Best Wedges for High Handicappers & Beginners in 2021

Your golf experts: Jordan Fuller & John Marshall.
Updated September 17, 2021. This article was thoroughly audited by multiple golf experts and coaches for its accuracy. You can read more about our rigorous testing protocol here.

The Rundown:

Best Overall: xE1 Sand & Lob Wedge
“With three different loft degree options to choose from, a wide sole, and an AutoGilde sole, the xE1 can keep the face square through impact and eliminate fat chips and chunked shots making it a great choice for high handicappers.”

Best Gap Wedge: Pinemeadow Wedge
“If you’re looking for controllable flight with moderate spin, this wedge is a strong option to add to the bag – at an unbeatable price.”

Alternative Pick: C3i Wedge
“The C3i Wedge offers a simple to use, low-priced alternative – this is one of the best wedges today that has all the essentials you need to move forward with your short game.”

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The wedge is an essential club for golfers who are starting out.

If you’re a beginner or a high handicapper, we’ve got the perfect wedge for you!

In this article, we’re sharing the best wedges for high handicappers and beginners in 2021.

Sources researched
21
Sources researched
Customer reviews
16,841
Customer reviews
Hours spent testing
15
Hours spent testing
Products tested
10
Products tested
Product Name
Best Overall
Best Gap Wedge
Runner-Up Pick
Ranking
Ranked #1
Ranked #2
Ranked #3
Thumbnail
xE1 Sand Wedge & Lob Wedge– The Out-in-One Golf Wedge, Pitching and Chipping Wedge– Legal for Tournament Play Golf Club for Men & Women (Right, Steel, Wedge, 55)
Pinemeadow Wedge (Right-Handed, 52-Degrees)
C3i Sand Wedge & Lob Wedge–Premium Right Hand 65 Degree Golf Wedge- Escape Bunkers in One, Easy Flop Shots– Legal for Tournament Play, Quickly Cuts Strokes from Short Game- High Loft Golf Club
Our Rating
Our Rating: 98/100
Our Rating: 97/100
Our Rating: 95/100
Pro 1
Three different loft degree options provide exciting choices for improving shots from around the green
Very affordable, straight-forward gap wedge that works well from moderate length
Wide sole smoothly moves through sand and rough for crisp, clean contact with high spin
Pro 2
Wide sole keeps the face square through impact without snagging in rough or sticking in sand
Large sweet spot with wide, accommodating face for better forgiveness and control
Played best with square stance, ideal for high handicappers looking to improve fundamentals
Best Overall
Product Name
Ranking
Ranked #1
Thumbnail
xE1 Sand Wedge & Lob Wedge– The Out-in-One Golf Wedge, Pitching and Chipping Wedge– Legal for Tournament Play Golf Club for Men & Women (Right, Steel, Wedge, 55)
Our Rating
Our Rating: 98/100
Pro 1
Three different loft degree options provide exciting choices for improving shots from around the green
Pro 2
Wide sole keeps the face square through impact without snagging in rough or sticking in sand
Best Gap Wedge
Product Name
Ranking
Ranked #2
Thumbnail
Pinemeadow Wedge (Right-Handed, 52-Degrees)
Our Rating
Our Rating: 97/100
Pro 1
Very affordable, straight-forward gap wedge that works well from moderate length
Pro 2
Large sweet spot with wide, accommodating face for better forgiveness and control
Runner-Up Pick
Product Name
Ranking
Ranked #3
Thumbnail
C3i Sand Wedge & Lob Wedge–Premium Right Hand 65 Degree Golf Wedge- Escape Bunkers in One, Easy Flop Shots– Legal for Tournament Play, Quickly Cuts Strokes from Short Game- High Loft Golf Club
Our Rating
Our Rating: 95/100
Pro 1
Wide sole smoothly moves through sand and rough for crisp, clean contact with high spin
Pro 2
Played best with square stance, ideal for high handicappers looking to improve fundamentals

Last updated on 2021-12-05. The links are affiliate links. Product images are served from Amazon Product Advertising API.

10 Best Wedges For High Handicappers And Beginners In 2021

Here are our top picks for the best wedges for high handicappers and beginners:

xE1 Sand & Lob Wedge

Best Overall: Best Wide Sole Wedge for High Handicappers and Beginners

xE1 Sand Wedge & Lob Wedge– The Out-in-One Golf Wedge, Pitching and Chipping Wedge– Legal for Tournament Play Golf Club for Men & Women (Right, Steel, Wedge, 55)
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KEY FEATURES

  • Three different loft degree options provide exciting choices for improving shots from around the green 
  • Wide sole keeps the face square through impact without snagging in rough or sticking in sand
  • Eliminates fat chips and chunked shots with AutoGilde sole that moves smoothly through impact zone

The xE1 Wedge, a sand wedge, is another entry in the market for short game clubs that are easy to hit. It’s one of the best wedges for high handicappers that we highly recommend.

Wedges, like the xE1, help high handicappers get the ball out of the rough and sand with little effort.

Available in three different loft options, including 55, 59, and 65-degrees, each sand wedge brings a different shot shape to a high handicapper’s game.

If you’re looking to cut corners with their short game, this lob and sand wedge offers a reliable option that produces results immediately.

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For the xE1, the secret is the extra wide sole. The wedge is made to be hit with a square stance with a straight back, straight through swing. The sole’s shape and width is built to slide through the rough or sand to create perfect contact. You won’t find too many fat chips or bad pitch shots with this club.

If you’ve always wanted to hit those nice, tall flop shots that the pros hit but haven’t had the skills to recreate those shots, the xE1 cut the corners to replicate those shots. No matter what loft you play with, the xE1 Wedge will produce a staggeringly high arc with a soft landing.

The rounded face offers an inviting sweet spot that catches the ball cleanly at impact. The groove system isn’t anything to write home about, but the loft takes care of the spin you need to stop the ball on the green.

If you like playing in local tournaments, rest easy because even though the xE1 may look unorthodox, it is completely legal to use.

Pinemeadow Wedge

Best Gap Wedge: Most Affordable Wedge for High Handicappers and Beginners

Pinemeadow Wedge (Right-Handed, 52-Degrees)
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KEY FEATURES

  • Very affordable, straight-forward gap wedge that works well from moderate length 
  • Large sweet spot with wide, accommodating face for better forgiveness and control
  • Moderate spin rates help stick the ball on the green from lengths of outside 50 yards

The Pinemeadow Wedge is another one of the best wedges for high handicappers today. It provides a nice alternative to more expensive gap wedges. For the high handicapper looking for controllable flight with moderate spin, the wedge is a strong option to add to the bag.

The Pinemeadow Wedge comes in a 52-degree model with a wide sole, large sweet spot, and high-quality steel foundation. Ideal for the beginning golfer and high handicapper, the wedge is a little on the heavy side, but that keeps the club low and steady through the impact zone.

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When using the wedge from the fairway, you can expect to see moderate spin with mid-range flight. From anywhere inside 100 yards, the Pinemeadow Wedge delivers accuracy with the ability to shape your shots.

You can use this wedge around the green for modified pitch and chip shots. If you move the ball back in your stance and deloft the wedge a bit, the club responds by checking up nicely before allowing forward roll to the cup.

Another feature that we enjoyed when testing is the wide sole. The turf interaction stands out for a wedge at this price point, offering crisp contact with each swing.

The groove system has a textured feel on the face for enhanced spin that settles nicely when you hit the green from distances over 50 yards in length.

C3i Wedge

Alternative Option: Best Wedges for Sand and Rough

C3i Sand Wedge & Lob Wedge–Premium Right Hand 65 Degree Golf Wedge- Escape Bunkers in One, Easy Flop Shots– Legal for Tournament Play, Quickly Cuts Strokes from Short Game- High Loft Golf Club
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KEY FEATURES

  • Wide sole smoothly moves through sand and rough for crisp, clean contact with high spin
  • Played best with square stance, ideal for high handicappers looking to improve fundamentals
  • Three different loft options provides full complement of wedges for improving short game

Another solid entry into the wide sole wedge market, the C3i Wedge is perfect for golfers struggling to get the golf ball out of the sand and deeper rough. The extra-wide sole cuts through high grass or thick sand without snagging or digging, producing solid contact.

What the C3i Wedge does well in the bunker is lift the ball to clear the lip for a soft, high landing on the green. From the rough, the wide sole slides easily through the grass to provide clean impact to the golf ball. Off tight lies, the C3i clips the ball cleanly off the shallow grass or dirt.

The C3i Wedge offers a simple to use, low-priced alternative over high-priced traditional wedges making it one of the best wedges for high handicappers.

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The wedge’s balance from hosel to toe keeps the club square throughout the swing, great for the amateur that needs help with their short game consistency. 

The C3i Wedge is available in three different loft options from 55 through 65 degrees. The 55 degrees models the closest to a sand wedge, while the 60 and 65 degree options are similar to lob wedges.

What wide sole wedges, like the C3i, provide over a traditional wedge is the ability to stand square to the landing area. You don’t need a wide, staggered stance with the C3i to gain results. Instead, all you need is a square stance with a steady, well-balanced swing.

Pinemeadow Pre Wedge

Most Dependable: Low-Priced Wedge for High Handicappers

Pinemeadow Pre Wedge (Right-Handed, Steel, Regular, 60-Degrees)
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KEY FEATURES

  • Stainless steel finish gives the wedge a classic look that blends well with current club set
  • Extra wide sole improves turf interaction for cleaner contact for better spin and shot height
  • Heavy feel helps keep the club grounded through the impact zone for more power on full swing shots

Pinemeadow’s Pre Wedge offers a classic look with versatile performance making one of the best wedges for high handicappers. Available in several different lofts for a very low price point, the Pre Wedge is hard to ignore if you are on a budget.

The Pre Wedge is designed to help high handicappers smoothly create clean contact. Regardless of whether you find your ball in the rough or sand, the Pre Wedge’s wide sole produces a square face at impact.

At the low price, the Pinemeadow Pre Wedges trio of degree lofts provide a simple way to round out your short game clubs.

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As one of the best wedges, the sole’s extra width offers superb turf interaction. Rather than digging and snagging into the soil, the wedge’s head moves easily into the golf ball. The sole also becomes more narrow toward the toe, rounding for better forgiveness and more balance.

A U-shaped groove system offers mid-to-high spin rates, especially for the 56 and 60-degree wedge options. The face doesn’t have a lot of texture, so don’t expect high spin rates from this entry-level wedge.

Although the club is a bit heavy, for a high handicapper, the extra weight provides an excellent balance to keep the wedge low through the impact zone. If you are a fan of opening your stance and hitting flop shots, the wedge does lend itself to this type of shot with accuracy and precision.

The Pre’s stainless steel finish provides a nice touch for golfers who like a classic look to their clubs.

Wilson Harmonized Black Chrome Wedge

Most Versatile Wedge

Wilson Staff Men's Harmonized Black Chrome Golf Wedge, Right Hand, 60.0-Degree
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KEY FEATURES

  • Specially designed sole grind improves turf interaction and quality of contact from any lie
  • Anti-glare finish provides clean look and appearance that works well with other irons
  • Available in 52, 56, and 60-degrees for complete suite of wedges for less than cost of a drive

Wilson’s Harmonized line produces an excellent black chrome wedge. With a thinner sole, outstanding balance, and large sweet spot, the Harmonized Wedge provides a terrific option for beginning golfers looking to improve their short game.

For the Harmonized Wedge, it begins with the special sole grind. Not only does the sole give the golfer wonderful turf interaction, but it provides outstanding forgiveness when impact happens toward the toe.

Regardless of what type of wedge you need, the Wilson Harmonized Wedge provides a clean look with high performance in a very affordable package for high handicaps.

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The groove system comes coated with a texture that helps produce higher friction on the outer layer of the golf ball for higher spin. When using the Harmonized Wedge off the green, whether it be from the sand or rough, the spin rate helps control the shot with stopping power on the green.

It is also worth noting that the Harmonized comes in a black chrome finish that looks better than it has any business looking. For less than a green fee, the Harmonized provides excellent value with a sharp, sleek appearance.

The wedge is available in three different loft options; 52, 56, and 60-degrees. From longer distances, say over 75 yards, the 52-degree wedge provides mid-range flight with moderate spin.

From the sand and deep rough, the 56-degree sand wedge and 60-degree lob wedge, slide easily through the hazards to keep the face square through impact. If you are a fan of flop shots that rise high and fly over bunkers, the Harmonized lob wedge is quite effective. It’s one of the best wedges to buy today.

Lazrus Forged Wedge

Best High Spin Wedge For High Handicaps

LAZRUS Premium Forged Golf Wedge Set for Men - 52 56 60 Degree Golf Wedges + Milled Face for More Spin - Great Golf Gift (Black Right Handed, RH, Black 52 Degree)
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KEY FEATURES

  • Micro milled face provides great spin, distance control, and consistency
  • Wide sole offers improved turf interaction that slides through trouble areas
  • Forged style with raw metal appearance looks great in the golf bag

The Lazrus Forged Wedge offers a host of beneficial features for high handicappers and beginning golfers. The wedge’s raw metal appearance is very appealing, making for one of the best looking wedges on the market today.

The Lazrus wedges come in three different loft options; 52, 56, and 60 degrees. Each different loft option provides unique benefits to the golfer’s short game.

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With the 52-degree Lazrus wedge, golfers can expect a maximum distance of 120 yards. The sand wedge loft of 56 degrees has a standard max length of 100 yards for average swing speed. Finally, the lob wedge at 60 degrees offers 80-90 yards of distance with high spin.

The highlight of the wedge is the crisp contact it delivers on a consistent basis. From the fairway, the Lazrus wedge is incredibly accurate, offering moderate to high spin. When the golf ball is in trouble, say in the bunker or heavy rough, the Lazrus wedge slides easily through the impediments to deliver outrageously good contact onto the golf ball.

For high handicaps, the need to generate spin with their wedges is a crucial development to their game in order to lower scores. A well-crafted wedge, like the Lazrus, offers a micro milled face that creates spin from the fairway, rough, and sand.

On full swings, the Lazrus generates plenty of distance, especially for golfers with high swing speeds. For high handicaps, a well-made wedge set, like the Lazrus Forged, can lower scores and deliver that much needed consistency to pitch and chip shots.

The high spin rate allows golfers to gain more control over their short game shots. Having this distance control with the Lazrus wedge is a huge benefit for inexperienced golfers.

Cleveland Smart Sole 4.0

Best Forgiveness Option

Smart Sole 4.0 S 58 St RH
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KEY FEATURES

  • Wide sole with explosive turf interaction
  • Easy lift with low center of gravity
  • Extra-large cavity backs with perimeter weighting for balanced full swing shots

Cleveland’s popular line of wedges for high handicappers, the Smart Sole series, offers their latest creation, the 4.0, to help golfers get more consistent around the greens. The wedge delivers an extra wide sole to help the player smoothly through high grass and sand for clean, crisp contact that easily lifts the golf ball into the air.

While most wedges don’t help with forgiveness, the size and shape of the Smart Sole 4.0 creates high-grade correction on off-center strikes. Golfers can also take advantage of the large sweet spot to power the ball with confidence toward the target.

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The secret to the Smart Sole 4.0’s success is the extended sole. For high handicaps that struggle from the sand, this wedge’s sole helps glide the clubhead through the obstacle with a smoothness rarely seen on short game clubs.

The sole’s shape allows golfers to play with a straight-forward stance to lift the ball. Rather than needing an open stance, high handicappers and beginners will find easy launch due to the design of this innovative wedge.

Another highlight of the wedge is the cavity-back design, but with a larger, more exaggerated version to help promote higher launch along with increased turf interaction. The broader club head allows golfers to easily get under the golf ball from anywhere on the course, whether it be from the fairway or heavy rough, the cavity-back design brings consistent contact to your short game shotmaking.

A real shining star in the wedge market for high handicaps, the Cleveland Smart Sole 4.0 produces high-quality short game shots that players at this skill level need to lower their scores and make the jump to the next level. 

Cleveland CBX 2 Wedge

Best Distance Option

Cleveland Golf CBX 2 Wedge, 56 degrees Right Hand, Steel
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KEY FEATURES

  • Hollow cavity design increases forgiveness on full swings
  • Dynamic sole offers better versatility around the course
  • Outstanding feel with reduced vibration for exceptional feel

Built for high handicaps that prefer game-improvement irons, the Cleveland CBX 2 Wedge delivers high-grade forgiveness with exceptional touch around the putting surface. Created by the excellent club designers at Cleveland, the CBX 2 channels decades of fine craftsmanship to provide a first-rate short game weapon for golfers needing consistency.

First thing you’ll notice with the CBX 2 is the weight of the club at address. The wedge isn’t too heavy or too light, but rather feels solid in your hands. During the swing, the CBX 2 creates a connected feeling with your hands and arms, offering sync that helps produce exceptional shots.

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When it comes to creating spin, the CBX 2 certainly delivers with flair. While you won’t see too much spin off the face, these wedges provide high handicaps with the ideal spin rate for controlling shots and getting balls to stick on the green close to the cup.

On full swing shots, the CBX 2 provides a forgiving nature on off-center strikes. Even when the ball impacts the area closer to the toe, the wedge maintains speed and holds the target line. If you are struggling to find consistency in your full wedge shots, a club like the CBX 2 offers upgraded performance.

The CBX 2 holds a deep, low center of gravity for easy lift, ideal for high handicaps that need more carry and a soft, high shot arc to produce better control and dependability.

When you find yourself just off the green, needing a solid pitch shot, the CBX 2’s hollow design and wide sole anchor the club for a smooth stroke that produces enough spin to stop the shot quickly.

A terrific wedge, the Cleveland CBX 2 is well worth your consideration due to its impressive performance at any distance.

Square Strike Wedge

Most Consistent Contact Option

Square Strike Wedge For Right Handed Players-Pitching & Chipping Wedge for Men & Women -Legal for Tournament Play -Engineered by Hot List Winning Designer -Cut Strokes from Your Golf Game Fast
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KEY FEATURES

  • Reduces the number of fat chip and pitch shots
  • Excellent control from just off the green
  • Similar shaft length to putter for easy shotmaking

Offering a different way to attack the green, the Square Strike Wedge reduces the fat and thin chip shots that plague high handicaps. Created to look like a putter, the Square Strike hopes to emulate the putting stroke to help you generate more consistent contact.

When looking at the Square Strike, everything you see on the club is a deliberate attempt to reduce the frustrating chunks and bladed pitch shots. 

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First, the Square Strike is meant to be used with a straight-back, straight-through stroke similar to a putter. Rather than using an open stance, this wedge needs a balanced approach, meaning you’ll need to use a square stance when addressing the golf ball.

Available in three lofts running from 45 through 60 degrees, the wedge features an anti-chunk sole, a rounded leading edge that prevents snagging, anti-rotational weighting, and centered CG with high MOI.

Also the Square Strike also has a more upright shaft angle, helping further simulate the feeling of using a putter, although with more loft on the face.

When comparing the Square Strike to a regular iron there are a few subtle differences that help produce the shot quality most high handicaps are searching for around the green. First, the shaft length is 35.5 inches, while most irons have a 37-inch shaft. 

Also the wide hitting area of the Square Strike encourages higher forgiveness over an iron. The extra weight on the toe of the Square Strike also keeps the face square at impact and minimizes twisting.

For golfers that need more help inside 35 yards, the wedges from Square Strike reduce fat chips, delivering more consistent contact that translates to shorter par putts to save your scorecard.

TaylorMade MG1 Chrome Wedge

Best Full Swing Option

MG1 Chrome Wedge, 56 Degree Loft, 12 Degree Standard Bounce, Right Hand, Stiff Flex
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KEY FEATURES

  • CNC Milled groove system helps increase spin
  • Optimal center of gravity with high launch
  • Marvelous turf interaction with crisp contact

TaylorMade’s MG1 Chrome Wedge offers high handicaps a slice of luxury for their golf bag at a very reasonable price. With a host of top-tier features, the MG1 remains one of the best golf wedges that high handicaps can use to grow their game and reach the next level.

Starting with the milled grind along the sole, TaylorMade wants to create balance for golfers with the MG1. The milling works in concert with the rounded leading edge to boost turf interaction to rarely seen heights along with consistently dynamic performance.

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The milled grind also works with the carbon steel lightweight body to help golfers get creative with their short game without worrying about hitting fat or chunked pitch shots. 

When dissecting the groove system, the MG1 produces mid-range spin on full-length shots, offering plenty of rotation to stop your golf ball cold on the putting surface. When it comes to pitch shots, the high spin generated by the MG1 certainly gives amateurs the control they desire from their wedge play.

Where the MG1 shines and earns its stellar reputation is when the ball is sitting on the fairway roughly 100-120 yards from the pin. In these situations, the golfer can let loose, delivering a striking blow to the golf ball without worrying that the shot will be topped or fly wayward of the target, due to the club’s forgiving nature and consistency.

The club’s outstanding forgiveness is another asset for high handicaps looking to worry less about their equipment and more about their fundamental approach to the upcoming shot.

While we wouldn’t necessarily recommend this wedge for beginners, high handicaps with experience can learn a great deal about tempo and shot quality with the TaylorMade MG1 Wedge.


Different Types of Golf Wedges

Golf wedges are generally categorized into four main types – pitching wedge, gap, sand wedge, and lob wedge.

Pitching Wedge (PW)

Pitching wedge is the most famous and commonly used wedge, and is generally included in an iron set.

The standard loft is between 44 to 48 degrees, and it is used primarily for longer chip shots or fat shots into the green.

With modern irons being designed for longer distance, modern pitching wedge also follows the trend of the lower loft angle.

Gap Wedge (GW) or Utility Wedge (UW)

Gap wedges, as the name might suggest, is designed to fill the loft ‘gap’ between the pitching wedge and the sand wedge.

Sometimes, gap wedges are also called utility wedge (UW) or attack wedge (AW) and is also often included in an iron set.

The standard loft angle is between 50 to 53 degrees, and is commonly used for fuller shots, more variety around the green, longer chips, and half or three-quarter swing shots.

Sand Wedge (SW)

The standard loft for a sand wedge is between 54 to 58 degrees.

As the name suggests, the sand wedge was originally invented to escape from bunkers and sand traps, and is characterized with a wider, heavier sole.

Lob Wedge (LW)

The lob wedge is the newest addition to the wedge family, ‘only’ been introduced in the 1930s.

Before the lob wedge was invented, the sand wedge was the highest lofted wedge available.

This was then invented to produce more height and spin, especially for shots near the green.

For that purpose, this has a very high loft of around 60 to 64 degrees (modern lob wedges can offer even more loft).

With the high loft angle, full shots are often avoided with the lob wedge, and is more used for chips, bunker shot, and flops.


Wedge Basics

Bounce

The ‘bounce’ of a wedge refers to the sole area that hits the turf during the swing.

As you might have guessed, the name ‘bounce’ originated from the phenomenon where this part of the club bounces through the course surface at impact.

Actually, there are several design elements involved in this part of the club: the width of the sole, leading edge, and the bounce angle.

Commonly, the technical discussions for the term ‘bounce’ refer to the bounce angle.

The bounce angle, by definition, is the angle formed between the leading edge to the part of the sole that meets the ground.

The differences in bounce angle is a design choice made to prevent a wedge from digging into the turf (or worse, sand), which will stop the momentum of the club head, and thus slowing the impact.

The lower the bounce angle, the less sole width we’ll have, and so it will affect forgiveness, and vice versa.

There are three main categories of bounce angle:

Low

We can categorize a wedge to have low bounce angle if the angle is between 4 to 6 degrees.

Wedges with low bounce are better suited to players with a shallower swing (or often said to ‘sweep’ the ball).

For courses with firmer surfaces and coarse sand in bunkers, wedges with low bounce are also generally preferable.

Mid or Standard

Wedges with 7 to 10 degrees of loft angle belong to this category.

These wedges are generally the most versatile and can fit various swing types and course conditions.

High

If the wedge has more than 10 degrees of bounce angle, we can consider it as a high-bounce wedge.

In this condition, the leading edge sits higher than usual, and the sole is rested on the ground. So, a high-bounce wedge is preferable for players who dig their swings.

It is also generally a better choice for courses with soft surfaces or when the bunkers have soft sand.

Grind

The term ‘grind’ refers to additional shaping (or ‘grinding) of the wedge sole.

Usually, these additional grinds are done around the heel or toe part.

Many manufacturers are offering a different range of sole grinds in addition to their standard wedge sole.

For example, Callaway offers C, U, and S grind options with their Mack Daddy wedges.

Titleist, on the other hand, offers 5 different grinds (M, S, F, K, L) with their SM6 wedges.

So, with different manufacturers offering many different sole grind options, choosing between them can be difficult.

Yet, if we understand the key principles of the sole grind designs and how they will affect your game.

This will be a much easier process.

If the grind is made on the heel of the sole, the face can sit much lower to the ground because of the removed heel part.

This makes it easier to open the face at address.

A grind in the middle section between the heel and toe adds bounce to the sole, helping players with the tendencies to dig at impact.

On the other hand, a grind at the toe section allows an easier time to close the face at address.

For example, the ‘C’ grind of the Callaway Mack Daddy 3 wedges features a heel to toe grind, allowing it to be opened or closed to give more versatility – perfect for mid handicappers.

The ‘S’ grind stands for standard, resembling a standard wedge sole.

The ‘U’ grind, on the other hand, has a grind in the middle section to add bounce.

Finish

While wedge finish is mostly about looks, there are other areas that can be affected by different finish options. For example, the sun will glare with some finishes more than others. Some finish also scratch or rust easier than others, which will ‘create’ more spin as the wedge is used.

There’s also an argument that some finishes will provide a softer feel than others.

There are generally three main categories of finishes:

Raw Finish

Many argue that the best wedges with a raw finish will provide a softer, more responsive feel.

While technologies have allowed chrome and matte finishes to come closer, this argument is still true, even if it’s very subtle.

Also, raw finish won’t glare with the sun, and generally won’t scratch or rust as much as other finishes.

Matte Finish

Matte finish, which is commonly plated onto the wedge, has the advantage of not causing any reflection.

So, it won’t distract you during your rounds under the sun. Yet, matte finish is generally thicker than chrome finish, and so will ‘damp’ the feel and response of the club.

Chrome Finish

Chrome finishes will glare under the sun, but in general, offer a more responsive feel compared to matte.

There are also wedges that are offered in unique finishes. For example, the Titleist 200 are offered in ‘Oil Can’ finish, designed to rust more to add spin.

Cavity Back

A cavity-back wedge is similar to a cavity-back iron in that it has multiple pieces that constructs the head. The cavity-back iron is typically hollow with a thin face to maximize swing speed. The back side of the head is scooped out, replaced by lighter materials that dampen vibration.

Cavity-back irons have larger soles, when compared to blades, to improve turf interaction and make it easier for the golfer to launch the golf ball into the air. 

Blades

Blades, otherwise known as a forged iron, is made from one piece of material, such as steel. Advanced players use blade irons for more workability and control for their game from the fairway. Wedges with blade construction offer a compact hitting area that provides ultimate control over the golfer’s shotmaking.

Loft

Loft is the angle of the face of the club. Wedges have the most loft when compared to woods and irons. From 46-60 degrees, wedges cover a wide area, providing high launch with variable rates of spin. Whether the golfer uses a wedge on a full or half swing, the loft allows the ball to get into the air to clear trouble such as water or bunkers.


Questions & Answers

How many wedges should a beginner or high handicapper carry?

High handicappers and beginners should consider carrying at least three wedges in their bag. What wedges do for golfers that struggle to repeatedly get the ball into the air is they give them high loft clubs that make obtaining launch and carry much, much easier.

Wedges have wide soles that offer terrific turf interaction and the leading edge of the club that moves through the soil on divots prevents the wedge from snagging or digging into the turf. This combination is ideal and a large reason why they should expand the number of wedges in their bag.

Because we are only allowed to bring 14 clubs in the bag during a game, deciding which ones to put in and which ones to leave out are always difficult.

Most golfers including pros are carrying two to four wedges in their bags, but there can be many different factors affecting their choices.

One of the most common mistakes in deciding how many wedges to bring is making the decision solely based on your wedge play.

Yet, to get the most of this decision, you should consider your overall playstyle.

The most important principle you should follow is you should carry the clubs that will allow you to save more shots.

If you are struggling with long par 4s and par 5s, it is probably a better idea to lose a wedge and add a fairway wood in its place.

On the other hand, if you have more issues with your half wedge and three-quarter wedge shots from below the 120 yards, you’ll most likely do better with an additional wedge or two in place of the fairway wood(s).

So, here are the key principles in deciding how many wedges you should carry:

  • You can carry two wedges if you are confident with your half wedge and three-quarter swings. You can carry extra fairway woods or hybrids to help with your long game instead. In this method, you can carry a pitching wedge (PW) and sand wedge (SW). The key here is to balance your lofts with the 9-iron. A 9-iron is typically lofted between 40 to 42 degrees, so you can carry a pitching wedge with around 48-degree loft, and a sand wedge with around 56-degree loft.
  • For the average player, the three-wedge system is a common choice, where you still get the room for two fairway woods or hybrids. Here, you can carry a pitching wedge, a gap wedge, and a lob wedge. Make sure the gaps between these three wedges and the 9-iron is around 6-degree each or so. Make sure the gaps are even.
  • If you are struggling with half or three-quarter swings, you might want to opt for four wedges. As before, make sure the gaps between the wedges are even. For example. If your pitching wedge is 48-degree, your gap wedge should be 52-degree, your sand wedge at 56-degree, and finally the lob wedge at 60-degree.

What is the best wedge for beginners in 2021?

The C3i wedge is one of the best wedges especially for beginners in 2021. The wedge simplifies the game by offering a large, wide sole that cleanly moves through sand and rough to make clean contact on the golf ball.

The C3i wedge works best with a square stance, making it easy for the beginner to worry only about hitting the golf ball. The wedge comes in three different loft settings, allowing a beginner to get a full suite of C3i wedges for their bag.

What is the best wedge for high handicappers?

The Wilson Harmonized Black Chrome Wedge is one of the best wedges for high handicappers that we highly recommend. Offering a sleek forged look, the Wilson Harmonized is a low-priced wedge that any high handicapper can immediately add to their bag due to its versatility and ability to provide crisp contact from anywhere on the course.

The wedge offers a tall, rounded face with deep grooves that encourages high spin rates. Also, the wedge will grow with the golfer and adapt as they build their skill set.

What’s a wedge?

A wedge is a high-lofted club with a rounded head that makes it easy to use in rough and sand for easy lifting with high spin. Wedges are specially designed to work from short distances due to their high loft.

For example, a sand wedge routinely carries around 80-120 yards based upon the golfer’s swing speed. Wedges are built to create a tall arc with a soft landing that provides accuracy and distance control to the golfer.