Having a good short game is a surefire way to get that handicap down and wedge play is a huge part of that. All you need is the best wedge for you. Gone are the days when all golfers would have a full matching set from 3 iron to sand wedge. Long irons have made way for hybrids while wedges have become much more of a specialist club that come in sets of their own.
To really sharpen up around the greens you’ll need to up your wedge game but you will also want to check out our guide to the best putters. And while you're at it, our handy guide to the best putting mats could also help shave some shots off your score.
Back to the matter at hand though. Many golfers will carry four wedges of varying lofts, so it makes sense to have them all matching. And even if you’re a traditionalist who prefers to have pitching, gap and sand wedges matching their irons, you’ll still need a lob wedge, so whatever your wedge needs read on and we’ll talk you through the best options available.
How to buy the best wedge for you
The first thing you need to decide is how many wedges you want to have in the bag. When you know this it becomes easier to decide which lofts you require. The lofts of your irons play a part in determining which wedges you require.
I’ll use my own clubs to demonstrate. I use Wilson Staff D7 irons which are very strong lofted in comparison to many other sets. I have three wedges in that set; PW, GW and SW. The lofts are 43°, 48° and 54° so in addition to that I carry a separate 60° lob wedge too. That gives me a nice even spread and ensures my yardage splits are correct, but carrying four wedges is perhaps not ideal as it means I have to choose between a 5 wood or an extra hybrid at the top end of the bag.
If I were a better player this would not be an issue. I use irons with stronger lofts because it gives me added distance, while the D7 is also a very forgiving club. If on the other hand I was a scratch handicap golfer who was good enough to use clubs that you’d find in the bag of a PGA Tour player, that would change the make up of my wedges considerably because the iron lofts would be different. My PW would be 46°, GW might be 51° and a SW could be as high as 58° which would remove the need for a lob wedge altogether. In other words, three wedges, not four.
So to get the best wedge set up you need to check the lofts of your irons and take it from there.
Bounce is also important. Your SW should have a higher bounce because it’s designed for playing out of the sand, and the more bounce the easier it is to do that.
As for the bounce on your other wedges, well that depends on your skill level. As a general rule of thumb mid-high handicappers should avoid wedges with low bounce. A 10° or higher bounce in a SW is ideal while for a gap or lob wedge you want a mid-bounce (7-9°).
Low bounce wedges have the leading edge closer to the ground at address and are excellent when playing off tight lies and firm surfaces, but they are harder to use for the less skilled player because they will dig deeper into the ground and require a pure strike for best results. They are extremely difficult to use on softer ground, so mid-bounce wedges are a better all round option for most golfers.
It does largely depend on where you play though. Seaside links courses will require a different bounce than a soft parkland course, so factor that into any decision you make. Your swing is also a big factor. If you come in steep then you’ll need more of a bounce than if you have a sweeping action.
High bounce wedges are best for winter golf or soft ground, but if you tend to hit the ball fat then they will help with that also. As with any other club though, the best advice I can give is to get professionally fitted before shelling out on a set of wedges as it’s easy to make the wrong choice if you aren’t sure what you need.
Wedges are versatile clubs and serve many purposes, including full shots into the green. This is where the gapping is important because it will determine how far you can hit each club. There is no point carrying a 60° lob wedge if your standard SW is 58° as there will be very little difference in yardage between both on full shots.
You will also use wedges for various kinds of chips, pitches and flop shots around the green, and which club you select will depend very much on the type of shot you require and your comfort level in playing it. A lob wedge is not going to be ideal for a low pitch and run shot, but if you need to open the face and lash one up and over a bunker and stop it immediately on landing, then you are going to need the highest loft you have available.
The more you practice around the greens the easier it is to work out what works for you and what doesn’t.
The good news is there are so many loft and bounce combinations available that you will have no trouble finding the correct clubs to meet your requirements.
So without further ado here’s our list of the best wedges out there right now.
The best golf wedges you can buy today
Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water (hazard), Jaws is back. The Jaws Raw launched to much fanfare in the summer of 2022. You’ll see these wedges in the bags of many tour players but you don’t need to be Jon Rahm or Xander Shauffele to be able to hit nice shots with them.
There are 17 loft and bounce combinations available so finding something to suit your game won’t be a problem. You have a choice of two finishes; chrome or black plasma. Both look stunning and this is arguably the most aesthetically pleasing wedge on the market.
Callaway say Jaws Raw has the most aggressive grooves in golf, while the raw finish promotes rusting which aids performance. Rusty wedges are very much en vogue and look rather cool. The rustier the are, the cooler they look. It also means they perform much better in wet conditions due to the extra traction they get.
Cleveland's marketing slogan for these wedges is "All you wanna do is chunk a little less. Skull a little less. Duff a little less. CBX ZipCore helps you hit better shots around the green by striking it true and clean more often."
A lot of that kind of marketing spiel is nonsense but I can say from personal experience the above is accurate. The Jaws Raw may be the best overall wedge of this year but for mid-handicap golfers such as myself, the CBX ZipCore is probably a better choice.
It's forgiving but still provides plenty of spin around the greens, possibly because of the two extra grooves that Cleveland have added to this wedge. The graphite shaft option certainly helps with this too.
A hollow chamber near the heel boosts that MOI, improving forgiveness well past what other cavity backs can offer while the custom TPU Insert softens vibrations, resulting in less punishment if you stray away from that big sweet spot.
You might be put off by the bulkier look of this wedge compared to some of the blade shaped ones like Jaws Raw, Titleist Vokey SM9 and the Wilson Staff Model, but if you lack confidence and consistency in your short game then give these a try.
Wilson are known for the high quality of their forged irons and their Wilson Staff Model CB are among the best irons on the market. The Staff Model wedge is very much of the same ilk. It has a classic look, an incredibly soft feel and is more forgiving than some others on this list.
The head is made from soft forged 8629 carbon steel and features machine engraved score lines in the precision-milled face for maximum spin and control. This wedge is also available in a high toe version but has limited bounce options than most of its competitors. The standard grind should suit the majority of golfers but if you have specific requirements then this is probably not the wedge for you.
Vokey wedges have set the market standard for many years and the SM9 maintains that high standard. Whether it is much of an upgrade on the SM8 is debatable, as the SM8 is a terrific wedge in its own right.
In the higher lofted wedges a progressive centre of gravity design moves the CG up the face as the loft increases which optimises performance from higher strike locations. This promotes a more controlled flight and solid contact.
Titleist offer six grind options, while there are a total of 23 different loft and bounce options so you really need to be fitted to ensure your clubs are right for you.
Forged in Hiroshima, Japan, the T-22 wedges from Mizuno provide a perfect mix of spin, feel and versatility. “Nothing feels like a Mizuno” as they say, and it certainly applies in this case.
Loft specific Quad Cut milled grooves produce optimal spin while the laser etched HydroFlow Micro Grooves release moisture and therefore ensure the T-22 still produces spin even in wet conditions. The upper portion of the blade is tapered to produce a higher consistent spin and a more penetrating trajectory.
Of the three finishes, the satin chrome is the most durable and least likely to show signs of wear, but the denim copper looks stunning. After a few rounds it will start to scuff up though so you need to factor that in when choosing. The softness of the denim copper makes it one of the best feeling wedges out there, while the satin chrome runs it pretty close due to the copper plating that sits underneath the face.
Four grinds are available. S and D are aimed at mid-high handicap golfers whereas C is for more skilled players and firm conditions. The X grind is for “short game artists” according to Mizuno.
In addition to the four grinds, the T-22 comes in an exhaustive number of lofts and bounces so if you want to take the plunge it really is advisable to get professionally fitted. It’s always advisable of course, but even more so with the T-22 given the vast array of options available.
The Glide 4.0 was two years in the making but it was worth the wait. There are four grind options and in three of them you have the choice of going with the teardrop shape which just seems to be a lot more inviting behind the ball. That’s a personal preference though, you might prefer the standard look.
It is only available in one finish - the Ping Hydropearl 2.0 - but it’s a very classy looking club and the finish reduces glare on sunny days. The four sole options include a wide sole (WS) and Eye2 which Ping say makes this “the ultimate bunker club”. Something to keep in mind when choosing your wedges, as having one specialist sand club is never a bad thing.
The main selling point of this club though is how much it spins. This may be due to the Emery face blast technology which brings increased friction, similar to the raw face on the Callaway Jaws Raw.
Another ‘raw’ faced wedge that will rust over time, but that produces high levels of spin and control on approach shots and better performance in wet conditions. TaylorMade have introduced Raised Micro-Ribs to give added precisions on feel shots around the green, while precisely crafted grind on each and every wedge produces optimal turf interaction and consistent performance.
It comes in three different grinds as well as a fourth, bonus TW (Tiger Woods) grind which is a 56 degree model with 12 degrees of bounce.
The best selling wedge on Amazon, the Wilson Harmonized comes in five lofts and will suit the needs of most golfers who are not looking to spend fortunes on wedges. I carried the 60° version in my bag for several years and such was its performance level that I never looked to upgrade on it until the grip wore out and I decided it was time for a change.
It isn’t the most forgiving wedge on the market but you will be rewarded for good strikes and its easy to use around the greens for flop shots and soft landing pitches. If you want bang for your buck then this is the best deal out there as you can pick up a set of three wedges for the same price you would pay for one of the other clubs on this list.