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Best Golf Wedges For Beginners 2024

If you are new to the game of golf, changes are a great golf wedge is not your biggest concern as of yet. However, after a few weeks of playing the game, you will learn the importance of being able to hit great wedge shots and hitting those chip shots close.

Most beginner golf sets have large, chunky (even kind of ugly) wedges. In addition, these wedges have large gaps between the lofts, leaving you a shortage of shots to play on the course.

The good news is that there are some great options, and a great wedge, or two, is a good thing to invest in. We have put together our favorite choices for the best golf wedges for beginners. We made sure to include a few wedges that have slightly lower costs; after all, you will need several of them.

The best golf wedges for beginners are:

Cleveland RTX Zipcore

Cleveland RTX ZipCore Tour Satin Mid Wedge Golf Club
  • Forgiveness 9/10
  • Distance control 7/10
  • Spin 8/10
  • Value 10/10

Cleveland has always been one of our favorite manufacturers of the best golf wedges for beginners. With Cleveland wedges, you can expect great feel, spin, and even some distance control. This latest RTX ZIpCore is a brand-new release with some improvements in forgiveness and control.

Forgiveness, distance control & spin

Cleveland continues to work on optimizing the center of gravity and moment of interia (MOI) in each of its wedges. The center of gravity has been shifted down to create a higher launch and spin. This has been combined with more weight placed towards the heel and toe of this wedge to minimize the twisting on off-center hits – this is a great plus for beginner golfers.

With some golf wedges for beginners, the leading edge can be a little clunky and cause players to lose confidence. However, the Cleveland ZipCore is clean looking even if the club head is a bit larger than a premium blade like the Titleist Vokey SM9.

Groove technology in the RTX is also greatly improved. The key here was to make the grooves sharper, deeper, and narrower. This leads to better performance out of the rough or in wet weather. If you are still struggling to spin the ball as a new player, this is a good option to consider.

The heat treatment that Cleveland used on the RTX ZipCore is a new technology for them. Expect that your grooves will last a little longer, and maximum spin is attainable with a wedge like this in the bag. For golfers that play a lot, you will still need to have the clubs regrooved at some point, but it will take quite a few rounds before you end up in that situation.

Technical info

Cleveland chooses to make loft and grind options simple in their wedges. They have low, medium, and full bounce options. Mid-bounce wedges tend to be a great place for beginners to start.

The lofts on the RTX Zipcore make it a good choice for gap wedge, sand wedge, and lob wedge. However, for the pitching wedge, you may need to look for something like the CBX.

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

On course performance

The Cleveland RTX Zipcore is our favorite for all around performance on the golf course. Whether you are trying to chip out of the rough, stuck in a bunker, or hitting a clean shot off of a tight lie, the wedge is just an all-around good choice.

Golf Insider Verdict

Beginners that are looking for a wedge that will last them until they are moving in the high handicapper or even mid handicapper range will love what the RTX Zipcore has to offer. With just enough choices for finish and bounce/loft options, you can make this work with most beginner setups.

TaylorMade Milled Grind 3 (MG3)

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

Some beginners are in it to make their first bogey; others are already thinking about what it would be like to break 80. For those working on going low, spin is one of the most important factors you can look for in a wedge.

The TaylorMade Milled Grind 3 is known for spin across all of its lofts and bounces, and luckily there are a bunch of them to choose from.

Forgiveness, distance control & spin

We chose the TaylorMade Milled Grind 3 as one of the best golf wedges for beginners who are looking for increased spin. However, we want to be sure that all beginner golfers understand that this is not necessarily a beginner golfer’s wedge.

There are several players on the PGA Tour, including Collin Morikawa, that have these wedges in their bags. Essentially you get a ton of technology here but be prepared for a little less forgiveness.

The classic blade style MG3 has what is called a Thick, Thin Design. This design allows for the optimization of the center of gravity. The end results are precise flight and an impressive feel. Essentially, golfers can get the best of both worlds by going with a slightly thicker club head but a thin clubface.

Spin is how the TaylorMade MG3 got its spot on our list. With the new ZTP-17 Groove, there are steep side walls and a sharp edge to help maximize total spin. In addition, the Raised Micro Ribs are placed strategically between the grooves to encourage greater spin.

Available in a Raw Tour Face option, you can benefit from some of the highest spin in the game for your chip shots. Of course, we now know that raw faces on wedges don’t necessarily spin all that much more; however, some players claim they have a better feel.

Technical info

The TaylorMade MG3 wedges are not the most forgiving wedges in our lineup. However, sometimes choosing the proper bounce can help improve overall forgiveness in the wedge game. The MG3 comes in three different options a low, standard, and high bounce wedge.

Choose wedges with standard bounce for the majority o your shots, but it’s best to have at least one high-bounce option for burner shots and hitting out of the rough. Some of the best wedges for beginners do not utilize bounce enough to increase forgiveness, but you won’t worry about that with the MG3.

Low Bounce: 56º, 58º, 60º

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

High Bounce: 52º, 54º, 56º, 58º, 60º

On course performance

Our favorite on-course use of the TaylorMade MG3 wedge is for control. When you want maximum spin to stop your ball on the green, this is the club that will do it. I like having lots of spin in my sand wedges to predict and plan shots around the green. A beginner golfer should start to do the same.

Golf Insider verdict

Are you new to the sport but a bit techy and on a mission to become a great player? If you are a beginner golfer who has a good short game and consistent strike, the TaylorMade MG3 is a good fit. These wedges are an investment if you need more than one in your bag, but you can play with them until you make your debut on the PGA Tour.

PXG 0311 Forged

PXG 0311 Forged sand wedge in 58º
  • Forgiveness 8/10
  • Distance control 9/10
  • Spin 7/10
  • Value 8/10

PXG started out by saying they were only going to make the most premium golf clubs on the market. Here we are just a few years later, with wedges for less than $150 and drives for less than $300. We can see how that worked out!

However, the good news about these golf clubs is that even though this is a newer brand with much less experience, they have started to make some clubs that compete rather well against the top brands in the name; the PXG 0311 is one of the most consistent wedges we’ve tested.

Forgiveness, distance control & spin

The PXG 0311 is the most consistent of the wedges for new golfers. We noticed that with the built in forgiveness and distance control, even the dreaded lob wedges seem to respond quite well. These are blade wedges with a forged design, so the feel is also going to be quite good, especially for the price.

With CNC-milled grooves, you will find impressive ball control and spin from the PXG 0311. It’s not the most accurate wedge in the game, but when we tested it, the distance control was there. The consistency seems to come from the design of the club head and the fact that you are reaching the legal limit in both spin and forgiveness factors.

The PXG 0311 uses an 8620 soft carbon steel in its manufacturing process. The impact feels much more like a premium wedge, something that high handicappers and beginners will benefit from. In addition, this nice feel does help breed more consistency in the game.

I’m not a huge fan of the single-bounce option. I understand it’s versatile, but for a forgiving wedge like this, I would have liked to have seen a high-bounce option as well.

One downside of the PXG 0311 is that you won’t have much luck finding a pitching wedge; the lowest loft here is a 52, and the highest is a 60.

Technical info

The PXG 0311 Forged wedges are designed with just one versatile bounce. This improves the price and makes this one of the best wedges for beginners looking for simplicity. As your game improves, you may find that the best wedge for you will have different grind and bounce options.

  • 52º
  • 54º
  • 56º
  • 58º
  • 60º

On course performance

If one of your wedge shots comes up short and the next flies over the green, chances are you need some consistency. Whether it is on bunker shots or a greenside chip, knowing what your club will do and benefiting from that consistency is a tremendous benefit that the PXG 0311 can provide.

Golf Insider verdict

PXG has been a bit of a roller coaster to watch, but they are settling in now and finding their place in the market. There is no question that these PXG 0311 wedges improve your consistency with shots around the green and approach the green.

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

The Callaway Mack Daddy CB is not the newest release on the market, and we are well aware of that. However, when it comes to forgiving golf wedges, you may be surprised by the performance this cavity back wedge has to offer. Callaway introduces this club as an alternative to the Mack Daddy Jaws wedges that may have better spin, but they are blade wedges with much less forgiveness.

Forgiveness, distance control & spin

I recently got to try one of the Mack Daddy CB wedges on the golf course. I’ll be completely honest I was setting the bar pretty low for this wedge. I had seen the standard wedge flex cavity back wedges like this in action before and was not overly impressed.

However, as soon as I set up to hit the Mack Daddy, I was surprised by how clean it looked. It’s not at all clunky and looks nothing like a traditional beginner golf wedge.

After playing with it for several holes, I noted that it was simple to hit out of a variety of lies, had a great feel around the greens, and the consistency was quite good. I won’t tell you it spins back like a Vokey or a Callaway Jaws wedge, but if you have enough swing speed, you can get a little backward zip with the Mack Daddy CB.

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.

Technical info

The Callaway Mack Daddy CB comes in so many loft options that you can easily find four of these to put in your bag. Lofts start at 46 and increase by two degrees until you get to 60.

There are two grind options a modified W grind and the Full grind. Lower lofted wedges offer the full grind, as this is where you will play the majority of your full swing shots with your wedges.

If you are buying the Mack Daddy CB to replace pitching wedges or gap wedges, you likely want the Full sole. In addition, the Modified W Grind is for more forgiveness out of the rough and the bunkers.

I would highly recommend mixing up the grind options to get a unique performance on the course with this club in hand.

On course performance

Although the Mack Daddy CB does quite well from a clean fairway lie, you will notice that it performs best when you get yourself in trouble. If you are in the thick rough or have a tight lie or a steep bunker shot, the overall performance of the Mack Daddy CB stands out as being pretty good.

Golf Insider verdict

Beginner golfers on a budget that don’t want to have to think too hard about their pitching and gap wedge shots, as well as the low and sand, will enjoy the product that Callaway has brought to market. This wedge will also be one of the wedges for high handicappers that can stay in the bag until you move to that mid-handicap range.

xE1 Sand and Lob Wedge

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

We won’t tell you that this is the best sand wedge on the market; however, the xE1 Sand wedge (and lob wedge) serve a purpose that can greatly enhance the experience that beginners have on the golf course. Essentially if you keep getting stuck in a bunker, give this wedge a try.

Forgiveness, distance control & spin

The xE1 golf wedge has a very high loft and a forgiving design that allows you to take some of the pressure off of a bunker shot. Again, this is not top-of-the-line feel technology or forged performance; instead, its a tool for golfers to use to escape the sand.

The concept is not that difficult for golfers who take the time to learn how to hit proper bunker shots. However, some players have mental and physical issues that cause them to take three or four swings out of the sand traps.

With the unique Auto Glide Sole on the xE1, you can easily pop over the lip of any bunker and get the ball to stop quickly on the putting green. If you have ever seen Phil Mickelson hit a flop shot, chances are you know exactly what this looks like.

The xE1 is not our favorite solution for approach shots or for hitting pitches and chips from a clean lie. However, for incredible forgiveness and tournament legal play out of a bunker, you may like what you find here.

Technical info

The xE1 wedge is not going to be the only solution you need for your bag. There are only two lofts here a 59 degree and a 65 degree. Golfers will benefit from the high loft these clubs provide, but there are no options for pitching and gap wedges to fill in the rest of the bag.

This is more like a tool than a full solution. However, it’s a tool that many beginners feel has changed their entire game.

On course performance

The xE1 is going to be your go-to choice for wedge shots out of the bunker. You may find the ability to hit great shots from the fluffy rough around the pin, but don’t take full swing shots with this to try and get 50-yard shots to the green; it won’t be worth it.

Golf Insider verdict

We understand just how frustrating getting out of the bunker can be. This is one of the best wedges for high handicappers and beginners to narrow down why they struggle with the bunker and eventually learn how to move on from it.

Ping Glide 4.0

Ping Glide 4.0 wedge in 54º
  • Forgiveness 8/10
  • Distance control 9/10
  • Spin 9/10
  • Value 7/10

Feel, and precision should not be sacrificed in the best golf wedges for beginners. It’s possible to have both great feel and forgiveness in a wedge. Ping makes premium golf clubs, and if you are new to the game, you should know that the feel of a club like this will make it really hard to play with a cheap wedge ever again. The positive, though, is that you may never take the Ping Glide 4.0 out of your bag!

Forgiveness, distance control & spin

Ping makes premium clubs, so the downside here is that you will have higher out of pocket expenses when choosing a Ping wedge. If you don’t have the room in your budget, go with a versatile sand wedge loft and benefit from all that the club has to offer.

This new Ping Glide 4.0 series has an 8620 Carbon Steel body and a very soft, responsive feel. The bottom line here is that it will be easier for beginners to get the ball closer to the hole. Most beginners struggle with shots that are a bit too harsh or strong and end up travelling across the green; the Glide 4.0 softens things up quite a bit.

In addition, the Ping glide 4.0 has a new insert installed to help with overall forgiveness and better face contact. This will particularly come into play on the shots out of a difficult lie. Similar to the TaylorMade and Cleveland wedge, expect that this is going to have some great spin results as well.

One of the first things we talked about with the best wedges for beginners is that many of these clubs can look a little clunky and cause shots that just don’t respond the way you want them to. We can almost guarantee that if you just bought yourself a beginner set, the Ping Glide 4.0 will stand out as the best looking club in the bag.

Technical info

The Ping Glide 4 comes in lofts from 46 up to 60 degrees. This means if you want to put several wedges in your bag, the Ping would be a great choice. There are several different grind options for golfers to consider, and that is where it sometimes gets a bit tricky for beginners to choose.

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

The S Grind is the option that will fit the majority of players. Whether you are looking to hit the wedge out of a bunker or out of the shorter grass, the S Grind can be a really good choice. In addition, the T Grind is known for precision from tight lights and full swing shots. W grind is a great tool from the bunkers.

Ping does offer a Web fit online fitting that can help golfers who are looking for a bit more guidance as to which wedge to hit without going for an in-person fitting.

On course performance

Depending on the grind that you choose, the Ping Glide 4 series of wedges can be really versatile. However, we do like this wedge for more precise shots around the green. If you need to get up and down, if you want to become more accurate, and if feel is a problem with the clunky beginner wedges you are using, the Ping Glide 4.0 could be a solution.

Golf Insider verdict

Sometimes the right golf clubs in the bag are worth paying for. That is certainly the case with the Ping Glide 4.0. You will likely have this in your bag for years to come. If you are serious about the game and have a little bit of extra money to spend, the Ping Glide 4.0 is a great choice.

How Many Wedges Do Beginners Need?

If you ask the designers of the most popular beginner golf sets on the market, they will likely say a beginner just needs a pitching wedge. However, this is just not the case!

So many beginner golf sets come with a single pitching wedge, and this creates a major gap in performance on the golf course. Pitching wedges are great for pitching and chipping but out of a bunker or from the deep rough with no green to work with; you will have a hard time getting the ball close to the hole.

Some beginner sets include a sand wedge, but eventually, you will want to move towards having three wedges in the bag, or even four if you can make room (remember you’re allowed 14 clubs maximum).

Most golfers want a pitching wedge, gap wedge, sand wedge, or lob wedge. The combination of these four clubs will give you more golf shot options around the green, allow for more precision and just make the game of golf even easier.

It’s understandable for beginners to have two wedges at first and then start filling in, just make sure they are properly loft-gapped. Look for something like 46, 52, 56, and 60 as opposed to 50, 52, 54, 56. When you have gaps between the wedges that are too small, the results are a bunch of golf shots that are not that much different.

Start with the pitching wedge, add an appropriate sand wedge, and then fill in with a gap and lob.

What About the Chipper?

The golf chipper is kind of a mix between a wedge and a putter. These clubs, like the Ping ChipR, can be USGA legal and are often very effective for a beginner golfer. The chipper allows you to take a stroke that looks more like a putting stroke than a chipping stroke and still end up with the ball close to the hole.

These clubs are mostly used for bump and run type golf shots.

The chippers are consistent, and they are easy to hit. The only thing I don’t like about chipper is that they only work for a very specific type of golf shot. The clubs are low lofted, not great for approach shots, and will struggle from a tough lie in the rough.

If you need a chipper to get you going and help you learn the fundamentals as a beginner golfer, that is fine. However, long term, you will likely switch over to a wedge to have more versatility in the types of golf shots that you hit.

Frequently asked questions

The best wedges for your game as a beginner golfer can sometimes take a bit of time to figure out. Here are a few questions we are often asked about the best wedges for beginners.

What wedges should a beginner carry?

A beginner should ideally have three or four wedges. Having the pitching wedge, gap wedge, and sand wedge to start should be enough to make learning the fundamentals of the game a bit easier.

Is it better to chip with a 56 or 60 degree wedge?

The 56 degree wedge tends to be the go-to club for most golfers. The 56 degree wedge allows you to take a compact swing and get a great consistent result with a good amount of spin. The 60 degree wedge is great when you don’t have much room to work with or if you struggle out of the bunker.

Should a beginner use a 60 degree wedge?

A beginner can learn to use a 60 degree wedge, but should learn to master a 56 degree wedge first. Choose something that is a cavity back design, or a larger club head, and has medium to high bounce to add back into the forgiving. The 60-degree wedge could also be a good club to hit out of the sand.

To learn more about wedge bounce, check out this article.

Do I need a gap wedge?

The way to determine if you need a gap wedge is to look at the loft of your pitching wedge and the loft of your sand wedge. If you have a 44 degree pitching wedge and a 56 degree sand wedge, having a 50 or 52 degree gap wedge is a good addition to the golf bag.

Related articles

Summary

Hopefully, you now feel a bit more confident in your ability to choose a wedge as a beginner golfer. Although it may seem like this is a lot of information, we can’t tell you how important it is to have wedges you are confident with.

Without confidence in the wedges, it becomes very hard to drop your scores. The best overall wedge for the beginner golfer is the Cleveland RTX Zipcore. This wedge is much cleaner looking than you would expect for being a forgiving wedge for high handicappers and beginners.

We love the spin that the Cleveland RTX creates; it is something that can be hard to find from other forgiving wedges. Mostly, this is a wedge you can invest in and use to take your game from the beginning stages to the more advanced player.

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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