Golf wedges may look much of a muchness, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. In a game of golf, an experienced golfer will typically carry several different wedges, with each suited to different conditions.
For the amateur golfer, you will need to look for a wedge that suits your playing style, and the ground condition of the course you most frequently play on, as these are the differences that wedges are styled to take into consideration.
The two most common words you’ll come across, which might cause a complete newcomer to the game to pause in puzzlement, are “loft” and “bounce”. So what do these words mean in a golfing context, and why do you need to consider them when choosing the right wedge for your golf bag?
“Loft” refers to the angle on a wedge, with different angles suiting different styles of play. If you play the ball short and shallow – aiming to send it slowly forward with a tap to the centre – you’ll want a lower loft. If you favour the more spectacular style of sending the ball into a sharp arc, you’ll be looking for a higher loft that can tolerate that style of attack whilst still enabling you to maintain control.
Get Your Golfing Bounce
The “bounce” your wedge will need depends on the ground conditions of the course or courses you most typically play, with a standard bounce offering a good all-round golfing experience on most greens.
High bounce is undesirable for most elements of the game, although it is useful to have a high-bounce wedge in your kit for playing out of the sand, or if your course has soft, springy turf in the rough.
Low bounce is ideal for most fairways, and courses where the rough covers firmer ground.
As an amateur golfer, most of the wedges you’ll look at will be regular flex, which is a good all round design. Other levels of flex will require experience and patience to adapt to, and are better left until your swing is fully developed so that you can match the flex of your wedge to your personal swing style.
In terms of finishes, most wedges in a reasonable price bracket will be stainless steel finish; the finish of a golf wedge doesn’t affect its play, and is more a matter of individual style.
Now we’ll get into the best golfing wedges, with bite-sized reviews of each product.
Top Three General Purpose Wedges
#1: Best Golf Wedge: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0
This is a right-hand orientated golfing wedge, with a stainless steel shaft and finish, and regular flex, which will accommodate most styles of play on the majority of golf courses. Deep grooves, and a micro-milled face give the maximum surface roughness to this wedge, which puts more power behind the ball, sending it further even on a shallow strike.
An excellent wedge for the novice or improving golfer who is still working out their style, this wedge will enable you to perform well even if you’re still regularly changing your playing style as you attempt to find the most natural play for you.
#2: Wilson Harmonized Golf Wedge
A righthand orientated golfing wedge that delivers quality performance with a classic design and feel, this wedge features a timeless stainless steel finish, and choice of four lofts, so you can choose the wedge that suits your playing style – something that will be of real benefit to the improving golfer, who has come to terms with the basic game, but is now getting comfortable with their own personal playing style.
#3: Acer XB Satin
An ambidextrous wedge, with a choice of right or left hand orientation, this wedge offers 8 loft choices for right handed golfers, and 4 for those who play a left handed game. Featuring a stainless steel shaft, this is a well-made wedge which has a good feel, although some golfers may find it a little small; however, this could recommend it as an accommodating, all-round wedge for women who like their golf.
The Best Golfing Wedge For Beginners
As a novice golfer, your game is going to be haphazard for several months, as you learn the play of your local course, how to handle your clubs, and, finally, start to come into, and develop, your own personal style of play.
The SkyMax Ice Wedge is a right-hand orientated wedge, which offers a choice of loft, so you can choose a wedge to suit the type of play that comes most naturally to you – ask you golfing coach if you’re not sure what your natural style is just yet; it’s their job to notice such things! While this wedge does take a bit of getting used to – like everything in golf – it is a good quality wedge that, most importantly, won’t break the bank.
The Best Golfing Wedge For Women
Lady golfers, as the golfing community still like to refer to women who enjoy a good round on the green, are typically shorter and slighter than their male counterparts, with a narrower swing, and are therefore looking for a wedge that enables and extends their natural swing for maximum effect. You want your game to feel completely comfortable, but also give you the best results possible.
The Dunlop Tour Wedge is good if you struggle to keep a driver straight, which can be a issue for women on the green, owing to their shorter backswing (a wider swing is more forgiving of wobbles, and gives you slightly longer to straighten up on the approach), and narrower stance on the ball.
A right-hand orientated wedge with a choice of four lofts, this is an affordable wedge that should definitely help you set the standard for golfing success.
The Best Wedge For Junior Golfers
Wedges for young golfers are marked in sizes, which relate to the typical age range of the golfer who will be using a given wedge, rather than in lofts, as adult wedges are; as children will still be developing their own playing style into their teenage years, if they started golfing at a young age, lofts on junior golfers’ wedges are standardised, to allow the maximum forgiveness of unhoned playing styles and awkward approaches.
The Young Gun Zapp Junior Range. With a choice of sizes covering the full range of ages, from 3yrs to 14yrs (when most young golfers will begin to transition to adult equipment), these right-hand orientated wedges offer a low centre of gravity, which accommodates and improves the rough play of very novice golfers. They are well built and durable, with the correct wedge for your child easily identified thanks to the age-related colour coding.
As you may have noticed, there’s not a lot on the general market for left-handed golfers. If you do play left-handed, you will be best served by purchasing your golf clubs and wedges from a specialist golf shop.
If you need more advice on your natural style, or what you, specifically, should look for in a wedge, ask your golfing coach, who will be only too happy to advise – after all, your performance reflects on their teaching!