Selecting a new wedge or set of wedges? We’re here to help with a guide to the best wedges 2019 has to offer, plus advice on getting the right loft and bounce
Best Wedges 2019
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.
Wedges in 2019 – 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.
Bearing all this in mind, you must first choose a model, so here is our guide to some of the best wedges 2019 has to offer….
Best Wedges 2019
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.
Titleist Vokey SM7 Slate Blue
Titleist introduced a new Slate Blue finish to their successful line of SM7 wedges. The design is applied in a similar fashion to a PVD finish, but instead this incredibly time-intensive process is done with a unique material which produces a rich, blue colour.
Whilst they look fantastic, the finish is also going to help performance too because it allows the wedges to be extremely durable.
Callaway PM Grind 2019
Co-created by Phil Mickelson and Roger Cleveland, the new Callaway PM Grind 2019 wedge features a high toe and large face with horizontal and vertical grooves. Micro-grooves at a 20° angle increase spin by up to 12 per cent on lob shots compared with the previous Mack Daddy PM Grind. Additionally the offset has been increased to make it easier to move the ball back in your stance and position your hands ahead of the ball when hitting the knockdown. The face also features a higher toe to further assist with flop shots and a C-grind sole with heel and toe relief to aid versatility.
Ping Glide 3.0
With a tag line of ‘modern tradition’, Ping’s new Glide 3.0 wedges attempt to bring together classic looks and up-to-date performance. Visually, they do this through a clean, rounded head profile with a tapered hosel and a little more offset to provide better ball capture. Competitive performance comes from the five per cent increase in forgiveness over the Glide 2.0 model and we also liked the Hydropearl 2.0 finish which helps repel water and reduces friction through the turf which helps with cleaner strikes.
One of the finest looking wedges on the market, Honma’s TW-W4, in the lower lofted options, has been designed with a thinner upper portion of the face which, along with the I-SOLE, helps with turf interaction. As a result, excessive spin is suppressed to offer greater control and shot-making options.
The C-SOLE, which is across the 56, 58 and 60 degree wedges, has a thicker design on the upper portion of the head for greater versatility.
Mizuno is bringing back its T-Series of wedges in the form of the new T20 which has a classic teardrop profile made from 1025E carbon steel for enhanced greenside feel.
To ensure consistency and predictability in the scoring zone, each head features precise CNC-milled grooves and is mechanically milled to the highest possible tolerances after Grain Flow Forging to ensure a perfectly flat striking face and consistent levels of spin. The wedges will be available in three different finishes – two plated models (Satin Chrome and Blue ION) plus a RAW and ready-to-rust option.
TaylorMade Milled Grind 2.0
As seen in the bags of Tiger Woods, Jason Day and Jon Rahm, the new Milled grind 2.0 wedges go about creating more spin in an ingenious way. The MG2 features a patented Raw Face design, so while the rest of the wedge has either a satin chrome or matte black finish to maintain its premium look, the face is left untouched. Additionally the face’s ZTP Raw grooves are sharper, deeper and narrower to maximise greenside spin while also conforming to the Rules of Golf. There’s also an extra groove on the face compared to the previous model.
Cobra King MIM
The new Cobra MIM wedges are the first in golf to feature a fully Metal-Injection-Molded (MIM) 304 stainless steel head construction. This process allows for the most precise shape possible for improved feel and turf interaction in every loft. The King MIM wedges are also the first in golf to utilise a fully robotic polishing process where the robot is pre-programmed to polish each wedge to exact specifications. This fully automated process eliminates variance in head weight and thickness and creates more precise grind shapes and more predictable bounce in each wedge.
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.
Callaway Mack Daddy 4
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.
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TaylorMade Milled Grind Hi-Toe
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.
TaylorMade Big Foot Hi-Toe
To go along with the Hi-Toe TaylorMade also introduced a game-improvement Big Foot version. This features an asymmetric C-Grind sole which, at 32mm wide, is flatter and wider than most traditional wedges along with an anti-dig leading edge that enhances playability from the rough and sand.
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.
Cobra King Black
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
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
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.
Cleveland CBX 2
The second iteration of Cleveland’s CBX wedge has been designed with a clear objective – to provide more spin, control and forgiveness for the everyday player. This has been attempted with several pieces of technology including Rotex Face Technology to provide sharp grooves and more spin, a Hollow-Cavity design to improve forgiveness and Cleveland’s Face Balancing Technology to enhance feel.
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