Wedges can be a scary thing for a high handicapper. Most of the time, the reason your handicap is so high is because your wedge, putter, and usually the driver is giving you some trouble.
Most high handicappers struggle with hitting the ball either thin (sculling it over the green) or hitting a few inches behind the ball and hitting a chunk shot. These are both terrible misses and can ruin what may have been a decent hole.
The good news is that there are plenty of golf wedges for high handicappers that make the game a bit easier.
Looking for something with a large and forgiving face, a low center of gravity, and the correct loft, bounce and grind can be quite overwhelming.
The good news is that we put together a few of our favorite best wedges for high handicappers and beginners in 2023. We also included some information on how to choose the right one for your game.
Best Wedges For High Handicappers & Beginners In 2023
- Cleveland Smart Sole 4 Wedge (Best Wedge for High Handicappers)
- Cleveland CBX Wedge ( Best Alternative #1)
- C3i Wedge ( Best Alternative #2)
- Pinemeadow PGX Wedge (Best Cheap Wedge for High Handicappers)
- Cleveland RTX-3 Wedge (Best Wedge for High Handicap Women)
- TaylorMade Hi-Toe Bigfoot Wide Sole Wedge (Most Forgiving Wedge for High Handicappers)
- Titleist Vokey SM7 Wedge (Best Wedges for Feel)
- Wilson Harmonized SG Chrome Wedge (Best Value Wedge for High Handicappers)
- Lazarus Premium Forged Golf Wedge Set (Best Wedge Set for Beginners)
- Callaway Mack Daddy CB (Best for Distance/Approach of Green)
Why Are Wedges Important For Your Game?
Golf wedges allow players that miss a green to still make a par. We can’t always expect that our iron shots are going to make it on the green. However, with a wedge in your hand, you can learn to put the ball on the green, close to the pin, and make a putt.
The best golf wedges for your game must match your ability level as a player and the desire you have to get better. Golfers that are interested in taking their game to the next level are going to enjoy working on wedges and perfecting the ones that they have in their bag.
Best Wedge for High Handicappers: Cleveland Smart Sole 4 Wedge
- Brand new and conforming design
- Easy to hit from turf or bunker
- Available in three lofts
- Aggressive milled grooves for added spin
- Not a traditional shape
The new Cleveland Smart Sole 4 Wedge is not your average golf club. This wedge is designed to help the high handicap golfer get the ball into the air without those dreaded mis-hits. The Smart Sole has added bounce at the leading edge, a center of gravity very close to the face of the wedge, and an extra-wide three-tiered sole.
The combinations of the technology included in this Smart Sole wedge make it the most forgiving wedge on the market. You can purchase this wedge in three different lofts: 42, 50, and 58. The 42 degree wedge would very likely replace your pitching wedge.
Cleveland did this because many golfers can hit a pitching wedge for a full shot but cannot use it to help themselves around the greens. The Smart Sole makes those shots around the green much easier to get in the air and stop quickly.
The Cleveland Smart Sole 4 has aggressive milled grooves to help the high handicappers gain some extra spin and stop the ball when needed.
This wedge also makes the bunker play simple. No need to open your sand wedge and try and figure out a way to fly the ball out of the bunker, just let the Smart Sole do the work for you.
This is a brand new club, so the pricing is slightly higher than some of the other models on the market, but it is not high enough that price should be a deciding factor with this wedge.
Another thing we love about Cleveland wedges is that they generally offer their more forgiving wedges in a graphite shaft. If you play graphite throughout your entire set, there is no reason to stop for the wedges.
Trust us; we know the Smart Sole wedge does not look like your traditional wedge. If you are a bit proud of the golf clubs in your bag and only want something that is shiny, black, and could be in the bag of a tour pro, the Cleveland may not be for you.
We highly suggest putting the ego aside and learning how to use this wedge. Does it really matter who has the better-looking wedge or, the better-looking scorecard?
Best Alternative #1: Cleveland CBX 2018
- Tour zip grooves
- Cavity back design
- True Temper Dynamic Gold Steel Shaft
- Clean leading edge
- Not all golfers want cavity back wedges
Yes, we know, another Cleveland. We can’t help it that Cleveland leads the way when it comes to the best wedges for high handicappers. This Cleveland CBX cavity back wedge was one of, if not the best wedges 2018 had to offer.
The CBX is a cavity back design and does not look quite like a traditional blade wedge. It does, however, look more conventional than the Smart Sole.
When Cleveland decided to make this a cavity back wedge, they were able to reposition about 70 grams of weight into different areas of the clubhead and make this one of the most forgiving wedges of the time. If you struggle with wedge shots around the green or from the middle of the fairway, this wedge has you covered.
Although Cleveland had the high handicapper in mind and they kept the pricing down on this wedge, they did not forget any of the high-end technology. This club has the Rotex Face Tour Zip Grooves that will provide plenty of spin when you need it the most.
The designs are progressive, so as you get closer to the 60-degree wedge, you will see more spin, and the 46 and 48 are designed more for the full shots.
With the CBX, you won’t have to mess around with different sole grinds as each wedge comes with a V Steel Sole that is perfectly matched for its loft. The CBX is easy to hit out of the bunker and available in eight different lofts. If you want to fill your bag with these clubs, you most certainly can!
Best Alternative #2: C3i Wedge
- Best if used as a lob wedge
- Designed to provide easy loft
- One option has 65 degrees of loft
- Built specifically for those who struggle with short game, not versatile
Another alternative to the Smart Sole wedge is the C3i wedge. This is not a brand that you hear about too often, and this is some new technology, but this is one of the best wedges for high handicappers.
The C3i does not come in traditional lofts; instead, it comes in a 55, 59, and 65-degree option. It has an extra-wide sole and is meant to cut through sand and tight lies easily. This wedge is entirely tournament legal, although it may not look quite like that when you first see it.
The C3i is built for a particular shot. It is not intended to be used as a club to hit a full swing shot, instead of for flop and lop wedge shots; this C3i provides a great option. We would not recommend a high handicapper put three of these in their golf bag.
Having one as a go-to club when this type of sand or lob shot is needed is a perfect option, but having some versatility in your clubs to hit a variety of shots is likely a lot more critical.
This wedge is not customizable and comes with a standard steel shaft. It is priced about the same as the CBX wedge from 2018 that we reviewed. Again, this is a great option to get the ball out of the bunker or hit from a tight lie.
If you want to master your short game and continue to improve, you will need some more tools in your bag in addition to this golf club.
Best Cheap Wedge for High Handicappers and Beginners
- Very low price
- Versatile bounce and grind
- Available in 52, 56 and 60
- Wide sole
- Feel is not as good
If you are looking to add a wedge to your bag but not looking to spend much money, the Pinemeadow PGX could be a great choice. The Pinemeadow PGX is one of the least expensive wedges on the market, and it is an excellent option for high handicappers.
The feel and spin ability on the PGX Pinemeadow is not going to be as good as some of the more expensive high-end wedges, but it is certainly enough to get the job done.
These are large faced wedges with a clean leading edge. For players looking to hit clean, crisp shots with versatile bounce and grind the PGX is an excellent choice.
This club comes standard with a basic steel shaft and a standard size grip. For the price on this wedge you can easily have it regripped to make it custom to your liking.
The Pinemeadow PGX is available in a 52, 56, and 60-degree loft. You can put three of these wedges for high handicappers in your bag for less than the price of one premium wedge.
Best Wedge for Women High Handicappers
- Built for women
- Comes in graphite shaft
- Reasonably priced
- Available in a few lofts
- Not as forgiving as other wedges
Many women golfers carry only a pitching wedge and sometimes a gap wedge. One of the quickest ways for women golfers to lower their scores is to add a sand wedge and a lob wedge and learn how to use them properly.
Not all shots around the green can be completed without getting your shots a little higher in the air. Having something with more loft can make the game easier as long as it fits you correctly.
The Cleveland RTX-3 wedge is a perfect cavity back option for women golfers looking to improve their short game. These wedges come in a 52 (gap wedge), 56 (sand wedge), and 60 (lob wedge).
The RTX series of wedges feature the tour zip grooves that will help you get enough spin on the ball to stop it where you want it.
The RTX 3 comes in a graphite shaft, which is another reason that we love this wedge for the female golfer. Wedges with steel shafts are generally too stiff and heavy to help make a real difference in the game of a female golfer.
The RTX 3 can be used on both full swing shots and shots around the green, making them the best wedges for high handicap females.
Most Forgiving Wedge for High Handicappers
- High quality
- Wide sole
- Lower trajectory
- More control
If you are looking for something very forgiving with a ton of performance, the Hi-Toe wedge is a great choice. The Hi-Toe wedge helps players to keep the ball a little lower and control the spin a bit more.
There is a broad and flat sole on this wedge that keeps the leading edge from digging into the ground. This is a high-end wedge that has a milled grind sole.
The TaylorMade Hi-Toe Bigfoot is one of the best wedges for high handicappers because it can be used from the short grass, rough, and bunkers.
The Hi-Toe wedge looks great with its unique copper finish. This finish will change over time and darken, giving it more of a classic look.
These Taylormade wedges are available in both a steel and graphite option. The graphite shaft wedge is a bit more expensive. Both shafts are high end and will help to keep the ball flight down.
Best Wedges for Feel
- Available in many lofts and grind options
- Spin milled grooves
- Easy to stop the ball on the green
- Lots of shot versatility
- Not as forgiving as other wedges
When golfers talk about the Vokey golf wedges, they often assume that they are for the lower handicap players.
Titleist absolutely makes some of the best wedges in the game, and these wedges are used weekly on the PGA Tour; however, there are some features of this wedge that will also help the high handicapper.
The most important factor of the short game is feel. If you have feel, you can control the length of your golf shots, how they spin and how they fly.
The SM7 has some of the best feel in the game. Whether you are a high handicapper or a low handicapper, you will need to learn how to control the ball. The SM7 gives you the feedback you need to be able to do that.
The spin milled grooves on the face of this wedge will make a big difference when it comes to consistency, spin, and control.
When you learn how to strike the ball properly with the SM7 in your hand, you will be able to stop the ball exactly where you want it to stop.
The only downside for the high handicapper is that the SM7 is not all that forgiving. You will be forced to learn to control your shots a bit more and maybe spend a bit more time practicing your short game.
In the long run, this will make you a better golfer.
- Classic looking
- Easy to manipulate
- It Will help players stop the ball on the greens
- Not as soft of a feel as the Vokey wedges
High handicappers are often looking to play with the most forgiving wedges they can find. However, at some point, it makes sense to balance forgiveness with feel.
If you are looking for a club that creates a good balance between feel and forgiveness, the Wilson Harmonized SG Chrome is a great choice.
The Wilson Harmonized’s sole grind is very versatile, and players can open it to hit different types of golf shots. This is an excellent thing as high handicappers learn to play a variety of different shots around the green. To really get good at golf, you will need more than one type of chip shot that you can hit.
The Wilson Harmonized is a blade shape wedge, and when you do learn to play with it, you can absolutely get the rough to spin. This wedge is a good choice for playing out of bunkers and for hitting from the rough or fairway as well.
It’s hard to go wrong with the Wilson Harmonized wedges; they will take high handicappers from dreading the chip and pitch shots to enjoying them.
- It comes as a set of three wedges
- Very fairly priced
- Micro milled face for more spinall on the greens
- Not as forgiving as some other wedge choices on the market
The Lazrus Premium Forged Golf Wedge Set is known for its impressive value.
With this wedge set, you will get a 52, 56, and 60-degree wedge for the price that many other companies sell one wedge for.
With a Lazrus golf wedge, you get an excellent feeling wedge that has plenty of built-in forgiveness.
Golfers that are new to the game often have to put three new wedges in the golf bag, and this can be expensive. With the Lazrus, you can add several helpful clubs to the bag for a fair price.
The 8, 10, and 12 bounce options are good for giving golfers a variety of performance capabilities while out on the golf course. When you can vary the club and loft and bounce between shots, your ability to score gets considerably better.
Even though this is not a name-brand golf wedge, high handicappers and beginners will want to give this one a closer look.
- Brand new technology
- Many loft options
- Groove in Groove technology
- Thicker top line than the Jaws golf wedges
The Callaway Mack Daddy CB was a brand new release in 2020 that was designed specifically for high handicappers and beginners. With the Mack Daddy CB, you will get a soft feel from the Carbon Steel and a precise center of gravity location.
With the center of gravity positioned where it is, players can get impressive distance on their approach shots into the green. Whether you are working on long or short shots with wedges, the Mack Daddy CB is the way to go.
There are four sole grinds offered in the Mack Daddy CB. Varying sole grinds and lofts help ensure players get the variety that they need in their short game. With the Mack Daddy CB being offered in both platinum chrome and black matte, you will have no issues finding something that is a fit for your game.
What To Look For When Buying a Golf Wedge for High Handicappers?
Choosing a wedge for a high handicapper can be a little different than choosing one for a low handicapper.
Players who struggle to keep their score down need wedges that are more forgiving and offer them some help with being able to stop the ball on both full shots and shots around the green.
Here are the most important things to consider when purchasing a wedge to help take you into the mid handicapper category.
Unfortunately, choosing the lofts of your wedges can be a bit confusing. You want to make sure that you keep the gapping between the different wedges as consistent as possible. Your set should have room to keep about four wedges.
As golfers improve, they will keep more wedges in their bag than the long irons and woods because they are more helpful when it comes to scoring. The four wedges you need are the pitching wedge, gap wedge, sand wedge and lob wedge. Each has a different purpose in the game.
Types of Golf Wedges
Used mostly for full swing shots but also great for bump and run options approaching the green. Usually, have lofts anywhere from 42-46 degrees. The pitching wedge is the most popular type of golf wedge on the market. This is a shot that many players have quite a bit of confidence in.
The gap wedge can sometimes be called the approach wedge. This wedge is built to fill in the gap between the pitching wedge and the sand wedge. Most gap wedges will have anywhere from 48-54 degrees of loft. With the lofts of golf clubs changing so much in modern day golf, it is important to consider adding a gap wedge to the bag.
Although many golfers think that a sand wedge can only be used out of a bunker, that is not the case. Sand wedges are a very versatile club, and if you ask many of the professionals, they will probably say this club is used almost as much as their putter. Best Sand wedge lofts will range from 54 to 58 degrees.
Sand wedge lofts will range from 54 to 58 degrees.
A lob wedge is built for the highest lofted shots. This club will be the least forgiving of the wedges. When you learn to use a lob wedge properly, the shots you can hit will help to lower your score considerably.
Where To Use Each Wedge
Bunker shots with high lips and chips where you need to stop the ball quickly are the specialties of the lob wedge. Most lob wedges will be from 58 to 62 degrees. Sometimes you will find a lob wedge at 64 degrees, but those are rarer.
If you already have a wedge in your golf bag that you like (for instance, a 56 degree), you will want to choose something like a 52 and a 60 to work around it.
If you don’t currently have any wedges in your bag aside from the pitching wedge, you need to investigate how much loft your pitching wedge has prior to purchasing a new club.
If your pitching wedge is 41 degrees or if it is 46 degrees will make a difference as to what wedges you will need
When it comes to wedges distinguishing what is more forgiving than something else may be a little harder to figure out.
For starters, look for something with a medium bounce. A medium bounce wedge and sole grinds are going to help you use the club for more than just standard chips. Another thing to look for is a cavity back wedge.
Years ago, the best wedges were all blade style, but now there are cavity back wedges that are just as effective. The more forgiving cavity back wedges have a lower center of gravity and will work much better at getting the ball up in the air fast.
Unless you are buying a brand new release wedge and getting it built with a custom shaft, most of the wedges golf has to offer are a standard steel wedge flex.
This can be confusing for new players or those who struggle with their short game. If you play with a graphite shaft in your irons, should you switch to steel for your wedges?
This is a great question, and it will all come down to swing speed. Players with very low swing speed should be using graphite shafts in all of their clubs. Golfers who have a decent amount of clubhead speed are usually fine keeping steel in the wedges.
The significant benefit to graphite shafts in the wedges is if you plan to use them for full swing shots. On shorter chips and pitches, you will not notice much of the difference between the graphite and the steel.
Bounce And Grind
The wedges that we reviewed do not have versatile bounce and grind options. This is something that actually works better for the high-handicappers.
The high handicap golfer is generally not going to be able to tell the difference between a club that has 8 degrees of bounce and 10 degrees of bounce. That is perfectly understandable, and golf club manufacturers know and understand this.
That is why most of the wedges geared toward the higher-scoring players come with what they call a versatile sole grind. These golf clubs can be used from a variety of turn conditions and lies, and they can be easily manipulated to achieve the results you are looking for.
Something like a Titleist Vokey has a fantastic feel and spin capabilities, but they come in tons of options. For a high handicap golfer to choose what will work for their game both now and as they improve can be tough.
We suggest going with the types of wedges that offer “mid” or “low” bounce and giving yourself a mix of options in your golf bag.
Some wedges are cavity back style, and these are going to be built for higher handicappers that need extra forgiveness. A cavity back golf club is something that has a higher launch and can be quite a bit easier to hit. Cavity back golf clubs are made for the mid to high handicap golfers that are looking to get better with their shots around the greens.
A blade style wedge is the traditional golf wedge. Blades make turf interaction easier, and players can hit a more crisp shot that launches higher and ends up closer to the pin. Most players that use blade style wedges are going to control the ball and help to make it spin.
Frequently Asked Questions
What wedge grind is most forgiving?
Each golf manufacturer has different wedge grinds. You won’t be able to compare one wedge grind to another between companies because of this fact. However, the higher bounce wedges tend to offer the most forgiveness for players.
What are the easiest wedges to hit?
The easiest wedges to hit are the cavity back wedges, typically in the pitching wedge type loft. The Callaway Mack Daddy CB would be a good choice of a very easy golf wedge to hit.
Should high handicappers carry a lob wedge?
High handicappers should learn how to use a lob wedge because of the benefits that it can offer in the game. With a lob wedge in the bag, players can get the ball up and down rather quickly, resulting in lower scores and better golf shots.
What degree wedges should every golfer have?
Every golfer should have at least a 56 degree wedge. If the wedge is 55 or 58, that is considered acceptable too. In addition, golfers should have another wedge that is an extension of the iron set, something like a pitching wedge. Most players carry between three and four wedges, and this seems to be the perfect amount.
What is the most versatile wedge?
The most versatile wedge is typically the sand wedge. With the sand wedge, you can hit an approach shot into the green, chip, pitch, and even hit shots out of the bunker. This type of technology is quite impressive and makes for a very versatile wedge.
When it comes time to add some new wedges to your golf bag, you are making an essential step towards becoming a lower handicapped golfer. The best way to lower your scores is to become friends with the scoring clubs in your golf bag.
The Smart Sole wedges are affordable but not traditional. If you want a more traditional look, the CBX is a perfect option to consider. Regardless of the wedge you go with, read our buying guide to help make sure you get the proper wedge. We have also similarly laid down our guide to the best golf clubs for beginners in 2022.