2018 MOST WANTED GOLF WEDGE
Golf Wedges

2018 MOST WANTED GOLF WEDGE

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2018 MOST WANTED GOLF WEDGE

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60

Hours
Researched

12,291

Shots
Hit

21

Products
Considered

37m

Readers

2018 Most Wanted Wedge Rankings

About This Test

All testing was conducted inside our fully independent test facility located in Yorktown, Virginia. All testers used Bridgestone Tour B-RX golf balls for consistency and to reduce test variables. Ball and head data were collected using Foresight Sports GCQuad launch monitors.

  • SHOTS HIT: 12,291
  • DATA POINTS: 897,243
  • TIME: 60 hours
  • TESTERS: 20
  • HANDICAP RANGE: +2 – 16
  • AGE RANGE: 25 – 73
  • DRIVER SWING SPEED RANGE: 75 – 125mph
  • WEDGES TESTED: Sand Wedges stamped at 56°

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Field Notes

This section details equipment specifications and any outliers that might be present in the data.

  • Models tested included 56° degree sand wedges; testers hit shots at three different distances: 15-yard chip, 40-yard pitch, and full shots at typical full sand wedge distance
  • A very minute variance was measured within the test group, with average either +/- 1 degree from 56°.  The average measured loft is 55.91°.
  • Only 6 wedges out of the 21 tested measured perfectly on spec to the stated loft.
  • The average measured lie was 63.94°; where the flattest lie measured in at 62.25°, the most upright was measured at 66.25°.
  • Average measured swing weight for the models tested is D 5.45, with swing weight varying from D 3.2 to D 8.2.

Most Wanted Wedge Data

The Importance of Choosing the Right Wedge

An often over-looked and supremely important part of what’s in your bag – wedges.  It’s inevitable that you’ll miss greens, even the best in the world do. The question is: do you have the tools to pull off those precarious shots around the green?  The high lofted clubs you carry in your bag can be a determining factor for whether or not you’re able to get up-and-down to save par.

The bottom line is that choosing the right wedges to compliment your game can help you shoot your best rounds, but how do you know what is truly right for you? There are a number of factors like loft, bounce, and sole grind that can have an impact on your performance out of varying lies.  The best way to ensure you have the right wedges is always to get fit. Let this test serve as a guide to help steer you in the right direction to better performance.

If you’re in the market for new wedges in 2018, this guide is for you.

Tech Trends

Wedge technology is a slow-changing environment – with very little room in which to work, manufacturers are doing everything they can to push the limits and improve performance. We identified three main tech trends that equipment manufacturers have gravitated followed in recent years: progressive center-of-gravity, updated groove technology, and progressive head shaping.

Progressive Center-of-Gravity –  Some manufacturers utilize what’s called a progressive center of gravity (CG). The location of what’s commonly referred to as the sweet spot changes based on the loft of the wedge – and in some cases, based on the sole grind of the wedge as well. In most, though not all cases, companies implementing a progressive CG design strategy offer lower centers of gravity in less lofted wedges (pitching and gap wedges) and the progressively raise it as loft increases. The goal of the types of designs is to optimize the trajectory for each loft.

Groove Technology – Since the USGA Rule change in 2012, manufacturers have done everything possible to push the tolerance limits. Creating new technology to allow golfers to generate the most spin from both the fairway as well as the rough. While not a new trend, companies like PING with the Glide 2.0 and Callaway with the Mack Daddy 4 utilize an extra groove positioned close to the leading edge to increase spin rates.

Progressive groove depth has been a staple of most wedge lineups since the USGA implemented the new groove rule. In models like the Most Wanted PING Glide 2.0, grooves in the lower lofted wedges are deeper and thinner to optimize performance on straight-faced, full shots. In contrast, grooves in the higher lofted wedges are shallower and wider.

It should also be noted that many brands have begun to leverage wedge grooves in their set wedges (gap, sand, and lob). It offers a performance-driven solution for golfers who prefer their wedges look like their irons, but still want true wedge performance.

Product Spotlight – Mizuno S18

There are invariably products in every test that stand out, both regarding performance and the subjective feedback from our test pool. Among the products that didn’t hit the board, the Mizuno S18 was notable for its excellent, well-rounded performance. The S18 finished ranked 2nd overall in the test and finished in the top 3 for roughly 1/3 of our key metrics.

Feedback was overwhelmingly positive among the test group, with over half of the testers ranking this wedge among their top choices for looks and feel. Some testers preferred the larger head shape of this wedge over its counterpart, the T7. The S18 offers a compelling alternative to traditionally shaped wedge. Sitting somewhere between a Titleist SM7 and a Cleveland CBX, it’s more forgiving than the former without the bulk of the latter.

Feedback from the Most Wanted Test Pool

Tester feedback is an integral part of every test we complete at MyGolfSpy. While it doesn’t play into our final results, subjective perceptions of any club no doubt affect the purchasing decisions of consumers. When we take subjective feedback, we poll testers on looks, feel and alignment at address.

Out of the 21 models tested, our test group rated both the Cleveland RTX-4 and Mizuno T7 (2017 Most Wanted Wedge) as the best for feel. Testers noted the exceptional balance of the RTX-4, citing its great feel on shots from all three distances tested.  The Cleveland RTX-4 was also rated the highest for looks at address.  The TaylorMade Milled Grind was also a tester favorite. Our golfers noted its quality feel on short chips and 40-yard pitch shots. Some testers commented positively on their ability to control the trajectory of the wedge at shorter distances.

Our Most Wanted winner, the PING Glide 2.0 Stealth was also highly rated by the pool. Many testers gravitated towards the matte black look, rating this wedge highly for looks. The test group also provided positive feedback on the shaping of the head, noting its traditional rounded look, yet modern feel with the finish. Despite the cast head, the testers rated this wedge highly on feel – this could be attributed to PING’s proprietary CTP (custom tuning port). One important thing to note is the Glide 2.0 Stealth is cast from a softer carbon steel than the original Glide 2.0.

Even in a test this size, testers will inevitably provide unanimous, or at least convincing, negative feedback on certain clubs. Such is the case for is the Tommy Armour Over N’ Out, the club we chose as the “Best Value Wedge” in our 2018 Test. Testers noted that the face was easily worn. During testing, we noticed it needed to be cleaned often, and bits of golf ball cover often were found in the grooves. The Ben Hogan Equalizer was also unpopular with testers. They described the feel of the wedge as “thin” and “clunky.” Others commented that the head was perhaps too compact, and didn’t sit properly at address.

While most all of the remaining wedges found themselves somewhere in the middle of the pack, several testers cited the Miura forged for exceptional feel and trajectory performance.

While feedback wasn’t universally polarized based on ability levels, it is true that some higher handicap testers preferred models like the Cleveland CBX, which features a cavity-back design that allows golfers to play clubs that perform like their cavity-back irons.  Higher-handicap testers also preferred the Tommy Armour Over N’ Out, noting that they believed the wider sole helped them get the ball in the air.

Buying Advice

Choosing the right wedge is a combination of preference, performance, and of course proper fitting.  There are some factors to consider when you’re getting fit for wedges:

  • Bounce – to ensure you give yourself to make the best chance to make solid contact, it’s necessary to match the bounce of the wedge to your typical angle of attack, as well as the conditions in which you typically play.  We tested mid-bounce options in our Most Wanted Test (bounces ranging from 10°-12°).
    • If you take a shallow or no divot, a low bounce option might be the way to go. A low bounce wedge might also be useful if you typically play firmer turf conditions.
    • If you have a neutral angle of attack, and typically play on normal turf (not too soft, not too firm), a mid-bounce wedge is a viable option.  It’s important to note that mid-bounce options are typically the most versatile – so if you play a variety of turf styles, consider mid-bounce for your next purchase.
    • If you have a steep angle of attack (digger), where you take large divots, or play soft turf – a high bounce option may suit you best.
    • To ensure you have a wedge for every situation, it’s not uncommon for golfers to blend high and low bounce wedges into the bag.
  • Gapping – One of the most important things to consider when purchasing wedges is proper gapping.  Whether you decide to carry two, three or four wedges, make sure that your loft gaps don’t leave any distance black holes. Many major retail outlets and independent club fitters offer a gap analysis to determine if you have all the shots covered.
  • Spin Isn’t Everything – We understand that for average golfers, there is something special about seeing a ball spin back on the green. While it might feel great to rip the cover off a ball and suck it back 20 feet, the reality is that most golfers don’t possess the trajectory and spin control that the pros do. When you’re choosing the right wedges for your game, consider more than just what gives you the highest spin. Instead, look for impact consistency and trajectory control — the more consistent your impact on the center of the face, the more predictable that ball will be. Consistency can go a long way towards lowering scores.

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      Donn Rutkoff

      5 years ago

      Any difference in Mizuno the pre boron forge versus the new T7 and S18 with boron? I love my S5 pre boron. Am I going to lose feel when I move up to boron-added forge?

      Reply

      Sean

      5 years ago

      Why are all the tests done using the Bridgestone ball?
      It was the B330s before, now the tour I believe XS.
      Most consistent?

      Reply

      Carlos Rivas

      5 years ago

      Is the Tommy Armour GTX the CB version? It appears that way from the picture and comparing it to the models available. Should have CB on the hosel.

      Reply

      mackdaddy

      5 years ago

      I am a big fan of the RTX 4. The feel is awesome and the extra low bounce is great for flop shots. I am very intrigued by the new Callaway PM grind and the new Taylormade Toe High wedges. I would very much like to hit them and see how they feel.

      Reply

      Paul M.

      5 years ago

      I couldn’t agree with you more with the RTX 4. What a fantastic wedge. I have the 54, 58 and the 64. Silky smooth and the 64 is guaranteed for 30 years goes high and stops with little spin. If you are looking for some wedges make sure you check out the Cleveland RTX4. Tried the Vokey SM7 and they come nowhere close to the RTX4 when it comes to feel and spin and that is saying something. Try them out you will not be disappointed.

      Reply

      Andrew

      5 years ago

      Tony- so it is a typo on the TAs’ full shot spin, right? They couldn’t possibly be down 2,000 rpm on full shots while being neck-and-neck with the field on partial shots, could they?

      Reply

      Bobarino

      5 years ago

      Are the clubs all bent to consisent lie and loft? Shafts lengths standardized? If not, I don’t see how this truly measures the effectiveness of the head design which is 90% of what anyone is concerned about in wedge design. While the lofts were all +/- 1 degree, that one degree creates a significant difference in spin/launch/distance and to a lesser degree the player’s set-up. A lie angle variance from club to club will slightly change a player’s posture. Club length ditto, in addition to clubhead speed/distance/spin… The player’s posture esentially dictates how the clubhead comes into the ball, effecting every aspect of the outcome of the shot. While I truly enjoy these tests and have used them in the pat to whittle down choices I make for my own bag, I encourage MGS to go the extra mile to standardize loft/lie/shaft length for wedge and iron testing. While it would be great to reshaft the heads with a standardized shafts, the shaft itself can be argued as more of a manufacturer design choice, tho I doubt most manufacturers plug in anything more than a standard “wedge” shaft as an afterthought.

      Reply

      Tony Covey

      5 years ago

      This argument has been made a hundred times before and its not without its merits, but we also must consider how the majority of consumers buy. When a typical golfer walks into a hitting bay at , does he first ask the salesperson to put everything on a lie/loft gauge and bend everything to the same specs. Is he asking that shafts be cut, extended, or replaced so that everything is the same? The golf equipment buying experience doesn’t work like that…it’s not remotely close to that. So while I can appreciate the desire for an apples to apples, perfect world comparison, to go that route would actually bring us farther away from the buying experience.

      Reply

      Bobarino

      5 years ago

      Understood and appreciated. Seeing that if you pick a half dozen of the same wedges out of the same manufacturer’s rack at the same store, you might end up with a significant variance in head specs, it seems to me that testing might aim for how the head performs when set to manufactuers’ stated specs.

      Aaron Merritt

      5 years ago

      The test is most wanted wedge, not most wanted head design.
      IMHO people who have the time/resources to adjust lie / loft of their wedges and swap out shafts the way you suggest, often do so by being custom-fit by a shop and they end up with an almost bespoke golf club. To the best of my knowledge this is not why mygolfspy exists and this type of testing would be better suited for reference data for custom club fitters.
      From what I see, MGS uses enough testers that this whole idea of player posture, ball fight tendency, etc is mostly negated.

      Reply

      Bobarino

      5 years ago

      Knowing that a local range has a pro with a club bending machine is hardly “bespoke”. And it seems to me that people who know enough to want their 56 to perform like a 56 are exactly MGS’ demographic.

      Dave S

      5 years ago

      These tests really aren’t for the super hardcore golf nut who’s going to go get fitted for every club in their bag (and use a fitter that’s not beholden to any one specific brand or brands). I suppose those folks could use the list to whittle down the population to be tested for (as you’ve noted), but for the most part, these tests are for the majority of the public who either don’t have the time, money or desire to get fitted for every club.

      What you’re saying is correct in the variations among manufactures and even w/in the same line of clubs from a single manufacturer, but that’s something that can’t really be controlled for w/o a lot of additional time/effort/$ and like Tony notes, wouldn’t actually add much, if any value.

      Instead, most people go into a big box store or a pro shop w/ the goal of buying, for example, a 56 deg wedge. They will simply pick up a few different 56 deg wedges (usually the mid bounce, standard grind option, which is the most common at stores) and test them out. It’s that group of the golfing public that this test is extremely valuable for.

      Reply

      Bobarino

      5 years ago

      It seems that there is a lot of feedback pointing to the notion that this website is for “the average joe” or the “average golfer”. Looking back at past years Most Wanteds, Reviews, News, Labs etc., this seems, to me, to be pretty far from the truth.

      You’re telling me that the “average golfer” is going to go out and buy an Arrcos or SkyCaddie to track and improve their games? The average golfer is going to be super interested in the Sky Caddie or Arrcos data sets MGS publishes? And the examples go on and on. If anything, MGS is losing its identity, possibly to appeal to the golfers they now they claim to serve. No shade to recreational golfers who constitute the vast majority of golfers on this planet, and who – more importantly – drive the multi-billion dollar golf recreation industry.

      If a website is going to publish data based on the performance of equipment, then the equipment should be set to the specs stated thereon, period. If you go look at older reviews of particular iron sets on this website, for example (http://mygolfspy.com/adams-cmb-iron-review/), you’ll see that the reviews are broken down on a 1-100 scale to the 1/100th point! This is not a review for an “average golfer”.

      If anything, MGS has purportedly refined their testing from those days of purely subjective scale-ratings. Yet they now claim that these tests are not intended to be as accruate as even the specs on a club. Then why use golfers in their testing with such a huge disparity in skill and clubhead speed? You’re telling me that a +2 golfer is used for testing but another +2 shouldn’t pay attention to the results on these pages?

      It’s become an identity issue for MGS which is apparent by the endorsement they are now providing on a particular Golf Channel infomercial.

      If MGS wants to continue to be relevant to all golfers and not just golfers who pay only passing attention to the thousands of dollars they spend on the game, then they are on the right track. If it’s anything, golf is a game of aspiration – delusional or not. The vast majority of us are interested in hitting the next best shot. It’s this aspiration that drives the game and the comraderie that comes from aspiring to greatness in the presence of co-compatitors. MGS should not turn itself into a middling net-dump of marginally relevant datasets.

      (Bobarino is an MGS $ donator and a newsletter receiver).

      Gauchograd99

      5 years ago

      Obviously every player will have a different view of what has good “feel” and wedges will play differently based on the golfers attributes.

      One question I have for you about the wedge testing would be how you would describe the players chosen. By this I mean are there any “high ball” players (guys who were launching say 40 degrees?) or guys who would tell you up front they are “low flight” (26 degree with really high spin) guys? I’m looking at the full swing spin rates and they seem … well, low. They are down around where my 8 iron is, so I am just curious if the wedges have been designed for lower spin in the full shot or if the testers are possibly causing an average 8200 rpm rate themselves.

      I get the feeling your test pool is a good median fit (average attack), and that is a good thing. Just trying to get a feel for the numbers.

      Thanks guys!

      Reply

      Brad

      5 years ago

      Guys, I hate to say it (again), but comparing the results this year to those from last year does not instil me with confidence in your testing methodology. The ranking of many wedges that were on both tests have changed dramatically, no massively.

      Last year the T7 was well at the top, and the S18 and Ping Glide 2.0 were much further down. This year the Ping Glide 2.0 Stealth and S18 are right up at the top. What gives? Who can trust that the #1 from this year won’t be bottom in your tests next year? Make buying decisions based on that kind of data? No thanks.

      I’m not even sure what to say about these results, because you are basically saying to golfers that club performance in your tests is like the shifting sands of the desert, or the waves of the sea.

      Or to paraphrase Gump…”The MGS most wanted testing is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get”….

      Reply

      Tony Covey

      5 years ago

      Brad – first I would say our testing methodologies are about as good as they can be. I always like to leave some room for improvement, but the fact of the matter is we’re inching closer to 10-years of experience, with nearly the same amount of time invested in ongoing conversations with several of the major OEMs as well as some of the smaller guys who have provided some really interesting insights along the way as well. Our reality, for better or worse, is that our testing is much more involved than what the OEMs do. I know that sounds incredible – almost ridiculous – but most of what they do centers around comparing their new products to their old products, or their stuff to a select few competitor products. None of them are attempting tests with 20-35 testers and 15+ products.

      Regarding year over year differences. As I’ve said before, test pools change, and our processes change as we learn from each year’s test. I suppose it’s not unlike what OEMs do…each year they try and squeeze out another yard or two, we’re trying to make every test just that much better, though we also have to balance all of that with a final product that’s easily digestible. The numbers geek in me loves what we did with statistical significance earlier in the year, but read through the comments and you’ll quickly get an appreciation for the pitfalls of doing it that way from the readers perspective. As I said in a previous comment somewhere, give me 10-20 minutes on the phone and I can have it make sense for nearly anyone, but none of us have the time for a couple thousand 10-20 minute calls.

      So what I would say is that the performance of the T7 was again excellent – not our top choice, but still really good. The field was different – though I should point out that S18 would easily be in the top 5 under our new metrics, and the Glide 2.0 Stealth wasn’t tested (we tested the previous non-stealth 2.0, which is a different wedge) – the test pool was different. All of that impacts the results. As I hinted at above, we’ve made some changes to how we analyze the data. We did some stuff around determining full shot outliers that was new, and we moved to a multi-metric ranking system. That too impacts the rankings. Ultimately we want to get to a point where we’re entirely consistent in how we do things from year to year, but like everyone else in golf, we’re still learning, and looking for ways to improve.

      We never claim that our Most Wanted winner will be the best wedge for Brad. What we’re saying is that in the most extensive test anywhere in the industry, we found that the PING Glide 2.0 Stealth offers the best chance at high performance for the guy who isn’t going to get fitted.

      We always recommend fitting, but we also know that most won’t do it – especially with a wedge where, despite being the club that probably demands proper fitting more than any other, is likely the least fit club in the bag.

      It’s easy to point at something that’s different and say the results aren’t consistent, but I’d argue that while we expect to see a little movement, the proverbial cream always rises. But yeah, I would say go get fitted. Unfortunately, opportunities to do that with wedges barely exist.

      Reply

      Brad

      5 years ago

      Tony – thank you for your reasoned and well-thought out response. I am glad that you guys do what you do. My concerns this year with testing has been the (in some cases) wildly different results as compared to past years due to changes in methodology, even between the beginning of this year and now as you did indicate in your response. It is natural to be somewhat skeptical or have less confidence in the outcomes of testing as a result. I am hopeful that a stabilisation of the methodologies will start to see more year-to-year consistency, which would increase confidence in the results.

      As for the wedges themselves, in the past year I’ve owned RTX-3, T7, MD3, Mack Daddy PM Grind, and Ping Glide 2.0 Stealth wedges (I like to do my own testing). I really liked the Ping Glide 2.0 Stealth in the looks and feel department. They were also one of the best for short pitches and chipping around the green, but full shots and mid-range pitches didn’t work as well for me (at least the SS grind, but the different grinds of the Ping Glide wedges seem to produce drastically different results for different golfers, which is something to note). In the ned, the best in my own testing were the RTX-3 and T7s, and the PM Grind (as a lob wedge anyway). I’m looking forward to getting my hands on a couple of RTX-4 wedges next year. I’ve always had good results from Cleveland and Mizuno wedges, although most stock wedges other than the Mizunos are too upright for me and I have to have them bent 1-2° flat. That’s another important reason to custom fit wedges as you suggest.

      – Cheers

      Gerald Teigrob

      5 years ago

      I have to agree, Brad. I don’t take many tests seriously because the only true test is what works best for me. So Ping Glide or Tommy Armorall are discussed here and are ranked. For my money, the Trusty Rusty Cobra series fills in the gaps I need as well as a Baffler sand wedge, Also I am unaware of how many testers are of the playability I’m at…so in that sense some results could be skewed. The only way we’re going to find out what works best for us. It’s the same with irons…play what fits your game. Don’t let anyone tell you different. If you need to get fitted, GolfTec is the best certified fitter out there so mention my name if you do. Tell them I sent you.

      Reply

      P.J.

      5 years ago

      I greatly appreciate MGS including the data, in a table that you can sort yourself. This allows you to choose what you deem to be the most important. For some, it’s all about spin – but when I’m looking for consistency, I was very curious about which clubs had the smallest shot area. If you haven’t checked yet – the Tommy Armour Over N’ Out did amazingly well in the !!
      They were #1 in Chip, #2 in Pitch and #1 in Full Shots.
      Something I found very interesting was the TA Over N’ Out’s had the lowest spin on mid and full shots, which probably helps the ball release more than it’s competitors – because most amateur golfers hit short of the flag, so a little release is probably better. But for the short shots, when you likely need the most spin – the TA’s were #2. No wonder this club did so well! Again, congrats to Tommy Armour on another fine club (Tied for #1 Mallet with TA Impact Series #3)!!

      Reply

      Krishna Prasad

      5 years ago

      Is accuracy more a function of the head (how forgiving the head is) or is it more a function of the spec of the wedge, ie; shaft weight, swing weight, length, grip etc?

      Reply

      Caroline

      5 years ago

      So Tommy Armour wedges are that good? So a Dick’s sporting goods owned label that is more then likely just bought off a Chinese or other club manufacture rates right in their with the best….interesting.

      Reply

      mackdaddy

      5 years ago

      Wow the RTX 4 is one of the best feels and it is a cast wedge.

      Reply

      John Hooks

      5 years ago

      The TM has crazy spin. I asked the PGA super store guys why they could spin so much better than the Vokey SM 6 I had and they had no idea. Well they do so so I purchased a 56 and 60 to replace the Vokeys I had. Strange that the distance is not up to par as the testing showed but I don’t care about 3 yards.

      Reply

      Scott

      5 years ago

      Another great read here. Will definitely try out all the new wedges during my “off season” here in the north east. Timeless information. Great job again. Thank you for the hard work. Cheers.

      Reply

      Benny

      5 years ago

      I am with Scott, great job MGS. I see so many terds bitch and complain only to go out of their way to poke holes in these tests. Its data to help us make decisions guys. Or help perk our interest. It’s not about what you think the right data is.
      Like evrything in the world people open their mouths when their standards or beleifs aren’t met. Shut up and take what you can. Otherwise go start your own MGS website, do all your own data, post it and than you can spend all day defending how dumb you really are.

      Reply

      John

      5 years ago

      I don’t see how Tommy Armour can be included in this test when I could only find it in 58 and 62 degrees. Where did you get a 56 degree? I think there are others that could have been included that are more relevant to your goal.

      Reply

      Matt Rieger

      5 years ago

      Who cares what they used for Tommy Armour? If you are on this site odds are you ain’t playing Tommy Armour.

      Reply

      Gerald Teigrob

      5 years ago

      My thinking as well! IKNOW SportChek here in Canada is big on TA irons and wedges, but they are small potatoes compared to the big names offering wedges!

      GDinOZ

      5 years ago

      Best Most Wanted ! Loved the additional detail, keep up the great work. I would not have picked up any of the top 3 prior to this.

      Reply

      Weston

      5 years ago

      Higher swing speeds produce more spin. I’m curious how spin averages changed for driver swing speeds above 110 mph only. Sometime too much spin is an enemy. I produce over 10,000 rpms with 56* wedges at full swing and they will back up too far. I think the right spin for you is an important fitting principle just as important as spin relates to drivers.

      Reply

      jsfvegas

      5 years ago

      If you’re looking for value, I’ve used GigaGolf SGS wedges. (traditional or black 52*- 62*) It would be very interesting to see how a $29.50 wedge compares to the others, I think it would be quite surprising. Even if they’re not used as a main wedge, great practice wedge for the money. Oh that’s right, everyone is either practicing with their driver or putter and missing out on a very important part of their game. They have cavity back and forged wedges as well.

      Reply

      MCOZ

      5 years ago

      The info is good. The hard part about choosing wedges which many readers may miss is how they work in your bag and on the conditions you play most often. I know that there is mention here in the article, I just think that needs to be supported. Also the mention of having one wedge with a higher bounce and one with a lower bounce will help most players in most conditions. Also what is hard to quantify here is how these clubs are out of trouble, bad lies, heavy thick grass. It is a good idea that one wedge can handle such especially for people who play around the country. Two wedges that are great in tough conditions are the TaylorMade Hi Toe wedges and the Callaway PM grind wedges. Both are really somewhat magical in very bad situations although they may lack consistency in full standard shots (especially the Callaway). Something to consider if you play on courses where there is a lot of soft Bermuda or heavy rough. Just a couple of thoughts to consider.

      Reply

      Gerald Teigrob

      5 years ago

      i would tend to not pick the most popular wedge based on testing. I know others swear by Ping Glide wedge, but I would tend to lean towards the Cobra Trusty Rusty or Cleveland game improvement wedges. I would also be interested in the King wedges. So I am not influenced by testing, but by how a wedge feels in my hands. So unless Bob Vokey is willing to make a wedge that plays more to my grind than tour grind, I will keep playing my Cobra wedges (Bio Cell pitching and gap, Baffler sand wedge, and Trusty Rusty Tour 60 deg.

      Reply

      ethan brumbaugh

      5 years ago

      Did you guys have the ping glide regular wedge tested seperatly or was it included into the stealth

      Reply

      Robert

      5 years ago

      Wilson Harmonized? My suggestion for best value to new players learning the wedge intricacies. Ca. 1998

      Reply

      Chris C.

      5 years ago

      It appears that this test was performed indoors and off of mats. How is this germane to assessing the merits of a sand wedge?

      Reply

      Corbin

      5 years ago

      If only I could play golf on the course off the mat all those fat wedges would end up just fine.

      Reply

      Billy

      5 years ago

      According to the numbers shown, the Mizuno T7 is at the top with the highest strokes gained. That wouldn’t get it in the top 3?

      Reply

      Tony Covey

      5 years ago

      The rankings aren’t a Top 3. We have a best overall, a best for spin, and a best value.

      Reply

      Gerald Teigrob

      5 years ago

      That’s why I am surprised that the King wedges scored so low. I would spend good money on them over the Glide wedges any day! I have a Ping G5 Sand wedge that will be donated to a local used clothing and book store. I donated a bunch of low grade used irons there a while back so likely the Wilson 60 degree and the G5 will be joining the other used golf clubs there. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the used clubs they have available be worth more to me than what I will be donating.

      Duffy McHackster

      5 years ago

      the t7 topped the full swing results, but didnt fair as well in the other 2 categories.

      Reply

      yellolab

      5 years ago

      Typo I think on the Ping Glide?? Your comments state it was in the lower third for distance, but the data in the chart says 84 yds carry distance. Or am I missing something(which to be fair is a high probability):) Thanks for these tests, they are great!!

      Reply

      Tony Covey

      5 years ago

      Should have been lower 1/2. I’ve updated the post.

      Reply

      Ping Apologist #9

      5 years ago

      Another win for PING! I knew the instant I got my hands on my Stealth 2.0 in 58* that is was going to be a game-changer for me-and it totally was and is! Filled out the rest of my wedges with Stealths in 54 & 50* and couldn’t be happier. Great work MGS!

      Reply

      Youssef

      5 years ago

      I just compared these results to the 2017 most wanted wedge results and was surprised at the differences. It was interesting to see that there was around a 5% difference in measured performance from one year to the other for the SAME wedge, wich is about the same as the relative difference frome one wedge to the other on one given year (there are a few exceptions of course).
      This makes me doubt the statistical significance of these results. Are the testers different from one year to the other? That would explain why some wedges like the ping glide 2.0 rank well one year and not the other, because they fit better the particular set of testers chosen in 2018.
      Not to take anything from your work as testers wich is obviously great but maybe it is not relevant to call one club “the best” when the difference between clubs are marginal compared to the differences between one golfer and another.
      Might be interesting to have access to the whole dataset if possible but i am anyway interested in your opinions regarding these points :)
      Cheers

      Reply

      Tony Covey

      5 years ago

      A few things at play. First, there’s only a partial overlap between test pools from year to year, so we’re dealing with a good number of different golfers.

      Another factor is the fact that where not using EXACTLY the same wedges year to year. Manufacturers submit new clubs, and with that invariably comes some degree of difference. This is one of the biggest challenges in testing equipment. How different is what I test, or what you buy, from the club next to it on the shelf? Not much to be done there, unfortunately.

      We looked at statistical significance for the majority of our tests this year and while I love what it brought to the table from a validation perspective, it brought with it its own set of nightmares – the biggest being that what comes through in confidence intervals isn’t always (in fact it’s often not) readily apparent in the raw data, which creates the appearance that the data doesn’t align with the results. To some readers – especially those who weren’t invested enough to read about our process, it gave the perception that we weren’t following the data.

      20 minutes on a phone call and I can explain to just about anyone, but when you have thousands of eyballs on a post, it becomes its own monster. And of course, there’s the really gnarly part of statistical analysis where a club can rise to the top – or more accurately can’t be excluded from the top group of clubs – because it’s wildly inconsistent. As golfers, we know inconsistency is bad. As statisticians, we get long tails and less certainty about where are means are. Short version, we can’t exclude clubs, even if we know they’re bad.

      Even with the good parts of that model, the best is an extrapolation of what was reliably among the best for the highest percentage of testers. As a matter of practicality, we have to balance significance/reliability, etc. with presenting results in a concise, easily digestible manner.

      So within that reality, we’re moved to what we think is a more common sense approach. Rather than try to isolate a single metric (Strokes Gained), we consider multiple performance metrics when a club shows up time and time again among the leaders for every metric, we can be reasonably confident it’s among the very best. That’s not to say it’s the best for everyone. That’s an insane declaration, but our tests have always been for the off-the-rack buyer. Go get fitted to find what’s best for you, that’s my advice. But, I also understand that most golfers still don’t get fit, so what we strive to do is identify the product(s) that will give any given golfer the best chance for success.

      Reply

      P.J.

      5 years ago

      I recently purchased Mizuno T7’s on Black Friday, due in large, to the #1 rating MGS gave them in last year’s wedge test (along with I’ve been playing Mizuno T4 and T5’s for years).
      i was surprised to see the drop of the T7’s in the 2018 test, thinking the competition had caught up and perhaps even surpassed them. Until I compared the numbers from year to year. It really is inconsistent, which is somewhat expected I suppose, considering the testers vary from year to year.
      The Ping Glide 2.0 ranked last year at 10th in short, 13th in mid and 1st in full shots. This year, they’re #1 in both short and mid, and 5th in full shots. Did others catch up? No, spin numbers and shot area on the same club vary enough from year to year to change ranking position. Last year, the T7 was #1 in short, 10th in mid and 8th in full shots. So, just so I’m clear – last year, the T7 was a better club overall compared to the Ping Glide 2.0, but this year, the same two clubs are again head to head and the numbers clearly indicate Ping Glide 2.0 is now superior?!?

      Reply

      P.J.

      5 years ago

      I stand corrected…I didnt realize the Ping Glide 2.0 Stealth was a different wedge than last year’s Ping Glide 2.0. I mistakenly thought it was just a black version of the same club. My apologies…

      snaphooks

      5 years ago

      Good article, I’m really surprised to see the Ping Glide here. I bought the first version glide with S bounce, and I hated them so much, the feel was awful. I switched to Ben Hogan Equalizer and am much happier.

      Reply

      tom

      5 years ago

      Me too. I do like the new TaylorMade Milled Grind; but I have also switched to the Equalizers (54,60 and 62 degree).

      Reply

      Don

      5 years ago

      Did you bend all the wedges to their stated loft before testing? As you saw with only 6 of them matching, it’s well known that manufacturer tolerances aren’t the greatest. If you didn’t bend them to at least the stated loft before testing then the data is pretty much meaningless as far as distance.

      Reply

      Mike Tveit

      5 years ago

      Always love the results, but your table doesn’t have the data for the 2.0 Stealth wedge, only the base 2.0. The table shows the T7 as the most strokes gained

      Reply

      Johnny Cowboy

      5 years ago

      You are looking at the full shots chart. You need to switch to pitch or chip shots

      Reply

      Mike Tveit

      5 years ago

      Oops, thanks

      Johnny Penso

      5 years ago

      The shot area metric for the TA Over N’ Out sticks out like a sore thumb in a good way. Just goes to show that cheap does not necessarily mean less effective.

      Reply

      Berniez40

      5 years ago

      It’s not cheap. Cheap s like Walmart Wedge.with performance to match…Thanks to The Tommy Armour’s performance, it legitimately ranks as, “a less expensive option.”

      Reply

      TR1PTIK

      5 years ago

      “Cheap” may be a pretty subjective term to use, but considering that the Tommy Armour wedge costs 60% less than Titleist, TM, Ping, Callaway, etc. I think it qualifies. Regardless, the test indicates it’s still a good alternative for golfers on a budget. However, if it really wears as quickly as was reported, I’d rather just get a slightly used wedge from one of the big OEMs.

      Sharkhark

      5 years ago

      Super thorough as always.
      Thanks food for the detail and hard work!

      Reply

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