gap wedge is the most common, but it is not rare to hear the club referred to by a golfer (or even a manufacturer) as "attack wedge." They can also be stamped on their sole "11-iron," although that is rare today. If a manufacturer labels the club "attack wedge," it will probably have an "A" or "AW" stamped on the sole.

Most attack wedges are around 50 to 52 degrees in loft, the low 50s. Attack wedges originated when manufacturers realized that many golfers not good enough to do so were trying hit a pitching wedge harder than normal or play a sand wedge softer than normal because of that large gap in loft between the two clubs. Most other iron clubs in the bag have gaps of about five degrees of loft. So why not add another wedge to solve that 10ish-degree gap between the PW and SW?

Attack wedges started showing up with regularity in the 1990s, and are common today in the sets of golfers of all caliber. Sometimes they are sold as part of a base set, but more often attack wedges are sold as a separate, add-on club. A golfer who wants one, who believes one will aid his or her game, can buy one and incorporate it into a set.

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