Best Wedges for High Handicappers – 2021 Hottest List

For golfers considered high handicappers and beginners, the golf wedge can be the avenue to becoming a low handicap player. As soon as you can learn to get up and down and make scoring type shots around the green, your handicap will undoubtedly drop. Finding the best wedges for high handicappers can be a bit tricky. There are many options out there, and they all claim to be the best. Luckily with our experience, we have an inside line on what truly is the best. Here are five of the best golf wedges for high handicappers.


Our Best Golf Wedges for High Handicappers in 2021

  • Cleveland CBX 2 (Best Overall)
    "The Cleveland CBX 2 are the best wedges for high handicappers; with plenty of distance, forgiveness, and spin, you won’t find an option more suited for making the game of golf fun for the high handicap golfer."
  • Callaway Mack Daddy CB (Best on a Budget)
    The Mack Daddy CB is the wedge that high handicappers and beginners needed from Callaway; with JAWS Grooves and game improvement technology, this is an excellent addition to the bag.
  • Mizuno ES21 (Upgrade Pick)
    "With the way a wedge shot can save your score, the Mizuno ES21 is a club that you will want on your side; higher spin, deeper CG, and Grain Flow Forged make this one of the best wedges for high handicappers."
  • Cleveland Smart Sole 4 (Best For Forgiveness)
    "The Cleveland Smart Sole 4 has a unique sole design specifically made to help players get the ball in the air and headed towards the target. If you are tired of taking more than one swing out of a bunker, the Smart Sole is the club you need in your golf bag."
  • King Cobra MIM (Best For Feel)
    "The King Cobra MIM wedge is made with a new metal injection molded process making it one of the most solid feeling wedges on the market."


Best Golf Wedges for High Handicappers

Cleveland CBX 2

Best Overall

Cleveland CBX 2

KEY FEATURES

  • Available in graphite and steel shafts
  • Loft options from pitching wedge to lob wedge
  • Best wedge for high handicappers that need forgiveness
  • Seamless transition into cavity back irons
  • The groove in groove technology
  • Wide sole
  • Several bounce angle choices
  • The leading edge is not as clean as a blade style wedge

The Cleveland CBX 2 are the best wedges for high handicappers. The CBX 2 is a cavity back design that is built to help make a short game quite a bit easier. With the Cleveland CBX 2 in play, you will get distance, forgiveness, and spin. It’s for to ask much more from wedges for high handicappers.

The CBX 2 is a hollow cavity design with perimeter weighting. The technology that you see incorporated into the CBX 2 is very similar to what you would see from a forgiving set of cavity back irons. In addition to this forgiveness, you are going to get tour level spin. If you want to control your golf shots, you can do so with the spin that these wedges provide.

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Cleveland golf kept things relatively simple with the three different sole grind options they offer in the CBX 2. For high handicappers, the choice between these three is more than enough. We like having the ability to mix up the bounce angle choices in your bag. This will help you have more choices for the shots that you can hit on the course.

Golf wedges, especially sand wedges, are all about the grooves. The grooves of the CBX 2 golf clubs will have tremendous forgiveness and spin control because of the Rotex Face Technology. This is a feature that Cleveland has featured in their wedges for a few years, and there is certainly no reason to believe they will eliminate it any time soon. 

These Cleveland wedges also feature the Feel Balance Technology that we see in other Cleveland wedges. This helped to move the center of gravity into a more forgiving location and give golfers the confidence they need in their shots. When you hit these wedges well, they will feel crisp and clean. When you miss with this wedge, the performance will still be enough to get you near your target. 

One of the concepts that Cleveland put into play when creating these wedges is that they didn’t only want one area of this wedge to be geared towards the high handicapper. They wanted the entire wedge to be built around creating forgiveness and better performance. They, without a doubt, were able to succeed in this process. Between the hosel, the grooves, the wide sole, the forgiving look, and the shaft, this is built to be one of the best wedges for high handicappers. 

Sometimes a high handicap golfer is reluctant to choose a golf wedge that is built for high handicappers. These wedges tend to have a stigma associated with them, making people think the feel and precision will not be nearly as good. With the CBX 2, that is not the case. Some mid to low handicappers love combining the feel and forgiveness that they are putting their blade style wedges away. 

Lastly, it’s important to mention the options that you will get with the Cleveland CBX 2. In addition to having a few bounce angle choices, these wedges are available in a wide range of lofts. If you hit the CBX 2 well, you can fill your bag with them. Another important option that players will have is the shaft. You can choose between graphite or steel in the CBX 2, and you won’t have to make a custom order.


Callaway Mack Daddy CB

Best on a Budget

KEY FEATURES

  • Premium golf shaft offering
  • Available in many different lofts
  • Very forgiving sand wedge choice for relief from bunker shots
  • Forgiving clubs with high performing and impressive Jaws grooves
  • Technology built to golfers that are high handicappers and beginners
  • The new short game grip allows golfers to choke down further on the club
  • The feel won’t be quite as good as something like the MIM or Mizuno

It’s a very rare occurrence for a brand new wedge release to make it to the best value spot on our list. Most golf wedges for high handicappers and beginners will be quite expensive because of the game improvement technology. However, this Callaway Mack Daddy CB wedge has been released at a very fair and impressive price.

The idea behind this wedge is to increase forgiveness and control for the player that struggles with their short game. If you are worried about spin and consistency, the Mack Daddy CB can help to improve the performance out of the sand and around the green.

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You will notice right away that these are cavity back wedges. If you are a high handicapper currently using cavity back irons, staying with that type of technology and feeling in your golf wedges is a smart idea. If you miss the center of the club face a bit, the Mack Daddy CB is not going to punish you. At the same time, Callaway incorporated the JAWS grooves to help ensure that players can still get the spin they need to hit those scoring shots. 

One of the reasons this is the best wedge for high handicappers is because it easily transfers from the irons to the wedges. You can purchase the Mack Daddy CB in the pitching wedge, gap wedge, sand wedge, and lob wedge lofts. You will be able to feel as though you are moving directly down the line from your irons. This kind of consistency is essential for all golfers, but especially the high handicappers and beginners. 

Since this is a cavity back wedge, it will have a thicker wedge sole and thicker top line look. This helps golfers feel a bit more confident with the club in their hands. You will get bounce options and shaft options when you purchase this cavity back Mack Daddy CB wedges. 

The JAWS Grooves will extend across the entire face of the wedges. If you a player that tends to miss the center of the wedge, you will still get plenty of spin. Someone that plays with cavity back graphite irons will be very smart to put a wedge like this into their golf bag.


Mizuno ES21

Upgrade Pick

Mizuno ES21

KEY FEATURES

  • More forgiveness from a club that still looks like a players type wedge
  • Wide sole helps to get the ball out of difficult lies
  • Hydro Flow Micro Grooves help to make sure the wedges perform well in bad weather
  • Higher center of gravity and a large sweet spot for forgiveness
  • It does not come in pitching wedge or lower lofted gap wedges
  • Priced a bit higher than the competition

The Mizuno ES21 is a brand new release from Mizuno Golf. With Mizuno being known for its premium feel and performance components, a release of a new wedge is a welcome change to the market. There are lots of great benefits to the ES21, and it is undoubtedly a premium-style golf wedge.

The ES21 has a higher, more central sweet spot. You will notice almost immediately that this wedge feels very consistent from one shot to the next. The ES21 is able to give you very high spin rates, and you will notice it from one approach shot to the next. It does not matter if you are using the ES21 sand wedges or the lob wedges; the spin rates are very consistent.

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For high handicapper that is still trying to get a feel for what they need to do around the greens, these ES21 wedges will help give the proper feedback. As far as aesthetics go, there is a very narrow top line look that makes this a great looking wedge. 

The Mizuno ES21 is made from a hollow body stainless steel 431 construction. The center of gravity is deeper and higher to help with a bit more precision and forgiveness. Although we love this wedge for high handicappers, mid and low handicappers are finding that they have a need for this wedge in their bag. 

Since the sweet spot on this wedge is so easy to find, it will be easier to get the ball in the air. The ball and club make perfect contact, and therefore the spin also seems to be improved on shots hit with the ES21. 

The new HydroFlow Micro Grooves allow golfers to have tremendous short game performance even in poor weather. Typically when a wedge gets water in the grooves, it will impact how much the golf wedge can spin. With these HydroFlow grooves, the water can run off the face of the wedge and leave that interaction with the dimples of the golf ball unaffected. 

It’s hard to give a complete review of this wedge without recognizing and acknowledging the look of the golf club. With the black finish and very clean lines, this is one of the better-looking golf wedges on the market at the time. Although you can’t base your wedge decision purely on the look of the club, choosing something that looks appealing will certainly help improve confidence.


Cleveland Smart Sole 4

Best For Forgiveness

KEY FEATURES

  • Built specifically for the higher handicappers
  • Cleveland offers this in a chipper, sand wedge, and a gap wedge
  • Simple three tiered sole design
  • Fair pricing considering the technology
  • High quality golf equipment that will be much easier to use
  • Not available in pitching wedge loft
  • It does not have as much versatility as a blade style wedge

The Cleveland golf wedges appear twice on our list of the best wedges for high handicappers. Certainly, this company knows a thing or two about what the high handicap golfer needs in their bag. The Cleveland Smart Sole 4 Wedge is built for the player that needs help around the green. Everything about this wedge is designed to make the short game easier and more enjoyable.

One of the things that set the Smart Sole 4 Wedge apart is the three tiered sole. The extra wide sole on the bottom of the Smart Sole helps golfers to pull it through difficult lies or bunker shots with ease. Essentially regardless of your lie, the Smart Sole 4 will allow you to escape from the trouble.

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This wedge comes in three different versions. The sand wedge, the chipper, and the gap wedge. The chipper is a unique style wedge that allows you to get the ball up and down rather quickly and rolling towards the target. The chipper makes it almost impossible to hit the ball over the green or stub a chip shot.

The gap wedge is excellent to be used as an approach wedge to a green, and the sand wedges thrive from the bunker locations. We all know that some high handicappers will take a few swings to get the ball out of the bunker. If you can have the confidence to get out of the bunker in one shot, the wedge will be making a significant impact in your golf game.

Cleveland credits their new feel balancing technology with making this one of the best wedges for high handicappers. The feel balancing has allowed for a more centralized center of gravity, better feel, and impressive consistency as well.

The Smart Sole 4 has milled grooves that will allow players to get spin, regardless of the lie that their golf shot is in. The grooves will also work to channel moisture and debris so that players can make consistent contact with the ball.

Before the release of the Smart Sole 4, high handicappers could only take advantage of the smart sole technology in the sand and chipper. The release of the gap wedge allows golfers to get a full set of these wedges from Cleveland golf to really start improving their greenside ability.

The best wedges for high handicappers are out there; it is up to the golfer to start taking advantage of the technology.


King Cobra MIM

Best For Feel

KEY FEATURES

  • Chrome finish is not difficult to see
  • Versatile grind best for high handicappers
  • Incredible feel and trajectory control
  • Simple and clean looking wedge
  • Not available in pitching wedge loft
  • Not the best wedge if you want bounce angle and grind options Con

King Cobra does not come out with a lot of wedges. Each year they release one or two, and the Cobra fans know that these are great golf wedges when it comes to feel. However, if you have never looked into the Cobra wedges, you may not know what they bring to the table. The new King Cobra MIM is an excellent choice for high handicappers that are looking for feel in their short game.

As we know, when it comes to the shorter shots around the green, feel is going to be extremely important. Having an idea of what a twenty yard pitch and a ten yard pitch feels like is essential. You must know where the shot needs to land, how much it will roll, and how much spin to put on the shot. This takes a bit of time and precision and ultimately as a wedge that has a great feel.

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The MIM in the King Cobra MIM stands for metal injection molded. This is a new process that Cobra developed to make sure that each of the wedges is consistent and has a smoother grain than other options. Essentially they were able to make this one of the softest feeling wedges in the game because of this new process.

The King Cobra is made with a 304 Stainless Steel, and it has a precision milled face and grooves. The CNC milled face covers the entire face of the club and helps to optimize spin and trajectory. IF you like to control the height and spin on your golf shots, you can do that with the MIM.

One of the most difficult decisions for high handicappers and beginners is choosing a wedge that has the proper grind and bounce. Luckily with the King Cobra MIM, you won’t have to make too many decisions. These golf wedges come with a versatile tour grind. The idea behind this is to give golfers lots of versatility in the shots that they can hit. We love this option as opposed to being stuck with a wedge that is only good from a short list etc.

Another reason we love the MIM for the higher handicappers is the progressive spin technology. In the lower lofted clubs, you will get wide and shallow grooves; higher lofts have tighter grooves. This helps to control both trajectory and spin. Therefore, if you have the gap wedge in your hand, you can get plenty of distance, but you will get maximum height and spin with the lob wedge in your hand.

Last, it’s hard not to mention the benefits of the Cobra Connect technology in these wedges. The Cobra Connect technology is a newer release, and it is a highly regarded technology. The grips in the MIM will sync shot performance data to the Arccos Caddie Mobile App. You can track your stats and performance and move from the high handicapper category to the mid handicapper.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Sometimes the wedges we provide in our reviews are all so good you are going to want one of each. Since your golf bag will likely not accommodate five new wedges at the moment. Let’s look at some questions that may help you start to narrow down which of these is the best choice for your golf game.

What Degree Wedges Should A High Handicapper Carry?

Golfers often worry about which wedges they should carry in their golf bag. There is certainly no magic number that will tell you the perfect amount of clubs to keep in your bag. We can tell you that you are better off with more wedges than fairway woods. Remember that wedges are your scoring clubs, and you will need lots of different shot options to score low.

High handicappers need to pay close attention to their loft gapping. Find out how many degrees of loft your pitching wedge is. Once you have that number, you can start to build out the rest of the set.

You will want to have a few degrees of loft difference between each of the wedges in your bag. Therefore if your pitching wedge is a 44 degree wedge, you will likely want a 50 degree gap, 56 degree sand, and a 60 degree lob wedge. If, for some reason, your pitching wedge is a bit stronger lofted and it is closer to 42, then you may want 48, 54, 58 degrees of loft in your other wedges.

Pay very close attention to loft gapping. It certainly makes no sense for any golfer to have a wedge that is 54 degrees and 56 degrees. The performance differences between these two options are going to make it very difficult for the player to see any variation in the shots they play.

Do High Handicappers Need A Lob Wedge?

High handicappers are often afraid of the lob wedge. Players think this club is too difficult to hit and will cause them to hit skull type shots over the back of the green. This is not the case and should not be something that a higher handicapper is worried about.

If you find that you need more loft and more spin from your wedges, the lob wedge is a perfect choice. If you think you hit it plenty high enough with your sand wedge, then you may not need the lob.

The lob wedge is one of the best tools to have when it comes to hitting out of bunkers. If there is a high lip in front of you, you will want a lob wedge to reach for.

What Grind Option Should A High Handicapper Choose?

Purchasing wedges can be a bit more difficult than other golf clubs. You have to consider shaft, bounce, grind, loft, and feel. The grind options in the high handicapper wedge choices are certainly a bit more limited. This is because most higher handicappers are not going to have a problem playing with something that is a versatile grind.

If you find a set of wedges that you like and they have grind options, try to mix up the choices. Having something with low, medium, and high bounce and grind will help you have a variety of shots to hit at any target. We typically like a bit more bounce in the sand wedges and lob wedges. Gap and pitching wedges should have lower bounce.


Testing Criteria used for evaluation

By now, you probably have your eye on one of the wedges from our list. Here are a few things to consider to make sure that you order the right one for your golf game.

Shaft

Most golf wedges come in a standard wedge flex steel. If you think that your golf swing is anything other than standard, you may want to use a custom shaft. If you play graphite shafts in all of your irons, you should continue that trend with your wedges. Many forgiving golf wedges are offered in both lightweight steel and a graphite shaft.

Loft

Choose a variety of lofts in your wedges but always leave about three degrees of loft in between each of the wedges. These three degrees or more will help to make sure that you can feel a difference in the performance of each of the wedges. Typically speaking, a standard sand wedge is 56 degrees. IF you find something that is 54 or 58 it will still work as a sand wedge.

Finish

Golf wedges come in a variety of finishes. Most of the time, the choice of finish will be a personal preference more than anything. Something that is darker in color will likely have less glare when you are playing on a sunny day. Some golfers think that the darker color wedges provide a better feel. Although this may be true with some brands, for the most part, the finish is a personal preference.

Bounce

Bounce is intended to help golfers with forgiveness. If you find that you struggle to get the ball in the air, or you end up hitting behind the ball on your wedge shots, the bounce will undoubtedly help. Choosing something with mid to high bounce on at least one wedge is a smart idea for most high handicappers. Generally speaking, the bounce is a good thing to have when you are hitting a shot out of a bunker.

Price

Wedges tend to be one of the more fairly priced pieces of golf equipment. Wedges typically cost between $100 and $200 each. Considering you will need three to four wedges for your golf bag, it does make sense to be careful about the pricing of these clubs when you make your purchase. Most of the time, the difference between the high price and low price wedge is the release date and the club’s style.


Conclusion

NAMEEDITOR'S CATEGORYPRODUCT
Cleveland CBX 2Best OverallCleveland CBX 2
Callaway Mack Daddy CBBest on a BudgetCallaway Mack Daddy CB
Mizuno ES21Upgrade PickMizuno ES21
Cleveland Smart Sole 4Best For ForgivenessCleveland Smart Sole 4
King Cobra MIMBest For FeelKing Cobra MIM

We know this was a lot of information to take in about golf wedges. However, the wedge is a critical club for the high handicapper. The short game is the key to lower scores. The sooner a higher handicapper can find the equipment that gives them confidence and consistency; the handicap will start to drop. The best wedge for high handicappers are the Cleveland CBX 2. These clubs provide consistency, impressive performance, and a wide range of options. If you are new to the game and want a quality product built to last, the CBX 2 will be your best option.

Britt Olizarowicz started playing golf at the age of 7. She played Division 1 College golf at St.Johns University, where she won two tournaments at the collegiate level. After college Britt became a Class A PGA Professional, her love for the game spans almost her entire life. Today Britt loves sharing her knowledge of golf through her writing. She also has two young children to who she is enjoying introducing the game.