Selecting a new wedge or set of wedges? We’re here to help with a guide to the best wedges 2018 has to offer, plus advice on getting the right loft and bounce
The Best Wedges 2018
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 some of the best wedges 2018 has to offer….
WATCH: Best Wedges 2018
Titleist Vokey SM7
GM Says: SM7 builds on the progressive Centre of Gravity (CG) design of SM6 to provide more consistent spin, distance control and versatility as well as improved feel. A new D Grind has also been added to join the F, S, M, K, and L Grinds, allowing golfers of all skill levels to be precisely fit for their swing type, shot-making style and course conditions. There are now 23 loft, bounce and grind combinations in total. An additional Spin Milled cutting process for plated wedges has resulted in a more precise cut by finish and 100rpm more spin. They come in Tour Chrome, Brushed Steel and Jet Black finishes.
GM Says: Cleveland say the CBX wedge is more forgiving than a blade-style wedge thanks to its cavity back design, while maintaining short game versatility. It features the same Rotex Face seen on the Cleveland RTX 3 wedge that helps produce more spin for enhanced greenside control. A Dual-V Sole Grind and progressively wider sole from heel to toe aids forgiveness through the turf and on bunker shots turf. Feel Balancing Technology, where the CG is positioned closer to the centre of the clubface, improves feel, clubhead stability and distance control.
Callaway Mack Daddy 4
GM Says: A number of features combine to provide more shot-stopping control. The main grooves, are saw-cut and horizontally milled to more precise tolerances. There’s also now an extra “Nip-It” groove near the leading edge that enhances spin on short and/or slightly thin shots. Finally, three raised micro-ridges extend the length of the hitting area. Between these ridges are micro-grooves that help grab the ball’s cover to increase spin significantly on a variety of shots. The addition of a new X Grind, bringing the total up to four, features 12˚ of bounce, a narrow high-bounce crescent sole, with the low point near the front – ideal for moderate-to-steep attack angles and medium-to-soft course conditions.
Ping Glide 2.0 Stealth
GM Says: The Ping Glide 2.0 Stealth wedge is made from an 8620 carbon steel and has precision-milled grooves to deliver a softer feel and higher spin for greater control. The new darker, tour-inspired Stealth finish yields less glare and makes the head appear smaller. The finish is applied using a ‘Quench Polish Quench’ process, which Ping says adds durability. You’ll also notice a half groove near the leading edge on the 56°, 58° and 60° lofts that boosts spin on shots struck low on the face. It comes in four sole grinds (SS, WS, ES and TS) to suit different golfers’ attack angles and the different turf conditions they face.
TaylorMade Milled Grind
GM says: Said to provide more spin around the greens as well as better turf interaction and versatility, the 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. Now available in Hi-Toe option in the higher lofts with full face grooves for maximum control.
GM says: The stronger lofts used for full shots incorporate narrower and deeper Quad Cut Grooves that are more beneficial for controlling your trajectory. Wider and shallower grooves are then utilised in the higher lofts to maximise spin on short greenside shots. Loft specific centre of gravity positions also feature, with weight shifted progressively higher up the face in the more lofted wedges via a visibly thicker beveled topline. This creates more consistent spin rates on strikes from higher up the face, which are more common in the higher lofts.
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TaylorMade Milled Grind Hi-Toe
GM says: The Hi-Toe’s full-face scoring lines ensure consistent ball contact out of the rough, while the high bounce leading edge and channel cut midsole make for cleaner turf. The sole cavity features three trapezoid-shaped pockets that optimise weight distribution, which in turn enhances the wedge’s feel. A higher, more centrally-located CG launches the golf ball lower while generating more spin and control from a variety of lies. It comes in a new, aged copper finish.
Cobra King Black
GM Says: The new King Black and King Black One Length Wedges feature a sleek Dimonized Black Metal (DBM) finish for added durability and reduced glare. They also incorporate Cobra’s patented Progressive Spin Technology, delivering a blend of versatility and precision around the greens. The King Black Wedges also feature Cobra Connect technology, working in conjunction with the Arccos 360 mobile app, to provide golfers with detailed stats and data that helps them dial in their wedge game, track their performance and improve their scoring faster. Comes in three sole grinds – Versatile, Classic and WideLow – for maximum versatility.
Ping Glide Forged
GM says: This compact, tour-inspired model features a 13g Tungsten toe weight for feel and stability, a more rounded lead edge with more heel and toe camber and Ping’s Hydropearl Chrome 2.0 finish, which is more durable and produces more consistent shots from the rough. It comes in six lofts from 50° to 60° with one bounce per loft, so 10° up to the 56° then 8° of bounce for the two lob wedges. It definitely has a smaller address profile than the Glide 2.0 and we liked how tight the grooves are to the leading edge. The milling on the back gives it a unique look.
Wilson Staff PMP
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. They come in traditional, tour grind and wide sole designs depending on your playing style and turf conditions. As well as the Oil Can and tour frosted finish, Wilson Staff recently added a raw ‘rusty’ finish to the line, which will rust over time for a little extra spin and a more vintage look.
GM says: Much of the focus of improvement over RTX-3 is around spin, especially from the rough. It comes from the fourth generation of Cleveland’s Rotex Face, on which the Tour Zip grooves are now sharper and the face milling has been made even more aggressive. The result is more spin on a consistent basis to give you more predictable levels of control into greens. Additionally, a new XLow Grind has been added, bringing the number of sole shapes available across the range up to four, joining the Full, Mid and Low soles. Down at address, you may notice RTX 4’s more compact blade shape with less offset. This is a direct result of tour testing and feedback.
Wedges in 2018 – 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.
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