A wedge is arguably one of the most frequently used golf equipment in a player’s bag, not to mention the most versatile. It’s a bit of surprise that majority of golfers don’t focus on wedges as much as they do, say drivers or putters. The truth is, you’ll use a wedge more often than you might even think, making it almost necessary to find the right wedge for your game as soon as possible.
The best golf wedges can help you to elevate your game and lower your scores drastically, even more than a new proper driver would. The current market offers plenty of choices, but only a select few are a cut above the rest. We have rounded up 5 of the best golf wedges on the market in 2021, especially for beginners and high handicappers.
1. Cleveland CBX 2
The CBX 2 is a serious upgrade from the 2018 CBX, on both design and tech. To give you a better perspective of the improvement, you wouldn’t normally associate maximal forgiveness with a wedge. But this wedge deviates from the norm, providing remarkable forgiveness at impact-especially for amateurs, thanks to the new hollow cavity design.
The two different V shapes on the sole help in getting the most forgiveness in your shot. The front-to-back V shape lets you open the face without compromising versatility on sand. With the CBX 2, you can certainly expect brilliant plays off the turf. This is also partly thanks to its build quality- lightweight steel or graphite shafts- which enhance the feel and responsiveness of the club.
Speaking of this wedge’s feel, the Enhanced Feel Balancing Technology compensates for the toe-bias center of gravity. That, plus a Gelback TPU Insert that minimizes vibration, combine for an authentic feel at impact. The 4th Generation Rotex Face Technology ensures that players deliver vigorous face mills, which leads to overall better spin and control over your short game. In addition, the loft in this wedge ranges from 46 to 60 degrees, in 2-degree increments.
- Extremely versatile golf wedges.
- Exceptional forgiveness.
- Great feedback, thanks to the enhanced feel.
- Suitable for high handicappers.
- Not for low handicappers and professionals.
- Limited to 60-degree loft.
- Limited shaft availability.
2. TaylorMade Milled Grind 2
The MG2 is the pinnacle of precision among the best wedges on the market: No wonder one of the greatest short-game players ever, Tiger Woods, uses them. This recent iteration merges Raw Face Technology and precision-milling to deliver more spin, a remarkably enhanced feel and ultimately precision like you’ve never seen before.
The MG2 spots a sole grind on each wedge which gives you optimal turf interaction, leading to consistent performances on the golf course. Its thick head design redistributes the weight of the club head, hence an optimized center of gravity (COG) that not only improves the feel but also delivers precise flight. Its TP RAW Groove Design is equally unparalleled, with sharper, narrower and deeper grooves with laser etching. This translates to an improved higher rate of spin on the greenside.
An additional TPU Insert in the back cavity makes this one of the best sand wedge options available on the market. This gives you additional vibration dampening, thus a sturdier and responsive feel at impact. The MG2 is available in two aesthetically-appealing finishes; matte black and satin chrome. You also get 48-60 degree options, with 2-degree increments.
- Designed and built for precision.
- TP Raw Groove Design with Laser Etching.
- Improved feel and turf interaction.
- Brilliant finish options.
- Face is prone to rusting.
- Available in a steel shaft only.
- Quite expensive.
- Not suitable for beginners or high handicappers.
3. Cleveland Smart Sole 4
If you have been looking for wedges that will get out off the sand and onto the green nine times out of ten, the Cleveland Smart Sole is undoubtedly the right sand wedge for you. The team of engineers at Cleveland combined all their knowledge and efforts to deliver a golf wedge that simply makes the short game easier.
It comes in three loft options; 42, 50 and 58. This equates to more game improvement capabilities, but it might not be suitable for a player breaking 90. Its Feel Balancing Technology places the COG towards the middle of the club face, thus delivering incredible forgiveness on full shots. In addition, a wider three-tiered sole-with added leading edge bounce-translates to the same level of forgiveness on the fairway, rough or out of the bunker.
On the flipside, it might not be ideal for backing up the ball, which you probably don’t expect from a club, anyway. Nevertheless, the Cleveland Smart Sole 4 is a new lease of life for a golfer struggling on the sand.
- Ideal for high handicappers on the sand.
- Game improvement wedge.
- Outstanding forgiveness on full shots off the fairway.
- Not available for left-handed women.
- Almost no spin at impact.
- Not ideal for pitching or chipping.
4. Cleveland RTX 3
As you have probably figured out by now, Cleveland have indeed made staked their claim to fame as far as wedges go. The RTX range is extraordinary, making the RTX 3 one of the most sophisticated golf wedges on this guide. Right off the bat, this wedge comes in four different appealing finishes, including a new ultra-durable Black Satin.
This wedge is built for a season golfer. It offers expansive variety of loft, bounce and grind combinations. The characteristic Cleveland Feel Balancing Technology redistributes its weight from the hosel to its head, thus shifting the center of gravity ever so closer to the zone of impact. Subsequently, you get a more enhanced feel, leading to one of the tightest shot dispersions we have seen around.
It also has three V-shaped grind options, with added leading edge bounce, that help to get more performance from the club head. This translates to a crispier feel and more consistency in your short game. A Rotex micro-milling pattern gets the most out of your full swing, producing optimal spin for each of the available wedge lofts.
- Ideal for accomplished players.
- Built for consistent juice.
- Improved feel.
- Tight shot dispersion.
- Not suitable for beginners and high handicappers.
5. Callaway Mack Daddy 5
The Mack Daddy 5 is yet another spectacular piece of golf equipment for seasoned golfers. For starters, it comes with 46-64 degrees loft options, 3 different bounce angles;8, 10 and 12 degrees, plus 4 well-defined grinds. In total, this gives you 21 different loft/bounce angle/grind available configurations, which is music to the ears of any accomplished player.
Callaway’s Groove-in-Groove Technology comes alive on the MD5. It combines square-edged and micro-grooves to provide 84 points of contact, and a great deal of juice at that. This wedge uses four weight ports and aluminum medallions to align the club head’s COG upwards as loft increases, translating to a sturdy feel and sound with each shot.
This solid wedge has four sole grinds, just like the Ping Glide 2.0, each providing a suitable shape for various course conditions and swing type. You can get it in one of the three brilliant color choices, made from True Temper dynamic Gold 115 Issue steel shaft. Alternatively, there is also a women’s only Aldila graphite shaft.
- Expansive range of configurations.
- Versatility for different courses and swing types.
- Groove-in-Groove technology for improved spin and better control.
- Quite expensive.
- Limited availability for left handers and women.
- Limited 64-degree model availability.
What Should You Look for in the Best Golf Wedges
The most significant importance of a wedge lies in its spin from different kinds of shots. A high rate of spin helps a golf ball to stop more accurately on the green. Typically, this rate of spin is based on the quality of the grooves on the club face. However, grooves tend to wear and tear over time, hence declining in performance; this explains why a professional golfer tends to use new wedges for every tournament. It follows then that the best wedges should deliver consistent juice over an extended period without affecting your performance.
2. Shot Height
You will also want to consider the height of the shot. If you can understand how high a wedge shoots the ball in the air, then you can consequently evaluate its arc. Such measurements are vital to predict confidently the spin of the ball and the softness of landing.
Ultimately, this depends on your style of play. Moderate shot height gives you more control, hence you can play various shots around the green with a broad variation of spin. Conversely, a tall shot height leans more towards spin-heavy shots that are more flexible, with a great deal of rollback.
This revolves around the feedback you get from your golf club at the moment of impact. The aim is to judge your swing shots as accurately as possible the moment you hit the ball. Consistent and instant feedback means you can understand how the club reacts to your swing, which gives you more confidence and reliability on the golf course. To get the most response from a golf wedge, it should remain sturdy through impact.
Feel, on the other hand, refers to the impression you get from a club, right from the moment you hold it, all the way through to your finishing pose. Unless the wedge feels snug in your hand at all times, you might have challenges relying on your swings for particular shots.
As such, the best golf wedges provide a sturdy feel throughout the entire process, which gives the player more control over their shots. For beginners, this means wedges that provide repeatability and consistency. For professionals, this revolves around the degree of playability.
As you would expect, a cheap build translates to a faulty tool. The same applies to wedges. If it’s made from subpar materials, it’s rather unlikely to help you work on and improve your short game. In fact, it might end up doing more harm than good to your general play. As such, getting a quality wedge is the ultimate value for money. Not only do you get an solid piece of golfing equipment but also one that will last you a decent while.
Frequently Asked Questions about Golf Wedges
1. What is the most common mistake for beginner golfer when choosing a wedge?
Quite easily, the biggest mistake is not gapping their wedges correctly. The second, not having sufficient wedges in their bag. A golf player needs a gap wedge, sand wedge and lob wedge to achieve optimal gapping for better results. While several fairway woods and hybrids can also get the job done, a decent wedge is unmatched in the scoring area on the green.
Additionally, a sole grind is just as important, especially if you predominantly play square-faced shots. If you like to open the wedge face, then C grind wedges would be more suited to the task.
2. How long should each increment of my wedges be?
This is a great question that often gets overlooked. The length of a golf wedge plays a pivotal role in the performance and feel. This also makes it a bit challenging to answer since both elements are arguably subjective. However, by and large, your wedges should be just as long-or shorter-as the shortest iron in your bag. If you really want to make adjustments, ensure that the wedge with the lowest loft is the longest; and vice versa.
Furthermore, it is just as important to stick within the retail specifications. Tinkering beyond the given range might affect the swing’s weight and feel, which would then need further correction. As such, before you make any length adjustments, it is important to think hard about your game and the effect that the changes might have around the green.