Is there any better feeling in the game of golf, than pitching a ball slightly beyond the pin for it to spin back a couple of yards, giving you the perfect opportunity for birdie? Ok… maybe a 30ft putt is comparable but I’m sure if your approach shots put you within easy striking distance of a birdie and par, then your scores on the course will rapidly decrease.
In today’s post we are going to cover the best golf wedges for mid-handicappers. When I first started playing golf, I knew what wedges were the best – the one’s the pros were using, I also knew which were the worst (or cheapest) – the ones I was using. But what should I have bought when I became a mid-handicapper?
Cleveland says it themselves: ‘wedge performance starts with the face’ and that’s exactly where they have decided to focus the majority of their design team – resulting in them producing a wedge with deeper and sharper grooves than any other Cleveland wedge has had before.
Versatility is very important when it comes to choosing the right wedge for your game. Ideally a wedge should be able to get you anywhere from within 100 yards, save you from the deepest bunker and get you out of the worst rough lies. With a wide range of bounces and lofts, there is an RTX 4 for any situation.
‘One hop & stop’ – With lazer milled grooves (Cleveland literally burns ‘roughness’ into the grooves) the spin you get on each shot is consistent and predictable. No more hoping you’ll stop here or there. You’ll know exactly where to pitch it and where you’ll end up.
With a new muscle shape on the back of the club, each loft progressively adjusts the center of gravity on both the X and Y-axis, enhancing your overall feel and control.
The RTX4’s more compact blade design is a direct result of tour feedback. Tour-orientated shaping gives players more control and feedback whilst using the wedge.
4th generation Rotex Face Technology consistently delivers more spin across all conditions, giving you improved accuracy, better distance and lower scores.
There’s no denying that Titelist have been producing one of the most loved and used wedges on both the tour, and in amateur golf for decades. The vokey has become an icon in golf and it’s one of the first wedges people picture in their minds when trying to think of a high quality wedge.
I personally have 3 Vokey’s in my golf bag, it was a tough decision between the Vokey and the RTX4 for the best golf wedge for mid-handicappers. In my opinion the Vokey’s are slightly harder to get a perfect strike every time and that’s why they never took the top spot.
The Vokey features spin milled grooves which offer more spin, control and confidence whilst using your wedges. There are also 6 different grinds to choose from, giving the player a wide range of lift, bounce, forgiveness and versatility around the greens. It’s a guarantee that you’ll find the perfect Vokey for any shot within a given distance.
Before vokey wedges are released to the market, they are tested and perfected for years. Tour players undergo intensive testing with the Vokey wedges to make sure they are perfect and far better than the last model.
The progressive Centre of Gravity (CG) creates precise distance gaps and trajectory control so you can know exactly how far each wedge will fly and dial in your yardages. The CG varies between different lofts based on the sole grind and bounce of the wedge, improving distance control, tighter shot dispersion and exceptional feel throughout the entire wedge set.
Our best budget option is still a wedge that can keep up with the other options on our list. If you are a mid-handicapper and can see yourself wanting to purchase another set of wedges when you get down into single figures, then a budget option might be perfect for you now.
The sure out wedge is perfect for powering smoothly through heavy grass, eliminating all your fat shots and providing golfers with more reliable distance control. The Sureout wedge features a 17 groove, full face design with aggressively cut grooves for higher spin rates and greater control around the greens.
Versatility is important with any golfing wedge, Callaway have included a high bounce sole which helps massively with getting out of the green side bunkers without the need to open the face, providing you with high, soft landing shots.
A wide sole and large face area promote solid face-to-ball contact for optimal distance control. With the option for lightweight steel and graphite options, it can be used with any swing speed. Even if you are a senior with a slow swing speed, the graphite option might be perfect for you.
The best ladies golf wedge for mid-handicappers on our list is the Cleveland CBX2, featuring almost the same technology as our best overall pick the RTX4, the CBX2 is a perfect choice for any golfer wanting to take their game to the next level.
Featuring a brand new hollow cavity design. A hollow chamber near the heel and a heavy weight in the toe maximizes MOI and perimeter weighting for unprecedented forgiveness.
There are 3 separate sole grinds to choose from, optimized by loft to deliver you more versatility to execute any shot on the course. The excellent balance delivers a toe biased centre of gravity, whilst a gelback TPU insert reduces vibration for a pure feel at impact.
The CBX 2 features Cleveland’s fourth generation Rotex face technology which claims to deliver their sharpets Tour Zip grooves and most aggressive face milling for maximum spin and short game control.
Women tend to have a slower swing speed than men. To ensure that ball flight and distance is maintained, Women should use a flexible graphite shaft to gain the most club head speed. The CBX2 comes with a Actionultralite 50 flexible graphite wedge shaft.
Alternative wedges for mid-handicappers
- Precisely shaped by Callaway Chief Designer Roger Cleveland for a beautiful look and extraordinary feel from 8620 mild carbon steel.
- The new tour-tested w and C grinds are both updated to make it easy to play a wider variety of green side shots.
- Head shaping progresses from traditional shaped lob and sand wedges to a compact player preferred design in the gap and pitching wedges for a seamless transition into an iron set.
- Stock shaft options include true Temper Tour issue 115 (steel) and project x Catalyst 80 (graphite).
- Black Metal – Cobra’s most durable satin black finish ever.
- 100% CNC milled faces & grooves-cnc milling creates highly accurate grooves for consistent spin.
- Optimized surface roughness across the face to maximize spin and control for more precise shots around the green
- Progressive spin technology-wider Shallower grooves in the weaker lofts and narrower, tighter spaced grooves in the stronger lofts deliver consistent trajectories between lofts
- 3 Wedge Grinds: Versatile, Classic, Widelow-3 wedge grinds available in select lofts allow you to enjoy more versatility from a variety of lies and turf conditions around the green
- The Taylormade milled Hi-Toe wedge is designed to create a high and more centered centre of gravity for a lower launch and more spin.
- A sole cavity creates the pockets to optimize weight distribution.
- Full face scoring lines to ensure good ball contact out of the rough.
- Enhanced heel, toe relief and trailing edge to provide max versatility around the greens.
- Precision-milling with Raw Face Technology designed for increased spin, precision and feel.
- The face rusts over time, the rest of the head will maintain its original finish.
The ZTP RAW Groove Design is engineered for more greenside spin, with sharper, narrower, and deeper grooves in the face, as well as laser etching.
- By redistributing mass, TaylorMade are able to optimize CG location for precise flight and enhanced feel
- Hydro flow micro grooves: laser etched microscopic grooves help channel away moisture for maximum spin in wet conditions
- Weight placed high, discreetly within a tapered blade for increased spin and vertical stability from off center strikes
- Grain flow forged HD: enhanced grain flow forging process that increases grain density in the impact area for the ultimate soft, solid, consistent feel
- Precise CNC milled grooves
- Premium Components include a dynamic gold Tour issue S400 wedge shaft, golf Pride grip . 60 round grip, and your choice of stain chrome or Blue Ion finish
Callaway Golf 2017 Mack Daddy with copper strike
- Exceptional control from signature shaping and progressive CG – beautiful new shape and progressive CG locations to promote a lower, more controllable trajectory in the higher lofts
- More spin from new 16 groove configuration – new 16-groove configuration incorporates an added groove near the leading edge for more spin, especially on pitches and chips
- Increased versatility from new gear will grind – a defined crescent sole creates more precision shot-making options in the short game, especially on half shots and off of tight lies
Best golf wedges for mid handicappers - Buyers guide & FAQ
With so many wedges to choose from how do you know where to start? Here are the questions you should be asking yourself.
What loft do you choose?
There are loads of different wedge loft types. The most common found in most (if not all) golf sets is the pitching wedge. This is the longest wedge you will want in your bag. After the pitching wedge, you have a sand wedge (as the name suggests, this is for the sand) before getting into the lob wedge and specialist wedge category.
Confused? Do not worry! I was too when picking my first wedge.
The first thing you should do is get a read on what distance you consistently hit your pitching wedge. This will inform you what loft you want your best wedge for mid-handicappers should be. For example, if you hit your pitching wedge 120 yards, you probably want a wedge at 56/58 degrees, and ideally a 52 wedge as well. This will give you adequate club range to attack the pin from under 100 yards.
Remember, you are wanting to use wedges which increase in 10-yard increments. This will give you the maximum scope on the course. The difficulty is, however, that you might only have 2 places left in your bag for wedges so this becomes a tactical decision as well as a golfing one.
Given that you only have a couple of spaces left in your bag for wedges, I would not recommend buying two wedges of similar degrees (e.g. a 56 and 58 degree).
How do you want the club to look?
Golf club heads come in many shapes and sizes. Some are chunky and have large cavity backs, others look thin and blade-like. You should go with what gives you confidence looking over the ball. If you are someone who worries about mishits, you may benefit from a chunky head where it looks big and easy to hit. If you are someone who wants to rip the ball and see it spin then a blade option will look nice to you. This is completely about personal preference.
Personally, I use thin irons and I like my wedges to mould into a similar style so I like a thin-looking wedge. That is why I use the Titleist Vokey.
What finish do you want on the club head?
This is a really important, yet underrated, facet of wedge play. There are choices such as a dark finish, rusty finish, chrome finish, Matt finish, white Saturn finish – the list goes on and on. Again, this is all about personal preference and what gives you confidence when addressing the ball.
There is a practical element to consider. On sunny days, you may get the glare off the clubhead. If this is something which particularly affects you, you should consider a dark, rusty or chrome finish as this will minimise the impact of the glare on your game. This is more important for high degree loft wedges than, say, a 52 degree as the clubhead’s more open and the larger surface area facing the sun will cause more glare.
Some people will say that different clubheads finish affect the spin. In my experience, this is not the case among the top manufacturers. These will all perform to a high spin level regardless of finish.
What is grind angle?
Wedge grind angle is the manipulation of the material on the sole of the club, different grind angles will produce a sole with a shallow angle or a sharp angle which allows for different shots and styles of play. The way the club head reacts with the turf is largely due to the grind angle and that in turn alters the spin, flight, power and accuracy of your wedge shots.
For most amateur players who only want to carry one or two wedges will need a versatile ‘all rounder’ wedge. In this case I would opt for a grind angle that has a bit of relief, and not an aggressive grind. These wedges can be great for full approach shots, bunker shots, and for small chips and pitches around the green.
What is wedge bounce?
Wedge bounce is the angle between the leading edge and the lowest point of the sole of the club head. To picture this area, think of the part of the club which hits through the ground as it contacts the ball.
The higher the wedge bounce, the higher the leading edge is off the grounds surface at address. Having proper wedge bounce and grind options promote optimal contact, control and ball spin.
Low wedge bounce: 4-6 degrees
Typically lower wedge bounce falls in the range of 4-6 degrees. Low wedge bounce is ideal for firm turf condition, harder courses and course sand. They are designed for very clean ball contact, small divots, and high precision in your short game.
Mid wedge bounce: 7-10 degrees (For most players and course types)
7-10 degrees is the typical range for a mid bounce wedge and are usually used on a ‘normal turf’ – not too soft, not too firm. Mid bounce wedges are regarded as the most accurate when it comes to distance and trajectory control.
Most players will opt for a mid bounce wedge as it’s the most versatile, especially if you play on many different course types and conditions. If you are worried about whether a wedge will be ideal for your swing type, then opt for a mid bounce wedge.
High wedge bounce: 10+ degrees
If your wedge has more than 10 degrees of bounce, it’s regarded as a high bounce wedge. They are perfect for using on softer turf, fluffy lies and soft sand bunkers.
With a high bounce club the leading edge won’t drag as much through the turf and sand (common with soft ground) causing you to decelerate the club head speed and end up with a short yardage.
If you take deep, and long divots, then a high bounce wedge will suit your swing and play style. Typically higher bounce wedges generate more spin, which gives players more control over where they can land and stop the ball.
How long does a wedge last?
Wedges typically need replacing more than any other club, this is because they need to remain sharp to spin the ball effectively. Depending on how often you play and practice a wedge typically lasts for 2 years or 60-70 rounds. If your wedge is still in good condition after this time, but just needs sharpening. You can use a groove sharpener to make the club last longer.
Should I buy all the same set, or individual?
To be honest this largely comes down to your personal preference as a player. If you already have a TaylorMade wedge for example and see a Titelist Vokey you think will improve your game, you shouldn’t hold back on buying it.
But manufactures have different designs, groove shapes, center of gravity’s etc. So once you are used to one wedge, it should be easy to quickly adapt to the others in the range.
How to look after a wedge
Looking after your wedge can increase its lifespan and improve the performance of your wedge out on the course. A wedge with grooves full of dirt won’t spin the ball as much as a wedge with clean grooves.
I’ve written a step by step guide on how to clean and polish your irons and wedges.
If you are a mid-handicapper, it is likely that this is not your first wedge. I will be completely honest in saying that you know your own game much better than I do. As such, go with what you think is going to improve your own game the most.
If you put a premium on accuracy and spin from under 60 yards, look for a 60/64 degree wedge. If you need a club to fill the gap between your pitching wedge and sand wedge then go with a 52-degree wedge. Whatever you choose, go with what you think will improve your game the most and take you from being a mid handicapper to a low handicapper.