Best Golf Wedges For High Handicappers 2024

Some high handicappers choose the best wedges for their game based on the clubs that match their iron set. Although this method can work for some, there is often a lack of control and feel in the wedges that traditionally come with game improvement irons sets.

High handicappers ready to move into that mid-handicapper range need wedges that make them confident and well-prepared for any type of shot around the green. Here we’ll cover some top picks, explain the technical bits and help you get shoot lower scores.

The best golf wedges for high handicappers are:

Cleveland RTX Zipcore

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

Cleveland has made quite a few cavity back wedges in the past that were a great fit for higher handicaps. However, with these new RTX Zipcore wedges, you can get a good mix of forgiveness, typically seen in the cavity backs with the forged-like feel from the blade-style wedges. A perfect combination of what a higher handicapper needs to succeed.

Forgiveness, distance control & spin

The big focus in the Cleveland RTX Zipcore is the increased levels heel-toe weighting. This heel and toe weighting reduces how much the club twists on off-centre hits, creating a more forgiving wedge. This allows high handicap golfers to play with a sleek-looking wedge, that still caters for those miss-strikes from 50-100 yards.

Another thing that stood out about these forgiving wedges is the clean look. You should be warned that any time a wedge says it is forgiving, it also typically gets a bit chunky looking. Although some players don’t mind this look, most will tell you it becomes hard to control from a tight lie.

We can’t say that this is the cleanest-looking wedge on the market (stay tuned to learn about the Ping Glide), but we were surprised by how much this looked like a players club. In addition, some of the same technology that better players look for in the grooves of their clubs were featured in the Cleveland RTX Zipcore.

Most notably, the grooves are designed to perform better out of wet grass. With extra room in these grooves because of their deeper design, water can move through and pass easily to make sure the ball and clubface make great contact. Cleveland used a heat treatment on each of these wedges to ensure that the grooves stay sharp for years to come.

Technical info

One of the best benefits for high handicappers looking for a new wedge is how simple Cleveland makes their loft and grind combinations for their wedges. Where companies like Titleist make you feel as though you may benefit from a four-hour class on grind selections, Cleveland offers mid, low, and high bounce wedges. The high bounce wedges are called full bounce and are only available in the 60 degree in this particular wedge series.

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 2 wedges or just use the matching pitching wedge from your current iron set.

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

On course performance

The majority of high handicappers count on their wedges to save them. The save can come from a bunker, out of the rough, or even as a punch out from behind a tree. With the forgiveness in these wedges and impressive groove channels, we found Cleveland to be a good option for on-course performance.

In addition, when you need to transition into a full-swing approach shot with something like a sand wedge or a gap wedge, the clubs have enough of a wide sole to make this a nice transition to the irons. It’s tough for some high handicappers with large cavity back-style game improvement wedges, and they have to switch to blade-style wedges.

The RTX makes this transition easy and allows for more consistency on the course.

Golf Insider Verdict

If you are one of those high handicappers that knows a new wedge is necessary but has no idea what your short game needs, the Cleveland RTX makes a great choice. This wedge looks great, offers good forgiveness and generates high levels of spin around the green.

Ping Chip R

Ping Chip R club from back view
  • Forgiveness 9/10
  • Distance control 8/10
  • Spin 7/10
  • Value 8/10

At first, it was hard to put a chipper on the list as they are not typically our favorite type of wedges. However, when Ping decided to go down the route of adding a chipper to their wedge line up we had to at least give it a try. What we found was a club that has some impressive performance, an excellent feel, and fills the void for many high handicappers struggling with a bump and run type golf shot.

Think putter, but with loft – that’s how it feels and is designed to be used.

Forgiveness, Distance Control, Spin

The entire idea behind a chipper is for it to be forgiving. When you use this club, you will swing it almost like you do a putter. The chance of hitting behind it or thinning it with a chipper in your hand is considerably lower. This is the appeal.

With the Ping ChipR, we noticed that forgiveness was built into the technology. Golfers will find that minimal movement produces a crisp golf shot with the proper roll and spin expected from a bump and run style golf shot.

This is a club with a low loft; you won’t be using it to hit shots out of a bunker or for a full swing approach into the green. When it comes to maximum spin, the Ping ChipR is not your best friend; there is a bit of rollout when the ball strikes the green, but it is consistent and you know what to expect.

Distance control takes just a few swings to get used to. Once you understand the smaller motion needed to create shots with the Ping ChipR the rest is about learning the speed of the greens. The green speeds will tell you how far the ball will continue to roll when it hits the ground.

The Ping ChipR is built with the same grooves we see in other premium Ping wedges, so water issues won’t be a problem. The club comes with a lightweight shaft that has a low balance point. The result is a club head that you can feel a bit better.

On Course Performance

One of the things golfers tend to dislike bout chippers is that they can feel a bit restrictive on the golf course. With this wedge in your hand, forget the lob shots that you want to hit with a nice soft landing. This is simply a bump and run club, but it works well.

If you play golf courses with large greens and large approaches up to the green, the Ping ChipR makes this a much easier process. In addition, the ability that players have to hit this through both the fringe and the rough is something worth considering. The ball sort of pops out of a lie, even if it’s not the best one.

Technical Info

The Ping ChipR only comes in a 35-degree loft. The 35-inch length is standard, but it can be customized; the club is supposed to feel a bit like a putter when you use it, so choosing the length based on the length of your putter is not a bad idea.

When looking into your loft gapping issues in your golf bag, chances are the ChipR won’t do much to help this situation. The club is only recommended for shots within 40 yards of the green.

Golf Insider Verdict

Ping is making it cool to have a chipper. If we are being sincere, we didn’t see this one coming. However, after giving it a try and seeing how simple it makes the short game, this is a good tool for many high handicappers and beginners.

TaylorMade Milled Grind 3 (MG3)

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

High handicappers that are on a mission to move toward the mid-handicap range may want to take a look at the Milled Grind 3 Wedge. This is a wedge that has won numerous awards and stands out as having some of the best spin in this category. We mentioned it before but will say it again, sometimes, your lack of spin around the greens is caused by the club and golf ball choice, sometimes but, not always by your ability.

Forgiveness, distance control & spin

Increased spin around the greens allows for more control of your shots. This is not specifically a wedge that was built for higher handicappers. Instead, it was built for any golfer that needs more spin and distance control in their game.

When you can predict what the ball will do when it lands, it becomes much easier to hit the shot you want. Keep in mind that golf wedges that focus on distance control, spin, and feel are likely not going to be the most forgiving of the bunch.

Sometimes having a mix of wedges that can give you forgiveness and those that can increase overall accuracy and performance is the best bet. The new ZTP-17 Groove system allows for a better total spin, Raised Micro Ribs allow even more traction when the ball and clubface connect.

The Milled Grind 3 is made with a thin clubface. The clubface being thin increases responsiveness and improves the feel, but the trade-off is less forgiveness on off-centre strikes compared to the Cleveland RTX Zipcore series.

Technical info

The TaylorMade MG3 wedges are not the most forgiving wedges in our lineup. However, if you are smart about the bounce options you choose in the TaylorMade MG3, you will notice that the forgiveness will likely increase. Other wedges with lower bounce may be a bit harder to manoeuvre than the MG3 in a standard or high bounce, thanks to its sleeker profile.

If you are going to go across the board with the new TaylorMade MG3 wedges, we recommend at least having one standard bounce and one high bounce option. The high bounce will help you when you are in thicker grass or need some extra forgiveness out of a bunker. The lower bounce is good for approach shots where you are hitting off harder ground.

Low Bounce: 56º, 58º, 60º

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

High Bounce: 52º, 54º, 56º, 58º, 60º

On course performance

There is something incredibly pleasing about using a golf wedge that provides control and spin. Getting to hit a shot that stops and lands where you want it to on the green will be a very satisfying experience. In fact for the high handicappers that are used to going back and forth over a green chasing down a chip shot, this will be a tremendous improvement.

The MG3 would likely not come up on other lists as the best wedge for high handicappers, but we continue to go back to the concept that high handicappers need feel, spin and precision if they want to make it into low handicapper territory at some point. And not all high handicap golfers have a ‘high handicap short game’

Golf Insider verdict

Do you like spin? Do you not get enough of it currently? The MG3 is your best chance at getting some extra spin on your golf shots. Regardless of handicap, good groove technology helps create spin and control around the greens.

PXG 0311 Forged

  • Forgiveness 8/10
  • Distance control 9/10
  • Spin 7/10
  • Value 8/10

The PXG is kind of a unique choice for one of the best wedges for high handicappers. However, after playing with PXG 0311 Forged, the distance control was so impressive that it needed to be included in the lineup. Many higher handicappers can hit a great chip but have no idea how far it is going. They will then follow up with another great chip that goes twice as far as the first one. If you feel like this is you and are tired of hitting the same two shots at entirely different distances, this could be a golf club to consider.

Forgiveness, distance control & spin

The PXG 0311 is the most consistent of the wedges for high-handicap golfers. The consistency comes from the built-in forgiveness. This forgiveness goes throughout the entire set, even into the higher lofted wedges that many high handicappers have been known to avoid.

This is a blade-style wedge, so it is not clunky looking, it has CNC milled grooves, which help improve ball control even more and allow for the necessary spin. The faces are made from a forged material and have just the right mix of strength and feel. The 8620 Carbon Steel design only increases the impressive feel that these clubs have.

One thing to keep in mind here is that this is an affordable golf wedge; if you need a few for your bag, you may be in luck. One thing we wish that PXG considered was adding in a pitching wedge loft to allow players a full lineup of the PXG in their bag. As for right now, you can choose lofts between 52 and 60.

Technical info

The PXG 0311 Forged wedges are designed with just one versatile bounce. Having only one bounce option does not surprise us and does not create too much of a problem. This is pretty common in a value-priced golf wedge like this.

For high handicappers that don’t want to take the time to learn about bounce, grind, and wedge fitting factors, the PXG 0311 combined some of what they thought was best for the higher handicapper and average player and allowed that to be the choice on this wedge.

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

On course performance

One of the best indicators of a forgiving wedge is a club that produces shots that are relatively consistent. So a pitch shot that rolls six feet past may roll four feet past on the next shot, but they are all within a similar general area.

When playing with the PXG 0311, it quickly learned what this wedge does, how it responds, and what we needed to do to manipulate its performance. Whether you are using lob wedges or sand wedges, the consistency of what the wedge shot does is so important.

Golf Insider verdict

PXG was one of the more surprising contenders when testing the best wedges for high handicappers. However, this club has very well earned its’ spot on this list. If you are on a budget but still want a club that provides some tremendous on-course performance and clean look. The PXG is a smart choice.

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

You may have assumed that something like the Callaway Mack Daddy CB Wedge would earn our top spot in the best wedges for high handicappers. This is a great club, it deserves to be on the list, but if high handicappers limit themselves to only forgiving cavity back style wedges, they may see a long-term lack of performance. Instead, being smart about having a mix of forgiving and blade style wedges is the best option for most players.

Forgiveness, distance control & spin

I’ll be completely honest I was setting the bar pretty low for this wedge, before trying it out on the golf course. I assumed that the cavity back style of the wedge and the chunkier overall look would cause me to feel less control on the golf course.

However, as soon as I set up to hit the Mack Daddy, I was surprised by how it performed. If you are still playing with wedges that match your irons and struggling to get them to perform in the way you need, this wedge is well worth considering. The spin results are about average, but distance control and forgiveness are above average.

The club is not going to spin like the TaylorMade MG3, but it will stop on the green. In addition, the lower center of gravity helps a player get a bit more loft on their shots, something that will only help to improve the overall launch.

With most higher handicappers having cavity back irons in the bag, these cavity back wedges available in standard wedge flex make a seamless transition.

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. Therefore if you are thinking of switching to four matching wedges in your bag, this is an excellent set to consider. The wedges are also more affordable now that they have been out for a few years.

The two grind options include 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 from tighter lies.

We highly recommend mixing up the grind options to get a unique performance on the course with this club in hand. In terms of lofts, if you have a modern set of irons a 50º, 56º & 60º set of wedges will give you even spacing from a modern pitching wedge (~44º) and give you some great options for lofted shots around the green.

On course performance

Overall the on-course performance is really forgiving, and the performance out of a variety of lies is good. Even if you hit a shot in the bunker, the Mack Daddy CB easily gets you out. The only area that this wedge didn’t stand out was when hitting shots out of wet grass. Expect that you will not get a maximum spin, as these wedges are not necessarily designed for that type of golf shot.

Golf Insider verdict

For high handicappers that have a nice set of game-improvement irons and simply need a club that is going to help them transition from the irons down through the wedges, the Mack Daddy CB ore one of our favorite choices. Expect that this is going to have plenty of versatility and the overall results have less dispersion than other wedges in the same category.

xE1 Sand and Lob Wedge

  • Forgiveness 9 to 10
  • Distance control 7 to 10
  • Spin 7 to 10
  • Value 7 to 10

Do bunkers make you cringe? Did you ever think that your approach shots to the green may be compromised by your fear of the bunker? The best thing to do here is to find out how to hit a sand wedge or low wedge out of the bunker with complete confidence.

For many golfers, the xE1 Sand and Lob Wedge can make that happen. This is not a traditional brand name club from a top manufacturer. However, it does serve a purpose, similar to how the chipper serves a purpose.

Forgiveness, distance control & spin

The xE1 golf wedge has a very high loft and a forgiving design that allows you to take the ball out of the bunker in one shot. Don’t expect this club to react like a Vokey Wedge of the clubface, but it will have some impressive functionality.

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. We do not recommend having more than one xE1 wedge in your bag. However, for players that combine something like a chipper with a xE1 type wedge, the overall outcome could mean two shots that are much easier to hit.

The xE1 is not our favorite solution for approach shots or for hitting pitches and chips from a clean lie. However, if you keep hitting shots into bunkers and getting stuck, you know how important this club can be.

Technical info

The xE1 wedge will not be the only solution you need for your bag. There are only two lofts here, a 59-degree and a 65 degree, so there is no option for pitching and gap wedge loft. This will have to be a wedge that you throw into the mix as a tool to help with bunker shots, but not something you will rely on for each hole.

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 undoubtedly best when hitting out of a bunker; in addition, stay away from the fairway bunkers with this club; it’s meant to be used to get the ball up and down quickly, not something you need from a fairway bunker lie.

Golf Insider verdict

Hitting out of a bunker with confidence is fundamental of the golf game. Until you are capable of doing this, your golf score and your overall confidence on the course are going to be tough to achieve. Going with a tool like the xE1 while you figure this out can be a tremendous benefit if this is your Achilles Heel.

Ping Glide 4.0 Wedges

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

High handicappers tend to look for bulky and ugly-looking golf wedges to help their forgiveness. If you are tired of looking down at something missing that premium feel, the Ping Glide 4.0 is for you. This is one of our favorite wedges for high handicappers who care about feel and are ready to make a conscious effort at becoming a better short game player.

As we stated earlier, not all high handicappers have ‘high handicap’ short games.

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. However, the soft and responsive feel will be well worth the money you pay.

With the Ping Glide 4.0, you will also notice a new insert installed in the wedge to help dampen vibration. When we miss the center of the clubface, the club tends to vibrate a bit in our hands, creating the poor feel that many higher handicappers experience.

The Ping Glide 4.0 takes care of this for you, so you can ultimately benefit from better spin and increased consistency in the shots you are hitting around the green. Ping has been around for a long time, and one of the key reasons this is the case is because of feel; you can’t go wrong with that feature in this Ping Glide 4.0.

Technical info

The Ping Glide 4 comes in lofts from 46 up to 60 degrees. There are four different wedge grind options in the Ping Glide. This is not a wedge specifically designed for high handicappers, but buying the correct specifications will help it suit your needs.

  • 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 an excellent 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.

On course performance

Trying the Ping Glide 4.0 out on the golf course was a great experience. We noticed that the wedges are great out of the rough, can clip a ball easily out of a thin lie, and will stop on the green when necessary. This on-course performance will be especially noticeable with something like a sand wedge that will quickly become your favorite club.

Golf Insider verdict

The Ping Glide 4.0 is not cheap. However, it is a wedge that will last you for quite some time. If you plan on sticking with the game of golf and care about a club that will be in it for the long haul, the Ping Glide 4.0 is a smart option. In addition, when feel and precision start to matter to you, consider yourself already on the way to becoming a mid-handicapper.

Frequently asked questions

Here are a few most commonly asked questions about the best wedges for high handicappers.

What wedges should a high handicapper have?

High handicappers should have at least a pitching wedge, gap wedge, and sand wedge. These three wedges are the minimum, but some players will also add in the lob wedge to round out the group and hit those high-lofted golf shots.

Does a high handicapper need a 60-degree wedge?

No, high handicappers do not need a 60º wedge, these tend to be more challenging to use, as they require a bigger swing from shorter distances, due to the additional loft. However, if you are a confident short game player, a 60º wedge can be very handy from inside 30 yards, from deep bunkers and when you have little green to work with.

Does a high handicapper need a gap wedge?

A high handicapper needs a gap wedge if the loft between the pitching wedge and sand wedge is too large. For a standard game improvement pitching wedge at 44 degrees and a sand wedge at 56 degrees, the loft gap is 12, which is much too large. Putting in a 50-degree gap wedge could save the performance on the course.

What are the easiest wedges to hit?

The easiest wedges to hit are cavity back wedges. Some examples of this cavity back style design can include the Callaway Mack Daddy CB that we included on our list of the best wedges for high handicappers.

Related articles

Summary

Hopefully, you now feel better equipped to choose a golf wedge for your bag. Forgiveness is a factor, but wedges need to be versatile to allow players to hit a variety of important shots on the course. This review hopefully gives you an idea of some super forgiving wedges and some that are geared more toward control and adaptability.

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.

1 thought on “Best Golf Wedges For High Handicappers 2024”

  1. This is an indepth article which gives good insight and has been very helpful expanding my knowledge of wedge clubs.

    Reply

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