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Best Wedges for High Handicappers

The Scoring Zone: The 12 Best Wedges for High Handicappers in 2023

Wedges are without a doubt the most versatile clubs in a player’s bag.  

Players use them for full swings off the fairway, to pitch, to chip, and to get out of the sand or thick rough.  But they rarely get the attention when you’re buying new clubs.

Usually, most golfers focus on buying drivers, irons, putter, and wedges tend to come last in the pecking order. But in reality, you use your wedges way more often than most people think and should find the right ones for your game. Contrary to most beginners’ logic, finding the right wedges can improve your scores more than that nice new driver.  

As a beginner or high handicapper, you’ll need to understand the selection of wedges that are out there before picking the right ones for your game. This post will get you up to speed on what’s new in 2023 and help you make an informed decision on your next wedge purchase.  

Best Wedges for Beginners and High Handicappers for 2023

  1. Cleveland CBX Zip Core
  2. Callaway Mack Daddy CB
  3. Cleveland CBX Full Face 2
  4. Cleveland Smart Sole 4
  5. Titleist Vokey SM9
  6. TaylorMade Milled Grind 3
  7. King Cobra with Snakebite Grooves
  8. Mizuno ES21
  9. Ping Glide 2.0
  10. C3i Wedges
  11. Square Strike Wedge

As with their other clubs, today’s manufacturers make different wedges for different levels of player. Here’s a rundown on twelve of this year’s best options, and who they’re most suited for:

1. Cleveland CBX Zip Core 

When it comes to wedges, most golfers are playing the wrong ones! 

Why?

Because most golfers use wedges that aren’t even close to their irons. 

Cleveland Golf RTX Zipcore TS 56 Mid RH, Silver

Usually, the average golfer plays lightweight, forgiving irons, but their wedges are stiff, heavy, and not very forgiving. Luckily, Cleveland realized this issue and started experimenting with more cavity back, easy to hit wedge designs.

The new CBX Zip Core is one of those models and ideal for mid to high handicap golfers for a few reasons. Aside from being a top-rated wedge in 2022 and even making the Golf Digest Gold List too. 

Here’s why we’re such big fans… 

  • UltiZip grooves. These sharp, deep grooves maximize spin. Plus, spinner shafts in both steel and graphite to make a seamless transition from your irons. 
  • These clubs are more forgiving thanks to their hollow cavity back design.  Whether you hit it off the toe or heel, your misses are much better than standard blade wedges. 
  • Zipcore technology makes greenside shots much easier and striking much more true. This is a lightweight, low-density core that sits in the hosel of the club. It boosts MOI for more forgiveness on every shot. 

Plus, these amazing new wedges come in a variety of lofts. You can go as low as 44 degrees (a strong pitching wedge) all the way up to 60 degrees. Unfortunately, they don’t offer anything higher for those who like even more loft. 

Pros

  • Tons of loft options to fit any iron set perfectly. 
  • Multiple stock shaft options. Choose from Dynamic Gold 115 in steel or Project X Catalyst 80 grams in a graphite shaft. 
  • Made to create spin, without high swing speeds. The grooves plus spinner shaft will help almost any golfer get more spin when they need it most. 

Cons 

  • None – these are great wedges for most golfers in terms of forgiveness and spin. 

If your game needs help inside 100 yards, I couldn’t recommend these wedges anymore. 

Just make sure to space your wedge lofts so you don’t have any big gaps. Otherwise, these clubs should help your mishits on full shots, make it easy to spin on partial shots, and stick it close from around the green. 

>> You can order your CBX Zip Core Wedges here or here.

2. Callaway Mack Daddy CB Wedges

A new entry to the list this year is the Callaway Mack Daddy CB wedges. These are the most forgiving wedges offered from Callaway and very different from the Jaws wedges which are a traditional blade. For higher handicaps and beginner players, these wedges are much more forgiving and easy to hit. 

Callaway Mack Daddy CB Wedge (Right, Steel, Wedge Flex, 56 Degrees) , Silver

The Mack Daddy CB wedges are a cavity back design to help you score better from short range. Since most golfers play a cavity back iron, it makes sense to play a cavity back wedge too – especially a pitching and gap wedge. The transition from irons to wedges is incredibly easy.

PROS

  • With this wedge you still get tons of forgiveness but also tons of spin as well. Talk about a win-win scenario! 
  • Not to mention, they’re some of the best looking wedges for higher handicap golfers. They aren’t big and bulky like some which provide a seamless transition from your irons. 
  • Callaway offers two sole grind options for maxim consistency – the full sole and the W-grind sole. The full sole is great for pitching and gap wedges while the W grind is for higher lofts to enhance bounce and forgiveness. This makes it easier to hit from sand and thick juicy rough (remember, bounce is your friend). 
  • While they’re player friendly, they also provide tons of spin with their patented Jaw groove design. The 46-52 degree options have conventional grooves, while the 54-60 degree wedges offer full face grooves. This allows for more spin with shots that are closer to the green and is great if you’re short sided and need your ball to stop quickly.
  • Finally, you get two different shaft options to choose from as well. This is another huge perk as so many golfers play graphite shafts in irons then go to steel with wedges. This is a hard transition as the swing weight and tempo is very different. 
  • But with the Mack Daddy CB wedges you can choose from the KBS hi-Rev 2.0 steel shaft (105 grams) or the KBS Hi-Rev graphite shaft. Plus, each comes with a custom Golf Pride SG-1 short game grip for even more control.  

CONS

  • Honestly, it’s hard to find anything not to like about these wedges.

This is Callaway’s most forgiving wedge they’ve ever made. You could do much worse than putting these in the bag.

You can can click here to purchase your Mack Daddy CB wedge or here.

3. Cleveland CBX Full Face 2 Wedge 

Need a forgiving, easy to hit wedge… even for those tough greenside shots? Look no further than the latest wedge from Cleveland Golf – the CBX Full Face 2. Cleveland is known for making some of the best wedges in golf and this is a great option for higher handicap golfers.

The Cleveland CBX Full Face 2 wedge has grooves from heel to toe. You read that right, this wedge has grooves on the entire face of the golf club. Despite its non-traditional look, golfers are loving it and it already made the Golf Digest Gold Hot List in 2023.

Appearance wise, it might take some getting used to if you’ve never seen a full face groove wedge. But once you do, it can help your game a ton. 

Here’s how Cleveland described the new-look wedges. “Their full-face grooves are designed to help silence your inner naysayer and unleash your inner shotmaker. With the largest striking area ever on a CBX Wedge, plus the dynamic HydraZip face—designed to boost spin from any condition—these Wedges aren’t just forgiving, they’re darn fun to play.”

The beauty behind these clubs is the Hydrazip technology. This maximizes friction for more consistency whether you’re playing in wet or dry conditions. 

Plus, the grooves change based on the grouping of wedges. Gap wedges (50 – 52 degrees) are different from the sand/lob wedges (54-60 degrees). The lower lofts don’t spin as much while the higher lofts have a “rough blast” to make it easier to get more consistent spin performance. 

Another reason most amateur golfers will love these clubs is the Zipcore technology. This technology makes these extremely forgiving but still provide tons of feels for greenside shots. 

Cleveland CBXFullFace2 TS 56 St RH

Lastly, these wedges use “Ultizip” technology for sharper, deeper, and more tightly spaced grooves. This will help you gain more control and spin for every shot. You can also choose from the steel True Temper Dynamic Golf 115 spinner Tour issue shaft or a graphite project X Catalyst 80 spinner shaft. 

Pros 

  • Right and left-hand models.
  • Forgiving, easy to hit wedges.
  • Graphite and steel shafts available. 
  • Tons of lofts available (52–60 degrees) 

Cons 

  • No loft choices above 60 degrees. 

For the majority of golfers these wedges are a no-brainer choice. Once you get over the look of the grooves across the entire face, it’s to see why they made the Golf Digest Gold List. They’re easy to hit, forgiving, and produce tons of spin. 

You can order the new CBX Full Face 2 here or here.

4. Cleveland Smart Sole 4 Wedge Review

PROS

  • Now available in three lofts (42, 50 and 58)
  • Cleveland’s Feel Balancing Technology places the center-of-gravity toward the middle of the club face and makes it more forgiving on full shots.
  • An extra-wide three-tiered sole, with added leading edge bounce, provides maximum forgiveness from the fairway, rough or out of the bunker.
  • A real true high handicappers club made specifically to help you get out of the sand.
  • Exceptionally forgiving on full shots off the fairway.

CONS

  • Not available for left-handed women.
  • Imparts almost no spin.
  • Not the best for pitching or chipping.
  • Not the most attractive looking golf club

The Smart Sole 4 simply makes the short game easier. Cleveland engineers put all of their knowledge into designing a game improvement wedge that will get you off the beach and onto the green, every time. Plus, with the 2020 model, there are now three lofts. This is a great way to make golf easier but not suggested for anyone breaking 90.

You won’t be backing up the ball with this club (you probably won’t be doing that with any club anyway) but, you will be getting out of the sand a lot more often. The Smart Sole 4.0 is a definite game-changer for players who struggle with the sand.

Click Here to Order the Smart Sole 4.0 Wedge.

5. Titleist Vokey SM9 

One of the most respected names in the wedge world is Titleist. Now on their 9th edition of the Vokey, these wedges are played by some of the biggest names in the world including Justin Thomas, Jordan Speith, and tons more. 

Each year they seem to get a little better and 2022 is no exception. So, what change from the Titleist SM8 wedges? 

  • Higher center of gravity for a more controlled ball flight.
  • New SM9 grooves for more spin and more durability than ever. 
  • New materials used create more spin and lower flight for maximum workability. 

But the best part of Vokey wedges is the versatility of them thanks to their six different grind options. Here is a quick review of each:

Titleist Vokey SM9 Wedge Review
  • F grind – Great for full wedge shots and offered in mid and high bounce options. 
  • S grind – Offered in sand and gap wedge lofts, these have a narrow sole best in firm conditions.
  • D grind – The highest bounce wedge is great for steep angles of attack. Also performs better in soft conditions.
  • M grind – Great all around SW or LW that perform great in any condition thanks to mid-bounce.
  • K-grind – If you play in soft, wet conditions these are the LW and SW for you thanks to the 14 degrees of bounce. 
  • L grind – Ideal for a shallow swing and firm conditions. This LW is not very forgiving so make sure the conditions call for this low bounce option. 

Pros

  • Huge amount of loft options. 46 – 62 degrees. 
  • Comes stock with a 130gram True Temper Dynamic Gold wedge shaft 
  • Six grind options make it easy to find the perfect one for your swing and typical course conditions. 

Cons 

  • Expensive for a wedge.
  • Not ideal for mid to high handicap golfers as they’re heavy and not very forgiving. 
  • Not a ton of change from SM8 but there didn’t need to be – they’re high quality wedges.

If you’re a skilled player who wants to make magic around the greens, these are great wedges. While they aren’t for everyone, if you have a consistent strike they are phenomenal. As I mentioned, not much changed from previous models but not much had too as they’re loved by golfers worldwide. 

You can read our full hands on review of the Vokey SM9 here.

>> Order your Vokey SM9 wedges here or here.

If you want to save a little cash, you can still find the old SM8 or SM7 wedges. To find out what they are all about, check out our review of the Vokey SM8 wedges or our review of the SM7 Titleist Vokey wedges.

6. TaylorMade MG3 

The newest wedge from TaylorMade is the MG3, replacing the MG2 from last year’s product roll out. What makes these wedges so great is the new RAW Face Micro-Ribs. These new grooves add face texture to deliver maximum spin on greenside shots and make partial shots easier to hit as well. 

Plus, they now have a “Thick-thin” design to optimize CG and enhance feel plus helps with flighting shots down. You can choose from a myriad of loft and bounce options: from 46 to 60 degrees. One thing to note, these wedges will rust over time since they’re made of unplated material. 

Some of the pros that play these wedges include Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Colin Morikawa, and others. Plus, Tiger Woods has his own version as well. It’s safe to say that you’re in good hands with these wedges. 

Pros

  • High spinning wedges.
  • Easy to hit partial shots.
  • Huge selection of lofts and tons of bounce options too. 
  • Available in two different colors options and a Tiger Woods model. 

Cons 

  • No 62 or 64 degree loft options.
  • Grooves will rust, which not every player enjoys looking at.
  • High price tag for a wedge. The TW version is even more expensive. 

MG3 Tiger Woods Grind 

If your favorite PGA Tour player tends to wear black and red on Sunday, you might want to check out the TW MG3. This club is a custom wedge that was designed by one of the greatest players of all time himself.

As TaylorMade said on their website, “The unique grind on each sole was designed by the artful hands of Tiger Woods. The 56° wedge is a dual sole with heavy heel relief, while the 60° has an extremely high bounce on the leading edge with a shaved heel. This makes it possible to open the face for flop shots.”

The Tiger wedge also has raised micro ribs for even more spin on greenside shots. These will rust over time to maintain consistent spin so just beware of in advance. 

Tiger has some of the best hands in the world so it’s safe to say these wedges are worth a few extra bucks. The 60 degree high bounce isn’t for everyone but ideal for certain playing conditions. These are only available in 56 and 60 degree loft options.

>> Order your MG3 wedges here.

7. King Cobra (With SnakeBite Grooves) 

While Cobra is known for their drivers and one-length irons more than anything else, this new wedge is awesome. First off, kudos to Cobra for the name – “Snakebite grooves” is arguably the best, most catchy wedge name in golf. 

Cobra Golf 2021 King Snake Bite Wedge (Men's, Right Hand, Wedge Flex, Versatile Grind, 48.0 Degree), Chrome

Aside from the great name, they’re a solid wedge option too. Here some of the benefits:

  • These wedges bite for a reason. Cobra made these grooves 11% deeper and 40% sharper for maximum spin. 
  • Two groove options – full face and traditional grooves. The traditional grooves are great for lower lofted wedges and not meant to open the face. While the full face options are wider and shallower, which help create more spin. 

Plus, like Titleist, they have a wide array of grinds for each type of swing and course condition. Here is a quick recap to find the right one for your game.

  • Versatile – Great for playing with an open face in medium to firm conditions. The most “all around” wedges of the series.
  • Widelow grind – Low bounce helps with medium rough and prevents digging. Ideal for neutral to digger swing types.
  • Classic grind – Medium sole for neutral to steep swings on almost any turf conditions. 

These wedges are offered in 48-60 degree loft options. All come with 

Pros

  • Three grind options.
  • One length wedge options available. 
  • Two groove options – traditional and full face options. 
  • Snakebite grooves are deeper and sharper to maximize spin for more bite than ever around the greens. 

Cons 

  • Only one color choice.
  • No 46 or 62/64 degree loft options.

If you want to “bring more bite” to your wedge game, these are for you. 

They’re excellent clubs for low and mid handicappers but less skilled players will find better choices.

You can order the King Cobra (with Snakebite) here, here, or here.

8. Mizuno JPX 919 Wedges

Mizuno JPX921 Hot Metal Sand Wedge 54 Degree/13 Bounce, Right Hand, Steel, Wedge Flex

Let’s not forget about Mizuno wedges. While they’re primarily known for their high quality irons, their wedges are pretty awesome too. In fact, the ES21 wedge might be the best looking club on this list and on the market! 

So what makes this wedge so special (besides its good looks)?

PROS

  • A redesign that helps the everyday golfer from short range distance. Mizuno moved the sweet spot up on the face for more forgiveness which helps a ton for beginners who might decelerate at impact. 
  • Plus, it has a high toe profile for off center hits and a slight cavity back too. For Mizuno, it’s pretty rare to have so many features for high handicappers but easy to see why golfers love it. 
  • What makes this club so awesome is that it has a very sleek top line that is similar to a Titleist Vokey or Callaway Jaws wedge. And it still has tons of technology to make it an easy to hit golf club. 
  • Another huge perk is that there are tons of different loft and bounce options. They have wedges from 54 to 64 degrees and bounce from 4 to 12 degree options. So no matter what type of swing you have and what type of conditions you play in, you can find the club for you.

CONS

  • The biggest downside is that it’s only available for right handers at this time. And only available in steel, making it not ideal for some golfers who use graphite iron shafts and want an easy transition to wedges.

Overall though, if you’re a decent ball striker and looking to become a wedge wizard, these clubs can help. Their sleek all black design and top thin line make these some of the best wedges for aspiring players. 

You can purchase your Mizuno ES21 Wedges here or here.

9. Ping Glide 2.0

PROS

  • Milled Face and Specialized Grooves – Specialized facial grooves increase the spin and improve control and precision on both full and partial shots.
  • Four available sole grinds include SS Grind, WS Grind, TS Grind, or ES Grind.
  • The proprietary Dyla-Wedge Grip is three-quarters of an inch longer than the traditional grips. This will allow you to choke down further on the club for better shot-making and ball control.
  • “Fitting by Sole” makes sure that your wedges match your game. You can be fit for a sole grind based on the typical turf conditions where you play, your attack angle, and divot taking depth.
  • Sharper and closer together grooves increase friction and impart more juice on the greens.

CONS

  • A bit pricey.
  • Geared more towards better players.
  • Not available directly from Ping.

The original Ping Glide was one of the best cavity backed wedges on the market. But the new Glide 2.0 has new, sharper grooves that are closer together for increased friction, imparting more spin (up to 400 rpm in testing) for precise distance, and trajectory control from full swings or finesse shots. 

Click Here to order the Glide 2.0 Wedge

10. C3i Wedges

C3i Sand Wedge & Lob Wedge–Premium Right Hand 65 Degree Golf Wedge- Escape Bunkers in One, Easy Flop Shots– Legal for Tournament Play, Quickly Cuts Strokes from Short Game- High Loft Golf Club

PROS

  • Amateur friendly design .
  • 2″ wide sole to glide across the turf and through the sand to eliminate fat chips and flubbed bunker shots.
  • Hosel section shaped to minimize material collecting in the pocket for maximum zip on the greens.
  • 12-degree bounce is placed closer to trailing edge so the club is less likely to blade.
  • COG (center of gravity) is is located up and back within the clubhead for extra backspin.
  • Glare-reducing black finish.
  • Bottom groove painted white so it’s easy to line up directly at your target.
  • Conforms to the rules of golf.

CONS

  • Only for high handicap players.
  • Not a good looking wedge.
  • Only comes in 59 and 65 degrees.

While they aren’t a sexy golf club, they are arguably some of the best wedges for high handicappers. They take the frustration out of the 50-yard shots and in to make your short game less stressful.

As their website said, “The all-new C3i Wedge is specifically designed for amateur and recreational golfers to deliver an ultra-forgiving, “never-fear-the-sand-again” experience. No digging. No blading.” It’s got plenty of loft (65°) to handle any bunker or flop shot without having to open the club face. And with 12° of bounce, it’s perfect for practically any kind of sand – from firm to fluffy.

All you do is set up square and swing.

Click here to learn more about the C3i clubs.

11. Square Strike Wedge

Square Strike Wedge For Right Handed Players-Pitching & Chipping Wedge for Men & Women -Legal for Tournament Play -Engineered by Hot List Winning Designer -Cut Strokes from Your Golf Game Fast

PROS

  • Made the “Hot List” from Golf Digest thanks to the unique features.
  • 330 grams total weight: This is in line with most putters and about 30g heavier than a typical sand wedge. The purpose is to minimize your hand/wrist action while engaging the larger muscles of your arms and shoulders like a putting stroke.
  • Precisely Centered COG & High MOI: By moving mass to the toe, the designer’s COG (center of gravity) is located precisely in the center of the clubface and marked by a vertical line. Plus, its MOI (moment of inertia) is higher than a typical wedge.
  • Impossible to hit fat (according to their website – copyright 2020).
  • Now available in green or black wedge color.
  • Legal for tournament play.
  • 60-day money-back guarantee.

CONS

  • Only can be used inside 40-50 yards.
  • Not a good looking golf club.

The final wedge to end this list is one that you’ve probably seen every 30 seconds if you watch the Golf Channel for a while. It’s all about making it easy to stop hitting fat and thin chip shots with a simple, straight back, straight through movement. It’s a good choice if you’re just getting started but not one for players who can break 100.

Click here to purchase a Square Strike Wedge.

game improvement wedges

Golf Wedges 101

Now that you know the best golf wedges for beginners, let’s dive into what makes these clubs so versatile on the course. The more you know about your equipment, the better equipped you are for any situation.

Golf wedges come in four main categories – pitching (PW), gap or approach (AW), sand (SW), and lob (LW). Here’s a rundown on each:

Types of Wedges

Pitching Wedge

If you’re like most golfers, you probably think of the pitching wedge as more of an iron than a wedge. Despite its name, players rarely pitch the ball with a pitching wedge. Manufacturers almost always include a PW as part of an iron set, and golfers rarely buy them individually. But even though other wedges are better for pitching, it’s still a great tool to get up and down when you’re chipping or using for bump and runs shots.

Gap Wedge

The gap wedge comes in handy when a full swing with a sand wedge won’t reach the green but a pitching wedge is too much club. The loft of a gap (or auxiliary) wedge falls right in the middle of the two. The club fills the traditional 8-degree gap between the sand and pitching wedges, thus the name “gap wedge.”

Sand Wedge

If you carry only one extra wedge, it should probably be a sand wedge but if you’re a savvy golfer, you should have 3-4 total. Sand wedges were explicitly created to help you get your ball out of the sand and onto the green with a unique sole design. They have a more substantial head which provides the necessary momentum to power through the sand and get the ball out easily.

But the way the club is designed, they’re also helpful from the rough as well. On a full swing, expect to get more height and about ten to twenty yards less than the gap wedge. They also tend to spin more so make sure to plan accordingly.

Lob Wedge 

With even more loft than the sand wedge, the lob wedge works great for short shots that require extra height. Most lob wedges work reasonably well out of the sand as well, especially if the bounce matches the sand conditions. These clubs also come in handy for a quick stop on fast greens and the tricky, 30-60 yard shot.

Golf Chipper

These are special clubs designed just for chipping. They are not technically a wedge but some players carry a chipper instead of one of the wedges above. They look a little bit like a putter but they have a little bit of loft on the face so that you can use your putting stroke to chip around the greens. You don’t see many of these in golf bags, but for the select few who use them swear by them. Go here to read our full article on chippers.

Best Wedge for a High Handicapper or Beginner

Wedge Basics

Now that you know the four different types of wedges, let’s move on to the properties that differentiate each golf wedge from the next.

Loft

The loft is the angle of the clubface in relation to the shaft. The higher a club’s loft angle, the higher it will launch the ball and shorter the distance. Not long ago standard lofts (in degrees) were – PW (48), AW (52), SW (56), and LW (60). 

Nowadays, manufacturers have strayed from these numbers for a variety of reasons so make sure to check the specs when purchasing new clubs. For example, some club manufacturers now produce lob wedges with as much as 64 degrees. If you accidentally buy this instead of a 60 degree it can add a huge gap in your clubs.

Before you add any of the wedges above to your bag, it is absolutely critical you know your pitching wedge degree of loft. Knowing this will allow you to make a better choice on sand wedge loft.

Bounce

Bounce is the angle between the club-face and the sole of the club. A club’s bounce can help it glide through the sand, or keep it from digging into the turf.

Wedges with a bounce angle between 4 and 6 degrees are best for players who tend to sweep the ball. They also are much easier to hit the ball from firmer grass, tight lies, hardpan, and bunkers with hard sand. But the leading edge is also a lot different than mid or high bounce so keep that in mind next time you’re buying.

Mid-bounce wedges have angles between 7 and 10 degrees. They’re the most versatile option of all bounces and accommodate a broader range of conditions and swing types.

Wedges with a bounce angle over 10 degrees are considered high-bounce. These wedges work best in fluffy sand, deep rough, and softer fairways.

To learn more about wedge bounce, check out our detailed article on wedge bounce.

Grind

Many new wedges have another property called grind which refers to the shape of the club’s sole. Years ago, players would customize their wedges by grinding down sections of the sole – thus the term “grind.”

The modified sole allowed them to open or close the clubface without affecting its bounce property. For most golfers, finding the right wedge ranks much higher on the list than worrying about its grind.

Cavity Back

According to Cleveland Golf – eighty percent of golfers should use cavity back wedges. The cavity-back design allows manufacturers to push the weight to the periphery of the head which makes the club more forgiving and provides better launch, even on mishits.

But I would bet that at least 80% of players are playing the exact opposite wedges trying to mimic their favorite tour pro. This is why is so many amateur golfers struggle from 120 yards and in. Plus, it’s 100% okay to have a combination of cavity back and blade models.

For example, if you’re a golfer who shoots in the 80s, you could have a pitching and gap wedge with cavity (for increased forgiveness and blad wedges for your sand and lob. T

Blades

Blades are forged from blocks of carbon steel. They’re then shaped by machine, or by hand, and plated with chrome. Blades are also known as “muscle-backs” because they have a solid back of the clubhead, as opposed to a hollowed cavity back.

Low handicappers and tour pros use blade-style wedges (and irons too), as they provide better control than the more forgiving cavity backs. But as I mentioned, they are much less forgiving so it’s important to find the right wedge for your swing and current skill level (which I’ll cover).

Remember, don’t make golf any harder on yourself by playing equipment that isn’t suited for your game.

How Many Wedges Should a Beginner or High Handicapper Carry?

Why not carry them all?

There is a 14 club limit and you should carry whatever helps your game.

You probably already have a pitching wedge that came with the set. If you don’t have a gap wedge, try to get one in the same model as the clubs you’re now playing. This will give you consistency and fill the distance “gap” that this wedge was designed for.

Everyone needs a sand wedge. No other club does what it does out of the sand or around the green. The sand wedge is also the club that most players use to pitch the ball.

Many players, especially beginners and high handicappers, shun the lob wedge. It can be challenging to master and requires a good hack to make the ball go anywhere. But, nothing beats a lob wedge to get out of, or over, a steep bunker, or getting the ball to stop on a slick green so I suggest carrying four.

A lot of golfers think it’s more beneficial to carry another fairway wood or hybrid but in reality, you’ll use each wedge much more than those clubs.

What loft of wedges should I carry?

This is a great question and 100% depends on the loft of your irons. Many clubmakers nowadays strengthen lofts to give players more distance.

Ideally, you’ll want lofts spaced four to five degrees apart.

If you add a lob wedge, opt for the 60 degree. The 64 degree wedge can be extremely difficult to hit, without a lot of practice and won’t help the average amateur player.

What is the best degree for a sand wedge?

If you use your sand wedge off the fairway and to pitch, as well as getting out of the sand, then go four degrees higher than your gap wedge, or eight degrees higher than your pitching wedge.

If, however, you will only use the sand wedge to get out of the sand, then go with the loftier 58 degrees. 58 degrees will give you a better chance at popping the ball out of the sand, and onto the green on the first attempt. 

Just as with drivers, woods, and irons, major golf manufacturers put a lot of effort and technology into their wedges. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a poor performer on the shelf nowadays.

But, just as with their other clubs, today’s manufacturers make different models for different levels of players. Here’s a rundown on eight of this year’s best options, and who they’re most suited for:

By now you may have drawn your own conclusions, or you might be even more confused than when you started reading. Here’s what we have found:

What is the Best Wedge for Beginners in 2022?

If you only carry one wedge, you should have a sand wedge. But again, why make the game harder on yourself?

A good sand wedge will save you strokes every time your ball lands in one of those big sandy craters, with incredibly magnetic powers, that seem to cover about ninety percent of the course.

Of all the sand wedges looked at today, the Cleveland Smart Sole 4.0 will save you from the dreaded snowman, more times than not.

What is the Best Sand Wedge for High Handicappers?

The Smart Sole 4.0 is a great club out of the sand.

Unlike beginners though, High handicappers use a sand wedge for a variety of shots and would do better with either the Callaway Sure Out or the Cleveland CBX Zip Core, with the CBX Zip Core having an edge off the fairway.

What is the Best Lob Wedge for High Handicappers?

As you can tell, there are a lot of great choices for the best wedges for high handicappers in 2022. The biggest thing to make sure of is that your wedges help, not hurt your game. Remember, you don’t need any golf wedge sets, you can mix and match for what’s right for your game.

If you’re playing cavity back irons and have blade wedges, you could be making the game a lot harder. But Cleveland CBX Zip Core wedge makes its a lot easier. Thanks to “Feel Balancing Technology,” the Cleveland 60 degree CBX Zip Core Lob Wedge feels and swings just like a cavity-backed iron. It will give you the confidence needed to take a good hack at the ball, and the forgiveness required when you miss.

Going back to the original question, however, who makes the best wedges for high handicappers in 2022?

The Cleveland CBX Zip Core gets the nod and is a must have item for golfers looking to improve their short game.

The cavity-backed design, together with Cleveland’s “Feel Balancing Technology,” makes them feel and forgive like a game improvement iron. They play well off the fairway, out of the sand, and everywhere in between. Feel, forgiveness, and playability make the Cleveland CBX Zip Core this year’s best wedge for high handicappers, mid handicappers, and beginners as well. It was a nice upgrade from the CBX 2 and the original CBX wedge of 2018.

While the CBX Zip Core is still the champion, the new Callaway Mack Daddy CB wedges are giving Cleveland some stiff competition. If you’re a Callaway person, make sure to give these a try.

While there are tons of other good choices, some of them are expensive, others have too sharp of a leading edge, and others are too gimmicky for some players. Next time you go shopping for new clubs, don’t forget to also upgrade your wedges as well!

5 thoughts on “The Scoring Zone: The 12 Best Wedges for High Handicappers in 2023”

  1. Given my stay at home Covid-19 routine, I have scoured the web for info on wedges, particularly for high handicappers. Yours by far is the most informative on this topic. Thank you!

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