New Wave Wedges

The next generation of wedges features increased spin, superior feel and improved consistency to give amateurs ample ammo from within 100 yards


By Scott Kramer


You’re out of excuses. At least, that is, when you’re approaching the green from within 100 yards.

That’s because the latest wedges are made with such well-designed grooves, versatile sole contouring and eye-pleasing shaping that they’re completely capable of allowing even average players to stick the ball close to the pin more often.

They generate plenty of spin, feel great and perform consistently. The rest is up to you and your swing. But it all starts with finding the right model for your game.

The latest choices:


Callaway’s Mack Daddy 2 ($150) is a Tour-tested, versatile design that generates loads of spin. Aggressive and large grooves plus increased surface roughness help add spin as well. Offered in two grinds and two finishes.


TaylorMade’s RocketBladez ($89) has a versatile sole: As you open and close the face, the bounce angle changes accordingly. The cavity promotes soft feel and sound, while a heavier steel shaft enhances swing rhythm, crisp contact and control.


Cleveland’s 588 RTX CB ($120) generates tight backspin due to the large U-shaped face grooves that are especially effective from rough, sand and wet grass. Surface roughness milled into the clubface also induces spin.


Adams Golf’s Tom Watson signature wedges ($100/3-pack) orient around optimal sole shaping, solid feel, greenside versatility and performance. The low-CG wedges also have USGA-maximum groove volume. This packaged set contains a gap, sand and lob wedge.


Fourteen Golf’s RM-12 ($185) sports large trapezoidal grooves for spin, particularly on partial shots. The sole’s rounded at the heel and toe with no rear portion, allowing golfers to open and close the face in all lofts except the 60-degree model, which sports a twin sole. The leading edge is slightly rounded.


Nike Golf’s VR Forged ($130) is made of soft carbon steel and finished in choice of satin chrome or black oxide. It’s offered in standard, dual-narrow and dual-wide sole grinds, and features grooves that are closely spaced and deep for control and consistency in all playing conditions.


Titleist’s WedgeWorks Hand Ground wedges ($350 apiece) are personally ground by wedge maker Bob Vokey or one of his craftsmen. You can choose from several 58º or 60º lofted models grinds and customization options previously reserved for Tour pros only. Each wedge is also polished, buffed and stamped with Vokey’s initials.


PING’s soft stainless steel Tour ($167.50/graphite, $140/steel) has three sole width options – thin, standard and wide – that lend versatility from any lie. Milled face grooves help maximize backspin.


Tour Edge Exotics Tour Proto V1.1 ($99) sports a milled and thin stainless-steel face that’s backed by a hollow core filled with a thermal plastic elastomer gel. This combination delivers soft feel and good feedback.


Cobra’s Tour Trusty LE ($149) features a stamping design created by Rickie Fowler. Its teardrop, non-offset compact shape eases alignment at address, while the groove edges and volume are maxed to the USGA legal limit. A new K-Grind provides maximum heel and toe relief for greenside versatility. Loft is 55 degrees only.


Hopkins Golf’s Full Grind wedge ($109) – one of seven grinds offered by the new Newport Beach company – sports a full sole with a moderate width and camber, slight heel relief, and medium effective bounce angle. Custom shafts, grips and personalization cost extra.


Gauge Design forged wedge lines ($140-$220) – Gauge offers three wedges in lofts from 52 to 60 degrees. Made in Japan from the finest materials, the wedges are hand ground to the perfect weight.  Gauge Design wedges come with milled faces and milled grooves for exact depth and width to maximize spin control.





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