In this guide we review and compare Gap Wedges to find the best one.
The best part?
You don't have to be a wedge specialist to find the best one for your play style and budget.
If you want to excel, in your game, having the right sand wedge is a must.
And in this article, I’m going to show you the best sand wedges and everything you need to know to choose the right wedge for you.
Let’s dive right in.
Titleist Vokey SM7
- Designed with progressive CG locations for path control
- Offers high levels of comfortable feel and feedback
- Milled machining for increased spin on shots
- Comes with 23 different bounce and grinds options
- Offers high levels of forgiveness and comfort on your shots
Table of Contents
The Best Gap Wedges in 2021
The Best Gap Wedges in 2021
Let's have a look at the 5 best options currently on the market in 2021.
How to find the suitable gap wedges for you?
I believe that it is essential to have the right set of wedges for an excellent game of golf. Gap wedge always can help you get back on the green when a ball lands in a tricky spot. To choose a perfect and helpful gap wedge we’ve listed our best picks for the best gap wedges in 2021.
Here Are the Best Gap Wedges in 2021:
- Cleveland RTX-3 – Our rating (4.5/5)
- Titleist Vokey SM7– Our rating (5/5)
- Wilson Staff PMP– Our rating (4.5/5)
- Mizuno S18– Our rating (4/5)
- Callaway Mack Daddy 4– Our rating (4/5)
A gap wedge is a must for touring pros and can significantly benefit everyday players like you. You probably hear other people refer to the gap wedge as an attack wedge (AW) or utility wedge (UW). There are two main reasons as to why the gap wedge can help improve your short game.
Vital yardage between your sand wedge loft and your pitching wedge loft.
As its name suggests, the gap wedge fills the gap between a traditional sand wedge and a pitching wedge. With conventional hitters, you'll find approximately 25 to 40 yards of distance between the two clubs. The gap wedge generally ranges in the loft from 46 to 54 degrees and covers a length between 90 to 110 yards.
Trajectory and spin control
Besides the distance, the gap wedge can produce trajectory and spin solutions that you will need in able to score. You will be able to play pitch and chip shots on faster or firmer greens – letting you release and roll with better techniques.
Everyday players may not want to admit it, but most only hit an average of about two to four greens in a round as compared to around 12 greens for tour players. That leaves plenty more shots inside 100 yards. To be able to score, having specific clubs for those yardages is essential.
Gap wedges weren’t around before, why use it now?
Initially, the golfing population only used the standard 48-degree pitching wedge and the 56-degree sand wedge. But the 8-degree difference often left a 25-yard distance that players had to make half swings even inside the range of 150 yards. As part of marketing ploys, golf manufacturers kept tweaking the designations of their irons because golf players wanted clubs that hit “longer.” That was when times started to change.
Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) responded to the demand with the gap wedge – featuring a loft that compromises between the two traditional prongs. The club had to be purchased separately from the golf sets. It was then used by pro golfers so they can hit shots from distances of between 110 and 125 yards.
Data from Shot Link shows that the average proximity from the hole on fairway shots from 50 to 125 yards was 19 feet, 6 inches in 2004, whereas in 2013, it was more than a foot closer at 18 feet, 5 inches. The number of players that are able to average inside 17 feet from that distance more than doubled between 2004 (13) and 2013 (34). Bubba Watson's playoff boomerang with a 52-degree gap wedge that led to his Master's win in 2012 comes to mind. For more information click here.
Forty years down the road, OEM's continued producing their irons with wider differences in loft angles, and with the gap wedge still excluded from the bundle.New technologies allow golfers to hit the iron with higher ball trajectories, and faster airborne speed. The sand wedge, on the other hand, still carrying 58 to 60 degrees.
This only means that without a gap wedge, it has become much harder to score within the prime zone. Most players use the gap wedge because it gives more variety near the green for pitches that don’t require longer chips and a full swing.
How do you use a gap wedge?
Take a comfortable swing so you can see how far you can hit your gap wedge in relation to your other two wedges. Begin with your pitching wedge and caught 12 balls. Assuming that you have a stride of about a yard, walk off the yardage to the zone. Then repeat the same thing with your gap and sand wedges. After doing this test for your wedges, you will then have an insight on how far you can hit each club.
Do this same drill, except alter where you position the golf ball. Hit 12 balls with your pitching wedge first and place them across from the insole of your front foot, then hit 12 more balls from the back of your trailing foot. You will see a difference in the height of your shots and the amount of backspin you can put on the ball. Do the same for your pitching wedge and then your sand wedge.
Finally, hit your gap wedge with a half-swing, and make sure your arms do not pass parallel with the ground. This will help you visualize the conditions under which your gap wedge will be useful.
You have to realize that practice on a range is different from playing a golf course.
How do you choose the right gap wedge to buy?
When it comes to buying a gap wedge, you should consider various factors that usually surround your golf game.
- Check for 'consistency in your irons’ loft differences:
We refer to the angle between the shaft and clubface as the loft. The general rule of thumb is to maintain only a four-degree difference between lowest lofted iron and the highest-lofted wedges that you carry. You should choose a gap wedge with a loft ranging from 50 to 54 degrees. This is ideal for a short game within 100-120 yards off the green.
- Know your bounce:
The bounce of a wedge is the part of your club that hits the turf. For wedges, the bounce is measured regarding angles ranging from 0 to 14 degrees. This is the angle between the leading edge of the golfing iron to the point of the sole that touches the soil.
- Low bounce wedges (4 to 6 degrees) is better suited if you have to sweep the ball or take a shallower divot in firmer golf course turf conditions and links courses with sandy soil.
- Mid bounce wedges (7 to 10 degrees) is considered as your most versatile option, appropriate for a broader range of turf conditions and swing styles.
Here is a video provided below to better know your bounce:
- Recognize your sole grinds:
The additional shaping of the wedge’s sole around the heel is called the sole grind. The sole grinds affect the depth of the bounce of the sole, so it is essential to recognize the types of grinds that is appropriate for your golf game.
- Keep up with the grooves:
Although grooves are tightly regulated today, it is a benefit to keep them up to date with the latest designs, as OEMs use new milling processes and technology, allowing groove shapes to help move water and dirt away from the ball at impact, resulting in extra spin creation and control improvement.
- Choose your finish:
Basically, the finish entails the coating and plating that comes with the wedge. Not only does the finish provide clubs with different looks and colors, but the finish also contributes to a player’s performance and the product’s wear.
- Chrome finishes usually maintain their color and are moisture-repellent and give great spin.
- Nickel finishes give an excellent appearance with less glare than the chrome finish.
- Unplated or raw finishes are specifically designed to rust, which can improve friction and provide an increased amount of spin.
- Darker finishes wear out faster than lighter finishes. Dark finishes can also help reduce glare.
For choosing the finish of your wedge, this is purely based on your personal preference and taste.
If you are serious about improving your performance around the greens, and from 100 yards in, these are the key things you should consider.
Conclusion and Editors Choice
Looking for the right, wedges can improve your confidence in your short game significantly and allow you to shave shots off your score at every round. You must ensure a custom fitting is undertaken to get the best wedges for your game. But as soon as that process is done, you’ll be rewarding yourself with the best chance to save important shots around the green. For many years now, the team of Bob Vokey has been at the forefront of wedge design.
For 2018, the Titleist’s SM7 wedges display the finest of cutting-edge design and technology. Despite being sold at a premium price, the SM7 wedges can save you strokes. Hence the price will be worth it. We believe that the Titleist Vokey SM7 wedges are beneficial to players of all standards. If you are looking to yield greater control of your short games, this will be your best bet.