This post was most recently updated on January 17th, 2022
The dreaded sand trap. The writers here at Golfible spend more time in the sand than David Hasslehoff. Yes, a corny joke, stolen from Happy Gilmore, but still true.
While we all hope to not use this club that often, there’s no doubting that it’s a necessity and one you really want comfortability with. Below we have reviewed the best sand wedge depending on circumstances; if you’re new to the game or an old hand we’ve got you covered.
Best Sand Wedge 2022
Our #2 Rated
Finding The Right Sand Wedge
We all think loft first of all and you must remember that different manufacturers offer a variety of loft.
What loft is a sand wedge?
Typically the sand wedge loft is between 54-58 degrees. Likewise, wedges vary in the typical amount of bounce you can expect and that is regularly the result of the angle created when the sole is below the leading edge.
The material used in the manufacturing and weight of these golf clubs can be a factor in the spin that is achieved although it is important to keep the grooves clean at all times.
Your sand wedge should be heavier than your other short iron golf clubs because its use does not depend upon your swing speed but your skill and the club’s ability to elevate the ball by moving the sand behind the ball.
Different Types of Wedges
Pitching wedges come as standard in sets of irons but there are three other types of wedge that you can carry in your bag and they are generally bought individually.
Sand wedges are one of them with the other two known as ‘’gap’’ and ‘’lob’’ wedges which have different degrees of loft.
While you may use your pitching wedge for shots of over 100 yards into the green hoping that the ball will not roll far, the other three wedges are far more specialized.
A pitching wedge is rarely more than 50 degrees with the gap wedge likely to be around 54 degrees.
You will get a high flight if you require it but as a handicap golfer, it is unlikely that you will hit the ball 100 yards with it.
The ‘’gap’’ is called as such because it fills in the loft between pitching and sand wedge.
The latter is the wedge of choice in a sand bunker but can be used with care for shots of around 80 yards.
Lob wedges are also 60 degrees and more and often used with an open face to get over a hazard close to the green with minimal roll on landing.
Sand Wedge for bunker shots
Many mid and high handicap golfers sigh when they hit sand. All sorts of things creep into their mind.
In contrast, top professionals regularly prefer sand to greenside rough and often aim to hole from there. They rarely fail to get on to the green and regularly hole out thanks to their short game
The secret to good bunker play is a long, smooth swing and follow through as well as the ability to decide how far behind the ball the wedge should enter the sand.
The bounce angle provided by the base of the sand wedge when you open the face will do the rest.
You must remember to make a full swing with the ball just ahead of center in your stance.
Lob Wedge for bunker shots
The design of a sand wedge makes it far from ideal in a wet bunker because of the danger of the club’s flange bouncing rather than cutting through the sand.
It makes the decision of selecting the club to help you get out of the bunker far more difficult.
Your lob wedge may be the answer because of the increased loft and the fact that its edge will make it easier to cut through wet, heavy sand.
You will slightly open the face but no more. It is an argument for carrying a lob wedge as well as sand wedge.
Characteristics of a Sand Wedge
Although it takes the name ‘’sand’’ with the name or an ‘’S’’ on the golf club as a description the sand wedge can be used in several situations, all but one being from a sand bunker.
That is because its loft is such that it can be played without an open face to hit the ball the appropriate distance.
Typical characteristics of a good sand wedge are:
- Loft between 54 and 56 degrees is the norm but may be higher.
- Short shaft varying between 33 and 37 inches
- Wide sole with a flange designed to produce high bounce when the face is open in a bunker.
Sand Wedges and Beginners
Bunkers are the bane of high handicappers and those new to the game of golf. It is important for you to practise out of the sand to master the technique of getting the ball back into play.
As a beginner, you may not want to spend too much on a sand wedge.
Your priority instead may be remembering the basics of playing out of sand rather than worrying about the subtle differences between the sand wedges in the marketplace.
If you are new to the game, you should certainly carry a sand wedge and every time you have to get into a bunker to get your ball out, clear your mind and remember the correct basics.
Sand Wedge Review: Best Alternatives
Callaway’s expertise at designing the best golf wedges has taken the company to the top of the market for short irons. The Daddy looks and feels great, providing performance to match its appearance.
It is a forged club in soft steel with a shape unique to Callaway.
It is minimally offset with a square toe and fairly straight leading-edge assisting control from a clean contact.
The Center of Gravity is designed to suit the loft of the club allowing you to achieve the trajectory you want even with high loft so you can aim for the pin with confidence.
Daddy’s spin is achieved because of the 16-groove design with an additional groove at the base of the Wedge near the leading edge.
The sole grind has been devised to tackle a variety of lies and grasses, as well as firm and not so firm sand bunkers.
Whether you need to open the face in a bunker or play a traditional chip from around the green, the Daddy should reward a precise contact.
The Harmonized is an attractive wedge with a sole grind that allows you to open the face for effective shots.
It is very competitively priced, durable and comes with an anti-glare option; the sand wedge loft is 56 degrees. While it only comes in right hand, if that is you, it is unimportant.
Its blade design and strong grooves is conducive to providing the spin you are seeking to get close to the pin.
The classic design is true to the traditions of Wilson with the competitive price belying the consistent quality it is able to produce from a skillful shot.
The Harmonized is an attractive wedge with a comfortable grip and is made from true temper steel so attractive price is not a result of inferior materials. It comes in regular flex with 35-inch shaft as standard.
This clean cut wedge is rare in the market place because of its cavity-back design which Cleveland Golf has produced to increase forgiveness because of its perimeter weighting.
The Dual V-Sole is new with weight moved from the hosel to change the position of the Center of Gravity move towards the middle of the clubface. That helps to counteract any slight issues in the strike and adds to the feel on impact.
You can expect to achieve the spin you are looking for in a short shot whatever the loft you select. Cleveland offers a range of lofts for golfers seeking something specific to their ability.
One of the top rated sand wedges from Pinemeadow, it has a wide sole and large forgiving surface to promote ease of use from all lies.
The grooves are ‘’U’’ shaped as standard. You can expect good feel and bounce when using the PXG and you will love its look. You can expect low flight and good spin from the PXG with weight-screws available for personalization.
This 65 degree sand wedge provides all the loft any golfer might need which makes it a good club for anyone short of confidence about achieving elevation.
It is not made by one of the major manufacturers so perhaps lacks such companies’ research and the best golf development knowledge, yet it is inexpensive and offers a large swet spot for younger players.
The golf sand wedge can be one of the more important golf clubs you purchase depending on your time spent in the bunker and we believe that Callaway Mack Daddy is the best golf wedges overall because of the feel and versatility provided in all circumstances.
The Editorial Staff at Golfible is a team of golfing geeks and enthusiasts led by founder Alec Rose. All have the same obsession with golf tech, equipment updates and avoiding rain on the course.