If you’re a high handicapper, chances are you lose a lot of shots in the short game.
Wedge shots cause nerves in most new golfers. The margin for error is pretty big, and there’s no worse feeling than seeing the ball go just a couple of inches, or seeing it hit the blade and fly to the other side of the green.
These mistakes can be compounded if you have the wrong equipment.
Wedges come in different sizes, lofts, grinds, bounce angles… the list goes on and on, and if you’re new to the game it’s easy to make the wrong choice.
Fortunately, our team tested 25 of the most forgiving wedges in the game to determine the perfect wedge for beginner golfers. Whether you’re looking to invest in an expensive club or get a quick easy fix, our guide will help you find the perfect wedge.
Below you will find a rundown of our favorite high-handicapper wedges and detailed information on what makes them helpful.
We also get into the nitty gritty of bounce and loft and the different types of wedges available.
Ready to start getting up-and-down? Let’s jump in.
Best Wedges For High Handicappers: Best Wedges Quick Summary
If you don’t have time to read everything, here are our top choices for the best wedges for high handicappers:
Editor’s Choice: Cleveland CBX Wedge (click to see)
Best On A Budget: Wilson Harmonized Golf Wedge (click to see)
Premium Purchase: Callaway Mack Daddy (click to see)
Best Wedge for Mid to High Handicappers: Cleveland RTX 4 (click to see)
Mini Product Reviews of Our Best Wedges
Cleveland CBX Wedge
Rating: 9.6 /10
- Cavity back makes it more forgiving than bladed designs
- Available in a great range of lofts, from 44° to 60°.
- Tour zip grooves for maximum spin.
- Not available with more than 60° of loft.
- Not available with graphite shaft for left handers.
Cleveland is renowned for its wedges and they’re hugely popular with both professionals and amateurs. We think their CBX is the perfect choice for higher handicappers.
The CBX wedge is made with what Cleveland call a ‘Dual V-Sole’. It creates a unique club head shape, with a slightly wider toe and a narrower heel.
It’s very likely you’ll be playing with cavity back irons, and if you’re intimidated by the bladed shape of most wedges, the bulkier back of the CBX will help boost your confidence over the ball.
Wilson Harmonised Golf Wedge
Rating: 9.2 /10
- Value. Cheaper than most wedges.
- Looks great. High polish finish and classic bladed shape.
- Sole grind design offers great versatility in terms of loft.
- Comes with a fairly standard grip. Recommend replacing.
- Less forgiving than wedges with a bigger cavity back.
The Harmonised wedge by Wilson is what we call the ‘budget’ club on our list of best wedges and, given its sleek aesthetic and innovative construction, offers great value for money.
For an entry level club we were particularly impressed with Wilson’s ‘sole grind’ design.
It’s unique to the Wilson range and allows you to easily open the club face further than other wedges—increasing loft and giving you greater variety around the greens.
It looks great too. It’s shaped more like a traditional bladed wedge, and with its high polish finish, won’t look out of place amongst the most expensive irons and woods.
Callaway Mack Daddy 4, S-Grind Wedge
Rating: 9.4 /10
- S-Grind technology makes it great for various lies and swing types.
- Semi-straight leading edge creates confident feel over ball.
- Wider sole is ideal in softer sander.
- Price. Relatively expensive for beginners.
- S-Grind only available in black finish.
Callaway brought in legendary wedge designer Roger Cleveland to work on the Mack Daddy 4 range, and together they’ve designed a set of highly reactive, premium wedges.
The S-grind is the most versatile of the collection, making it the obvious choice for high handicappers.
In terms of design we particularly like the slightly squarer toe, offset to create a straighter leading edge.
You’ll find the Mack Daddy will give you more spin than most Callaway wedges.
That’s down to its 16-grove configuration, and an extra, larger, groove drilled in the very bottom of the club face.
For those looking for a bit of extra stopping power on their shots, the Mack Daddy S-Grind is a great choice from among our list of best golf wedges for beginners.
Cleveland RTX-4, V-MG
Best Wedges For Mid To High Handicappers
- Centre of gravity close to impact zone for greater balance.
- Features Cleveland’s rotex face grooves for maximum spin.
- V-shape sole grind more forgiving than bladed wedges.
- Not as forgiving as the CBX wedge by Cleveland.
- Lighter weight than older Cleveland wedges.
The second Cleveland wedge on our list and another club popular with all levels of golfer.
The RTX-4 range has three different wedges and, given its cavity back, we think this is the best bet for mid to high handicappers.
The RTX range is slightly less forgiving than the CBX by Cleveland; the cavity back isn’t quite as big so the design looks more like a traditional blade iron.
For those perhaps a little more confident with their wedge shots, this makes for a great alternative from Cleveland.
Cleveland has designed it in a way that moves 9g of mass from the hosel and redistributes it to the head of the club.
It means the center of gravity is closer to the impact zone and it feels extremely well balanced in your hands.
It’s this weight distribution that makes it a little more forgiving than the rest of the RTX range.
For those that have a tendency to hit down on their wedge shots, the VM-G sole grind has that same V-shape as the CBX, and will provide you with more leading edge bounce through impact.
Callaway Sure Out Wedge
Best Chipping Wedges for High Handicappers
Rating: 9.0 /10
- Wide sole offers forgiveness and bounce.
- Rounded sole helps prevent chunked shots.
- Available in a range of different lofts.
- Large cavity back may lack finesse.
- Grooves not as reactive as other wedges.
Callaway have revamped their Sure Out wedge – it used to be on the market in their ‘Hogan’ range – and produced a modern design that we think is absolutely perfect for those high handicappers that particularly struggle with bunker shots.
The Sure Out has a much wider sole than most wedges as well as a naturally rounded shape.
This really helps you with bounce and makes getting out of bunkers that little bit easier.
It’s probably the most forgiving club on our list and we think the design will help the highest of handicappers feel more confident the next time you find a tricky lie.
We highly recommend the Sure Out for those that have problems getting out of the sand at the first time of asking.
What Are The Best Wedges For Beginners To Carry?
More often than not high handicappers struggle to find the green in regulation. This is nothing to feel concerned about, as your game will improve over time. But you need the right equipment to help make that happen. Finding the green is challenging, even to some experienced golfers.
Whether it’s problems off the tee or difficulty with approach shots, if you’re playing off a high handicap you’re less likely to find the dance floor at the first time of asking but do not be discouraged. Because if you have the right clubs, you will be amazed how your game can improve.
That’s why it’s really important you have a good selection of wedges at your disposal. Having a wide variety of wedges, knowing how they work and what their individual strengths are, can drastically improve your golf game.
There are lots of factors to consider when choosing your wedges and it’s vital you understand a few particulars such as loft and bounce.
Do not be discouraged by this use of technical terminology. The notions of loft and bounce in a wedge are actually very easy to understand once you get the hang of it.
These variants will determine how the club reacts to certain lies, how much spin you’ll put on the ball and ultimately, the range of different shots you’ll be able to play.
Having a good understanding of these, will strengthen your golfing strategy and afford you more options, especially when trying to make those particularly tricky shots. The more tricks you have up your sleeve, the stronger your golf game will be.
So here are all the important bits you need to know before choosing which wedges to put in your bag.
Types of Golf Wedge – Pitching Wedge, Gap Wedge, Lob Wedge, Sand Wedge
When you buy a set of irons they’ll usually come with two wedges: A pitching wedge (PW) and sand wedge (SW).
These are usually designed very similarly to the golf irons, both in terms of construction and aesthetic; the major difference is that they have a more lofted club face and therefore produce very different golf shots.
A pitching wedge typically has between 44°- 48° of loft and is most commonly used for shorter approach shots and those pitch-and-runs from just off the green.
The standard sand wedge usually has between 54° – 58° of loft and, true to name, is predominantly used to help escape from those sand filled green-side bunkers.
If it’s the only other wedge you have in your bag, you might use it for other shots around the green as well, especially those that require a little higher trajectory than your pitching wedge can provide.
Here is where we start to see the importance of understanding a wedges loft. This refers to the shape of the wedge’s club face and will cause your ball to react differently, depending on its size and shape.
Your sand wedge may be designed for rescuing your call from sand traps, but with its face being more lofted than the pitching wedge, it can be very useful in other situations too. Knowing when and how to take advantage of the different types of loft, can make or break your golf game.
There are two other types of wedges, often overlooked and certainly underrated, and it’s very unlikely either will come with a set or irons: the gap wedge and the lob wedge.
Adding these to your bag will add variation to your short game, both in terms of shot selection and distance control.
As the name suggests, gap wedges are in your bag to help bridge the gap between pitching wedge and sand wedge.
This one is for all the shots where the pitching wedge is too small, and the sand wedge is too large. When you need just that right amount of loft for that particularly difficult shot, and when standard clubs just will not cut it.
Think of it as a middle man—a happy medium between the two standard wedges. Considering the average dimensions of the PW and SW, a gap wedge should have around 50° – 54° of loft.
This comes in extremely helpful when you’re playing approach shots onto the green from distances just in-between clubs. And this happens far more often than you would think in golf.
As much as golfers learn to gain better control over their shots and the ball, often you will be faced with situations where the standard clubs are just not quite right for the shot you need to make. This is where such specialty wedges come into play.
It means you’ll have to make fewer half-swings and effort shots to find the pins, so you’ll never sacrifice accuracy.
The lob wedge has the most loft of all the wedges, 58° upwards, and makes it really easy for you to get the ball flying higher and landing softer.
This one will see you making minimal effort to achieve those higher arches, as well as minimising problematic bounce which can throw off your accuracy and see your ball ended up far from where you want it to be.
There will be times when you’ll need to get extra height on your shots, perhaps when playing out of steep bunkers and having a lob wedge means you won’t have to manufacture extra loft by playing around with your grip or stance.
Importance Of Loft And Bounce In A Wedge
The more lofted the club face, the more height you’ll get on your shots.
Needless to say, this higher flight comes at the expense of distance, so each of your wedges will travel different yardages with a full swing.
This is why it’s really important you have a good selection of wedges in your bag.
As a general rule of thumb, every 4° of loft will account for around ten to fifteen yards of distance.
If you can remember this and learn to adjust for it, your game will be on point in no time.
Controlling distance by altering the length and effort of your swing is less reliable than having clubs with varying degrees of loft.
Following trends in the modern game, most standard pitching wedges that come with irons will have around 44° of loft.
Now consider the average sand wedge has around 56° of loft and you can see that there’s a pretty large gap to bridge when it comes to distance.
Having a wedge to fill that void will give your game that extra distance control.
Loft will also determine the range of shots you can play closer around the greens as well.
If you don’t have a lob wedge in your bag (let’s say anything with more than 58° of loft) then playing shots such as the lob and the flop become increasingly more difficult.
Having at least three variations of loft amongst your wedges is a great place to start.
Another really simple way to get one step ahead is to pay close attention to the bounce of your golf wedges.
Tailor it to suit your style of play, and the way you swing the golf club.
Bounce is the angle between the leading edge and the sole of the club—it’s why a wedge never lies completely flat on the ground.
When we talk about bounce we’re really talking about the section of the club face that hits, or ‘bounces’, the ground when you play a shot.
Buy a new golf wedge and the bounce is usually labelled on the clubhead and, just like loft, is measured in degrees.
Whether you’ll want wedges with low bounce or high bounce will depend on your swing and the type of shots you like to play around the greens.
A lower bounce wedge, 4° – 6°, will have a slightly flatter sole and lends itself to those golfers that have a shallower swing path—those who have a tendency to ‘scoop’ the ball.
They’re great for firmer conditions; courses that will leave you with tight lies around the greens and in the bunkers.
If you tend to hit clean shots with your wedges, leaving less of a divot, then you’ll probably want a wedge with low bounce.
A high bounce wedge, 8°+, will have more of a rounded sole and lends itself to those golfers that have a slightly steeper swing path—those that hit down on the ball a little more.
More bounce, more of an angle on the sole, will help prevent the leading edge digging too sharply into the sand or turf and fight against what we call ‘dragging’.
If you have a habit to strike your wedge golf shots a little fat, then you’ll probably want a wedge with high bounce.
Why Forgiving Wedges Are Best For A High Handicapper
Being a high handicapper, having wedges that are easy to use, or relatively ‘forgiving’ as we like to say, is a must.
While choosing the right mix of loft and bounce for your clubs is very much down to personal preference, we think that picking a model that’s forgiving is essential for all high handicappers.
A lot of this is down to the design, and in particular the shape of the wedge.
Manufacturers make certain clubs easier to use than others.
We’ve steered away from any wedges that have a more traditional, blade-shape design, instead opting towards wedges that have more of a cavity back and a slightly thicker leading edge.
Remember, we’ve only picked the best wedges for high handicappers.
So all of our club selections are easy to use and provide extra forgiveness when you fall foul to the occasional miss-hit.
Wedges for High Handicappers Conclusion: The Best Wedge to Improve Your Game
So there you have it, our list of the best wedges for high handicappers in 2022; five clubs that are guaranteed to help take your short game to the next level.
The Cleveland CBX wins our top Editor’s choice award the best club for a high handicapper thanks to its ease of use and availability in a range of different lofts and bounce—the truly perfect wedge for high handicappers.
Remember, before you buy any wedge, figure out which loft your bag might be missing and the type of bounce that best suits your style of swing.
What wedge grind is most forgiving?
The K-Grind in Titleist’s grind lineup is considered the most forgiving. These wedges have the highest bounce. You can use this grind out of bunkers as well and open up the face for flop shots.
Are high toe wedges good for high handicappers?
High toe wedges are great for high handicappers. The wedges have a round leading edge which adds forgiveness to the club. A wide sole also allows golfers to make good contact when striking the ball, especially on greenside chips.
Are Cleveland RTX 4 wedges good for high handicappers?
The Cleveland RTX 4 wedges can be used by high handicappers but they are not considered a game improvement club. Unlike the CBX lineup, the RTX’s do not have massive cavity backs that make them extremely forgiving on mishits.