What is hot for 2017 wedges? The top golf manufacturers continue to find the best ways to optimize spin, while adhering to the 2010 USGA Groove Rule. The average product life cycle for many of these golf clubs is about 2 to 3 years, so the list of new 2017 wedges is rather sparse.
Therefore, we will include the best golf wedges fully released in 2017 (or partially in 2016). Some new model logos have been seen at different events. Here is a sneak preview of the 5 best golf wedges for 2017 (listed alphabetically):
We will also rate each of these wedges based on the 5 F's of face, features, feel, forgiveness and functionality. At the end, we will present our award for the top wedge for 2017.
The best golf wedge manufacturer will "place everything on the table" when it comes to design. One of the wedges, we will review, created a wider weighted sole. Another had its "hosel" upgraded. Do you know what the hosel is?
Sports is the toy department of human life. = Howard Cosell
First of all, you pronounce the word "hosel" just as you would the aforementioned great NFL sports announcer - Howard Cosell. Or, pronounce the "Ho-" just like when Santa Claus says "Ho, Ho, Ho!" The "-SEL" rhymes with BELL.
Secondly, your golf club has a shaft, ferrule, hosel and head. The hosel is the “socket of a golf club head into which the shaft fits.”
Why does the hosel matter?
For many wedge shots, you will tend to "open your club face." This increases your chances of hitting a "shank" when you strike the ball with the "hosel" and not the "face." The hosel can also impact the loft and center of gravity (CG).
One common trend for wedges has been “creating more durable grooves” on later models. This is a never-ending struggle, since softer grooves increase ball spin rate.
For golf wedges, we believe the 5 F’s should be used for rating purposes: face, features, feel, forgiveness and functionality. We will rate each wedge on these criteria, using a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being the best).
We are looking for the most textured face, creating high loft and high spin. The best wedge helps you achieve consistent accuracy.
The best features use cutting-edge technology. Does the tech work?
While "feel" is quite subjective, it is important for the "scratch players." We will downgrade the “clunkier" wedges.
A larger face and more grooves will tend to increase forgiveness. Mis hits should not ruin your round (when you have the best wedge).
In order to win the “best golf wedge of 2017” award, we will lean towards a better “all-around” club. Can you use it for a variety of purposes?
Golf manufacturers like to give reviewers a little “sniff” of their lines before full release. Here are the mini reviews of the best golf wedges for 2017:
The Callaway Mack Daddy 3 was developed with assistance by the legendary wedge maker Roger Cleveland. Did Mr. Cleveland develop the “most marketable” technology for Cleveland Golf; while, he developed the most “cutting-edge” technology for Callaway?
Another intriguing Mack Daddy 3 observation is that its best feature might be on the back of the wedge: four hollowed-out weight ports provide a higher center of gravity (CG) for lower launch and more spin. Due to its higher CG, the Mack Daddy might not be the best for clearing sand bunkers or lush, wet grass.
Made of 8620 Steel, this Mack Daddy wedge uses laser-milled micro grooves. It created larger grooves for higher loft and smaller grooves for lower loft wedges. Players can choose from the following 3 grinds: W-Grind (wider sole for bunkers), S-Grind (all-around) and C-Grind (firm turf).
The Calloway Golf wedges also have a three-level "Progressive Groove Optimization," which changes with loft: 30V grooves (pitching), 20V (sand bunker) and 5V (lob). Calloway has added new 50-, 52- and 64-degree lofts. These wedges are available in exquisite Chrome, Matte Black or Nickel finishes. The Mack Daddy 3 remains a “hidden gem.”
The Cleveland RTX 3.0 wedge might be one of the most anticipated clubs for 2017. Its predecessor had already revolutionized the industry - being rated in the “Top 5” on the tour for years.
What has been upgraded in the 3.0?
The Cleveland RTX 3.0 wedge upgrades include the patent-pending, “Feel Balancing” technology, a rounder "Rotex Face," more durable grooves and special finishes. The primary innovation in this “Muscle Back” designed 3.0 wedge is the redistribution of hosel weight. Cleveland Golf discovered during extensive testing that most mis-hits were near the "heel" around the hosel - the dreaded "shank".
In order to address this concern, Cleveland used its “Feel Balancing" technology to remove 2 grams from the hosel and replace it with a micro-cavity. This wedge was also shortened by 1 centimeter (which removed 7 grams from its weight). The result was a better CG, superior forgiveness, decreased vibration and increased head stability. So, what did independent professional golf coaches notice when they tested the shot dispersion of this wedge?
Golf coach Mark Crossfield tested the new Cleveland RTX-3.0 Wedges at the Cleveland-Srixon testing grounds and received a first-hand report from Cleveland designers on its new features. Mr. Crossfield was a big fan of the RTX 2.0, so he was excited to test its replacement. He said that these 3.0 wedges were a little "chunkier" than he expected.
Just like everyone else, Mr. Crossfield found that the “Feel Balancing" technology worked. Testing showed 5% more spin on full wet shots and 12% more spin on wet pitch shots. The shot dispersion was tighter, giving players better accuracy and a reduction in club head twist.
"A kid grows up a lot faster on the golf course. Golf teaches you how to behave." = Jack Nicklaus
The new “Tour Zip Grooves” are deeper and narrower with a “U” shape; also, two grooves have been added. The new “Rotex Face” 3.0 is slightly rounder. The large, micro and circular groove combination creates a rich "Rotex Face" texture. Cleveland Golf has also made the grooves more durable.
The simple three Dot Bounce "V" Shaped Sole Grind System is still solid:
+ Dot 1 V-LG is low bounce sole grind for lower angle, firm turf, low angle shot
+ Dot 2 V-MG is mid bounce sole grind, all-purpose
+ Dot 3 V-FG is full bounce sole grind, softer, wetter courses, steep angle shot
Amateurs can choose from the Black Satin or Tour Silver Satin finish. Professionals might have a "Tour Only" finish released in 2017.
What does the Mizuno T7 wedge remind you of? Its teardrop shape and Electric Blue Ion finish is a bit playful, like the Water Lilies of Monet.
“Nothing feels like a Mizuno.”
Mizuno engineers have developed a patented "Grain Flow Forged" method, which combines a single piece of 1025 mild-carbon steel with three parts per million of boron to create these T7s. Why is boron added to Mizuno golf clubs?
Good wedges should be "powerful" enough to strike the ball forcefully, while giving you the "finesse" of accuracy. Steel provides the "power" and boron provides the "finesse." Mizuno engineer Chris Voshall believes the "bending and stretching [of the six-inch metal bar] that takes place before the actual formation of the club" is key to creating a uniform, consistent feel.
"Golf is the closest game to the game we call life. You get bad breaks from good shots; you get good breaks from bad shots - but you have to play the ball where it lies.” = Bobby Jones
The quad-cut technique gives you wider and shallower grooves for higher lofts.
The Mizuno T7 wedge has created longer-lasting grooves. Choose either the Electric Ion Blue or Satin Silver Finish.
Before its January 2015 release the Ping Glide 2.0 was unveiled during the 2014 Safeway Open; the Glide 2.0 wedge was seen at the November 1, 2016 Shriner's Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas. So, will the Ping Glide 2.0 be released in January 2017? Only time will tell.
We assume that Ping will keep the best features of the previous model, so we will rate the Glide 2.0 based on the features of the older model. Ping gives you a diverse wedge selection; you have a club for nearly any contingency. The four different grinds - Standard Sole (SS), Thin Sole (TS), Wide Sole (WS) and Eye Sole (ES) - have one more than others.
Ping used industry-leading "moisture repelling" 431 stainless steel on the Glide 1.0. Its "Gorge" grooves are quite effective.
The Tour Edge 1 Out Plus is for "conquering the greenside sand bunker," just like the classical Ben Hogan Sure Out wedge. The Bazooka 1 Out Plus uses a very wide bottom flange with more metal below the leading head face than other wedges.
Golfing instructor Mike Sullivan tested the 1 Out Plus on greenside bunkers, heavy grass and firm lies. Owner of the Mike Sullivan Golf School, this expert identified a key problem with sand traps - the wedge's bounce "gets activated as the club face is opened up." But as you open the club face up, you will tend to hit the shot askance. To compensate, you must turn your body.
Not so with the Bazooka Tour Edge 1 Out, the very wide metallic flange on the bottom allows you to hit the ball "square." To "counter-balance" the added weight on the bottom, the Tour Edge 1 Out sand wedge has added 90 grams to the shaft.
This wedge helps you avoid “stubbing” your chip shots. It tends to be clunkier and heavier, but accomplishes its primary purpose of saving you from that nasty sand hazard.
And the clear WINNER is the ...
Cleveland Golf has lead the industry with its innovative three-dot bounce system and Rotex sweet spot. Their hosel re-balancing has improved accuracy tremendously. This Cleveland RTX 3.0 wedge has scored the best on the 5 F’s of high-quality clubs.
This Cleveland 3.0 wedge is best for the top golf professionals. Professionals even have their own special "Tour Only" finish, which might be released in 2017. The top golf coaches have welcomed this club with open arms and with good reason.