Best Wedge for High Handicappers: C3i Wedge
“Need a wedge you can trust? The C3i wedge is perfect for beginning golfers and high handicappers with its unique design, wide sole, and deep rough.”
Best Alternative: Cleveland RTX 4 Wedge
“If you want the C3i wedge but you’re a mid handicapper, you might want the Cleveland RTX 4 Wedge. It features Rotex Face Technology, 4 different sole grinds, more compact profile, and a lower center of gravity.”
You may have been introduced to the C3i wedge via commercials during golf tournaments or, perhaps, over a long infomercial late at night on your favorite golf network.
With that introduction, you may be saying to yourself that the C3i wedge is a gimmick or somehow a lesser club not worth your attention, but as you’ll see in our review, if you are a high handicapper or beginning golfer, you’d be making a big mistake.
- Unique looking wedge that is incredibly fun to hit with wide sole that can move through sand and deep rough with simplicity
- Ideal wedge for beginning golfers and high handicappers that need a wedge they can trust from anywhere off the green
- Golfers can play the C3i wedge with a square stance, making it more accessible than more advanced wedges
Last updated on 2021-02-24. The links are affiliate links. Product images are served from Amazon Product Advertising API.
Table of Contents
- The Rundown:
- Alternatives to C3i Wedge
- Technical Specifications
- Things to consider before buying the C3i Wedge
- Features & Benefits
- Key Feature #1: AutoGlide Xtreme Sole for Easy Contact
- Key Feature #2: Optimized Center of Gravity for Extra Lift
- Key Feature #3: Polymer Insert on Face
- Key Feature #4: Classic Shape for More Confidence at Address
- Key Feature #5: Clear Alignment Guide on Face
- Key Feature #6: Exceptional Feel at Impact
- Key Feature #7: Golfer Can Attack With C3i Wedge
- Key Feature #8: High Spin with Tight Grooves for More Control
- Key Feature #9: Increased Distance For High Handicappers
- Key Feature #10: Higher Shot Arc for Softer Finish
- Key Feature #1: AutoGlide Xtreme Sole for Easy Contact
- Questions & Answers
C3i Wedge Review
Best Wedge for a High Handicapper
The C3i wedge is one of the more unique short game clubs you’ll ever encounter. With a wide sole that provides balance that slices through sand and deep rough to provide solid contact on every swing, the C3i wedge is a high performer that has the potential to transform your short game.
Alternatives to C3i Wedge
Cleveland RTX 4 Wedge
Best Wedge for Mid Handicappers
The Cleveland RTX 4 wedge is one of the company’s most advanced short game clubs coming in four sole grinds with tens of bounce and loft options for hundreds of possibilities for the golfer. Everything you’d expect from a Cleveland wedge is here; exceptional spin, superb feel and terrific response.
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Callaway Chrome Mack Daddy 4
Incredible Wedge for Low Handicappers
The Callaway Mack Daddy 4 wedge may have one of the oddest names of a golf club you’ve ever seen but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth your time. The Mack Daddy 4 is a wedge for low handicappers looking to take their short game to the next level. The care that has been put into this wedge is evident from the first moment you place it in your hands. Balanced, well-made and an absolute beast from the fairway, the Mack Daddy 4 is one heck of a wedge.
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Wide Sole for Smooth Impact
The reason that the C3i performs well for beginning golfers is due to the wide sole that glides along the surface to provide exceptional contact. Whether you are sitting in sand, deep rough or from the fairway, the C3i can be played with a square stance, making it a no-frills short game club that delivers crisp contact with every swing.
Optimized Center of Gravity
The C3i wedge has a lower center of gravity than most wedges because its ultimate goal is to help the golfer get the ball into the air with spin for more control and better accuracy. Advanced wedges rely on a golfer’s skill set to create the shot that’s best for them, but the C3i is a club that allows struggling golfers to receive success even if their fundamentals aren’t up to snuff quite yet.
Sandblasted Face for Better Alignment
One of the best features of the wedge is the sandblasted face that helps produce high rates of spin on the golf ball as well as giving the golfer a nice contrast to the golf ball for better alignment. A big reason why golfers love the C3i is because they can use a square stance when addressing the golf ball rather than having to open their feet and play a more advanced style of shot. The sandblasted face allows them to perfectly align themselves to the target line.
Things to consider before buying the C3i Wedge
Putting Together the Right Combination of Wedges for Your Bag
Finding the right combination of wedges for your bag is a time consuming task, but ultimately worthwhile, because you’ll craft the shotmaking you want for your game. Whether you are an advanced golfer or a beginner just trying to understand how to swing, good equipment can cure a lot of problems. But first you need to understand what you are looking for, especially when it comes to wedges.
Finding the right wedge can be incredibly confusing when you start your research. Terms like sole grinds, bounce and loft can really muddy the waters of understanding if you aren’t sure about what is important for your skill level.
A great place to begin when educating yourself about wedges is starting with how loft affects your shots. Beginning around 46-degrees and concluding around 64-degrees, the discrepancy between the loft in wedges can greatly affect distance and height of shots.
Having a good grasp of what your yardage is with each club in this range is a good indicator of what wedges you’ll ultimately choose because you’ll need to cover a yardage range of 15 through 125 yards on the course for a beginning golfer.
Understanding How Grooves Affect Spin
The grooves on a wedge are ultimately the most important part of the club because determine, in concert with swing speed, how much spin is imparted onto the golf ball. Spin can determine how high a shot goes, how soft it lands on the green and if it spins back after landing.
Simply put, spin means control and for advanced golfers, the amount of spin a wedge can generate is undoubtedly the number one reason why a certain wedge will find its way into the bag.
When determining if a wedge is right for your game and worth your money, it is best to analyze the grooves on the face. Companies like Titleist, Cleveland and Callaway are known for their groove milling and have gone to great expense to create machinery that crafts razor sharp grooves that grip into the surface of the golf ball to deliver incredibly high rates of spin.
If you don’t think the quality of grooves are important, realize that it is not uncommon for professional golfers to play with new wedges at each tournament in an effort to keep their equipment as high performing as possible. Now, while switching wedges each week may not be feasible for an amateur golfer, it is wise to understand how important keeping sharp grooves is to your short game.
Why Bounce Affects Quality of Impact
One of the cloudiest and more confusing numbers thrown at amateurs when researching wedges is the bounce. The bounce rating of a wedge is incredibly important because it is an indicator of how wide the sole of the club is and how the club will impact the turf around the golf ball.
One of the leading manufacturers of wedges, Vokey, defines bounce as:
“the angle created between the leading edge and the lowest point of the sole or trailing edge. This is the area of the club that hits through the ground as it contacts the ball. The greater the wedge bounce degree, the higher the leading edge is off the surface at address.”
You can expect to see high bounce wedges feature wider soles that assist the golfer when they need to slice through the really tough parts of the golf course. Deep sand, gnarly rough and hardpan surfaces all require specific wedges to ensure quality contact and prevent the twisting that can close the club face resulting in a nasty hook or slice.
As golfers can more experience, they tend to find the perfect combination of grind type and bounce rating for their wedges. As stated before, it is a time consuming process, but once you understand how bounce affects wedge play, you’ll be ready to attack the course in new and exciting ways.
Features & Benefits
Key Feature #1: AutoGlide Xtreme Sole for Easy Contact
So much has been said about the C3i’s AutoGlide Xtreme Sole but it is worth noting that this feature is really why so many people love this wedge. The wide base allows the club to move smoothly through the golf ball, regardless of the condition. Much has been made about how well the C3i moves through sand and rough, but from the fairway, the wedge can dial-in a high and soft shot with plenty of backspin and total control.
The sole also boosts distance because the contact is so much crisper than a standard wedge. Rather than watching too many shots find the toe of the club resulting in weaker shots, the C3i boasts a wide sweet spot for more forgiveness and distance that rivals the best wedges on the market from household name manufacturers.
Key Feature #2: Optimized Center of Gravity for Extra Lift
The center of gravity on the C3i has been lowered and moved deeper in the wedge for higher launch angle at impact. The result is a club that provides the golfer with a more pleasing shot arc that produces spin and distance. During our testing, golfers were raving about how focused the club is considering it is primarily made to help beginners get out of trouble.
On the company’s website, they claim that the C3i wedge boosts “spin by up to 55% over the top-selling conventional wedges,” and while we can’t independently verify that statistic, we can vouch that the club creates a shot shape that is high, soft and with plenty of bite on the greens.
Key Feature #3: Polymer Insert on Face
The polymer insert on the face of the C3i provides solid feel and ridiculously good spin. One of the most forgiving wedges we’ve tested in recent memory, the C3i owes a great deal of its success to how well the polymer insert interacts with the golf ball. Not only does the wedge create jaw-dropping spin, but it also delivers unreal distance. Two qualities that make the wedge one that beginning golfers should definitely consider when finding wedges to put in their bag.
Another reason why the C3i features the polymer insert is because the company wanted to create a club that performed like wedges that cost twice as much while delivering the same feel and response you’d expect from those high-profile clubs. Instead, the C3i is incredibly affordable and provides the same results you’d hope for from a wedge of the more name-brand caliber.
Key Feature #4: Classic Shape for More Confidence at Address
The shape of the C3i might look strange at first glance, but once you get over the top of the wedge at address, you’ll notice that there is no difference from any other club you own. The magic of the C3i is what lies underneath the face as the uniquely designed sole is the primary reason why the club performs so beautifully around the greens.
Our testers really appreciate the sleek black look of the club with the white and red trim. Although advanced golfers may resist giving the club a chance due to its prominent informercial that runs often on late night television, the C3i wedge shouldn’t be penalized because it is one heck of a club.
Key Feature #5: Clear Alignment Guide on Face
The sandblasted hitting area on the C3i not only provides a wide sweet spot for long distance and high spin but also allows the golfer a chance to find the perfect alignment on each shot. The bottom groove of the club has been painted white, allowing the golfer to squarely align the club face to the golf ball.
This feature then allows the golfer to adjust their stance so that it mimics the symmetry provided by the wedge’s face. In the end, the player finds more accuracy as they hit along the target line more often.
Especially since the club can be hit with a square stance, the alignment is crucial to getting the most out of the C3i wedge. However you choose to play the wedge, the club comes equipped with a cool little perk for opening the door to a more fundamental approach to hitting short game shots.
Key Feature #6: Exceptional Feel at Impact
One of the biggest areas that impressed our testers was not only how long the C3i wedge played but also how it felt at impact. Several of our golfers believed that the wedge supplied the response of clubs you’d routinely find in the bags of golfers that play on television.
Yes, the C3i wedge has a funky look and is played preferably with a square stance, but that doesn’t mean it can’t perform as well as those other name-brand short game clubs. One of the biggest reasons why this wedge works so well is because of the response you receive at impact and how that can greatly affect your confidence moving forward with the club.
Solidly-built, the C3i wedge provides a great deal of support to any level of golfers wanting more feel from the clubs they use around the green.
Key Feature #7: Golfer Can Attack With C3i Wedge
One of the biggest differences between high handicappers and advanced golfers is the way they attack the golf course. Now, I know what you are saying; that good golfers have so much more skill than inexperienced players. And, as a result, can do things that those lesser golfers couldn’t ever dream of doing. All of that is true, but golfers become better when they take chances on the course.
For high handicappers, clubs like the C3i wedge allow them to be more aggressive and to attack the course in different ways. Yes, there may be an introductory period where things don’t go well, but over time, having clubs like this wedge, that instill confidence in the golfer, can be the gateway to lowering scores and taking that next step in their game.
Key Feature #8: High Spin with Tight Grooves for More Control
The groove structure of the C3i might not have the pizazz as some of the more boastful and well-regarded wedges you’ll find in golfing magazines, but that doesn’t mean it is lacking in performance. The spin rate of golf balls coming off the C3i is incredibly high, affording the golfer the ability to take risks on the course and shoot for the cup with the reliable high launch angle the wedge provides.
What every golfer desires when playing golf is to be in control. A huge part of that comes from the fundamental approach a golfer brings, but another huge factor is the equipment they play. The C3i wedge is a fine piece of golfing equipment that promotes a high spin rate for more accuracy and control for any short game.
Key Feature #9: Increased Distance For High Handicappers
Although it may seem strange to promote distance in a wedge, the C3i wedge can give the golfer more options with their clubs as it lengthens what a golfer can do on the course. For example, let’s say that you typically hit your 56 degree wedge, 100 yards, but with the 55 degree C3i wedge, you hit the ball 110 yards.
The ten yard difference gives the golfer more coverage, allowing them to be creative with their club choice, especially in tournament play where the C3i is legal by USGA regulations.
Key Feature #10: Higher Shot Arc for Softer Finish
The C3i wedge provides a repeatable shot arc that is high and soft, allowing the golfer to be more assertive around the greens. If a golfer has confidence in a club and knows that it will provide a shot shape they can count upon in any situation, then they can create a shot that will attack the hole and give them the best chance to post a low score.
Clubs like the C3i wedge work so well because of their dependability in any situation. If you need a clean shot out of deep rough with spin to avoid a long par putt, the C3i wedge can be counted upon to provide that specific shot. Even if you discount this club due to its design or look, the one thing that cannot be denied is that the C3i is a high performer generating shots that will dazzle and lower your score.
Questions & Answers
What level of golfer would benefit the most from the C3i Wedge?
Beginning golfers and high handicappers benefit most from the C3i wedge because of how it is constructed and due to the face that it is far easier to hit than most advanced wedges. The appeal of the C3i wedge is that it can be played no different than a 9-iron, as golfers can use a square stance that allows the amateur to take a similar swing for a more consistent across-the-board game.
Advanced golfers, specifically low handicappers, will probably resist giving the C3i a chance because it doesn’t offer the control and playability of more advanced wedges, but they’d be missing out on the help it provides if they are interested in adding a lob wedge, or 64 degree club.
The C3i wedge provides a high ball flight that promotes a soft landing with spin for shot-stopping control making it ideal for the beginning golfer working hard to find their game.
What are the loft options for the C3i Wedge?
The C3i comes in three loft options, with each setting providing high spin and launch angle. The wedge is offered in a sand wedge-like 55 degree option and two lob wedge-like choices in a 59 and 65 degree model. All three wedges comes with 12 degrees of bounce due to the wide sole on the club.
One of the big reasons why the C3i comes in higher loft options is because the company has crafted the wedge to be simple to hit from any area on the course for golfers of any skill level. The wedge is accessible for all skill levels, primarily due to shape and style.
For golfers struggling to hit wedges with an open stance, the C3i eliminates so much of the learning curve by providing a club that can be used with a square stance, the same stance that golfers use on all shots from tee box to fairway.
How would the C3i benefit the beginning golfer?
Although it may be obvious, it bears repeating that to post low scores you must own a proficient short game that does not waste strokes around the green. One of the areas that beginning golfers need the most help with is finding the right set of wedges to continue to keep their scores low. For many amateurs, their clubs come from a set in a box, and while that certainly provides a low cost way to enjoy this game, it definitely leaves much to be desired when it comes to the short game.
Finding wedges that are specific for the style of golf you are playing at that time is essential to helping you craft the short game that works best for your development. Where the C3i wedge excels is that it is easy to hit and the club provides incredible accuracy for closer putts.
A beginning golfer would be well served by the C3i wedge based on our testing and how the club enhances the game play of weekend warriors who need assistance around the greens.
How does the wide sole of the C3i help you in the sand and rough?
One of the biggest questions about the C3i wedge is how does it work so well, regardless of condition? Whether it be from hard packed sand, soft sand, or deeper rough that can pull a wedge closed, the C3i seems to handle each potentially treacherous condition with effortlessness. The secret lies in the club’s design that is highlighted by the wide sole that glides through the worst conditions a course can throw at you.
The C3i wedge features an extra curve and beveled edge that reduces the interaction with the turf for cleaner and crisper contact, even when you find yourself hitting slightly behind the golf ball. To have this forgiveness with the impact zone, makes the C3i one of the simplest wedges we’ve ever hit here at Golf Influence.
The high bounce wedge really takes the guesswork out of bunker play, something that is crucial for high handicappers looking to refine their skills and become an overall better golfer.
Can the C3i Wedge be played with an open stance?
Yes, if you still prefer an open stance when hitting the ball from the bunker, the C3i wedge can certainly adapt to your style, but be forewarned, it performs better with a square stance that most high handicappers can utilize for better contact.
The reason that low handicappers like to hit with an open stance is because it allows them more control over their shot. From imparting more spin onto the golf ball to adjusting how high they’d like the ball to leave the bunker or rough, an open stance can allow a golfer more access to create the shot they want.
Using a square stance from the bunker or rough is advantageous for a beginning golfer because they can focus on creating a fundamental approach to every swing they take rather than worrying about getting cute with different shots.
The C3i is an innovative, yet simple-to-use wedge that is primarily made to help the high handicapper effortlessly get the ball from tough areas such as sand and deeper rough. With most advanced wedges you need to use an open stance to get under the ball with an open club face, but the C3i is made for the golfer to hit with an even stance.
Considering how simple it is to get the ball into the air with the C3i, this makes the wedge an almost essential club for the high handicapper or beginning golfer who is at the end of their rope when it comes to finding a consistent short game.
Featuring an extremely wide sole, the C3i may not look like a wedge typically made from top manufacturers such as Callaway, Titleist or Cleveland, but for the golfer who needs the most help, they’ll swear it performs every bit as good as those high-profile models.