Best Golf Wedges for High Handicappers Review
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Have you been called a high handicapper, but you’re not quite sure whether to take offence at that or not? All jokes aside, though, many beginners (where you’ll find the great majority of high handicappers) aren’t quite clear how to determine their handicap, or whether there’s any special gear that might help them get their game to the next level. If you’re one of them, you’re in luck! We decided to do the legwork for you (literally in some cases) and make a best golf wedges for high handicappers review, with a brief summarization for each.
What Is a Golf Handicap?
However, before we move on with that, let’s explain what handicap is and how to rate players according to their handicaps, for those not in the know.
In a nutshell, a golfer’s handicap is basically just a numerical indication of how well he or she plays on a regular basis, and a good tool for tournament organizers to pair up equal opponents. Without going into formulas and calculations (there are plenty of articles dealing with that), we could divide players into low, mid, and high handicappers.
There are various ratings and systems at play here that vary not only from association to association, but also from golfer to golfer. However, the most widely agreed upon system says that a low handicapper constantly performs under 10, while a high handicapper constantly plays over 20. By logic, mid handicappers are those golfers consistently playing between 10 and 20.
What this means is that, say, an 18 handicapper will play 90 strokes on a par 72. Similarly, a 2 handicapper will play the same course in 74 strokes, while a 40 handicapper (pretty much the highest handicap) will make it in over a hundred (112, if you want to be all technical about it). This would make our first example a mid-handicapper; the second would be a low-handicapper, while the third is a high-handicapper. Bottom line, you just need to keep in mind that the lower the handicap, the “better” the golfer.
So, with this in mind, let’s discuss if high handicappers need wedges, and how to choose the best ones.
Best Golf Wedges for High Handicappers Comparison Table
Ping Glide 2.0 Wedge
Best Golf Wedges for High Handicappers Review
In case you’re not sure where to start your search for the best golf wedge for high handicappers, feel free to read our most popular high handicap wedges reviews to get a bearing.
With the Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 CB, the ball responds nicely off the face, with lots of spin on launch. Moreover, the leading edge doesn’t get in the way whether you’re doing bunker play or fairway shots, or even distance control shots (provided your game is up to task).
This is a very versatile wedge, and even though it really comes into its own in a high handicappers grip, mid and low handicappers might also appreciate the soft feel and forgiveness on off-centre shots with this baby. It’s definitely one of the most popular golf wedges for high handicappers, and it’s clear to see why.
The Titleist Vokey SM4 is one of the top rated high handicap golf wedges, though even mid and low handicappers will find it appealing. The 17 narrow grooves will give you slightly more teeth on the ball, and they’ll also survive for a bit longer.
The teardrop profile is slightly larger than most golfers are used to, which should give plenty of forgiveness on mishits, and a measure of confidence for high handicappers on address. There’s also the Vokey SM6, which is not exactly a high handicapper wedge (it’s less forgiving), but it’s good for motivation.
The Mizuno S5 wedge is one of the best high handicap wedges on the market in recent time. It comes in a variety of lofts from 49 to 62, with various bounces, which allows you to customize your bag to cover all yardage gaps as neatly as possible.
On that same note, there is a selection of finishes with the Blue Ion finish being equally measured wonderful and infuriating (looks cool, but wears off quickly). It doesn’t make it play any worse, but it definitely makes your bag look less appealing. Even though the sweet spots are easy to hit, and there’s lots of forgiveness on off-centre shots, the wedge still holds some appeal for more advanced players thanks to its thin top line.
The Mizuno JPX wedges are designed to go along with the Mizuno JPX 900 Hot Metal Irons, but no one’s twisting your arm to use it only with those. Granted, it’s pretty slim pickings in ways of loft (comes with only 50, 55, and 60-degree lofts), but the choice of bounce angles makes up for it to an extent (7, 10, and 13).
On the flipside, the Hot Metal sports a fairly large profile, and it’s a bit longer than most players might be used to, so it should feel nice and comfortable in a high handicapper’s hands.
The Cleveland CG16 may seem like an odd choice, given its “advanced age”, but there are still many players who rate it one of the best high handicap wedges out there. If the shape of the CG16 looks familiar to you, it’s because you’ve probably seen it on an 588 RTX.
The cavity back both of these puppies feature contributes to the overall stability of the wedge and allows more forgiveness on mishits. Granted, it’s a trade off on feel, but one which many high handicappers would welcome.
The Cobra King was not exactly designed with high handicappers in mind, but it deserves a place on this list nevertheless, mainly thanks to its versatility and nice grind choice (Classic, Wide Low, and, funnily enough, Versatile). As it’s become the standard, the lower lofts feature narrower and deeper grooves so the club gives you more spin control on launch.
Granted, it’s not the best handicap wedge out there, nor is it really designed with high handicappers in mind, but the versatility in grinds might just make up for it. There’s also the very similar Cobra King Pur, but that one’s really more aimed at low handicappers.
7. Ping Glide 2.0 Wedge
If you lay down the Ping Glide and the Ping Glide 2.0 next to one another, the first thing you’ll notice is the slightly larger profile of the Glide 2.0. This enables it to squeeze one extra groove in there, which gives just about enough traction for better spin control. On that same note, the Glide 2.0 is plenty forgiving on off-centre hits, so even if you don’t hit the sweet spot, you’ll still have enough control on your slices and hooks.
There are four grinds to choose from, with the Eye Sole (ES) being the safest option for beginners/high handicappers. Short of going for the Glide 2.0, you can check out the Ping i200 wedges (designed to go along with the i200 irons). They’re almost as forgiving, though slightly less versatile.
So, on a balance, do you really need GI (game-improvement) wedges if you’re a high handicapper? Some might argue that you don’t full-swing them like you do your irons, and that any benefits are merely marginal, but… well, the truth of the matter is that you actually do take full swings with your wedges, especially with your sand and lob (however rare with the latter) when you’re under 110 or over 65 yards; obviously, the only time you’d never take a full swing is on chip shots.
With this in mind, it’s safe to say that even “marginal” benefits can help you shave off a couple of strokes if you’re a marginal case yourself (just over 20 handicap). Choosing the best golf wedge for a high handicapper is a bit more complicated, since no manufacturer actually makes such specific wedges. Even the ones in this list is not the definitive answer, but it will help you start your search. The best thing you can do is grab half a dozen of them and test them on a driving range and see what feels the best.