Identifying the correct golf equipment is a challenge when you are starting out.
Many beginners I speak to spend their time focusing on increasing their distance but neglect their short game. In this post, I rectify that and unveil the 10 best wedges for high handicappers.
You’ll find that the wedges on this list offer a combination of clean turf interaction, forgiveness, consistent spin, and a rapid landing. All these features are designed to help you attack the flag and increase your one putts per round.
(Before you start searching for your next set of short clubs, I suggest bookmarking our article on the only 2 wedges that a beginner should carry.)
What to Look For in a Good Wedge When You’re a High Handicap Player
Types of Wedges
Prior to looking at wedge features, you must decide which clubs to add to your bag. Most beginner players opt for a pitching and sand wedge, but this can open you up to distance gaps between the two clubs.
I suggest carrying a minimum of three wedges, specifically your pitching, gap, and sand wedge, starting out. At this point, the weaker lofted lob wedge may prove impossible to control, so you should learn how to master the easier lofts instead.
Once you have chosen your ideal wedges, you must consider the lofts and how they impact your game. For example, if your pitching wedge is 43 degrees, you want to employ a 50-degree gap wedge to plug any potential holes.
With a 50-degree gap wedge in hand, I recommend a 54 or 56-degree sand wedge. These wedges provide sufficient loft to help you escape bunkers and execute flop, pitch, and chip shots. However, they are not excessively weak where it borders on a lob wedge.
If you decide to play a lob wedge, I do not recommend swinging anything weaker than 60 degrees. I love a lob wedge, but the excess loft can cause you to balloon shots and relinquish greenside control.
As high handicappers, forgiveness is vital for consistency around the greens. I suggest looking for a cavity back wedge, which possesses perimeter weighting for a higher moment of inertia (MOI), and an expanded sweet spot. This helps you produce straighter shots and limits spin drop-off.
Clean Turf Interaction
The final feature to look out for is a sole grind that delivers clean turf interaction. You want your wedges to glide over the grass to make clean contact with your golf ball. This way, you generate the optimal launch, spin, and control on each shot.
10 Best Wedges for High Handicappers
1. Callaway Mack Daddy CB – Overall Best Wedge For High Handicappers
- Exceptional forgiveness
- Moderately affordable
- Minimizes spin drop off
- Produces maximum spin
- Generates crisp turf interaction
- Only 2 available sole grinds
- Restricts workability
The Callaway Mack Daddy CB earns the prize for the overall best wedge for high-handicapper golfers. I found that it delivered superior forgiveness compared to the JAWS Mack Daddy 5 at a more affordable price point.
Besides its affordability, I noticed the Mack Daddy CB produced tremendous spin on all shots, from the pitching to the lob wedge. You’ll find that this is the work of the Groove-In-Groove technology, which minimizes spin drop-off for consistent revolutions per minute.
Furthermore, I felt Callaway could have offered a broader range of sole grinds. Sometimes, fewer options are better for high-handicap golfers. You’ll notice that a full grind is your only pick for Mack Daddy CB pitching and gap wedge. Conversely, a W-grind is fitted to the sand and lob wedge.
The sole grinds on these wedges are built to suit a diverse range of turf conditions and swings. Finally, I enjoyed the increased forgiveness provided by this wedge, thanks to its expanded sweet spot and high moment of inertia (MOI). This combination helps reduce spin drop-off and keeps your clubface square at contact for straighter shots.
2. Wilson Harmonized Black – Best Budget
- Excellent forgiveness
- Incredibly affordable
- Glare resistant finish
- Versatile sole grind delivers clean turf interaction
- Makes it easy for golfers to open the clubface and get under the ball
- It offers limited feedback and a firmer feel
- The oversize design may not appeal to some golfers
Who said you will struggle to find affordable options on a shoestring budget. The Wilson Harmonized black wedge range offers a rock-bottom price tag, elevated forgiveness, and glare resistance. All-in-all, you can pick up a set of wedges for less than the cost of individual clubs from their competitors.
Wilson engineers opted to simplify the setup for a beginner by applying a single, versatile sole grind to their gap, lob, and sand wedge constructions. I found it enabled me to open my clubface freely, get underneath my golf ball to clear a sand trap or water hazard, and land my ball softly on the green.
In addition, I enjoyed the black finish on this affordable wedge, which helped to shed glare from my line of sight during the address. You’ll find this reduces distractions and allows you to set up and play your shot without interference.
Furthermore, you’ll find that the oversize design of the Wilson Harmonized Black wedge boosts the stability and MOI of the clubface. Therefore, it helps high-handicap golfers keep the clubface square at impact to produce straighter ball flight.
3. Cleveland CBX 2 Wedge – Most Forgiving
Cleveland CBX2 Wedge
Additional weight distributed to the perimeter offers moreforgiveness at impact. 3 different sole grinds deliver more versatility toexecute any shot on the course. Enhanced Feel Balancing Technology along with a GelbackTPU Insert reduces vibration for a pure feel at impact.
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- Exceptional forgiveness
- Promotes straight shots
- Combats misses to the right
- Eradicates vibrations on off-center strikes
- Generates consistent spin
- The oversized profile is an eye sore
- It offers limited workability
A high MOI wedge is ideal for beginner golfers seeking straighter flight and forgiveness in your short game. I found that the Cleveland CBX 2 cavity back wedge resisted twisting during my swing and remained stable at impact for superior forgiveness and accuracy.
The engineers employed an oversized cavity back wedge that allowed them to position weight around the clubface perimeter. You’ll see that the precise weight distribution increases the MOI of the clubface and expands the sweet spot. As a result, you produce direct flight and prevent spin drop-off.
Further bolstering the forgiveness of this wedge is the presence of Enhanced Feel Balancing Technology. I saw that it prompted a toe bias profile to fight sidespin that causes you to push or slice your shot. Therefore, you enjoy a straight flight and improved accuracy on all strikes.
Game improvement wedges reduce feedback and provide a firmer feel, unideal for short-game strokes. However, Cleveland combatted this challenge by employing a Gelback pad between the cavity and the clubface to eradicate vibrations and soften each touch.
Finally, I enjoyed the performance of the 4th Generation Rotex Face Tech, which created impressive spin levels on all strikes. The brand’s sharpest tour zip grooves grip into your golf ball cover and impart rampant revolutions per minute for a drop and stop landing.
4. Cobra Snake Bite Wedge – Highest Spinning
- Exceptional spin
- Delivers increased friction
- Produces optimal launch, depending on the degrees of loft
- Cobra Connect grips gather insight into each shot
- Glare resistant
- The oversize profile will not appeal to everyone
- The wider grips may not suit golfers with smaller hands.
Wedges are the clubs that give us the right to attack the flag and try to stick it close for a one-putt. However, to execute an effective attack, you need a combination of controlled flight and exceptional spin. The Cobra Snake Bite wedge grabs the title for the highest spinning wedge thanks to an increased dispersion rate.
I felt that the Snakebite Groove Technology performed consistently, enabling me to repeat full swings and stick my ball close to the target. You’ll notice that its tighter groove tolerance generates advanced spin, causing my ball to stop rapidly on approach.
Cobra wasn’t done with spin support and decided to employ Progressive full-face grooves to deliver the optimal launch, spin, and control with each wedge. In addition, you’ll find three sole grind constructions for the different types of wedges in the set.
For example, the wide low sole design best suits soft turf or bunker shots and performs for golfers with a neutral to a steep angle of attack. Conversely, a versatile and classic grind is found on most wedges on the set.
Lastly, you’ll notice that this edition of the Snake Bite series carries a black finish, which works wonders for glare resistance at the address. Plus, the wedges are fitted with Cobra Connect grips, which gather insight into each shot for you to analyze later.
5. Cleveland RTX ZipCore Black Satin – Most Accurate
Cleveland RTX ZipCore Black Satin Wedge
ZipCore features a unique, low-density core in the heart of the club. The new design, with a more centered Sweet Spot and High-Low MOI, creates more consistency in the spin, distance, and feel of every shot.
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- Promotes straight ball flight for improved accuracy
- Glare-resistant black satin finish
- Spin consistency
- 3 sole grinds to choose from
- Its oversize profile may deter some players
- The high MOI restricts workability
The second and final Cleveland on the list of best golf wedges for high handicappers is the RTX ZipCore. Thanks to advanced MOI, I found that this wedge delivered the straightest ball flight for improved accuracy.
Cleveland engineers shifted the CG position and placed weight around the perimeter of the face to boost MOI. I noticed this helped me maintain a square clubface through impact and produced higher flight. You’ll find that this suits beginner players struggling to consistently get their ball airborne around the green.
Furthermore, the Ultizip grooves produced an exceptional spin rate propelling my ball to bite hard into the turf and stop immediately. This gave me more freedom to attack the pin, knowing that if I missed my target, the ball would sit quickly.
I learned that Cleveland positioned the grooves closer to improve the friction on each shot. You’ll see that means your golf ball sticks onto the clubface for longer, creating an impressive spin on full shots and chips.
Moreover, the RTX Zipcore is produced with 3 sole grind offerings to cater to every type of shot, attack angle, and turf conditions. Players looking for minimal bounce should consider the low sole, while neutral players best suit the midsole. Finally, golfers with steep attack angles may find comfort in the complete sole construction.
6. MacGregor MacTec X Series – Best Wedges Set For Beginners
- Super affordable
- It includes 3 wedges in the set
- Classic profile
- Softish feel
- Ample spin
- Less forgiving than other wedges
- The logo and print on the back of the club are off-putting at address.
MacGregor is a brand often forgotten in the sea of behemoth equipment manufacturers, but they deserve more recognition. I played a MacGregor 5-wood for most of my teenage years, and I have nothing but love for their work. Recently, I have focused on their affordable, consistent MacTec X Chrome wedge set.
You’ll notice that this is a set of three wedges for less than the price of one wedge from a premium brand. It eradicates the headache of selecting your short clubs and issues you with a gap wedge, sand wedge, and 60-degree golf club. As a result, you have everything you need in one acquisition.
Despite their budget price tag, the MacGregor MacTec X set offers a classic head shape and is constructed with stainless steel. You’ll find it works to provide a moderately delicate touch on all shots for enhanced feedback in your short game.
In addition, I felt that the enlarged full-face grooves were deep, narrow, and sharp to produce an impeccable spin rate. The only downside I found is that it offered less forgiveness than other best golf wedges I have tested.
7. Tour Edge Hot Launch E522 – Best Turf Interaction
Tour Edge Hot Launch E522 Wedge
The super-wide sole and heavier head weight of the E522 Wedge helps to eliminate flubs for superior contact. It is engineered to versatility by adding extreme performance benefits to chipping, pitch shots, explosion shots out of the sand, shots out of the rough, flop shots and with bump-and-run shots.
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- Maximum forgiveness
- Clean turf interaction
- Launches high
- Causes your golf ball to land softly
- Promotes straight flight
- The oversized profile is unattractive
- The high ball flight may cause some golfers to balloon their shots and minimize control.
Clean turf interaction is essential to help your wedge glide over the fairway or rough grass to make solid contact with your golf ball. I found that the Super Wide Houdini sole on the Tour Edge Hot Launch E522 performed the best in this aspect. This is why it is the best high-handicapper wedge for crisp turf interaction.
Tour Edge suggests that the Super Wide Houdini sole reduces turf friction by 35%, though I cannot provide an exact figure. I definitely felt a difference during each swing. At no point did I feel like the clubhead would dig into the turf and cause a mishit.
Next, the deep undercut cavity back design came into play at launch, sending my ball high and helping it land softly. Usually, I loathe increased trajectory in my short game. But the lower center-of-gravity (CG) ensures consistency for slower swingers struggling to launch their shots.
You’ll see that the E522 rocks an extra large face, equipped with an enlarged sweet spot and higher MOI. Together, these features promote straighter shots and prevent spin drop-offs for superior consistency.
The final piece of the puzzle lies with the Full-Face Maximized grooves that generate adequate spin across the clubface. As a result, you propel your golf ball to fly high and stop quickly on all shots.
8. Ping Glide 4.0 – Best Friction
Ping Glide 4.0 Wedge
Ping’s new Glide 4.0 wedges offer control you can feel from a precision-machined face and grooves with new textured face blasting. A larger custom tuning port and softer steel construction improves the feel while the compact, refined profile inspires more confidence at address.
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- Soft feel
- Escalated friction
- Clean turf interaction
- Maximum spin rate
- 4 sole grinds to choose
- Premium price point
- Less forgiveness than other beginners wedges
Ping knows how to manufacture game-improvement golf clubs to simplify the lives of the average golfer. I find that the Glide 4.0 wedge caters to a broad range of players, including mid and high-handicappers searching for a soft feel, compact shape, and maximum friction.
Of all the wedges tested this year, I felt the ball stayed on the Glide 4.0 clubface for the longest at contact. This increased spin on my golf ball and boosted my dispersion, distance control, and spin on short game shots.
Furthermore, I embraced the responsive and soft feel afforded by the 8620 carbon steel material and Elastomer CTP insert. Together they muted the feeling of each strike and enhanced face contact for superior friction.
You’ll see that the Glide 4.0 carries an attractive, compact profile which is a pleasure to look over at address. Plus, it encourages workability should you wish to add some shape to your shot.
Lastly, the Glide 4.0 wedges are fitted with face-blasted milled grooves, which are highly durable and improve the texture of the impact zone. This escalates friction and helps your golf ball stick to the clubface grooves at contact to produce an impressive spin.
9. Powerbilt X-Grind Series – Best For Weekend Warriors
Powerbilt X-Grind Series
The Powerbilt X-Grind wedge is an update to the classic wedge. Featuring a unique sole grind designed for playability from any lie. Classic satin finish on 431 stainless steel construction.
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- Exceptionally affordable
- It includes a gap, sand, and lob wedge in the set
- Unique, versatile sole grind
- Soft feel for an entry-level wedge
- They produce a high flight and soft landing
- The durability may prove an issue in the long run
- It does not produce a high spin rate.
The Powerbilt X-Grind series provides weekend warriors with 3 types of wedges in a single set, which covers every area of your short game. Powerbilt offers you a gap, sand, and lob wedge for less than $100. Besides their entry-level price tag, these wedges provide versatile playability, a soft feel, and a soft landing.
The X-grind sole is built for playability for any position on the golf course. I found that it performed best in moderate turf conditions and generated minimal interaction.
You’ll see these wedges carry an oversized profile enabling the engineers to widen the sweet spot and increase the MOI. As a result, the wedges limit spin drop-off for greater consistency and promote straight high shots.
Finally, I felt that the Powerbilt X-Grind wedges offered a soft feel for entry-level golf clubs. This is thanks to the 431 stainless steel materials employed by the engineers.
10. Autopilot C3i – Best For Yips
C3i Sand Wedge & Lob Wedge
The C3i lob wedge’s auto-glide sole cuts through the sand without skipping or digging. This sand wedge is a high loft golf club for men and women that gets the ball up easily to clear the lip and stop it quickly on the green.
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- It helps golfers with yips strike the ball cleanly
- Promotes a high flight
- Generates a soft landing
- Glare resistant
- Clean turf interaction
- The weak lofts can create distance gaps at the lower end of your bag.
- It eliminates workability
Autopilot clubs are usually not my first choice, but I have to go back on my word with the C3i wedge. A buddy of mine has suffered from the yips for years and always struggles to get the ball out of the bunker or execute a flop shot.
He decided to give the C3i wedge a go. He found that it could get his ball airborne consistently without altering his setup or opening the clubface. A significant change from past experiences. Since then, he has sworn by this no-friction glide, extra wide sole wedge.
Granted, it does not spin at the rate of other wedges, but the high flight prompts a soft, quick landing. In addition, the black, red, and white finish reduce glare at address for a comfortable setup.
My only concern with the C3i wedges is their excessively weak lofts, which may leave a hole between your gap and pitching wedge. For example, the gap wedge is a weak 55-degree, while a sand wedge is set at 59 degrees. Finally, the lob wedge carries an insanely delicate 65 degrees.