What is an AW Golf Club?

What Is An AW Golf Club?

Or better yet, what does the ‘AW’ stand for?

First, the Short Answer

The AW stands for ‘Approach Wedge’ and some of you may also refer to it as a ‘gap wedge’.

What is an AW Golf Club

If we rally back to 20 years ago, most golfers used to only carry two types of wedges in their golf bags – a sand wedge and a pitching wedge. In contrast, golfers nowadays carry a lob wedge, a pitching wedge and, our topic for the day, an AW golf club.

Now For the Detailed Answer

If you’re a tech-savvy individual, you’ll be glad to find that there is quite a bit of technology (and technical language) involved in this sport. Even if you are the most technologically challenged person in the world, a little bit of research and practice is all you need to prepare.

Much as our needs encourage new developments in technology, our golf bags have started to support more useful and versatile golf clubs. The AW golf club, or the approach wedge, is now an essential part of the complete golf bag with 14-golf clubs.

You will add more feeling and finesse to your game with each of these golf clubs, while achieving the best results around the pitch. The wedges, in particular, are used to produce the best results around specific terrains. So if you’re wondering where an AW golf club is used, you’ll find that it produces the best results in the variety of terrains around the greens.

What Are AW Golf Clubs Used For?

The 4 unique wedges in your golf bag are used to strike golf balls to varying heights and lengths. To put it simply, each golf club helps golfers have more control in their game.

More specifically, AW wedges are used for shots that range between 50 to 80 yards. They are also known as gap wedges because their uniquely designed lofts can help golfers arch golf balls over water hazards, bunkers and even trees.

The true value of approach wedges is that they do all of the above very accurately. If you master how to use an AW golf club, your golf ball will be able to soar over to approximately 10 to 15 feet from the target. What’s more, if you know how to produce backspin on the ball or to follow through, your swing will naturally result in the golf ball to back up and stop; hopefully very close the hole.

The Loft of an AW Golf Club

Don’t let all the technicalities deter you from learning about the sport. With regards to its shaft, Loft literally refers to the clubface’s angle. Golfers ask about a golf club’s loft because it helps determine their shots’ distance and trajectory. To put it simply, the more the loft, the higher your golf ball should soar in the air.

An AW golf club, typically, is produced with a loft of about 46 to 54 degrees, however, you’ll find more products that stick to the 50 to 54 degree range. If you know your golf clubs you will have already determined that this is a lot more loft than a sand wedge and a pitching wedge. This is because of the fact that approach wedges are used to swing shorter shots on the greens or when you wish for the ball to go high and land softly.


Golf Club Typical Loft Range Distance
Lob Wedge 58 to 65 degrees 50 to 90 yards
Sand Wedge 54 to 58 degrees 60 to 100 yards
Approach Wedge 46 to 54 degrees 80 to 120 yards
Pitching Wedge


45 to 53 degrees


100 to 140 yards


As you can see, the main difference between each golf club is their loft, and the more the loft, the higher your golf ball should fly.

Also, don’t be demotivated if you can’t strike to the distances mentioned above because they merely represent the averages. Your actual distance will depend on factors such as the angle of swing or the swing speed – all of which can be mastered with practice.

The A Doesn’t Stand for ‘Auxiliary’ or ‘Attack’

Golfers often question the difference between an AW and PW golf club and the answer is quite simple. An AW golf club is used for precision, i.e. to strike the ball so that it soars high and lands softly.

Each approach wedge is designed for the purpose of hitting golf balls over obstructions, and a precise shot will, almost certainly, result in the ball reaching closer to the flag. AW golf clubs also help golfers produce a backspin that can either stop the ball right where they wanted it to or chip the ball over the green and over a bunker, closer to where the hole is.

In contrast, a pitching wedge or PW golf club, are used by the pros to strike the ball over to 120 yards, and in some cases, even 150 yards! However, for a beginner or intermediate golfer, a PW golf club has too much clubhead and too little lob to produce the same results as an AW golf club.

Hence, some golfers probably are of the opinion that AW golf clubs, or gap wedges, also ‘fill the gap’ between the irons.

Our Final Thoughts

Now, let’s get back to your question, “What is an AW golf club?”

An AW golf club is used to produce accurate and controlled shots that can get you to 100-yards with minimal effort. Also, if you see an obstruction between the trajectory of your swing to the flag, think no further and grab hold of your AW golf club.

The closer you can get to the hole, the better chances you have of making a lower score. That is probably why they are called ‘approach’ wedges as opposed to ‘pitching’ wedges.

However, keep in mind “Practice makes perfect”; hence, don’t forget to practice!

About The Author

Scroll to Top