Best Overall: xE1 Sand & Lob Wedge
“With three 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 a 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.”
The wedge is an essential club for golfers who are starting.
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 2022.
Last updated on 2022-09-27. The links are affiliate links. Product images are served from Amazon Product Advertising API.
Table of Contents
- The Rundown:
- Featured Recommendations
- Best Wedges for High Handicappers and Beginners
- Types of Golf Wedges
- Wedge Basics
- Questions & Answers
Best Wedges for High Handicappers and Beginners
- Best Overall: xE1 Sand & Lob Wedge
- Best Gap Wedge: Pinemeadow Wedge
- Alternative Option: C3i Wedge
- Most Dependable: Pinemeadow Pre Wedge
- Most Versatile: Wilson Harmonized Black Chrome Wedge
- Best High Spin Wedge for High Handicappers: Lazrus Forged Wedge
- Best Forgiveness Option: Cleveland Smart Sole 4.0
- Best Distance Option: Cleveland CBX 2 Wedge
- Most Consistent Contact Option: Square Strike Wedge
- Best Full Swing Option: TaylorMade MG1 Chrome Wedge
xE1 Sand & Lob Golf Wedge
Best Overall: Best Wide Sole Wedge for High Handicappers and Beginners
- 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 the sand
- Eliminates fat chips and chunked shots with AutoGilde sole that moves smoothly through the 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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Pinemeadow Golf Wedge
Best Gap Wedge: Most Affordable Wedges for High Handicappers and Beginners
- Very affordable, straight-forward gap wedge that works well from moderate length
- Large sweet spot with a wide, accommodating face for better forgiveness and control
- Moderate spin rates help stick the ball on the green from lengths outside 50 yards
The Pinemeadow Wedge is another of the best wedges for high handicappers today. It provides a nice alternative to more expensive gap wedges. For the high handicapper looking for a controllable flight with moderate spin, the wedge is a solid 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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C3i Golf Wedge
Alternative Golf Wedges: Best Wedges for Sand and Rough
- Wide sole smoothly moves through sand and rough for crisp, clean contact with high spin
- Played best with a square stance, ideal for high handicappers looking to improve fundamentals
- Three loft options provide a 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.
The C3i Wedge does well in the bunker by lifting 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 a clean impact on 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.
Here’s our in-depth review: C3i Wedge Review: Should You Buy It?
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Pinemeadow Pre Golf Wedge
Most Dependable Golf Wedges: Low-Priced Wedge for High Handicappers
- Stainless steel finish gives the wedge a classic look that blends well with the 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 it 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. Whether you find your ball in the rough or sand, the Pre Wedge’s wide sole produces a square face at impact.
At a low price, the Pinemeadow Pre Wedges trio of degree lofts provides a simple way to round out your short game clubs.
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Wilson Harmonized Black Chrome Golf Wedge
Most Versatile Golf Wedges
- Specially designed sole grind improves turf interaction and quality of contact from any lie
- Anti-glare finish provides a clean look and appearance that works well with other irons
- Available in 52, 56, and 60 degrees for a complete suite of wedges for less than the 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 excellent 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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Lazrus Forged Golf Wedge
Best High Spin Golf Wedges for High Handicaps
- 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 many 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 loft options; 52, 56, and 60 degrees. Each different loft option provides unique benefits to the golfer’s short game.
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Cleveland Smart Sole 4.0 Golf Wedge
Best Forgiveness Golf Wedges
- Wide sole with explosive turf interaction
- Easy lift with a 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 create high-grade correction on off-center strikes. Golfers can also take advantage of the large sweet spot to power the ball confidently toward the target.
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Cleveland CBX 2 Golf Wedge
Best Distance Golf Wedges
- 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.
The first thing you’ll notice with the CBX 2 is the club’s weight at the address. The wedge isn’t too heavy or light but 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 amazing shots.
Here’s our full review: Cleveland CBX 2 Wedge Review
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Square Strike Golf Wedge
Most Consistent Contact Golf Wedges
- 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.
Here’s our full review: Square Strike Wedge Review (Should You Buy It?)
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TaylorMade MG1 Chrome Golf Wedge
Best Full Swing Golf Wedges
- 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 with the rounded leading edge to boost turf interaction to rarely seen heights along with consistently dynamic performance.
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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 distances, the 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, are designed to fill the loft ‘gap’ between the pitching wedge and the sand wedge.
Sometimes, a gap wedge is also called a 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 by a wider, heavier sole.
Lob Wedge (LW)
The lob wedge is the newest addition to the wedge family, ‘only’ being introduced in the 1930s.
Before the lob wedge was invented, the sand wedge was the highest lofted wedge available.
This was invented to produce more height and spin, especially for shots near the green.
For that purpose, this has a 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 are more used for chips, bunker shot, and flops.
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.
Several design elements are involved in this part of the club: the width of the sole, the 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 difference in bounce angle is a design choice to prevent a wedge from digging into the turf (or worse, sand), which will stop the momentum of the club head, thus slowing the impact.
The lower the bounce angle, the less sole width we’ll have, affecting forgiveness and vice versa.
There are three main categories of bounce angle:
We can categorize a wedge as having a 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).
Wedges with low bounce are generally preferable for courses with firmer surfaces and coarse sand in bunkers.
Mid or Standard
Wedges with 7 to 10 degrees of loft angle belong to this category.
These wedges are generally versatile and can fit various swing types and course conditions.
If the wedge has more than 10 degrees of bounce angle, we can consider it 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 generally a better choice for courses with soft surfaces or when the bunkers have soft sand.
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 offer a different range of grinds in addition to their standard wedge sole.
For example, Callaway offers C, U, and S grind options with their Mack Daddy wedges.
On the other hand, Titleist offers 5 different grinds (M, S, F, K, L) with their SM6 wedges.
So, with different manufacturers offering many other 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 sole heel, the face can sit much lower to the ground because of the removed heel part.
This makes it easier to open the face at the address.
A grind in the middle section between the heel and toe adds bounce to the sole, helping players with the tendency to dig at impact.
On the other hand, a grind at the toe section allows an easier time to close the face at address.
The ‘S’ grind stands for standard, resembling a standard wedge sole.
On the other hand, the ‘U’ grind has a grind in the middle section to add bounce.
While wedge finish is mostly about looks, other areas can be affected by different finish options. For example, the sun will glare with some finishes more than others. Some finish 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:
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 very subtle.
Also, a raw finish won’t glare with the sun and generally won’t scratch or rust as much as other finishes.
Matte finish, 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, the matte finish is generally thicker than the chrome finish and so will ‘damp’ the feel and response of the club.
Chrome finishes will glare under the sun but generally offer a more responsive feel than matte.
Some wedges are offered in unique finishes. For example, the Titleist 200 is offered in ‘Oil Can’ finish, designed to rust more to add spin.
Cavity back wedges are similar to cavity back irons in that it has multiple pieces that construct 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 and 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, otherwise known as forged iron, are made from one piece of material, such as steel. Advanced players use blade irons for more workability and control their game from the fairway. Wedges with blade construction offer a compact hitting area that provides ultimate control over the golfer’s shotmaking.
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 a high launch with variable spin rates. Whether the golfer uses a wedge on a full or half swing, the loft allows the golf 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 get the ball into the air repeatedly is they give them high loft clubs that make obtaining launch and carry much easier.
Wedges have wide soles that offer terrific turf interaction, and the club’s leading edge 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 they should expand the number of wedges in their golf 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 is always difficult.
Most golfers, including pros, carry 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 deciding solely based on your wedge play.
Yet, to get the most out 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 better to lose a wedge and add a fairway wood.
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. This method 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 that you can carry a pitching wedge with around 48-degree loft and a sand wedge with around 56-degree loft.
- The three-wedge system is a common choice for the average player, where you still get 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 are around 6 degrees each or so. Make sure the gaps are even.
- If you struggle with half- or three-quarter swings, you might 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 2022?
The C3i wedge is one of the best wedges, especially for beginners in 2022. The wedge simplifies the game by offering a large, wide sole that cleanly moves through sand and rough to make clean contact with 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 golf 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 gives the golfer accuracy and distance control.