Golf is a magnificent sport and an opportunity to spend time in the open air while meeting people from your social circle and the business environment.
The equipment required can be confusing to new golfers and even some golfers that have been playing for a while. In this article, we will concentrate on the wedge aspect of your set of clubs and assess which are the best wedges for high handicappers.
To reduce your handicap, you must sharpen up your short game. 40% or more of your shots will be played from inside 100 yards. Wedges are designed to provide the ultimate control and are not aimed at maximum distance.
Studies have found that most high handicap golfers and beginners leave their approach shots short of the green as they do not have distance control on their irons. Having a wedge or set of wedges will enable you to control these short shots and stop the ball closer to the pin.
Wedges have the shortest shafts, heaviest club heads, and the highest lofts of the irons range.
Selecting a wedge is generally determined by your swing, playing conditions, and the type of course that you play, and it is recommended that you select wedges that work for you. Consider the most forgiving wedge that is essential for high handicap golfers.
- Number of Wedges
- Types of Wedges
- Wedges For High-Handicap Players Reviews
Number of Wedges
The number of wedges that you carry in your bag is dependent on your confidence in hitting shots that you hit at less than 100%.
Most golfers, including professionals, carry between 2 and 4 wedges
- 2 wedges are sufficient when you are confident with your ½ and ¾ swings. The 2 most common wedges included with a set of clubs are a pitching wedge (PW) and sand wedge (SW).
- More advanced amateurs generally carry 3 wedges pitching, gap, and a lob wedge.
- Beginners and high handicap golfers are advised to carry 4 or 5 wedges. This will enable you to hit all your wedges at 100% and achieve consistent distances with every wedge.
If you get only 1 wedge, a sand wedge is preferred due to its versatility.
This article is aimed at identifying the best wedges for high handicappers therefore we concentrated on cavity back clubs with a slightly thicker leading edge rather than the blade-shape design with a thin top-line.
Types of Wedges
The 4 most commonly used wedges are pitching wedge (PW), sand wedge (SW), lob wedge (LW), and gap wedge (GW).
The loft on wedges can vary between 45 degrees up to 64 degrees. Higher loft produces higher ball flight and more spin. Manufacturers frequently offer wedges in a variety of lofts but most commonly the various wedges can be categorized as follow:
- Pitching wedge between 44 and 48 degrees
- Gap Wedge between 51 and 55 degrees
- Sand wedge between 54 and 58 degrees
- Lob wedge generally from 60 degrees and up
This video will give you some insight into wedge lofts and the distance they can achieve.
2. Pitching Wedge (PW)
Pitching wedge is the most commonly used for long chip shots, full shots into the greens, greenside chipping, and bump and run options.
3. Gap Wedge (GW)
This wedge goes by many names such as Gap Wedge (GW) or Utility Wedge (UW) or Attack wedge (AW) or Approach wedge. The purpose of the gap wedge is to fill in the gap between the pitching wedge and the sand wedge. This enables you to hit a full shot and still achieve the correct distance rather than hitting a ¾ pitching wedge.
4. Sand Wedge (SW)
This was originally the lowest lofted club available until the release of the lob wedge in the 1930s. The main purpose of the sand wedge is to get out of bunkers, AKA sand traps. The biggest difference between an SW and a PW is the wider and heavier sole on the sand wedge.
The thick sole assists with gliding the club through longer grass and sand and getting the ball airborne off shorter grass.
Sand wedges are regarded as the most versatile club in your bag and highly recommended for high handicap golfers.
5. Lob Wedge (LW)
The lob wedge is designed to generate high flying shots with loads of spins dropping the ball on the green without much roll. They are extremely useful in greenside bunkers that have a high lip. It is one of the most difficult clubs to use, especially for the lob shot, and should be the last wedge that a high handicap golfer acquires.
Golf Wedge Buying Guide
Here are the key factors to consider when purchasing a wedge
Medium bounce wedges will provide the most forgiveness on a variety of turf surfaces.
Most wedges offer e a standard steel wedge flex, but it can be changed to graphite shafts if you have an extremely low swing speed.
There are 3 main categories of bounce angle
- Low-bounce wedges have angles between 4 and 6 degrees. Wedges with low bounce have a slightly flatter sole are better suited to golfers that have a shallower swing path, plays on firmer course conditions, and plays courses with tight lies around the greens and in bunkers.
- Mid-bounce wedges have angles between 7 and 10 degrees. These are the most versatile bounce and can be suitable for most swing types and course conditions.
- High-bounce wedges have angles of more than 10 degrees. The sole is more rounded and aimed at golfers with a steeper swing hitting down on the ball or tend to hit fat shots. It prevents the leading edge of the clubface digging deeply into the ground. High bounce wedges are more appropriate for courses with soft surfaces or when the bunkers have soft sand.
Sole grind is the shaping of the wedge’s sole usually located around the toe or the heel. Many wedge manufacturers grind them with a machine to suit specific turf conditions or shots.
- Heel – With a heel grind, the face sits much lower to the ground because of the removed heel part and leads to a more open the face at address.
- Middle – A grind in the middle section between the heel and toe adds bounce to the sole, aiding players that tend to dig the clubface into the turf at impact.
- Toe – A grind at the toe section enables a more closed face at address.
The finish of a wedge can enhance the look and feel of the wedge.
There are 3 main categories of finishes
- Raw – Some golfers feel that this provides a softer, more responsive feel, will not glare with the sun, and generally will not scratch or rust as much as other finishes.
- Matte –With a matte finish that is plated onto the wedge, there will be less reflective of the sun. The matte finish is normally thicker than a chrome finish and produces a more dampened feel and the response of the club.
- Chrome Finish – Chrome finishes look extremely desirable but often glare in the sun. it offers a more responsive feel than a matte finish.
Other than the 3 finishes mentioned, some manufacturers offer unique finishes such as the Titleist 200 offered in ‘Oil Can’ finish that is designed to rust more to add spin.
Wedges wear rather quickly and are said that you may lose up to 1/1000 of the groove on every shot. Replacing your wedges every year is not an uncommon occurrence as the grooves play a significant role in the functioning of the wedge.
Wedge Club Head
Wedges come in either a blade or cavity back configuration. Cavity back wedges are highly recommended for high handicap golfers. Although you may lose out on distance control with cavity-back wedges, you will increase the accuracy of your shots
Wedges For High-Handicap Players Reviews
To assist you in selecting the most appropriate wedges we have assessed some wedges for high handicappers and beginners.
Quick Overview: Our Top Picks for The Best Wedges For High Handicappers
|Cleveland CBX wedge||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Cleveland Smart Sole 4 wedge||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Callaway Sure Out wedge||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|C3i wedge||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|PineMeadow PGX wedge||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|TaylorMade Hi-Toe Bigfoot||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Wilson Staff Harmonized||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
1. Cleveland CBX wedge
- More forgiving cavity back
- Tour zip grooves for maximum spin.
- Feel Balancing technology
- True Temper Dynamic Gold Steel Shaft
- Clean leading edge
- Relatively compact head
- Blend of modern and classic design elements
- Cavity back design produces a compromised sound
- Toe heavy look on the sole
- The maximum loft of 60 degrees
The Cleveland CBX wedge with its cavity back design is an appropriate choice for higher handicap golfers. A saving of approximately 76 grams from the back of the clubhead produces an increase in the Moment of Inertia (MOI) and more forgiveness.
Cavity back clubs are prone to compromise the feel of the club as it is focused on the forgiveness aspect.
Thanks to the Feel Balancing and Dual V-sole technologies you will experience a more responsive overall feel
Feel Balancing technology is achieved by moving the center of gravity further to the center of the head to counter the cavity-back design.
Dual V-sole provides different sole grinds perfectly matched for the loft of each wedge. The sole is uniquely shaped with a slightly wider toe and a narrower heel.
The designs are progressive providing more spin the higher the loft is.
True Temper Dynamic Gold that is only 115 grams stock shaft helps to keep the weight down for a lighter feel.
The chrome silver finish on the face contains Rotex 3 Face Tour Zip grooves with extra laser-milled friction lines between the grooves. This provides increased spin making it among the best in the market.
The sole of the CBX is also very wide adding to the already forgiving wedge
Pricing is competitive in the high handicap wedge market and Cleveland kept the pricing down on this wedge.
The Cleveland CBX provides a near-perfect blend of feel and performance and high handicap golfers will benefit from having it in their bag.
Callaway has revamped their Sure Out wedge – it used to be on the market in their ‘Hogan’ range – and produced a modern design that we think is perfect for those high handicappers that particularly struggle with bunker shots.
The Sure Out has a naturally rounded and much wider sole than most wedges. This aids you with bounce and makes getting out of bunkers that little bit easier.
The Sure Out is highly recommended if you have difficulty in getting out of the sand.
The combination of various technologies built into the range of Smart Sole wedges makes it the most forgiving wedge on the market. The weight normally found behind the sweet spot is distributed around the perimeter of the club as you would find on game improvement clubs. This makes the wedge more forgiving it easier to hit your wedges.
The aggressive milled grooves will assist you to gain extra spin and stop the ball quickly on the green.
Designed to assist you to get the ball into the air, the Smart Sole comes with an added bounce at the leading edge, a center of gravity very close to the face, and an extra-wide three-tiered sole.
There are 3 different lofts available
C wedge (42 degrees) has a similar loft that you would find on some 8-irons and would probably replace your pitching wedge. It can be used anywhere from approximately 125 yards to greenside for bump-and-run shots.
G wedge (50 degrees) falls between the C wedge and the S wedge providing chipping precision and a shorter full shot than the C wedge.
S wedge (58 degrees) is aimed at getting you out of the bunker every time. It has an extremely wide sole that makes the bunker play straightforward. You do not have to open the face to get out of the bunker as the wide, open clubface will provide all the assistance required.
Since this is an innovative design it is priced higher than most of its competitors, but it remains affordable.
Shafts are available in steel and graphite.
Aesthetically the Smart Sole wedge will take some getting used to as it does not look like a traditional wedge.
The Cleveland Smart Sole wedges are considered to be one of the best wedges for a high handicapper or beginner hat is struggling with the short game
C3i is not a well-known brand that you hear about too often. They use innovative technology and remain one of the best wedges for high handicappers.
Generally available in 55, 59, and 65-degree lofts with an extra-wide sole to cut through sand and tight lies without any difficulty. It is not intended to be hit at 100% but rather for the flop and lob shots. Getting the ball out of a bunker or off a tight lie is a straightforward process with the C3i wedge.
This wedge is entirely tournament legal despite its looks.
The C3i is not customizable and comes with a standard steel shaft. It is priced competitively with other high handicap wedges
The wedge is highly recommended to assist in improving your short game.
5. PineMeadow PGX wedge
- Very low-price providing value-for-money for beginners.
- Versatile bounce and grind
- Large bounce and sole
- Wide variety of lofts
- Wide sole
- Pretty forgiving
- Easy to control
- Available for both men and women
- Lacks feel of more expensive wedges
- The face can wear quickly
- Grips tend to wear out very quickly
PineMeadow is one of the top ten golf club makers in the US and therefor its wedges are not a new name in America. Their wedges are ideal for beginner and high handicap golfers that want to pack some wedges in their bag without spending a fortune. The wedges are incredibly popular for the price.
Their wedges deliver a perfect balance between design and quality.
These are large faced wedges, with a wide sole, versatile bounce, sleek stainless finishes, and a clean leading edge is aimed at golfers that are looking to hit clean, crisp shots
Its Apollo shaft is made of high-quality steel and has a standard size grip that can be changed to your preference.
PineMeadow wedges are available in 5 loft configurations ranging from 50 degrees to 68 degrees.
The PGX PineMeadow delivers enough to feel and spin as some to enable high handicap golfers to achieve what is required.
The PineMeadow PGX is one of the least expensive wedges designed for new golf starters who look for a budget-friendly wedge to get started. It is an excellent option for high handicappers but probably not be a long-term solution. The wedges are suitable for men and women
The Hi-Toe wedge is a smart choice for high handicap golfers that require a forgiving wedge that still delivers on performance. It provides a lower ball trajectory with good spin control
The 4-way cambered, and milled grind sole is broad and flat to keep the leading edge from digging into the ground. The high-toe design provides a larger than normal contact area.
With its unique copper finish that tends to darken over, it offers a more classic look.
ZTP-17 grooves have steeper sidewalls creating enhanced backspin and the full-face scoring lines produce the spin performance required by high handicap golfers.
Both high-end steel and graphite shafts are available. Graphite is the more expensive option.
This wedge is highly recommended for high handicappers due to its versatility from short grass, rough, and bunkers.
7. Wilson Staff Harmonized golf wedge
- Well-designed, high polish finish, pretty aesthetically with a classic blade-style look
- Durable and high performing
- Versatile sole grind
- Reasonably priced
- Aggressive grooves for maximum spin
- Consistent distance control
- Wide range of lofts
- The grip is relatively thin and small
- Less forgiving than wedges with a bigger cavity back.
- Sandblasted finish may scuff up the balls
Wilson Men’s Harmonized Golf Wedge is one of the most preferred wedges that comes with a classic blade shape appearance, aggressive grooves, outstanding body finishing, and a quality durable stainless-steel head.
It is aesthetically pleasing with its high polish finish that will match the most expensive irons and woods.
The Harmonized wedge by Wilson is priced as a budget club and given its sleek aesthetic and innovative construction offers terrific value for money.
The regular flex shaft is made from stainless steel and the 35 inches long head produces a stiffer axis of rotation for improved performance.
The unique sole grind combined with the aggressive grooves enables you to open the clubface and hit higher shots, get more spin, and greater accuracy.
It is available in lofts from 50 degrees through 64 degrees. High handicap golfers are advised not to include the 64 degrees wedge in their armory.
The Wilson Black Chrome Golf Wedge is a sensible choice for beginners who desires a good-quality classic wedge on a low budget. High handicap golfers can expect improved overall performance and enhanced confidence
Buying a wedge when you are still playing off a high handicap can be rather frightening if you do not understand the purpose and specifications.
Having the right combination of wedges to sharpen up your game within 100 yards will assist you in reducing your handicap.
Many wedges compete in the high handicap space and they offer a great deal of assistance to make you enjoy your game tremendously.
High handicap golfers should stay with game improvement cavity-back design that offers extra forgiveness.
The Cleveland CBX with its Feel Balancing technology and the improved Rotex 3 face generates an excellent amount of spin for more versatility and control. It is simple to use and is available in a wide range of lofts, bounce, and grinds. High handicap golfers will benefit from the combination of these features.
We trust that this article provided enough detail to aid you in selecting the most suitable wedge(s) and reduce your handicap swiftly.
- 7 of The Best Golf Wedges
- Do I Need a Sand Wedge? What Wedges Should You Carry
- Lob Wedge vs Sand Wedge – What’s The Difference?
Nick Lomas is the founder of GolfSpan, an avid golfer, not quite a pro but has over 15-years of experience playing and coaching golfers from all over the world. His mission is to bring the golfing community a better experience then it comes to choosing the right golf gear, and finding the right set up for your game.