Pitch Perfect: 23 Golf Wedges For A Deadly Short Game In 2023

Wedges are becoming some of the most fine-tuned types of club the big golf manufacturers make, which is an acknowledgement of how important these sticks are and a reflection of how often they are used during a round.

From chip shots to pitches, bunker play and even off the tee, wedges need to be more versatile than just about anything in our bag.

There has been a greater understanding from manufacturers that the average golfer will have minimal success with a knife-thin 52 degree wedge with next to no bounce, with these players needing far more forgiveness to make this type of club perform well for them.

Despite this, high-level golfers, including pros, also want the option to play several wedges, each finely-tuned to serve a very specific purpose, but still be workable and versatile when needed. A tough ask to keep everyone happy!

Thankfully, with more money than ever being injected into research and development, there’s a wedge composition for just about every golfer – from those who want one single club given their sometimes hefty price tag, to those who will pay whatever is required to get top of the range gear.

One thing is certain: if you are in the market for new wedges, there has been no better year to buy one given the number of options available.

We’ve hit as many of the latest wedges we can down at our local golf shop, and scoured the internet for information, to compile this comprehensive list of the best wedges you can add to your bag.

Best wedge for spin

The Callaway JAWS Full Toe offers a complete face full of grooves and an extra high toe, meaning the ball stays in contact with the club face for longer and will spin hard.

With a remarkable 64-degree option, all of these features combine to create what is likely the highest spinning wedge on the market.

Best wedge for forgiveness

The Cleveland Smart Sole 4 range is a truly magnificent concept for high handicappers, coming in a set of three: a chipper, a gap wedge and a sand wedge.

All three are designed with wide, forgiving soles and are played square given their tailored design for certain types of shot.

If you are new to golf or struggle with the short game, buy a set of the Smart Sole 4 edges and take the guesswork out of things around the greens.

Best wedge for performance

The Titleist Vokey-designed SM8 wedge has it all, form heat treatment for durability to a range of colours and adequate forgiveness.

The weight has been pushed forward to help square the club off at impact and the groove structure will provide huge spin without any gimmicks like high toe or full-face etchings.

A classic looking wedge that will do everything you need it to without being impossible to play.

Best wedge for bunkers

The Cleveland RTX Full Face wedges have been specifically designed to be forgiving, high-spinning and allow for extremely open-faced shots to be played with ease.

If you struggle out of bunkers and want something that will pop out super high to clear lips and spin hard to hold greens when strike isn’t perfect, the RTX Full Face is the best option.

Best wedge for value

Cobra seem to have made a habit of pricing themselves below their competition, despite having some of the highest quality products on the market.

Their MIM wedges come in at around $149 USD a pop, yet are high-quality, heat-treated wedges with ample customisation.

If you are on a budget and want to make do with a single wedge, a 56-degree option with the right grind will allow for bump and runs, bunker flops and everything in between.

Best Callaway Wedges

Callaway Jaws Full Toe

The Callaway JAWS Full Toe is designed to offer superb control on all types of shots including chips, bunker play, pitches and even flops.

The high toe and full face of grooves make this wedge spin hard and instils confidence in the player due to the ‘oversized’ appearance of the face.

The JAWS Full Toe is available in 2 degree increments from 54-60 degrees, as well as an insanely lofted 64-degree option for those who like to emulate Phil Mickelson when around the greens.

Overall, a great option for golfers of all abilities looking for a wedge that will perform well for generally any type of shot.

Callaway JAWS MD5

With striking blue accents the Callaway JAWS MD5 is perfect for someone who enjoys some character in their golf bag.

More traditional in its grooves and toe, the MD5 oozes quality with an overall classic feel.

Perhaps less forgiving than the full toe option, these wedges are still available up to a bounce of 12 degrees, optimising turf interaction and reducing leading edge digging.

Combine all this with a soft feel face, the MD5 provides a great transition from the short irons into wedges.

Callaway Mack Daddy CB

The Callaway Mack Daddy CB wedges are the ultimate game improvement option, boasting a cavity back that will support mid to high handicappers getting through the turf more consistently.

These won’t spin at the rates seen in something like the JAWS Full Toe, but the level of forgiveness is unrivalled by any of Callaway’s other offerings.

Lofts of 54 degrees and above have full-face grooves as well, meaning this wedge isn’t just super forgiving, but will give great confidence through its appearance.

Best Cleveland Wedges

Cleveland RTX Zipcore

The Cleveland RTX Zipcore has been built from the ground up with the intention of delivering one of the most durable options on the market.

Maintaining a sleek, traditional design, the Zipcore has just enough uniqueness in the way the back bulges ever so slightly towards the toe to catch the eye.

A new heat treatment process makes these wedges super tough – look after them and you won’t need to buy others for a long, long time.

They come in all options of bounce and loft so you’ll have no issue finding the perfect combination to fit your bag.

Cleveland RTX Full Face

The Cleveland RTX Full Face wedge is designed for the aggressive golfer who loves chasing high scores and stuffing bunker shots close.

Marketed as the perfect wedge to play flop shops, this club will give players the confidence to navigate any bunker or carry any hazard and hold a green with zip.

The high toe and full-face of grooves allow you to open the loft right up and still play shots with control and confidence.

Cleveland CBX Full Face

The Cleveland CBX Full Face wedge has a half-cavity back design as well as a high toe and full face of grooves.

The wide, low-c-shaped sole makes it a highly forgiving wedge while still maintaining versatility around greens.

The Rotex full face of Tour Zip grooves means you’ll be able to impart huge spin while playing open-faced shots.

A great wedge to use as your high loft option when paired with something more versatile.

Cleveland CBX2

A hollow-cavity game improvement club, if you struggle with wedges and play off a higher handicap, the Cleveland CBX2 is going to be a great option for you.

Yes, it will spin hard and perform well when struck purely, but the CBX2 pays for itself when your strike isn’t quite right.

The hollow design and weight in the toe offer great stability and the sole design helps you get the club in and out of the ground with consistency, even for poorer swings.

A great all-round wedge for those needing help on the course.

Cleveland Smart Sole 4

The ultimate game improvement wedges on the market, the Cleveland Smart Sole 4 options are for the player who is willing to overlook appearance for the greatest level of support they can find.

The three options do all of the thinking for you: a chipper for around the greens, a gap wedge for approaches and a sand wedge for bunkers.

All three are designed to be played square – no need to open the face or get tricky, just stand and deliver.

The wide soles are perfectly tailored to each shot type, allowing chips to be played like putts or bunker shots to be splashed out with a square face and minimal leading-edge dig.

If you are a high handicapper that wants a no frills, highly effective set, these are the most forgiving wedges on the market.

Best TaylorMade Wedges

TaylorMade Milled Grind 3

Packed full of technology that makes these wedges quite unique, the TaylorMade Milled Grind 3 range feature all new, raised micro-ribs to complement the deep, crisp grooves.

The milled sole is also beautiful and helps the clubhead carve through the turf in any conditions.

Another special feature is the non-treated face, meaning that, in time, theses clubs will rust, further adding character to their look.

Used by world class golfers including Rory McIlroy, Collin Morikawa and Dustin Johnson, these are high quality wedges that great golfers will love.

TaylorMade Hi-Toe Raw

Undoubtedly the most striking face grooving in any wedge on the market, TaylorMade’s Hi-Toe Raw features the ZTP Raw groove design with not only a full face of grooves but etchings that fill just about every inch of the club face.

Pair this with a high toe and you have a recipe for viciously gripping wedge shots, especially in wet conditions that previously would have seen spin rate take a hit. Off-centre strikes will still spin quite well, but be mindful that the full-face option only kicks in at lofts above 56 degrees.

Best Titleist Wedges

Titleist Vokey SM8

The Titleist Vokey SM8 wedges could be some of the best all-round golf clubs on the market and come in a range of colours including chrome, steel and black.

They boast a beautifully classic look for anyone who wants a high-class, tech filled wedge with an old school style to them.

The weight has been pushed forward to help feel, consistency and bringing the club face square at impact, something golfers of all levels will appreciate.

Customisation is another cool feature, allowing you to stamp the back of the wedge with personalised messages for a unique touch.

Best Mizuno Wedges

Mizuno T-22

The Mizuno T-22 series of wedges are the more visually appealing offering from Mizuno, coming in four sole grinds to suit golfers of different abilities.

A microlayer of copper sits below the nickel chrome to add a moment of extra control at contact, but whether this is even distinguishable is hard to know.

The HydroFlow Micro Grooves claim to perform extra well in wet weather, so if you are used to playing in the rain these wedges could offer a little assistance when conditions are damp.

Mizuno ES21

The Mizuno ES21 wedges aren’t the best looking out there – quite bulbous and anything but classic – yet this may just be a result of their design.

The distribution of weight has been precisely designed to ensure the centre of gravity is smack bang in the middle of the club face.

Not only does this promote consistent strike and add forgiveness, but it should help maintain a fairly constant spin rate even as you move through the lofts and play in changed conditions.  

Best PING Wedges

PING Glide Forged Pro

Made from 8620 carbon steel, the PING Glide Forged Pro wedges have a beautiful soft feel.

Add in a tungsten toe weight for forgiveness and wheel cut grooves to create greater friction and spin and you have a genuine all-purpose wedge.

The etched pattern on the back will put some players off, but if performance is valued over appearance, then the Glide Forged Pro is still an option worth considering.

PING Glide 3.0

The PING Glide 3.0 wedges blend a players-style look with game-improvement performance, aiming to give as much help as they can without resorting to garish gimmicks.

A cavity sole and generous bounce will assist with strike and turf interaction, but some workability such as opening the face aggressively may be a little compromised.

Best PXG Wedges

PXG 0311 Sugar Daddy

PXG are somewhat renowned for precision milling and engineering and the Sugar Daddy wedge range are no exception.

Touted as an all-rounder, the sugar daddy is a versatile club for every lie, condition and situation.

The two sole options – 09 and 07 – are designed for those who play either more traditional, or open-faced shots.

Go with the 09 for a standard, all condition wedge and the 07 if you like opening the face up and getting tricky, especially from tight lies.

The black accents on the weights won’t suit everyone’s eye, but for a versatile, precise wedge option the PXG Sugar Daddy shouldn’t be dismissed.

PXG 0311 Forged

The PXG 0311 Forged is the more visually appealing of the PXG offerings, with the black accents making way for a largely smooth, untouched chrome finish.

With only one sole option, the Forged is targeted at the player looking for forgiveness, with PXG removing choice from the hands of the golfer and asking them to trust their design.

The weighting optimises centre of gravity, creating a great wedge for the golfer looking for assistance with all shot types in their short game.

Best Wilson Wedges

Wilson Staff Model

The Wilson Staff Model wedge is a beautiful classic design in a chrome finish, something that won’t look out of place as part of any set.

The 8620 carbon steel creates a soft feel, perfect for feedback when playing delicate shots around the greens.

The 56-degree option comes with a super generous 14 degrees of bounce, making it a great all-round option for golfers needing help getting the club to glide through the ground.

It doesn’t have special features like full-faced grooves or a high toe, but is priced to be an affordable, versatile wedge for golfers of all ability.

Wilson Harmonized

Offering only 52, 56 and 60-degree options, the Wilson Harmonised wedges are a cheaper, less customisable offering when compared to the Staff Model.

However, if you want a bargain, at under $60US this is about the best you can hope for as far as quality on the cheap from one of the big manufacturers.

If you are after a wedge that will perform well despite its low cost and still garnishes the logo of a big-name distributer, the Harmonised wedges offer some of the best value on the market.

Best Honma Wedges

Honma Beres

The Honma Beres wedges are made to look classy, with exquisite gold finishing that may turn some away yet catching the eye of others.

The patented nickel chrome plated sole has a low coefficient of friction, designed to slide through turf and sand with ease – no leading edges that dig into the ground.

The black nickel plating and CNC milling on the club face deliver the maximum surface roughness allowed by the R&A Rules of Golf for grooves – the perfect recipe for high spin.

While the look of these wedges won’t be for everyone, they pack a serious punch when it comes to tech and performance.

Honma T//World W

The Honma T//World W wedges are more of a classic look than the Beres, including a full chrome option minus the gold – something no doubt admired by the traditionalists.

They utilise a flat blade up to 54 degrees before transitioning to a reverse taper at 56, helping the ball stay on the face longer even with high strikes, increasing spin.

The I-sole at lower lofts also helps with turf interaction for fuller shots, while the C-sole is more workable when playing varied shots around greens and from bunkers.

Best Cobra Wedges

Cobra Snakebite

The name for this wedge comes from the snakebite grooves, engineered to maximise spin and bite around the greens.

They come in both traditional and full faced styles, with the full-face option for some reason looking more subtle in the Cobra wedges than others such as the Callaway JAWS.

If you like the idea of full-face groove tech but a traditional style, then these Cobra Snakebite wedges might just strike that balance.

The full-faced version boasts wider and shallower grooves to optimise open-faced shots and all Cobra wedges come in single length options, perfect if you fancy yourself as a budding Bryson DeChambeau.

Cobra MIM

The Cobra King MIM wedges are more of a classic look without the option of full-faced grooves.

What they do cleverly employ is a progressive groove structure, using narrower and deeper grooves up to 54 degrees and wider, shallower grooves beyond 56 degrees, optimising spin at higher lofts where you’ll be more inclined to play open-faced shots.

The versatile, wide low and classic grind options will help people fine tune these wedges to their swing or conditions with precision.

Final message

While purchasing new wedges can be daunting, the quality and range of options on the market has never been better.

Consider cavity back, full face grooves and high toe if you’re looking for help, or dial down the bounce and choose something more classic in style, knowing that heat treatments make these so strong that you may just be able to ‘improve into something’ they’ll last that long.

And, if nothing else, choose a colour you like and feel comfortable knowing no matter how bad you hit the ball, at least your personality can shine through in your clubs.

Lewis Carhart
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