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In contrast to a driver or putter, wedges don’t get as much attention from golfers before they’re purchased. However, wedges are some of the most important clubs because the majority of a golfer’s shots are taken within fewer than 100 yards of the pin.
There are four types of wedges: pitching wedges, gap wedges sand wedges and lob wedges. Each club is simply an iron, with loft angles higher than the 9-iron. The pitching wedge (PW) has the lowest loft angle, usually in the low 50-degree range. The PW has sometimes been labeled a 10-iron or simply a wedge (W). The gap or approach wedge is the second lowest loft, in the mid-to-low 50-degree range, filling in the “gap” between a pitching wedge and a sand wedge. The sand wedge (SW), with a high 50-degree range loft angle, is designed to play a ball out of a bunker and on soft ground. The lob wedge has the highest loft angle — often 60 degrees or above — of any club in the bag and is used to pop your ball precisely over a hazard and onto the green without much roll.
In addition to loft angle, one thing you want to consider as a golfer is the bounce of the wedge. Higher bounce wedges are better for soft sand, whereas low bounce wedges work best for firm ground.
Not every golfer needs all four types of wedges. Beginners can easily get by with a pitching wedge and sand wedges, while low-handicappers may want all four. Some golfers select a loft angle, bounce and shaft stiffness that matches their game, but doesn’t strictly fit a category. Check out these diverse, versatile and high-quality wedge options and make it one of the most considered clubs in your bag.
Best Overall: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Standard Bounce Wedge
The Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 wedge is such a good looking club you’ll feel bad when you get it covered in sand. Made with a Dynamic Gold Wedge Flex Steel and a standard bounce, the 588 RTX 2.0 club is available with loft ranges from 46 degrees through 62. Cleveland’s flagship product and a staple on golf courses for decades, the RTX optimizes spin for all hits from the fairway or the bunker.
What helps make this wedge unique is the milled face. Laser milled for micro-roughness, the 588 RTX 2.0 wedge has the highest grip allowed by the USGA to grab your ball and chip it onto the green. Additionally, the club’s face has deeper grooves to help the ball make complete contact with the wedge rather than sand, water or mud. Golfers who use this club love the control it gives them to precisely place their ball on the green.
Best Budget: Wilson Harmonized Golf Wedge
You don’t have to pay an arm and a leg to get your ball out of a bunker. Wilson’s Harmonized Golf Wedge is a good wedge at a very low price.
The polished metal club is available with a 50-, 52-, 56- 60- and 64-degree loft angle, and all feature a steel shaft and wedge flex. Wilson explains that this club’s unique sole grind allows for higher shots than with other clubs, as well as more precision in where your ball lands. You’ll enjoy the Harmonized wedge when you need to minimize your spin on chipping because the blade shape of the club head and the bounce angle reduce spin to near nil. This inexpensive club is perfect as a gift, for young golfers or for anyone who wants multiple wedges without much expense.
Best for Beginners: Pinemeadow Wedge
Pinemeadow Golf offers new golfers an array of wedge options at a reasonable price. The Pinemeadow wedges keep the game simple for people who are just learning all of the rules, etiquette and club design that make golf such a complex sport.
Pinemeadow wedges, available as a set or individually, are very well labeled. The heads list each wedge’s name, loft angle and optimal distance for use. For example, the sand wedge reads “Second Wedge,” “56 degrees,” “Sand,” and “70 yards or less.” You simply won’t have to overthink a tough shot. Additionally, the Pinemeadow wedges are made of steel and have large club faces for complete contact as you start your life as a golfer.
Best for Mid-Handicappers: Callaway Mack Daddy 3 Forged Wedges
Callaway is, of course, one of the most popular and high-quality brands in golf clubs. Its Mack Daddy wedge set fits well into this reputation and looks great in a bag next to a Big Bertha. These wedges, available in a number of loft angles, are made with soft steel and a dynamic center of gravity that moves up as you swing your wedge.
The MD3 has three different grinds that golfers can choose from: S-, W- or C-Grind. The W-Grind is newer and has a wide sole. It is great for soft ground and the steep shot you need to leave a bunker. The C-grind has heel relief, low bounce and works well on higher lofts. The S-Grind has a tapered sole, low bounce with an open face and works well with low lofts. Additionally, Callaway prides its MD3 wedges on their 16-groove face for added control on pitching and chipping. These high-quality clubs might even help you take a few strokes off your close game and drop your handicap.
Best Pro Tour Wedge: Titleist Vokey SM7
One of the most popular professional wedges is the Titleist Vokey SM7 Wedge, named for master club maker Bob Vokey. These wedges have a unique grind and bounce selection that make them perfect for personalization. Optimal for pros and low-handicappers, these clubs will let them make the most of their skills and put the ball exactly where they want it.
You can choose from six grind varieties with the Titleist Vokey SN7 wedges, including the F, M, S, D, K, and L grinds. The D, F, and K grinds provide a high bounce, the F, M and S grind have a medium range bounce, and only L grind has a low bounce. Each grind has advantages, such as the forgiveness of the K grind or the M grind’s open face. Vokey wedges with higher loft angles feature deeper grooves, while high angles have wider grooves. These clubs, made with a steel shaft, are available in every two-degree loft angle from 48 degrees through 62.
Best Sand Wedge: Cleveland Smart Sole 3 Wedge S
A sand wedge has become one of the most important clubs in any golfer’s bag since it was invented by Gene Sarazen in the 1930s and used by him to win multiple majors. The Cleveland Smart Sole 3 Wedge S has come a long way from Sarazen’s original spoon-like club, but it still helps you get a step up on the competition.
This Cleveland wedge features a 58-degree loft and a three-tiered sole for the added forgiveness you need when you’re stuck in a bunker. The club hits high and soft with a straight face — perfect for golfers at a wide range of skill levels. With a lower center of gravity, the Smart Sole 3 Wedge S also lets you get a more balanced shot as you chip onto the green. Available with a graphite or steel shaft, this Cleveland is the best sand wedge out there for any golfer who likes to get out of sand cleanly and quickly.
Most Versatile: Cobra Golf King Wedge
Cobra’s golf wedges include three trims, which allow for a more varied playing experience. Depending on your game style, this may mean that you carry more or fewer clubs in the bag, but whichever you choose, you’ll be able to do more with each Cobra wedge.
The steel-shafted, wedge flex clubs are available in a versatile, classic or wide-low grind. All made with stylish black carbon steel club heads, these grind options let you optimize your wedge design to your play style. With loft angles available at 50, 54, 58 and 60 degrees, you can fill your bag with the grind of your choice. The higher loft angle wedges feature narrow grooves in the club face while the lower loft angle wedges have shallow, wide grooves. The surface of these clubs are rough for better spin and the carbon steel lets these wedges last longer than polished metal.