With the right wedge your scorecard could look a whole lot better. We’ve tested 20 new offerings so that you can get the best one for your game!
KEY TO TECH PANELS
SPIN: Measured in rpm, a good level is between 5,500-8,000rpm.
CARRY: The average distance the club was hit.
LAUNCH: The angle the ball was launched at - around 35˚ indicates a lower trajectory, while anything above 45˚ indicates a higher one.
BALL SPEED: The speed the ball left the club face in mph.
The top two wedges on test took home a coveted TG Gold award, while the next best four were awarded silvers.
All the details on who did the rating, how we scored it and where we did it...
Putting great wedges in your bag can shave shots off your game, there’s no doubt about it. The latest technologies help you impart more spin on the ball and have it dancing around the hole more than ever before. There are plenty to choose from... we just had to find out which were best.
Stats measured using the ball-tracking system Flightscope. For these readings he used a 56˚ wedge and we took readings for ball speed, launch angle, spin and carry. The wedges were then
rated out of five stars: for Looks, Feel, Control and Sand by the three amateur testers and our test pro.
We invited manufacturers to send in wedges in a variety of finishes, predominantly in 52°, 56° and 60° lofts (with various bounce options) for our team of testers to hit. The quartet hit the clubs from a variety of lies, and also out of sand – our pro also had his.
We headed up to the PGA National Golf Academy at The Belfry to make use of its first-class facilities. For more information about club-fitting, or what The Belfry has to offer on and off the course, visit www.thebelfry.com or call 01675 477062.
Jonathan Greathead, TG Equipment Editor - Eight handicap
Dave Pratt, Amateur tester - 19 handicap
Chris Newnham, Amateur tester - 11 handicap
Dan Parkin, The Belfry - professional
BOBBY JONES PELZ
NIKE VICTORY RED FORGED
MIZUNO MX SERIES
WILSON STAFF TW9 SATIN
MIZUNO MP-R SERIES
YES! FORGED MILLED
TOUR EDGE EXOTICS
MD GOLF SEVE CB
MD GOLF SEVE GRIND
MD GOLF NV DREW
PING TOUR W
TAYLORMADE Z TP
The things we discovered during our mega wedge test...
WHAT DID WE LEARN?
As you can seen from our findings, there wasn’t much to choose between the worst wedge and the best wedge on the test. That’s because every single club performed. What separated the really top bats was a few small but key points.
LOOK FOR AN ALL-ROUNDER
It has been statistically proven that 70 per cent of shots in golf are from 120 yards in. In short, that means our wedge family is pretty important. It also means you need to be armed with wedges which are good when pitching as well as when you’ve missed the green and are standing over a finesse chip. So your wedges have to be more Ian Botham than David Gower: class all-rounders. Getting the right combination in your bag is crucial... possibly just as important as the actual model itself.
UGLY DOESN’T MEAN BAD
Without doubt the least aesthetically-challenged wedge in the test was the Seve Ballesteros Continuous Bounce wedge from MD Golf. And while each of the testers hammered it on the looks front, every one of them were impressed with the results – especially out of sand. If there was one club that surprised us in terms of performance, it was this. It was great for those struggling out of bunkers. Pretty hard to duff chips with it too!
THE FINISH IS IMPORTANT
Lots of wedges come in different finishes – but choosing the right one is vitally important. Chrome-finished bats look stunning... until the sun bounces off the face and causes lots of glare. Better players, and many Tour players, prefer a Black Nickel finish because of the reduced glare and the clubhead appears smaller at address.
BUYER'S GUIDE - INSIDE LINE ON WEDGES
Cleveland’s Scott Carlyle on what you should be looking for...
What wedge do i need?
Players should consider their playing conditions and the strengths and weaknesses. Players that struggle from bunkers should look for wedges with wider soles, while those who like to hit open-faced shots should look at soles that are narrower.
How many wedges?
Wedges are used on about 26 per cent of all shots by average players. Given this statistic, it’s usually a good idea for players to carry enough wedges to hit a variety of shots and typically that means that players play at least three wedges, and in some cases four or five.
Do i need a gap wedge?
Gap wedges (50-52°) are almost a requirement to improve your handicap – so players are starting to notice the value that extra wedges add to improving scores. We recommend players space wedge lofts between four and six apart to optimise full-shot yardages.
What is bounce?
Bounce is the angle (in degrees) from the leading edge to the point on the back of the sole that contacts the ground at address. Simply put, more bounce reduces digging into the turf at impact. Less bounce allows for the club to enter turf/ sand with less resistance. Generally, more bounce will suit higher handicappers.
When should i replace my wedges?
The steels used in wedges are durable, but over time and after a lot of bunker shots the edges of the grooves tend to wear. This usually causes wedges to decrease in spin over time and go further on full shots (less spin increases distance). Players should consider changing wedges once they feel that shots aren’t spinning as much as necessary.