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Best Golf Sand Wedges 2024

The best sand wedge in the game gives you confidence around the greens. Your sand wedge needs to be one of the clubs that you can trust and even enjoy hitting. Many golfers are nervous with a sand wedge in their hands but this doesn’t have to be the case.

Golf sand wedge technology may not change quite as quickly as golf driver technology. However, an optimized center of gravity, innovative groove technology, and even some quirky designs mean there are lots of options out there to help you improve.

When shopping for wedges, I encourage you to think about the specific performance you are looking for, whether it is improved distance control, more spin, or even extra forgiveness. There are wedges out there that will appeal to you. Here are our choices for the best sand wedges in 2023.

Titleist Vokey SM9

Titleist Sm 9 wedge in M grind
  • Forgiveness 7/10
  • Distance Control 9/10
  • Spin 10/10
  • Value 8/10

The Titleist Vokey SM9 takes our top spot as the best sand wedge. However, if there is a specific performance you are looking for, it’s good to consider some of these other top choices. One of the things that set the Vokey SM9 apart is that there are a variety of options for golfers looking for specific performance on the course. The grind, loft, and wedge choices allow you to truly fine-tune your shot game, something that not all manufacturers can provide.

Forgiveness, Distance, Control, and Spin

The Vokey is not the most forgiving wedge in the game; it’s also not terribly difficult to hit. Let’s face it, at some point, all golfers need to learn the fundamentals of a solid wedge shot; if you have reached that point in your golf career, the Vokey forgiveness shouldn’t be a problem.

With the SM9 release, Vokey wanted to work specifically on a lower trajectory with increased distance control. This is why so many golfers on the PGA Tour switched to the SM9 as soon as it came out. It allowed these players to keep their shots under control while benefiting from the impressive Vokey feel.

For so many years, it felt like the golf wedge shots had to be hit high to get spin; this is no longer the case. The deeper grooves also help to improve overall chances of getting spin on your shots. Remember that spin performance is better when you also choose the correct golf ball.

Technical Info

The Vokey SM9 has 23 different models to choose from. It’s a lot, and it takes time to sort through all of the different choices you have here. When it comes to the best sand wedges in the game, there are several you could go for within the Vokey line. There are lofts ranging from 46 to 62 degrees and six different grind options.

The grind and bounce options can take a little time to figure out.

Titleist Vokey SM9 grind options

  • F-Grind: The F grind is an all-purpose grind; this one can help with full shots and a square face.
  • M-Grind: The M Grind is designed for players that like to rotate the club faces open and closed; if you like to experiment with the club, you may want to try an M Grind, especially in a higher loft.
  • S-Grind: The S Grind features a full sole that is best for neutral to firm conditions.
  • D-Grind: The D grind blends versatility and forgiveness; if you have a steep angle of attack, this could be a good choice.
  • K-Grind: The K Grind is the highest bounce wedge in the lineup and is designed to help players out of a bunker.
  • L-Grind: The L Grind is the lowest bounce option and an excellent choice for firm/links conditions on the course.

This is a lot of choice if you’re new to buying wedges! Opt for the F or M if you are not sure – both are great options for playing a variety of shots and playing different golf courses.

On Course Performance

If you think you can’t spin the ball on the golf course, try something like the Vokey SM9 and see if it fixes the issue. The SM9 has a soft and responsive feel, yet you still feel in control. I like hitting approach shots with the SM9, but it performs incredibly well from all settings around the green

Golf Insider Verdict

The Vokey wedges stand out for a reason, and the SM9 truly has performance that puts it into the category of being the best sand wedge in the game. If your strike is solid and you’re looking for versatility and spin, the Titleist SM 9 will be a wedge you fall in love with.

TaylorMade Milled Grind 3 (MG3)

TaylorMade Milled Grind 3 in profile
  • Forgiveness 7/10
  • Distance control 9/10
  • Spin 10/10
  • Value 8/10

Spin is a feature that matters in the best sand wedge on the market. If you are looking for more spin but also want a clean-looking leading edge and some versatility in your short game, the TaylorMade Milled Grind 3 is a club to look into. Although you won’t have the sole grind options or bounce angle choices you get from other manufacturers, the TaylorMade Milled Grind 3 does what it claims it can do.

Forgiveness, distance control & spin

The more spin you can get, the easier it is to control your shots. The MG3 from TaylorMade is very workable and can help control the launch as well as the distance o the shots around the greens because of the spin the wedge is capable of creating.

The new TaylorMade Milled Grind 3 wedge features ZTP-17 Grooves and Raised Micro Ribs. This technology has improved the connection between the face of the club and the golf ball. Some players find that the sleek look of the club face and leading edge make the TaylorMade MG3 a bit intimidating, but forgiveness was not the main concern here.

One of the things that stands out about the TaylorMade MG3 is that your golf game should notice more consistency because of the higher spin rates.

Technical info

If you are smart about the bounce options in the TaylorMade MG3, you will notice that the forgiveness will likely increase a bit. Remember that sole grinds aren’t an option here, but you do have a choice between low bounce, standard bounce, and high bounce. There is an option for a sand wedge in each of these categories.

If you want our advice here, I would think about going for the standard bounce in the sand wedge. Typically speaking, you will still be able to generate plenty of spin, but you can use the club in your short game as well as on long approach shots to the hole.

Low Bounce: 56º, 58º, 60º

Standard Bounce: 46º,50º,52º,54º,56º, 58º, 60º

High Bounce: 52º, 54º, 56º, 58º, 60º

On course performance

When a wedge starts winning awards as the best for spin, we have to get out there and check it out. Especially when competing with other golf wedges like the Callaway Full Face and the Titleist Vokey SM9. The MG3 lives up to this reputation with full wedge shots and shorter shots around the green.

I wouldn’t exactly call this a game improvement wedge; it’s noticeably not as forgiving as some others on the market. However, for golfers that are ready for more spin and to get the ball to stop exactly where they want it, the MG3 is a smart choice.

Golf Insider verdict

This one is all about spin. TaylorMade keeps it simple here; if you want to grab on the greens, these are the wedges to choose. With options for lob wedges, gap wedges, and more, you can easily fill your bag with the MG3s.

Callaway Full Toe Jaws Raw Wedge

Callaway JAWS Full Toe Chrome Wedge Golf Clubs
  • Forgiveness 8/10
  • Distance Control 7/10
  • Spin 9/10
  • Value 7/10

Control is an incredibly important feature to look for in the best sand wedges on the market. When you can keep the ball flight down just a little bit, it’s amazing what the results around the green can be. With the Full Toe Jaws Raw design, you get the best of the Callaway technology over the last few years combined into an impressive and consistent wedge.

Forgiveness, Distance, Control, and Spin

Callaway took the full-face JAWS grooves and combined them with the raw face technology to maximize spin out of the sand and out of the grass. In addition, the groove in groove technology is slightly offset to increase overall friction across the face of the club. The result here is better spin and control at the same time.

Callaway's full-face grooves in the Jaws Raw wedges
Showing Callaway’s full-face grooves in the Jaws Raw wedges

The Callaway Jaws MD 5 wedges are some of the best in the game, but this Full Face technology takes performance to a new level. Specifically designed for those short shots, and even flop shots if you sort side yourself, the Full Face Jaws is probably one of your best ways to escape with a par.

We noticed that for players that struggle to hit a 20-yard shot, followed by a 60-yard shot, followed by a 40 yard shot, the Callaway Jaws Full Toe Raw made this process a bit simpler and gives the impression that you can use all of the club face (if needed).

Technical Info

The Callaway Full Toe Jaws Raw Wedge is only available starting at 54 degrees and going up to 64 degrees. So this is really a choice for the golfers that need the higher lofted sand wedge.

The bounce options are just 10 or 12 degrees, but you can order any of these wedges custom from Callaway with the specifications that you need.

On Course Performance

On the golf course, the Full Toe almost felt like the most versatile of any wedges on our list. If you know that your game needs a bit more variety in the shots you hit, the Callaway Full Face helps you pull it off. I felt creative with this wedge and not afraid to attempt different types of shots. For the shorter shots, however, this isn’t as refined when we get back to hitting shots of 50 yards and over.

Golf Insider Verdict

The golfers looking for spin and versatility within 50 yards will enjoy the Callaway Jaws Full Face Raw offers. This sand wedge generates spin and shows off the importance of versatility and creativity in the short game.

xE1 Sand and Lob Wedge

xE1 Sand wedge with large sole plate
  • Forgiveness 9 /10
  • Distance control 7/10
  • Spin 7/10
  • Value 7/10

Getting out of the sand trap is a real hang up for some players. Without a forgiving sand wedge that encourages higher launch, some players take three or four shots out of a bunker. Clearly, this has a tremendous impact on the total score for the day. Although we can’t tell you the xE1 sand wedge is the best golf wedge on the market, it’s got some great features for getting a golf ball out of a bunker.

Forgiveness, distance control & spin

The xE1 golf wedge has a high loft. This is one of the first key features needed to hit great bunker shots. Most bunker edges are designed to catch a golf ball that does not launch high enough; with the xE1, that should be a concern.

Spin from the xE1 is good; it’s certainly not the best on the market. In addition, the xE1 is not the most versatile club in the bag. When you look at something like the Vokey SM9 wedges, you can learn how to hit this wedge from almost any type of lie or situation; with the xE1, that’s not really the case. However, this is the best sand wedge for getting out of the bunker; it’s not the best for approach shots into the green.

Technical info

Most golf sand wedges are around 56 degrees. The lofts on the xE1 are 59 or 65. The idea, here again, is that this golf club was created to be a bunker solution, and it does quite well with that job. I like to look at this as more of a tool for golfers that have a hold-up with the sand. You will still need a different type of wedge for your pitching wedge and gap wedge.

In addition, don’t expect any bounce or grind options here; with the xE1, there is just one standard model in a wedge flex shaft.

On course performance

The xE1 will be your go-to choice for wedge shots out of the bunker.

We tried this wedge from other areas on the course, and the higher loft can be helpful when there is very little green to work with. However, the overall performance is best when hitting out of a greenside bunker. The greenside spin is fair but not the best on the market, and the overall feel is about average.

Golf Insider verdict

The sand throws some golfers off. It’s understandable, as you do need to make some adjustments to hit great bunker shots. However, the xE1 makes that process considerably easier and is a great choice for a higher loft sand wedge.

Cleveland RTX Zipcore

Cleveland RTX Zipcore 56º wedge in Satin finish
  • Forgiveness 9/10
  • Distance control 7/10
  • Spin 8/10
  • Value 10/10

Higher handicappers tend to ignore their wedge game a bit. They settle for a beginner-style sand wedge or something cheap that simply gets the ball on the green. However, if you want to hit really great bunker shots or get the golf ball to spin on the green and then stop, the Cleveland RTX Zipcore is a perfect choice. This wedge mixes what high handicappers need with what they ultimately want to do around the greens.

Forgiveness, distance control & spin

The big focus in the Cleveland RTX Zipcore is the improved center of gravity and mass distribution. The center of gravity has been shifted lower to create more spin, a higher launch and more forgiveness. This has been paired with increased heel and toe weighting to reduce twisting on off-center hits. Both these are big wins if you struggle with inconsistent strikes from 10 – 80 yards.

The RTX Zipcore is one of the cleaner looking sand wedges on the market. It has a great style to it and can be hit from a tight lie, and the grooves are deeper than in previous golf wedges from Cleveland.

To help prolong the life of these sand wedges, they were heat treated and sealed so that the grooves remained sharp. Cleveland has been developing this Zipcore line for a few years, and this is certainly the best one that they have come out with to date.

Technical info

One of the best benefits for golfers looking for a new wedge is how simple Cleveland makes their loft and grind combinations. If bounce, grind, and overall loft gapping stress you out, you can thank Cleveland for how simple they make it. Cleveland offers mid, low, and high-bounce wedges. The high bounce wedges are called full bounce and are only available in the 60 degrees in this particular wedge series. Most golfers will find that the best sand wedge is a mid-bounce 56-degree sand wedge.

  • 50º (MID)
  • 52º (MID)
  • 54º (MID)
  • 56º (LOW, MID)
  • 58º (LOW, MID)
  • 60º (LOW, MID, FULL)

On course performance

Many golfer expect, and need, a bit of forgiveness when it comes to on-course performance with a sand wedge. The RTX ensures just enough with the optimized center of gravity and mass distribution. However, there is also plenty of control here.

Golf Insider Verdict

If you are after a sand wedge that offers forgiveness in a sleek design and high levels of spin, check out the Cleveland RTX wedges. This will be a serious upgrade if this is your first venture into a premium wedge.

Ping Glide 4.0

Ping Glide 4.0 wedge in 56º
  • Forgiveness 8/10
  • Distance control 9/10
  • Spin 9/10
  • Value 7/10

One of the key characteristics of a great sand wedge is the ability to generate spin out of the rough, especially wet rough. For many years golfers kind of gave up on the idea that they would ever be able to spin it from the rough; with the Ping Glide 4.0, this is not a concern. Some of the best technology on the market, an incredible feel, and a clean look set this wedge apart from others.

Forgiveness, distance control & spin

The Ping Glide 4.0 is made with an 8620 Carbon Steel body. The club has all premium components so expect pricing to be a little higher. This is one of those clubs that makes the price a bit easier to justify. After hitting a few shots out of a bunker or the wet grass, you will see what you are paying for.

With the Ping Glide 4.0, you will notice a new insert installed in the wedge. The insert is there to help dampen vibration and improve the overall feel. Although the Ping Glide 4.0 can work as a tour-level wedge, it also has a bit of forgiveness for golfers that may need it.

When I played with the Ping Glide 4.0, I noticed that the sand wedge had a soft yet reactive feel. It’s not soft enough that you feel like you need to go after the ball. I have always found that the best sand wedge on the market allows for a bit of forgiveness but a slightly firm feel for easier distance control. The Ping Glide 4.0 offers that.

Technical info

The Ping Glide 4 comes in lofts from 46 up to 60 degrees. There are four different wedge grind options that only help this golf club appeal to more than just the tour-level golfer.

  • E Grind
  • T Grind
  • S Grind
  • W Grind

The S Grind is the option that will fit the majority of players. It is the standard grind that can make a really strong option for sand wedges, as it is versatile. W grind was designed specifically for bunkers shots. If you are looking for a new sand wedge because your bunker play needs improvement, this could be the one.

As always with Ping, take a look at their only fitting too before you decide these are the best golf wedges for your game.

On course performance

The on-course performance of the Ping Glide 4.0 helps you see why this is a tour-proven design. As great as this golf wedge is for spin and control, the thing that stands out the most is the performance from the wet grass. If you have given up on spinning the ball from a tough lie, think again.

Golf Insider verdict

If you find yourself in trouble often, this is one of the best sand wedges for moving the ball out of the rough or wet grass without losing spin. In addition, Ping brings an incredible feel and enough forgiveness to make this work for many players.

Callaway Mack Daddy CB Wedge

Callaway Mack Daddy CB Wedge in profile view
  • Forgiveness 10/10
  • Distance control 7/10
  • Spin 7/10
  • Value 9/10

Last on our list, but certainly not least, is the Callaway Mack Daddy CB Wedge. This is a cavity back design that has been on the market for a few years now. We are impressed with the forgiveness this wedge offers and the number of mid to high handicap players that it can really help.

Forgiveness, distance control & spin

I’ve always been kind of against the cavity back wedge technology. I’ve had so much more luck with a blade-style wedge that I often feel like a cavity back will hold me back a bit too much. However, when I took the Mack Dady CB to the golf course, I was pleasantly surprised. The forgiveness is certainly there, but distance control and spin were not issues.

This sand wedge is very easy to hit, regardless of the lie that you may have. Although these are not the highest-spinning wedges, they are certainly more forgiving than other wedges in the game.

In addition, where I expected the wedge itself to be a bit bulky, it’s not. I won’t tell you it’s as clean as the SM9 or the MG3, but it looks good.

For golfers that play cavity back irons, these wedges will transition perfectly from the nine iron or pitching wedge to the sand wedges and lob wedge. Spin control is good, and high handicap golfers will probably notice the ability to at least stop the ball on the green.

The cavity back style wedge does not always provide the same level of versatility that a blade style wedge has, so keep that in mind if you like to be creative in your short game.

Technical info

The Callaway Mack Daddy CB comes in many loft options. If you want more than just your sand wedge in the Mack Daddy CB style, that won’t be an issue. There are two grind options for golfers to choose from. One is a W grind, and the other is a full grind.

On course performance

The overall forgiveness is what helps these golf clubs stand out. Out of the rough, it’s easy to move the ball along (although the spin won’t be that high). Even in the bunker, the Mack Daddy CB helps to get the ball out with ease. If you have ever played the cavity back Cleveland wedges, the overall on course performance is very similar.

Golf Insider verdict

Most golfers know if their game needs simplicity. If you find that a more forgiving sand wedge could make the game of golf a little simple, the Mack Daddy CB is a good choice. Whether you are looking for better full swing shots or need help out of the tight lies around the green, the Mack Daddy CB will be there for you.

Frequently asked questions

Here are a few of the most commonly asked questions for golfers looking for a new sand wedge.

Is 54, 56 or 58º better for a sand wedge?

Most players find the 56 degree wedge to be the best sand wedge. However, a lower-lofted sand wedge like the 54 could be a better choice if you have game-improvement golf irons that have a lower-lofted pitching wedge. But our advice would be to opt for a 56º and find a 50º to 52º gap wedge.

Do I need a graphite shaft in my wedge?

The graphite shaft is best for slower-swing-speed golfers that need a bit of help when it comes to distance. If you want to use your sand wedge as an approach club and the rest of your irons have graphite shafts this might be a smart option.

A graphite shaft will often make the club head feel heavier (alters the swing weight). This can also help golfers tweak spin and launch angles too. If you want to explore this option we suggest heading for a wedge custom-fitting session.

What is the best wedge for a high swing speed?

High swing speed golfers tend to do well with the Titleist Vokey SM9 because of the ability to control ball flight. Many higher swing-speed players struggle to keep the ball down, and it balloons a bit in the air; the SM9 helps to keep the flight down. Try to match this with the shafts you have in your irons. A stiff, heavy shaft, like the Dynamic Gold S400 shafts, is a good place to start.

Do pitching wedges and sand wedges have to match?

Your pitching wedges and sand wedges do not need to match. Many golfers find that a good sand wedge has much different technology than a standard pitching wedge, and they choose to have a variety in their bag. Pay attention to shaft and grip selection to have some consistency in the clubs.

What loft sand wedge do most pros use?

Most professional golfers use a 56 degree sand wedge. There are some players that use a 54 or a 58, but that is typically done when they have a loft-gapping situation they are working on.

Is a high bounce wedge good for a sand wedge?

As a rule of thumb sand wedges have the most bounce out of any wedge (a low-bounce sand wedge is still 8º). Most manufacturers offer high bounce options (12-14º) too. The higher bounce helps when the sand is fluffy, and the turf is wet. For thinner turf or hard pan bunker shots, the lower bounce wedge could be better.

Final Thoughts

We will end this by saying that the sand wedge should be one of your favorite golf clubs in the bag. If it is not, make this the year that you will change that.

With so much great technology on the market, don’t be afraid to move on from a wedge that isn’t working. The Titleist Vokey SM9 stands out as the best overall golf wedge in 2023, but it is certainly not the only choice. Think about the specific skills you are looking for, and you will have no trouble finding a match.

Happy golfing.

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Britt Olizarowicz is a former teaching and Class A PGA professional with more than 25 years spent with a golf club in her hand. Britt is a small business owner, author, and freelance golf expert that knows this game inside and out. She lives in Savannah, GA, with her husband and two young children.

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