Wedges are most definitely NOT easy clubs to hit. They require a lot of practice, just like any other part of your game.
The next time you go to a packed driving range, I encourage you to look around a few different times. See how many people are actually practicing with their wedges. Many players skip right over them, or just use them to warm up for a few shots and never come back to them again. As you might know, roughly HALF of your shots in golf come from within 100 yards. Sure, some of those are your putts and chips. But a good many come from wedges shots from 40-100 yards. That is a distance that many golfers struggle with.
Take a good hard look at your game. Put your ego aside and try to look at it from an outside perspective. How many times do you miss the green from 50-100 yards? Do you ever get up and down from that distance? Do you skull or chunk many wedge shots? Be honest with yourself. We need to determine where you are losing a lot of your shots. I know I personally used to lose a lot of shots from this distance, as I simply didn’t practice them enough on the range.
So, here is my advice for anyone that struggles with their wedge game:
- Practice it more on the range. Stop avoiding your wedges. Make them a priority in your game, just like the pros do! For the next few range sessions, hit one wedge shot for each non-wedge shot that you hit. For example, after warming up, maybe you would hit a 7 iron, wedge, driver, wedge, hybrid, wedge, 3W, wedge, etc. It will take a lot of focus and self control, but I promise it will help! I realized that a lot of my previous lack of confidence in my wedge game was because I was simply avoiding it on the range and in practice.
- Find a good short game practice facility. You might have to look around, as not all golf courses or facilities will have this privilege. Look for a place that has a large chipping/pitching/wedge area. I’m lucky enough that a couple local courses near me have one. One of these areas stretches to about 90 yards, and the other one to about 80 yards. Find a good time where you won’t be bothering other people. Preferably a time where not many people are even at the course, such as late at night, early in the mornings, or during less than perfect weather conditions. Get a bucket of balls and hit as many varying wedge shots from tons of different lies, angles, and distances. Never hit two of the same wedge shots if you can. Hit to different pins each time at least. This is better than using the range as you can go for as long as you need to, you’ll take your time, there will be a tad bit more pressure, and you’ll save money on range balls!
- Get the most forgiving wedge that you can. Take a good luck at your current wedge. Is it just not suited for you? If the club face is a tad on the small side, you might want a slightly more forgiving wedge. Is the wedge a blade design, meaning that it is very thin and there is not perimeter weighting behind the club face? If so, you might as well go ahead and get a wedge that is much easier to hit. With a traditional, blade-designed wedge, you basically have to hit near the dead center of the face for a solid strike. A cavity back wedge (like the three listed below) are much more forgiving due to their perimeter weighting!
For the rest of the article, we are going to be talking about the most forgiving wedges that you can buy, depending on your budget. Each of these cavity back wedges will be slightly oversized and have perimeter weighting around the clubhead. This is great for distributing the weight evenly across the club face, so that even off center hits will still have good distance control and direction.
Note: all of the following links/pictures (if click on) will take you to the respective listings on eBay.
The “Cheap” Forgiving Wedge: Cleveland RTX-3 VLG Cavity Back
Not going to lie, I actually had to double check the price of this club to make sure I wasn’t making some dumb mistake. The Cleveland RTX-3 VLG Cavity Back wedge is currently under $100 and I didn’t expect that at all. Hopefully it is still under that price when you check it, if you are interested.
Anyway, I was expecting to put a Wilson or some other lower tier brand’s wedge for this category winner. But now that CLEVELAND, my favorite wedge company, has a club under $100 that is focused on forgiveness, it’s a no brainer.
This club has patent pending free balancing technology. They basically took nearly 10 grams of mass from the hosel and distributed it evenly behind the face for more forgiveness.
Here’s a quick review of the important points:
- Patent pending free balancing technology for more forgiveness
- V sole grinds for better control and ball/turf interaction (more bounce, less chunked wedge shots)
- New milled rotex clubface for increased spin
- Lowest priced of the three listed here by a decent margin
The Best Value Forgiving Wedge: Cleveland CBX
Looking for the best forgiving wedge for the money? Then look no further than the Cleveland CBX wedge. If you play cavity back irons and really enjoy their level of forgiveness, you might want to carry that over and get cavity back wedges as well. They work so well because they distribute the weight evenly across the face, which enlarges the sweet spot considerably. Blade-like wedges are similar to blade irons — you have to hit them near the dead center of the face for a good result. If you are not playing much, you might as well help yourself out and add some forgiveness to your wedge game.
When it comes to price, distance control, and forgiveness, this is the wedge with the best mix of the three.
- wider toe for maximum forgiveness; narrow heel for versatility
- patent pending free balancing technology for improved forgiveness on mishits
- tour zip grooves for more spin on the green
- great stock shafts, as you’ll always find in Cleveland wedges
- the best bang for your buck
- larger sole (& more bounce) for less digging into the ground- perfect for those with steeper swings
The Overall #1 Most Forgiving Wedge: Cleveland Smart Sole 3 Wedge S
Looking for the absolute #1 most forgiving wedge? The Cleveland Smart Sole 3 might not be the most attractive, but there is no doubting that it is the most forgiving. The large topline and sole are great evidence of this. With all of the weight behind the club face, you’ll be sure to end up with half decent shots even with terrible contact on the club face.
Where this wedge shines is in club-turf interactions. The club will bounce right off of nearly any surface, ensuring better contact with the ball.
With these two characteristics considered, it’s clear to see how easy it is to hit this wedge. If you can get over the look and the price tag (which really isn’t that bad), then I’m sure this wedge will make a great home in your bag.
- overall, easiest wedge to hit
- three tiered sole for an improved contact with the turf
- feel balancing technology (again) for better results on mishits away from the center of the face
- don’t have to open the face as much on chips, pitches, and bunker shots
- great playability from all lies due to the increase in bounce