As a youngster, gap wedges were not commonly spoken about, but I wish they were. I suffered for years on shots too short for full pitching but too long for a sand wedge. I got creative, but the results were inconsistent. Finally, I found the magic club, and in this post, I share my best gap wedge for 2023.
You’ll find that the options on this list help you bridge the divide between your strong lofted pitching and weak lofted sand wedge. Gap wedges provide exceptional spin, versatile sole grinds, and controlled flight. Plus, you’ll notice that some options produce exceptional forgiveness for beginners and high handicappers.
Before you continue, bookmark our guide covering the best golf wedges in 2023. You’ll find that this will help complete your wedge selection for increased spin and control around the green.
The 3 Best Gap Wedges In 2023
|Best Overall||Best Budget||Highest Spinning|
|Ping Glide 4.0||Tour Edge Hot Launch E522||TaylorMade Milled Grind 3|
|Rating||4.5 Stars||4.5 Stars||4.5 Stars|
What To Consider When Purchasing A Gap Wedge
Standard gap wedges are constructed with 50 and 52 degrees of loft. This decision is prompted by the lofts of your pitching and sand wedges to secure that there are no potential gaps in your short game. For example, if you play a 43-degree pitching wedge, I suggest opting for the more powerful 50-degree gap wedge.
Conversely, if you play a 48-degree pitching wedge, the weaker, 52-degree gap wedge makes sense. Make sure your gap wedge does not leave any potential holes between it and your sand wedge.
For example, if you are considering a 50-degree gap wedge, you do not want your sand wedge weaker than 56 degrees. However, if you play a 52-degree gap wedge, you may find that a 58-degree sand wedge is sufficient.
Your chosen sole grind will impact forgiveness, launch, bounce, and turf interaction. Your angle of attack is the best way to identify your wedge’s matching sole grind. I suggest that golfers with a steep angle of attack look for a wedge with an increased bounce to help the club avoid digging into the ground.
In addition, golfers with shallow attack angles require less bounce as they sweep the golf ball off the turf. Finally, golfers who produce a neutral attack angle and take medium divots will thrive with a mid-bounce sole.
Besides the angle of attack, sole grinds react differently on wet, medium, and firm turf, requiring you to factor in the layout of your home golf course. A low-bounce wedge is ideal if you live in a dry area with consistently solid earth. Contrarily, a high-bounce sole performs best on wet ground.
Obviously, the purpose of a wedge is to help you generate optimal spin to stop your ball rapidly on approach. I suggest searching for a gap wedge that features sharper, deeper, and narrower grooves that bite into the cover of your ball and produce exceptional revolutions per minute.
In addition, it is worth seeking heat-treated grooves that provide increased durability and increase the longevity of their performance.
Your short game requires pinpoint distance control and accuracy, which the incorrect flight can implode. I suggest searching for a wedge that promotes a lower trajectory, as it reduces the risk of ballooning your shots. This improves the chances of your ball reaching the vicinity of the intended target.
If your wedge generates a high launch, you struggle to fly the ball up to the target, and the added spin causes it to stop rapidly, yards from where you need to be.
Finally, your short game is about feel, softer touch, and exceptional feedback that help you to better judge the power required to strike your shot. You will improve your feel from different distances and become more efficient in getting up and down.
However, the better the feel and feedback are, the less forgiveness gap wedges tend to offer. You must consider what is most important to you. Can you afford to forego forgiveness, or do you need maximum leniency around the green?
Our Research Parameters
Golfspan is independent and not pressured by manufacturers to recommend products. We were not paid for the reviews in this article. These wedges were selected by our team, who have over 100 years of experience playing golf and thousands of hours reviewing products. We may earn an affiliate commission when you purchase something through our retail links.
The Best Gap Wedges in 2023
1. Ping Glide 4.0 – Overall Best Gap Wedge
- Enhanced spin rate
- Soft feel
- Compact shape
- Boosts friction
- It produces clean turf interaction
- It costs a premium
- It is only available in one sole grind construction
The Ping Glide 4.0 cracks the nod as the best gap wedge in 2023 for its looks, spin, feel and turf interaction. It offers mid-handicappers an ideal club to bridge the gap between your pitching and sand wedge for increased spin and control on approach.
Ping offers the Glide 4.0 in an S-grind sole design which features a trailing edge and heel relief. You’ll notice that this produces sufficient bounce to perform on all surfaces. In addition, the engineers constructed the grind to work for various angles of attack.
Next, I enjoyed the feel of this wedge thanks to the combination of 8620 Carbon Steel and an Elastomer CTP Insert. Together, these materials produced a responsive feel for better control and boosted face contact by 36%. The added time that your ball spends on the clubface results in an enhanced spin rate.
Aiding your spin cause are face-blasted milled grooves, which elevate the texture of the impact zone. You’ll find that this alteration increases friction at impact for an aggressive spin and a low launch. I noticed that the high spin and low controlled trajectory produced drop and stop spin.
Finally, I appreciated the compact profile of the club head, which made for a pleasant setup that the average golfer can get on board with. It offers mid-handicappers a controlled, consistent, high-spinning wedge for improved gap wedge results.
2. Tour Edge Hot Launch E522 – Best Budget Gap 52-Degree Wedge
- Entry-level price tag
- Exceptional forgiveness
- Promotes straighter shots
- Produces higher ball flight
- Delivers ample spin
- Limited workability
- The oversized clubface is off-putting
Tour Edge consistently delivers affordable, forgiving golf clubs that suit higher handicappers and senior golfers. Their mission remains intact with the Hot Launch E522, our best budget gap wedge in 2023, thanks to its exceptional forgiveness, high flight, and spin.
You’ll see that the Hot Launch E522 sports a Super Wide Houdini Sole, which helps beginners glide the clubhead cleanly across the turf. You reduce the risk of digging the wedge into the earth and mishitting your golf shot.
The next feature that stood out was its deep undercut cavity, which lowered the center of gravity (CG) to send your ball higher with rampant spin. This ensures that slower-swinging golfers get their ball airborne for consistent carry distance.
Furthermore, it was hard to miss the extra large face, a put-off for superior golfers. It benefits less skillful players by increasing the moment of inertia (MOI) to keep the clubface square at contact. As a result, it promotes straighter shots for improved accuracy.
Finally, the Full-Face Maximized Grooves worked hard to prevent spin drop-off across the clubface on all shots. I found that this provided superior greenside control to help me attack the flag on shorter strikes.
3. TaylorMade Milled Grind 3 – Highest Spinning Gap Wedge
- Exceptional spin rate
- Soft feel
- Precise flight
- Optimal turf interaction
- Enhanced friction
- Expensive price tag
- Only one sole grind option
If generating additional spin is your primary concern, then the TaylorMade Milled Grind 3 may pique your interest. It earns the prize for the highest spinning gap wedge in 2023 because of its exceptional revolutions per minute, exceptional control, clean turf interaction, and accurate flight.
The Raw Face Technology stood out to me as a stroke of genius, proving that less truly is more. The TaylorMade engineers removed the plating from the grooves and face, allowing optimal geometry. Setting the grooves at the correct angles made them sharper, deeper, and narrower, forming the ZTP Raw Groove Design.
They were not done yet and decided to throw in Raised Micro-Ribs for good measure. If you place the clubface under a microscope, you’ll spot them between the grooves. This is done to boost the texture of the clubface, which elevates spin and control around the dancefloor.
Furthermore, I found that the milled grind soles encourage crisp turf interaction to prevent your clubhead from sticking into the dirt. In addition, this enabled the engineers to reposition for precise CG and a controlled flight.
You’ll see that the controlled flight, paired with exceptional revolutions per minute, leads to a rapid drop and stop spin on approach.
4. Cleveland RTX ZipCore – Most Forgiving
- Produces consistent spin
- Encourages straighter shots
- The midsole suits various conditions
- The sole suits numerous conditions
- Only available in one sole grind
- The oversized construction does not suit all golfers
The Cleveland RTX ZipCore is a reliable construction that offers incredible forgiveness, increased spin, and superb durability.
I noted that the low-density ZipCore helped Cleveland reposition the CG of the wedge and increase MOI for optimal launch, ball flight, and spin. The RTX ZipCore delivered a mid-launch and flight that helps beginners get their ball consistently airborne.
In addition, you’ll find that the increased MOI of this wedge does wonders to keep your clubface square at contact. This lowers the risk of opening or closing your clubface at impact for straighter shots and an improved dispersion rate.
Besides accuracy, the RTX ZipCore produced impressive revolutions per minute to help my ball drop and stop rapidly on the green. The Ultizip Grooves composition created sharper, narrower, and deeper grooves, which sunk their teeth into my ball and generated escalated spin levels.
Furthermore, the engineers opted to heat-treat the grooves to boost their durability, extending their lifespan for added value. Finally, Cleveland offers one grind for the RTX gap wedges, which they call the midsole. It is a versatile structure that suits various turf conditions and angles of attack.
5. Cleveland CBX2 – Best for High Handicappers
- Exceptional forgiveness
- Encourages straight shots
- The Gelback padding eradicates vibrations
- Optimal spin
- Combats right misses
- The oversize design is not appealing to every golfer
- It delivers minimal workability
The Cleveland CBX2 continues its commitment to constructing affordable, forgiving golf clubs that cater to high handicappers. You’ll notice that this hollow cavity back design is also blessed with extreme MOI to promote straighter shots for improved accuracy.
In addition, I found that the cavity back structure increased the perimeter weighting around the clubface, which enhanced the sweet spot. As a result, it minimized spin drop-off and optimized launch to help you stop your ball rapidly on approach.
Further bolstering your accuracy and forgiveness is the Enhanced Feel Balance Technology which produces a toe bias setup to combat slices and pushed shots. You’ll find that this helps beginners deliver straighter results.
Generally, oversized clubs reduce the feel and feedback provided on shorter shots. However, Cleveland overcame this by employing Gelback padding between the clubface and the cavity. I felt it offered as smooth a feel as you’ll get with a game improvement wedge.
Lastly, besides its forgiveness and accuracy, the Cleveland CBX2 wedge delivered a superb spin rate. The 4th Generation Rotex Face Tech creates razor-sharp tour zip grooves, which grip your golf ball and generate intense revolutions per minute.
High handicappers should bookmark our post on what wedges should beginners carry? This gives you a better understanding of how to structure your setup and what lofts work best for your swing.
6. Callaway Mack Daddy 5 JAWS – Best 50 Degree Wedges For Mid Handicappers
- Soft feel
- It provides some forgiveness
- Rampant spin
- Glare resistant
- Mid-level flight
- The medallions at the back of the clubhead are off-putting
- Reduced MOI
The Callaway Mack Daddy 5 JAWS wedge offers mid-handicappers a soft feeling, high spinning, and consistent club to enhance your short game. I found that it provided the correct balance of control, workability, and forgiveness to help the average golfer’s short game.
Callaway employed 8620 mild carbon steel to construct the Mack Daddy 5 JAWS, which you’ll notice creates a delicate touch on all shots. Plus, the wedge is finished with a tour gray, which I found reduced glare at address.
The next feature that stood out was the finely crafted JAWS MD 5 Groove Micro Features, which raised friction at contact for an increased spin rate. I could feel my ball stay on the clubface longer at impact, which resulted in exceptional spin control.
You’ll notice that Callaway offers the Mack Daddy 5 gap wedges in two grind constructions. The 50-degree loft operates an S-grind, which handles soft and medium turf easily and suits a range of angles of attack.
Conversely, the weaker lofted 52-degree gap wedge carries a W-grind sole, built to serve on softer grass and help steeper attack angles.
7. Titleist Vokey SM9 – Best For Low Handicappers
- Aggressive spin
- Controlled ball flight
- Encourages workability
- The sole grind is versatile
- It offers limited forgiveness
The legendary Titleist-Bob Vokey team strikes back with the SM9 Tour, which earned our pick as the best gap wedge for lower handicappers. I found that this wedge provided a soft, delicate feel, increased spin, and controlled ball flight, all the features superior golfers demand.
I will start the flight. I appreciated the effort to move the CG forward slightly, to help you deliver lower-ball flight and aggressive spin. This combination leads to the type of one-hop-and-stop spin you see on the PGA Tour.
Furthermore, you’ll find that the compact profile and reduced MOI encourage you to work your shots for additional control in your short game. However, the lack of MOI is offset by the heat-treated grooves, which deliver increased revolutions per minute to help your golf ball stop quickly on the dancefloor.
Besides its impressive spin rate and controlled flight, the SM9 is equipped with an F-Grind sole, designed to perform in multiple scenarios. It holds firm on soft, medium, and firm turf and works for steep, neutral, and shallow attack angles.
Finally, I found that the SM9 Tour offered a buttery-soft feel on every wedge shot, with increased feedback, for a pleasant short-game experience.
8. Mizuno T22 Copper – Best 50 Degree Wedge For Feel
- Buttery soft feel
- Prevents spin drop off
- Increases your spin rate
- Produces a lower trajectory
- Compact, attractive profile
- The copper finish may not appeal to all golfers
- Only available in one sole grind
The Mizuno factory in Hiroshima is a legendary establishment that has perfected the art of forging golf clubs with exceptional feel, durability, and acoustics. The T22 Copper gap wedge incorporates all these qualities, producing penetrating ball flight and advanced spin for greater control in your short game.
You’ll see that the T22 is more than a strong performer. It is also appealing to look at and reduces glare at address. In addition, it features a compact, modified teardrop profile for a thinner clubhead construction, which superior golfers will appreciate at address.
Furthermore, the savvy Mizuno engineers designed the wedge into a spin-weighted blade design, which limits spin drop-off and prompts penetrating flight. I found this improved my launch and distance control to avoid ballooning shots and losing carry distance.
The next feature that stood out was the HydroFlow Micro Grooves which produce impeccable friction and spin consistency. The laser-etched grooves help you to shed moisture from the surface to keep the golf ball on the clubface for longer. Plus, you’ll notice that the added friction limits spin drop-off for ample forgiveness.
I noticed that the Quad Cut Milled grooves on the T22 were tough characters and should offer a long, lasting performance. Finally, Mizuno offers 50 and 52-degree wedges in an S-grind construction, which provides superb turf interaction, and reduced bounce prompting lower ball flight.
9. Honma TW-W4 – Best Golf Club Gap Wedge For Acoustics
- Impressive acoustics
- Promotes higher flight
- Clean turf interaction
- Aggressive spin
- Solid feel
- The higher flight may deter some golfers
- Only one sole grind to choose from
Besides draining your shot or sticking it close, little compares to the crisp acoustics of a cleanly struck wedge. Mizuno took the prize for the best feel, and it is another Japanese manufacturer that takes the cake for the best sound. The Honma TW-W4 offers exhilarating audio on each shot, aggressive spin, and clean turf interaction.
The TW-W4 50 and 52-degree gap wedges are fitted with an i-sole grind, a complete design with camber and trailing edge relief. In layman’s terms, this translates to clean turf interaction on full shots to ensure your clubhead glides over the turf and makes clean contact with the ball.
Moreover, I noticed that both lofts featured a lower CG encouraging a higher launch, unfortunately. I felt it reduced my control on approach shots, but I understand the importance for high handicappers. You’ll find that this helps you consistently get your ball airborne.
In addition, the cross-milled face works wonders to produce an optimal spin rate on all shots. As a result, it enables you to attack the flagstick and stop the ball promptly near your target.
10. Wilson Staff Model – Best 52 Degree Wedge Ball Flight
- Soft feel
- Low, controlled ball flight
- Enhances friction
- Delivers increased spin
- Produces clean interaction with the grass
- It does not spin as high as some options on the list, but the loss is insignificant
- You only have the choice of one sole grind
Over the years, I have reviewed hundreds of Wilson products, best fitted to beginners and high handicappers. However, the Wilson Staff Model carries a refined, tour-inspired structure to cater to low and mid-handicappers. Besides its shape, this wedge produced the most controlled ball of all the gap wedges in the test.
I found that the CG in the Staff Model is placed precisely to produce a penetrating trajectory, preferred by professionals and low handicappers. You’ll notice that your control is further enhanced by the Precision Milled Face, which contains a high-density pattern to prevent spin drop-off.
The superior friction provided by the Staff wedge helps you generate optimal spin off the clubface to help you stop the ball rapidly on approach. In addition, the lower flight restricts you from ballooning your shot and falling significantly short of your target mark.
Besides its flight and spin, you’ll find that the Wilson Staff Model wedge provides a smooth feel on all shots. By forging 8620 carbon steel, the engineers presented a durable club that provides a superb feel and acoustics at impact.
11. PXG V2 0311 – Best Golf Gap Wedge Sole
- Versatile sole grind saves you the hassle of figuring out the right design for your game
- Soft feel
- Consistent spin
- Moderately affordable
- Pleasant acoustics
- The medallions in the back of the clubhead are an eyesore
- Not the highest-spinning wedge out there
Identifying the correct sole grind for your game is a challenge when starting out. However, PXG found a simple solution by crafting a versatile grind that works for various swings and turf conditions. As a result, the V2 0311 earns my pick as the wedge with the best sole in 2023.
The single, versatile sole grind is shaped to provide sufficient bounce on soft ground while reducing the action in firmer conditions. Plus, it works for golfers with steep, neutral, and shallow attack angles.
I also appreciated the work rate of the sharp, CNC Milled Grooves, which really grabbed into the plastic at contact. I found that this imparted outstanding backspin onto the golf ball for a one, hop, and bite stop on the dancefloor.
It failed to produce the level of spin found in other wedges on our list, but I felt it offered sufficient control for mid and high-handicappers. Finally, the V2 0311 wedge is forged from 8620 soft carbon steel, creating a super tight grain structure for a delicate, pure touch on all gap wedge shots.
12. Cobra Snake Bite – Best Friction Gap Wedge In Golf
- Enhanced friction
- Exceptional spin
- The Arccos grip sensors record data on each shot, for superior insight
- Versatile wedge grind suits various conditions and swings
- Glare resistant
- Chunky profile
- Not the crispest acoustics I have enjoyed
Rounding off our best gap wedge list for 2023 is the Cobra Snake Bite, which earns the title for the best friction. In addition, it provided a nifty, versatile grind, supreme launch, spin, and control.
Starting with the core feature, the Snakebite Groove Technology. You’ll find that this is where the Snake Bite earns its place in your bag because of the groove’s durability and friction. This combination lengthens the lifespan of the grooves, and their ability to produce an exceptional spin rate on all gap wedge shots.
Furthermore, I noticed that the engineers applied Progressive face grooves to tweak each wedge’s launch, spin, and control. Your launch is further controlled by the versatile sole grind, which consists of the heel-to-toe trailing edge relief for superior stability at contact.
Another handy feature you’ll find is the Cobra Connect Grip. The sensors in your grip track different data points related to your shots for improved insight into your game. The data is stored on the Arccos caddie application, allowing you to review your progress with each club equipped with the sensors.
Finally, I appreciated the classy, black finish of the Cobra Snake Bite wedge, which did wonders to deter glare at address. The alluring Snake Bite gap wedge is built for mid and high-handicappers searching for increased friction and spin-off of the clubface.
Do I Really Need A Gap Wedge?
Yes, you need a gap wedge to ensure no holes in your short game distance. If you only own a pitching and sand wedge, you may have more than 10 degrees missing in your bag. Therefore, when you are in between a full sand or pitching wedge yardage, you need to get creative with club selection, or it erodes your distance control.
A gap wedge helps you cover all bases in your short game to maintain superior distance control and accuracy around the degree.
What Gap Wedge Degree Is Best?
A 50-degree gap wedge is the best option for golfers swinging a pitching wedge stronger than 44 degrees. If you opt for a 52-degree, the gap may be excessive between your pitching and gap wedge. This leaves you at risk of creating holes in your short-game yardage.
Overall, the best degree golf gap wedges for your game depend on the loft of your pitching and sand wedge.
What Distance Is A Gap Wedge Good For?
In my experience, a gap wedge suits shots between 90 to 100-yards. For context, I produce an average swing speed, like many reading this. Golfers with slower swing speeds may use a gap wedge for shots within the vicinity of 80-yards. Conversely, golfers with high swing speeds can expect to send a gap wedge from 110-yards and beyond.
What Are Gap Wedges Used For?
Golfers use gap wedges to hit full-swing short shots, chip shots, bump and run, a pitch, and lengthy bunker strikes. In addition, they use a gap wedge to chip out of trouble and place themselves in a favorable position on the fairway for their next shot.
As you can see, a gap wedge is one golf club that I feel every golfer should carry. I am a fan of bringing more wedges than woods, as it boosts your control around the green and gives you a greater chance of gaining strokes.
Whether a high handicapper or a superior golfer, you will benefit from the distance left between your pitching and sand wedge. Golfers restricted to a tight budget in 2023 are advised to test the Tour Edge Hot Launch E522, thanks to its rock-bottom price, forgiveness, and impressive turf interaction.
Conversely, players not phased by the price of a golf club in this high-inflation environment may consider the TaylorMade Milled Grind 3. It stood out as the highest spinning gap wedge in our test, helping me stop my ball rapidly on approach.
Finally, the best gap wedge 2023 has to offer is the Ping Glide 4.0. I found this wedge increased clubface friction, prompted a low launch, and generated exceptional spin. Plus, its compact shape and forgiving sole grind delivered crisp turf interaction for a clean strike and optimal workability.
Matt is a seasoned golf equipment writer and sports fanatic. He holds a Postgraduate in Sports Marketing and has played golf for over 28 years.