Using the best golf wedges can change how you play the game forever, especially if you normally have trouble getting out of a sand bunker or dealing with other types of tricky shots. These wedges come in a variety of styles, makes, and models. But if you’re not used to playing with a wedge, then choosing the right model and one that can really have an impact on your performance, can be a challenge.
I’ve reviewed many of the best-selling wedges on the market and I’ve narrowed it down to the top five models. These models feature a new take on wedge design, that will allow you to easily get yourself out of a bunker or through wet grass, in a matter of seconds. Below, you’ll find a comparison chart that will show you the differences between each model, how they rated, and what to expect in terms of cost.
Golf Wedges Comparison Chart
|Pine Meadow Wedge|
|Wilson Staff Men's Golf Wedge|
|Pine Meadow Golf PGX Wedge|
|Cleveland Golf Men's Wedge|
|Callaway Golf Sureout Wedge|
Best Overall-Pinemeadow Wedge
Pine Meadow may not be a major brand, but it produced one of the best-selling sand wedges on the market. Not only can this club easily help you out of a sand bunker, but it’s also priced affordably. This club is lightweight, durable, and very versatile. It’s a great choice for the mid-handicapper, however, the high handicapper will also appreciate how effective this club really is out on the green. This club is very forgiving, due to the large clubface, and blade design, which will allow you to easily slip the club under a ball and get it airborne and out of a bunker, instantly.
Most Versatile-Wilson Staff Men’s Harmonized Black Chrome Golf Wedge
This is one versatile club, and it comes equipped with a special sole grind that improves trajectory, the user’s swing, and their overall performance. The innovative sole design allows you to easily slide the club under the ball, so taking shots from the rough is simple. Not only is this club a great choice for bunker shots, but it also works well for chip shots from the fairway. As you can see, this club really is versatile and it will quickly end up being your go-to club. If you know short game basics, then you know you need a good wedge in your bag at all times, one that can handle even the toughest shots. This is a club that can definitely deliver.
Best Value-Pinemeadow Golf PGX Wedge
The PGX wedge by Pine Meadow comes equipped with a thick, comfortable rubber grip, a midsize wedge sole, and a top of the line stainless steel shaft. It has a reputation for instantly improving a player’s shot control and accuracy. The tour blade shape combined with the sharp leading edge will allow you to easily slide the clubhead under the ball to get it airborne. This model is a great choice for the mid-handicapper who normally struggles with difficult greenside shots. This club is very forgiving and offers ultimately playability.
Top Sand Wedge-Cleveland Golf Men’s Smart Sole 3 Wedge S
This top of the line sand wedge is wiping the floor with the competition. This club is perfect for both the mid-handicapper and the high handicapper and features a very forgiving design that will allow you to take on even the most difficult shots. If you want a club you can rely on for use whenever you find yourself stuck in a sand trap, this club is a must-have. The club’s versatility is its biggest selling point. The unique design features a heavier club head weight, which is designed to boost ball trajectory and distance. The club’s graphite shaft work to keep the weight down, making it a great choice if you’re looking for a club that offers ultimate control.
Callaway Golf Men’s Sure Out Wedge
The Sure Out by Callaway features a new design, complete with a wide sole for improved forgiveness, a trailing overhang, and a hollow cavity in the clubhead that’s designed to improve control and trajectory. This new design works to improve wedge bounce and allows you to effortlessly pop a ball out of a sand trap in seconds. This lighter design also makes the club more comfortable to use and makes it a great choice for both mid-handicappers and high handicappers alike. The lightweight shaft design also improves how the club feels and how responsive it is. So, if you’re in the market for a solid sand wedge, one that has a reputation for quality and durability, look no further than the Sure Out.
Golf Wedges Buyer’s Guide
Considering how often most golfers tend to rely on their wedge, it comes as a surprise that many golfers don’t bother purchasing a specialty wedge to improve their game.
Research has shown that around 25% of all shots are made using a wedge. Because of this, it’s important that you choose the best golf wedges that can save pars or create birdies. However, the wrong wedge can cause issues for the golfer who is struggling on the green if they’re not sure if they have the right type of wedge for the shot. Because of this, it’s important that you use a club that’s designed to help improve your score.
These clubs are pretty basic and some players believe that their technology has not advanced in comparison to irons and drivers, but this is simply not true. There are many different types of clubs to choose from that feature a variety of different specifications that can all factor in concerning whether or not you’re using the correct wedge for a specific shot.
If you’ve ever watched the pros play on the driving range then you’ve probably noticed that they use wedges more often than drivers. But why? Wedges can significantly help to improve your short game and can even lower your score. In this buyer’s guide, I’ll cover the different types of wedges and the many characteristics they have to offer that can have an impact on whether or not a particular model is right for you.
There are some great wedges out there if you know what type of wedge to look for, what your options are, and how each type of wedge can benefit your game.
There are a total of four different wedges to choose from including the lob, sand, pitching, and gap. The pitching wedge is the most commonly used one of the four and it’s typically included in a set of irons. The other three types of wedges are normally sold separately.
This is by far the most popular option when it comes to wedge types. The pitching wedge has an average Loft range of 44 to 49 degrees. It’s often sold in a complete set of irons and it’s designed to slide under the ball on contact in order to get the ball airborne. The average player should be able to get a nice distance of at least 110 yards or in some cases 130 yards. However, before you advance your game using the three other types of wedges it’s important that you learn how to master the pitching wedge first.
The gap wedge features a loft range of 50 to 54 degrees. Instead of over swinging a sand wedge or lightly swinging your pitching wedge, the gap wedge works to cover the distance degree wise between these two. That’s why it will allow a player to perform using their normal swing when they’re between 70 and 100 yards away from the pin.
This is the type of club you want to use if you’re trying to figure out how to get out of a bunker. It features of loft range of 54 to 58 degrees and it comes equipped with a heavy clubhead that’s designed specifically to slide through tall grass and sand. Using this wedge you can easily pop a ball into the air quickly in order to prevent the ball from slowing down. Additionally, it’s also designed to prevent the ball’s contact with tall grass and sand. However, this trajectory will also have an impact on the ball spin which means it won’t land on the green and roll away or bounce from the hole. The best type of sand wedge which will help the ball travel from 75 up to 100 yards.
The lob wedge features a loft range of 59 up to 65 degrees. It’s able to lift the ball high into the air which is why this club is perfect for tricky shots and when you’re trying to avoid any obstacles in your path. However, it also works when you need to gently place the ball on the green. This is because of the club’s high trajectory results and a softer landing with limited rolling.
With a wedge, the loft is everything. As a mid-handicapper, you’re probably already familiar with club loft. However, I’ll go how a club’s loft can impact your swing and ball trajectory. The loft is basically the angle that the clubface lies relative to the shaft. It’s also what will dictate how far a ball can travel and what its trajectory is likely to be. Out of any club, the wedge has the highest loft. Most pros recommend using wedges that have four degrees of difference between each one. As an example, if the pitching wedge you’re using is 46 degrees, then you’ll want to use a gap wedge that has a loft of 50 degrees and a sand wedge with a loft of 54 degrees.
The right gapping depends on how many wedges you often carry in your set in addition to the loft of the highest lofted wedge you use. Typically, with a traditional iron, the loft can range anywhere from three to five degrees. However, if you use a pitching wedge then you should determine how many wedges you really need in total. Some players prefer to carry one or two wedges at a time while others will carry all four. Additionally, not every player will be comfortable using a lob wedge with a higher loft. if you want to carry around a couple of wedges make sure you add a sand and gap wedge that have large loft gaps in order to stay consistent. The gap between your gap wedge and pitching wedge can be a bit larger than the rest of the wedges you carry.
A wedges bounce is measured by how the sole of the club rests on the surface. Typically, the measurements of bounce come in around 0 to 14 degrees. A club that features a higher bounce means that it will not dig into the surface. This means you’ll want a high bounce when you’re playing on fluffy soft sand or tall grass. On the other hand, you’ll need to use a club that features a lower bounce when you’re hitting the ball off the fairway. This is because in order to make proper contact the lower bounce allows the club to dig deep into the surface.
Models that offer a bounce angle of 4 to 6 degrees are categorized as low bounce wedges. These clubs that offer minimal bounce are designed for players who tend to sweep the ball or for use on firm turf conditions.
A mid-bounce wedge is a club that offers 7 to 10 degrees of bounce. It’s by far the most versatile option and it’s designed for a wider range of swing types and conditions.
The wedge that offers more than 10 degrees of bounce is considered a high bounce wedge. This means that the club’s leading edge will rest higher when the ball is placed on the ground. This style of wedge is best suited for the type of player who ends up taking deep divots. It’s also a great option for soft conditions or for use in the bunker.
You can learn more about wedge bounce by reading my detailed article on the topic.
Most players will consider the grooves on a club similar to the tread on a tire. A club’s grooves are what grabs the ball just like the tread on tires grips the road. This is what will produce an ideal shot trajectory and creates spin. Some grooves can also offer ball stopping power upon contact between the green and the ball. Unfortunately, the rules of the game have changed and the USGA no longer allows deep grooved wedges to be used. These type of deeper grooves gave the players an unfair advantage because it would generate more backspin. Because of this new rule, you’ll only see a couple of different types of grooves available on a wedge. These two types include laser etching and vintage finish.
Models that come equipped with vintage finish style grooves tend to rest in a manner that compliments the feel and sound in the middle.
The other finish option is laser etched which is designed to optimize the face to ball friction in order to create max spin. However, these grooves are unable to adjust to the players striking tendencies over time and will not age in the same manner that vintage finish grooves tend to.
Sole grind refers to the shaping of the wedge’s sole, typically around the toe or heel. Many manufacturers now offer a wide range of grind options. Soles are grinded using a machine to shape the club for specific shots or hitting conditions. As an example, the heal grind option removes more material from a heel, allowing the face to rest lower to the ground. This will make it easier to keep the face open at address. Keep in mind, grinds tend to change the bounce of the sole. Because of this, it’s very important to get some advice from an experienced player concerning the different types of grinds and which one would best suit your playing style.
Once a wedge has been produced is given a finish in order to give it a distinct color and look. The type of finish your wedge has is a matter of personal preference considering different types of finishes will have the same type of feel. However, before you buy you should know how each type of finish will wear over time in order to find the right type of finish that will last for years to come.
Finishes such as nickel or chrome will maintain their appearance and color longer. Raw or un-plated finishes tend to wear or rust over time. This type of wear can actually improve action, which can result in improved ball spin. Initially, a darker finish will look great however, over time the paint tends to wear off on the face and sole which can give it some nice wear marks.
Most of the time wedges will come with a shaft made out of steel unless it’s part of a set of graphite irons. Most steel shafts will feature the standard flex. The best type of shaft will provide maximum accuracy and feel, however, if you’re using a shorter club then the flex will not be as important.
How Many Wedges Do I Need?
Fortunately, there are no limitations concerning how many wedges you can carry in your bag. Most players tend to carry a variety of wedges, while other players carry fewer wedges in favor of fairway woods and hybrids in order to meet their distance needs.
The Mid-Handicapper’s Playing Needs
A beginner will not really need to concern themselves too much with using a wedge other than the basic pitching wedge. But as a mid-handicapper, you’ll find yourself relying on lob and gap wedges time and time again in addition to sand wedges. Beginners don’t feel obligated to start using the sand wedge in the beginning since these are specialized clubs that are designed for specific uses. Keep in mind, as a mid-handicapper you’ll rely on all of these wedges at one point or another in order to improve your game. Because of this, it’s important that you learn everything you can about different wedge options in order to find the perfect clubs that will suit your playing style and models that can actually help to improve your overall performance.
- If you’ve never used a wedge aside from the standard pitching wedge then learning more about what each type has to offer can be a real eye-opener. As you may already know, a wedge features the highest loft out of any type of club. Most models are usually identified by their loft instead of their name. As an example, some players may refer to the club as a 60-degree wedge, instead of referring to the club as a lob wedge.
- The sand wedge was created in order to make it easier to take shots out of sand bunkers. These are clubs that are specifically designed for the mid-handicapper looking for an edge out on the course.
- Since the lofts on irons have decreased over time carrying additional wedges is more popular than ever. Standard wedges may feature a loft that ranges from 60 to 64 degrees. The lob wedge is what will allow you to get your ball high into the air after which it drops it steeply down onto the turf with minimal or no roll at all.
- The gap wedge can make all the difference in your game since it’s what closes the gap loft wise between the sand and pitching wedge. It’s also referred to as the attack wedge, a name that right off the bat gives the mid-handicapper an idea of what this club can do.
- Around 20 years ago a fifth wedge was created. This wedge was often referred to as the X wedge. It actually made an appearance in golf club sets designed for mid-handicappers and advanced players. These wedges offered the highest loft out of all the wedges coming in at 64° up to 70 degrees. However, it’s very rare these days to find one of these clubs and even most pro players don’t carry one.
Based on your skill level, I recommend purchasing a sand wedge first. However, if you’re still uncertain about how a different type of wedge can improve your game then you may want to stick with using your pitching wedge for any sand shots. I also recommend borrowing a couple of wedges from one of your golf buddies in order to give it a shot. You’ll be amazed and impressed by the distance and trajectory each type of club has to offer and how it can instantly improve your performance on the green.
When Should I Use a Wedge?
Even the experienced golfer will have a hard time determining when to use a wedge. This is especially true for the golfer that has primarily relied on the pitching wedge. However, to determine which wedge you need to use is easy enough and should be primarily based on the yardage of the shot. From the fairway on full shots, most players will opt for a sand wedge for about 60 to 75 yards. Lob wedges can be used for around 35 to 50 yards. The gap wedge tends to fall between the sand wedge and pitching wedge yardages.
When properly struck these clubs will produce a high-arching shot. As an example, if you need to get over a tree, then a wedge will be the go-to club. If you have a big bunker located on your right and you’re off the green and feeling stuck, then using a high-arching shot is a perfect choice. These clubs offer a high trajectory and because of this the ball tends to roll very little once they make it to the green. As a mid-handicapper, you should be able to generate a great deal of power by using a sand wedge, which will cause the ball to bite or back up once it hits the green. This type of club can also be used for chipping around the green.
This guide is designed to help you choose the best wedges that can help you improve your golf game. By now you know there are four different types of wedges to choose from, however, you have to also consider the bounce, loft, and clubhead size before making a final decision. I hope the reviews of the top models on the market will help you to narrow down your choices and find the perfect fit and a club that will do wonders for your golf game.