It’s hard to argue that there is a more important group of clubs in your bag than the wedges you take to the course.
The best golf wedges on the market today all share similarities that make them a cut above the rest.
From offering high spin rates to providing exceptional feel and response, these collections of wedges can easily lower your scores.
In this review of the best golf wedges, we take a deep dive into a handful of short game clubs that offer golfers outstanding performance while providing serious value for your wallet.
Last updated on 2020-04-05. The links are affiliate links. Product images are served from Amazon Product Advertising API.
Table of Contents
- Featured Recommendations
- Best Golf Wedges
- Testing Protocol & Criteria Used For Evaluation
- Questions & Answers
Best Golf Wedges
Cleveland CBX Wedge
Best All-Around Wedge
The Cleveland CBX Wedge is our pick for the best all-around wedge as it seamlessly joins practical innovation with accessible game play for a wide range of golfers.
If you are looking to improve your short game with a jack-of-all-trades wedge, then the Cleveland CBX should be at the top of your consideration list.
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Cleveland RTX4 Wedge
Outstanding and Versatile Wedge Tailored for Mid Handicappers
The Cleveland RTX4 is one sophisticated wedge that delivers a professional level of performance in a smart package. Not only does the wedge creates jaw-dropping spin, but when it comes to control and feel, we haven’t come across many short game clubs that can top this one on the course.
With the Cleveland RTX4, we don’t think we’ve found a better game-improvement wedge for mid handicappers looking to make the leap to the single-digit category.
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Wilson Harmonized Golf Wedge
Best Budget Wedge for Beginning Golfers
The Wilson Harmonized line of wedges has long produced a very appealing experience for golfers who don’t play the game as often as they’d like but when they hit the course, they want clubs that won’t let them down.
If you believe in the old adage that “you get what you pay for,” the Wilson Harmonized Golf Wedge certainly can help stabilize your short game, but don’t go expecting it to transform your scores.
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Cobra King Black Wedge
Outstanding Budget Wedge for Low Handicappers
The Cobra King Wedge may not have the notoriety of a Cleveland or Callaway wedge, but once you get this club in your hands, you can’t help but respect the design and performance.
With a satin black finish that is a head-turner, the Cobra King Wedge has taken its rightful place atop the best wedges on the market.
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Solid Budget Wedge Best Suited for High Handicappers
Pinemeadow continues to find its niche as an equipment manufacturer for beginning and inexperienced golfers. The company knows that their clubs, like the Pinemeadow Wedge, won’t grab the attention of low to mid handicappers, but for a relatively low price, they offer a wedge that can be played with efficiency from anywhere on the course.
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Cleveland Smart Sole Wedge
Best Wedge for Mid Handicappers
If you’ve tested as many clubs as we’ve had then you’d appreciate the innovation and cleverness of the Cleveland Smart Sole Wedge. Made to help mid handicappers with their short game, the wedge is a bit more advanced than your random entry-level beginners club.
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Callaway Mack Daddy 5 JAWS Wedge
Exceptional Luxury Wedge for Low Handicappers
Callaway is an often overlooked wedge manufacturer, but the JAWS Mack Daddy 5 delivers exciting innovative design to the amateur for more spin, better feel, and outstanding control.
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TaylorMade MG2 Wedge
Exceptional High-Spin Wedge for Advanced Golfers
Featuring one of the sharpest designs that looks absolutely stunning with the sleek black finish, the TaylorMade MG2 Wedge is one of the best golf wedges, coming in a variety of bounce and loft options.
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Testing Protocol & Criteria Used For Evaluation
Criteria #1: Spin
If you are asking the question as to what makes the wedge so important, then the answer lies in how much spin the club produces on a variety of shots. From bunker play to full distance swings, the wedge is engineered to produce a high rate of spin to help the golf ball stop on the green with accuracy and precision.
Spin is generated by the quality of the grooves on the clubface. Over time, grooves can wear down and become dull, dropping the spin rate dramatically. One of the big reasons why professional golfers use new wedges for every tournament is because the grooves are sharp and produce maximum spin.
Criteria #2: Shot Height
Another area of importance with wedges is the height of the shot. The reason why golfers need to understand how high a wedge can put a shot into the air, revolves around the measurement of arc and how it plays a role in spin and softness of landing.
Some golfers like a moderate shot height because it allows them more control to play different shots around the green with a wide variety of spin. Other golfers like a very tall and spin heavy approach shot that offers them the flexibility to use larger areas of the green to shape their shots with plenty of rollback.
Criteria #3: Response
When you read about the response of a wedge in our review, we are discussing the feedback the club provides the golfer at impact. When the shot comes off the clubface, an experienced golfer understands immediately how well, or poorly, they hit the golf ball. Wedges that remain solid through impact and offer instant feedback provide confidence and dependability to the golfer.
Response differs from feel because the latter is about how the impression you get from the club from the moment you first hold it in your hands all the way to the follow through. Response is distinctly about the moment after impact and how the club reacts to your swing.
Criteria #4: Feel
When we discuss the feel of a wedge in our reviews, we are focused on the feedback of the club from the moment we address the golf ball through our finishing pose. A wedge must feel good in the golfer’s hands at all time for the individual to trust in the swings they are making for the specific shot they are facing.
A wedge with strong feel is attentive throughout the process, giving the golfer the impression that they are in control of their shot-making ability. For advanced golfers, this rule means finding a wedge with an overwhelming sense of playability. Beginning golfers, on the other hand, need wedges that offer repeatability and consistency as they their game matures.
Criteria #5: Construction
The construction of a wedge is also critical to the success of the club. Bad assembly and cheap materials are easy to spot from a mile away and for mid and low handicappers, the quality of their equipment can be the difference between shooting in the 70s and posting a day they’d rather forget.
Wedges need more attention than just about any club in the bag. For example, if the groove system is poor from the factory, then the golfer will have trouble generating the spin they need to control their shots on the links.
Finding wedges that are well-made and provide dependability to the golfer is incredibly important to carding personal-best scores.
Questions & Answers
What are the different types of wedges in golf?
Wedges are generally divided into four main types as follow:
Wedge Type #1: Pitching Wedge (PW)
The pitching Wedge is the most common type of wedge, and generally, every player will always carry one. As the name suggests, the pitching wedge is most commonly used for full shots into greens and longer chip shots. Pitching wedges are commonly, although not always, included in an iron set.
Pitching wedges are commonly 44-48 degrees in loft, although the current trend prefers lower lofted pitching wedge of 44-45 degrees to blend with longer-hitting irons.
Wedge Type #2: Gap Wedge (GW)
The Gap Wedge is used to fill the ‘gap’ between the pitching wedge and sand wedge. Gap wedges are also often called Utility Wedge (UW) or Attack Wedge (AW) and are usually lofted at 50 to 53 degrees.
Gap wedges are better suited for fuller shots, to bridge a distance gap or offer more variety especially near the greens.
Wedge Type #3: Sand Wedge (SW)
The sand wedge is originally designed to escape from sand straps and green side bunkers. The sand wedge has a relatively wider and heavier sole and comes in the range of 54 to 58 degrees in loft.
Before the lob wedge was invented, the sand wedge was the go-to club for chip shots and bunker shots, so using the sand wedge for those purposes is also viable if you don’t carry a lob wedge.
We’ve recently released an in-depth review of the best sand wedges, in case you decide to opt to buy a sand wedge.
Wedge Type #4: Lob Wedge (LW)
The newest wedge invented, and the highest lofted at around 60 to 64 degrees (and even more). So, the lob wedge is utilized to produce more height and spin, especially near the green. With that feature, the lob wedge is commonly used more for chips and flop shots rather than fuller shots.
What are the different wedge shot types?
There are many different types of wedge shots, however, in the end, it can boil down to just two broad groups:
Wedge Shot Type #1: Fuller Shots
The main principle for fuller shots is that it has a relatively low flight trajectory and the ball will run out a little after landing. Pitching wedges and gap wedges are better suited for this type. The aim with fuller shots is to get the ball closer to the hole, and that is a good thing to remember when practicing this shot.
Wedge Shot Type #2: Lob Shots
The lob shot, with a higher flight trajectory, lands closer to the pin and stops abruptly. The aim with this type of shot is trajectory, mainly to escape traps or tough lies. There are several different subtypes for lob shots like chip shots, flop shots, and bunker shots. However, the basic principle and mission are retained.
Mainly, the subtypes are simply tweaking the flight trajectory and distance to your needs. So, if you have a good command of the two techniques, you are basically good to go.
It is very important to learn the two different type of shots and commit some time to practicing with your wedges. The key for a good wedge game is versatility, and by having a good basis for the two different shots, you can make better judgments on the fly.
What loft angle should I pick?
To answer this question, we must first understand the principle behind the loft angle, which is commonly misunderstood. There are two simple principles we should understand:
- The bigger the loft number, the higher the angle
- The higher the loft angle, the shorter the distance, less roll, and more overall control
A common mistake is to assume that a higher loft angle equals higher flight. While it is true for most of the case, there are other factors to determine flight trajectory. However, the principle stays true that the higher the loft, the shorter the expected distance.
Here are the common loft angle options for the four different wedges:
- Pitching Wedge: 50 to 54 degrees
- Gap Wedge: 54 to 58 degrees
- Sand Wedge: 55 to 58 degrees
- Lob Wedge: 58 to 64 degrees
So, how should we choose the right loft angle? There are a few factors you should consider:
- Remember the first principle that the higher the loft, the shorter the distance and more control. Determine your playstyle and your needs based on this principle
- Another thing you should consider is to make the lofts balanced between your irons and wedges. Meaning, there shouldn’t be too big of a gap in your set. This way, you can have more versatility in all distances.
- You can only take 14 clubs at once. So, determine which wedge(s) you will need. If you only carry one or two, you must go back to the previous consideration that there shouldn’t be any distance gap in your set
- With different brands and models, there are other factors and features that can determine distance, control, and height. You might want to adjust the loft angle depending on those other features.
By holding to those sets of principles discussed above, you can easily determine the right lofts for your wedges, depending on your needs and playstyle.
What grind should I pick?
Let us discuss the basic principles behind the sole grind. First, what actually is a sole grind?
In its essence, the sole grind is the additional shaping of the wedge’s sole, usually around the toe or the heel, or sometimes both.
The term ‘grind’ comes from the fact that manufacturers machine-grind the soles to suit specific needs, whether turf conditions or specific shots.
So, how will it affect your game? Here are the basic principles:
- A heel grind will remove material from the heel of the sole. As a result, the face will sit lower to the ground. This way, you can have an easier time opening the face at address. This is often called the low bounce since when the face is opened, the bounce doesn’t increase by much.
- On the other hand, a toe grind will make the club face looks closer to the ball. This is called the high bounce, since the bounce is dramatically increased when you open the face.
There are many variations of different grinds from different manufacturers. In fact, grinds can get so unique it can be patented. By understanding the two basic principles above, you can make a better judgment of choosing the right grind.
You might want to check this explanation for Bob Vokey’s grind designs for a better picture of grind variations.
Chrome or raw finish: which is best and why?
Let’s first address the elephant in the room: whether it’s chrome or raw finish, it is purely visual, and it won’t affect feel, sound, and your game in a direct, significant way.
A common misconception is that the chrome finish, due to thicker coating, will affect the sound and feedback. This isn’t the case nowadays due to the advanced coating technology.
So, choosing between any of them will mostly be based on visual preferences. However, is there any advantage of one over the other? There is.
The wedges are the workhorse clubs in your bag. They will scratch against thick turfs, they will dig the ground often, and ultimately, the finish will wear off faster than your other clubs.
The chrome finish is designed with this thing in mind, and the thick, hard coating will help combat the wedge’s workload. As a result, chrome-finished wedges are generally more durable in the long run.
So, if you appreciate the shiny look of your clubs, the chrome finish is definitely a better choice.
You should always remember to consider the overall finish quality. Some manufacturers have very durable raw finishes, and some manufacturers have cheap chrome finishes. So, when possible, check before buying.
Should I opt for a low, mid or high bounce?
Let’s take a quick look at the concept behind ‘bounce’. Bounce is the area of the wedge that hits the ground, hence ‘bouncing’ the club through the surface during impact with the ball.
The bounce angle, then, is the angle between the leading edge of the sole area that meets the ground.
So, how should you choose the right bounce angle? Let us take a look at the three different options, and how they will suit a specific condition or playstyle:
Option #1: Low Bounce Wedges
Wedges with 4 to 6 degrees of bounce angle are considered ‘low bounce’. The low bounce wedges are better suited for players with a tendency to sweep the ball, and generally will perform better in firmer turfs, including bunkers with coarse or little sand.
Option #2: Mid Bounce Wedges
For wedges to be considered ‘mid bounce’, the bounce angle is generally between 7 to 10 degrees. For those who want versatility, mid bounce wedges are generally a safe choice and are suited for a wide range of swing types and turf conditions.
Option #3: High Bounce Wedges
Any wedges with bounce angle above 10 degrees can be considered ‘high bounce’. Meaning, the leading edge sits significantly higher when the face is opened to address the ball. High bounce wedges will help players who dig at impact with the tendency of making deep pivots and stances. High bounce wedges also work well in softer conditions and bunkers with deep sands.