GOLF Magazine reviews and rates wedges for ClubTest 2008.

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ClubTest 2008: Wedges GOLF Magazine asked players just like you to try and rate some of the newest wedges hitting pro shop shelves. See which was their favorite. Callaway X-Forged (White Chrome) $109, steel callawaygolf.com We tested: 48°/10° (loft/bounce), 50°/12°, 52°/12°, 54°/14°, 56°/14°, 56°/14° MD, 58°/9° MD, 58°/10° MD, 60°/9° MD, 60°/10° MD, 62°/9° MD, 64°/9° MD in Callaway wedge steel shaft Company line: "Forged 1020 carbon steel provides exceptional touch and feel. C-Grind sole allows for maximum shotmaking versatility in a variety of turf conditions. 'Mack Daddy' (MD) grooves have maximum depth and width for tour-level spin, trajectory and distance control." Our Test Panel Says: PROS: These make you want to practice your short game; dual grind sole makes it exceedingly easy to escape even buried bunker lies; superb feel from takeaway through impact, you're aware of the head without thinking about it; lots of spin puts you in attack mode from any condition; great stopping power; beautiful-looking. CONS: A little more distance loss than you'd hoped for on slight off-center hits; some find the finish can cause glare. "Works like a charm from all sorts of lies." — Lee Neisler (3) Rate and Review this club
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Cleveland CG12 Black Pearl $109, steel clevelandgolf.com We tested: 46°/8° (loft/bounce), 48°/8°, 50°/10°, 52°/10°, 54°/12°, 56°/14°, 58°/12° and 60°/10° in steel shaft Company line: "Our 'zip grooves' are milled to maximum conforming dimensions to optimize spin. To improve shot consistency, the new groove geometry is coupled with an innovative plating process. Comes in low, standard- and high-bounce options." Our Test Panel Says: PROS: Great-spinning wedges, which means great control; playability is king, good players have repeating ball flight and ideal trajectory control on full shots; sufficient feel and feedback to let you know what you're doing; mid-handicappers find these so easy to use; extraction is quick and painless no matter the lie. CONS: Aggressive grooves take getting used to, they put a stop on it so you have to go right at the hole; no more forgiveness on off-center strikes than your normal wedge. "One of the best at neutralizing the rough." — Roger Liau (20) Rate and Review this club
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Cleveland CG14 Black Pearl $109, steel clevelandgolf.com We tested: 46°/6° (loft/bounce), 48°/6°, 50°/8°, 52°/10°, 54°/12°, 56°/14°, 58°/12° and 60°/12° in Traction steel shaft Company line: "This clubhead combines 'Gelback' technology for exceptional feel and 'zip grooves' for increased spin and control. Our proprietary 'Traction' wedge shaft improves overall performance and increases feel around the green." Voted Best from Rough Our Test Panel Says: PROS: A real weapon from the bunker, you can be aggressive and still control distance from the sand; the orange insert takes the edge off of poor contact without affecting the pure feeling of center contact; easy to play a high lob shot; top-notch performers from rough; cavity and insert seem to make it more forgiving than many previous Cleveland models. CONS: To some, the viscoelastic insert dampens feel too much, limiting feedback; the insert detracts from overall look. "Great weapons from 50 yards and in." — Victor DeMarco Rate and Review this club
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Mizuno MP-T $99, steel mizunousa.com We tested: 47°/6° (loft/bounce), 51°/6°, 53°/8°, 56°/10°, 56°/14°, 58°/10°, 60°/5°, 60°/8° in steel shaft Company line: "Our patented 'Grain Flow Forging' process offers the most solid, soft, and consistent feel available. The new workshop C-grind sole lets you hit consistent shots from any lie. CNC max-milled square grooves produce optimum spin." Our Test Panel Says: PROS: Impact feel on good shots is about as good as it gets; just the right amount of spin to either stop or run the ball at will; deadly in the right hands; admirable performance from all lies and conditions; nicely balanced with seemingly heavier head mass to tell you where the club is; like the clean teardrop face shape. CONS: Exceptional feel on center contact translates to a hard feel and too much feedback on off-center hits; distance forgiveness can be lacking on mis-hits. "You're guaranteed instant feedback on all shots." — C.J. Bush (19) Rate and Review this club
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Nike SV Tour Black Satin $99, steel nikegolf.com We tested: 52°/10° (loft/bounce), 56°/10°, 56°/14°, 60°/6°, 60°/10° in True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 steel shaft Company line: "The CNC-milled flat face provides consistent response for more accurate shots. Classic profiles and grinds— same as the original satin chrome SV Tour— provide a clean look with maximum versatility." Our Test Panel Says: PROS: Chipping is this club's strong suit— distance and desired height are nearly automatic; knifes through sand with relative ease; definitely a soft feel at impact, center hits feel pure and deliver a mid- to high-trajectory shot; a solid, no-nonsense performer in all situations; black finish gives club a slimming look; dark finish against a white ball aids alignment, too. CONS: Shots feel satisfying, but not quite as pleasing as with some competitors; a little more difficult to control, or dial in, from a pure distance standpoint. "Even I can make the ball do what I want from close range." — Bud Adler (15)
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Ping Tour-W (Black Nickel) $109, steel pinggolf.com We tested: 52°/12° (loft/bounce), 54°/10°, 56°/10°, 58°/8°, 60°/8° in Ping AWT steel shaft Company line: "The small, teardrop-shaped head has high inertia due to its dense, tungsten toe weight and small cavity. A deep tuning port positions the center of gravity low and farther forward to provide proper head rotation. Comes in black nickel finish." Our Test Panel Says: PROS: These really seem at home in the rough— there's enough mass to power through the tough stuff without getting caught up in it; feel is similar all across the clubface; a heavy sole enhances clubhead awareness and contributes to high, straight shots; a competent wedge for Ping fans; noticeable clubhead stability; consistent distance and trajectories. CONS: Unlike some others tested, these are not dart throwers; dullish sound and feel at impact, not a satisfying click, leave you wanting more feedback. "These are handy from uphill lies, the rough, or around the green." — Mike Nastasi (9) Rate and Review this club
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Solus Tour 7.1 $129, steel solusgolf.com We tested: 51°, 56°, 61° loft in True Temper steel shaft Company line: "Crescent-cut sole contour lowers the leading edge for better setup and play on square-face shots. An open-clubface reveals greater bounce (two 18-degree surfaces), for improved sand play. The relieved heel area helps to play open-face lob shots." Our Test Panel Says: PROS: Solus Tour produces polarizing views— some testers absolutely love it, while a group of others vote it least favorite; fans call it a real revolution in wedges; sole design builds in forgiveness, produces ultra-consistent contact; with this sole, there's no such thing as a tight lie; very good checking power, even off downhill lies or to a downslope; sole grind facilitates any number of options from hooding to flop shots. CONS: Off-center contact causes noticeable distance loss; feel is functional, not memorable; flies slightly shorter than others. "It's the Swiss Army knife of wedges." — Dave Doctora (8) Rate and Review this club
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Titleist Vokey Design Spin Milled $109, steel titleist.com We tested: 54°/10° (loft/bounce), 54°/14°, 56°/10°, 56°/14°, 58°/8°, 58°/12°, 60°/4°, 60°/8° in True Temper Dynamic Gold S200 steel shaft Company line: "These have 30 percent more groove volume than a conventional wedge. This provides more consistent and higher spin, particularly from grassy lies and wet conditions." Voted Best for Chips Our Test Panel Says: PROS: The milled grooves put a real bite on the ball; very responsive implements; the sole glides great through turf, no digging; very easy to vary height to suit the needs of your shot; these earn their keep with soft and lively chips; best for the precise shotmaker who is very much in control of his swing; delightful combination of size, shape and finish. CONS: Not as forgiving as some other models; takes some skill to make them work— there may be friendlier options for higher handicappers. "More accurate than the on-course yardage markers." — Jon Dobberstein (7)
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Winner: Wedges Cleveland CG14 Black Pearl $ 109, steel clevelandgolf.com Fans praise its exceptional performance from the bunker and rough. The viscoelastic material contributes to the club's soft yet responsive feel. The 'zip grooves' move stuff out of the way so your ball can make solid contact with the face, providing more than ample spin. Testers also applaud the balanced club feel during the swing and stable, controlled feel through impact. Any variety of shot shapes is available. "It virtually runs on autopilot from the sand, just swing and watch it work." — Mike Nastasi (handicap 9) • ClubTest Home Page • ClubTest Index Page • Irons: Max Game-Improvement • Irons: Game-Improvement • Irons: Better-Player • Midsize Mallet Putters