The 10 Best Golf Wedges of 2021

The top sets of short game clubs for every skill level

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The Rundown

Best Overall: Callaway Jaws MD5 Wedge at Dick's Sporting Goods

"True to their name, the Callaway MD5 Jaws wedges chomp into greens with a toothy spin for maximum control."

Best for Mid Handicaps: Ping Glide 3.0 at Dick's Sporting Goods

"The model features a cavity design coupled with perimeter weighting, which beefs up forgiveness."

Best for High Handicaps: Callaway Mack Daddy CB Wedge at Dick's Sporting Goods

"It gives players epic forgiveness thanks to a deep cavity back, slightly larger head, and thicker top line."

Best for Low Handicaps: Titleist Vokey Design SM8 at Dick's Sporting Goods

"This comes in four finishes and 23 bounce-loft combos, so players can maximize their short game versatility."

Best for Aspiring Pros: TaylorMade MG TW Grind at Dick's Sporting Goods

"The TW Grind generates enough backspin on approach shots to rip it back, just like Tiger."

Best for Maximum Forgiveness: Cleveland Smart Sole 4 at Dick's Sporting Goods

"The Smart Sole features extra bounce on the leading edges and super wide soles on all three models."

Best for Women: PXG Forged at PXG

"The PXG provides excellent feel, while tungsten weighting both adds MOI and makes playing open-face shots a little easier."

Best for Kids: US Kids Golf at Budget Golf

"This comes in 10 lengths depending on your child’s height."

Best Budget: Wilson Harmonized Golf Wedges at Wilson

"You could buy four or even all five of these wedges for the price of a single stick from another line."

Best for High Rough: Miura K-Grind 2.0 at Miura Golf

"This is a wedge designed to prevent the face from twisting in the long grass, helping keep shots from the deep rough on line."

Sure, it’s cool to drop bombs off the tee, but a player’s short game ability is more crucial to shooting a low score than the long ball. Most shots during a round come from 150 yards and shorter, and that makes wedges among the most important clubs in the golf bag. 

Often called the "scoring clubs," because golfers typically hit the ball closer to the hole with their short irons, wedges are also engineered and built for recovery. If a shot misses the green, chances are the player will want to use a wedge to recover. There’s an old golf axiom: three bad shots and one good one still make a par.

So players need a wedge set that is versatile, good not just for full shots but also for pitches, bunker shots, and delicate chips. Some high handicappers might require the forgiveness of cavity backs built into their short clubs, while more experienced players may want the precision and feel of solid forged heads. But for all golfers, the right combination of loft and bounce in the short clubs is crucial to finding the right set.

There are a couple of things to consider, according to Matt Henderson, director of instruction at TPC Las Vegas. “First, if a player is steeper, we go with more bounce, and if a player is shallow, less bounce.” Adding bounce to the sole of a wedge keeps the leading edge from digging too much into the ground. 

Scott Wilson, director of golf at Florida’s Streamsong resort, reminds players to consider choosing a wedge bounce based on where they typically play their rounds. “It depends on your home course turf and sand,” he said. “For dry, firm turf, less bounce; same for firm sand.  Softer, wet conditions would warrant more bounce.”

The next factor to work into wedge choice is loft. “Loft depends on your liking, how high you wish the ball to fly,” Wilson said. “But every golfer will de-loft or increase loft in their own swing. So two golfers may hit a 56-degree wedge 80 or 100 yards depending on their individual style of swing.” 

Of course, players also need to think about the pitching wedge in their iron set as a point of departure when figuring out how to deploy the gap, sand, and lob wedges. “When looking at loft structure, I base this off where the pitching wedge ends,” Henderson says. “Now a lot of manufacturers are in the mid 40s and some irons are even in the 44-degree range, so my recommendation is to take the next loft off of that.”

Figuring out the wedge makeup also depends on how far players typically hit the ball, which is a good argument for a custom fitting as every player and golf swing are different. Which lofts to choose “depends on how many yards in between wedges,” Wilson says. “For example, if a player carries a pitching wedge, gap wedge, sand wedge, lob wedge—not everyone has four wedges, but the standard is 4 to 5 degrees of loft to maintain an 8 to 10 yard gap between each club.”

So, if you’re ready to refresh or upgrade your current wedge set, here are our favorite models for 2021.

Best Overall: Callaway Jaws MD5 Wedge

Callaway Jaws MD5 Wedge

 Courtesy of Dick's Sporting Goods

Bite. Bite. Bite. True to their namesake, the Callaway MD5 Jaws wedges chomp into greens with a toothy spin for maximum control. Groove-in-groove technology with sharper radiuses deployed along the face help the ball check and grab, even on less than perfect contact. The brand offers the series in 23 different bounce and loft combinations, so players can choose a wedge set makeup that provides solutions to their short game needs.

Note: Callaway provided the TripSavvy commerce team with a sample of the MD5 Wedges for review.

Best for Mid Handicaps: Ping Glide 3.0

Ping Glide 3.0 Wedge

Courtesy of Dick's Sporting Goods 

Soft feel, check. Ample forgiveness, check. Tons of spin, check. The Ping Glide 3.0 wedges, which come in 17 different bounce and loft combos, are a great fit for players who don’t hit the sweet spot every time. While they look like “better players’ clubs” at address, the wedges feature a cavity design coupled with perimeter weighting, adding MOI, which beefs up forgiveness. The technology also moves the center of gravity higher on the club face for lower, launching shots that spin.

Best for High Handicaps: Callaway Mack Daddy CB Wedge

Callaway Mack Daddy CB Wedge

Courtesy of Dick's Sporting Goods

Duffers, this one's for you. The Callaway Mack Daddy wedges give players epic forgiveness thanks to a deep cavity back, slightly larger head, and thicker top line. They come with two sole grind options: a full sole in the lower lofts for plays more similar to full irons, and the modified W Grind in mid and higher lofts to enhances bounce for more forgiveness.

The Mack Daddy also features the same JAWS grooves offered in the MD5 wedges for added spin.

Best for Low-Handicaps: Titleist Vokey Design SM8

Titleist Vokey Design SM8 Custom Wedge

Courtesy of Golf Galaxy

For wedge players with a substantial skill set, Titleist Vokey Design SM8 wedges offer the ability to hit a near infinite number of short game shots. First, the folks at Titleist moved the weight toward the front of the wedge face, which creates a balance point that wants to square every time. The result is improved distance and trajectory control on full shots. Second, the line comes in four finishes and 23 bounce-loft combos so players can maximize their short game versatility. The brand "spin mills" their grooves to enhance bite and durability and then adds micro-grooves, which are individually cut in between grooves, to help balls check up on partial shots. 

Note: Titleist provided the TripSavvy commerce team with a sample of the SM8 Wedges for review.

Best for Aspiring Pros: TaylorMade MG TW Grind

TaylorMade Milled Grind 2 TW Custom Wedge

Courtesy of Dick's Sporting Goods

These wedges were designed in part by Tiger Woods. So they aren’t for everyone. But for shotmakers who want to use their wedges creatively, the 56-degree wedge features a dual sole while the 60-degree has beefy bounce on the leading edge, with a shaved heel for flipping epic flop shots and a refined leading edge for better interaction on tight lies. The design on the raw face uses sharp, narrow, deep grooves in the face, paired with laser etching to generate enough backspin on approach shots to rip it back, just like Tiger.

Best for Maximum Forgiveness: Cleveland Smart Sole 4

Cleveland Smart Sole 4 Wedge

Courtesy of Golf Galaxy

For golfers new to the game or those who truly struggle around the greens, the Cleveland Smart Sole series of wedges makes an intelligent choice. The brand not only deploys a massive cavity back throughout the line but also adds extra bounce on the leading edges and super wide soles on all three models: 34 millimeters on the gap wedge, 35 millimeters on the chipper, and a staggering 38 millimeters on the sand wedge, making them incredibly hard to chunk. CNC Milled grooves on the face help shots stop quickly on the greens. So, whether you’re hitting an approach from the fairway, facing a short pitch, or needing to escape a green side bunker, the Smart Sole wedges make short shots a little easier.

Best for Women: PXG Forged

PXG Forged

Courtesy of PXG

All players should find the best wedges for their game based on their skill level and short game needs, not gender. But because women are typically shorter and most high-quality options come stock in longer shafts and stiffer flexes, a custom fitting is a near imperative for ladies keen on honing their on-course skills. For a modest extra $50 fee, PXG offers a custom professional fit for wedges (or a full set of clubs), and their forged variety are among the most versatile in the game. Triple forged from 8620 carbon steel, they provide excellent feel, while tungsten weighting both adds MOI and makes playing open-face shots a little easier.

Best for Kids: US Kids Golf

US Kids Junior UL39-s

Courtesy of Budget Golf

US Kids Golf specializes in making the game accessible to children. Their wedges come in 10 lengths depending on your child’s height, so they get a good fit based on their size. The 56-degree loft wedge has 12-degree bounce and a graphite shaft and also comes with a grip optimized for smaller hands. The brand also offers a trade-up program so you can kick old clubs in for credit toward new ones as your little one sprouts. Plus, US Kids Golf gives your wee one their sixth club for free.

Best Budget: Wilson Harmonized Golf Wedges

Wilson Harmonized Golf Wedges

Courtesy of Wilson

Golfers on a budget don't need to fork over all their money to put some great wedges in the bag. Wilson's traditional style and design inspire confidence throughout the player’s short game arsenal and are available in 50-degree, 52-degree, 56-degree, 60-degree, 64-degree lofts. Considering that you could buy four or even all five of these wedges for the price of a single stick from another line, they’re a genuine bargain.

Best for High Rough: Miura K-Grind 2.0

Miura K-Grind 2.0

Courtesy of Miura

Forged and handmade in Japan, Miura golf clubs boast legendary feel that command some of the highest prices in golf equipment. But for players who find themselves frequently in dodgey lies, the Miura K-Grind 2.0 might be a value proposition, since it could save them a wealth of strokes. The “knuckles,” or fluted shape on the sole, is designed to prevent the face from twisting in the long grass, helping keep shots from the deep rough on line. The shape also slices through sand and turf on tight lies, while milled grooves grab the ball and give shots of all varieties outstanding spin.

Final Verdict

Wedges are a very personal choice for golfers. But the spin and feel of the Callaway MD5 Jaws wedges (view at Dick's Sporting Goods) coupled with the available bounce and loft combinations should make them a good fit with most players. For beginners or those who don’t practice their short game shots, wedges with a little more forgiveness, like the Ping Glide 3.0 (view at Dick's Sporting Goods) or the Callaway Mack Daddy line (view at Dick's Sporting Goods) could be a good choice as well. 

 What to Look For in a Golf Wedge

Cavity Back vs Forged

Cavity back clubs provide more MOI (moment of inertia), or forgiveness, while forged clubs offer players more feel and feedback for better precision. Players should consider their strengths and weaknesses when choosing a wedge set.

Bounce and Loft Combinations

Golfers should choose bounce and loft based on how they strike and launch the ball as well as the conditions of the course(s) they typically play.

Confidence

Perhaps the most important factor in wedge selection is that golfers feel confident that they have the right club in their hands. So, when buying a club, players should make sure that if feels good to them.

Price

Most wedges, including the models used by players on the PGA tour, cost between $120 and $150. 

FAQs

What is spin?

The grooves, or lines carved in the face of a golf club, create friction as they impact with the golf ball and in turn create backspin, which allows players more control over where the ball finishes.

What is the leading edge?

The leading edge is the front of the bottom of the club that is the first part to impact the ground.

What is bounce?

Bounce is the angle that exists between the leading edge and the sole’s low point. The larger the degree of bounce, the more the leading edge is off the surface at address—and more the club "bounces" off the ground.

Why Trust TripSavvy?

Nicholas McClelland is a passionate golfer who has written about the game and its gear for Men’s Journal, Fatherly, and InsideHook. He takes his clubs with him almost everywhere he goes and when he’s not playing, he’s likely planning his next round.

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