9 Iron vs. Pitching Wedge: 3 Key Differences

Whether you’re a beginner or someone who has been golfing for quite some time, it likely took you awhile to understand the difference between your clubs, as well as their individual purposes. So what exactly makes your 9 iron different from your pitching wedge?

While the 9 iron and pitching wedge are similar, there are key differences between the two. For instance, your pitching wedge has the lowest amount of loft, followed by the 9 iron. Your pitching wedge will achieve less distance than your 9 iron, but your pitching wedge is more versatile. 

In this article, we’ll be discussing three key differences between the 9 iron and the pitching wedge and what each of these clubs is designed to do. If you’re interested in learning more about this topic, keep on reading. 

The Loft Angle on Both Clubs Is Different

As we stated above, the pitching wedge has the lowest loft than all the other wedges available. Your club’s loft refers to the angle of your club’s face and where it sits distance-wise from the shaft. 

The pitching wedge usually sits at a 45-degree loft, compared to the 9 iron, which usually sits at a 41-degree loft. While the difference in the loft isn’t large, it does make a difference in performance. The more lofted your club is, the higher your ball will go, making the pitching wedge an ideal club when you’re looking to achieve more height. 

While this may surprise some, there is no official loft angle for any golf club. Depending on the manufacturer, the loft of your club can vary. While there are no official loft angles, there are typical angles you’ll find on these particular clubs, like the ones we listed above, so it’s important to be mindful of that.

Since the loft angles on both the pitching wedge and 9 iron differ, it’s clear to see how they would both have their own individual purpose, as well as strengths. While this is one of the key differences between these clubs, it’s important to remember that it’s not the only difference. 

Below, we’ll explore more in-depth into what each club is used for, as well as what else makes them differ from each other.

Both Clubs Have Separate Purposes

Another factor that separates both of these golf clubs is when they are used on the course. As we stated above, both of these clubs have their strengths and purposes. 

Below, we’ll explore both the pitching wedge and the 9 iron club and when you should use these clubs out on the golf course. 

When to Use Your Pitching Wedge

The pitching wedge is unique in that it is the most versatile wedge when it comes to golf clubs. The pitching wedge comes in handy for multiple occasions, such as getting out of a difficult situation that requires more distance or easy chip shots.

Seeing how this kind of club has the least amount of loft, it’s designed to keep your golf balls flying lower while also achieving the appropriate amount of distance. If you’re looking for a club that will help you achieve shots outside 100 yards, this is ideal for you. 

Compared to the 9 iron, the pitching wedge is easier to hit, but it’s important to be mindful that the pitching wedge travels less of a distance. This is not an ideal club for achieving height or spin, so that’s another factor to consider. 

As we stated above, this is a much more versatile club, and many factors separate it from the 9 iron. While there are many similarities between the two clubs, it’s important to note that they are both used for different purposes on the course. 

When to Use Your 9 Iron

Your 9 iron is ideal for traveling short distances, as well as allowing your ball to achieve some needed height. This makes it a great club for getting golfers out of sticky situations while creating enough distance along the way.

If you’re looking to excel in shots outside of 140 yards, the 9 iron is a great choice. For more experienced golfers, a 9 iron is a perfect tool for performing birdies and easy pars. 

As for beginners, your 9 iron will help you hit the ball as close to the flag as possible. When it comes down to it, your 9 iron will help you hit the ball as close to the green as possible no matter what your experience level is. 

It’s also a great club to use when you’re looking to achieve a soft landing. Many golf clubs won’t give you that opportunity, seeing how most irons tend to keep the ball rolling. Once your ball hits the ground with a 9 iron, it’s likely to stop moving, so it’s important to be mindful of this. 

Disabled golfers can also get a lot of use out of the 9 iron, seeing how it’s an easy club to control on the green. The 9 iron is similar to the pitching wedge in that they are both versatile clubs, but they both have their purposes and strengths. 

They Should Be Handled Differently on the Course

Not only should both of these clubs be used through different areas of the course, but they should also be handled differently physically when you’re out on the golf course. Below, we’ll explore how you can correctly handle and swing your clubs and how both the 9 iron and pitching wedge differ in this sense. 

How to Use a Pitching Wedge

We stated earlier that your pitching wedge is a versatile club that can be used for many different situations. To successfully use your pitching wedge, you’ll need to know how to handle it physically. 

While both of these clubs have a lot of commonalities, it’s clear to see from what we’ve explored earlier that there are distinct differences between the two as well. The way the pitching wedge and the 9 iron should be handled on the green is no exception, and below we’ll explore how they differ in this regard. 

When it comes to using the pitching wedge, this club really relies on the swing. Depending on the distance you’re looking to go, you may want to perform a full swing. If you’re looking to perform a chip shot, your swing doesn’t have to be dramatic. 

No matter what kind of shot you’re looking to take, it’s important to mirror your swing once you’ve hit the ball. If you stop halfway with your pitching wedge, you won’t properly execute your swing. 

Be sure to strike at least an inch behind the ball to get the desired height and distance you’re looking for with your pitching wedge. To get fully comfortable with your pitching wedge, it’s ideal to practice regularly to get a feel for your club. 

Practice swinging your pitching wedge and hitting the ball under different conditions to fully expand your technique. Remembering these key points will allow you to progress as a golfer and how well you use your pitching wedge. 

How to Use a 9 Iron

While the 9 iron is also a versatile club, it’s an ideal tool for chip shots. When practicing with your 9 iron club, it’s important to focus to get your ball as close to the hole as possible. 

What sets this apart from your pitching wedge is that this is an elementary club to handle. It’s also a lot easier to get your ball up in the air with your 9 iron, which is something to make a note of. 

With enough practice, you’ll be able to chip efficiently with a 9 iron. Be sure to hit your 9 iron downwards to create enough backspin for your golf ball. While focusing on the power you put behind the ball, it’s also important to note that you don’t need to create a big swing to get your ball where it needs to go. 

Keep your hands moving downward throughout the entirety of the swing to ensure the best results. It’s also recommended that you lean your body leftwards while swinging to ensure you are keeping this stance. 

When using your 9 iron, what it comes down to is control and balance. At the same time, this is one of many factors that separate it from the pitching wedge. While using the pitching wedge is mainly about power and focus, the iron 9 revolves around the balance technique instead of a strong swing. 

Hopefully, now you have a better understanding of how to use both of these clubs properly. The way the pitching wedge and the 9 iron should be handled on the green is a key difference that should be considered by both beginners and experienced golfers alike. 

Understanding the 3 key differences we’ve gone over in this article is critical to growing your knowledge of all the clubs that sit inside your bag. 

What Else Should You Know About These Clubs?

Now that we’ve gone over the 3 key differences that separate the 9 iron from the pitching wedge, let’s discuss what else you should know about these clubs. 

Now that you understand what makes both these clubs unique and different from each other, we’ll explain what else you need to know to master both of these clubs on your own time. 

You Should Always Carry a Pitching Wedge With You

Regardless of your experience or skill level in golfing, every golfer should have a pitching wedge in their bag. Seeing how it’s such a versatile club comes in handy for many different golfers facing many different situations.

While there are other wedges out there that some golfers may or may not carry, it’s highly recommended that you always have a pitching wedge ready to go. While many play with set-matching wedges, it’s important to note that specialty made pitching wedges are an option.

There are plenty of benefits when to decide to begin golfing with a specialty made wedge. For starters, the grooves on your specialty-made wedges are a lot more durable and greenside friendly as opposed to set-matching wedges. 

While you don’t need specialty-made wedges to be successful on the course, it’s something to consider, and it has its benefits. No matter what option you choose to go with, always having a pitching wedge in your bag will come in handy in more ways than one. 

Practice Your Short Game With Your 9 Iron More Often

Seeing how your 9 iron is an ideal club for helping golfers execute hits that only require a short distance, many golfers may fail to practice their short game enough.

It takes some time to become comfortable with any club, especially your 9 iron, so you must take the time to practice. Just because you’re only likely to hit your ball within a certain distance doesn’t mean you should neglect to practice. 

This specific club is different from some of the other irons in your bag, seeing how the ball won’t roll after it’s reached the green. This is another reason why it’s important to practice, seeing how the ball will most likely stay exactly where it landed.

It’s recommended that you practice with your 9 iron in the same way you do with your pitching wedge. Above, we went over how you can properly practice and use your 9 iron with ease in as little as no time. 

There Are No Official Loft Angles

As we briefly stated earlier, there are no official loft angles when it’s come to your clubs. Your club’s loft angle depends on your clubs’ manufacture, as they can set it at whatever they choose. 

Most of the time, you’ll find the loft angles vary across the board for visual purposes. To make their clubs more attractive to buyers, the design and the loft angle can change over time. 

While there are no set angles, there are typical loft angles. You’ll find these clubs that vary slightly depending on the manufacturer. This is important to note to make, and understanding this fact will save you a lot of confusion when you find there to be numerous different loft angles for the same kind of club. 

The same goes for distance, as there is no set distance that your clubs can produce. Once again, there are typical distances certain clubs can achieve based on a variety of things, such as a player’s skill level. 

Taking factors like these into account will allow you to advance within your practice and fully understand how to use the clubs you carry.

The Club That’s Used Should Depend on the User

Every player should be properly fitted to the clubs they purchase to ensure they are the right match. Your clubs should be able to adequately fit your swing for you to be able to perform well. 

One way to solve any kind of problem similar to this is by having your wedges custom made for your specific swing. Doing so will allow you to grow as a player and stop any issues you may be having in its tracks. 

We discussed specialty-made wedges earlier, which will ensure that you don’t run into this kind of problem on the golf course. While this is an ideal option for players of all skill levels, having specialty-made clubs will ensure that beginners don’t have any extra difficulties when first starting. 

While there is no exact science or measurement for being fit for clubs that are right for you, it all comes down to what you feel most comfortable with when you’re out on the course. 

The Pitching Wedge and the 9 Iron Are Both Versatile Clubs

While we went over the key differences that separate both the pitching wedge from the 9 iron, they have in common that they are versatile.

You can easily use both of these clubs within many situations that will both get out of trouble and get you where you need to go. Understanding both of these clubs’ strengths and weaknesses are key to becoming a better golfer. It also allows you to understand what the clubs inside your bag can and can’t do.

Both the pitching wedge and the 9 iron are attack clubs and will come through for users no matter what kind of situation you may find yourself in. Taking the time to be properly fitted to your clubs and understanding what they can do, is crucial for all players, whether you’re just starting or being a more experienced golfer. 


In this article, we discussed the 3 key differences that separate the 9 iron club from the pitching wedge. 

These clubs are unique in the loft angles they exhibit, the distance they can create, and how they are to be handled on the course. We also went over other factors you should be aware of in both of these clubs.

Factors such as being properly fitted for your clubs and understanding the importance of a quality wedge are key to becoming a stronger player in no time. 

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