Best Wedges for Mid Handicappers 2021

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The best high-end premium wedge

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Vokey wedges are known for their spin control and excellent feel and the SM8 is definitely no different. With six different sole grinds …

Offers more forgiveness

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The CBX2 features the Rotex Face with extra sharp Tour Zip Grooves designed to cut through grass and generate extra spin. These wedges …

Excellent in wet conditions

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Mizuno are renowned in golf for their expertise producing the best smooth feeling forged irons and these T20 wedges come with that same forged expertise …

Tour Quality wedge with forgiveness

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These wedges have a fairly rounded leading edge which, although not a tour-preferred style, should actually appeal to a mid handicap golfer …

Best wedge for mid handicappers

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A slight offset was added to help produce a more captured look and at address this wedge certainly does not appear like a game-improvement wedge …

 

Best Golf Wedges for Mid Handicap Golfers

Getting the perfect wedges to suit your game can have a massive impact towards improving your score. Arguably wedges are one of the most important clubs in your bag, responsible for so much of your scoring from 100 yards inwards. Good wedges must be versatile for different lies, yardages and shot types, whilst also suiting your playing style and feel.

 

There is so much technical jargon involved when researching the best wedges to buy; bounce, loft gapping and sole grind are just some of the terms you will come across.

 

If this sounds like a different language to you, don’t worry, check out the FAQs at the end of this article for a simple breakdown of what you need to know. 

Finding the right Wedge for your game

For now, below are the best wedges available for mid handicappers.

Titleist Vokey wedges have always been at the forefront of wedge design and much loved on Professional Tours worldwide. The SM8 wedges are the most forgiving Vokey’s so far, which should make them a real consideration for mid handicap golfers. A high density tungsten core pushes the centre of gravity forward from the face allowing a more consistent and forgiving strike from any yardage.

 

Vokey wedges are known for their spin control and excellent feel and the SM8 is definitely no different. With six different sole grinds, four different finishes, bounce options ranging from 4 to 14 degrees and lofts available from 46 to 62 degrees you will certainly not be short of options.

 

 

Pros
● Superb feel and spin control
● Customizable with lots of bounce, sole grind and degree options available
● Excellent distance consistency for mid-to-long shots

 

Cons
● The most expensive option available
● Less forgiving than alternatives on this list

A cavity-back wedge, the CBX2 offers exceptional forgiveness whilst still producing high spin rates and versatility for around the greens. This wedge uses a Hollow-Cavity design, reminiscent of the modern iron technology, as well as a gelback insert, lighter hosel, tapered flange and wider toe. All this means that golfers get a much larger sweet spot, helping fuller approach shots and reducing poor contacts for chips.

 

The CBX2 features the Rotex Face with extra sharp Tour Zip Grooves designed to cut through grass and generate extra spin. These wedges come with a Dynamic Sole, meaning that the sole grind and bounce changes based on which degree of wedges you get. This takes some of the customisation out of it, but helps simplify the decision for mid handicappers. You can choose from two finishes, the standard Tour Satin or Black Satin which features anti-glare technology.

 

Pros
● Excellent forgiveness compared to a bladed wedge
● Still produces decent spin rates
● Good value for money
● Look at address will help golfers struggling to strike their wedges

 

Cons
● Looks chunkier at address may not appeal to golfers used to bladed wedges
● Not as much feel as bladed alternatives

Mizuno are renowned in golf for their expertise producing the best smooth feeling forged irons and these T20 wedges come with that same forged expertise. The Grain Flow Forging and precision milled grooves ensure consistent spin control, but it’s the new Hydroflow Micro Groove technology added into these wedges that really sets them apart. Designed to release moisture they ensure spin can be maintained even in damper conditions, perfect for wet winters and morning dew.

 

The T20 teardrop profile is an attractive design. For those that want to stand out the blue ION plated finish is a head-turner, but you can also get Raw and ready to rust finishes that are popular amongst Professionals.

 

Pros
● Hydroflow Micro Grooves provide great spin control even in wet conditions
● Excellent feel you associate with Mizuno
● Consistent flight on all distance shots

 

Cons
● There is no sole grind labelled on the clubhead, which can be a little confusing
● Thicker topline may not suit the eye of bladed wedge fans

Cleveland RTX ZipCore has replaced steel with a lightweight core and repositioned the centre mass so that more weight is behind the sweet spot. The result is more spin and distance control as well as impressive levels of forgiveness for a bladed wedge. The RTX ZipCore also adds new UltiZip groove technology, which Cleveland claim are their sharpest grooves yet. They are certainly not as aggressive as you will get in the Callaway MD5 JAWS, but they offer exceptional levels of spin control even in a bad lie.

 

These wedges have a fairly rounded leading edge which, although not a tour-preferred style, should actually appeal to a mid handicap golfer. There are three different sole grinds and three different finishes available as well as a good range of lofts and bounces.

 

Pros
● Great all-round performance
● Offers more forgiveness than other bladed wedges
● Appearance will be appealing to mid handicappers

 

Cons
● The most expensive Cleveland wedge available
● Some wedges do offer sharper spin

PING Glide models have been some of the best wedges available for mid handicappers for a number of years now and the Glide 3.0 is no exception. The elastomer Custom Tuning Port insert has been made larger and softer for improved feel and maximum forgiveness. The grooves have been given a sharper edge radius and the higher lofted wedges now have an additional half-groove at the bottom of the face to aid in imparting more spin.

 

A slight offset was added to help produce a more captured look and at address this wedge certainly does not appear like a game-improvement wedge. There are four sole grind options available, all with clearly defined characteristics. The Glide 3.0 comes with a Hydropearl 2.0 Chrome finish that is designed to wick away water and help the club glide through the grass.

 

Pros
● Slight cavity offers excellent forgiveness without losing feel
● Excellent spin control
● Dyla-wedge grip for additional support on grip-down hand placement

 

Cons
● A cavity back wedge won’t be to everyone’s taste

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Callaway ‘Mack Daddy’ (MD) wedges have been considered some of the sharpest spinning wedges for a number of years. The MD5 JAWS wedge range certainly keeps up that hype, with aggressive JAWS grooves and additional new offset Groove-in-Groove technology.

 

The wedges use head-progression for a slightly different shape depending on the loft to maintain a traditional appearance that will be comfortably familiar to all bladed wedge players. Altogether there are 23 loft and bounce combinations as well as five different sole grinds and two finishes to choose from.

 

Pros
● High spin rates that are controllable
● Soft feel
● Plenty of options available for lofts and sole grinds

 

Cons
● Golfers struggling with ‘fatting’ chips won’t appreciate the sharp edged design
● Expensive set of wedges

Wilson offers a slightly more no-frills approach to their wedge technology, however that in no way deters from the excellent quality of the Staff Model wedge. Wilson promotes the machine-engraved score lines in the precision-milled face as having a high density pattern to increase clubface contact with the ball and generate maximum spin control.

 

It is clear that these wedges have been designed with the Staff Model Blade irons in mind and they have a beautiful ‘clean’ appearance. The bounce will vary depending on your lofts, but the 14 degree bounce on the 56 degree wedge offers decent forgiveness. There is only one sole grind option and the loft/bounce options are limited, so these wedges won’t suit golfers wanting a more customised approach.

 

Pros
● Great value for money
● Impressive distance control on full swing shots
● Good spin control around the greens

 

Cons
● Generates less spin that other wedges
● Not many options available for bounce and grind

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Frequently Asked Questions

Who is a mid handicap golfer?

A mid handicapper is a generic term describing golfers around the 8 to 18 handicap range. This range accounts for the largest portion of male golfers, with their scores usually ranging anywhere from early-80s to early-90s.

 

Mid handicap golf clubs are generally designed with a prioritisation on forgiveness, but including more feel and control than game-improvement clubs. Wedges in particular are a very personal choice and where some golfers want maximum forgiveness others prefer more spin control. You need to find out where your priority lies by assessing your own game.

What does ‘bounce’ mean?

Bounce refers to how far the leading edge sits off the ground when the club is grounded in a neutral position. Bounce is normally referred to as a number of degrees, typically ranging anywhere from 4 to 14. The lower the number, the lower the degree of bounce.

 

Low bounce (4 to 6 degrees) is designed for playing from tight or firm lies and out of bunkers with little or compacted sand. They also suit golfers that like to ‘pick’ their chips off the surface with a shallow action.

 

Mid bounce (7 to 10 degrees) is a versatile option, suited to playing a variety of shots from differing lies. Most golfers will always carry at least one mid bounce wedge.

 

High bounce (11 to 14 degrees) is best suited for soft lusher grass and fluffy bunkers. They are also helpful for golfers with a steeper action that may need extra support for heavy contacts.

 

It is important to understand the impact of bounce to ensure you pick the correct options for your swing-style and normal playing conditions. The majority of golfers will experience varying conditions and courses all the time, so carrying a few different bounce options is often the best solution.

What does ‘sole grind’ mean?

Sole grind refers to when material has been removed from the sole of the club to alter the shape. Further than just altering the appearance behind the ball, this impacts how the club interacts with the turf.

 

It is quite a modern innovation for amateur players, but Tour Pros have been tweaking with this for a while. Leading manufacturers are now offering more options than ever before, for example the Titleist SM8 wedge reviewed earlier in this article actually has six different sole grind options. Not all wedges will have this degree of customisation though.

 

Maybe not quite as important as bounce, but the sole grind can still impact on the performance of the wedge if not suited to your game. It is a good idea to try out a few different options to get a feel for what you like, but my recommendation to mid handicappers would be (unless you get custom-fit) to stick with a versatile sole grind on at least one or two of your wedges.

How do I get the perfect loft gapping?

There are two things you have to know before deciding what lofts to get for your wedges. Firstly, how many wedges do you want? This will almost always be three or four. Secondly, what degree is your iron set pitching wedge (assuming you are not replacing this as well). As technology has advanced many leading manufacturers have favoured stronger lofted clubs and a pitching wedge loft can now range anywhere from 43 to 48 degrees.

 

Once you know these two factors, ideally wedges should be gapped by 4 or 5 degrees in loft, but 6 degrees is workable. However, if you have a very strong 43 degree pitching wedge you may have a larger 7 degree gap to a strong 50 degree gap-wedge.

 

General examples for 4 wedges: 46/50/54/58 or 48/52/56/60 degrees

 

A general example for 3 wedges: 46/52/58 or 48/54/58 degrees

 

As long as your wedges are generally no more than 6 degrees apart, the rest is personal preference. I would recommend avoiding any wedges above 60 degrees, as it is unlikely mid handicappers will find any benefit from these clubs. Also, try to find a wedge that suits you and buy a set so that performance is consistent across them all.

Should I get a custom-fit for wedges?

My recommendation for all mid handicap golfers that are looking to get the most out of their new golf clubs is always get custom-fit with your local PGA Professional. With so many options now available for customisation, making sure your wedges suit your game will make a massive difference to how they perform and how confident you feel using them.

Conclusion

The best overall wedge for mid handicappers is the PING Glide 3.0, because it offers the additional forgiveness that mid handicappers often require whilst maintaining exceptional levels of spin control. However, selecting your wedges is a personal decision with no real incorrect choice. With technology advancing and manufacturers investing heavily in research and development there are now so many excellent options available on the market. Just make sure you pick wedges that suit your game to get the most from your purchase.

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