Wedges are all about performance. How good is the distance control? Is it decently forgiving? How is the feel/sound at impact? How much am I willing to spend? You should be asking yourself all of these questions before you decide which wedge is perfect for you. Everyone knows what they need and what they prefer in a club. For that reason, I am going to get straight to the point and start talking about the best wedges that you can buy in 2018.
Note: all links and pictures (except the ones for the Wilson Harmonized Wedge) will take you to eBay!
The Best Cheap Wedge: Wilson Harmonized
Odds are, you know whether this will be the wedge for you. If you don’t like spending much money, especially on golf clubs, then the Wilson Harmonized wedge is probably the one for you. It will get the job done. It will perform decently in every category, but it won’t excel in anything specific. So if you are looking for a wedge to get you through a few rounds every now and then, this is the one for you. But if you want a higher quality wedge, you’ll have to shell out some more money.
This wedge is decently forgiving, has a bit of spin on longer wedge shots, and has pretty good control all things considered. It’s by far the best wedge that you can buy if you are on a low budget. I have never used it before, but it is highly reviewed and nearly 1/3 of the price of a more premium wedge. For those reasons, I thought it would be helpful to list it in this article.
The Most Forgiving Wedge 2018: Cleveland CBX
Most modern wedges are very unforgiving, believe it or not. Most golfers play game improvement irons but use wedges that are designed more like an unforgiving, muscleback club. How much sense does that make? Just because it’s a wedge doesn’t mean that we should pick the most compact design on the market. However, it happens all of the time.
The Cleveland CBX wedge has a wide variety of lofts and bounces. The wedges are even more forgiving and slightly larger on less lofted wedges. For example, the 46 degree wedge has more forgiveness than the 60 degree lob wedge. Most irons are built this way as well, so it makes sense to continue the trend on our wedges as well!
The Cleveland CBX wedge is the first wedge to be designed from scratch as a cavity back design. That blows my mind honestly. I’m not sure why it has taken manufacturers this long to satisfy the high and mid handicappers who need more forgiveness on wedge shots. 76g of mass that what would be directly behind the sweet spot on a more traditional wedge was moved to the edges for a perimeter weighting design that offers more forgiveness. The sole and toplines are also a bit larger, which is a good sign for more forgiveness across the entire club face. Overall, the Cleveland CBX wedge gives golfers a larger margin for error and decreases the odds of chunked shots due to a wider sole.
The Best Feel & Distance Control Wedge: Cleveland RTX-3
If you are a good ballstriker, I would recommend the Cleveland RTX-3 wedge. It is a more traditional style wedge that offers more distance control but less forgiveness than the Cleveland CBX wedge. As long as you can hit the center of the club face, you will be rewarded with better feel (a quieter sound really) and unbeatable distance control. This is the wedge that I am currently playing. When I am on, I literally feel like I’ll birdie from everywhere when I have a wedge in my hands. The distance control is absolutely top notch, even better then the SM7 in my opinion.
Better golfers will like the sleeker profile and more muscleback-like design of the Cleveland RTX-3. Mishits will sound and feel noticeably louder at impact, so you can work on making sure that you are hitting the center of the face. This feedback is invaluable for better players. The Cleveland CBX wedge that I mentioned above, on the other hand, won’t necessarily give you the feedback that you are hitting the ball on the toe or heel that this club will do.
Perfectly struck wedge shots, especially longer ones, feel incredible at impact. The sound is so muted that you feel like you hardly hit a golf ball at all. For that reason, I would recommend either this wedge (or the SM7 for a more forgiving option) for better players.
The Most Spin & The Overall Cream of the Crop 2018 Wedge: Titleist Vokey SM7
For the best mix of control, feel, and greenside spin, you’ve gotta at least try the Titleist Vokey SM7. It is less forgiving than the Cleveland CBX wedge, but more forgiving than the Cleveland RTX-3. It doesn’t feel as great at impact as the RTX-3, but it is the best “overall” wedge for 2018. It does everything well, especially when it comes to greenside spin.
The grooves put so much backspin on the shots that you are sure to stop golf balls quickly or even spin them back a bit, depending on the greens that you are playing on. This wedge is one of the most expensive ones on the market today, but I would say it is well worth it. Vokey wedges are famous for excelling at green side spin and durability, two great attributes for a golf wedge!
It took just two weeks for the Titleist Vokey Sm7 wedge to become the #1 wedge on the PGA Tour. There are around 125 tour members playing the wedge as I write this article. Pros are obviously very picky when it comes to adding a new golf club to their bag, so it’s pretty obvious how big of a hit the SM7 wedge was for them. If it’s good enough for them, it’s definitely good enough for me and you!
Technically, each wedge is made to produce consistent distance and ball flight trajectory with incredible feel. The spin-milled grooves are designed with a more precise cut, meaning the SM7 wedge maximizes spin on each shot, no matter the distance.
The SM7 wedge have 7 different grind options. Here is how Mr. Vokey himself describes them:
- F Grind: Full sole designed primarily for full swings and square face shots. For that reason, F is the only grind available in the 46°-52° models. The 54°/56° F Grind is the most played sand wedge on the PGA Tour.
- S Grind: Design based on feedback from Steve Stricker, the S is best for square faced shots with a touch more versatility than the F Grind. Simple mechanics are best with this wedge.
- M Grind: The M grind is designed for players that like to rotate the clubface open and shut to manufacture shots around the green.
- D Grind: The player’s high bounce wedge, the new D Grind offers high measured bounce with the crescent shape of the M Grind for shot making versatility.
- K Grind: The highest bounce wedge in the lineup, the K Grind is the ultimate bunker club and the most forgiving wedge in the lineup for all shots.
- L Grind: The L Grind features a narrow crescent shape allowing maximum greenside versatility, but it is the least forgiving wedge in the lineup.