Best Golf Wedges 2017 (include Sand, Lob, Gap and Pitching) - Hitting The Golf Ball
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Best Golf Wedges 2017 (include Sand, Lob, Gap and Pitching)

Your golf bag is full of various clubs that you can use in almost any situation. From the tee to the fairway, you have every weapon in your bag that you could possibly need.

And then you find yourself in a sand trap, inches from the green, and all you have to use are some woods and irons. None of these clubs seem suited to this situation, so what could you possibly do now?

If you had yourself a good golf wedge, then you may be able to find your way out of this mess. And today, we are here to help with that very problem.

What we mentioned above is just one of many situations you could find yourself in during a game. Even if you aren't stuck in a sand trap, you may be in looking for a good club for your approach, or even to get out of trouble when in the rough.


Quick Summary of The Best Golf Wedges

Tour Edge Golf - 1Out Plus

Best Sand Wedge

  • Counter-balanced grip for better stability and accuracy
  • Wide sole design for easier sand shots
  • Heavy sole puts maximum weight for easy launch
Cleveland Golf 588 RTX Black Pearl

Best Lob Wedge

  • U-Groove design provides more spin and control
  • Roughness generates more spin on chips, pitches and partial shots
  • Sole grind helps those bunker shots
Cleveland Smart Sole 2.0 Wedge

Best Gap Wedge

  • Wide, forgiving sole for consistent contact
  • Perimeter weighting also improves consistency and forgivness
Callaway Mack Daddy PM Wedge

Best Pitching Wedge

  • Versatility to take on any shot
  • Large groove area for aggressive wedge shots
  • Designed by Phil Mackleson


Different Types of Wedges and Their Uses

To paraphrase a popular line, "there's a wedge for that". If you are in a sand trap, there is the ever popular "sand wedge", for different kinds of approaches there is the "lob wedge", "pitching wedge", and the "gap wedge", each of which provide varying degrees of loft.

Each of these wedges and their various uses we will be looking at today, as we try to bring you the best that each wedge type can provide.​

  • For example, you obviously want to get a sand wedge which is capable of escaping the bunkers, and for this you will want a sand wedge with a loft between 54 to 58 degrees. With a regular golf swing, most golfers hit sand wedges between 80 and 110 yards.
  • For a lob wedge, you will want to find a club with a loft between 60-64 degrees, which is a higher lob then the other wedges. This allows for high trajectory and more spin with approach shots and bunker shots. Golfers generally hit lob wedges under 80 yards, and they are designed to send the ball high into the air.
  • Gap wedges, which can also go by the names of attack, approach, and utility wedge, are used so named because they bridge a "gap" between a sand wedge and a pitching wedge. Most golfers hit gap wedges between about 90 and 110 yards. With a gap wedge, you want to look for a loft between 51 to 53 degrees to help with shorter pitches than you would need a pitching wedge for.
  • Speaking of the pitching wedge, you will want a loft between 46-50 degrees as you will be using a pitching wedge for your longest of approach shots. When a golf ball is properly struck with a pitching wedge, it will pop up into the air and travel from about 110 to 140 yards. As such you will want your pitching wedge to essentially play as a less powerful iron, capable of low trajectory and longer distance shots.

Buying Factors for Best Golf Wedges

When purchasing a wedge, there are many factors to consider for each wedge. These factors include the loft, bounce, and sole grind of the wedge, just to name a few.

LOFT

The most obvious of these features is the loft of the wedge, which provides a wedge with its flight trajectory and distance. These are a result of the angle of the club head, and it is important when buying your wedges that the loft provided does not vary too much between clubs, with only about a 4 degree loft gap between clubs.

BOUNCE

The wedge's bounce, the area of the club that hits the turf under the ball, is also important when considering your purchase. A clubs bounce will prevent the club from tearing up grass at the point of impact, and therefore stopping any momentum going forward on the ball.

SOLE GRIND

The shaping on the sole of the wedge, also known as the "Sole Grind", can be a factor in how low a clubhead sets on the ground. This not only helps a player get a cleaner hit on the club face, but can also be something that effects a wedge's bounce, so the sole grind is very important to consider.

CLUB SHAFTS

Wedges also come with a variety of different club shafts and finishes. While these things are more catered to personal preference, the club shafts provide varying degrees of flexibility, which can be a very important thing to some players, although whether more or less flexibility is needed is up to the individual player.


Best Sand Wedges

XE1 59 Degree Ultimate Sand Wedge

Our first sand wedge is the XE1 Ultimate Sand Wedge, a 59 degree wedge. This angle makes it an essential club for the obstacles you will face near the green.

A unique feature that this club has is in the design of the club head. The club head has a perfectly flat crown and long back design, which allows the wedge to glide effortlessly through the gritty sand.

XE1 59 Degree Ultimate Sand Wedge

The shaft of the wedge is made of strong steel, which is great for a sand wedge. This is because a steel shaft gives just the right amount of flexibility when making a swing, which is helpful when stuck in certain hazards.​

The XE1 does have its own share of setbacks though. While the XE1 is a good choice in most sand traps, traps with thinner sand prove to be a challenge for the wedge. This wedge is also somewhat bad when in situations with tight lies.​

This may seem like a tough issue to overcome for the XE1, but that amount of improvement your short game will gain makes the risk worth it. In almost every situation, the XE1 Ultimate Sand Wedge is a worthy choice.​

Things We Liked

  • Club head design allows for an effortless glide
  • Made of strong steel and gives right amount of flexibility

Things We Didn't Like

  • Not very good with thinner sand and tight lies

Tour Edge Golf - 1Out Plus

Our next wedge, the Tour Edge Golf - 1Out Plus, is a sand wedge that has many essential features for those facing off against a sand trap.

With a 56 degree loft, the Tour Edge can give you the trajectory needed to escape hazards, among other uses.

The tour edge comes equipped with a really wide sole design, which makes it easy for this wedge to surf through the sand.

best sand wedges

The wide sole also comes with some extra heft, which puts more weight under the ball at impact, providing a lot of bounce to your shot for easy launch.

A unique feature of the Tour Edge Golf is the "Counter-Balanced Grip". This specially designed grip helps improves the stability of your shots at impact with the ball, making your shots fly more accurately.

For those that also are looking at the benefits of this club on your short game as a whole, then you will be pleased to know that this wedge has an effective range of up to 80 yards, making it great in that aspect as well. And for just around $55, this is easily one of the best sand wedges on the market.

Things We Liked

  • Counter-balanced grip for better stability and accuracy
  • Wide sole design for easier sand shots
  • Heavy sole puts maximum weight for easy launch

Things We Didn't Like

  • Nothing really

TaylorMade "Tour Preferred" Sand Wedge

From the ever popular "TaylorMade" family of clubs comes our next sand wedge, known as "Tour Preferred". And as is the case with many TaylorMade products, this is one quality club.

To start, before even getting into play features, this is one beautiful looking club.

Designed with a traditional, classic look, everything to the shape of the club to the club's finish screams beauty.

TaylorMade Tour Preferred Sand Wedge

But beauty isn't all this club has, as the "Tour Preferred's" design is also made with efficiency in mind. This includes the sole grind which, while traditional itself, is made to create great, 10 degree bounce off of your shots.

There really are not many arguments against this club, as it contains many features that golfers would love without many setback. And with groove design for spin and control, this is a great club both in and out of the sand trap.

Things We Liked

  • Groove design for better spin and control
  • Sole grind creates 10 degree bounce

Things We Didn't Like

  • Nothing really

Quick Summary of The Best Sand Wedges

XE1 59 Degree Ultimate Sand Wedge

2nd Best Overall

  • Club head design allows for an effortless glide
  • Made of strong steel and gives right amount of flexibility
Tour Edge Golf - 1Out Plus

Best Sand Wedge

  • Counter-balanced grip for better stability and accuracy
  • Wide sole design for easier sand shots
  • Heavy sole puts maximum weight for easy launch
TaylorMade "Tour Preferred" Sand Wedge

Best for Beginners

  • Groove design for better spin and control
  • Sole grind creates 10 degree bounce

Best Lob Wedges

Cleveland Golf 588 RTX Black Pearl

Our first contender in the Lob Wedge category is the Cleveland's 588 RTX Black Pearl.

And it is with the Black Pearl that we come out swinging... quite literally.

A 60 degree lob wedge, the Black Pearl comes with "U-Groove" design that helps with spin and control. 

best lob wedges

These two factors combine to create a club that can be used in many different situations, hazards, and weather conditions.

The sole grind on the Black Pearl is made to help players in the bunker. With a wider sole design near the heel and a thinner one near the toe, this design helps this wedge to become a good alternative to a traditional sand wedge.

If there is any drawback to the Black Pearl, it is the price of the club, being listed at around $110 at the time of writing. But with the amount of control and versatility of the club, that is a small price to pay to perfect your short game.

>> Check out the newer model - Cleveland Golf 588 RTX 2.0 <<

Things We Liked

  • U-Groove design provides more spin and control
  • Roughness generates more spin on chips, pitches and partial shots
  • Sole grind helps those bunker shots

Things We Didn't Like

  • Relatively expensive

Bridgestone J40 Black Oxide Wedge

Despite being known mostly for their tires, Bridgestone also has tried their hand in the golf club industry.

And one of the best clubs is their lob wedge, the Black Oxide.

Having the same U-Groove design as the previous wedge, the Bridgestone club has great spin and control.

Bridgestone J40 Black Oxide Wedge

This is combined with a machine-milled face design to create even more spin, which makes this a great choice of wedge for when you are trying to hit the green.

The sole of the club was designed using something called "variable bounce technology". This helps create a low bounce on the heel and toe areas of the club, creating better impact on the ball while chopping up less grass in the process.

While this club is great on spin and control, it may not be the best of wedges for amateur players. The club face of the Bridgestone is much smaller in comparison to other wedges, which makes the club less forgiving then its competitors.

The shaft design is also very stiff, which may not be for every player. Besides that, the Black Oxide is an otherwise great club. With amazing control with little to no interference, the Black Oxide proves that Bridgestone is more than just tires.

Things We Liked

  • U-Groove design provides more spin and control
  • Variable bounce technology for better impact

Things We Didn't Like

  • Smaller club head makes it less forgiving

TaylorMade TP ATV Wedge

The second, and likely not last, TaylorMade club on this list is the TP ATV Wedge.

If you want a lob wedge that can do it all, then you may be hard pressed to do better than this TaylorMade classic.

The ATV in the name of the club stands for "All-Terrain Versatility". 

TaylorMade TP ATV Wedge

More than just a name, this means that the TP ATV is good for almost any situation you can come across, including sand traps, tough lies, shots from the rough, or even just a simple approach shot.

This TaylorMade also comes with an "all-milled" groove design and micro-textures to help give your ball a good spin. It is also a wedge capable of changing your lob wedge bounce angle depending on the positioning of the head and face of the club, which may be a double edged sword depending on the type of player you are.

Preferences aside, this is one club that any player can't afford to not have in their bags, being one of the best lob wedges available. With the amount of versatility the TP ATV provides, this single club could almost replace any other wedge in your golf bag, and it is a great buy.

Things We Liked

  • Good for almost any situation
  • All-milled groove design provides good spin
  • Bounce angle changes depending on club position

Things We Didn't Like

  • Bounce angle changes depending on club position makes it a double-edged sword

Quick Summary of The Best Lob Wedges

Cleveland Golf 588 RTX Black Pearl

Best Lob Wedge

  • U-Groove design provides more spin and control
  • Roughness generates more spin on chips, pitches and partial shots
  • Sole grind helps those bunker shots
Bridgestone J40 Black Oxide Wedge

2nd Best Overall

  • U-Groove design provides more spin and control
  • Variable bounce technology for better impact
TaylorMade TP ATV Wedge

Best for Beginners

  • Good for almost any situation
  • All-milled groove design provides good spin
  • Bounce angle changes depending on club position

Best Gap Wedges

Wilson Harmonized Golf Wedge

From soccer balls to golf supplies, Wilson is a power house name in the world of sports. And with the Wilson name comes high-quality gear, with the Harmonized Golf Wedge being no exception.

This Wilson wedge is designed with a sole grind that help to open the club face up. This allows for higher flying and more accurate shots off the club face, and helps to make this a very forgiving gap wedge.

Wilson Harmonized Golf Wedge

The shape of the club head is another feature that helps with the Wilson's accuracy. With modified bounce angles, the Wilson allows for dead-stop spins from various terrain, such as the fairway, sand traps, or the rough. This makes it the ultimate choice for accurate approach shots.

There is not many drawbacks for the Wilson Harmonized, aside from those on the preferential side of the spectrum. The weight of the club is a bit on the heavier side, and the design can make it sometimes feel more like a short iron then a wedge, which may turn off some pickier players.

Like I said before, however, those drawbacks are really more player specific. And with a high quality at around a great $25 price point, the Wilson Harmonized may well be one of the best gap wedges for the money.

Things We Liked

  • Sole grind makes it a forgiving wedge
  • Modified bounce angles for more accurate shots

Things We Didn't Like

  • A bit on the heavier side

Cleveland Smart Sole 2.0 Wedge

Another wedge by the people at Cleveland Golf, the Smart Sole 2.0 is a sleek, stylish, and effective wedge sure to help any golfer with their game.

The Smart Sole has a very interesting sole design that not only looks cool, but opens up many possibilities for your golf game. This is because the sole is designed to be forgiving, being wider and making it easier to pull off essential chipping shots onto the green.

best gap wedges

The sole design also helps in terms of bounce, with the club creating clean turf interaction under the ball. And the Smart Sole is capable of maintaining this kind of bounce in many conditions, including wet grass and from the rough, making this a versatile gap wedge.

The wedge also has an improved plaque design that adds a good amount of perimeter weighting to the club. This again increases forgiveness and consistency for the Smart Sole, making this one of the best gap wedge choices for beginning players.

There are a few negatives that come with the Smart Sole, however, including a high price tag of around $110, which is not good for golfers on a budget. There is also an issue with the shafts for the wedges running a little short, making it a hard choice for taller players.

If you are just starting out in the game of golf and are looking to finish your club collection, the Smart Sole is for you. If you can afford the club, the amount of control and forgiveness that you will get from it will make sure you get more than your money's worth.

Things We Liked

  • Wide, forgiving sole for consistent contact
  • Perimeter weighting also improves consistency and forgivness
  • Good for beginner

Things We Didn't Like

  • Relatively expensive

Mizuno Golf JPX S2 Series Approach Wedge

Our last gap wedge today comes from the Mizuno Golf company, a slightly lesser known name in golf that provides great gear. For their line of wedges, Mizuno Golf makes quite possibly some of the best clubs we have seen yet.

One of the main talking points of the JPX S2 Approach wedge (approach wedge being another name for gap wedge) is the grooves in the club face.

Mizuno Golf JPX S2 Series Approach Wedge

The wider, shallower grooves in the club face allow for not only more spin control, but also lower degrees of loft, making approaches a breeze.

The JPX S2 is designed with a "smooth cambered sole". This design choice on the club sole makes for more effective and better bounce, making impact with the ball much smoother.

While these are great design choices, the JPX S2 does fall a little bit behind competitors in terms of usability. While the club does provide great bounce and control, there are clubs that address these areas better than the JPX S2.

In contrast to that is that the prices of those other wedges are higher than that of the Mizuno, which comes in at about $60. For the price point, the club is an all-around great wedge that can perform in most situations

Things We Liked

  • Grooves allow for more spin control and lower loft
  • Designed for better bounce

Things We Didn't Like

  • Features are not as promising as other (more expensive) clubs

Quick Summary of The Best Gap Wedges

Wilson Harmonized Golf Wedge

Best Affordable Gap Wedge

  • Sole grind makes it a forgiving wedge
  • Modified bounce angles for more accurate shots
Cleveland Smart Sole 2.0 Wedge

Best Gap Wedge

  • Wide, forgiving sole for consistent contact
  • Perimeter weighting also improves consistency and forgivness
Mizuno Golf JPX S2 Series Approach Wedge

Best for Beginners

  • Grooves allow for more spin control and lower loft
  • Designed for better bounce

Best Pitching Wedges

Callaway Mack Daddy PM Wedge

While Callaway always puts out quality golf products, you know you are getting something great when professional golfer Phil Mickleson gets involved.

And that is the case with the Mack Daddy, with the Pro Tour Champion providing his own design input on the wedge.

In fact, this club is touted as "The Greatest Wedge Player meets The Greatest Wedge Designer."

best pitching wedges

To start, this wedge is designed with a large groove area. This choice allows for great shots in multiple situations as well as giving the ball spin where it is needed, making the Mack Daddy great on the approach and other tough shots.

The aforementioned grooves are placed all over the club face, covering the majority of it, which is a unique design choice for wedges. The grind on the sole also gives this club a higher toe, which makes it extremely effective in the roughs surrounding the green.

There are a few setbacks on this beast, however, including the high $130 dollar price point. There is also the issue that, while the Mack Daddy provides a high loft, it doesn't provide as much distance as some of its competitors will.

Granted, should you want a pitching wedge that is very versatile and provides great control, then the Mack Daddy may be a great choice for you. Besides, if you can trust anybody to design a great club, it should be a pro tour champion.

Things We Liked

  • Versatility to take on any shot
  • Large groove area for aggressive wedge shots
  • Designed by Phil Mackleson

Things We Didn't Like

  • Relatively expensive

Pinemeadow Golf PGX Wedge

Our next pitching wedge comes courtesy of Pinemeadow Golf: the PGX wedge.

This pitching wedge is just one in a line of wedges designed to give a golfer the most out of their wedges.

To start is the design of the sole of the PGX, which is made to be more on the "midsize" end of the spectrum compared to other wedges.

Pinemeadow Golf PGX Wedge

This design actually helps to provide the PGX with increased accuracy from any kind of lies, including the particularly tough ones.

The PGX also comes equipped with a steel shaft and its own unique Pinemeadow designed grip. This makes for a flexible club that also feels comfortable to the player who is swinging it.

The wedge is also very lightweight, coming in at around 2 pounds. While this is a good thing to some golfers, it can have the potential to impact some shots that could benefit from a heavier club.

But that fact is hard to argue with a club that comes at around a $30 price point, making this one of the most affordable clubs on our list today. And with versatility and forgiveness that any player can appreciate, this club is almost a steal.

Things We Liked

  • Increased accuracy from any kind of lies
  • Flexible shaft for swinging
  • Lightweight
  • Very affordable

Things We Didn't Like

  • The weight could potentially impact some shots

Ping Glide Wedge

Our last club of the day is the Ping Glide Wedge.

While Ping is a brand name that is making its late debut on this list, Ping golf products are some of the best in the world, and this wedge is no exception.

To start, the Ping Glide Wedge is designed as a whole to improve player performance.

Ping Glide Wedge

From the grip, to the shaft, all the way to the club head, everything about this club is made with the player's best interest in mind.

Every one of the Glide wedges have gorge grooves. These grooves are designed with loft in mind to provide accurate trajectory and spin on all of the player's shots, and from varying degrees of distance as well.

The Glide Wedge also comes with a wide selection of sole grinds. These grinds are available in wide sole, thin sole, and, of course, standard sole, and provides options for any player's personal preference.

While many options are certainly available, this amount of customization will cost you a pretty penny. Coming in at above $110, this is one of the priciest wedges on our list today, and isn't for those that are trying to save.

But there is no doubt that the Ping Glide Wedge is one of the best pitching wedges around. With customization options available that can suit the needs of almost every player, there is almost no reason to drop the extra cash down on one of these bad boys.

Things We Liked

  • Gorge grooves provide accurate trajectory and spin
  • Wide selection of sole grinds

Things We Didn't Like

  • Relatively expensive

Quick Summary of The Best Pitching Wedges

Callaway Mack Daddy PM Wedge

Best Pitching Wedge

  • Versatility to take on any shot
  • Large groove area for aggressive wedge shots
  • Designed by Phil Mackleson
Pinemeadow Golf PGX Wedge

Best Affordable Pitching Wedge

  • Increased accuracy from any kind of lies
  • Flexible shaft for swinging
  • Lightweight
Ping Glide Wedge

2nd Best Overall

  • Gorge grooves provide accurate trajectory and spin
  • Wide selection of sole grinds

That concludes our list of the best wedges available on the market today. If this list helped at all with filling out your golf bag, as well as your golf game, then we have done our job. Just like there are many types of golfers, there are many types of wedges, and we hope you found the one that is right for you. See you next time!

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