ClubTest 2019: 16 new golf wedges to help you knock it tight

March 27, 2019

So far for ClubTest 2019, we’ve covered the newest high-tech drivers in the game, the best irons, top fairway woods and hybrids, and the hottest putters on the planet. For this final installment, we’re diving head first into the world of golf wedges.

To help you find the perfect wedge for your game, we thoroughly reviewed 16 top models to determine the pros and cons of each. You can find the full results below. Before you read them, check our quick tips for choosing the right wedge below.

HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT WEDGES

There are a lot of variables to consider when selecting golf wedges, but the most important are loft (for gapping) and sole design (for performance). When it comes to loft, the parameters are pretty simple: Fill the distance gap left after your pitching wedge with clubs in four- or five-degree increments. Deciding on sole configurations is a bit more complex. Our advice? Match bounce angle and sole grind to your swing and playing conditions. Steep swingers who take deep divots (or golfers who play mostly square-faced shots or in soft conditions) need wider soles and more bounce. If you’re a shallow swinger or tend to play in firmer conditions (or play lots of open-faced shots), go with less bounce and narrower soles. With this in mind — in addition to the 16 reviews below — the perfect wedge set is easily in sight.

WEDGE REVIEWS

 

Ben Hogan Equalizer

Price: $100
Lofts: 48°, 50°, 52°, 54°, 56°, 58°, 60°, 62°
Grind: Proprietary V-Sole

Ben Hogan Equalizer wedge.
Courtesy of Ben Hogan

Hogan Equalizer golf wedges are forged from soft carbon steel, which helps deliver enhanced feel at impact. They also deliver pinpoint control, thanks to strategically positioned CG locations designed to optimize performance by loft. In this lineup, the lower-lofted wedges feature CGs positioned higher in the clubhead, delivering a more penetrating flight; higher-lofted models have lower CGs for softer landings. U-shaped machined grooves and 100 percent CNC milled clubfaces add to the overall quality and control of these attractive and surprisingly affordable wedges, while V-Sole technology reduces digging for improved turf interaction.

Fitter comments: A solid choice for those who place a high value on smooth turf interaction and a soft feel.

Bridgestone Tour B XW-1

Price: $140
Lofts: 50°, 52°, 54°, 56°, 58°, 60°
Grinds: F Grind (flat sole), A Grind (forgiving), M Grind (multipurpose)

Bridgestone Tour B XW-1 wedge.
Courtesy of Bridgestone

Aimed at better players who want a traditional profile with a forged feel, the XW-1 is built with multiple sole grinds, depending on loft. Some models feature an F (flat) sole for better performance on full shots, while others feature an M (multipurpose) sole that works well for both full and short-game shots. The A sole is the most forgiving and allows the club to be used for open-faced shots very easily. Every Tour B XW-1 is constructed using Bridgestone’s biting rail milled-groove design, in which “teeth” positioned between each groove prevent the ball from sliding up the face at impact. The result is more spin on all shots and enhanced overall control.

Fitter comments: Targets better players who aren’t overly steep and like to play a variety of shots around the green.

Callaway Mack Daddy 4

Price: $150
Lofts: 46°, 48°, 50°, 52°, 54°, 56°, 58°, 60°, 64°
Grinds: S (versatile), W (bunker/rough), C (shotmaking), X (steep swingers)

Callaway Mack Daddy 4 wedge.
Courtesy of Callaway

The new line of Mack Daddy 4 golf wedges from Callaway are the company’s grooviest clubs to date. We mean that literally—each wedge has Groove-In-Groove Tech, meaning smaller grooves are sandwiched between the larger, more traditionally shaped grooves for better spin and control (the nipper groove down at the leading edge is a nice touch, too). The Mack Daddy 4 comes in four sole grinds to match any type of player/conditions, including Callaway’s new X-Grind, which has a narrow, high-bounce crescent sole with the low point near the front. (The C-Grind is still our favorite, though, making it a cinch to hit open-faced lob shots.) The MD4 is available in a variety of finishes (Platinum Chrome, Matte Black, Raw and Limited Edition Tactical) and 21 loft-bounce combinations.

Fitter comments: Fits just about anyone, but pay attention to the various grinds to be certain you’ve got the right model for your swing or your typical playing conditions.

Callaway PM Grind 19

Price: $160
Lofts: 54°, 56°, 58°, 60°, 64°
Grind: C (shotmaking)

Callaway PM Grind 19 wedge.
Courtesy of Callaway

They’re different. Unusual. Risky—what else would you expect from a wedge bearing Phil Mickelson’s initials? The latest iteration of the PM Grind golf wedges sports an increased toe area, some offset and weight removed from the sole, which combined produces a more controlled trajectory. According to Mickelson, the magic is found in the “bounce behind the bounce,” which refers to the interaction of the heel relief with the ground/sand when playing open-faced (wait for it…) “phlop” shots. The PM Grind also comes with Callaway’s Groove-In-Groove Technology (micro grooves between the bigger grooves), and two finish options (Platinum Chrome and Tour Grey).

Fitter comments: A unique design that can work for a lot of players, but best for those who like to manufacture different shot types.

Cleveland RTX 4

Price: $140
Lofts: 46°, 48°, 50°, 52°, 54°, 56°, 58°, 60°, 62°, 64°
Grinds: XLOW, LOW, MID, FULL

Cleveland RTX 4 wedge.
Courtesy of Cleveland

We’re four iterations into Cleveland’s Rotex technology, and the latest model has proved to be its best version so far. The RTX 4 golf wedges feature a classic, Tour-inspired muscleback design and have Cleveland’s sharpest Tour Zip Grooves yet, precision-milled and laser-cut for maximum shotmaking control. Also, the wedges have a progressive design based on loft, easing the transition from irons to wedges. The center of gravity is different based on loft, too, making these wedges easier to control in terms of both spin and trajectory. Available in Black Satin, Tour Satin or with a Tour Raw finish (shown), and in 18 different loft-bounce configurations and four different grinds.

Fitter comments: The wide variety of loft and bounce combos can fit just about any golfer, but make sure you select a model with enough bounce.

Cleveland CBX

Price: $140
Lofts: 46°, 48°, 50°, 52°, 54°, 56°, 58°, 60°
Grind: Dual V Sole

Cleveland CBX wedge.
Courtesy of Cleveland

If you play with cavity-back irons, it seems logical to play wedges designed to make the transition from iron to wedge as seamless as possible, right? That’s what Cleveland set out to do with the CBX. The cavity-back design, combined with Rotex face technology, a DUAL-V-Shaped sole grind and Feel Balancing Technology, all work toward producing a wedge that is not only versatile but also forgiving. Each wedge is shaped based on loft to make switching from iron to wedge easy, and each is engineered to produce max spin.

Fitter comments: Aimed at those who hit square-faced shots and who struggle with bunker play.

Cobra King MIM

Price: $139
Lofts: 50°, 52°, 54°, 56°, 58°, 60°
Grind: Tour Wedge Grind

Cobra King MIM wedge.
Courtesy of Cobra

For years, equipment manufacturers have used a metal injection molding (MIM) process to create finely shaped products or weights that fit inside confined spaces. The new Cobra MIM wedges are built entirely that way, using 304 stainless steel that cooks in a mold and is robotically finished and polished. Grooves on the face are CNC-milled, and the whole process is built with no human interference. Other features include a Rickie Fowler–approved Tour grind for enhanced versatility, progressive groove shapes to optimize performance depending on loft, and Cobra Connect, powered by Arccos, to use in conjunction with your smartphone to track stats.

Fitter comments: Classic shape with lots of loft options can fit a wide variety of handicaps and playing conditions.

Cobra King Black

Price: $149
Lofts: 50°, 52°, 54°, 56°, 58°, 60°
Grinds: Versatile, Classic, Wide Low

Cobra King Black wedge.
Courtesy of Cobra

If you’re in the market for a new wedge, you’re probably looking for two things: a wedge that has the features you need to play your best, and a wedge that looks good to your eye. So go the new Cobra KING Black golf wedges, with a revolutionary surface finish called Diamonized Black Metal (DBM) that provides extreme wear resistance, reduced glare and a professional look preferred by better players. The KING Black isn’t just for looks, though—the CNC-milled grooves have Progressive Spin Technology, which means that the lower-lofted wedges have wider grooves than the higher-lofted golf wedges. The result is more consistent spin, no matter what lofted models you have in the bag. Rounding out the features of this muscle-back wedge are Vibration Flow harmonics and the option to include COBRA CONNECT, Powered by Arccos to track shot distance and accuracy.

Fitter comments: Three sole grinds and multiple lofts make the KING Black fairly easy to fit for all players.

Miura KG 2.0

Price: $295
Lofts: 52°, 54°, 56°, 58°, 60°
Grinds: Proprietary K Grind

Miura KG 2.0 wedge.
Courtesy of Miura

The KG 2.0 (K Grind) is designed to provide maximum stability in just about any on-course situation. Based loosely on the 1957 K-Grind, the new model is built with “knuckles” in the sole to not only improve performance, but also help the clubface stay square through impact by reducing the amount of twisting as the clubhead passes through the turf. The clubface and grooves are also milled for enhanced spin rates and improved consistency. As you might expect, the new KG 2.0 wedge is hand-forged from soft carbon steel utilizing Miura’s 14-step process, which provides nothing less than legendary feel and quality. A durable nickel-chrome finish comes as a bonus.

Fitter comments: Great for those who struggle with digging or anyone who desires the ultimate in soft, forged feel.

Mizuno JPX 919

Price: $125
Lofts: 50°, 55°, 60°
Grinds: Loft-specific

Mizuno JPX 919 wedge.
Courtesy of Mizuno

Designed to blend in perfectly with the JPX 919 irons (of course, you don’t have to play those irons to reap the benefits here), the JPX 919 golf wedges employ Mizuno’s Harmonic Impact Technology for improved feel, and Quad Cut grooves that are tuned for specific lofts (lower lofts have wider grooves) for consistent control. The X30 stainless steel construction process makes these wedges not only feel and perform great, it makes them easy to bend for a customized fit. Comes in gap, sand and lob models, with grind-bounce configurations based on loft.

Fitter comments: A standout as a wedge extension for the JPX 919 line, so good they’re worth a look even if you don’t play Mizuno irons.

Mizuno S18

Price: $150
Lofts: 46°, 50°, 52°, 54°, 56°, 58°, 60°
Grinds: Loft-specific

Mizuno S18 wedge.
Courtesy of Mizuno

Consistency is the name of the game with Mizuno’s new S18 golf wedges. In higher-lofted models, mass is pushed up higher on the blade because that’s where the ball makes contact with the face on open-faced shots around the green. Having this feature means you can expect more consistent shots in terms of trajectory, distance and spin—no matter what type of shot you’re attempting. The S18 is made from 1025 Boron, a type of steel that is stronger than regular 8620 carbon steel but still retains that much-loved, buttery Grain-Flow-Forged feel we’ve all come to expect from a Mizuno iron or wedge. Every wedge loft has a unique profile, sole grind and groove depth for optimal performance. Comes in three finishes: Gun Metal, White Satin, and our favorite, Blue Ion (shown above). Grind-bounce configurations are based on loft.

Fitter comments: Targets better players who like to control trajectory and spin rates in the scoring zone.

Ping Glide Forged

Price: $199
Lofts: 50°, 52°, 54°, 56°, 58°, 60°
Grinds: Versatile with rounded leading edge

Ping Glide Forged wedge.
Courtesy of Ping

The forged construction and shaping of the Glide Forged golf wedges are PING’s most Tour-inspired to date. The wheel-cut grooves deliver optimized spin rates, while the rounded leading edge and heel-toe camber allow for more shotmaking prowess. The 8620 carbon steel construction is paired with a tungsten toe weight to lend a feel and balance that make it easy to hit flop shots and low, spinning chips with the same wedge. Lastly, these wedges are very customizable, with four different graphic designs to choose from and custom-stamp and paint-fill options on the heel, center or toe. We’re thrilled to see the Mr. PING artwork making a comeback, too.

Fitter comments: Traditionalists who also want the enhanced performance associated with PING designs will appreciate the Glide Forged.

Ping Glide 2.0 Stealth

Price: $139
Lofts: 46°, 50°, 52°, 54°, 56°, 58°, 60°
Grinds: SS (mid-bounce), WS (full-sole), TS (ample heel relief), ES (dish profile)

Ping Glide 2.0 Stealth wedge.
Courtesy of Ping

The new Glide 2.0 Stealth golf wedges from PING have the look you’d expect from clubs poised to pull off dangerous shots from around the green (and with ease, by the way). The QPQ (Quench Polish Quench) finish is both durable and reduces glare, while the precision-milled face and grooves provide ample—and consistent—spin. PING’s four customized grind options ensure there’s a model for any type of player and/or condition. We especially dig the ES Grind, inspired by the legendary PING Eye 2 wedge.

Fitter comments: Can fit almost any player, thanks to the variety of lofts and bounce combos.

TaylorMade Milled Grind HI-TOE

Price: $170
Lofts: 50°, 52°, 54°, 56°, 58°, 60°, 64°
Grinds: Standard (all-purpose), 4-Way (cambered), ATV (channel-cut)

TaylorMade Milled Grind HI-TOE wedge.
Courtesy of TaylorMade

Newly expanded to include more lofts, the HI-TOE golf wedges have full-face scoring lines (grooves) in the 56° to 64° models and standard scoring lines in the 50° to 54°, but each wedge has weight removed from the heel to allow for an expanded toe section—a great option for hitting shots around the green with varying degrees of open face. TaylorMade offers three grind options in the HI-TOE line: 1) Standard (50°, 52°, 54°) for both normal and soft turf conditions; 2) 4-Way (56°, 58°, 60°) to help players with slightly steeper swings, thanks to its blunted leading edge; and 3) ATV (58°, 60°, 64°), a popular grind for added versatility, especially from the sand.

Fitter comments: Good option for those who play a variety of shots around the green, including flops.

TaylorMade MG Black

Price: $150
Lofts: 50°, 52°, 54°, 56°, 58°, 60°, 64°
Grinds: Standard, Low Bounce, High Bounce

TaylorMade MG Black wedge.
Courtesy of TaylorMade

The first thing you’ll notice in TaylorMade’s MG Black golf wedges is the new black finish and the red, polymer-filled Precision Weight Port located toward the heel. The deeper bore not only provides an improved shaft connection, it removes weight from the hosel for a more strategically placed CG, resulting in better shotmaking consistency. The milled face and grooves produce ample spin, and the Tour-inspired shaping allows for maximum versatility. According to TaylorMade, each leading edge and sole grind is individually surface-milled for unparalleled accuracy. Available in three grind options (not all grinds are available in all lofts): LB (low bounce), SB (standard bounce) and HB (high bounce).

Fitter comments: A solid choice for a wide selection of players looking for enhanced feel and playability.

Titleist Vokey SM7

Price: $150-$200
Lofts: 46°, 48°, 50°, 52°, 54°, 56°, 58°, 60°, 62°
Grinds: F, M, K, S, D, L

Titleist Vokey SM7 wedge.
Courtesy of Titleist

Vokey-designed golf wedges have long been popular for their predictability, meaning you can expect top-shelf consistency and performance from every make and model. The key is choosing the right fit for your game, and with the new SM7 it’s easier than ever. The CG is progressively located based on loft, the Spin-Milled grooves yield Tour-level spin, and Vokey’s legendary sole grinds are finely shaped to meet the needs of a wide variety of players. New for this year is the Slate Blue Finish (shown), which is both striking and durable. Also comes in Brushed Steel, Jet Black and Raw finishes. Six grinds available (not all finishes and grinds are available in all lofts): F (all-purpose), M (heel, toe and trailing-edge relief), S (trailing-edge relief), D (mid-high bounce), K high-bounce), and L (crescent-shaped).

Fitter comments: The most complete wedge lineup in the business. Any player can excel with an SM7 if they’re properly fitted.