I think you’ll agree with me when I say:
Wedges can be REALLY unforgiving.
Does this have to be?
Well, it turns out, you can have a much more enjoyable Wedge Play and get rid of bunker shot nightmares by focusing on wedges designed for more forgiveness.
we are going to cover the most forgiving wedges on the market and how you can find the perfect one for you.
Let's dive right in!
TaylorMade Milled Grind Wedges
- Light, comfortable and forgiving even in difficult hazards
- Available in many finish options including bronze, antique, satin, nickel or chrome
- Thoughtful groove design improves spin and launch out of bunkers
- Available in all bounce versions- high, standard and low
- High quality classic design and finish makes it look great
Table of Contents
The Most forgiving Wedges in 2019
Wedges for Intermediate Players: Buying Guide
Types of Wedges
Wedges are a variety of specialized irons, with the shortest shafts and highest loft angles, usually in the 44-64 degree range. Those high loft angles make the ball jump high in the air on contact, making lobs ideal near the green, close to tree lines, and in rough lies like inside sand bunkers and even shallow water. Wedges are divided into four types based on their lofts:
Pitching Wedges (PW)
Pitching Wedges (PW) have a loft range between 44 and 49 degrees and can hit the ball to a maximum distance of 125 yards in the hands of an average golfer. The PW is considered the starter wedge since it is the easiest to master for beginners.
Gap Wedges (GW)
Gap Wedges (GW) are lofted between 50 to 54 degrees and was designed to cover the gaps between Pitching Wedges and Sand Wedges when manufacturers started reducing the lofts of Pitching wedges. They are also called attack wedges (AW). In the hands of mid-handicappers, GW can attain a top range of 100 yards.
Sand Wedges (SW)
Sand Wedges (SW) are next in loft progression with angles between 54 to 58 degrees. Armed with a heavier club head which can power through sand and thick grass, these wedges get the ball to pop high into the air while minimizing any contact to nearby obstructions. With the high launch angle, the ball also tends to spin less, ensuring that there is minimal surface roll after landing on the green. SW also have a maximum range of around 100 yards.
Lob Wedges (LW)
Lob Wedge (LW) are the highest lofted wedges with a loft range between 50-65 degrees or more. With the steepest trajectories and softest possible landings, shots with these wedges are ideal to avoid any obstacles that block your path to the green, like steep hillocks or even trees.
Wedge Loft And Gapping Guide
The loft describes the angle between the face of the wedge and the vertical line of the shaft. The degree determines ball trajectory and distance range on shots.
Gapping is the difference in loft angles between individual clubs in your set.
According to experts, uneven gapping between clubs is highly undesirable and should be avoided for optimal play. The ideal gap between clubs is thought to be between 4-6 degrees, according to none other than wedge specialist Sam Vokey. If you have a PW at 44 degrees, get a GW with 48 degrees, SW with 52 degrees and so on. With that gapping, you have all the distances and lies covered.
Bounce and Course Conditions
Bounce is the term for a part of the wedge, located at the bottom of the club head. This is the part that comes in direct contact with the ground, hence the term "bounce." The term is used commonly to refer to the bounce angle, which is the angle at which the clubhead rests on the surface when held vertical. If a club head digs into the ground during your swing, it has a very adverse effect on your momentum and can result in poor contact with the ball. The bounce of a wedge is designed to minimize the chance of negative contact with the turf or sand. There are three categories of bounce angles commonly found on wedges:
Low Bounce & Mid Bounce
Low Bounce is an angle between 4 to 6 degrees. These wedges are suitable for links courses with firm turfs. They are also ideal if your course has chunky and coarse sand or even bunkers with very little sand in them. Players who tend to sweep the ball will get better results with low bounce wedges.
Mid Bounce is considered to be between 7 and 10 degrees. If you are unsure which bounce to opt for, this is the safest choice. It is versatile and can handle different swings and turf conditions.
High Bounce is anything above 10 degrees of loft at the bounce. Get these if you consistently find your wedge swings digging deep into the turf. These wedges are better suited for parkland courses which have softer turf. They also perform well in bunkers with a lot of fine sand.
Since wedges have a general tendency to come into regular contact with the turf, manufacturers try different methods to improve their performance on the turf. One of the most common methods is to grind away additional material from the sole of the club, either at the heel or toe, to improve overall workability in different lies.
Sole grinds change the way the club face sits at address, so the ideal choice for you is entirely dependent on your swing style and local conditions. Since these modifications also have an effect on club bounce, there are some performance trade-offs involved. If you are a beginner, the wisest and safest option is to consult a professional or club fitter at your local course to figure out the optimal setup for you.
Wedges Selection Guide
If you are a rank beginner, a PW is all that you need for the moment. And most iron sets come bundled with at least a PW, or a PW-SW combination, which should suit the starter golfer for short term. Once you are a bit more proficient in the game and find your handicap under 25, it's time to start thinking about getting a gap wedge and lob wedge.
Shaft and Finish Options
Wedges only come in steel shafts, unless we are talking about graphite shafted iron sets. But those are usually aimed at senior golfers, so steel should suit everyone else. Stiffer shafts are preferred for wedges since accuracy and control are more important than swing speeds inside the 100 yards range.
Finish preferences are entirely subjective and determined by individual taste. If you want longevity, chrome and nickel finishes are what you need. If you prefer better looks, dark finishes are preferable, though they do degrade/wear off faster. Unplated or raw finishes have a minimal performance upgrade that kicks in over time as increased rust improves the spin levels somewhat.
Check out this YouTube video to learn some tips about hitting wedges, from none other than the legendary Butch Harmon:
Conclusion and Editors Choice
Our shortlist includes some of the best golf wedges in 2019. With regards to overall performance, blade style tour wedges like the Titleist SM6 and TaylorMade Milled Grind wedges are probably the best wedges in golf at the moment. But they sacrifice some forgiveness in favor of accuracy and control. But forgiveness is important for beginners and high handicappers, and our vote in that vital aspect surely has to go to the Mizuno Golf S5 wedge, with its large club heads and generous sweet spots. The cavity back versions of the Cleveland RTX series also offer excellent performance for the weaker golfers looking for their first wedge upgrade or purchase.