For many years the lob wedge was not found in the bag of every golfer. Many people felt a sand wedge gave them all the loft and the performance they needed in their game. However, with more and more focus on the short game, golfers are starting to realize the importance of these high-loft performers.
There are some essential things that you should know about a lob wedge, and making sure you get the right one is essential to your short game success. We have put together some of our favorite wedges and a bit of information to help you make an informed decision.
THE Best Lob WedgeS
- Titleist Vokey SM8 (Best Overall)
"Titleist Vokey SM8 Wedges have stood out as the best wedges in golf for quite some time. With the number of lofts, grind and finish options getting a Vokey lob wedge is like getting a club custom fit to your game."
- Wilson Staff Model Hi-Toe (Best on a Budget)
"Wilson has some of the same characteristics of the TaylorMade Milled Grind Hi-Toe wedge, for a lot less money. The Wilson Staff clubs are tour-proven, and the 60 degree model is a very high performing lob wedge."
- Miura K-Grind (Upgrade Pick)
"Miura is a golf wedge that has tremendous technology and feel but not much recognition. Some of the best players in golf know that this club is a very impressive lob wedge that could be one of the best choices when it comes to performance."
- Cleveland RTX ZipCore (Best Mid Handicapper)
- Cleveland CBX2 (Best Higher Handicapper)
- THE Best Lob WedgeS
- Best Lob Wedge
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- Testing Criteria used for evaluation
Best Lob Wedge
Titleist Vokey SM8
Every few years, Titleist will release a new golf wedge. The Titleist fans will immediately switch all of their wedges over because they have confidence that the wedge will be higher performing and better feeling than any other wedge on the market.
The new Titleist Vokey SM8 wedges are some of the best looking and highest performing wedges that Titleist has ever released. You will be very impressed by their ability to spin on both full swing shots and shorter shots around the green. The Vokey wedges are also known for their pure feel.
When it comes to lob wedge shots around the green and out of the bunker, you need to make sure you have a great feel. It takes some time to learn how to hit a lob wedge well because there can be quite a bit of variation between loft and spin and the lie that you get from one day to another.
Since the Vokey wedges offer so many loft, grind, and bounce options, players can have more confidence that they are using a specific club fit to their needs. The Titleist Vokey SM8 wedges have a lower center of gravity than in the past, which helps them be more accurate without taking away any of the feels that they so notoriously offer.
If you have ever had trouble making sure your wedge’s face was square at impact, the Vokey helps to make sure you can easily square things up.
Since a lob wedge is a higher lofted wedge, Vokey will cut grooves to be a good fit for the club. The grooves are going to be wider and shallower than the lower lofted wedges. This will help golfers to get that extra spin on the lob wedge.
The only real downside to the Vokey wedge is also one of its positives. There are six sole grinds to choose from on these clubs. By the time you choose a finish a loft and a sole grind for your lob wedge, you may be a little exhausted. The sole grinds are designed to work for different style players. If you have a steep, neutral, or shallow swing, you can choose a grind that works best for your game. It is important to note that if you are having a hard time settling on a sole grind, the neutral options will most likely be adequate for your game.
Wilson Staff Model Hi-Toe
Best on a Budget
The Wilson Staff Model Hi-Toe is a very clean looking wedge that allows players to hit many different types of shots. If you want to be able to control the ball and hit lob wedges from a variety of lies, the Staff Model Hi Toe is a great choice.
Wilson usually puts out two golf clubs lines, and the Staff model is their higher-end line of clubs. If you have had any experience with the very similar Taylor Made Model Hi Toe you know that these wedges are designed to give players lots of area on a club face to use for perfecting different types of shots.
When you are in the rough, you can open this club face up and still have plenty of area for the ball to interact with the grooves on the club head.
The grooves on the Wilson Staff are precision milled, and there are advanced spin score lines that just help to create even more zip on the greens. If you have had trouble in the past with being able to spin a wedge, this is one of the best options for a lob that you will find.
Probably the best part is that this is a brand new release, yet it is still priced very fairly. Putting the sand and lob of the Wilson Staff in your bag will significantly impact the success that you have around the greens.
If budget is not an issue when you are shopping for a new lob wedge, then you may want to open your mind (and wallet) to the Miura Golf K-Grind 2.0 Milled wedge. Miura has actually been making golf clubs for a very long time, and this wedge is a remake of a very famous model made over 70 years ago.
The Miura wedges are expensive, but they are also handcrafted. The Miura wedges do not leave the warehouse unless they have made it through the rigorous testing process.
One of the things that you will notice right away about the Miura K Grind is the “flutes” on the club’s bottom. This is a very interesting concept that you don’t see in many other wedge manufacturers. These “flutes” look like small spaces in the back of the club head.
The spaces allow lots of playability and performance because the club can pass through grass, dirt, and sand that much easier. Instead of the club’s face twisting and causing off-center shots, the wedge will simply glide through the grass or sand.
If you are a low handicapper that still wants a bit of help getting the club through some difficult lies then the Miura is a great choice for you. This wedge works well for mid handicappers as well. If you are a golf purist that only wants a true blade style wedge, there is another Miura Tour Wedge with lots of bounce and a very clean look.
This Miura Wedge is called the 2.0 because of the fact that it is a remake of the original design. The new version has a more modern sole design. In the 60 degree wedge, there is 12 degrees of bounce, which is a good amount on a high lofted golf club.
Cleveland RTX ZipCore
Best Mid Handicapper
The Cleveland RTX Zip Core is a brand new release from Cleveland that has been much anticipated. Although the RTX 4 was a great wedge, some improvements in the new ZipCore really set it apart.
The new grooves are called UltiZip technology. The UltiZip grooves are sharper, deeper, and they are placed closer together. If you have trouble getting your lob wedge to spin, you won’t once you try this new Cleveland wedge.
We are impressed with a new heat treatment that Cleveland has started that will help to make sure the grooves stay in great condition for years to come. If you look at your wedge’s clubface, chances are you will see that the grooves don’t look as great as they did a few years ago.
The grooves wearing down will affect your lob wedge’s performance, so it’s important to stay on top of this situation and choose a club that has the longevity that you need for your game.
The new ZipCore is an internal piece that Cleveland used to help keep the center of gravity low but still give players lots of consistency in their shots. The ZipCore is designed for the lower handicap golfer but mid to high handicappers are going to find that this club is a good choice for any player.
The Cleveland RTX ZipCore is available in three different bounce options. You can choose between high, medium, or low bounce. With a lob wedge, we recommend getting something with a little extra bounce to help you get the ball out of the rough and the sand.
Best Higher Handicapper
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If you are a higher handicap golfer, you will want to make sure that you choose a lob wedge with lots of forgiveness. Traditionally speaking, the cavity back wedges are the most forgiving. The CBX 2 is a cavity back wedge designed to provide both feel forgiveness and plenty of spin.
The CBX 2 wedge has a C Shaped sole that will help you get the ball out of bunkers and up and down around the greens. Cleveland expects you to want to open the club face with the C shaped sole and hit high lofted shots. The traditional CBX 2 lob wedge is 60 degrees, and it will slide through the rough and sand and give you a much better club and ball interaction.
The CBX 2 Wedge has Rotex milling on the club face. This is essentially a groove/ clubface markup pattern designed to give you better spin on the golf ball. Even in conditions where the club gets wet or has a lot of grass between the grooves and the ball, the Rotex milling will help you get the performance you need out of your lob wedge.
We have spent some time discussing wedge flex and the fact that it will most likely be much heavier than the shafts in your regular irons. A little bit of extra weight in a wedge is going to be fine for a short high lofted shot. Some golfers start to struggle when it comes to taking full swing golf shots with a wedge flex golf club.
Think about your pitching wedge having a 100-gram steel shaft, and then you switch to a sand wedge and have a 120-gram shaft. This is a big difference and could cause players to lose distance and sometimes lose balance and control if they try and swing too hard to make up for the heavier golf shaft.
Cleveland realized this issue, and the fact that having most amateur golfers put custom shafts in their wedges was not realistic. They decided to put a lightweight steel shaft in the CBX 2 that is going to match the stock shafts of many of the standard golf irons on the market.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Since a lob wedge is not the best club in every golfer’s bag, there are usually quite a few questions about choosing the right one and if it even makes sense to have a lob wedge in your bag.
What Loft Is A Lob Wedge?
A lob wedge can be anywhere from 58 to 64 degrees of loft. The loft of your lob wedge is going to depend on the loft of your sand wedge. All of your lofts on your wedge will be based on the iron set you have and the lofts that are part of that set.
If you have a game-improvement set of irons, then chances are they are lower lofted, and you will end up with a lob wedge that is closer to the 58 degrees. If you have a more traditional set of irons or carry five wedges, you will usually end up with the higher lofted lob wedges.
There is no perfect loft for a lob wedge; it’s mainly just important to consider the other golf clubs’ lofts in your bag.
How Far Should A Lob Wedge Go?
Many mid and high handicap golfers want to know what kind of distance they can get out of a lob wedge before they purchase one. It is important to remember that a lob wedge is never meant to be a distance club.
Depending on your swing speed, you may be able to hit a lob wedge 100 yards, and you may be able to hit it 60 yards. The full swing shots, however, are not the most important when it comes to this club.
You will want to use your lob wedge for precision shots around the green. If you end up having a sixty yard shot into the green, chances are you are going to use a pitch with your pitching wedge and sand wedge before you decide to take a full swing with the lob wedge. The chance of hitting full shots with the lob wedge thin or fat are much greater.
Do yourself a favor when purchasing a wedge and forget about distance and focus on feel, spin, and performance.
Can You Use A Lob Wedge Out of A Sand Trap?
You can and should use a lob wedge out of a sand trap. Many people get the idea that you should only be using a sand wedge out of a sand trap. This is just not the case. Using a sand wedge out of a sand trap is helpful if you have a standard run of the mill bunker shot.
However, if you are in a bunker with a very high lip or not much green to work with, it makes a lot more sense to go with a lob wedge. The lob wedge has plenty of bounce to get through the sand, it is easier to get higher lofts, and you can open the clubface up and let the ball come out softly.
As important as it is to choose different wedges when you are close to the green, it is just as important as you get further from the green. If you have a thirty or forty-yard bunker shot, feel free to hit a gap wedge or a pitching wedge if you think it will clear the lip. If you are going to carry fourteen clubs around in your golf bag, you should use them.
Do High Handicappers Need A Lob Wedge?
High handicappers can benefit tremendously from carrying a lob wedge. There is a misconception out there that a lob wedge is a challenging club to hit and that it will result in some pretty terrible shots occurring.
As long as you choose a lob wedge that has the proper specifications to match your game, you should have no trouble hitting this club. Start with small high lofted chips onto the green. Eventually, learn how to hit longer pitches and chips while letting the club hit down and through the ball.
To hit a lob wedge well, you need to have some club head speed and acceleration through impact. If you can gain confidence with the lob wedge, you will immediately see a difference in the benefits that it can offer to your game.
What Is The Best Bounce For A Lob Wedge?
As you probably notice from our reviews of the best lob wedges, the degrees of bounce is going to vary significantly from one manufacturer to another. For instance, Cleveland offers their wedges in high, medium, and low bounce, where Titleist will talk about 10, 12, 14 degrees of bounce.
Generally, anything over about 10 degrees of bounce is considered to be high. High bounce wedges are great for bunkers, rough, softer turf. Lower bounce wedges are good for harder turf and hardpan lies.
Golfers tend to get thrown off by these concepts because it is impossible to predict what your lie will be like from one hole to the next. How can you purchase a wedge knowing that the lie is going to change from one home to the next?
You have to think about the majority of the time. Try to choose something that will benefit you the majority of the time but doesn’t inhibit you at other times. This is why many golfers will choose a lob wedge bounce of around 8-10 degrees. This gives you versatility from one type of lie to the next.
Testing Criteria used for evaluation
Here are a few extra things that you should think about to help determine the best lob wedge for your game.
As we mentioned, a lob wedge can be 58, 60, 62, or 64 degrees. The standard lob wedge is going to be 60 degrees. A 60-degree lob wedge usually fits in best with the other lofts in golfers sets.
A lob wedge with 60 degrees also gives a perfect amount of loft for getting out of high lipped bunkers, hitting short shots that go up and come straight back down, and getting some spin on the golf ball.
Most professionals will play with something right around 60 degrees because it is truly considered the standard loft on a lob wedge. When you get very good at the game, you will absolutely notice a difference in the loft, spin, and launch of a 58 compared to a 60 or a 60 degree compared to a 62 degree.
If you are replacing your lob wedge, double-check the yardage on the sand wedge first to make sure there is proper gapping between your clubs.
Wedges for golf are generally sold with a standard wedge flex shaft. The wedge flex is usually a bit heavier and stiffer than a standard steel golf shaft. The reason behind this is that sometimes out of these difficult lies, the extra weight on the bottom of the club can help to make sure that you get the ball out of trouble.
The problem some golfers will run into is that the wedge gets too heavy. It can cost a golfer some distance on the full swing shots, causing some inconsistency between clubs. If you play with a custom shaft in your irons or a graphite shaft, you should seriously consider a custom shaft in your wedges.
The lob is a club that is going to be in your hand a few times throughout the course of a round; you may as well make sure that it is built with the proper specifications to fit your swing and your game.
It’s hard to say what the best lob wedge bounce is going to be. It will very likely change from one player to another. The best bounce is going to be the one that helps you get out of the majority of situations that you may get into with your wedge.
If you are known to use the lob out of the sand, and thick rough, then more bounce, will help you get the launch and the consistency you need. If you are a golfer that mostly likes the lob for approach shots into the green, then the best choice will be a lower bounce wedge.
The bounce should not have too much of an effect on the spin as the wedges’ grooves will be the same even if their bounce differs. Don’t be afraid of bounce on your wedges. Wedges come with bounce for a reason, and it is to help golfers get through the grass or sand and keep moving those clean grooves to the golf ball.
Choosing the best lob wedge for your game can be difficult. There are lots of great wedges on the market, and everyone has different strengths and weaknesses in their short game. We love the Titleist Vokey SM8 because it truly is one of the best wedges in the game.
If you end up adding one of the lob wedges to your bag, you can easily add a sand, gap, and even pitching wedge if the degrees of loft work out with your irons. Vokey is known for being incredibly precise about his wedge design, and they have long been known for producing the best wedge in golf.
Be realistic about the amount of forgiveness a lob wedge will give you and spend lots of time practicing and perfecting this skill. Your short game needs the lob wedge to truly take it to the next level.