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You might be surprised by the fact that only a third of all shots in a round will be taken using a wood or long iron (obviously, going for distance), the rest is wedges and putters. On the other hand, you might already be all too painfully aware of this. With this in mind, and the fact that even pros miss about 6 GIRs per round, having a wedge in the bag for chip shots and other close-ins becomes all the more critical. So, what is the best golf wedge, the magical iron to get you on the green for a nice, clean putt?
Types of Wedges
Well, that’s a long story, even without mentioning Gene Sarazen and the first wedge he designed, oddly enough, inspired by the airplane flaps. In a nutshell, and as you’re probably aware, there are four types (though some count five) of wedges – pitching wedge (approximately 44°–48°), gap, or approach wedge (around 50°–53°), sand wedge (about 54–58°) and lob wedge (at 60°–64°), plus the ultra-lob wedge (as high as 70°) if you want to count it as a category of its own. These are arranged going from the lowest to the highest loft angle, not bounce.
Loft and Bounce
Speaking of which, there’s an important distinction to be made. While loft is the angle of the face, bounce is the angle from the leading edge to the point where the sole touches the ground. It’s important as it prevents the wedge from digging into the ground and losing all momentum. Just make sure you choose the right bounce for any given ground – white sand and soft turf require more bounce, whereas firm turf and packed sand need less bounce.
While we’re on the topic of choosing wedges, you also need to pay attention to the grooves. They are the feature most responsible for creating the spin which stabilizes the ball. The rule of thumb here is that the higher the loft, the more crucial the grooves. On this note, always make sure you clean the grooves, and if you start seeing fliers, it’s time to get new wedges.
They Work Together
Each of the four types of wedges excels in a particular situation, so there’s no real objective way to decide which one’s the best. For example, pitching wedges are mostly used for full outs and chip and runs around the green. Conversely, sand wedges are mostly used for bunker shots, while gap wedges fill in the gap between the two previous types (hence the name). Finally, the lob wedges are used for soft and high shots, with lots of backspin.
For our list, however, we took the best wedge to mean most popular wedges, or being useful in a number of different situations, well made and well regarded (proven to work), and, of course, value for money.
Golf Wedge Comparison Table
Best Wedge Reviews
Finding the right bag configuration can be frustrating – do you go with 3-wedge or 4-wedge? Which ones? To give you an idea of where to start, we carried out extensive research, and you can read the reviews below. With our list of ten top rated wedges to buy, we’ll have you tapping in for birdie.
Titleist is not going to put a wedge on the market that doesn’t look great and doesn’t perform great, and the Vokey SM6 fits the description to the tee (no pun intended). Is it the best wedge out there? It certainly seems like it, but let’s wait for the jury.
The selling point of this wedge is its progressive Center of Gravity (CG) which is moved somewhat lower down on the lower lofted wedges, giving you a better feel on pitch shots, as well as control, while at the same time the CG moves higher up the face when you open up the face for a bunker or lob shot.
The SM6 features innovative microgroove design for better performance. It gives more spin compared to the previous generation of SM wedges, giving you better control on the ball. There are five different grinds available (the curve of the leading edge, looking down at it in the address position).
The Titleist Vokey SM6 gives you the ability to be aggressive in your short game; it performs exceedingly well in a host of shots around the green, full pitch shots, short chip shots, and bunker shots.
Scoring starts from 100 yards and in, so your goal should be to have enough options in your bag to handle any distance or condition you’re faced with, and the Cleveland RTX 3.0 gives you the flexibility you need.
This is, to date, the best wedge from Cleveland, an upgrade of the older RTX 2.0 wedge, and the most striking improvement is the Feel Balancing Technology – basically, Cleveland took out some weight from the hosel area, thereby moving the CG more towards the center of the face, which gives you not only a better feel, but also a bit more forgiveness and better distance control.
The RTX-3 really comes into its own when you’re hitting in wet conditions, as it allows you to have superior control of the ball, especially if you’re chasing an up & down for a par.
It’s always an exciting time when Ping brings out a new set of wedges, and the Glide 2.0 is no exception. As of yet, this is the top golf wedge to come from this manufacturer.
It has a somewhat longer grip than you might be used to (0.75 inches, to be precise), which works great if you prefer to grip down on your clubs to get better carry distance, as well as club face control.
If you’re in need of a wedge to make longer bunker shots, the Ping Glide 2.0 is just the right thing for you, especially if you go for the ES grind. It’s also one of, if not the best wedge for wet conditions, thanks to its hydropearl chrome finish.
Contrary to most specialist wedges, the Mizuno T7 are not cast, but forged. Granted, this makes the grooves a bit less long-lived, but as a trade-off, the wedge as a whole is more flexible and feels better.
The T7 has a great interaction with the turf, doesn’t dig into it too much, if at all, and lets you have smooth 50-yard chips, no questions asked. It comes in nine different loft flavours, starting from 46 degrees and going all the way up to 62 in 2-degree increments.
The Mizuno T7 offers unprecedented soft feel for pitches around the green, and should come in handy especially for seasoned golfers.
The Callaway Mack Daddy is designed with more advanced players in mind, and sports a less forgiving leading edge, as well as an innovative grind that helps you execute those half-shots and off-tights with much more ease.
The Mack Daddy feels great in your hands, quite pliant, and gives you more precise manipulation on the address. It may not be the perfect golf wedge on the market, but it comes damn close! The Callaway Mack Daddy is good for a number of situations, but it feels at home on attacking flags.
The Mizuno S5 is the more forgiving cousin of the Mizuno T7, especially when you factor in the lower price-tag. It has a long and fairly deep face, which gives you just about enough of an error-margin.
Lower lofts have narrower, but deeper grooves, whereas higher lofts have wider, but shallower. This helps generate a consistent level of spin, and give you better control of the ball.
The S5 should suit low and mid handicappers, providing great feel on approach shots and around the greens.
The Cobra King wedges are intended to be a replacement to the older Trusty Rusty wedges, meaning they had big shoes to fill. It comes in three distinct flavours, depending on which sole design you go for – Classic, Versatile, and Widelow. Which way you go about choosing this will depend on how much bounce you play with and what type of courses you mostly play on – firm or soft.
Groove configurations are different for different lofts – on lower lofts the grooves are slightly narrower to help you generate a little bit more spin, while higher lofts have more grooves more spaced apart to allow better control.
The King Cobra wedges with lower lofts are ideal for those delicate little chip shots around the green. We’re reluctant to call it the best wedge out there, but it certainly is a king among wedges.
The Pinemeadow wedges allow you to really dial-in the ball on approach shots. It comes in five distinct flavours, starting from 52° and going all the way up to 68° in 4-degree increments.
The lower lofts are great for accurate chips around the green, while the higher lofts can get you out of a bunker in no time. The 60° loft is the most versatile of the bunch, whereas the 68° is the most useless.
Use the Pinemeadow on every chip shot and you can fully expect to shave off a stroke or two per round. The wedges really perform on pitch & run shots, although we wouldn’t put it past them to excel chip shots around the green.
The PMP in the Wilson Staff FG Tour PMP stands for Precision Milled Performance, and refers to the Micro Spin lines etched with laser between the grooves, which help generate more spin. This is a good and affordable all-rounder.
Three grinds are available – Traditional, Tour, and Wide (the newest kid on the block). If you factor in all the lofts available, this comes to 97 possible choices, which is impressive, to say the least.
If you’re looking for the perfect wedge to bust you out of bunkers, then the Wilson Staff FG Tour PMP is the right thing for you, and it’s not bad on chip shots, either.
The TaylorMade Milled Grind is a decent choice if you like smooth interaction with the turf. The wedges come in three bounce variants – high, mid, and low, each of which has computer-milled soles to match the angle.
This, coupled with the CG that’s been moved to the center and a bit up provides for a more consistent performance across the line and, consequently, better ball control. It’s not the most perfect golf wedge out there, but it’s definitely earned its place on our list.
The CG on the TaylorMade Milled Grind wedges really recommends them for chip shots, thanks to the somewhat lower launch angle and better spin rate.
To recap, ever since their inception, wedges have been an indispensable addition to any golfer’s bag, though the debate about which is the best golf wedge configuration is still on (three or four wedges). Whichever way you go about this, we hope this list has given you some ideas where to start looking.
As is, the majority of the best wedges on the market are yet to hit the shelves, so to speak, but if you can manage the wait, you’ll be more than happy.