Best Wedges 2019: We bring you our best wedges of 2019 - tried and tested as part of our biggest ever equipment guide, Top Gear.
In our biggest equipment test of the year we reviewed hundreds of golf clubs, and when it came to selecting the best wedges of 2019, these were our top 10 on the market right now.
Lofts: 46° / 48° / 50° / 52° / 54° / 56° / 58° / 60° / 62° / 64°
Head options: Four Sole grinds (Full, Mid, Low, XLow)
Finishes: Tour Satin, Black Satin, Tour Raw
Shaft: Dynamic Gold S400 Tour Issue
Cleveland RTX 4 wedge verdict:
Cleveland’s most tour authentic wedge ever, and they can say because they also make the cavity back CBX. It means they can tailor RTX4 to the needs of their tour staff.
A centre of gravity within 2mm of the centre of the face (most are between 5-8 mm towards the heel) improves feel and shot dispersion, which is well worth remembering if you’re looking to improve accuracy. Tolerances for Cleveland’s wedge grooves are as good as they get as every groove is protected from the finishing process, which you don’t get from any other wedge brand.
We love the compact profile, narrow sole and excellent levels of spin and control the RTX 4 delivered for all three testers (it was also our test pro’s joint favourite with Ping’s Glide Stealth). If you use cavity back irons, you really should look at the CBX.
Lofts: 50° / 52° / 54° / 56° / 58° / 60° / 64°
Head options: Loft only
Shaft: KBS Hi-Rev 2.0 115g
TaylorMade Milled Grind Hi-Toe wedge verdict:
Developed direct from tour player requests, specifically to add short game versatility and the opportunity to hit both lower flighted, higher spinning shots and explosion-style escapes from anywhere on the golf course.
When the Hi-Toe first launched, only three higher lofts were available. But the range has now been extended to lower loft models. And it’s the extra lofts that open Hi-Toe up to a wider audience.
We’re big fans of the shape – the 52 looks brilliant sat behind the ball at address – with a straight leading edge that hugs the turf. All three testers felt they could pick shots cleanly from any lie, without a wide, high bounce sole skidding into the ball. If like us you’re not into the full face grooves that come into play on the 56- 64° lofts, then TaylorMade’s other brilliant Milled Grind models sits nicely alongside the lower lofted Hi-Toes.
Ben Hogan Equalizer wedge review
Lofts: 48° / 50° / 52° / 54° / 56° / 58° / 60° / 62°
Head options: Loft only
Finishes: Satin chrome and Black
Shaft: Choose from five premium options
Ben Hogan Equalizer wedge verdict:
It’s called the Equalizer because that’s what Ben Hogan called his pitching wedge, as he was so effective with it. The Equalizer is forged from soft 1025 carbon steel and is designed to give flatter, more penetrating shot trajectories and shots that skip and stop on the lower lofts and higher flighted soft landing shots with the higher lofts.
We’re really picky about wedge shapes here at TG, but Equalizer was a hit with all three testers. Hogan only deal direct with end consumers online (no retailers) so their pricing is really keen. It means you can get a lovely forged wedge for less than £80, which in our eyes makes them extremely attractive.
The milled face and clever leading edge relief gave our pro some seriously consistent numbers (with tight drop offs), which won’t do any harm when it comes to scoring.
RRP: £130 (s) £140 (g)
Lofts: 46° / 50° / 52° / 54° / 56° / 58° / 60°
Head options: SS Grind, WS Grind, TS Grind, ES Grind
Shaft: Ping AWT 2.0 (s), Ping CFS (g)
Ping Glide 2.0 Stealth wedge verdict:
A softer 8620 carbon steel head than Ping’s standard Glide 2.0 (431 stainless steel), which Ping says along with the precision milled grooves deliver a soft feel and high-spinning shots.
All three testers were really positive about the Stealth’s head shape, size and colour (which reduces glare), but the launch monitor highlighted how both amateur testers produced relatively low spin numbers. It doesn’t mean the Stealth doesn’t spin though, it does; our pro registered his highest wedge spin numbers with the Stealth. It highlights how important it is to pick a shaft carefully (as all three testers saw excellent spin numbers with the Ping Glide Forged, which has a Dynamic Gold shaft), as similar performing shafts will ensure consistent performance between your iron and wedge game.
We loved how the straight leading edge of the SS Grind sits nice and tight to the turf, perfect for nipping shots from the barest lies.
Lofts: 46° / 48° / 50° / 52° / 54° / 56° / 58° / 60° / 62°
Head options: Six sole grinds (F, M, K, S, D, L), and three finishes (Tour Chrome, Brushed Steel, Jet Black)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold S200
Titleist Vokey Design SM7 wedge verdict:
A progressive CG means the centre of gravity is aligned vertically with the typical impact position of each wedge (so higher on the high lofts and lower on the low).
Vokey has set the wedge benchmark for decent golfers for years, but if you’ve not been sold on their head shapes before, try the jet-black finish. We loved how it disguised the head’s profile and size (as they’re actually pretty small), meaning any quirks which usually draw the eye fade into the background.
Like previous SM models, the 7s are beautifully designed. Each has a ton of tech and tour feedback wrapped up in their design and they’re available in tons of options (lofts, sole grinds and finishes). Get a proper fitting and you can’t fail to find the right one for you.
Best of the rest
Lofts: 1° increments from 46° - 62°
Head options: Most lofts are available in low, mid and high bounce options
Finishes: Chrome or Black IP
Shaft: KBS C-Taper Lite 110
Mizuno S-18 wedge verdict:
We’re not convinced huge numbers of golfers intentionally go out and pick Mizuno wedges over a Cleveland or Vokey, but for golfers buying them to match a set of Mizuno irons, they’re extremely good. If it wasn’t for the Hogan Equalizers lower price point, S18 might well have snuck into our top five wedges of 2019. They scored highly for shape, feel and spin.
Lofts: 46° / 48° / 50° / 52° / 54° / 56° / 58° / 60°
Head options: One bounce only
Finishes: Satin only
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold 115
Cleveland CBX wedge verdict:
We can’t believe more brands haven’t given cavity back wedges serious thought before – what Cleveland has done with the CBX is genius. It sounds daft, but do we all seriously think that somehow when we pull a wedge from the bag our ball striking and consistency improves to tour player levels?
Over 80% of golfers use cavityback irons, so surely it makes sense for most of them to use cavity back wedges to match their lighter, more forgiving irons?
Lofts: 46° / 48° / 50°/ 52°/ 54° / 56° / 58° / 60° / 64°
Head options: 4 sole Grinds, C, S, W, X
Finishes: Matte Black, Satin Chrome
Shaft: Dynamic Gold Tour Issue 115
Callaway Mack Daddy 4 wedge verdict:
Micro protrusions on the face mean there’s 84 contact points to grab and grip the ball at impact, and it’s this sort of tech that meant MD4 was among our highest spinning wedges of 2019.
It would have forced its way into our top five, but two testers were less keen on the head shape (may not be an issue for you), feeling the toe was very rounded (between the grooves and edge of the face) so there’s lots of space to draw and distract the eye.
Our test pro reckoned the MD4 had a lovely balance, though, which translated to very consistent numbers between shots – perfect for hitting approaches close.
Cobra King Black wedge review
Lofts: 50° / 52° / 54° / 56° / 58° / 60°
Head options: Classic, Versatile and Wide Low sole grinds
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold (S200)
Cobra King Black wedge verdict:
The King Black split our testers, with the rounded head being the main point of discussion.
If you’re a fan of clean, straight lines on wedges, the King probably isn’t the one for you. But if you can see past the shape, spin and feedback performance are excellent.
We liked the durable black finish (DBM) which looks great on a wedge, and our test pro was impressed with how consistent the King’s spin and carry distance drop offs were when hitting to a 90-yard target.
Lofts: 48° / 50° / 52° / 54° / 56° / 58° / 60° / 62°
Head options: Traditional, Tour Grind and Wide sole grinds. Tour Frosted, Gun Blue, and Oil Can finishes.
Shaft: KBS Hi-Rev 2.0
Wilson Staff PMP Tour wedge verdict:
We’ve been fans of the PMP wedges for a few years now, as they offer a decent mix of solid head shape, good spin tech (the grooves look really wide and aggressive), quality components and a realistic price tag. That makes them a lovely no frills wedge that performs.
Two dots on the grip mean you can alter your grip position consistently to cover off yardage gaps and improve scoring accuracy. Nice idea.