If you ask a golfer what club they’d like to upgrade, I bet very few of them jump to their wedges first. Most golfers are more interested in grabbing new irons or a newer more forgiving driver. While these are good buys, a great sand wedge is a weapon on the course and can drastically improve the quality of your short game.
If you’re looking for a more complete review of wedges, check out our guide for best wedges for high handicappers!
My sand wedge is probably my favorite club for a few reasons: it’s versatile, workable, and precise. Hitting from the sand is one of the stronger points in my game, as I’m able to keep the ball controlled and put myself in a scoring position. That said, I use my sand wedge in many different situations on the course.
Having a good sand wedge can save you from plenty of headaches on the course. Read on to hear more about our picks for the best sand wedge in 2020.
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Our Top Pick: Callaway Golf Mack Daddy 5 sand Wedge
The new Callaway Mack Daddy 5 “Jaws” sand wedge was designed to deliver superior feel and spin thanks to it’s freshly updated groove technology. The Jaws groove design is meant to shine within 80 yards, providing jaw dropping (haha) spin that produces a that “hop and stop” action we all want.
The Mack Daddy 5 lineup has several grind and loft options available, with unparalleled spin and feel off the face of the club. This is a great option if you like to play a sand wedge in many different situations.
- Precisely shapes for a clean design and exceptional feel
- 23 possible loft/bounce combinations, with 5 grind options
- Optimized head progression allowing for smooth transition to an iron set
- Made with premium materials for better performance
Best Value: Cleveland Golf Men’s RTX 4 Wedge
Featuring deep grooves and the most aggressive face milling to increase your spin, the RTX wedge is the latest Cleveland sand wedge to penetrate the market. It uses the 4th Generation Rotex Face Technology for higher spin compared to previous versions. The Progressive Feel Balancing Technology implemented on the back of each loft steadily balances the center of gravity for superior control and feel.
When it comes to versatility, the RTX wedge provides options from 46-64 degrees. Furthermore, the MID contains a V-shaped sole that enhances smooth full shot performance coupled with crisp pitch shots around the golf course. The wedge’s four sole grinds provide sufficient versatility to execute your most challenging greenside shots, particularly when the pressure’s on. This is a premium club at a pretty reasonable price, making it our choice for the best value sand wedge.
Best Sand Wedge for Low Handicappers: Mizuno T20 Blue Ion Sand Wedge
Designed from 1025 boron that’s 30% stronger than carbon steel, the T20 Blue Ion Wedge was made to deliver consistency and control. This year’s model of Mizuno wedges have a great aesthetic to them, and a few features that make them really stand out.
Mizuno prides themselves in their forged irons and wedges, and their Grain Flow Forging process delivers soft, solid and consistent feel. They deploy Face Milling Lines for increased surface roughness, helping increase spin rates around the green. The T20 also has many options between bounce, grind and loft to customize the wedge to your preference. If you’re looking for a customizable forged wedge, this is a great option.
For High handicappers: TaylorMade Milled Grind Hi-Toe Wedge
In a chic bronze finish, the TaylorMade Wedge is computer-milled for precise specifications and is offered from 50-64 degrees with four Sole Grind options. The Hi-Toe design promotes an elevated center of gravity, which enhances control from all lies. And, it’s double sole gives players two bounce surfaces while preventing the golf club from excessively burrowing into the turf. The bevel on the Hi-Toe wedge is increased to reduce the leading edge and improve the strike.
If you struggle from the rough and are seeking more consistency, then this is one of the best options on the market today.
Budget Pick: Cobra King Versatile Grind
If you’re tight on funds but want a high caliber wedge to add to your bag, the Cobra King Versatile Wedge could be a great option.
The Cobra King features Progressive Spin Technology that is made to provide a more consistent trajectory throughout their different wedge lofts. The muscle back construction dampens vibration to improve sound, and in turn feel at impact. The face of the club is 100% CNC Milled to provide consistent spin across the entire face. Overall, this is a really solid wedge at an affordable price.
When purchasing a sand wedge, there are a few factors to consider. Here are our top 4 criteria we used to identify the best options on the market.
In a sand wedge, spin is everything. Golf clubs are particularly designed to deliver the necessary softness and spin to accurately stop the ball on the green. The spin stems from the friction between the milling of the clubface, grooves, and the surface of the golf ball. Low handicappers should choose sand wedges with high spin rates because they determine the height of their shots and the ability to hit beyond the cup and slide the golf ball back to the hole. Less-skilled players require spin to slow down their gameplay.
The loft of a sand wedge will determine the trajectory your ball will take at impact. This is an important factor around the greens, especially in the 25-50 yards zone. It’s even more important if you want to have shot stopping power from 80-100 yards. Typically, a sand wedge should either be 56 or 60 degrees. I actually carry both, as I find each of them useful for different situations. Make sure you know the loft you want; it’s worth testing a few before deciding.
The feel of a club comes from the feel at address, all the way through contact. A great sand wedge will be highly responsive at impact and let you know if your shot has gone well or not. Make sure you like the sound and response of the club, as this will help you stay consistent on the course. Feel is more important in wedges than with other clubs, so make sure you get one that is highly responsive. A responsive sand wedge will tell you when you’ve hit a great shot around the green, and help you feel when you’ve mishit the shot.
Wedge grind is the shaping on the sand wedge’s sole and determines how low a club head will set on the ground. I have a more thorough explanation on grind in another wedge article.
Sand Wedge FAQ
What is the Best Degree Sand Wedge?
You should base your sand wedge loft off of your pitching wedge loft; this isn’t going to be a one size fits all answer. Generally you want between 4 and 5 degrees difference between each of your wedges. If your pitching wedge is somewhere around 45 degrees, your gap will be in the 49-51 degree range, so your sand wedge should be 54-56 degrees in that situation. This even degree shift helps you eliminate any potential distance gap in your bag.
Do You Really Need a Sand Wedge?
Absolutely. For the same reason you have different lofted irons, you need different lofted wedges. It would be incredibly challenging trying to hit a short bunker shot with a pitching wedge without hitting it way too far. A good sand wedge is an absolutely critical asset in your bag.
Can You Use a Sand Wedge for Pitch Shots?
Yes! In fact, you can hit pitch shots with many different wedges and short irons in your bag. It’s a good idea to go to a short game practice area and get familiar with hitting pitch shots with different wedges. I love hitting pitch shots with my sand wedge, because the loft and bite on a sand wedge can make the ball check up on your shots. I use a sand wedge for more control in my short game.
A great sand wedge is a versatile club that can help you deliver some of the prettiest shots on the course. Hitting your sand wedge right can give you a high spinning shot that can stop quickly. For us, the top sand wedge out there right now is the Callaway Golf Mack Daddy 5 Sand Wedge. Callaway has long been a producer of amazing wedges used by pros and amateurs alike, and the Mack Daddy 5 is made with premium materials and has some serious shot stopping power.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post! If you want more great content, check out our article on the best putters for high handicappers!