New year, new wedges… right? Doubt it. You’ve probably been playing the same wedges for the past 5 years. Hundreds of rounds. Hundreds of pitch shots on the practice chipping green (just kidding, we all know you don’t practice your short game).
It’s probably about time you got some new wedges. A top of the line new driver will cost you $400, but you can get a couple of wedges for around $200. A much better investment. It will also encourage you to practice your short game a little more. We all know you could use it.
As I do in all of my articles, I’ll split this article up to make it more useful. You can find the category you care about the most. Let’s do it!
Oh, before we start: these links/pictures will take you to eBay if you click on them.
The Best Overall Wedge for 2019: Cleveland RTX-4
Many wedges excel in one category: they are super forgiving, or put the most spin on the ball, or feel great at impact. But you don’t want a wedge that’s good at just one thing. You want one that is overall a great club. For that reason, the best overall wedge goes to Cleveland RTX-4.
I nearly always recommend Cleveland wedges over the more well known Titleist Vokey wedges. They look great, and feel incredible at impact. I ended up buying around 50 brand new wedges from a rep going out of business. Safe to say I kept a few to myself and sold the rest off.
A well struck wedge shot with the RTX-4 wedges truly feels incredible, just like a well struck iron shot with a a blade.
The amount (and control) of spin is great. I tend to spin Titleist Vokey wedges a tad bit too much, resulting in me being afraid to really “go after” a wedge if I need to. I’d have to club up and hit a more controlled shot. Clevelands spin a tad bit less on full shots, but still check up incredibly well on short chip and pitch shots.
Off center strikes with the Cleveland RTX-4 will be penalized with worse feel and a tad bit of distance loss. But, in general, mishits still end up just fine.
Overall, if I were to buy some new wedges in 2019, I would pick up a couple Cleveland RTX-4 wedges.
The Best Wedge for Spin: Titleist Vokey SM7
If you want a wedge to generate the most spin possible, the Titltiest Vokey SM7 is probably what you are looking for. I got to demo the SM7 for a few days, and I was blown away by how much spin I got on all of my wedge shots.
The downside: Surely the spin will slowly decrease after a while (as the grooves get worn down), but I was simply generating too much spin on my full wedge shots. If you want to impress your friends by spinning a ball back (even on slower greens), this is probably the wedge for you.
The upside: Perhaps I’m a little too harsh on the Vokeys. They are great clubs. You can simply look in the tour guys’ bags and see that. I will say that I don’t hit as many greens as I would like. For that reason, I’m scrambling all day some rounds. Knowing that I can still knock it close even when I short sided myself is nice. With other wedges, I know the ball will roll out no matter how well I hit the chip shot. With Vokeys around the greens, I can and it near the flag and know it will stop close.
The Most Forgiving Wedge: Cleveland Smart Sole
Listen: golf is all about how many times you hit the ball in a round. No one cares what you are playing with. Sure: compact clubs look sexier. But, if you aren’t hitting the center of the club face, you’d shoot better scores with more forgiving clubs. And that includes wedges, not just irons!
The Cleveland Smart Sole wedges have had incredible reviews in the past, and that has continued into 2019. They have much wider soles, allowing a greater margin for error on your wedge shots. There is more weight evenly distributed behind the club face, so even off-center strikes will fly well.
I would go as far as to say this: if you are gaming super game improvement irons, you should be gaming a wedge like this. I would call this a “super game improvement” wedge. As you get better and improve your ball striking, you can upgrade to a more compact wedge. For now, though, stick with a more forgiving wedge that will improve the quality of your shots on average.
The Best “Cheap” Option: Wilson Harmonized
I’m all about saving money. That’s why I started this website: to help other golfers save money too. For that reason, I always include a best value or cheap option for golf clubs. They are lower in price, but the quality is hardly any worse than the clubs 3 to 4x its price.
The best cheap option, which is one that I’ve mentioned in the past numerous times, is the Wilson Harmonized wedge. I know what you are thinking. You could NEVER catch me gaming a Wilson club. But, it’s a simple truth. The wedge is decent quality. If you are on a tight budget, it’s a great option. It’ll save you $50 or so compared to a higher end model. I don’t know about you, but I can do a lot with $50.
The Wilson Harmonized wedge is not going to perform as great as the Cleveland CBX. It won’t spin as much (not even close) as the Titleist Vokey SM7. It won’t be as forgiving as the Cleveland Smart Sole. However, it’s decent. That’s the best word to describe it. Dollar for dollar, it’s a good wedge to buy in 2019.