Wedges Test 2014

Published:

When you find yourself in a tricky spot, your wedges are the clubs that can wipe the egg off your face and get you walking off the green content with a par on the card. They’re also in your bag to make the most of a decent drive on those birdie holes. Spin levels are key, in a predictable manner, along with a flight you can control time after time. We tested 15 wedges to see which models deserved top billing.

How we tested the wedges

We called on the services of an 11-handicap TG reader to join Equipment Editor Joel Tadman and resident testing pro James Ridyard to test 15 of the latest wedges. We measured spin and launch angle, the key performance variables with a wedge, collecting data on a TrackMan launch monitor using just James for ball-striking consistency. He hit a 50-yard (carry) pitch from a range mat and a 50-yard pitch from two-inch rough using a 56° wedge.

Data only counted on shots that carried within two yards of the target to restrict anomalies. James also collected data for a seven-yard chip from a very tight lie using a 60° wedge. These stats will not form part of the overall mark alone – they are there to give an indication of the effectiveness of the shaft and grooves on each wedge. The face and grooves were cleaned before each shot and the lie measured with a spirit level to ensure it was flat. The same make and model of premium tour ball was used by everyone throughout the test.

After having ample time and balls to warm up, testers played a variety of short game shots to assess each club. All three testers hit these same four shots with each model as a minimum around the green: a 40-yard pitch (56°), a 20-yard flop shot from medium rough (60°), a 15-yard bunker shot (56°) and a 20-yard chip-and-run from the fairway (52°) plus any other short game shots they wanted to try.

There’s no denying accuracy is important for a wedge, but rather than measuring it, we will refer to it in the comments where applicable. Here are the 15 wedges we tested, starting with our Gold, Silver and Bronze winners - click through to read our review, to find more details about the wedges, and to leave a review if you own them yourself. 

Gold Award winner: Titleist Vokey SM5 £103

With tour-validated designs, new groove configurations, and Spin-Milled face technology, we were impressed with the high levels of spin from the Titleist Vokey SM5 wedges. Ticks all the boxes - a deserved Gold Award winner.

Silver Award winner: TaylorMade TP £99

With micro bumps to improve friction, this wedge really grabbed on the second bounce - a real crowd pleaser. 

Silver Award winner: Cleveland 588 RTX £109

A combination of the legendary 588 performance and Cleveland's Rotex face spin technology means this wedge was loved by the testers for its simple, classic look and tons of bounce options. 

Bronze Award winner: Wilson Staff FG Tour TC £79

A sleek, stylish look to this wedge coupled with versatility and forgiveness pleased the testers. 

Bronze Award winner: Callaway Mack Daddy 2 £99

With a unique look, this wedge is super versatile, and spinny from a range of lies. 

The other wedges we tested were:

Ping Tour Gorge £113

Dunlop DP1 £39.99

Mizuno MP-T4 £100

Yonex WS-2 £69

Nike VR X3X £89.99

Cobra Tour Trusty £69.99

John Letters Tour Black £89.99

Benross ZIP IT Cobalt £69.99

MD Golf Superstrong £49.99

Aston Martin Raw Wedge £99.99