The Best Sand Wedges

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A bunker shot with a sand wedge

Sand wedges are a club that are mainly associated with getting yourself out of trouble after ending up in a bunker. This makes them a club that most golfers wouldn’t want to get much use out of. Sand wedges probably don’t take pride of place in many golf bags, lacking the appeal of a shiny new driver or putter. That said, they’re a club that can turn a sticky situation into a promising one. In this article, we’ve rounded up some of the best quality sand wedges to date and explore their optimal use.

The Best Sand Wedges

In this section of the article, we’ll be rounding up what we consider to be the best sand wedges available. We’ve chosen our options based on a variety of considerations such as quality, value for money and versatility.

Here’s a list of the 5 best sand wedges that should get you on the green in no time.

Callaway Golf Men’s Chrome Mack Daddy 4

Unless you’re new to golf, you’ll probably recognise the Callaway Mack Daddy series. Available in Platinum Chrome or Black Matte finishes, it’s a wedge that looks just as good as it feels to hold. We love the customizability you get with this club as you’re able to choose the degree of loft you want. This makes it great for those of you with a specific amount of loft in mind.

The Groove-In-Groove technology is there to help give you additional spin as well as control. Four sole grinds S,W,C and X make it a very versatile club, great for a variety of shot types and conditions. Be sure to check the manufacturer chart to find the best-suited option for your playing style. Overall this is a great looking club that plays even better; the Mack Daddy is clearly well-known for all the right reasons.

Cleveland Golf Men’s RTX 4 Wedge

If you know of the RTX 3, you probably won’t be surprised to see the fourth generation of the RTX wedge make our list. Cleveland themselves say this is the most aggressive face milling they’ve used with absolute laser milling precision. Again, this has feel balancing technology but with the new muscle shaping, you get an adjusted center of gravity. This enhancement looks to give you added control over distance.

You get four options of bounce; Mid, Full, Low and Xlow. If you’re not sure which option you’re best suited to we’d recommend having a word with your clubs pro. Mid is good for more neutral to steep angles of attack. With this option you get a V-shaped sole for improved performance in and around the green. Overall this is an excellent option from Cleveland, if you were a fan of the third generation of RTX wedges, we’d definitely recommend trying the fourth.

Wilson Harmonized Golf Wedge

The first thing that struck us with the Wilson Harmonized wedge is how good it looks considering its price tag. The beautiful polished finish combined with its bladed clubhead makes for a really eye-catching club. It’s not just how the bladed design looks that makes it great, it helps you get excellent bounce angles to stop the ball dead regardless of your lie.

Overall these are an excellent choice for anyone but especially for those who are new to golf. They’re available for just a fraction of the price you’d pay for a brand new wedge from other name brands. If you’re a beginner and don’t want to commit too much money to your purchase, we’d recommend going for a Wilson Harmonized wedge. Not only do you get a club that’s brilliant value for money, it’s a club that will stay in your bag for a long time.

Cleveland Golf Men’s Smart Sole 3 Sand Wedge

Meet the Smart Sole sand wedge from Cleveland. It’s an excellent option for those of you who with a high handicap. Designed with the specific needs of the high handicapper in mind, you should enjoy more success in and around the green from your approaches.

Technology wise you’ll find the weight is moved away from the hosel thanks to the feel-balancing technology. The weight gets redistributed centrally to the club face. The three-tiered sole helps with inconsistencies in your lie, helping add a sense of reliability to your sand wedge shots. If you’ve been in the habit of opening the clubface with your sand wedge, you can leave this behind. Thanks to 58 degrees of loft you’ll find that you get plenty of much-needed height on your pitches. We’d recommend this wedge for anyone that’s a high-handicapper looking for a club that’s purpose-built for players of your ability.

TaylorMade Milled Grind Black Wedge

Next we’ve got the beautiful Milled Grind Wedge from TaylorMade. The wedge pictures has the black finish, but if you’re looking for something to match your polished looking set a chrome finish is also available. As with many TaylorMade clubs, this wedge isn’t the most budget-friendly. That said when you look at the technology they’ve used you’ll understand why.

The exceptional milling technology has resulted in a club with precision across the lines and edges. Weight is redistributed from the hosel to improve the center of gravity. This engineering helps you to get more consistency as well as stability when using your wedge. The ZTP groove technology used by TaylorMade helps you to get an increased amount of spin and overall control with your shots. If you’re looking for a club that utilizes some of the best possible technology, you can’t go wrong with this wedge.

Buying a Sand Wedge

A sand wedge shot

Buying a sand wedge isn’t the most straightforward purchase you’ll ever make. There’s a variety of characteristics to consider, and in this section of the article, we’ll address them.

Let’s start with a brief history lesson. Gene Sarazen is responsible for designing the first modern sand wedge as we know it.

The inspiration for the club came from a trip he took with Howard Hughes. Hughes’s plane took off with the flaps on the wing coming down. Sarazen distinguished that a similar flange could be added to a golf club, allowing it to slide through the sand and pop the ball out. He then worked with Wilson to make the vision a reality, and over 80 years down the line not much has changed.

Sand Wedge Loft

The loft of a club refers to the angle that your clubface lies in correspondence to your shaft. Wedges are the club with the highest amount of loft, meaning higher trajectories but less carry on your shots.

Sand wedges are typically between 54 and 58 degrees in loft.

In general, a good gap of loft between wedges in your bag would be around 4°. So for example if you had a 56° sand wedge then a a 48° pitching wedge, 52° gap wedge and a 60° lob wedge would give you good options out on the course. We’ve broken down the lofts of golf wedges below for your reference:

ClubLoft
Pitching Wedge47-53°
Gap Wedge50-54°
Sand Wedge54-58°
Lob Wedge58-62°

Bounce

Bounce is another term you hear being used in reference to wedges. Bounce is measured by how the sole (the bottom) of the clubhead rests on the surface. Typically wedge bounce ranges from 0 up to 14 degrees. The more bounce, the less the club will dig into the surface. A higher bounce club would be preferable for playing out of rough lies where you don’t want to connect too much with the ground surrounding your ball. On the other hand, clubs with low bounce are great for playing from nicer lies.

When to Use a Sand Wedge

It’s not uncommon for players, especially those who are new to the game to head straight for the sand wedge as soon as they find themselves in a bunker. The reason for this is probably in the name of the club, but a crucial part of using one effectively is understanding the best times to use one.

Utilize the Loft

The loft on sand wedges (typically between 54 and 58 degrees) makes them great for playing your way out of bunkers. That said, they shouldn’t be limited to bunker shots only. Just like any other club in your bag, they’ve got a set degree of loft. You should utilize this loft regardless of whether your ball lies in a bunker, the rough or even on the fairway. The loft on your sand wedge makes it a good choice for those shots that need to get up and down, perhaps over obstacles.

Sand Wedge Distances

Understanding the carry of your sand wedge is key to getting the best possible shots with the club.  The advantage you get with more heavily lofted clubs like sand wedges is that there’s less roll and more control of where your ball lands.

Below we’ve broken down the yardages of golf wedges:

ClubYardages (Men)Yardages (Ladies)
Pitching Wedge80-105-12050-60-80
Gap Wedge70-95-11054-55-70
Sand Wedge60-80-10040-50-60
Lob Wedge50-70-9035-45-50

Conclusion

As Gene Sarazen found, sand wedges are an excellent solution to a common problem. Playing your shot into a bunker isn’t a huge disaster if you’re confident you can recover well. This requires having the right tool for the job, and the sand wedge is exactly that.