Get the most out of your short game with the best golf wedges in 2023

What are the best golf wedges in 2023? Our in-depth test identifies the perfect short-game clubs for your game.

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– Best Wedges 2023 
The Data 
Buying Guide
How We Tested

They’re a huge part of your golf bag, but choosing the best golf wedges is overlooked by many golfers. Lots of players choose a wedge based solely on looks or simply get the brand that matches their irons, but there are so many factors you should consider.

With a wide variety of shapes, sizes, grooves, bounces, and grinds to choose from, picking the best wedges can be a minefield, but we are here to make it easy with our buying advice and testing. If you’re looking for something with lots of loft, check out our pick of the best lob wedges. If budget allows, changing your irons and wedges at the same time can make a lot of sense as it means you can get your yardage gaps perfectly aligned. If that’s your plan, check out our test of the best golf irons.

Our uber-consistent pro tested 22 of the best golf wedges against each other on a launch monitor to identify which model is right for your game in 2023.

Best golf wedges at a glance:

Best for widest choice of options: Titleist Vokey Design SM9 | VIEW US OFFER | VIEW UK OFFER

Best forgiving golf wedge: Ping Glide 4.0 | VIEW US OFFER | VIEW UK OFFER

Best highest spinning golf wedge: Vega VWX Wedge | VIEW US OFFER | VIEW UK OFFER

Best looking golf wedge: Cleveland RTX 6 ZipCore | VIEW US OFFER | VIEW UK OFFER

Best Golf Wedges 2023

A fantastic all-round wedge

Best cavity-back wedge

Rrp: $159.99

Price: $119.99
We’ve been preaching for several years that golfers who use cavity-back irons should be using cavity-back wedges, and our thinking hasn’t changed for 2023. If you’re looking at buying new wedges, start by asking yourself, can I accept cavity back models? If you can then your short game and bunker play will thank you for it.

Cleveland CBX are as good as cavity back wedges can get, and this year there are two models to consider. The award-winning CBX and the new 13% bigger CBX Full-Face 2, which we’d thoroughly recommend if you can accept the full-face grooves and/or your short-game confidence is at an all-time low. And, if you struggle to get your head around cavity-back wedges, Cleveland also have the brilliant RTX-6 tour-level option, which demonstrates the company’s commitment to getting the best-performing wedges in every golfer’s hands.    

Our test data doesn’t instantly highlight the CBX as our pro’s top-performing model, but it’s worth remembering the wider sole and slightly higher bounce, which impeded his typical strike, are just the attributes that will help club golfers neutralize the effects of off-center hits and less perfect strikes.

The CBX is a great-looking and feeling model. The lightweight compound inside the heel helps up forgiveness and, as you’d expect from such a renowned golf wedges brand, you get plenty of loft and custom build options too.

All in all, this is a lovely shape wedge and an intelligent choice for lots of club golfers. The model also hit shots into a 30.6 sq yds area during testing, which is 56% smaller than our test average. Impressive.

Read our full Cleveland CBX ZipCore wedge review

Pros

  • Very forgiving
  • Great looks
  • Lovely feel
  • Extremely accurate
  • Good range of options

Cons

  • Less spin than some wedges
Lofts: 44° / 46° / 48° / 50° / 52° / 54° / 56° / 58° / 60°
Grind options: Progressive V, S, and C Grinds depending on loft
Finishes: Satin

Lovely design and feel, with unmatched options to choose from

Best for widest choice of options

Rrp: $179.99

Price: $149.99
Vokey wedges, like Titleist’s Scotty Cameron putters and Pro V1 balls, are the go-to choice for many decent players. As lovely as all three products are the decision to play them often comes down to trust, reputation, and perception, rather than real tangible performance gains.

Just like Cleveland wedges, Vokey have never quite been top performers in terms of spin on our test spreadsheets down the year.

But the game is not played on spreadsheets so don’t let that put you off. We found the SM9 wedges to be a lovely shape, and they feel really great. There’s also an absolute ton of options to go at.

At 9,367 rpm the model produced 319 rpm more spin than our test average (8th highest) but also hit shots into a 104 sq yds area, that’s 50% bigger than our average.

At this price, if you’re buying Vokey wedges in 2023, we’d seriously recommend committing to a full family and cover off all your needs in one hit. Just make sure you get a proper fitting, with decent golf balls, when you do so.

Read our full Titleist Vokey SM9 wedge review

Pros

  • Classic looks
  • Great feel
  • Good spin
  • Very accurate

Cons

  • Lower spin than some wedges
  • Not the tightest dispersion
Lofts: 46° / 48° / 50° / 52° / 54° / 56° / 58° / 60° / 62°
Grind options: F, S, M, K, L, and D
Finishes: Brushed Steel, Tour Chrome, Jet Black

Superb levels of forgiveness and accuracy

Best forgiving golf wedge
Price: £160/$199 RRP
Ping’s fourth-generation Glide 4.0 wedge is halfway between a full-on blade wedge and a much deeper traditional cavity back. By splitting weight low and high in the blade stability is increased, which ups consistency particularly well when shots are hit high on the face.

Compared to previous models there’s a slightly shorter blade length, which improves cosmetics, and the model is generally just more attractively shaped.

A lovely wedge that comes with a finish that’s great at dissipating moisture, so you can expect zero reduction in spin between dry and damp conditions.

There’s also a slightly longer grip, which is great for whenever you need to grip down and hit delicate approaches with additional control. The 4.0 didn’t quite nudge its way into the upper echelons of our best golf wedges data charts for spin (8,497 rpm), but it was our pro’s most accurate wedge with shots hit into a stunning 10.8 sq yds area.

Read our full Ping Glide 4.0 wedge review

Pros

  • Most accurate wedge on test
  • Long grip for gripping down
  • Great in damp conditions

Cons

  • Not the highest spin rates
Lofts: 46° / 50° / 52° / 54° / 56° / 58° / 60°
Grind options: T Grind, S Grind, W Grind, E Grind
Finishes: Hydropearl 2.0 Satin
Stock shaft: Ping Z-Z115 Wedge or AWT 2.0 Wedge (s) Ping Alta CB Red (g)

The only wedge to generate over 10,000rpm of spin

Best highest spinning golf wedge
We’ve tested the VWX wedges a couple of times now and the model has come out top of the pile for producing the very highest spin numbers.

For our test pro, the VWX was the only wedge from 22 test samples to break the 10,000 rpm backspin barrier, so Vega are obviously onto something with this cracking model.

You will need to put a premium on Japanese forging to warrant buying in, as a set of three will set you back a hefty £675. If you do, expect a very sharp-edged wedge with a slightly higher heel shape in an excellent tour-level model.

This is a wedge that will work best in the hands of reasonably confident short-game players. Just make sure your game fits the limited run of loft options.    

Pros

  • Incredible spin rate
  • High flight
  • Nice design

Cons

  • Limited options
  • Not the most forgiving
Lofts: 48°, 52°, 56°, 60°
Finishes: Satin, Raw finish

Great combination of looks, spin, accuracy, and forgiveness

Best blade golf wedge
Thanks to making two cracking wedge families (MG3 and Hi-Toe 3) TaylorMade give our best golf wedges test team a really tough choice to make. Don’t get us wrong there are some definite benefits to using Hi-Toe wedges (lower flying, higher spinning shots), but you will need to love their shape and be happy using full-face grooves, which aren’t everyone’s cup of tea.

If you’re a golfer who wants a brilliant and traditional shaped wedge with a familiar groove pattern, plus a host of loft, sole grind, and finish options then the MG3s will be right up your street.

We are repeating ourselves here, but you should never buy wedges based solely on how much they spin, but the MG3 was our second-highest-spinning model this year (9,509 rpm).

But there’s a lot more to MG3 than spin. With four yards difference between our pro’s longest and shortest shorts, the model racked up a minor 14.8 sq yds shot area (2nd smallest) from 100 yards, which is an outstanding performance. 
   
We love the super simple look and straight leading edge, and if you’re absolutely adamant your short game is best served by elite tour-level bladed wedges then MG3 is an absolute beauty. One of the best wedges of 2023.

Read our full TaylorMade MG3 wedge review

Pros

  • Beautiful looks
  • Very high spin rate
  • Extremely consistent distances

Cons

  • Less forgiving than cavity backs
Lofts: 46° / 50° / 52° / 54° / 56° / 58° / 60°
Grind options: Standard Bounce, Low Bounce, High Bounce, Tiger Grind
Finishes: Satin Chrome, Satin Black
Stock shaft: True Temper Tour Issue S200

Solid all-rounder at a decent price point

Getting your hands on great value-for-money equipment is getting tougher and tougher these days. But if that was the premise of our search for new wedges in 2023, we’d be taking a look at Sub 70.

Granted there are plenty of cheaper wedges out there, but from our experience, they all lack loft choices, finish options, or the quality to be truly considered good value for money. 

What Sub 70 are offering with the 286 is a classy-looking wedge. There’s some CNC-milled detailing, and a completely non-offensive head shape. The model’s available in ten lofts, which means you can get just the set-up you need, plus there are three finish options to select from.

This is a cracking wedge for less than £120. Throw in the spot-on average spin performance and how our test pro hit the 286 into our 3rd tightest shot area (27 sq yds), and you’ve got a model well worthy of your hard-earned money in 2023.

Pros

  • Classy looks
  • Great value
  • Three finish options to choose from
  • Good spin
  • Excellent accuracy

Cons

  • Average spin rate
Lofts: 46° / 48° / 50° / 52° / 54° / 56° / 58° / 60° / 62° / 64°
Grind options: Three lofts with low-bounce soles
Finishes: Black, Satin, Raw
Stock shaft: Choose from three premium options at no upcharge

A great-looking wedge that good players will love

Price: £159 (s) £169 (g)/$169.99 RRP
Cleveland RTX 6 Zipcore is a brand-new tour-level offering for 2023. We’ll put our cards on the table and say you won’t find a better-looking golf wedge. We love the compact size, the straight leading-edge profile, and the new super-aggressive CNC Milling pattern on the toe, which brings full-face groove levels of stopping power to a traditional groove model.

Our test data has the ZipCore hovering just under average levels of backspin, but with so many factors to consider when buying new wedges, it’s worth remembering you should never just pick the highest spinning wedges.

What’s much more important is having a full range of lofts, bounce or sole grind options, and a selection of finishes to help you choose a style that best suits your eye. Options are where Cleveland excel with three finishes, four grinds, and nine lofts.

From 100 yards out our test pro’s shots had a tiny 4-yard drop-off (from longest to shortest) and 7.2-yard left to right dispersion, which gave a minuscule 28.8 sq yd shot area. That’s 58.4% tighter than our test average, which says everything you need to know about this cracking model.

Read our full Cleveland RTX 6 ZipCore wedge review

Pros

  • Great range of options
  • Very forgiving
  • Supremely accurate

Cons

  • Slightly low spin
Lofts: 46° / 48° / 50° / 52° / 54° / 56° / 58° / 60° / 62°
Grind options: Low, Low+, Mid, Full
Finishes: Tour Satin, Black, and Tour Rack (Raw) finishes

Great spin and accuracy, plus a good range of fitting options.

Best custom fitting options
Price: £309/$299 RRP
Yes, PXG’s 0311 wedges are outrageously expensive, but thanks to being 100% CNC Milled, just like a premium putter, they are the most accurate and precise wedges money can buy.

PXG might still be a young company, but their wedge-shaping has been second to none since day one. We love the straight leading edge and how the club sits at address. The classy satin finish is also as simple as they come.

You will need to accept full-face grooves across all lofts – that’s how PXG have set the family up – but if you can, you’ll get a wedge that was our 5th-highest spinning (9,438 rpm), and hit shots into an area 24% tighter than our test average.

What makes the Sugar Daddy II worth making such a sizeable investment, is the ability to go lighter, heavier, longer, or shorter without changing the center of gravity. No other brands of wedges can compete with that right now.

Read our full PXG 0311 Sugar Daddy II wedge review

Pros

  • Good spin levels
  • Sits nicely at address
  • Huge range of fitting options

Cons

  • Busy back design won't suit all
Lofts: 50° / 52° / 54° / 56° / 58° / 60° / 62°
Grind options: BP-Grind, C-Grind
Finishes: Chrome, Xtreme Dark

A classy wedge that feels as good as anything out there

Best feeling wedge
We’ve talked up Bettinardi’s stunning putters for some time, but until now their wedges’ overly-round leading edges have prevented them from a spot amongst our favorite models.

This year Bettinardi have straightened the HLX 5.0 up to far more acceptable levels, so it’s a much more attractive proposition to a wide audience of golfers, even with the hefty price.

The HLX has a lovely compact shape with some surface milling to sharpen up the sole and back, plus a milled face, which gives a great flavor of the brand’s heritage.

Even though the model didn’t fly high at the top of our data charts for spin or accuracy, our test pro loved the feel and feedback. Thanks to the loft sole grind options, and choice of finishes, it goes without saying that we’d happily stump up our own cash to buy Bettinardi wedges in 2023.

Pros

  • Fantastic feel
  • Lovely looks

Cons

  • Less spin than some wedges
Lofts: 48° / 50° / 52° / 54° / 56° / 58° / 60°
Grind options: C and RJ Sole Grinds
Finishes: Chrome or Graphite PVD

A sharp leading edge is great for tight lies

Best from tight lies
Price: £179/$179.99 RRP
With Vokey, TaylorMade, and Cleveland Golf shouting so loudly about their wedges it’s really easy to forget wedge legend Roger Cleveland has loads of input into each of Callaway’s new models.

Jaws is a tour-level model, designed from feedback garnered by their wedge supremo from working with the world’s top players.

It has a very sharp leading edge, which will be great for nipping shots from the tightest of lies, but makes it much more likely to dig into heavy damp turf too. 
    
We’re big fans of how the Raw rusts only on the face, cutting out glare in bright sunlight. If you believe rusty faces spin more, then you get the best of both worlds – additional performance with wedges that don’t immediately look old and worn out. A very tidy, but pretty costly option.

Read our full Callaway Jaws Raw wedge review

Pros

  • No glare in bright sunlight
  • Sharp leading edge is good from tight lies

Cons

  • Could dig in soft conditions
Lofts: 46° / 50° / 52° / 54° / 56° / 58° / 60°
Grind options: Z, S, X, W
Finishes: Chrome, Black Plasma

Best Golf Wedges 2023: The Test Data

Launch monitor data from our best golf wedges test.

Launch monitor data from our best golf wedges test.

Best Golf Wedges: buying guide

Should I use cavity back or blade wedges?

With good cavity back wedge options available, it’s daft to start your wedge-buying journey without deciding which type will suit your game. If you play cavity back irons then it’s likely similar wedges will be an excellent accompaniment, as amateurs don’t suddenly become pros when pulling a wedge from their bags.

By opting for slightly bigger, more forgiving cavity back wedges, some of the confusing choices around bounce and sole grind are made for you, which can simplify getting the right set-up for you.

Are raw or plated wedges best for me?

Raw wedges have grown in popularity as brands have figured out a way for just the face to rust over time. An overwhelming majority of tour players use raw wedges, as they believe they offer a slightly better feel and spin.

Rust alone doesn’t make a wedge spin more; the lack of groove edges being covered (rounded) by the plating process can add additional spin and control. It may only make a small difference, but if you’re after ultimate feel and spin performance, raw wedges have the edge.

Should I choose hi-toe or traditional wedges?

Hi-toe or full-face wedges have become a huge trend, so much so that most major brands now have higher toe options in addition to their regular wedge line-up. Hi-toe models have a taller face height in the toe area, and this extra mass draws the center of gravity up the face.

Brands say golfers get slightly lower launching and higher spinning shots from hi-toe models, which of course means there’s an additional performance on offer – as long as you can stomach their shape.

What about full-face grooves?

Full-face grooves are a modern phenomenon. The idea is that when you play from sand and rough, very often shots don’t impact the center of the face. So by having grooves running across the entire face, spin, and control are maxed no matter where shots impact.

While some golfers (us included) struggle to stomach looking down on full-face grooves, if you can use them, you’re stacking a little extra performance in your corner.   

What lofts should I choose for my wedges?

Choosing lofts can be confusing. We’d recommend a fitting session, as with the help of a launch monitor and fitter you will get a better understanding of the job each wedge performs.

If you insist on going it alone, you won’t go too far wrong by owning a gap wedge (possibly a 46-52° loft) for shorter approaches, a sand wedge (54-56°) with a decent amount of bounce to use primarily from sand, and a lob wedge (58-60°) for short, high lofted, soft landing escape shots around the green.

If you can get a higher-lofted wedge to perform from sand and also do the job of a lob wedge, you get away with needing just two wedges rather than three.

What wedge bounce, grind, and finish is right for me?

If you’re the type of player who wants to explore sole grinds and bounce, seek out a trusted fitter. The Vokey Design SM9 wedges, for example, come with six different sole grinds plus low, mid, and high-bounce options, so things can go seriously wrong at this hurdle.

Generally, there’s a shift to higher bounce wedges, yet many golfers choose lower bounce models which dig aggressively into the turf. We like how darker finishes disguise head shape and would always recommend that you consider finishes that don’t glare in sunlight.       

Do I need different shafts in my wedges to my irons?

On tour, wedges are now regularly fitted with shafts a flex weaker than a player’s irons, as so few shots are hit full-out with a specialty wedge. It makes a lot of sense to think about doing something similar; the idea maximizes feel and stopping power.

With brands such as KBS also now offering four or five different wedge shafts, it’s well worth taking the time to find one that works for you and not just settling for a heavy stock wedge shaft that bears little or no resemblance to your irons.

Neil Wain is Today's Golfer's test pro.

How we tested the best golf wedges

We invited all of the major equipment manufacturers to submit their entire 2023 ranges for testing and created a controlled environment indoors at Keele Golf Centre and used a premium tour-level golf ball (Srixon Z-Star).

Using a Foresight GC Quad launch monitor, we collected a ton of data from every shot hit. Some sample delays meant several test sessions were pushed back to the final week of January to ensure none of the latest product launches escaped our test team.

We always test the same category of products on the same day to ensure all conditions and our test team’s swings are the same throughout.

Srixon Z-Star 2023 golf ball.

Why did we use a Srixon Z-Star golf ball?

It would be easy to use just one test golf ball brand every year, but that inevitably leads to criticism for being too closely aligned to one manufacturer, especially if that brand’s equipment performs particularly well. To ensure fairness we like to switch manufacturers for the Top Gear test ball each year. For 2023 we’ve used the Srizon Z-Star (read our review).

The brand have just revealed their eighth-generation model, and Srixon General Manager Brian Schielke says “finding the right ball for your game is just as important as finding the right irons or driver, it’s the one piece of equipment you use on every single shot”.

Thanks to the previous Z-Star (read our review) mopping up 31 wins across all tour global tours last year (that’s 15.5% of the wins available) we know the model is trusted by the world’s very best.

Why do we use a pro tester?

Speak to any golf club engineer about product testing and they all talk about needing a repeatable, reliable strike to offer any sort of valuable comparison. So, whilst we accept not all of the equipment included within our tests was designed for our test pro, what our data shows is a great comparison of how clubs in each particular category differ, which is hugely valuable in helping you narrow your choice as a consumer.

Not only is Neil Wain the perfect club tester because he loves hitting golf balls all day, but he is consistent in delivering accurate and reliable comparative data.

We would always recommend attending a proper fitting session, to ensure any purchase is tailored to your game. 

See more about how TG tests golf clubs and other equipment.

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