If you have been around this game a long time, you may know that gap wedges were not always a thing. For a long time, people just played with their pitching wedge, sand wedge and a lob wedge.
As the years went on, there was a “gap” that was noticed in between that pitching wedge and sand wedge.
In the old days, the pitching wedge was about 46 degrees and a sand wedge about 56. Ten degrees of loft is a broad range. With the modern lofts on today’s golf clubs, some pitching wedges are 43 or 42 degrees making this gap even more substantial.
All this to say, that now more than ever is the time to have a gap wedge in your bag. If you are not carrying four wedges (pitching wedge, gap wedge, sand wedge, lob wedge), you very likely have a decent size gap somewhere in your lofts.
In this review, we will give you the rundown on the best gap wedges available and what you should know before purchasing a gap wedge.
Our Best Gap Wedges in 2020
Best Gap Wedge Overall: Cleveland RTX 4
- Suitable for players of all levels
- Available in many loft and grind options
- Versatile and forgiving
- Priced a bit higher because it is newer technology
Our number one option for a gap wedge is the Cleveland RTX 4. This is a versatile club available in several different finishes and sole grinds. The Cleveland wedges feature the tour zip grooves.
Cleveland says that this is the most spin they have ever created in a wedge. Why we love this wedge so much for a gap wedge is because of the loft and sole grind options. Most gap wedges are only available at 52 degrees and sometimes a 50 degree. The RTX goes as low as 46 degrees of loft.
Although the 46 is going to be closer to your PW, with the loft games that manufacturers play with clubs these days, it is very realistic that you may need a 48-degree gap wedge.
The RTX wedge comes in four bounce options from high to extra low. You can choose your sole grind depending on the type of golf courses you play, forgiveness you are looking for, and your traditional divot shape.
If you are looking to improve your short game, there is no question that the RTX 4 can bring you some positive results, at a very fair price.
Alternative #1: Titleist Vokey SM7
- Many bounce, grind and loft options
- Incredible spin around the greens
- Best for the lower handicap players
- Not all that forgiving
Titleist Vokey wedges have led the way on the PGA Tour for many years. There is no question that this is the number one wedge on the market. The reason we couldn’t give it our top spot is that it is not built for every player.
(Keep in mind that Cleveland does not fall too far behind Titleist when it comes to wedge performance.)
The Titleist Vokey Gap Wedge comes in a few different loft and bounce options. Although there are several finishes that the Vokey wedge comes in, our favorite is the Jet Black. This wedge does a great job of blocking out any glare and helps you to focus on the task at hand.
The signature spin Milled grooves help you to get more spin on shots than you will with almost any other wedge on the market.
The Vokey gap wedge is not the most forgiving of the bunch, and it will be priced slightly higher than others, but it is without a doubt a club that will earn a spot in your golf bag for years to come.
Read our Titleist Vokey SM7 Wedge review.
Alternative #2: TaylorMade Milled Grind Black
- Suitable for mid to low handicap players
- Minimal bounce, grind, loft options
- CNC Milled for perfect center of gravity
- High spin, lower ball flight
Although you may think of TaylorMade as the name behind the long drivers and high performing irons, the TaylorMade wedges are top performers. The TaylorMade Milled Grind Black gap wedge is one of our best alternatives to the Cleveland RTX.
This is a CNC milled and machined wedge with incredible sole geometry. CNC milling allows the highest levels of precision when creating golf clubs.
What we love most about this golf wedge is the care TaylorMade took when placing the center of gravity. The center of gravity on this club is in the perfect spot for a lower launch angle and increased spin.
With a wedge, you are not always going to want to float the ball way up in the air. With the Milled Grind Black, you can control your ball flight a bit more and get the spin you desire on your shots.
The black finish gives this club a sleek look and makes it one of the top three best gap wedges we have found to date.
Best Cheap Gap Wedge
- Medium spin
- Good for mid to high handicapper
- Not the best as far as feel is concerned
If you know you need a new gap wedge in your bag to improve your short game, but your wallet disagrees, the PGX may be a good option for you.
The Pinemeadow PGX Gap wedge is a 52-degree classic design wedge with modern coloring. The shape of the PGX is like a traditional blade wedge. You can not order this wedge in any sole or grind options, but it is a very versatile wedge.
The Pinemeadow PGX will not have the same feeling that our best gap wedges offer, but it can certainly be used to fill a space in your lofts.
Cleveland Golf Women’s RTX-3 Cavity Back
Best Gap Wedge for Women
- Perfect for mid to high handicapper
- Comes with a graphite shaft
- One of the best females wedges golf has to offer
- High spin, clean leading edge
- Not all that forgiving compared to other womens wedges
When it comes to wedges, there is no question that women get the short end of the stick. When companies make irons and drivers and hybrids for women, they work hard to ensure that the technology is ideally suited to the female golf game. Wedges are harder to find.
Luckily, Cleveland has you covered with their RTX-3 Cavity Back gap wedge. What we love about this golf wedge is that it is a cavity back design, helping it be more forgiving on both short and long shots. This is a club that will help you improve your short game as well as your approach into the green.
The center of gravity on this gap wedge is very close to the impact zone to help with consistency, control, and forgiveness. This is the best gap wedge for the female player with a mid to high handicap. The Cleveland RTX-3 does come with a graphite shaft to help with swing speed and increased spin.
If you are a female player looking for a clean looking, high spin, forgiving golf wedge, this is a great option.
Tour Edge Golf Hot Launch 4 Wedge
Best Wedge for Seniors
- Comes with senior shaft
- Good spin
- Lightweight and forgiving
- Traditional looks
- Feel around the greens is not as great as other options
When choosing the best gap wedge for senior golfers, it’s important to consider consistency and weighting. What might feel good to a senior player on the first tee will likely not feel as good on the 18th green if it is not appropriately weighted.
There is no getting around it; senior golfers tire faster. When you get tired, you tend to skid the sole of the club a little and hit shots that spin over the green without stopping.
The Tour Edge Golf Hot Launch 4 is our favorite option for the senior golfer. The best thing about this club is that it comes in a senior shaft for an affordable price. Some manufacturers require senior golfers to order a custom made club to get a senior shaft. This just shouldn’t be.
The Hot Launch 4 comes in a 44 and 49-degree option that would both work as a gap wedge. We like the 49 degree because it allows you the distance you need and is perfect for those bump and run type shots around the green.
The Hot Launch 4 are not going to be the highest spin wedge on the market, but they will undoubtedly spin enough to get the ball to stop where you need it to.
Gap Wedge Buying Guide
We all know that the short game is the key to success when it comes to scoring. Leaving a significant gap in your golf bag is not going to do you much good when it comes to shooting lower scores.
You may find that you have a range say 90-100 yards where you don’t have a club you feel confident with. A gap wedge can fix that.
Here are the most important things to keep in mind when shopping for a gap wedge.
To Match The Irons Or Not?
Most iron sets come with an option for a gap wedge or an approach wedge. Some companies even call it the utility wedge. They all mean the same thing, it’s the club that fits between your pitching wedge and sand wedge. Many players question whether they should go with a gap wedge that matches the iron set or one that matches the wedges.
This is a great question and one that will ultimately come down to preference. It’s always best to take a realistic look at your game and decide where your strengths and weaknesses are.
If you are an ace around the greens and you can use your sand wedge to get within six feet of the pin from anywhere, get a gap wedge that matches your wedges.
If you are a player that traditionally skulls a wedge shot or can hit behind the ball at times, it may be the right choice to look at something that matches your irons.
Gap wedges that match an iron set are going to be more comfortable for full swing longer shots. Gap wedges that match the wedges will be better for spin and accuracy when you are around the green. Pay attention to the strengths of your game and choose accordingly.
What Degree Gap Wedge Do I Need?
The next popular question that comes up when it comes to gap wedges is what degree to go with. This will take a bit of research on your part.
Traditionally a gap wedge is said to be around 52 degrees. To find the best degree gap wedge for your golf bag, you must know the loft of your PW.
If you are playing with a 44 degree PW and a 56 degree SW, then choose something that splits the difference. In this case, we would recommend going with something that is 50 degrees for your gap wedge.
Do Matching Wedges Matter?
If you ask the great players, they will tell you that matching your golf wedges makes a difference. You will want to make sure that you have consistency in both the feel and the grind on your wedges.The best thing about grind on lofts is that once you understand it and know what will work best for your game, you can tailor your wedges to work precisely for you.
Turf conditions, hole locations, and golf swings change every single day. Having some consistency in your wedges as far as feel is concerned is so essential.
Does The Shaft I Put In A Gap Wedge Matter?
Most standard gap wedges are going to come with what is called a wedge flex. The wedge flex is somewhere in between a stiff and a regular and is most commonly a steel shaft.
If you have a very slow swing speed, there are gap wedge options made in a graphite flex. If you don’t go with a graphite shaft, you will struggle on the shots that need higher swing speed and spin, like bunker shots and full swings.
What Is The Ideal Bounce for A Gap Wedge?
If you are wondering whether you need high or low bounce on your gap wedge, you are not alone. Bounce and grind can get quite confusing. For a gap wedge, you are going to want something with less bounce.
The lower bounce on a gap wedge will help if you tend to hit shots thin. If you are hitting a ball from a tight lie (like a fairway) or hard turf, you will not want the leading edge of the club to dig too far into the turf.
The lower bounce keeps the shot more of a sweeping motion than a digging motion. Gap wedges are usually sold with a variety of sole grinds and bounces. Make sure to choose something that works for both your golf swing and the courses that you play on.
When choosing the top gap wedges for you, we take a lot of time to make sure that our pics are not just the top performers right now, but they will remain at the top for several years.
A wedge is a tricky thing to replace; you don’t want to have to do it every year. Most golfers should hold onto a wedge for five or more years unless they are struggling with that particular aspect of their game.
There is no question that the Cleveland RTX 4 checks all the boxes of a great gap wedge. With its tour spin and various configurations, you can get this wedge to do whatever you need it to do. The pricing on the RTX 4 is also very fair considering all that comes with it.
If, for some reason, you are not a Cleveland fan (we think you should be!), then the Vokey wedges would be the next place to look for a high performing, high spin option.
Regardless of the wedge you choose, make sure to read through our buyer’s guide, you want to make sure that you have considered all aspects of the purchasing decision.