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Best Wedges for Beginners and High Handicappers to Improve Short Game

Wedges, no doubt, are among the 3 most important golf clubs (the other 2 being your driver and putter). Whether you’re a professional, low-handicap golfer or the opposite, a wedge contributes greatly when it comes to lowering your scores as well as your golf handicap.

And the fact that it lowers the handicap means you should then want to know what are the best wedges for beginners and high handicappers. Because the majority of high-handicap newbies in golf tend to hit the ball thin. And if not that, then you’re most likely hitting some inches behind the golf ball, therefore producing chunk shots more often.

So why let such unfortunate mistakes ruin your chances of achieving a successful hole?

A wedge with a large, forgiving face, low CG, and optimal grind, bounce, and loft is the perfect solution indeed!

1. Cleveland Golf CBX 2 Wedge

Cleveland Golf CBX 2 Wedge
668 Reviews
Cleveland Golf CBX 2 Wedge
  • Cleveland CBX2 wedges are designed to better fit the short...
  • A hollow cavity design near the heel with heavier weight in...
  • Dynamic sole grinds are specialized by loft to provide the...
  • V-shaped sole on 46A-52A lofts.
  • S-shaped sole on 54A and 56A lofts.

You would be a special, lucky case if not struggling with your short game as a beginner and/or high-handicap golfer. But if you are, then know that it’s only common to do so. In that case, let us introduce you to Cleveland CBX 2 Wedge. It helps more than you can imagine as far as playing in rough is concerned.

Your handicap can be as high as is the most commonly recorded, and you’re still bound to find this wedge incredibly forgiving. After all, it does have a hollow-cavity design just for that!

Key Features

  • Extremely forgiving extra perimeter weight
  • 3 different dynamic sole grinds enable versatile play
  • Rotex Face technology delivers maximum control for short game
  • Feel Balancing technology + GelBackTPU Insert equal to pure feel at impact

2. Wilson Harmonized Golf Wedge

Wilson Sporting Goods Harmonized Golf Lob Wedge, Right Hand,...
567 Reviews
Wilson Sporting Goods Harmonized Golf Lob Wedge, Right Hand,...
  • Harmonized Wedges have long been popular in pro shops. A new...
  • Classic, high polish finish and classic blade shape
  • Perfect club for getting your ball closest to the pin
  • True Temper steel irons for high performance and reliability
  • Sole grind allows players to open the club face further to...

Yet another highly recommended golf wedge for a beginner-level high handicap. Wilson here certainly helps to score better by getting the golf ball nearer to that pin.

And the fact that the brand has included True Temper steel irons means you can rely on this club for boosting your short game performance. Plus, it’s a marvelous option if you’re a beginner and don’t want to spend too much money yet buy something that actually works.

Key Features

  • Blade shape wedge with a high-polish finish
  • Sole grind opens the face more for higher, more accurate shots
  • True Temper steel irons deliver superior reliability and performance
  • Customized bounce angles offer dead-stop spin from fairway, sand, and rough

3. Autopilot C3i Wedge

C3i Sand Wedge & Lob Wedge–Premium Right Hand 65 Degree...
1,199 Reviews
C3i Sand Wedge & Lob Wedge–Premium Right Hand 65 Degree...
  • YOUR CHOICE OF HAND: Choose the hand that matches the other...
  • NO-FRICTION GLIDE THROUGH TURF, NO-EFFORT FLOP SHOTS; The...
  • LESS COMPLICATED SWING VS TRADITIONAL WEDGES; The C3i golf...
  • FEATURED IN GOLF DIGEST’s article “5 Wedges to Help You...
  • LEGAL FOR TOURNAMENT PLAY, 1-YEAR MANUFACTURER WARRANTY; The...

Now, how about some awesome technology in the form of this Autopilot C3i Wedge!

It’s the perfect choice for beginners struggling with short game. Using it on the driving range in order to get the feel is indeed the right thing to do. And this experience isn’t disappointing at all. All thanks to the 65-degree loft!

Getting out of sand bunkers has never been easier, you can take our word for that. Even when used for short-range and long-range chipping, Autopilot C3i offers complete control. You’re most likely to also end up making a shot in the hole from 50-55 feet away.

Key Features

  • Specially-engineered, extra-wide lob wedge boosts confidence
  • Automatic-glide sole slices through sand without digging or skipping
  • The high 65-degree loft shoots the ball high without much effort

4. Callaway Mack Daddy CB Wedge

Callaway Mack Daddy CB Wedge (Right, Steel, Wedge Flex, 56...
67 Reviews
Callaway Mack Daddy CB Wedge (Right, Steel, Wedge Flex, 56...
  • More Spin from Groove-In-Groove Technology
  • Four Sole Grinds to Suit a Variety of Playing Styles, Attack...
  • Broad Range of Lofts and Bounce Combinations
  • Satisfying Feel from Soft Carbon Steel, Precise CG Locations...
  • Platinum Chrome or Black Matte Finish

Callaway may have not made it to our top list of putters for high handicappers, but it certainly makes an appearance here. It indeed ranks among wedges best suited for high-handicap and beginner golfers because of the extremely forgiving design and construction.

For example, there’s the exclusive Groove-In-Groove technology for a greater spin. And also the 4 different sole grinds that support various playing styles, course conditions, and attack angles.

Key Features

  • Soft carbon steel wedge made for accuracy
  • Precise CG location and crisp turf interaction
  • 4 sole grinds for different attack angles
  • Groove-In-Groove technology produces more spin

5. Cleveland Golf 2018 Men’s CBX Wedge

Cleveland Golf 2018 Men's CBX Wedge 60 Degree Steel, Right...
554 Reviews
Cleveland Golf 2018 Men's CBX Wedge 60 Degree Steel, Right...
  • Wide dual-v sole
  • Cavity back design
  • Feel balancing technology

A lightweight, forgiving wedge is all you need for your short game if you’re a beginner or high handicapper. Cleveland Golf CBX is specifically designed for golfers who prefer using cavity-back irons for getting the ball nearer to the hole.

So it provides you with the lift and forgiveness you need through the ground and even the versatility works to execute different types of shots. The extra perimeter weighting, in particular, is the feature that delivers the most amount of forgiveness on frequent mis-hits.

Key Features

  • Cavity-back wedge enhances forgiveness and performance
  • Feel Balancing technology for a pure feel at impact
  • Wide sole plays better from loose sand and soft turf

6. Pinemeadow Wedge

Pinemeadow Wedge (Right-Handed, 52-Degrees)
1,885 Reviews
Pinemeadow Wedge (Right-Handed, 52-Degrees)
  • Built standard with high quality Pinemeadow steel from...
  • Largest face area of any wedge available making the toughest...
  • Available in 52, 56, 60, 64, and the impossible to find 68...
  • Compare features and performance with the best classic wedge...

It’s common to see beginners carrying just a pitching wedge for chipping around the green. So how about correcting this common blunder by including the Pinemeadow wedge!

No doubt, this golf club adds versatility and value to your set. Chipping up close starts to feel way more comfortable. And you even get the optimal loft whenever the situation arises.

To be honest, the Pinemeadow wedge here is a highly recommended choice for both beginners and advanced golfers.

Key Features

  • High-quality Pinemeadow steel-made wedge
  • Expanded clubface area perfect for the toughest lies
  • Dark tumble finish looks visually appealing

7. Callaway Sure Out 2 Steel Wedge

On Sale
Callaway Sure Out 2 Wedge 60 Steel Wedge Flex (Right-Handed)
229 Reviews
Callaway Sure Out 2 Wedge 60 Steel Wedge Flex (Right-Handed)
  • Better Playability From All Lies: We’ve enhanced the sole...
  • Full-Face Grooves for More Spin and Fast-stopping Shots: 17...
  • New Lambkin Step Down Grip: We've collaborated with Lambkin...
  • Now available in 4 loft offerings: 56, 58, 60, 64.

Play a few rounds with Callaway Sure Out 2 Steel Wedge and you’ll soon grow fond of it. Especially if you’re already looking for a club that gets the golf ball high. And one that, at the same time, allows you to control the roll-out with a decent amount of accuracy. The accuracy factor here is commendable even when the clubface is wide open.

As for the unusual, the wedge features a new Lambkin grip with step down markings that pave the way for effective, quick shot selection.

Key Features

  • Enhanced sole refine bounce angle for all short game possibilities
  • Full-face grooves add shot-stopping, fast spin
  • Lambkin Step Down grip makes shot selection efficient and quick

8. Cleveland Golf Men’s RTX 4 Wedge

Cleveland Golf Men's RTX 4 Wedge Black Satin Finish 56 Mid...
496 Reviews
Cleveland Golf Men's RTX 4 Wedge Black Satin Finish 56 Mid...
  • BLACK SATIN A dark coloring preferred by many, with the...
  • 4th GENERATION ROTEX FACE TECHNOLOGY With our sharpest Tour...
  • PROGRESSIVE FEEL BALANCING TECHNOLOGY New Muscle shaping on...
  • MID For neutral and steep attack angles, the MID features a...

The weight of these Cleveland RTX 4 Wedges is perfect for generating greater spin. The 54-degree loft, in particular, cuts through the rough the most effortlessly. Even from a distance of 70-90 yards!

Then there’s also the anti-glare black satin finish, which can stand the test of time.

Key Features

  • Rotex Face technology adds more spin
  • Feel Balancing technology enhances distance control and speed
  • Low leading edge made for tight conditions and shallow attack angles
  • Ultra-durable glare-free black satin finish
  • Progressive back shaping perfect for all kinds of shots

9. Autopilot xE1 Sand Wedge & Lob Wedge

xE1 Sand Wedge & Lob Wedge– The Out-in-One Golf Wedge,...
648 Reviews
xE1 Sand Wedge & Lob Wedge– The Out-in-One Golf Wedge,...
  • OUT-IN-ONE SAND WEDGE; The xE1 wedge has high loft and a...
  • FLOP SHOTS MADE EASY; How would you like to hit impressive,...
  • ELIMINATE FAT SHOTS; Say goodbye to embarrassing chunked...
  • SAVE STROKES INSTANTLY, LITTLE PRACTICE REQUIRED; Thanks to...
  • LEGAL FOR TOURNAMENT PLAY, 1-YEAR MANUFACTURER WARRANTY; The...

Short approach shots are never easy when you’re a beginner or high handicapper. But what makes them easier to take on are wedges like these. This Autopilot xE1 golf club surely gets you closer to the pin. Attacking a green, no doubt, becomes a whole lot easier.

Low-handicap golfers definitely stay away from such wedges because they place limitations on the workings of a golf ball. But that’s great news for high handicappers indeed.

Key Features

  • High-loft wedge with AutoGlide sole to escape bunkers
  • Extra-wide and repositioned mass slide through sand with no friction
  • Extreme loft angle perfect for flop shots

Wedges to Use As A Beginner Or High Handicapper

Why use wedges in the first place? Here are the most likely scenarios that high handicappers and beginners are often faced with that demand the use of wedges.

To Get Out of Bunkers

Getting out of those damn bunkers is indeed the most important concern. For which a fat-sole wedge, with a loft between 56 degrees and 59 degrees, seems like the best choice.

For Chipping

Needless to say, chipping with irons is not something that every golfer can get away with, especially if you have a high handicap. Then it becomes tricky to chip over water, bunkers, and other such hazards.

So the most workable solution, at such times, is a cavity-back wedge. The loft here is between 50 degrees and 56 degrees.

For Shots From 30 yards - 100 yards

Wedges with 50 degrees loft down to 50 degrees loft are more fully swung in situations like these. But you can experiment with the loft to find one that works in terms of distance for full and half shots.

Side Note for Beginners and High Handicappers: Don’t worry yourself with flop shots at this point. Your only aim right now is to make sure the golf ball reaches the green, so you can make a single putt. Or if worse comes to worst, then two-putt.

Wedges That Beginners/High Handicappers Should Carry

Standard, off-the-shelf golf club sets include a pitching wedge, which is the most common of the lot. So does that means it’s the only universally played wedge? Nope, not necessarily. Beginners and high handicappers, especially, desire more short game precision, right? In that case, it only makes sense to look at the other 3 wedges.

One more thing – pitching wedge is, in fact, designed with the least amount of loft. It hardly makes the cut for being categorized as a wedge, to begin with. Yet another reason to upgrade!

  • Gap Wedge: The loft is higher in comparison to that of a pitching wedge, so the distance traveled by a gap wedge is somewhere between 90 yards and 110 yards. The perfect option indeed for those new to the game. Because of the optimally moderate-level bounce, launching the ball and getting the club under it become a lot easier.
  • Lob Wedge: If you wish to get the golf ball airborne easily, then place your trust in the lob wedge. The max. distance, in this case, is 70 yards.
  • Sand Wedge: Despite the fact that a sand wedge was primarily designed for gliding through sand and getting out of those dreaded sand bunkers, you can use this particular golf club in just about any setting. This includes soft and firm lies. An open-faced wedge gives you a distance of 90 yards max. Because of its widest sole and bounce angle, more and more beginners and high handicappers are incorporating a sand wedge in their golf club sets.

Everything You Need to Know About Buying the Best Wedges

Types of Wedges

Types of Golf Wedges

There are 4 types of golf wedges...

  • Pitching Wedge: The most common wedge that is a part of standard golf iron sets. A pitching wedge is built with a loft between 44 degrees and 48 degrees. A long chip shot as well as fat shot into the green is primarily made by a pitching wedge.
  • Gap Wedge: The gap filled between a pitching wedge and sand wedge takes the form of this type of wedge. Gap wedges, also known as utility or attack wedges, are also a part of standard iron sets. And the loft here is between 50 degrees and 53 degrees. A gap wedge is the most frequently used golf club for longer chips, fuller shots, three-quarter or half swing shots, and a variety of shots around the green.
  • Sand Wedge: The loft of a sand wedge is between 54 degrees and 58 degrees. And as the term suggests, this heavier, wider-soled wedge was created for getting out of sand traps and bunkers.
  • Lob Wedge: The highest loft now belongs to the lob wedge, which is between 60 degrees and 64 degrees. With extra spin and height, it’s the perfect golf club for shots close to the green. So you should avoid the lob wedge for full shots and use it instead for the flop, bunker, and chip shots.

Loft and Bounce

Now it goes without saying that the higher the loft, the greater the height of your shot. But, at the same time, distance gets compromised. So each type of wedge delivers different yardages. That’s precisely why it’s important to make sure your golf club set consists of optimally lofted wedges.

Generally speaking, 10-15 yards are traveled per 4-degree loft. And it’s more reliable to have at your disposal different loft angles to control distance than changing the way you swing or altering the club length.

A pitching wedge has the lowest loft, which is 44 degrees. As for the sand wedge, it’s lofted at around 56 degrees. That means it’s necessary to fill that gap between the two in order to gain some extra control on distance. So 3 different variations of lofts are perfect for beginners and high handicappers.

You can also look at this whole thing in terms of bounce as well. The bounce angle of a wedge lies between its sole and leading edge. That should explain why wedges don’t lie downright flat on the turf. It’s that part on the clubface that bounces or strikes the ground as you play your shot.

So what type of bounce, high or low, is best? Well, that depends on your golf swing. It’s also based on the kind of shots you play around those greens.

Lower bounce offers a flatter sole, thus works with a shallower swing. So if you tend to scoop the golf ball, then a lower bounce wedge (between 4 degrees and 6 degrees) is perfect for you. Firmer conditions, tight lies, bunkers, clean shots, etc. Scenarios that demand the use of lower bounce wedges.

On the other hand, high bounce (8 degrees and above) is often accompanied by a rounded sole and steeper swing paths. Those that strike down on the golf ball a bit much or generate slightly fat wedge shots benefit the most from a higher bounce angle. Thus, preventing the common mistake of digging very sharply into the turf or sand. Therefore, no more dragging.

Versatility and Control

These two factors are linked together because that’s how they naturally occur in the game of golf. Controlling the trajectory and spin is not the same throughout, because each wedge has a different loft angle, right? Nevertheless, all of them, due to their changeable loft settings, are incredibly versatile.

But a versatile wedge for you is one that allows you to comfortably control the trajectory and spin. If the wedge can perform in a broad range of scenarios, it’s an impressively versatile golf club.

Cavity Back vs. Blades

Cavity-back wedges are more commonly used simply because they pave the way for digging the golf ball more easily. On top of that, cavity-backs boost forgiveness, thus improving performance. After all, the clubhead is slightly larger.

These types of wedges are perfect to be included in a golf club set that consists of game-improvement irons, which are specifically made for golfers who are new and/or have a high handicap. But you can’t expect distance control from cavity-back wedges.

For that, nothing works better than blade wedges. Along with exceptional distance control, you also gain optimal feedback, feel, and workability. The simple, compact design, which is not as forgiving as cavity-back, is more fitting for golfers with a low handicap.

Grind

How the golf club sole is grinded or manipulated for changing the way the club touches and rests on the turf determines the grind. And it has a direct impact on club bounce. So when you have different grinds, you can take more versatile shots without interfering with the bounce factor of the wedge.

But beginners don’t really need to stress about this particular aspect. Because for most of them, the ultimate goal is to make sure the golf ball reaches the green in the least amount of strokes.

Finish

Does this really affect the feel of the golf club? If it didn’t, there wouldn’t be the following 3 most common types of finishes used…

  • Let’s start with the matte finish. It’s best to keep away the glare of the sun. But because of the thicker quality, ‘damping’ the response and feel of the golf club becomes inevitable.
  • Then there’s chrome, which is more responsive, in terms of feel, than matte. However, don’t expect any anti-glare action here.
  • The last option is the raw finish. This too provides a more responsive, softer feel. At the same time, there’s no sun glare to deal with, along with excellent rust-resistant and scratch-resistant properties.

Technology

With golf clubs, advanced technology is used in terms of mechanics, concentration, and physics. Combine this with proper technique and you gain the upper hand as far as performance goes.

For example, Cleveland Golf’s CBX 2 Wedge, which features Rotex technology and Feel Balancing technology. The former consists of the most aggressive clubface milling and sharpest grooves to deliver max. spin as well as short game control. As for Feel Balancing, it minimizes vibration to hand out a pure feel during impact.

Shaft

Most brands give you a standard steel wedge. But, as a high handicapper or beginner, if your swing speed is slow, then you should opt for graphite shafts all across your golf clubs. These, no doubt, allow you to increase the clubhead speed.

But then that works only in the case of full swing shots with your wedge. For shorter pitch and chip shots, on the other hand, it doesn’t matter what shaft you use.

Price and Value

You can buy wedges for $100 and less or $1,000 and more. Needless to say, the budget-friendly ones are no match to their expensive, branded counterparts. Not as far as features, technologies, and things like that are concerned.

But don’t let just price be the deciding factor when it comes to buying the best golf clubs. Because there are plenty of low-priced wedges outfitted with phenomenal elements that surpass performance expectations.

At the same time, ridiculously expensive wedges, priced at a whopping $2,000, turn out to be useless.

And if you’re a beginner or high handicapper, it would be wise to avoid spending too much money unnecessarily.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why forgiving wedges are best for a high handicapper?

Forgiving wedges, more often than not, have a cavity-back design with a leading edge that’s slightly thicker. This means they’re not your conventional blade-style wedges.

As to why this particular design is the most beneficial for high handicappers and beginners alike? Simply because most of them strike off-center shots. So, at such times, that extra element of forgiveness knows how to correct mis-hits.

Do high handicappers need a lob wedge?

Not many know this but lob shots come to the rescue when you struggle to play from bare or tight lies, which is something that high handicappers often struggle with. They’re also most likely to take large divots. So, in such sticky situations, a high-lofted wedge like the lob (but not more than 60 degrees) can really save you.

What degree wedges should a high handicapper carry?

Since, as a high-handicap golfer, your primary concern is to get out of difficult bunkers, choose a wedge loft between 56 degrees and 59 degrees. Then for chipping over water, bunkers, obstacles, etc., go for a loft between 50 degrees and 56 degrees.

And lastly, for shooting from 30 yards to 100 yards, these should be wedges with a 58-degree loft down to 50 degrees.

Should a high handicapper use a 60 degree wedge?

The most fitting wedge for high-handicap golfers as well as beginners is the sand wedge (56-degree loft). But with a lob wedge, as long as the loft angle of this club is not above 60 degrees, it’s a practical choice for average golfers.

Finally, the End!

So the easiest wedges to hit for beginner and high-handicap golfers are those that improve the short game. They should be extra-forgiving with design elements, technologies, etc. that don’t highlight your common blunders. Because you’re only just learning the game, right?

The loft angle and the ability of the wedge to hit from the rough are crucial factors indeed. It’s very important that your wedge offers a higher level of bounce so as to avoid digging or skipping.

Maybe you can try all 4 different types of wedges just to get the feel of each one. And then based on what loft angles work in your favor, in terms of control and distance, you can decide. But then who’s got the time and/or patience to do that, right? So then ditch the whole idea and instead select from our carefully shortlisted golf wedges.

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