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Best Golf Wedges for Beginners in 2017

By Golf Wedge Solutions | Golf Wedge Advice

Jan 16

You might agree with me that as a beginner golf player, trying to figure out the right equipment to start to play with is a daunting task. If you're looking for some guidance on how to choose the right clubs, you have come to the right place.

In this article we will give you a detailed rundown of the best possible wedge choices for a beginner.

Most golfers that are relatively new to the game are sometimes afraid to switch gears and invest in new equipment. The old clubs feel good and familiar, it's a comforting feeling to grab that bulky sand wedge and top the ball onto the green.

Well, we’ll let you in on a secret now: your standard wedges suck!

Changing them for a better set of wedges will super-charge your game and allow shots that you’ve only seen on TV before.

Just by looking at the shape of these standard-set wedges.

Ping G15 WEdges

Credit: The Sand Trap

The major issue being that clubs like these are just the extension of your iron-set, similar features are packed into the 3 iron, 8 iron and sand wedge.

Although this might be ideal for somebody just starting out with golf, it is a major setback when you want to improve your short game.

Use tour grade clubs, for tour grade shots.

Shots within 100 yards are different than those from 150 or 200 yards. You will not often play shots with a full swing because control is key. Stopping the ball on the spot from pitch shots or out of the bunker, controlling your chipping and playing that insane Phil Mickelson-style flop shot are all options that you simply don't have with the standard set clubs.

Understanding Wedges

The world of wedges can be quite confusing for somebody that is trying to make sense of it for the first time. There are a few ways to pick the ideal club for you, none is ideal on its own and has to take into account multiple factors.

Before we dive into the details, know this: always test multiple clubs for some time before deciding to buy one. There is not a one-size-fits-all recipe, every player prefers a different feel, has different shot making skills and plays on different terrain.

Loft

This is simply a measure of the angle of the club. Most iron sets come with a standardised increment that continues into the PW and SW (and LW) of the set.

Loft Angle

To give you an example, have a look at the table below. It is a spec sheet for the Callaway Steelhead XR Irons.

The set comes with 11 clubs and four of them can be categorized as wedges (Pitching Wedge, Approach Wedge - often called Gap Wedge, Sand Wedge and Lob Wedge).

The first column on the right are the lofts. Increments vary between 2.5 and 5 degrees - the biggest ones being with the wedges (44, 49, 54, 59 degrees).

Golf Iron Loft, Length, Lie, Offset, Swing Weight

Credit: CallawayGolf

This is a very important metric to keep in mind because you want to avoid the situation where you end up with a 44 degree pitching wedge and a 45 degree gap wedge. The club would look different, but in terms of distance and trajectory would be very similar to the PW.

Cobra King Wedge 56 degrees

Credit: Cobragolf

Length

Similar to the loft, length is also standardised across the whole set of clubs. The rule here is simple - if you have standard length clubs, get standard length wedges. If you have one inch longer clubs, get one inch longer wedges.

Tour Edge Golf Exotics XCG5 Iron Set

Credit: Woot

Lie

As you can see from the table, lie is also a metric that you can change or just keep standard. It is often overlooked, but can prove to be crucial. It highly depends on you body’s height and swing. It is also possible that you have certain swing faults because your lie angle is too steep or shallow.

It is easy to find out, just head over to a facility that can provide custom made clubs and they will be able to figure it out for you. For now, don’t worry too much about it - if you have standard clubs, just get a wedge with a standard lie.

Golf Wedge Lie

Credit: CGolf.fr

Offset

This one might sound confusing, but is really logical. It describes how far is the club head behind the shaft. This makes it easier to hit and gives the player more time to correct the direction of the club. You can notice that it is bigger with longer clubs. Professional players often have zero offset, especially with the wedges - this is also what you are aiming for.

Ping Gmax Irons

Credit: Golfalot

Golf Wedge Offset

Swing Weight

Swing weight tells you how heavy a club feels when you hit it. It is largely dependent on the shaft, not the club head. Without over complicating things, just get the same setups as with your other irons. This is how you ensure constant feel for all your clubs and don’t have to adjust for a heavier or lighter club when you grab your new 56 degree wedge.

Distance

Although we said that you rarely play full shots with your wedges, distance is still a good indicator of your setup.

To give you an example, if at full swing your 9 iron distance is 140 yards, your PW distance is 125 yards, then you should be able to hit a full SW around 110 yards.

If you notice that you can only hit it 80 yards you have a problem. The distance gap will not be easy to fill for a beginner.

Hitting a ¾ shot with your PW can be hard for someone new to the game, so it is still smart to have those distance ready at hand. Play that full shot with your new SW until you get better at punch shots and ¾ swings.

Bounce

The bounce describes the angle between the leading edge of the club and the ground. Standard set wedges usually come with fairly big bounce angle. This is evident especially with the sand wedge - manufacturers want to help players come out of the bunker easier.

Bounce angle on golf wedge

The amount of the bounce angle that you will choose depends on your swing angles but also the terrain that you usually play at. If you play at soft and wet courses then more bounce is better for you (and the opposite for dry and hard courses). Similarly, if you dig out a lot of turf you want to consider a bigger bounce angle (and the opposite for more shallow swingers).

Golf wedge bounce angle
Loft and Bounce on Golf Wedge

Credit: Dlancegolf.com

Brand and Visuals

Unless you are tied into a multi-year equipment contract like most of the professional players, you are free to choose whatever clubs you want. Although the visual aspect might not be the most important in theory, it is a tough one in reality. If you don’t like how a club looks (or feels), don’t buy it.

Club Choices for Beginners

Now that we looked over the important specs, let's go through the best wedges for beginners from the year 2017. There are many choices out there, but we have boiled it down to just a few select ones. Any of these clubs will make you better at your short game.

Mizuno T7

Mizuno has only become a prominent wedge manufacturer in the last years. The technology that was long used for their amazing irons is now dripping down into the wedges. The T7 promises longer lasting groves because of a unique metal mixture. Lofts, lies, bounces and lengths can be fully customised so that every player can optimise the club to their specific needs. This club can be also more visually appealing since it is the only one that features a light blue color.

Mizuno Golf Men's T7 Blue Ion Wedge Right 52-09
  • 1025 boron infused steel lengthens the durability of Mizuno's quad cut groove while maintaining Mizuno's renowned grain flow forged feel
  • Graduated loft specific teardrop shape
  • Quad cut loft specific grooves
  • Harmonic impact technology
  • Dynamic gold wedge shaft

Callaway MD3 Wedges

The Mac Daddy series from Callaway is a great club for first time wedge buyers as well as for more advanced. The clubs come in multiple configurations of grinds (W, S, C), grooves (30V, 20V and 5V), lofts, lies and lengths.

This basically means that you can mix and match what you like and what suits your game most. Importantly the new MD3 Milled line has Progressive Groove Optimisation, which feature optimum spin for every shot.

Callaway Men's Mack Daddy 3 Black S-Grind Wedge, Right Hand (S300, 56-10)
  • 3 grinds for every shot, every Condition and every swing: we've developed 3 unique grinds to suit the shots you hit, the courses you play and the Swings you make. It's the versatility and selection you need to get up and down from anywhere
  • S-grind: our most versatile option. It's great for a wide range of conditions (Normal, soft or firm), shot types and Swings (moderate to sweeping attack angles)
  • Progressive groove optimization: the MD3 milled line has progressive groove optimization - a 3 groove package milled into the Face of these wedges that optimizes spin as you Go up in loft. It creates a smoother spin transition from your irons to wedges
  • Advanced shaping and design: Legendary Callaway wedge designer roger Cleveland took Tour Input and blended that with advanced cad design. The result is a balanced wedge with a high toe profile and a semi-straight leading edge
  • Advanced weight ports: the weight ports in the back of the wedge gave US the freedom to reposition the weight for better shot-making, especially out of deep rough

Cleveland RTX-3

Wedges made by Cleveland Golf are often picked by beginners as a substitute for the standard set wedges. Especially the RTX-3 packs a lot of engineering features that are geared toward all-around wedge performance, which is basically what you want. Similar to other manufacturers, Cleveland allows you to pick the optimal club according to your personal needs. They also feature three bounce options (LOW, MID and FULL) and a range of lofts, lies and lengths.

An important feature is the Feel Balancing Technology, where they remove nine grams of mass from the hosel and then redistribute it throughout the club head to bring the center of gravity closer to the impact zone.

Sale
Cleveland Golf Men's RTX-3 VMG Wedge, Right Hand, Steel, 60 Degree, Black Satin
  • Patent-pending feel balancing technology - nine grams of mass are removed from the hosel and redistributed to the wedge head for a center of Gravity closer to the impact zone
  • V sole grinds add shot consistency and control - three Tour-proven grinds feature a V shape with more leading edge bounce to help the club head through the turf faster at impact for crisper feel and more consistent performance
  • New Rotex face increases spin - the third-generation rtx face features a refined groove shape, a new Rotex micro-milling pattern engineered to optimize spin performance by loft, and laser milling

Ping Glide

The Glide features a slightly bigger and rounder club head, which is often more appealing to the beginners. It is easier to hit and has a slightly larger sweet spot. Nonetheless the technology used with the Ping Glide is the same as for other tour-grade clubs. It features a smaller hosel, allowing for less drag during bunker shots.

Golfers can also pick from four different sole options (SS, TS, WS, ES), giving even more customization options. Other standard characteristics like lie, loft and length can be also mixed as needed.

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All prices are last updated on 2017-08-08 at 22:48 / Product images credit: Amazon.com