For golfers trying to cut their handicaps from high or mid handicap levels, improving your set of wedges can help shave strokes. Many golfers overlooks some key aspects of their wedges when they make their buying decisions and it can cost them strokes around the greens and from within 100 yards.
Wedges are available in several different finishes, lofts, bounce and grind options, and come with a matrix of shafts. Golfers can feel overwhelmed when choosing wedge and can default to traditional equipment when their bags would be much better suited with specialized clubs built for their swings. Here, we tease apart the different aspects that make wedges unique and teach you how to select the best ones for your game.
Top 10 Best Golf Wedges for Mid Handicappers
When Do You Use A Wedge?
When to use a wedge typically comes down to how far the ball must go before it reaches the green or the pin. However, as mid handicap players, your wedges must be able to get you on the greens and close to pins to make birdies and save pars to get your handicaps to single figures. Balls in the fairway, rough, bunkers, and hazards may require golfers to try and get to the green with any of there wedges and they all must be bought with versatility in mind.
Finding the Right Wedge for Your Golf Game
Finding the perfect wedge for you is highly subjective. Each wedge should fly a specific distances to give you proper gapping throughout your bag and each wedge should provide you with several shots so you have more chances of hitting greens and attacking pins. Important things to consider when buying wedges are loft, bounce and grinds, and shafts. Further on, we provide an analysis of each of these.
Buying golf clubs can be expensive. With prices higher than ever, it is always best to consider how much you want to spend to get new wedges. Wedges can be bought at reduced prices when they are previous generation models. Budget friendly options can still bring significant improvement to your game, especially if your current wedges are giving you trouble.
Types of Wedges
Wedges are subdivided into categories by their lofts. Pitching wedges are typically purchased within iron sets. Gap wedges can be purchased in iron sets but come commonly as specialized secondary purchases. Sand and lob wedges are the highest lofted wedges available and come most often as individual clubs with specific characteristics that give them versatility when compared to lower lofted wedges.
Pitching Wedges (PW)
Pitching wedges sold within iron sets will be denoted with a “P” or a “PW” depending on iron models and between manufacturers. The loft of pitching wedges will depend on the loft of the matching 9-iron. These lofts fally between 45 and 48 degrees most commonly. Players should check the clubmakers websites if they are unsure of what loft their pitching wedge and 9-irons are.
Gap Wedges (GW)
Gap wedges have been implemented in modern golf as the strength of iron lofts have increased. Pitching wedges with lofts around 45 degrees do not match within a set whose next closest wedge is 56 degrees. Placing a gap wedge around 50 or 52 degrees gives golfers equal spacing and accurate distance gaps in their short irons and wedges.
Sand Wedges (SW)
Sand wedges are used for hitting full shots into greens and for chipping and pitching around the greens. Because most golfers choose this club when hitting shots near the green, the sand wedge has become an incredibly versatile club. Typically lofted between 54 and 57 degrees, sand wedges should give golfers their desired distance on full shots and confidence to hit many different chip shots around the greens they play most often.
Lob Wedges (LW)
Lob wedges have gained popularity as pins have become more difficult to access and green undulation has increased. Many golfers will find these high lofted wedges, beyond 58 degrees, to be difficult to strike with full swings and opt only for these clubs around the greens. Skilled golfers find the lob wedge to be a tool for attacking pins and making more challenging shots.
Wedges are a blend of the clubhead and a shaft that help golfers hit a variety of shots within 100 or 150 yards. Within the clubhead, wedges may share similar lofts but have very different bounce, grind, and finishes that taylor each to different swings. Understanding these components and how they affect the way each club plays is critical in choosing your ideal wedge setup.
The Clubhead of a Wedge can be broken down in subcomponents, lofts, face and grooves, and leading edges, bounces, and grinds:
The Loft=The angle at the center of the clubface when the club is in playing position will denote its loft. For specialized wedges this angle will be engraved on the club and should be adjusted to give you adequate distance gaps among each of your clubs.
The Face and Grooves =A lot of research goes in to creating wedge clubfaces and grooves that help golfers create spin from all types of lies. Stabilizing spin rate is paramount for ensuring ball struck with these clubs fly the same distances each time.
The Leading Edges, Bounces, and Grinds=Create wedges that help golfers to hit a variety of shots from anywhere on the golf course. A combination of bounces and grinds through a wedge set can ensure that you can hit any shot needed with confidence.
Types of Bounces and Grinds:
Bounces = The bounce of a wedge is created by the angle of the leading edge and the ground when the club is placed in playing position. Low, (4-6 degrees), mid, (8-10 degrees), and high ( 12 degrees and beyond) bounce options are available and cater to swing characteristics for all golfers.
Grinds =The grind of a wedge is crafted to help vary bounce angles when the clubface is opened or closed. When golfers manipulate their wedges open, grind shapes have become sophisticated enough to add bounce in certain models while reducing bounce in others. Closing a wedge club face may again, add or subtract the effective bounce angle depending on the sole grind in that specific wedge. Knowing which shots you enjoy hitting will lead you to the model that is right for you.
Lastly, when selecting wedges. Clubheads can come in a variety of colors or finishes that will affect the way a club looks behind the golf ball. Darker finishes will act to reduce the glare created from sunlight in higher lofted models. These finishes appeal to certain golfers but will ultimately have little impact on the club’s performance.
Frequently Asked Questions
The myriad of options available to golfers in pro shops and online create confusion when buying a new club. We have included some frequently asked questions to help you find your ideal new club.
Q: What Degree is a Pitching Wedge?
A: Pitching wedges come in lofts of 45 to 48 degrees and can be engraved with this loft in specialized clubs or marked with a “P” or a “PW” is iron matched models.
Q: What Degree is a Sand Wedge?
A: Sand Wedges are usually in lofts of 54 and 57 degrees.
Q: What Is a Gap Wedge and do I need one?
A: Gap Wedges help fill the “gap” created with stronger lofted pitching wedges and traditional lofted sand wedges. Most golfers with modern irons will need a gap wedge to provide them with proper distance gaps of between 10 and 15 yards. Club building experts advise between 4 and 6 degrees of loft between each of your clubs. Common pitching, gap, and sand wedge combinations are 45, 50, and and 54 degrees respectively or 46, 52, and 56 degrees.
Top 10 Best Golf Wedges for Mid Handicappers
Cobra King Black Wedge
The Cobra King Black Wedge is one of the most durable wedges on the market. Created with a Diamonized Black Metal finish, the KING Black wedge will hold up year over year. CNC milling creates precise spin rates. Awarded a Gold Medal by Golf Digest, the KING Black wedge is an excellent tour inspired wedge for all golfers. Offered in several lofts, grinds, and bounces, if you love a glare reducing wedge, there is a KING Black wedge built for your swing.
Callaway Mack Daddy MD4 Wedge
The Callaway Mack Daddy MD4 Wedge is the best wedge Callaway has ever produced. A winner of Golf Digest’s Gold medal, the MD4 wedge offers outstanding performance and exceptional spin from all lies. Groove-in-groove technology has been incorporated with Roger Cleveland’s legendary craftsmanship to produce one of the best looking and best performing wedges on the market. Each MD4 wedge is created with a center of gravity to promote the ideal ball flights pair with each loft. Golfers will love the look and feel of the MD4 wedge.
Mizuno S18 Wedge
Since it was first released in late 2017, the Mizuno S18 Wedge is the most recent Mizuno offering in the wedge category. Known mostly for their superior feeling irons, Mizuno has used their patented Boron Grain Flow forging technique to make the best feeling wedge ever. The S18 was awarded a Gold medal by Golf Digest and is a top performing wedge of 2018. Golfers playing Mizuno irons who do not wish to sacrifice feel when transitioning into their wedges should test S18.
Cleveland RTX 4 Wedge
The Cleveland RTX 4 Wedge is Cleveland and Srixion Golf’s better player’s package. The RTX 4 wedge has tour inspired shapes with enhanced performance. Tour Zip grooves allow Cleveland to give golfers more spin when coming from the rough. Available in three finishes, lofts ranging from 46 to 64 degrees and high, mid, low and xlow bounces, there is a RTX 4 that will help improve your short game.
TaylorMade Milled Grind Wedge
The TaylorMade Milled Grind Wedge is the only wedge in production that uses a 100% milled process to ensure that every wedge produced is built to the tightest tolerances allowed. TaylorMade created their Milled Grind wedge from feedback from there extensive tour staff. Players like Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day, and Dustin Johnson all gave the Milled Grind wedge the green light for their bags. The Milled Grind wedge is TaylorMade’s best wedge ever.
Titleist Vokey SM7 Wedge
The Titleist Vokey SM7 Wedge is a continuation of Vokey and Titleist’s great reputation. Known for making some of the best wedges in the market, Bob Vokey crafts each wedge model directly from tour inspired shapes. The widest selection of loft, bounce, and grind options make SM7 the ideal wedge for fitting your swing. Another member of Golf Digests Gold medal awards, SM7 builds on decades of knowledge from the games best players.
Ping Glide Wedge 2.0 Wedge
The Ping Glide 2.0 Wedge are great for golfers looking for distances that blend with modern cavity back irons. The Ping Glide 2.0 wedges offer some of the fastest ball speeds in the wedge category and are great for any golfers struggling with distance. Great looks in a forgiving package helped Glide 2.0 receive a Gold medal from Golf Digest and become one of the best selling wedges of 2018.
TaylorMade ATV Wedge
The TaylorMade ATV Wedge is a great budget option for players looking for increased playability from different lies on the golfcourse. The ATV sole is shaped to allow for maximum shot making ability and helps golfers navigate difficult greens creatively. If you are someone looking to improve your shotmaking and not break the bank, the ATV wedge is a great choice.
Cleveland CBX Wedge
The Cleveland CBX Wedge is another wedge that puts forgiveness in the foreground. A cavity back wedge from Cleveland, the CBX is the perfect compliment to the RTX 4. Golfers may find that the CBX wedge in pitching or gap wedge options with RTX 4 sand and lob wedges to be a great set up. This cavity back design allowed Cleveland to increase ball speeds and forgiveness in a compact shape. Slower swing players will love the CBX wedge.
The Xe1 Wedge is the best wedge by price in our list. Available under $40, the Xe1 wedge is perfect for any price conscious golfer. Sacrificing price without performance is difficult to do when compared to brands like Callaway, Titleist, and Ping; however, the Xe1 wedge is a less known brand that holds its own with the bigger players. Before riding off this budget option, give it a test. Its wider sole just may be the solution to suring up your greenside bunker shots.
What Golf Wedges Should You Buy?
When selecting which wedges you are going to add to your bag, keep in mind full shot distances and playability from the types of lies you regularly encounter. Ensuring that your wedges have 4 to 6 degree loft increments can help you ensure that you can hit all the numbers you can find into greens. By testing different bounce and grind options, you can adapt your clubs to your swing and give yourself additional tools to use to help you play better golf. As always, happy shopping and thanks for reading.