Selecting a new wedge or set of wedges? We’re here to help with a guide to the best wedges 2017 has to offer, plus advice on getting the right loft and bounce
10 Of The Best Wedges 2017
While we all know how important a sharp short game can be to the outcome of our round, we perhaps don’t give enough thought to the wedges we use.
If you are serious about improving your performance from 100 yards and in, and most importantly around the greens, there are a few key things you should consider, like what bounce angle will suit your action, and which lofts you’ll need, which depends on how many wedges you want to carry.
But before you get to that stage, you must first choose a model, so here is our guide to 10 of the best wedges 2017 currently has to offer….
Titleist Vokey SM6 – £140
GM says: Compared to the hugely popular Titleist Vokey SM5 wedge, the new SM6 model features a progressive centre of gravity (CG) design that aligns the CGs with the impact position of each loft to produce more precise distance and trajectory control with exceptional feel. They come in three finishes: Tour Chrome, Steel Grey or Jet Black and in five sole grinds inspired by Tour players: L, M, S, F, K to cover all swing types and shot preferences. A new Spin Milled TX4 groove and face texture combination delivers up to 200rpm more spin from the rough while narrower, deeper grooves in the lower lofts create ideal spin for more full shots.
Callaway Mack Daddy Forged – £139
GM says: Designed for the better player, these wedges include less offset and a less forgiving straighter leading edge that help increase precision, plus a crescent-shaped grind that makes half-shots and shots off tight lies easier to execute. A new R sole grind has a defined crescent shape and mid bounce that helps make a broad range of greenside shots easier to play. The new Callaway Mack Daddy Forged wedge also features progressive centre of gravity (CG) positions that see the CG gradually move upwards as the lofts increase, promoting a lower and, crucially, easier-to-control flight in the higher lofts without sacrificing spin, making it easier to attack flags.
Cleveland RTX-3 – £99
Cobra King – £89
GM says: These new Tour-inspired wedges revolve around the introduction of three different sole designs – classic, versatile and widelow – to offer different players, with different techniques the opportunity to find a set up that works for them. In addition, a progressive groove set up means that in the less lofted wedges the grooves are further apart to reduce backspin a fraction in preference of a stronger flight (ideal for pitching). In the higher lofted wedges the grooves are closer to maximise spin control on delicate chip shots.
Mizuno T7 – £130
GM says: The T7 wedges are the first by Mizuno to benefit from being infused with Boron, which makes the clubhead material much stronger, for longer-lasting spin control. A new, more precise milling tool that allows the loft-specific grooves to be cut as tight as possible to R&A limits. The pitching wedge lofts from 45˚ to 48˚ feature a straighter leading edge and topline better suited to full shots, changing into a more rounded profile in the highest lofts from 58˚ to 62˚ for more open-faced efforts. These higher lofted wedges also have more visible grinds that enhance versatility by assisting ball striking from a wide variety of lies.
Ping Glide 2.0 – £130
GM says: Precision-milled, tour-spec grooves vary in design and configuration depending on the loft. From 54˚ to 60˚ the grooves feature a shallower side wall, a sharper edge radius and two additional grooves compared to the 50˚ and 52˚ models. The hydropearl chrome finish helps repel water, equaling better spin control from different lies in wet conditions. They are available in four sole widths and grinds: TS, a thin sole, low-bounce option in the higher lofts; SS, a standard sole offering mid-bounce in every loft; WS, a wider-soled, high-bounce option in the higher lofts; and ES, the Eye Sole that offers an 8˚ bounce option from 54˚ to 60˚.
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TaylorMade Milled Grind – £139
GM says: Said to provide more spin around the greens as well as better turf interaction and versatility, the new Milled Grind wedges benefit from CNC machined sole geometry and a slightly more rounded and symmetrical leading edge to promote consistent turf interaction. New ZTP-17 grooves features steeper side walls and sharper edge radius for maximum spin. There’s also one extra groove compared to previous TaylorMade wedge, going up in number from 16 to 17. A Precision Weight Port in the hosel cavity saves 10g of weight, allowing for a more optimal CG location, providing a lower launch angle and increased spin rate.
Benross Tribe MDR – £59.99
GM says: These wedges boast CNC Milled grooves, increased hosel length for maximum stability, a plated carbon steel finish and a KBS Tour Wedge Shaft as standard. A Cavity Slot Design helps optimise CG Position to create a stronger, more controllable flight on full and long pitch shots.
Wilson Staff FG Tour PMP – £99
GM says: PMP stands for Precision Milled Performance thanks to laser etched Micro Spin lines for increased spin on partial shots and maximum volume HM grooves for better spin on full shots. Now comes this new in Oil Can finish.
Yonex N1-W – £199
GM Says: A graphite insert behind the face dampens vibration for improved feel while a 3D round sole reduces turf interaction. The vibration initally after impact is greater, but it is dampened much more quickly afterwards than many other wedges for the ultimate in feel. An N.S Pro Modus 3 System 3 Tour 125 shaft comes as standard.
Wedges in 2017 – What you need to consider
Measure your current wedge yardages and how often you are in between clubs to help decide if you need to carry extra options.
Low bounce wedges are more suited to hard fairways and tight lies, while high bounce wedges are better for softer ground conditions and bunkers. The most bounce you will ever see on a wedge is about 18°, but it can be as low as 2°. The type of bounce you opt for should largely depend on things like your normal angle of attack, the firmness of your fairways and the type of shots you like to hit around the greens.
Options like black PVD and copper are becoming increasingly common. The difference is mainly cosmetic; but dark finishes can help reduce glare.
While grooves are now tightly regulated, it is still well worth keeping up to date with the latest designs, which use new milling processes and groove shapes to help move water and dirt away from the ball at impact to create extra spin and improve control.