Golf wedges are the most fun clubs in your bag. They unlock your creativity and allow you to show your finesse and precision on the golf course.
Your feel and understanding of how to strike a golf ball are most evident with your wedges. They generate spin, they produce high-launch shots and they can rescue you around the greens.
Golf wedges test your judgement and much like with your putter, a lot of your success with these clubs is down to you.
Do you use any of the golf wedges featured in our guide below, and do you agree with your results?
Let us know over on the GolfMagic social media channels, or come and visit us over on the GolfMagic YouTube channel.
BEST GOLF WEDGES 2023
BEST GOLF WEDGE
BEST DISTANCE CONTROL
BEST FOR SPIN
Power and technology are packed into the best golf drivers, but the key features of golf wedges are made of subtle refinements and changes which help to sharpen your short game.
In our latest guide, we want to help you choose your next golf wedge, the club that is going to tidy up your short game and help you shoot lower scores.
First up as a quick refresher, let's take a look at the different types of golf wedge you can have in your bag.
Types of golf wedge
The lob wedge is the most lofted club in the bag. The lob wedge can range from 58 to 64 degrees and it is the perfect club to use from the bunker as the thin face slices through the sand.
Although the lob wedge can be used for intricate shots from around the green, it can also be used from between 70 to 90 yards when hit on the full. This club achieves very high apexes when used from short distances.
The sand wedge usually carries a loft of 54 to 56 degrees. As you can tell by the name, this club is built to be used from bunkers, but the lob wedge can be used to better effect in this case.
Much like all wedges, the sand wedge is perfect for deft chips around the greens and they can also be used to hit shots of up to 100 yards from the green.
A gap wedge is usually found in the range of 50 to 52 degrees. It is seen as a compromise between a pitching wedge and a gap wedge.
If you add one into your bag having not had one before, you will feel the benefit because you no longer have to adapt a hard sand wedge or a soft pitching wedge shot.
The degree difference between a sand wedge and a pitching wedge has grown to around 10 degrees, which leaves space for a gap wedge in your bag to cover every type of shot.
Pitching wedges are the next most-lofted club in the bag after the 9-iron. They usually have lofts between 45 and 48 degrees. Sometimes, players will have a 48-degree wedge in their bag that isn’t specified as a pitching wedge.
This is arguably one of the most versatile clubs in the game because it can be used for full shots of around 100 to 150 yards, but also with chips around the green and low pitches too. Pitching wedges are largely included in iron sets while you largely have to buy your sand wedge and or lob wedge separately.
Best Golf Wedges 2023
Okay, now for our Golf Wedges Test 2023.
GolfMagic Equipment Editor Alex Lodge tested out a number of different wedge models from 50 degrees through to 60 degrees to ensure a fair test.
All of the wedges featured in our test very much impressed us, making it extremely hard to pick an overall winner. But we did eventually settle on one, and here it is:
1. Titleist Vokey SM9
Price: £149 | Ultimate Shot Versatility | Forward centre of gravity | Groove durability doubled
- Extremely impressive custom fitting options, catering for all golfers
- Lowered CG optimises the ball flight
- Great feel
- Looks unbelievable both in the bag and over the ball at address
- Minimal improvements on the last model (SM8)
Of all the wedges in the game, Titleist Vokey models are arguably the most reliable and the most likely to guarantee consistent performance. The SM9 model represents a small but significant improvement from the previous SM8 model in which the brand has endeavoured to control your ball flight and distances.
We tested the 52, 56 and 60-degree wedges in this model and we were most impressed with the ball-striking and forgiveness of off-centre hits. Even when Alex didn’t find the middle of the club face, his dispersion to the pin was tight and this makes these golf wedges suitable for a wide range of golfers.
Titleist has focused on versatility, distance control and spin with the Vokey SM9 wedges. The company honed in their “most technologically advanced design in all three areas.” This was clear to see because we were impressed with the spin control and the feel off the club face.
The brand has improved the quality of the club face by focusing on its durability and this also adds to its longevity. This is an important feature to note because, with longevity, you can maximise the use of a Titleist Vokey wedge over a longer period.
Alex was particularly pleased with his ball flights as a result of Vokey designers optimising the centre of gravity. The Titleist Vokey SM9 wedges can produce launches that make you feel like a professional.
Other than the price tag of £159, it is hard to find fault with these wedges. The price comes from the name and the world-class construction of these golf wedges.
READ OUR FULL TITLEIST VOKEY SM9 WEDGE REVIEW
2. PING Glide 4.0
Price: £139 | Precision-milled face and grooves | Four grind options | 8620 carbon steel body
- Increased performance quality in all weather conditions
- Impressive custom fitting options
- Forgiving look at address
- Other wedges in our test feel slightly softer at impact
The PING Glide 4.0 wedges are made with precision-milled faces and grooves. The new texture face is meant to increase spin and consistency and we’ll confirm that this was the case. These golf wedges are very forgiving of off-centre hits from short-range and long-range distances.
Much like the Titleist Vokey SM9 wedges, PING focused on maximising versatility with these golf wedges. They come in four distinct grind options which cater for several different golfers.
Their versatility is a distinct difference from the PING Glide Forged Pro which was most suited to low amateurs and Tour players.
The compact shape and the multi-material construction that combines 8620 carbon steel allows for a soft feel. When we tested these golf wedges on the golf course, we grew in confidence with our ball-striking and the feel was very satisfying.
We also found this helped us to hit a range of different shots such as one-hop-and-stops and bump-and-runs.
It’s hard to hide our excitement around these golf wedges which we believe are the best that PING has produced. It’s hard to grumble at the price and you certainly won’t grumble at the performance which will benefit any golfer’s short game and wedge play.
READ OUR FULL PING GLIDE 4.0 WEDGE REVIEW
3. TaylorMade Hi-Toe 3
Price: £139 | Micro-Rib Grooves | Four-way cambered sole | Raw Face technology
- Optimal turf interaction with high and low bounce options
- Micro-Rib grooves increase spin rate
- Increased look of forgiveness at address
- Raw face doesn’t suit every golfer
- No huge improvements from the previous model (Hi-Toe 2)
When we tested the TaylorMade Hi-Toe 3 wedges, we immediately appreciated the Micro-Rib grooves that are ingrained in the club face. We experienced some sweet connections and an impressive spin rate with these golf wedges.
The brand included Raw Face technology which is meant to increase spin and feel with deeper and narrower grooves. This also causes the face to rust over time. As impressive a feature as this is, it is aimed at Tour Professionals and although we don’t mind this element, many golfers may dislike it.
We tested the 58, 54 and 50-degree wedges in the Hi-Toe 3 model and we were delighted with the versatility that they offer. From 100 yards and closer to the green, you can use any of these wedges to hit a low or a high shot to the green. Alex was encouraged to hit several different trajectories and we like that TaylorMade has encouraged creativity.
TaylorMade aimed to improve versatility with these wedges and the four-way cambered sole significantly helps this. During the construction of these Milled Grind wedges, TaylorMade crafted each sole to achieve consistent and “repeatable” performance.
We were impressed with the ball-striking of these clubs and this was also down to the Micro-Ribs that are positioned in between the full grooves. Alex particularly enjoyed this feature which led to sweeter connections and a solid spin rate.
READ OUR FULL TAYLORMADE HI-TOE 3 WEDGE REVIEW
4. Callaway JAWS Raw
Price: £149 | Groove-in-groove technology | Removed plating in the club face | Raw Face technology
- Most aggressive grooves ever increase spin rate
- Improved feel from previous iterations
- Two impressive designs to choose from
- Same price as the Titleist Vokey SM9 and doesn't quite reach the same level of overall performance
- Raw face doesn’t suit every golfer
Much like the TaylorMade Hi-Toe 3 wedges, we were impressed with the spin rate of the Callaway Jaws Raw wedges. We found the most spin with full shots and short chips and this is because of the aggressive grooves in the club face.
Callaway used off-set groove-in-groove technology to produce what they describe as “the most aggressive groove in golf.” The brand has removed plating on the face which allows for maximum spin and we experienced this first-hand.
However, as these golf wedges encourage spin control, we believe they suit good amateurs and tour professionals. The aggressive grooves suit players who can use them to their full potential and players who can control spin and one-hope-and-stop shots.
As with the TaylorMade Hi-Toe 3 wedges, Raw Face technology is another feature here which may not suit mid-to-high handicappers or golfers who dislike the rusted element.
In this way, we won’t rave about the forgiveness of the Jaws Raw wedges. Nonetheless, the design of these wedges appeals to every golfer. We liked both the black and silver designs and by removing the plating on the face, this causes long-term rusting.
We were huge fans of the rusted element because this also helps with spin rate and performance over time. As we stated at the start of this guide, golf wedges are constructed for creativity and the Jaws Raw wedges encourage workability with the amount of spin you can generate.
READ OUR FULL CALLAWAY JAWS RAW WEDGE REVIEW
5. Callaway CB
Price: £149 | Jaws raw grooves | Pre-worn leading edge | urethane microspheres
- Incredible forgiveness
- Very versatile
- Excellent spin rates
- Expensive for the game improvement category
These wedges offer outstanding forgiveness and excellent versatility on a range of different shot types.
Thanks to the pro-worn leading edge and a generous bounce offering, we found that even the toughest lies were no match for the CBs. Whether it was firm fairways or thick rough, the wedges were able to pop the ball up nicely, with a nice crisp feel and sound at impact.
Aimed at game-improvement players, the CB wedges are chunkier than your typical bladed wedge, but the larger head size and thick sole give the club a very confidence-inspiring look at address.
Featuring 12 degrees of bounce on both the 52 and 60-degree options, the club interacts beautifully with the turf as it glides effortlessly under the ball to impart plenty of spin.
We found even the toughest flop shots to be easy to execute with these wedges, and they will undoubtedly get beginner golfers up and down more often.
At £149 per club, they are one of the most expensive game improvement wedges we've ever seen, but the performance benefits you receive make them an ideal addition to any golfers bag.
READ OUR FULL CALLAWAY CB WEDGE REVIEW
6. TaylorMade MG4
Price: £159 | Spin Tread Technology | Milled Grind Soles | Raw Face Technology
- Perform much better than MG3 in wet conditions
- Excellent feel and workability
- Tour-inspired shape looks great behind the ball
- Raw face will tear up softer golf balls
The introduction of Spin Tread Technology is the main innovation for TaylorMade's MG4 wedges. Designed for improved performance in wet conditions, the new laser-etched grooves allow water to be channelled away from the face for increased ball interaction and better spin retention.
The newly refined head has a classic teardrop design that looks fantastic at address, and the sleek satin contoured back contrasts beautifully with the rough texture of the milled sole to give the head an appealing, modern finish.
Providing a soft yet responsive feel at impact, they produce a slightly lower ball flight than other wedges on this list, which proved particularly useful when trying to hit flighted shots into tricky pins.
Off the face, you can really feel the ball ripping off the grooves, and the resulting spin rates were outstanding on full shots. On more delicate chips around the green, we were able to control our rollout, with the milled grind sole gliding effortlessly across the turf.
Available in seven different grind options, the MG4 range offers fantastic versatility, with the newly introduced high bounce W grind providing a whopping 13 degrees of bounce.
At £159 per wedge, they don't come cheap, but if you're looking for Tour-validated performance in a sleek and modern design, then look no further.
READ OUR FULL TAYLORMADE MG4 REVIEW
7. Cleveland Golf RTX ZipCore Full Face
Price: £129 | UltiZip Grooves | High-Toe Profile | ZipCore raises MOI
- UltiZip Grooves increase spin
- Increased quality in feel
- Increased versatility across the whole wedge set
- There are higher-performing wedges in this Buyer Guide
An intriguing feature of these Cleveland wedges is the inclusion of grooves across the entire face, from top to bottom. These are UltiZip grooves that allow for optimal spin performance. The High-Toe profile is also designed to slide the club face under the golf ball.
When we tested these Full Face wedges, we found them to be forgiving enough and we attribute this to the groove construction. We did find the CBX Full Face 2 wedges below, however, that little bit more forgiving.
We found our ball-striking to be consistent across the face. Cleveland boosted the durability of these grooves with a new heat treatment process.
We tested the 52, 56 and 60-degree wedges and we thought the feel of the club face was very soft when we connected with the middle of the club face. The softness in the strike is a key part of a golf wedge’s make-up and the Full Face clubs excel in this department.
With the grooves covering every millimetre of the club face, we grew in confidence and felt able to hit a number of different shots and trajectories. This design element encourages creativity and it suits more golfers than the aggressive grooves of the Callaway Jaws Raw wedges.
READ OUR FULL CLEVELAND RTX ZIPCORE FULL FACE WEDGE REVIEW
8. Cleveland Golf CBX Full Face 2
Price: £149.00 | HydraZip laser-milled line pattern | Full Face groove design | Two grind options
- One of the most forgiving wedges in our test
- Impressive stopping power and precise control around the green
- New bounce chamfer makes it less likely for you to duff a chip shot
- Full Face of grooves will take some getting used to at address
- Other wedges in this test appeal more in the looks department
The Cleveland Golf CBX Full Face 2 wedges are an ideal choice for mid-handicap golfers looking for more forgiveness and accuracy.
The fresh Full Face groove design and Hydrazip technology combine to create a high spinning wedge that performs just as well in wet conditions as it does in dry.
These new golf wedges from Cleveland provide excellent control on tighter, more delicate greenside shots that require you to open the face up.
These wedges also provide a superb sound and feel at impact, very similar to the aforementioned Cleveland RTX ZipCore Full Face wedges.
With a 13% larger contact area thanks to its Full Face design, these wedges generated high spin rates in our latest test.
This ensured we were able to bring our golf ball to a halt on the green exactly when we wanted, whether that was on a full strike from outside of 100 yards or a fiddly chip shot or bunker shot from around the green.
We certainly noticed much more forgiveness with this wedge than the RTX wedges, particularly with full shots from 100-120 yards producing a very tight offline dispersion.
While the RTX wedge above offers much more versatility to the better player, we found it easier to pick the ball clean off the turf and prevent duffed chips with the CBX as a result of its new bounce chamfer and sole design.
Looking down at these wedges may take some getting used to and while they may not be the sexiest looking option on the market, they certainly make up for that with their performance.
We loved the confidence these wedges gave us around the greens and the performance on longer shots make them the ideal choice for the average golfer.
Everyone loves the sleek and slender look of a more bladed style wedge like the Titleist Vokey SM9, which won our latest test, but when it comes to forgiveness and bringing your scores down, you should look no further than the CBX Full Face 2 from Cleveland.
The high price point may put some golfers off, but if your short game is in need of a helping hand, then these wedges will certainly be money well spent.
READ OUR FULL CLEVELAND GOLF CBX FULL FACE 2 WEDGE REVIEW
Now for some more wedgeduction...
Did you see what we did there?!
Key features of golf wedges
Wedges have the highest lofts of any clubs in your bag. Loft refers to the angle of the club face and how open it is compared to the shaft.
A pitching wedge is the least lofted club in this department as this can have an angle as low as 45 degrees. But a lob wedge can be as open as 64 degrees and it is useful to have both in your bag so you have your bases covered on different shots.
The sole grind is the extra shaping on the sole of the club which is usually around the heel or the toe.
The grind on your wedge can be manipulated by removing material from the heel, toe or trailing edge. This manipulation is used by manufacturers to improve the golf wedge’s interaction with the turf.
Finding the right grind for your wedge is very important because a certain type of grind suits a certain type of swing. This is a process that would be explained to you in a custom fitting session.
Grooves are an essential part of the golf club because they help to control spin and increase the quality of connection with the golf ball.
Similar to the way tyres have lines running through them to increase grip on the roads, golf wedges have numerous grooves in the face. The design of grooves also allows water to flow and clean the face and it also helps your connection with the golf ball in wet conditions.
Many different brands have created their own groove designs. Callaway used groove-in-groove technology with the Jaws Raw wedges to create aggressive grooves and increase spin.
Bounce is essentially the angle between the leading edge and the lowest point of the sole. This part of the club will hit the ground at impact.
The bounce is what you see when you lay the club flat on the ground and the leading edge is slightly off the ground. A high bounce means that the leading edge is higher off the floor.
Golf wedges with a lower bounce suit dry and fast lies or golfers with shallow attack angles who look to just brush the turf.
Standard bounce wedges are the most common. They range between seven to 10 degrees and they suit golfers with a standard swing and a moderate attack angle.
High-bounce wedges will have more than 10 degrees of bounce. They suit players who like taking divots and those who achieve a lot of spin.
The term finish refers to the look of the golf wedge and what material is in the club head. Finishes usually include black nickel, chrome, rusty or raw, beryllium copper and nickel-coated.
There is largely no impact on the performance of the wedge based on its finish, the difference is mainly cosmetic.
How do we test golf wedges?
GolfMagic Equipment Editor Alex Lodge tests all of the best golf wedges out on the golf course, testing the connection off the club face and the overall performance.
Wedges are versatile clubs because they can be used for a 50-yard pitch and a full 100-yard shot from the middle of the fairway. We test these clubs from every distance to get a well-rounded view of their quality.
Golf is not always sunshine and rainbows, you are not always in the fairway. You may be faced with a tough bunker shot or an approach from some juicy rough. We test each golf wedge from all positions on the course.
After each shot, we take note of how much spin was generated and how straight the flight was too. These are two key features of a golf wedge’s performance. We also look at how well the wedges perform when we don’t find the middle of the club face.
This refers to the forgiveness of a club and this is a key feature that appeals to golfers. We want to inform our readers about how forgiving each wedge is, how consistent they are and ultimately, how much they improve your game.
More Golf Equipment Guides:
Which is your favourite golf wedge right now? Share your thoughts and comments over on the GolfMagic social media channels, or come and visit us over on the GolfMagic YouTube channel where you can check out all of our latest reviews.