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 »  Home  »  Equipment  »  Play Testing  »  Wedges  »  2005 Wedges
2005 Wedges
By Tom Landers | Published  11/7/2005 | Wedges | Unrated
Our Readers Test The New 2005 Wedges

There’s a great line that goes roughly: the better wedge player you are, the better putter you’ll be. Of course this makes perfect sense. The closer you hit the ball to the pin, the shorter your putts will be, and hence, you’ll make more of them. The point is, it’s no mystery why they call the wedges your scoring clubs.

So how do you find a wedge that helps you score better?

There are a ton of factors to consider, but it comes down to finding a model that inspires confidence. However, whether you are looking for a traditional looking wedge or a non-traditional looking wedge, remember that there is more to a wedge than its look and shape. The loft/bounce relationship is very critical, and today’s wedge lines offer multiple loft/bounce combinations, giving players the ability to select the proper wedge they need without having to manipulate the clubhead for different shots.

Another factor to pay attention to is clubhead material, which can affect playability. Some players prefer softer metals such as carbon steel while others prefer a harder metal like stainless steel.
Look into your bag to see what you are missing in the scoring zone (125 yards and in) and remember you will save more shots with more wedge options than by keeping that 2 or 3 iron in your bag.  Refer to the chart below for possible additions to your scoring clubs. As bounce is a big consideration in choosing a wedge, if you tend to play courses where the turf is soft, choose higher bounce angles to prevent less digging and a lower bounce angle for firmer conditions. As a generality, a Sand Wedge with a higher bounce angle will make it easier for the average player to get out of bunkers and greenside rough. Another consideration in picking a wedge is spin, which is determined by groove size, shape and finish. If you prefer moderate spin, a chrome finished or stainless steel wedges would be a good option, and if added spin is desired, you might look at a rusted or raw finished model or carbon steel model.

There’s nothing creative about choosing a wedge however. The only way to find your magic wedge is to try out as many as you can get your hands on. A few of our testers ran some of the latest wedges through their paces. Below are some general considerations for you to think about before you buy.

Loft Angle: Loft angle affects both distance and trajectory; the more loft, the higher your ball will fly and the less distance it will travel.

The loft/distance relationship commonly is as follows:
Pitching wedge: 46 to 50 degrees, 100-125 yards
Gap wedge: 50 to 54 degrees, 85-110 yards
Sand wedge: 54 to 58 degrees, 65-95 yards
Lob wedge: 58 to 62 degrees, 50-75 yards

Bounce Angle: Bounce relates to how the club interacts with the ground.

The higher bounce angle your wedge has, the less it has a tendency to dig. This makes it better for bunker play and for shots from the rough. Look for a sand wedge with around ten to twelve degrees of bounce. This is the same reason you likely want less bounce in your pitching and gap wedges. These clubs are normally hit from the fairway and a higher-bounce club is predisposed to jump off the turf rather than take the divot you need.

Taylormade rac Black | (800) 456-8633 | $142
“Great Feeling Wedge, as solid of a feel hitting the ball as I have ever felt. ” Roger Carney, 8 handicap

Taylormade’s new rac wedges reduce the distance inconsistencies common in leading wedges, so you’ll find your target more frequently instead of falling short or flying long. Proven on tour, the rac Black owes its dark, eye-appealing finish to a three-step oxidation process that turns the clubhead Black. Beyond its striking look, the rac Black’s dark color diffuses light to reduce glare at address. Two precision-milled “Feel Pockets” are strategically positioned toward the toe and heel to channel energy through specific areas of the clubhead, delivering a soft-yet-solid feel at impact. The result is a greater transfer of energy to the ball, consistent control and a softer trajectory.

Clubhead: 860 carbon steel-casted
Clubface: Same
Design: Cast
Loft/Bounce : 52° / 8° ,  54° / 10°, 56° /12°, 56° / 14°, 58° / 8° , 60° / 7°  - LH Available
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold Steel

Titleist Vokey Spin Milled | (800) 225-8500 | $125.00
“Good around greens, real easy to hit on tight fairway lies. Loved these wedges.” Peter Samuelson 10 handicap

Vokey Design Spin Milled™ wedges are unique new products that provide a truly discernible performance option - increased spin. By working with Tour players to create wedges that performed under the most challenging major championship conditions, Titlleist has developed a precisely machined, tight tolerance groove that provides the player with increased spin on both full and partial wedge shots. These wedges are made from 8620 mild carbon steel for soft, solid feel and have a reduced glare Tour Chrome finish. The CNC machined face creates micro edges for more texture which provides a rougher surface for better spin retention on partial shots.

Clubhead: 8620 mild Carbon Steel
Clubface: Same
Design: Cast
Loft/Bounce : 56 /10°  • 56 / 14° • 58° / 8° •  58° / 12° • 60 / 4° • 60° / 8° - LH Available
Shaft:  Dynamic Gold Steel Shaft by True Temper

Cleveland CG11 Series | $141 / $166 graphite
“I am buying this wedge, what more can I say.”
 Richard Babcock, 7 Handicap

CG11 wedges are comparable to the original CG10™ wedges in that they offer golfers of all handicaps an exceptional feeling wedge that is both versatile and dependable. The new CG11 wedges feature a slightly larger sole that is wider towards the heel and toe and narrows in the center. Weight is also redistributed to the perimeter of the clubhead creating a unique stability chamber. This helps golfers maintain their clubhead stability through impact, even on off-center hits. And just like the rest of the wedges in the CG line, the new CG11 wedges come with precision milled grooves to give players the best possible spin control.

Clubhead: CMM™ metal
Clubface: Same
Design: Cast
Loft / Bounce : 52/10°,  54/12°, 56/14°,  58/12° 60/12°
Shafts: Variety of Custom Options

SMT Golf Durometer Series | (888) 693-4001 | $39 (head Only)
“Nice solid feel, I could control ball flight better with this than my wedges. Great Looking club.”Phillip Gray, 5 Handicap

The Durometer Series Wedge may be the most innovative design from SMT Golf to date. It features a rubber shock-absorbing insert in the hosel of the club. Shock, vibration, or feel as vibration is often called, is transferred up the shaft to the hands. SMT effectively dampens the transmission of impact vibration where it begins, at the hosel. The Players Series  wedge absorbs up to 14 percent of the shock felt when the clubface hits the ball while the Tour Series absorbs up to 4 percent of the shock felt when the clubface hits the ball. The SMT wedges are made from 303 Stainless Steel with a CNC milled face and machined in grooves. The wedges come with the standard SMT lifetime warranty.

Clubhead: 303 Stainless Steel
Clubface: Same
Design: Cast Blade
Loft / Bounce  : 49/6°,  51/6°, 53/8°,  55/10° 57/12°,  59/8°
Shafts: Variety of Custom Options

Adams Watson Wedges | (800) 709-6142 | $149.99
“ Loved having a Watson Wedge in my hand, Felt more confident. Nice feel.”  Jake Smith, 14 handicap

Tom Watson teamed up with Adams Golf to create a family of wedges superior at every angle. From grip, to grind these wedges meet the exacting performance standards of this eight-time Major winner and one of golf’s greatest wedge players. The Gunmetal finish reduces glare and enhances the soft feel. The high toe and shallow heel and each grind is designed to reduce negative friction at impact and provide optimum bounce. The variable bounce and camber allows for easier shots with the club face open or closed as well as versatility from various turf and sand conditions. Each clubhead has an increased blade-length that extends the hitting area for greater ease.

Clubhead: 17-4 stainless steel
Clubface: Same
Design: Cast
Loft/Bounce : 52 / 07° • 56 / 13° • 60 / 07° - LH Available
Shaft: Steel Shaft by True Temper

New Bridgestone J33 Forged Wedges | (800) 358-6319 | $159
“Great Black Darth Vader look to the club, Really easy to hit and control.” Kevin Corin, 8 handicap

The new J33 Wedges are forged from 1020 mild carbon steel for exceptionally soft feel on finesse shots and also boast U-grooves for maximizing spin and control on approach shots. The double cut sole design provides golfers with the ability to effectively use the wedges from a variety of sand and turf conditions.  One of the most unique features of the Bridgestone J33 Forged Wedges is the long hosel, which is used to raise the center of gravity and produce a high spin, low trajectory shot for optimum control. The wedges have been designed with a leading edge grind to reducing digging.   The softened leading edge also helps to make the irons more playable from various turf conditions. 

Clubhead: Carbon Steel
Clubface: Same
Design: Forged
Loft/Bounce : 52°  • 56°  •   60° - LH Available
Shaft: True Temper® Dynamic® Gold S300

DeLaCruz Wedges | (877) 430-GOLF | $99
“Hadn’t heard of these wedges, but as good as anything I have played.” Joe Montgomery, 12 handicap

Unique to the DeLaCruz wedge design is a specially cambered sole that allows the leading edge of the club to sit below the golf ball even when the face is rotated open. Near the heel of the club, the sole angles away from the turf to prevent digging and produce crisper, more accurate shots. A beautiful chrome finish is applied to each DeLaCruz wedge, while the face is sandblasted to ensure groove quality, performance and durability. Generous bounce angles applied to the 54-degree and 56-degree sand wedges facilitate shots from the sand and rough, while the 50-degree gap wedge and 60-degree lob wedge are engineered with less bounce to accommodate tighter lies.

Clubhead: Stainless Steel
Clubface: Same
Design: Cast
Loft/Bounce : 50-06° • 54-12° • 56-12° • 60-05° - LH Available

Feel Golf PB Classic | 877-934-7387 | $129 ($159 Graphite)
“Nice Classic Look, Good Feel, Better for me out of fluffy lies compared to tight lies.” Bill McNeely 12 handicap

The PB Classic design is the ultimate players’ wedge. Versatility in shot making is easily attainable thanks to the progressive bounce sole, which enables players to open the face while retaining the optimal bounce angle from virtually any lie. Players also will appreciate the soft face and U/V- grooves for added spin, as well as precision lofts and weighting for consistent trajectory and distance control. The PB is a follow-up to the Feel High Performance series wedges. All Feel wedges are frequency-matched and tuned to produce the same feel for each loft.

Clubhead: Carbon with Proprietary Alloys
Clubface: same
Design: Cast Blade
Loft / Bounce : 46/6°, 52/9°, 56/10°, 60°/11°, 64/9°
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Steel, Monterry Series Graphite (S,R)

KZG Forged Series | (800) 200-8800 | $89 / $99 Graphite
“Very Soft Feeling, Easy to Control, Nice Look, Great out of bunkers.” David Towers, 6 handicap

These wedges are designed for mid to low handicappers who want maximum feel, accuracy and control. These wedges are double forged, handcrafted from S20C carbon steel, ground to perfection by expert Japanese craftsmen and have the feel and workability that every golfer craves. Each wedge is engineered with the ideal bounce and leading edge for optimal performance from all playing conditions; tight fairway lies, rough and bunkers. The wedge delivers maximum feel, accuracy, control and trajectory. Each forged wedge is available in both a high polish nickel chrome or ‘raw’ finish. 

Clubhead: Double Forged Carbon Steel
Clubface: Same
Design: Forged Blade
Loft/Bounce: 50°/5°, 52°/7°, 54°/7°, 56°/11°, 58°/6°, 60°/8°- LH Available
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold, S-300, Custom Available

LaJolla Knife Tour | 800-468-7700 | $59.00
“Nice wedge, liked the price, good out of sand and around greens.” Richard Carter, 16 handicap

Designed to complement the innovative Knife Iron set, The Knife Wedges provide exceptional playability and accuracy around the greens. The wedges feature shallow patented three-blade technology while maintaining a classic profile and thin top line. 
Shallow blades combined with hollow core weighting provide perimeter weighting for more forgiveness and allow the golfer to better control the ball flight. A tungsten ring back weight provides a low/back center of gravity for higher trajectory and straighter shots, making it easier to hit out of any lie.  A vibration absorption ring on the back of the club imparts a solid feel at impact. 

Clubhead: Stainless Steel
Clubface: Same
Lofts : 52°, 56°, and 60°.
Shaft: Steel Shaft by True Temper

Mizuno MP T Black Nickel Forged | 800-966-1211 | $159
“Nice weight to club, sleek black look, best wedge I have hit.”  John Boston, 8 handicap

MP T Series to its already popular MP Series of wedges. All Mizuno MP wedges utilize their patented Grain Flow Forging process to offer the most solid, soft, and consistent feel available. Furthermore, all Mizuno forged wedges feature computer milled, deep U grooves for optimum spin and a lie responsive sole design for consistent ball striking from any lie on the course. The MP-T wedges have a classic teardrop head shape and the black nickel finish delivers reduced glare and increased durability. The MP-T series wedges offer multiple loft/bounce combinations.

Clubhead: 1025 Select Carbon Steel
Clubface: Same
Design: Forged
Loft/Bounce : 51-06° • 53-08° • 56-10° • 56-13° • 58-10° • 60-05°
Shaft: Dynamic Gold Steel by True Temper

Nickent Genex ARC Wedge | 888-642-5368 | $119
“Felt much different & better than my wedges,  did not feel the shots in my hands. Very solid feeling.” Rob McCarthy, 14 handicap

These wedges feature Accelerated Rebound Core® (ARC) technology consisting of an internal core of compressed high-rebound elastomer positioned directly behind the strike zone. At impact, the compressed elastomer produces a dampening effect, virtually eliminating vibration and delivering a lively, solid feel, even on off-center hits. And because the internal cavity is engineered to significantly expand the sweet spot, less-than-perfect shots hold their line and stay on target. The modified U-grooves and lively face action combine to deliver an exceptionally high spin rate and a controlled trajectory.

Clubhead: Stainless Steel
Clubface: same
Loft / Bounce:  48°/8°, 52°/10°,  56°/12°,  60°/6°
Design : Cast Blade
Shaft(s): Precision Spinner Rifle shaft – Wedge Flex

Nicklaus JN Slot Series Wedge | (800) 322-1872 | $100
“This was a nice wedge and performed well on all shots I tried. Fair price.” Lee McCormick, 12 handicap

The proprietary “Thru Slot” provides an improved solution to open-face sand and flop shots. The unique heel design reduces sand and turf resistance, making it easier to get under the ball and promoting an open face. The results: higher, softer shots and more overall control.  The Progressive “Thru Slot” Technology makes slot wider and deeper with each lofted wedge. The milled face provides a consistently flat face and makes for consistent ball contact to give the player better distance control and optimal spin.

Clubface: same
Design : Cast Blade
Loft / Bounce: GW 52 / 9, SW 56 / 12 , LW 60 / 10
Shaft Options: TRUE TEMPER Steel Shaft

NIKE Spin Velocity | 888-799-NIKE | $99.00
“Like the look, very classy and a nice performing wedge. Would put it in my bag.” Nick Tanguay, 9 handicap

The NIKE Spin Velocity wedges combine a soft 8620 carbon steel, CNC milled flat face and engraved U/V scoring grooves to provide the ultimate in feel, accuracy and spin rate. The feel enhancing 8620 carbon steel is 45% softer than 17-4 stainless steel and the club is the profile, shape and bounce the Tour Players demand. The face is CNC milled for flattest face possible and more predictable distance and shot patterns. The engraved U/V grooves grab the ball more aggressively than a V-groove, resulting in a high spin rate and the U/V grooves remove more grass, dirt and water than a V-groove for solid contact with the ball.

Clubhead: 8620 carbon steel
Clubface: Same
Design: Cast
Loft/Bounce : 50 /10°  •  52° / 10° • 54 /12° • 56 / 14° • 58 / 10° • 60 / 10° - LH Available
Shaft:  True Temper Dynamic Gold Steel Shaft

Wilson Staff Tw5 | 800-GO-WILSON | $199
“Looks and performs like the Wilson wedges I used to have. Finally another good Wilson Wedge. ”  Ted Bishop, 10 Handicap

Built on the legacy of the first Sarazen model wedge in 1931, the Tw5 wedge series has classically shaped designs, combined with modern advancements that deliver confidence-building accuracy. Designed under the supervision of Wilson Staff Tour players, the Tw5’s Tour Grooves, slightly lower lofts, and Tungsten weight pads strategically placed in the back of the head help create more spin and control around the green. The Tw5s are available with or without the Tungsten Weight pads on the G, S, and L models, which raise the CG, giving players a lower trajectory and increased spin.

Clubhead: Carbon Steel
Clubface: Same
Design: Forged
Loft/Bounce : 50/6°, 54/8°, 58/12° - Weighted -52/6°,  56/10°, 60/8° - LH Available
Shaft: Dynamic Gold Steel by True Temper

Vulcan Tour Professional Grind Wedges | (800) 842-1836
“Nice solid wedge, Looks and performed like other wedges I have tried, but at a better cost.”  Tom Kibbe, 16 handicap

Vulcan Professional Grind Wedges are forged of soft carbon steel to promote the very best feel and consistent shot making. They are hand ground and feature classic styling with a modern variable width sole design and mid bounce for maximum playability. These wedges have a Tour-preferred teardrop head shape and multiple loft/bounce combinations. The maximum allowable groove width generates excellent spin and controllability.

Clubhead: Carbon Steel
Clubface: Same
Design: Forged
Loft/Bounce : 52 / 8°  • 56 / 12° • 58 / 12°    •   60 / 8° - LH Available

F2 Wedges | 800-683-2390 | $99 / $120 Graphite
“Very weird to look at, but performed well. I hit better shots than I expected.” Joe Kinscherf, 15 handicap

The F2 Wedges are different from anything you might have seen in a standard model wedge. The hosel sits more toward the rear of the sole thereby placing the leading edge and a majority of the face forward of the hosel. This “Face Forward” design helps to flatten out the path of the club in sand and helps to loft the ball from the bunker. According to the company, this “Face Forward” design also prevents the hosel from grabbing on the long grass and twisting the clubface, leading to straighter, more controllable shots.

Clubhead: Stainless Steel
Clubface: Same
Design: Cast
Loft/Bounce : 52 /16°  •  56° • 60° - LH Available
Shaft:  F2 Steel

Lovett Wedges | 866-323-8900 | $99 / $120 graphite
“Saw the TV commercial about this, I expected more but it worked well overall. Better in softer sand than my wedge.” Steve Wright, 16 handicap

The oversized Lovett wedge features a unique design that places more of the leading edge in front of the hosel. According to the company, the set back hosel design and forward leading edge allows you to see the ball better and helps the ball maintain in contact with the face for higher, softer shots. The curved leading edge and larger rounded sole work to move grass and sand so the clubhead can proceed through impact unimpeded.

Clubhead: Stainless Steel
Clubface: Same
Design: Cast
Loft/Bounce : 50° • 59 / 4° • 63 / 04° - LH Available
Shaft: Steel Shaft by True Temper, Lovett Graphite

Powerbilt SoftBilt | (800) 848-769 | $100
“Nice look, Good price, Wedge worked OK for me.”  Derek Kimball

Powerbilts three new SoftBilt wedges are made of 8620 Carbon Steel with a high-polish nickel and chrome plated finish. The thin topline gives this wedge the look of a classic wedge and the leading edge has a slight heel-to-toe radius making these wedges easy to align. Accoring to the company, these wedges are designed with both the correct bounce angles and the correct sole widths, helping to eliminate fat shots or skulled shots due to the design of the club rather than the lack of the golfer’s ability. These wedges allow golfers can concentrate solely upon their swing, rather than trying to compensate for poor club design.

Clubhead: Carbon Steel
Clubface: Same
Design : Cast Blade
Loft / Bounce: 50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60
Shaft : True Temper Stepless Steel

Srixon WG 504 | (888) 477-4966
“Easy to focus on ball against the black wedge, hit a great lob shot with it and made the putt.” Jerry Graham, 14 handicap

Forged out of soft carbon steel with a glare reducing, gunmetal finish, the WG-504 wedges present a classic shape and address profile preferred by better players. The WG-504 wedges feature a special sole grinding allowing each club to be set open for bunker or greenside play and allowing the player to slip the blade underneath the ball for high soft shots. The modified box groove design imparts tremendous spin and control from almost any lie.

Clubhead: Carbon Steel
Clubface: Same
Design: Forged
Loft/Bounce : 52° / 8 • 54 / 8° • 56 / 8° • 58 / 14° •   60 / 8° - LH Available
Shaft: Steel Shaft by True Temper