Our favorites for the best sand wedge of 2018 are chosen with a couple of things in mind. We wanted to ensure we were including something for all handicaps. In our Top 5 list below, you'll find something that ranges from the casual golfer all the way to the most savage pinseeker.
Best Sand Wedges - Our Top 5 Picks
#1 Cleveland RTX-3.0 VMG Cavity Back
For the savage pinseekers (and wannabes, like me...)
- Deeper grooves and a new micro-milled Rotex face pattern give these wedges the most surface roughness the USGA will allow
- Forth generation Tour Zip Grooves feature larger walls and sharper radii than ever before
- Flat finish to keep glare to a minimum
#2 Cleveland Golf Men's Smart Sole 3
For high handicappers
- Refined sole design meant to optimize cleaner contact with a wide rang of ball lies.
- Feel Balancing Technology: By redistributing weight from the hosel towards the toe, we have moved the CG closer to the center of the clubface. This results in improved feel and tighter shot dispersion
- Made with optimal loft and a shorter club length with a more upright lie angle.
For high handicappers to low handicappers
- 3 grinds for every shot, every Condition and every swing:
- S-grind: meant for a wide range of turf conditions from soft to firm turf.
- S-grind: meant for sweeping to moderate swing angles
- Groove grind optimization to maximize spin regardless of loft angle and swing angle.
#4 Pinemeadow Sand Wedge
For high handicappers and casual golfers.
- Quality club with high quality Apollo® steel. Meant for beginners and average golfers.
- Largest face area of any wedge available making tough lies easier to hit.
- Available in 52, 56, 60, 64, and the impossible to find 68 degree wedge. The widest selection in both LH and RH.
- Loft Availability:
- RH - 52 degree, 56 degree, 60 degree, 64 degree, 68 degree
- LH - 52 degree, 56 degree, 60 degree, 64 degree, 68 degree
#5 Wilson Harmonized Sand Wedge
For high handicappers and casual golfers
- Grind - sole grind allows players to open the club face for improved performance and flexibility around the bunkers
- Style - Blade shape
- Finish - high polish and anti-glare black chrome
- Loft Availability:
- RH - 50 degree, 52 degree, 56 degree, 60 degree, 64 degree.
- LH - 52 degree, 56 degree, 60 degree
Golf Wedge Distance Chart
Selecting the correct degree loft for your golf wedges is a critical component of your short game.
This chart is a "rule of thumb" and depicts approximations.
|Wedge Type||Degree Loft||Distance Men||Distance Women|
Look, if you're a beginner then chances are you don't know what bounce, loft, and grind mean or what type of swing style you have.
This isn't meant to discourage you but most likely the case.
In our opinion you should start with a quality club that is inexpensive and get practicing. Don't make the mistake of buying expensive clubs before you know how to use them.
Once you get better and are capable of consistently contacting the ball with some distance control, then come back and we will fit you with a club that has a little more technology that can help improve your short game.
For High Handicappers
Okay, you're getting better but at times you're still not as consistent with ball contact as you would like (keep practicing).
Because you're improving, it's time to start taking your wedges a little more seriously. Club technology is becoming more important to you for improving your short game.
If you're chunking the ball or creating deep divots, then make sure you choose a higher bounce wedge (10+ degree bounce).
Higher bounce will help prevent you from wounding the earth and keep your club face from digging into the turf.
On the other hand, if the course you play on is typically firm terrain and the sand is hard packed or you you are a "sweeper" swinger, then you could risk blading the ball or hitting thin.
If this sounds more like you, then choose a low bounce option (8 degree or less).
A lower bounce design will help your club face bite into the turf rather than bounce causing poor contact.
Mid to Low Hanicappers
Firstly, you're good enough now to where you can take advantage of club technology to improve the details of your game.
In order to take advantage of club technology, we need to understand your golf style, process and conditions. This can make a noticeable impact on your score.
For example, if your swing style is that of a 'sweeper', then you wouldn't want to use a club that has a grind that works against your natural swing style.
Also, if you typically play soft to moderate turf conditions, then you don't want a club bounce that is meant for moderate to hard terrain.
Put the odds in your favor and use the club technology as it's intended.
Read the FAQ section below to learn more.
What is the best sand wedge bounce?
The best bounce for your sand wedge requires you to understand what swing type and turf conditions you have.
For example, lets assume your swing style is that of a digger (deep divots) and the courses you play are typically soft to normal turf conditions.
Based on this information, you would want to select a club with High Bounce (8+ degrees) because it will help prevent you from digging to deep into the turf or sand.
On the other hand, if you were a digger and played firm conditions, then you would want Lower Bounce (8 degrees or less) so your club head doesn't jump off the solid turf and cause you to hit the ball thin.
We put together general guidelines in the image below to give you an idea of how to select a wedge bounce based on turf and swing style.
Start from left to right: select the turf conditions you generally play, then choose your swing style and finally see what bounce guideline you should follow.
|Turf Conditions||Bounce||Degree||Swing Style|
|Firm||Low bounce||6 or less||Sweeper - no divot|
|Medium||Mid bounce||6 to 12||Neutral - some divot|
|Soft||High bounce||12 +||Digger - deep divot|
What wedge degree or loft is best for a sand wedge?
Short answer: 52, 54 or 56 & sometimes 58 degree.
Long answer: Your sand wedge should compliment your previous and next wedge in your golf bag.
Example, if you have a loft wedge that is 60 degree and a gap wedge that is 52 degree, then we recommend a 54 degree sand wedge to gap the two clubs.
This would result in 10 to 15 yards between clubs or tighter distance gaps. This results in more full swings (better distance control) and less half swings (less distance control).
|Lob Wedge||Sand Wedge||Gap Wedge||Pitching Wedge|
How do I hit a sand wedge?
This is a big question, but we would start with watching videos on YouTube. Here is a great video to get you started.
What Is A Sand Wedge?
A sand wedge typically ranges from 52 to 56 degrees. As the name indicates, these wedges are designed to escape from green side bunkers.
Over the years, the sand wedge has been commonly used as a go-to club for chips and bunker shots near green.
It was also the highest lofted club a golfer could find in his bag until the lob wedge came along.
A sand wedge, or sand iron, is a type of golf club, an open-faced wedge primarily designed for getting out of sand bunkers. It has the widest sole of any wedge, which provides the greatest amount of bounce, allowing the club head to glide through sand and avoid digging in.
How far does a sand wedge hit?
Using a regular golf swing, most players can hit sand wedges around 90 yards.
Sand wedges are typically shorter than most clubs and are designed to help golfers put spin on the ball.
Also, due to the customized club face, sand wedges are prone to be heavy.
What is the Origin of the Sand Wedge?
Sand wedges become popular in 1935 and were invented by Gene Sararzen.
While several manufacturers were struggling to come up with a design that would comply with the R&A and USGA rules whilst solving the problem of sand wedges, Gene Sarazen came up with the design of his sand wedge.
His design featured a flat face instead of using a concave design that was considered necessary for sand wedges.
Needless to say, his design managed to effectively get the ball out of the sand.
Eventually, Gene Sararzen won plenty of tournaments using his design, causing the world to take notice.
What's different with the Sand Wedge Design?
As mentioned above, a sand wedge typically features a high loft spanning from 52 to 56 degrees.
Also, the sand wedge is generally weighted more at the club head than other clubs in your bag.
These design features give the club the ability to propel the ball from soft, moderate or firm sand.
How Special Is The Sand Wedge?
According to golfers, the sand wedge is quite special. Most golf courses feature a sand bunker in and around the green.
Experts know only a sand wedge can be used to give golfers a measured shot they are aiming for from the sand trap.
A sand wedge has plenty of qualities that help it stand apart:
- The special bounce of the sand wedge makes it easier to target the ball when it is buried in the sand. Golfers can use a sand wedge to dig out the ball without burying its head in the sand itself. With the correct shot, golfers can ensure the club does not push the ball further into the mud or sand.
- The increased rise weight of the sand wedge results in enough momentum that allows the ball to push upwards from the sand, leaving the sand bunker.
What are the uses of a sand wedge?
Wondering how you can use a sand wedge to its full potential?
A sand wedge is typically a golfer’s highest-lofted club, if the player doesn't carry a lob wedge.
Sand wedges can be used for a variety of short shots outside of bunkers that require a greater ball trajectory and back spin.
However, a sand wedge’s main function is to aid the golfer’s escape from greenside bunkers.
When Not To Use A Sand Wedge?
It is essential we talk about when NOT to use a sand wedge.
As a general rule of thumb, it is best you do not hit a sand wedge when the ball is positioned on the bare ground or on hard packed dirt.
The club’s bounce plate is constructed to bounce off soft ground, whereas on a harder surface, the club head is likely to bounce off the ground whilst striking the middle of the ball or hitting thin.
Most experts and professionals prefer using another lofted club or pitching wedge without a bounce plate when dealing with bunkers with hard sand.
How To Choose The Best Sand Wedge?
There are a number of factors a golfer should consider whilst choosing the best sand wedge.
Like any other club, golfers should ensure the wedge is tailored according to the individual.
The perfect sand wedge that could be suitable for you might not be suitable for another golfer. Here are a couple of factors you should consider:
Just because a particular club is called a sand wedge by a manufacturer, you should not assume it has the same loft as the rest of the brands.
While some manufacturers set their loft at 56 degrees, others may set them at 54 degrees. This is important as some players may be on the lookout for more loft than others.
Select a loft that makes sense. Know the lofts of the other wedges clubs you have in your bag.
Here is a table that depicts a good rule of thumb to properly gap you wedges to maximize full swings.
|Lob Wedge||Sand Wedge||Gap Wedge||Pitching Wedge|
Material And Club Face
When it comes to choosing the right sand wedge, players can choose from a plethora of materials and finishes.
Experimentation is the only sure way to determine whether a greater amount of spin with some materials would work for you or not.
Typically, golfers are comfortable with a heavier sand wedge instead of a normal iron. The added weight allows golfers to get through the sand more consistently, helping you lift the ball on to the green.
Most players prefer using soft forged steel to achieve a greater amount of spin. However, different steels can have a variety of different finishes. Some sand wedges feature a chrome plate finish that prevents the club head from rusting over time.
Other wedges may feature a gunmetal finish that reduces the glare as the edge is blacker. You will also find wedges that do not have a finish at all, while this causes the wedge to rust, some players prefer this type over others.
Regardless of the material you choose or prefer, it is essential you ensure the wedge grooves remain sharp and clean. This helps ensure that maximum spin is imparted on the ball.
The amount of bounce may vary from sand wedge to sand wedge thus is essential that you select the right sand wedge that is most suitable for you.
The bounce a sand wedge can offer determines whether your sand wedge will stay in the bunk or whether it will escape on the green.
The bounce angle is achieved when the rear edge of the sole of the club is under the leading rage. This difference in height enables the rear edge to guide the club up from the sand and not allow the front edge to dive into the ground.
Golfers who like to call themselves diggers and take many big divots are likely to benefit from a wedge with a larger bounce angle, typically ranging from 12 to 14 degrees.
However, golfers who take shallow or little sand are likely to benefit from a sand wedge with a lower bounce angle, typically ranging from 6 to 8 degrees.