When beginning the game of golf, choosing great wedges can lead to quicker drops in score and more enjoyment for new golfers. Wedges can be difficult to test due to the unique shots golfers have to hit around the greens and from bunkers. Choosing wedges with the right lofts, bounce and grinds, and shafts can help build confidence and help newcomers enjoy this difficult game.
To help you understand what to look for in your wedge sets we have broken down the clubs into their components and composed a list that is easy to understand. Below you will find everything you need to know to help you select which wedge is best for you and how to start completing your bag.
Top 5 Best Golf Wedges for Beginners
- More Spin from Groove-In-Groove Technology
- Four Sole Grinds to Suit a Variety of Playing Styles, Attack Angles and Course Conditions
- Broad Range of Lofts and Bounce Combinations
- Rotex 4 generates more spin
- Muscle shaping on the back of each loft progressively adjusts the center of gravity
- Aggressive face milling for more precise control
- Cavity-back design inspires confidence when at address
- Incredible feel and forgiveness on off-center-hits
- Great from a wide variety of lies, including sand and the rough
- You'll shave strokes off your score and dramatically improve your short game - the very first time you use it!
- You'll hit higher, softer, more consistent shots!
- You'll glide through the sand and never leave it in the bunker again!
- Head geometry delivers ideal impact feel and feedback
- Milled narrow/deep grooves optimized for stronger lofts
- Patented forging process ensures long, continuous grains to deliver soft, solid, consistent feel
When Do You Use A Wedge?
Golfers use wedges for full shots within distances that these clubs can comfortably propel the golf ball. Wedges are also used to chip and pitch shots around the greens or escape difficult lies in the heavy rough. Greenside bunkers require precision wedge shots to approach pins and help reposition errant tee shots.
Finding the Right Wedge for Your Golf Game
A great wedge set helps golfers achieve proper distance gaps in the lower end of their bags. The clubs should be designed individually to help golfers hit the variety of shots the golf course may call upon. Testing a variety of clubheads, lofts, bounces, grinds, and shafts are the best way to begin to understand which wedges are best for your swing.
If you are putting a new golf bag together, how much you are going to spend on each club is a large consideration. Because wedges are designed to move the ball specific distances, saving money by purchasing older model wedges can be a great place for beginners to start.
Types of Wedges
In golf shops and online, wedges are separated into four categories divided by their lofts. Pitching wedges typically are bought with your iron sets and can be marked with PW or P and have lofts of 45 to 48 degrees. Gap wedges fit between your pitching wedge and higher lofted, more specialized wedges. Gap wedges have between 50 and 53 degrees of loft and can be bought to match certain sets of irons or as a singular club.
More specialized wedges, the sand and lob wedges, are bought individually and have lofts ranging from 53 to 57 degrees and 58 to 64 degrees respectively. These wedges are crafted with specialized soles that help manage different types of grasses and fairway conditions among golf courses. Below we describe all of these clubs to help you start your search.
Pitching Wedges (PW)
Pitching wedges are packaged with iron sets and many golfers are best to keep this wedge as their lowest lofted wedge. The wedge will have even loft spaces from the 9-iron and is designed with similar club head characteristic to help golfers achieve fuller distances.
Gap Wedges (GW)
Gap wedges can be bought alongside iron sets, this can be useful for beginning golfers. Like the pitching wedge, these gap wedges are loft matched and can help golfers making full approach shots into the greens. More specialized wedges can be purchased but will need to be tested to ensure they fly a distance that is only 10-15 yards shorter than your pitching wedge carry distance.
Sand Wedges (SW)
Sand wedges are used for full shots, out of bunkers, and for chipping and pitching. Multifaceted sand wedges are best suited for golfers who use these clubs from many different lies. Beginning golfers may find mid-bounce and high-bounce wedges more forgiving than lower bounce options; more on this later. When choosing a sand wedge, again make sure that full shots are flying 10-15 yards shorter than your next nearest wedge. Additionally, test hitting shorter half shots and pitches to see which models are best.
Lob Wedges (LW)
Lob wedges are similar to sand wedges but have higher lofts. These clubs can be difficult to strike on fuller shots because the clubface’s striking surface is further removed from the back of the golf ball. When testing these clubs, fuller shots may carry 10-15 yards shorter than a sand wedge but should be tested for specialty shots for around the greens.
The loft, bounce and grinds, the face and grooves, and shaft should be considered when choosing your wedge setup. Below, we examine each of these to help you begin your testing.
Loft is defined as the angle created by the clubface center and the ground when the club is in playing position. Loft has the greatest influence on how far the golf ball will fly when struck with a particular club. Different lofts will fly different distances between golfers depending on their swing speeds and characteristics. General recommendations advise 4 to 6 degrees of loft between every iron and wedge in a golfers bag but testing different models and club configurations is the best way to determine which loft is best between clubs. The most important consideration is the golf ball carry distance gapping not if the printed lofts are evenly spaced.
Club Bounce and Grinds
The club bounce and grind determines how wedges play when striking golf balls from different lies like the fairways and roughs. The bounce angle is measured between a club leading edge and the ground when the club is perpendicular in playing positions. Grinded soles affect the effective bounce angles when golf clubs are opened or closed for hitting different shots around the greens. For beginning golfers, mid and high bounce wedges between 8 and 14 degrees will offer the most forgiveness and can be a great place to begin to develop your short-game habits.
Face and Grooves
Wedge faces put a premium on creating enough back spin to help shots stop quickly on greens and help golfers approach pins. Because a clubface will wear over time, buying new wedges and cleaning them before each use is the best way to ensure you are getting as much spin as possible. Grooves are cut to help maintain these spin rates when dirt, grass, and debris gets pinched between the clubface and golf ball during impact. While spin rates are important and should be considered when testing wedges, elements on the golf course will alter spin rates throughout rounds and as your experience grows you will begin to adjust these shots to help you reach greens more consistently.
Steel shafts are most common in wedges but slower swing players can find steel-graphite fiber shafts that help promote longevity and reduce impact between rounds. Shaft flexes begin at Ladies flexes and increase to extra stiff with various categories in between. Regular and stiff flex shafts are the most common for weekend and handicap golfers. Shaft weights can range between 60 and 130 grams. Each club should be tested with different shafts to help golfers decide which shaft is best for them.
When choosing shafts for your wedges, golfer typically take a few approaches. One option is to match your wedge shafts with your iron shafts. Another option is to choose a shaft that is heavier but softer in flex than your iron shafts to help keep the overall weight of the club similar. Because your wedges are the shortest clubs in your bag using the same shaft weight in them will result in a lighter club when compared with your irons.
Categories of Wedge Bounces:
Low Bounce Wedges =bounces between 4 and 6 degrees are made for golfer who like to manipulate the club face open and closed or hit high flop shots into tighter pins.
Mid Bounce Wedges =between 8 and 10 degrees are ideal for most golfers and offer versatility and forgiveness.
High Bounce Wedges =beyond 10 degrees, these wedges help golfers in wet lies or tall grasses and may be useful for full shots but can make more precise shots around the green difficult.
Wedge finishes are a talking point on tour and for weekend golfers. While they may look great in bags they do not have a large impact on a club’s performance. Darker finishes have garnered popularity in higher lofted clubs due to their glare reducing characteristics. Finish preferences are player specific with many opting for raw, grey, or black in their sand and lob wedges.
Types of Sole Grinds
The bottom edge of golf wedges are meticulously crafted to help golfers hit a variety of shots from different lies. Full soles improve forgiveness are are designed for lower lofted pitching and gap wedges used predominantly on full shots. Crescent soles provide heel and toe relief for golfers that manipulate the club face to hit higher and lower shots to more difficult pin locations. High bounce crescent shaped grinds may help golfer achieve a combination of forgiveness and versatility for their short games.
Frequently Asked Questions
For beginning golfers, asking questions when it comes to your equipment is important for understand why certain clubs can perform differently. Here, we have outlined some of the most common questions surrounding wedges.
Q: What Degree is a Pitching Wedge?
A: Pitching wedges usually have between 45 and 48 degrees of loft. Pitching wedge are blended from your iron sets and are used mostly on fuller shots into greens.
Q: What Degree is a Sand Wedge?
A: Sand wedges may be the highest lofted clubs in golfer’s bags from 54 to 57 degrees. Sand wedges are used for full shots and partial shots near the green.
Q: What Is a Gap Wedge?
A: Gap wedges have risen in popularity due to the demand created from stronger lofted, modern irons. Pitching wedges lofted at 45 degrees and a sand wedge lofted at 56 degrees creates to large a gap in distances for many golfers to manage. By adding a gap wedge around 50 degrees golfers can use a more simple approach to attacking greens.
Top 10 Best Golf Wedges for Beginners
1. Callaway Mack Daddy MD4 Wedge
The Callaway Mack Daddy MD4 Wedge is the flagship wedge from Callaway. Awarded a Gold medal by Golf Digest, the MD4 wedge is a superior performing wedge for all golfers. Beginning golfers will enjoy enhanced spin retention from Callaway’s Groove-in-Groove technology and can find a model for their game among the variety of options the MD4 makes available.
Callaway Mack Daddy MD4 Wedge
- Very accurate and forgiving club with a modern design
- A solid performing club that will turn a lot of heads
- The sweet spot is about as big as a baseball
- Some players may not like the size of the club head
- May give too much spin for some players
- May feel sluggish when swinging through the air
2. Cleveland RTX 4 Wedge
The Cleveland RTX 4 Wedge is the Cleveland wedge for the golfer who enjoy versatility in their wedges. Especially outstanding in sand wedges and lob wedges, the RTX 4 helps golfers hit precise chips and pitches great for improved scoring. Beginning golfers will love the way the RTX 4 looks and its’ performance was enough to earn it a Gold medal from Golf Digest.
Cleveland RTX 4 Wedge
- Incredibly forgiving wedge especially when on off-center hits
- One of the most versatile wedges ever manufactured
- Produces a remarkable amount of spin compared to othes wedges
- May not be worth the extra cost if you already use the RTX 3
- Testing required depending on your typical playing conditions
- Requires adjustment if you’re not used to high spin rate wedges
3. Cleveland CBX Wedge
The Cleveland CBX Wedge is perfect for the beginning golfer looking for an easy-to-use wedge designed with forgiveness in mind. The CBX wedge is one of few wedges designed with cavities similar to modern irons. For golfers looking to improve mishits and get the most from a wedge the CBX is perfect. Given a Gold medal by Golf Digest the CBX wedge gives up nothing in performance and adds forgiveness through cavity back weighting.
Cleveland CBX Wedge
- Cavity-back design inspires confidence when at address
- Incredible feel and forgiveness on off-center-hits
- Great from a wide variety of lies, including sand and the rough
- May take a while to adjust to the non-standard design
- Lighter shaft can make the head feel a bit too heavy
- Although versatile, not as versatile as the muscle-back wedges
4. Xe1 Wedge
The Xe1 Wedge is an unknown product that truely performs like the larger name players. The Xe1 is a great wedge at a lower price. “As seen on TV” is not something golfers tend to relate to great performing products but the Xe1 wedge is the exception. While it may be hard to get your hands on, the Xe1 is a great wedge at a great price.
- One of the easiest-to-hit wedges ever designed
- The ideal club for the player who prefers a simple approach to the short game
- Great overall performance when shooting from tight lies and firm sand
- Much lighter than most traditional wedges available
- Clubhead is cast instead of forged, which can throw off the feel of the club
- Design makes it difficult to apply the same spin rates as with other wedges
5. Mizuno S18 Wedge
Since it was first released in late 2017, the Mizuno S18 Wedge is a brilliant combination of looks, feel, and performance. Mizuno’s patented Boron Grain Flow forging gives the ultimate in feel. Forged metal in golf clubs leads to improved sound, feel, and tighter tolerances in club production. The S18 wedge is fantastic for golfers who love the feel and quality of Mizuno irons and don’t want to compromise in their wedges. Golf Digest gave Gold medals to two Mizuno wedges this year. A company not typically revered for their wedges, Mizuno is not to be overlooked.
Mizuno S18 Wedge
- Variable loft and bounce options allow for customization of perfect wedge makeup
- Forged clubhead provides players optimal feel and control
- Wide and deep grooves and variable center of gravity allow for consistent contact and distance
- Design features are for advanced players and may not be suitable for higher handicaps
- Price is comparatively higher than other wedges on the market
- Limited to only two finishes, which may not be what every player is looking for cosmetically
6. Titleist Vokey SM7 Wedge
The Titleist Vokey SM7 Wedge is the most widely used wedge on the PGA tour. Designed by Bob Vokey and product tested by tour professionals, the SM7 is the best wedge Titleist has ever built. Offered in many different finishes, lofts, grind and bounce options there is a SM7 for everyone. Beginning golfers can benefit from the expansive selection of SM7 wedges to test in different golf shops.
Titleist Vokey SM7 Wedge
- Incredible spin control from the fairway, sand, and rough
- Six different sole grinds make it easy to play from every lie
- Flop shots come out better than with any other wedge on the market
- High price tag may make it tough for some to purchase
- Higher lofted clubs are tough to play full shots with
- Could require a lot of testing to find the right clubs for your swing
7. Cobra King Black Wedge
The Cobra King Black Wedge is one of the best looking wedges on the market. Black Diamonized finishes create a clubface that improves longevity and groove life. For golfers looking for a great black wedge in their sand and lob wedge options, the KING Black wedge is fantastic. Given a Gold medal by Golf Digest the KING Black wedge is a top performer in an incredible visual package.
Cobra King Black Review
- Diamondized Black Metal Finish is one of the most durable finishes on the market and does not wear off quickly
- Progressive Spin Technology CNC Milled grooves provide consistent ball flight, spin, and distance control
- The King Black’s thick face reduces vibration on mishits while also providing optimal feel and control on solid shots
- Diamondized Black Metal Finish is the only finish available which may be difficult for players used to a chrome finish
- The King Black has limited loft, bounce and grind options compared to other wedges on the market
- There is little that is new with King Black wedge other than the finish compared to previous Cobra models available
8. Ping Glide Wedge 2.0 Wedge
The Ping Glide 2.0 Wedge is the most forgiving wedge Ping has ever produced. Great for maintaining ball speeds on mishits and improving distances from centered strikes, beginning golfers should look first to the Glide 2.0 wedge. Available in both a chrome and black finish, the Glide 2.0 has everything new golfers are looking for. Given a Gold medal by Golf Digest for its’ unique ability to help improving golfers, Glide 2.0 is a must try.
Ping Glide Wedge
- Classic pear-shaped designthat is aesthetically pleasing
- Adjustability features allow golfers to customize the driver to their swing
- You can really feel the clubhead throughout the golf swing
- Can feel a little too heavy for those with slower swing speeds
- Lack of loft adjustability requires a custom fitting to configure the proper loft
- Ball can feel a little sluggish at impact with a very muted sound
9. TaylorMade ATV Wedge
The TaylorMade ATV Wedge is TaylorMade’s most versatile wedge. The ATV wedge is great for golfers looking to add versatility to their short games. Enhanced shot making ability from the ATV wedge is something all golfers can benefit from. Golfers will find the ATV wedge at great prices and deliver outstanding performances.
TaylorMade ATV Wedge
- One of the most versatile wedges ever built
- It’s sole grinds makes shots from the fringe, rough, and sand easier
- Can cut through heavy sand and thick rough with ease
- Spins too much to be effective on full shots
- Requires a ton of practice to figure out with face settings work best
- Feels incredibly heavy, specially the higher-lofted wedges
10. TaylorMade Milled Grind Wedge
The TaylorMade Milled Grind Wedge was designed from feedback from TaylorMade athletes on tour. Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, and Justin Rose provide insight for developing TaylorMade’s best wedge ever. The Milled Grind wedge is TaylorMade’s flagship product and is a must try for experienced golfer and newcomers alike. The milling process ensures that each Milled Grind wedge produced is manufactured to the tightest tolerances. Improved tolerances for spin rates, distance control and playability made the Milled Grind an obvious choice for Golf Digest’s Gold medal.
TaylorMade Milled Grind Wedge
- Precision milled for the ultimate in control, spin, and overall performance
- Simplistic sole grinds ideal for every golfer
- Wide array of lofts makes it easy to choose the right set for you
- Priced on the higher end of the market, making it a tough buy for some golfers
- Can feel a little heavy on very short shots
- Requires plenty of testing to find the right wedges for you
What Golf Wedge Should You Buy?
Knowing which wedge is right for your game is difficult if you have never purchased a wedge before. Testing different models is best when determining what characteristics help you play your best golf. When deciding which wedge you should purchase, make sure your full swings are flying the correct distances. Aim for 10-15 yards between each club.
When testing higher lofted sand and lob wedges, make sure to find which soles and grinds help you perform around the green and help make this game easier. Finding a great looking wedge that inspires confidence can help new golfers develop their short games and shoot lower scores. We hope you found this helpful and be sure to check out our other articles regarding all the clubs in your bag.
- Our Favorites
- Top 5 Best Golf Wedges for Beginners
- When Do You Use A Wedge?
- Finding the Right Wedge for Your Golf Game
- Types of Wedges
- Wedge Components
- Club Bounce and Grinds
- Face and Grooves
- Types of Sole Grinds
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Top 10 Best Golf Wedges for Beginners
- 1. Callaway Mack Daddy MD4 Wedge
- Callaway Mack Daddy MD4 Wedge
- 2. Cleveland RTX 4 Wedge
- Cleveland RTX 4 Wedge
- 3. Cleveland CBX Wedge
- Cleveland CBX Wedge
- 4. Xe1 Wedge
- Xe1 Wedge
- 5. Mizuno S18 Wedge
- Mizuno S18 Wedge
- 6. Titleist Vokey SM7 Wedge
- Titleist Vokey SM7 Wedge
- 7. Cobra King Black Wedge
- Cobra King Black Review
- 8. Ping Glide Wedge 2.0 Wedge
- Ping Glide Wedge
- 9. TaylorMade ATV Wedge
- TaylorMade ATV Wedge
- 10. TaylorMade Milled Grind Wedge
- TaylorMade Milled Grind Wedge
- What Golf Wedge Should You Buy?