2019 MOST WANTED WEDGE
Golf Wedges

2019 MOST WANTED WEDGE

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2019 MOST WANTED WEDGE
Honma TW-W4
Cobra KING Black ONE
PING Glide 3.0 Eye2
TaylorMade Milled Grind '18
Most Wanted Wedge
Honma TW-W4
  • 2019 Most Wanted Wedge
  • Exceptional performance at both 40-yards and full shots
  • Among the top performers for wet wedge spin retention
  • Produced tight radial distance and shot area
  • Positive tester feedback for looks and feel
  • Exceptionally limited loft, bounce, and grind, options

31.95 deg

8,838 rpm

159y²

Best for Spin
Cobra KING Black ONE
  • Best Wedge for Spin in 2019
  • Strong performer at 40-yards and on full shots
  • Produced tight dispersion at 40-yards
  • Received mixed tester subjective feedback

33.48 deg

8,460 rpm

192y²

Best in Wet Conditions
PING Glide 3.0 Eye2
  • 2019 Best Wedge in Wet Conditions
  • Most-consistent performance in both wet and dry conditions
  • Hydropearl finish repels water to retain spin in wet conditions
  • Tight dispersion on full shots
  • Not among the top performers at 40-yards

32.71 deg

8,528 rpm

163y²

Best Value
TaylorMade Milled Grind '18
  • 2019 Best Value Wedge
  • Top 3 performance at both 40-yards and full shots
  • A favorite among testers
  • Dispersion not among the best at 40-yards

32.19 deg

8,653 rpm

200y²

INDEPENDENT & UNBIASED

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240 hours

Hours
Researched

20

Products
Considered

13, 239

Shots
Hit

43.9m

Readers

OUR JOB IS YOUR GAME

Let’s not mince words. You’re going to miss greens. Don’t sweat it; the best players in the world do too. The point is that, while you’ll hit plenty of full wedge shots throughout a round and a season, you’re going to hit significantly more wedge shots from 100-yards and in. That’s why it’s essential that you have the right tools in your bag to execute those precarious shots around the green. Your wedges will often be the determining factor in whether you save par or pencil in a bigger number.

We’ve said it before; every club in your bag should have a purpose, and it’s no different with your wedges. The right wedges will complement your game and help you shoot lower scores.

So, how do you know what is truly right for you?

Several factors like loft, bounce, sole grind, and even the shaft impact how a wedge will perform in the variety of situations you’ll face during a round of golf. The best way to ensure you have the right wedges is to get fit.

Our 2019 Most Wanted Wedge Test should serve as a guide to help steer you in the right direction towards optimal performance.

Most Wanted: Honma TW-W4

2019 Most Wanted Wedge Performance Chart

Every test presents an opportunity to evolve both our protocols and the way we present the data. For this year’s wedge test, we eliminated the 15-yard portion and added a wet vs. dry comparison. On the display side, we’re presenting the results using a 100-point system. We hope that simplifying will make things a bit easier for readers to understand.

The data you see below represents the performance breakdown for the three scenarios in our 2019 Most Wanted Wedge Test (Full Shots, 40-yard shots, and Wet vs. Dry Spin Retention). We use a weighted scoring system with Full Shots and 40-yard shots accounting for 40% each (80% of the total score). Spin Retention accounts for the final 20%.

Test Notes

  • The Most Wanted Wedge of 2019, the Honma TW-W4 wedge, did not finish at the top in any of the test scenarios but was a strong performer across the board.
  • The Callaway MD5 Jaws and TaylorMade Milled Grind 2 Wedges were not included in our 2019 Test as neither was available at the time of testing.
  • To that end, be aware that TaylorMade’s Milled Grind Wedge tested is the prior model.
  • The Wilson FG Tour PMP was the only raw finish wedge tested.

WEDGE BUYING CONSIDERATIONS

Performance should be your primary concern when buying a new wedge, but there are some additional things to consider before making your purchasing decision.

LOFT

Whether you’re swinging full or trying to control a 3/4 or 1/2 shot, distance control is everything inside 100 yards. When you pull a wedge, you should be able to trust that the ball will go the distance you need it to. It’s imperative that you can not only cover any distance but control trajectory and hit whatever shot the course necessitates.

With that in mind, properly gapping your wedges is essential. Many golfers carry just three wedges (pitch, gap, and sand), while others add a lob wedge to the mix. Determining the right lofts starts with knowing the loft of the shortest set iron in the bag. While there is no standard for wedge gaps, 4° to 5° is typical. Be aware that if your iron lofts have gotten stronger, you may need to adjust your wedge lofts accordingly. While it wasn’t that long ago that 52°, 56°, and 60° was the most common arrangement of gap, sand, and lob wedge, many golfers are now moving to 50°, 54°, and 58°. As with anything else, you should go with what works for you.

BOUNCE

Wedge bounce is the angle created between the leading edge of your wedge and the lowest point of the sole (trailing edge). It’s is the part of the sole that makes first contact with ground as your club impacts ball. Wedges with high bounce have a leading edge that sits higher off the ground at address. Conversely, a low bounce wedge will typically sit closer to the ground. Aligning wedge bounce with both the turf conditions (soft, firm) you’ll face on course, and how you deliver the club at impact promotes optimal contact, control, and spin.

Low bounce wedges (4°-6°) are generally a better fit for what is often described as sweepers – golfers with shallow attack angles. Low bounce wedges can also be beneficial in firm or dry conditions. High bounce wedges (more than 10°) are ideal for diggers – golfers with steep attack angles. High bounce is also ideal in soft conditions, including bunkers with light, fluffy sand.

If you’re not sure which bounce is right for you, a mid bounce wedge is the safest option, though we always recommend taking the time to get fit for your wedges. For brands who take a one-bounce-fits-all approach, it’s almost invariably a mid-bounce option. That’s fine, but we’d be remiss not to point out that most wedge designers will tell you that bounce is your friend, and that golfers often choose less bounce than they should.

GRIND

The grind matters. In simple terms, the grind describes the overall shape of the sole. Removing material from heal and toe (common in M and C grinds) can help lower the effective bounce, allowing the leading edge to sit closer to the ground while adding versatility to open the face to hit a greater variety of shots. In nearly every manufacturer’s lineup, individual grinds are limited to a few select lofts, and availability will vary based on the bounce (and sole width). The grind is an undervalued and often overlooked aspect of wedge fitting.

SHAFT

The shaft you play in your driver and irons matters. It’s no different for the wedges. If you’ve purchased new wedges before, you’ve likely seen the shaft label read wedge. This may be confusing to most, but the flex on a wedge flex shaft is actually stiff. Most wedge shafts will have a weight that’s similar (though sometimes heavier) than most irons shafts – between 115 and 130 grams.

The options for wedge shafts are limitless. The leading shaft manufacturers all offer specialty wedge shafts, and some club OEMs provide those shafts as a stock offering in their wedge lineups. Some golfers choose to match their wedge shafts to their iron shafts. Some will go lighter and softer (more spin), while others will go heavier and stiffer (lower trajectory). Unfortunately, there is no universal right answer. It’s an area where we encourage plenty of on-course experimentation.

CONSISTENT SPIN

We understand that for average golfers, there is something magical about seeing a ball fly past the flag and then spin back several feet. While it can be fun to create Pro-level spin now and again, most average golfers don’t possess the trajectory and spin control that the pros do. When you’re choosing the right wedges for your game, don’t focus entirely on maximizing spin. Instead, look for impact consistency and trajectory control. The more consistent your impact, the more predictable the results will be. When it comes to lowering your scores, maximizing consistency matters significantly more than maximizing spin.

ONE to Consider - Cobra KING ONE Black

ONE to Consider - Cobra KING ONE Black

While a longer than conventional length wedge may be unappealing to many golfers, don't overlook the Cobra KING ONE Black wedge during your next fitting. Coming in at 4th place overall, the KING ONE produced exceptional performance in all scenarios.

The idea behind the ONE Length line for Cobra is to build everything to the length of a 7-iron, which keeps your setup and swing consistent for every club in the set. It may take some getting used to the length, feel, and trajectory, of longer wedges, but the numbers don't lie. ONE Length could be right for you.

FIELD NOTES

During each test, we look for trends that provide insights into where the market is moving, as well as what noteworthy changes manufacturers have made to improve year-over-year performance. We also solicit feedback from our testers. We want to understand what they liked, what they didn’t like, and why. We want to reemphasize that, while we do collect and share noteworthy portions of this subjective feedback, it does not factor in our rankings.

Trends and Tweaks

GROOVE TECHNOLOGY

While every wedge manufacturer claims some flavor of proprietary groove technology, a few companies are taking a different approach to spin. One of the top performers in our 2019 Wedge Test, the PING Glide 3.0, features a Hydropearl finishThe hydrophobic finish prevents beading and encourages moisture to roll off the face. Mizuno’s unique take is what it calls Hydroflow Microgrooves;  a vertical milling pattern that adds friction, while channeling water off the face. Our results suggest both technologies work as Mizuno and PING wedges performed exceptionally well in the wet vs. dry potion of the test.

PROGRESSIVE CG

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. Not everyone agrees on how best to implement progressive designs. Some companies raise the center of gravity as loft increases (lower, more penetrating trajectory), while others lower the CG as loft increases. In both cases, the goal is to optimize trajectory and performance for each loft.

RAW FINISH

It’s not a new trend, but several manufacturers offer a raw finish, which is, for all intents and purposes, a quick-wearing finish, or a lack of finish entirely. Raw wedges are popular on tour – often for their low glare characteristics, and many average golfers choose raw wedges because of the perception that rust adds spin.

It doesn’t.

It’s not the rust; it’s the lack of plating. While some companies, like Vokey, mitigate the issue better than others (Vokey cuts grooves differently based on the finish), when a coating is applied to a wedge, it can shallow the groove and soften the edge radii. That’s a recipe for diminished performance, especially when moisture is added to the equation.

It’s true that the Wilson FG Tour PMP Raw performed exceptionally well in wet testing, that isn’t attributable to rust, but rather the lack of plating. We’d also be remiss not to mention that Wilson has been talking-up its groove technology (particularly performance inside 100-yards) for years. It’s perhaps time everyone paid a bit closer attention.

Notes from the Testing Pool

  • The highest-rated wedge for combined looks, feel, and alignment was the Cobra KING MIM wedge. By using Metal Injection Molding, Cobra says it’s able to manufacture a wedge with near-perfect precision every time. The finished product requires minimal post-process and no hand polishing. Testers praised the shape of the wedge and the exceptionally soft feel off the face.
  • The highest-rated overall for feel was the Bridgestone Tour B XW-1 wedge. The wedge is forged from 1020 carbon steel, which is among the softest materials used for forging. That’s likely a significant reason why these wedges were rated so highly for feel.
  • Other wedges rated highly for feel were the PING Glide 3.0 and Titleist SM7 wedges. With a larger elastomer custom tuning port, the feel of the Glide 3.0 improved significantly from its predecessor. The perennial performer, Titleist’s Vokey wedges are year-in and year-out one among the highest-rated wedges in our testing.
  • Top-rated for looks this year were the PING Glide 3.0, the Cleveland RTX4, and the Miura Milled Tour wedges.
  • The year’s test featured three distinctly shaped offerings – the TaylorMade Hi-Toe, PING Glide 3.0 Eye2, and Callaway PM Grind. While these designs aren’t without their place, the feedback was mixed. None received poor ratings for feel, but the test group was split about 50/50 on the shaping. Many testers prefer a more traditional rounded wedge shape.
  • As with any test completed at MyGolfSpy, we’ll inevitably receive negative feedback on any given club. This year, the test group rated the Tommy Armour Over N’ Out 2.0 and the Cobra KING ONE wedges poorly for looks, feel, and alignment. The longer shaft length may have played a role in the latter.
Best in Wet Conditions - PING GLIDE 3.0 Wedges

Best in Wet Conditions - PING GLIDE 3.0 Wedges

The reality of golf is that you're going to play in a variety of conditions. Whether it's the morning dew during your 7 AM tee time, an afternoon shower, or rough that's a little lusher than you'd like, moisture is always a factor on the golf course.

Our 2019 testing revealed some stark performance differences from club to club when water gets in your grooves, but not every wedge is affected equally. The Glide 3.0's Hydropearl Finish - a hydrophobic (water-repelling) coating that PING developed, encourages water to roll out of your grooves and off the face of the club.  The best part is that it works as advertised. Our testing showed that, while the worst performing wedges in wet conditions lost nearly 60% of its dry spin, the PING Glide 3.0 wedges lost only 10%. That can be the difference between a 3-foot put and a 13-foot putt.

2019 Most Wanted Wedge Data

To filter and compare by club, use the drop-down list and checkboxes to select the only the wedges you wish to compare.

Raised Toe Designs Aren't for Everyone

We're inclined to describe designs like the Callaway PM Grind, TaylorMade Hi-Toe as extreme niche offerings. These outliers in the wedge category have their place, but they're not for everyone. For most golfers, the bad will outweigh the good.

The upside is that raised toe designs make it possible to hit shots that you likely couldn't with any other wedge - at higher lofts they can be nothing short of magic. The tradeoff is that, for average golfers, they often make the kind of shots you hit a dozen times a round (sometimes more) significantly more difficult than they need to be. That's the devil in a design where the raised toe raises the center of gravity'; making the wedge itself a bit more challenging to hit while creating a feel that's fundamentally different than the other clubs in your bag.

While we're not opposed to golfers putting these designs in their bag, the caveat is often a risk-reward scenario that requires plenty of practice before the reward begins to outweigh the risk. Proceed with caution.

2019 Most Wanted Wet Wedge Test

During each test we complete at MyGolfSpy, we typically learn something new. When that knowledge enables us to improve our testing methodologies, we do. Our 2019 Ball Test Buyer’s Guide revealed some shocking changes in spin rates and launch angles when moisture is introduced into the impact equation.

That’s why in 2019, we are introducing an industry-first comprehensive head-to-head wet/dry wedge test. For this portion of the test, ten testers to hit shots from 60-yards in both dry and wet conditions. To simulate wet conditions, we saturated the ground and spritzed both the wedge face and the ball.

The data collected during this portion of the test revealed some of the most pronounced performance differences we’ve ever seen.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

SPIN IS LOST WHEN MOISTURE IS INTRODUCED

Golf is a game of ever-changing variables. One minute you could be teeing off under sunny skies, and by the back nine, you’re breaking out the umbrella and rain gear. The ability to control your golf ball during the variety of situations you’ll face during the round is crucial to shooting lower scores. When moisture enters the equation, spin is reduced significantly. Moisture between the club and ball, whether from rain, dew, or thick grass, is almost inevitable during a round of golf, and the wetter it gets, the less your ball is going to spin.

This year we tested at 60-yards in both wet and dry conditions. The results, well, we’ll let you see in the data table for yourself below. While the average wedge lost about 35% of its dry spin, the worst-performing wedges in wet conditions saw an alarming 60% reduction in spin. The good news is, however, that the best performing wedges under wet conditions only saw a drop off of only around 10% in the spin rate. It’s unlikely that many of us have been fit for wedges (or any other club for that matter) in wet conditions, but you might want to start thinking about the performance of your wedges in all conditions.

LAUNCH INCREASES IN WET CONDITIONS

Just as spin rate decreases with the introduction of moisture, launch angle is altered as well. When moisture gets between the dimples of a golf ball and inside the grooves of your wedge, friction is lost, and the golf ball skids up the face, increasing the launch angle considerably.

Across the testing pool, the average increase in launch angle was 5.4°, with the most significant increase being upwards of 9°. Whether you’re in the fairway or rough, there may be cases where you’ll need to keep the ball low – having a wedge that allows you to flight the ball in any condition isn’t going to hurt your score one bit.

THE TECH IS REAL

Despite these alarming changes in spin rate and launch angle, there’s some light at the end of the tunnel. Manufacturers like PING and Mizuno do a demonstrably better job of maintaining consistent performance in wet conditions.

PING utilizes a Hydropearl finish that acts much like the tire of a car in that it works to disperse water from the grooves. What we’re left with is the top-performing wedge in terms of spin retention in wet conditions. Another strong performer in the wet/dry portion of our testing was the Mizuno T20 wedge with its Hyrdroflow Microgrooves. These wedges finished 1st, 2nd (PING), and 4th (Mizuno) respectively in the wet wedge portion of our testing.

RAW FINISHES MAY HELP RETAIN SPIN

An interesting result that warrants further study is the performance of Wilson’s FG Tour PMP Raw wedge in wet testing. The only raw wedge in this test, The Wilson PMP retained 79% of its dry spin. Whether that’s the result of the raw finish, Wilson’s grooves, or a combination of the two isn’t entirely clear. What we can say is that, in wet conditions, the Wilson wedge retained spin better than every other wedge not made by PING.

2019 Most Wanted Wedge Wet vs. Dry Data

To filter and compare by club, use the drop-down list and checkboxes to select the only the wedges you wish to compare.

PRODUCT SPECIFICATIONS

2019 Most Wanted Wedge Measurements

ClubLoft (deg.)Lie (deg.)Length (in.)Swing Weight (D)
Bettinardi H2 303 SS

Check Price
55.5°64.25°35.25"4.2
Bridgestone Tour B XW-1

Check Price
56°63.25°35.25"4.4
Callaway PM Grind

Check Price
56.25°64°35"4.7
Cleveland CBX-2

Check Price
56.25°63.75°35.25"4
Cleveland RTX-4

Check Price
56.5°63.25°35.25"4.2
Cobra KING Black

Check Price
57°64.75°35.25"6
Cobra KING MIM

Check Price
55°63.75°35.5"5.4
Cobra KING ONE Black

Check Price
56.25°61.25°37"4.5
Honma TW-W4

Check Price
56.5°63.25°35"4.3
Miura Milled Tour

Check Price
56°63°35.25"4.3
Mizuno T20

Check Price
56°63.25°35.25"4.3
PING Glide 3.0

Check Price
56.5°64°35.5"3
PING Glide 3.0 Eye2

Check Price
55.75°63.75°35.5"2.9
Sub 70 Forged Black

Check Price
56.75°62.5°35"4.8
TaylorMade Hi Toe

Check Price
55.75°63.75°34.75"4.8
TaylorMade Milled Grind '18

Check Price
56.5°63.5°35"5
Titleist Vokey SM7

Check Price
55.75°64.5°35"6.5
Tommy Armour Over N' Out 2.0

Check Price
57.25°65.25°34.75"1.6
Tommy Armour VCG

Check Price
55.75°64°35"5.7
Wilson FG Tour Raw

Check Price
56.25°64.5°35"2.9

* denotes measured value vs. manufacturer’s stated spec.

EXPERT TIP - The Grind Matters

Wedge grinds - the shape of the sole in combination with the manipulation or removal of material from that sole - unlock versatility and playability while optimizing short game performance.

Fitting the golfer to the grind is an essential part of wedge fitting, and it's where many wedge manufacturers fall short of fully servicing the golfer. While every grind in a lineup increases fitting opportunities, it also increases manufacturing costs, which is why many brands offer only a single grind across all lofts, or a single grind at each loft.

That's not fitting, it's rolling the dice, or at best, playing to the middle to the exclusion of everyone else. When the grind is an integral part of a wedge fitting, golfers often see significant improvement in their short games.

While single and limited bounce lineups are designed to work well-enough, golfers serious about unlocking their full short game potential should gravitate to brands like Vokey, Callaway, and PING, who offer a variety of bounce/grind combinations at each loft.

FAQ

BUYING NEW WEDGES

Q: How often should I buy new wedges?

A: Your wedges will take a beating from the various elements you’re bound to face on the golf course. When was the last time you replaced your wedges? A test completed by Titleist shows that after about 75 rounds of golf, the groove wear becomes significant enough to affect performance. That being said, assess your own game to make sure you’re replacing your wedges often enough. For tour pros, that’s several times a year, for the rest of us, not so much (though many of us should replace annually). While developments in wedge technology are not groundbreaking from year to year, ensuring your grooves are fresh is one of the easiest ways to maintain consistency.

Q: How do I determine the right wedges for me?

A: The best way to determine which wedges are best for your game is to participate in a professional fitting. Many golf clubs and golf shops offer the resources necessary to dial-in your wedges. If you don’t have access to professional fitting, use this test as a guide to help narrow down your demo list. While few fitters offer it, given the variety of shots you’ll need to hit with your wedges, you’ll ideally be fit from a variety of lie conditions, including bunkers.

If you’re going for a self-fit, make sure to analyze your game to ensure proper to provide consistent yardage gapping from club to club. From there, understand your angle of attack, divot size, and typical playing conditions to make the proper selection on wedge bounce and grind. Remember that if you play in soft conditions, wedges with high bounce are useful. And just the opposite if you play in firm conditions, look to low bounce. If you’re not sure what bounce is right, a mid-bounce option is your safest bet.

Q: Does the shaft matter?

A: Absolutely. While changes to spin and launch and spin differences are rarely massive, shaft changes frequently lead to improved accuracy, tighter dispersion, and higher overall consistency.

Q: What should I look for when testing wedges?

A: While golfers have been conditioned to consider wedge spin to the exclusion of nearly everything else, we always recommended looking at the little numbers and looking for small circles. The spinniest wedge is not always going to be your best wedge. When comparing metrics like launch angle and spin rates, be sure to look at your standard deviations (the small numbers usually found under the big ones on the data screen).

Smaller numbers mean better consistency, which will usually benefit your score more than an extra yard or two. Similarly, look for tighter dispersion ellipses (small circles). We can’t understate the importance of consistency with wedges. If you have the option, introduce moisture into your testing process. Your wedges must perform well regardless of whether you’re in wet or dry conditions.

How We Test

Our Mission is to help you find the best wedges for your game.

We are 100% independent and unbiased, and we always put the #ConsumerFirst.

About Our Testers

Our pool of testers consists of 20 golfers with handicaps ranging from plus to the high single digits. As a group, they span a broad range of swing characteristics (head speed, attack angle, etc.).

Over the course of several sessions, each golfer is required to hit 10-12 "good" shots with each club. Club order is randomized on a per tester basis.

Limiting Variables and Gathering Data Reliably

To minimize variables, all testers hit Bridgestone Tour B RX Golf balls.

Both club and head data are captured using Foresight GCQuad launch monitors.

Crunching the Numbers

Before determining our rankings, we identify and remove outliers using a proprietary detection methodology.

To arrive at our final results, we calculate the averages of key metrics (ball speed, distance, dispersion, etc.), while also considering the standard deviation and the statistical reliability of those values.

For more detailed information on our test process, visit our How We Test Page.

MOST WANTED

Q: How are the wedges in the test fit to each golfer?

A: We use a fitting process that we call fit from stock. Wedges are fitted to each tester using the stock, no up-charge options from each manufacturer. We test a 56° sand wedge of each model submitted. While there are no wedges in our testing that feature adjustability, we fit to flex for each tester in the pool. Occasionally manufacturers will send multiple wedges with different stock shafts that we can utilize to improve launch conditions.

Q: How is the Most Wanted Wedge Determined

A: To determine the Most Wanted Wedge, we collect performance metrics with Foresight GCQuad Launch Monitors. To determine our overall rankings for full and 40-yard shots, we utilize a proprietary methodology that considers the statistical reliability of a Strokes Gained metric across the entire pool of testers. To determine the rankings for the wet portion of the test, we looked at how much spin was retained in wet testing. The full and 40-yard portions of the test each accounted for 40% of the overall score (80% total), while the wet portion accounts for 20% of the overall score.

Q: How is the “Highest Spinning” Wedge determined?

A: To determine the highest spinning wedge, we consider the average backspin across the test pool along with the statistical reliability of that data. We also considered the amount of spin lost during the wet portion of the test, eliminating any wedge where wet spin degradation was significantly below average.

Q: How much does subjective feedback like looks, sound, and feel factor into your rankings?

A: ZERO. Our rankings are based purely on launch monitor data and quantifiable performance metrics.

 

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      Jay

      4 years ago

      Just for input, I did end up with the Honma wedges, in 54 and 58, based on your assessments, They did perform really well off of all kinds of lies – when struck just right – and they look great at address and sitting in my bag, but they were not the most forgiving. The CBX2’s are not nearly as crisp as those Honma’s and they certainly don’t feel or look anything like them either. They sure don’t have that extra little pop, but they are so forgiving that those not so perfect shots that would have been tragic if struck with those Honma’s, actually end up, not too bad. Yes, when my game is hot and my swings are on point, then the Honma’s are in the bag. But, most of the time, those less-than-pretty, CBX2s with their utilitarian looks, feel, and shot making, are my daily gamers now. And since the release of the full-face hi-toe, it’s sitting in at the 58 spot, and it’s earning it’s place on my starting team roster as much as any other club in my bag. Out of the rough, the bunkers, fairway, chipping, pitching, full or partial swings, wet or dry, they are performers. They may not be the belle of the ball, hardly sexy at all to be honest, and nobody is going to want to fondle them like those Honma’s, but they sure make my short game look awfully good. As much as I always loved the way the RTX’s have played (and looked), the CBX’s have played their way into my lineup. Thank you Cleveland. Now, can you dress them up a little more like a girl on the town, rather than the geeky librarian?

      Reply

      RT

      4 years ago

      How long does the rust wedge last as far as grooves and performance .?

      Reply

      Charlie Michael

      4 years ago

      Thank you for your work, you have helped me understand the equipment and have since guided me in my purchasing decisions moving forward. Understanding some of these concepts you talk about when it comes to equipment is very enlightening to people that have no background in golf and just getting into it. My question is regarding the wedge test and all of the wet tests; do you think the performance in wet conditions will change from usage and as the metal oxidizes?

      Reply

      Douglas Mael

      4 years ago

      Here’s an update: I played golf yesterday in the finals of the State Senior Matchplay Championship (I won my match 3-0, and my team won the State Championship). It was raining the entire day, ranging from a light drizzle to a steady shower. My Ping Glide 2.0 wedges performed great in these wet conditions, and I can honestly say that the ability to impart good spin with my wedge shots contributed to wins on at least four holes in my match. I love these wedges!

      Reply

      Steve

      4 years ago

      This was a very interesting test. I beat the punch as I was ready to repalce my Ping Glide 2.0 wedges this summer and when the Ping Glide 3.0 Eye 2 wedges arrived, they were immeditately in my bag. I have played Ping wedges since the Karsten III era and these are the most accurate, best feeling and consistent wedges I have ever owned. I expereinced more tap ins and chip ins with these in 3 months than all last year. Picked up the 54 and 58 as my irons have a W and U wedge so my gaps are filled.

      Reply

      Rodney White

      4 years ago

      How will the finish (magic coating) last? It would be interesting to document the reduction in wet spin rate, if any, after 50 bunker shots.

      Reply

      Douglas Mael

      4 years ago

      Rodney, If you are referring to the finish on the Ping Glide Series wedges, I have been using my Glide 2.0 wedges (54.12 and 58.14 models) since early 2018, and have played more than 75 rounds of golf with them. Since I play a few times every week, the number of rounds may be closer to 100. They still repel water and spin fantastically well.

      Reply

      Mike

      4 years ago

      I would love to hear about any type of feedback/testing of a groove sharpener on wedges. The awesome article states that performance declines after about 75 rounds. Would using a groove sharpener help extend this? Is the tool marketing hype or does it actually work? I replace my wedges usually annually but some “maintenance” on the wedges with the groove sharpener is done throughout the year. Thanks..

      Reply

      MG

      4 years ago

      Question for MGS and anyone else who uses raw clubs. Doesn’t the rust get messy? I picture it getting all over your towel and glove. Even on your clothes if your not careful. Thanks in advance!

      Reply

      Jim418

      4 years ago

      I’ve never had any problems of that sort with my raw Cleveland RTX 3 wedges.

      Reply

      Deacon

      4 years ago

      Your timing is perfect as I was getting ready to replace my wedges. The information you provided has caused me to reconsider my choices. Thanks.

      Reply

      steve

      4 years ago

      Don’t see anything here that would make me replace my Ping Stealth 2.0’s. The best wedge I’ve ever played!!

      Reply

      John

      4 years ago

      Ok, I’ll say it again. I’ve played a number of wedges… Ping Glide 1.0, 2..0, Stealth, 3.0, 3.0 Eye2, SM6 and others, and I choose to play the MD4 because it flat out performs. To omit a wedge from a major OEM was a HUGE oversight. Including the PM grind was a bonus blunder. Tired it and it sits in my basement.

      Reply

      Dan

      4 years ago

      Any reason why Fourteen wedges didn’t get reviewed this year?

      Reply

      Matt R.

      4 years ago

      I LOVE reading your club/product testing articles thank you so much for doing these! I do have a question, I’m a Vokey loyalist and reading this was shocking actually at how low the SM7 ranked. However, in the reading you say that Vokey is “The perennial performer, Titleist’s Vokey wedges are year-in and year-out one among the highest-rated wedges in our testing.” So my question is, is that only in the feel category or is that overall? If it’s overall then why was it ranked so low?

      Thanks for everything you guys do!

      Reply

      David

      4 years ago

      And now Rain-X products are sold-out everywhere, every golfers reading MGS spraying their wedges and irons :D

      Disclaimer: against rules !

      Reply

      Dave S

      4 years ago

      Disclaimer: Don’t care if it’s against rule; 100% doing this. In fact, the best product is the Rust-Oleum Neverwet two can system. Spray one, then the other. Water will bead up FOREVER (not really, but for a long time).

      https://www.amazon.com/Rust-Oleum-274232-Repelling-treatment-top-coat/dp/B00DNQBFAW/ref=asc_df_B00DNQBFAW/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=198094235641&hvpos=1o1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=9712057851154127002&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9008136&hvtargid=pla-584216607512&psc=1

      You’re welcome!

      Reply

      David

      4 years ago

      Hard to find in a store near Paris/France.
      Stupid post costs from Amazon…
      Thanks for the suggestion. Please tell us how well it works for you !

      David

      4 years ago

      And now Rain-X products are sold-out everywhere, every golfers reading MGS spraying their wedges and irons :D

      Reply

      PC

      4 years ago

      Wondering what MGS thinks about the prevalence of TM Hi-Toe wedges out on tour? It would seem that a wedge coming in dead last in your testing wouldn’t be preferred by the pros… Wondering what you guys think. Perhaps different skill level = different requirements for performance? Thanks.

      Reply

      Tony Covey

      4 years ago

      First, I would say that Hi-Toe wedges aren’t particularly prevalent on tour. You will find them in some of what I guess we have to describe as high profile bags – which is where most of the noise comes from, but across the Tour as a whole, there just aren’t that many of them. Vokey (which doesn’t offer a big toe wedge is far and away the #1 on tour).

      But yes, I think you’re spot on. IMO, it requires a higher degree of skill to play a PM Grind or Hi-Toe, especially when we’re talking about a requirement to hit every shot you’re going to hit with a wedge. The non-standard CG placement is an issue, which not only makes the wedge itself hard to hit, but can have consequences as you move between the wedge and the rest of your irons.

      If you’re looking for something to hit touch shots around the greens and not much else, it’s worth considering, but if you’re going to rely on it to hit every imaginable shots (including routine 1/2 and 3/4 swings from the middle of the fairway), a significant amount of practice is required to become proficient. In that respect, the Glide 3.0 EYE 2 is a bit more manageable for recreational golfers.

      For anyone who wants to do some experimenting, my recommendation is to replace the highest lofted wedge in your bag. I’d also add that I don’t think there’s any practical reason to carry a Hi-Toe/PM Grind with less than sand wedge loft (below 54°).

      Reply

      Andy

      4 years ago

      I would have liked to see how well the square strike wedge (55) or Cally Sure Out wedge would have done with these. tests.

      Maybe you explained it, but I hit about 5% of my wedge shots from 40 yards. I would have preferred more shots around the greens (15 yarder over a bunker or in rough around a green) than giving a 40 yard shot 40% weighting.. Maybe tight and thick lies would have been a more impactful differentiator than dry vs wet..

      Reply

      KP

      4 years ago

      Still play my Cleveland CG15’s. When the performance started to diminish I bought a $10 groove sharpener and ripped them raw. I don’t play other than for my own enjoyment so I didn’t give a shit if they became non-conforming. All I know is they work great and it didn’t cost me $300 plus to replace my wedges.

      Reply

      John

      4 years ago

      Another golfer wondering why you didn’t include the Callaway MD4. I’ve been using them for more than a year and I have both the Ping Glide 3.0 and Ping Glide 3.0 Eye2 and I find the MD4 more versatile. Especially on tight lies. Full shots are also great with the MD4. Good spin, very easy to control, and predictable results.

      Reply

      HDTVMAN

      4 years ago

      Used the 2016 Callaway PM Grind 56° & 60° for three years, and liked the performance. In April I moved to the 2019 Callaway PM Grind 54° & 58°, and was not happy with the results. I didn’t like the new “rounded” look, and and I was not pleased with my shots out of sand or around the green. Switched them for the Ping 3.0 Eye-Two 54° & 58°. Absolutely love them. They are so easy to hit, the ball stops dead, and they look great. Like my Ping Eye-2 set from the 80’s. Highly recommend.

      Reply

      Charles Lederer

      4 years ago

      I think this was a great review., Wedge evaluation is a complex topic due to so many variables, and for me it is the most difficult club to decide on. Well done.

      Reply

      MIGregB

      4 years ago

      Dang it!!! I let myself get swayed by all the (appropriate) talk around the Ping Glide 3.0 in wet conditions so I recently bought a Ping 54 & 58 Eye2 Glide 3.0 since I mostly play in the morning. Don’t get me wrong, both are very nice wedges and an improvement over my old Renegar wedges, especially in the morning. But I play partial shots far more often than full so I would have gone with the Mizuno’s had I waited. Stupid-stupid!

      Reply

      Douglas Mael

      4 years ago

      I had been playing Titleist Vokey wedges for several years until I switched to Ping Glide 2.0 wedges last golfing season (2018). The main reason for this is because, even when they were new, the Vokey Spin Milled wedges were horrible in wet conditions (I play a lot of competitive golf with early morning tee times, where there is often a lot of dew and mist). The Ping Glide 2.0 wedges have quickly become my favorites, especially after I added some lead tape to the backs of my 54.12 and 58.14 Glide 2.0s. I even have a runner-up wedge, as a result of much experimentation, and it is the Mizuno S-18 wedge lineup. I wonder if they were employing their new Hydraflow Microgroove technology in those 2018 Mizuno wedges.

      Thanks for another great test, guys!

      Reply

      Paul O'Neil

      4 years ago

      I use both the 52 & 57 S18s – they have extra face micro grooving but the the T20s have even slightly more – I have a T20 60/10 that I have bent to a 62/12. I have found the S18s to be fine in the damp conditions – but since all of this wet wedge stuff has come out, I now make sure that the face is dry after practice swings and it makes a huge difference.

      Reply

      Troy

      4 years ago

      I was curious as to why the Callaway PM Grind was tested but not the MD4? I found the MD4 to be a better wedge as it relates performance and looks. I understand the JAWS wedges were not available for this testing.

      Reply

      Paul O'Neil

      4 years ago

      I say the following as an actual statistician, and that is, after looking at your data, one of the things that stands out is the ‘poor’ ranking of the Mizuno T20 in the full-shot. When I look at the actual data of it being higher spinning / lower launching (same thing) and very good front to back dispersion – and yet it is ranked very low is this category? Not sure this makes sense

      Reply

      Tony Covey

      4 years ago

      Hi Paul,

      You also have to consider left to right, to an extent missed vs. hit greens, and also whether the group averages may have been skewed by an individual performance or two.

      A brief explanation of how we arrive at our rankings:

      We use Strokes Gained as our primary metric for ranking full and 40-yard shots. We determine the ‘Best’ wedge for each of our testers based on the average Strokes Gained for the pool of shots. From there, using an 85% confidence interval, for each tester, we determine what other clubs did not produce reliably different strokes gained values. Any clubs that aren’t reliably different are lumped into what we call the Top Group for a given tester. For some testers, that top group may contain only 1 or 2 clubs, while for others it can be 50% of the field or more.

      Finally, we look at the rate at which each club was in the top group across the entire pool. To keep the numbers really simple, in a 20-player test, the Top Group Percentage (best club overall) is typically around 60% (the best performing wedge or not reliably different from the top-performing wedge for 60a% of the pool). We’ve had clubs with TGP’s as high as 80% and as low as 5%. The last step is to weight the averages, but that doesn’t change the result, only the scale.

      Reply

      Paul O'Neil

      4 years ago

      I knew this is your answer, my point being, having been someone who built statistical models my entire life professionally, is that Left & Right is really going to be a club fitting issue (lie angle, shaft weight for timing), a player skill issue and yes partly a club design cavity back issue – but given the other wedges performed so much better, I would suggest there is an issue – especially when launch angle was very low indicating clean strikes / higher spin – could simple be the S400 shaft not being for average golfers who like 115 gram shafts for timing. No axe to grind here but when something sticks out given other performance data would indicate otherwise, the underlying data should be rechecked – I’ve spent a career looking at the underlying data looking at these things. Nevertheless, well done.

      Tony Covey

      4 years ago

      It *could* be a fitting issue. I’d agree with that, but we can’t definitively say that. There’s not a ton of variation in the lie angles across the entire testing pool, so unless something is wildly out of spec (production issue), it doesn’t prove a full explanation. Could it be something with the CG placement? It could? Could it be something visual that causes golfers to set up open or closed? It could. There are a nearly limitless number of possible explanations.

      The reality is that golfers hit some clubs straighter than others…even at shorter distances. This is invariably true with every test we conduct.

      The thing to keep in mind is that our tests are off-the-rack by design. Most (if not all) of the manufacturers are aiming for the middle of the market. This is especially relevant in wedges where the percentage of golfers who get fit is low. The larger point being that if it is a fitting issue, it’s an issue beyond the scope of this test.

      Tom

      4 years ago

      I am also a Mizuno guy but went to prior generation Honma wedges because I could not find a Mizuno to fit my specs for a gap wedge. So I purchased a gap; liked the gap so much, put in the 56; liked the 56 so much, I put in the 60. They are “butter”. Best wedges by far I’ve ever hit.

      Reply

      flushem

      4 years ago

      My bag is full of Honma clubs but wedges. I have Mizuno T7 and S18 wedges with ever lasting grooves. I wonder if Hmmm onma wedges are as long lasting as Mizuno wedges.

      Reply

      Steve

      4 years ago

      Interesting write up – thanks. Lots to consider here. Did not see that New Level, albeit a market newcomer as a “boutique” OEM was not included. Did Eric turn you guys down or simply not thought of for inclusion?

      Reply

      dr. bloor

      4 years ago

      A shame Hogan didn’t throw their Equalizer into the ring. Super feel, easy distance control (for me, anyways), and the V-sole will do the trick for the majority of casual and semi-serious golfers. And at a $100 a piece, they almost certainly would have given TM a run for the money in the Best Value class.

      Reply

      Robert

      4 years ago

      These results are interesting. In looking at the raw numbers, I’m curious if the lower launch of the Hi Toe knocked it down in the rankings? You mention a little bit about how these shapes can lower the flight and that’s not for everyone. So curious how much the launch plays into these numbers? I can’t watch the video at work, but I’ll give it a watch later if it’s explained there.

      Reply

      Robin Guy

      4 years ago

      Just wondering why you didn’t look at the Taylormade MG2 with the raw faces…I see you did the ’18 version, but wondering why not the ’19.

      Reply

      Tony Covey

      4 years ago

      Right from the text: “The Callaway MD5 Jaws and TaylorMade Milled Grind 2 Wedges were not included in our 2019 Test as neither was available at the time of testing.”

      Reply

      Rob C

      4 years ago

      Another picture looker, versus reading the actual well done piece.

      Reply

      Steven

      4 years ago

      Why didn’t yall test the new Callaway Jaws wedge? I really wanted to see it compared to the rest of the field!

      Reply

      Tony Covey

      4 years ago

      Right from the text: “The Callaway MD5 Jaws and TaylorMade Milled Grind 2 Wedges were not included in our 2019 Test as neither was available at the time of testing.”

      Reply

      Rob C

      4 years ago

      Someone should actually read the article and not just look at the pictures, it was explained. in the article.

      Reply

      Berniez40

      4 years ago

      Once again a great article that sorts the hype from the truth. I agree with the statement that people need to pay attention to the Wilson PM Wedge Line. Two months ago it was well past time to replace my Ping G25 Wedges which I bought on the cheap because they were store demoes.
      Natuarally, since short game is the only advantage us old guys have, I tried a lot of wedges as my game is back up, and I wanted to see if I could at least go back to blades in my Wedges.
      Vokeys, Pings, Clevelands, the usual suspects all scored extremely well in the simulator, but right next to a CObra Trusty Rusty sat two Wilson PM’s–One Sand Wedge, and One Lob Wedge. They were totally untouched store demoes, and they were last year’s model.so that were sitting there 2ith $29 apiece stickers on them, and genuine KBS Tour Shafts. Needless to say these have been no less than astoundfing. In the simulator their performance was neck and neck with the Clevelands—but at $29 apiece—Hell that was a layup. After 2 months of on course testing and several practice sessions all I can say is what you said—“People Should Start Paying Attention..

      Reply

      Lar

      4 years ago

      What??!!??
      I’ve been a life-long Mizuno evangelist, and I don’t see that changing based on what I see here. But this article – another great review by the MGS team – has at least given me pause. Living at least 4 hours from the nearest PGA Superstore, I am left wondering out loud: when is Honma going to offer one of those trial deals like Sub70.?

      Reply

      Kevin

      4 years ago

      The Mizuno T-20 was second behind Homna and all the testing results were very good for it. It also held up it’s spin numbers extremely well when wet. There is literally nothing in the test that should give you reason to move on from Mizuno…

      Reply

      Paul O'Neil

      4 years ago

      I can easily argue statistically, and I’m an actual statistician, that the T20 was the top wedge. In my opinion, given the raw data, MGS placed too much weight on Left & Right of target (player skill & wedge fit) and this was the reason it didn’t ‘win’. I own a T20 60/10 bent to 62/12 in full disclosure and really like it. That said, my 52 degree wedge, which I use a lot around the green, is a Mizuno JPX 919 50/6 bent to 52/8 – but the reason I prefer it over the T20 offerings is it has a wider bounce that I love the ground interaction with when bent to 52 – it is really incredible in my opinion.

      Steve

      4 years ago

      Just started playing the mizuno T20 lob wedge (10* bounce). Very pleased with performance and super easy out of the sand. Strong results in your testing reinforces my recommendation. That being said, Vokey SM 6 was my prior club and was also very good but sand performance with the Mizuno really stands out for me. Don’t know how the sand performance of wedges could be quantified but MGS brain trust is way smarter than me…

      Reply

      Paul O'Neil

      4 years ago

      I also own the 60/10 T20 – had it bent to 62/12 for gapping. Because the 60/10 is their Subtle M Grind and NOT their Aggressive C Grind, there isn’t a lot of Heal Relief in the grind. If you open the face of your wedge a lot for sand play, then you will have significant bounce in the heel area – and if you play in thin on compacted sand you might find the wedge coming in very shallow. I also have a 57 degree S18 wedge, with more heel and toe relief, which I will use exactly for this reason in thin sand.

      Reply

      TheBrad

      4 years ago

      For us in the more humid climates, pretty much every day is a “wet condition” day. Tons of dew on the ground in the morning when I play.. Ping Glide for me.

      Reply

      Barrett

      4 years ago

      Hi,
      Any input into how these wedges sit on the ground? I use an old Callaway T grind that sits very square and low to the ground which I really like. I do not like how on most wedges the leading edge is rounded “up.”
      Do any have that square look?

      Reply

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