Best Gap Wedges 2023

We take a closer look at the best gap wedges on the market to help you find a model that suits your game

Best Gap Wedges
(Image credit: Golf Monthly)

Best Gap Wedges

Getting the best golf wedge for you is vitally important. Why? Well in case you've not heard, wedges are your 'scoring clubs'. Pitching onto the green and getting up and down more often will save precious shots from your scorecard, so that's why it is vitally important to have a good set of wedges that bridge the gap between your irons and your putter.

When you buy a new set of irons, more often than not golfers will not get a full set of wedges in that pack of clubs. Some sets will only include a 'PW' and a sand wedge, so you need to ask yourself the question: what loft is my pitching wedge? That is important because it will tell you how far, on average you should be hitting each club. 

Typically the best pitching wedges (opens in new tab) will sit at a loft of 46º - 50º and offer most golfers distances of approximately 120 yards. Sand wedges (opens in new tab), meanwhile, are slightly more lofted, sitting between 54º – 58º and will usually offer distances of up to 100 yards. That means you will have a yardage gap between both clubs of around 20 yards, and to fill this distance, golfers use a gap wedge.  

Gap wedges typically have a loft between 50° and 54° and aim to help you it the green from around 110 yards out. Every golfer should seriously think about adding a gap wedge to their bag and to help you narrow your search, we have set out below a selection of the best gap wedges on sale right now.

Alternatively, if you are in the market for a different type of wedge, then take a look at our guides on the best lob wedges (opens in new tab), most forgiving golf wedges (opens in new tab), or if you are new to the game, the best golf wedges for beginners (opens in new tab).

Best Gap Wedges

Why you can trust Golf Monthly Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Titleist Vokey SM9Editors Choice 2022

(Image credit: Future)

Reasons to buy

+
Incredible trajectory control
+
Unrivalled looks
+
Loads of bounce and grind options

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited gains over SM8

Titleist Vokey wedges continue to stand out from the crowd when it comes to the best golf wedges on the market. The SM9 is a case of evolution rather than revolution from the SM8 but Titleist says it has developed the groundbreaking Progressive Centre of Gravity (CG) design to improve distance and trajectory control. In testing, we found it very easy to square-up on full shots and deliver excellent consistency of spin and flight from closer to the green.

Back again are Titleist’s six grind options - F, S, M, K, L and D - making the Vokey SM9 range highly versatile for every golfer and their unique swing. In total, there are 23 different loft and bounce options and we took advantage of that in our custom fitting session to optimize our wedge set-up for improved performance. A new spin milled cutting process means grooves are sharper, while each groove is specifically cut based on loft and finish. Titleist also inspects every single groove on every wedge to guarantee conformity and that rigorous attention to detail has helped the brand produce one of the best golf wedges (opens in new tab) currently on the market. 

Ping Glide 4.0 WedgeEditors Choice 2022


(Image credit: Golf Monthly)

Reasons to buy

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Unrivalled spin
+
Excellent grind options
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Looks great over the ball

Reasons to avoid

-
Feel takes a while to get used to

The Ping Glide 4.0 wedge looks exceptional - especially in the more traditional teardrop shape that is available in three of the four sole options. It also has the classic Ping Hydropearl 2.0 chrome finish, which reduces glare as well as flyers from the rough in damp conditions while also adding a touch of style to the aesthetics. 

The WS (wide sole) is where we enjoyed the most success. Turf interaction was exceptional on short shots, making it one of the best wedges for chipping (opens in new tab) we've ever tested. Most impressive, however, was how easy it was to spin the golf ball. Even when hitting shots that came off a little hotter and lower than expected, the ball sat to attention quicker than most new wedges. This could well have been down to the new Emery face blast, which adds a little more friction to the hitting surface.

Cleveland CBX ZipCore wedgeEditors Choice 2022

(Image credit: Future)

Reasons to buy

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Excellent feel on all shots
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Lots of spin on offer
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Really forgiving

Reasons to avoid

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Sound is a bit clicky
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Not the best-looking from the back

Cleveland has added another model to its impressive wedge line-up, with the CBX ZipCore (opens in new tab) wedge providing superb forgiveness thanks to a cavity/muscle back design.  Although it may not look the best gap wedge from the back, all is forgotten when standing over the ball at address as the classic teardrop shape and chrome finish inspire bags of confidence. Another positive, from a visual standpoint, is the all-black Catalyst Spinner graphite shaft.

Aesthetically pleasing at set-up, it also performs superbly, with the ZipCore extremely easy to hit and surprisingly easy to flight, something that’s likely a consequence of the low density ZipCore that sits at the heart of this wedge to shift the centre of gravity and raise the MOI for maximum forgiveness. Because of the performance it has earned a place in our 2022 Editor's Choice Awards (opens in new tab).

PXG Sugar Daddy II Wedge

(Image credit: Golf Monthly)

Reasons to buy

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Extremely well balanced
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Easy to flight and spin
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Very forgiving
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Unique levels of adjustability

Reasons to avoid

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High-toe design won't be for everyone
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Feel is a little firm

After the success of the original PXG Sugar Daddy wedges, PXG has launched the second iteration of the wedge and there's no doubt that this is a definite improvement on their previous model. The visuals are the first thing to note and they are very striking, to say the least. The club features six adjustable weights on its back which can be altered to help you alter the center of gravity on the club to your taste. Plus they help add more consistency to your shots, with the correct adjustments allowing golfers to hit the same quality and distance of shots with almost every chip. 

The club now also features CNC milled full-faced groves and PXG have done away with the teardrop shape seen on the original Sugar Daddy, replacing it with a high-toe design. While that does make the wedge seem a little more lofted, it is one of the most forgiving wedges (opens in new tab) on the market.

Cleveland RTX ZipCore Wedge


(Image credit: Golf Monthly)

Reasons to buy

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Forgiving on full shots
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Superb value for money
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High-spinning and soft-feeling
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Lots of loft and grind options

Reasons to avoid

-
Better players may want to see a straighter leading edge

The Cleveland RTX ZipCore wedges are traditional in shape and progress from being iron-like in the lower lofts to being more rounded in the higher lofts. Whilst some better players may want to see a straighter leading edge, the raised section at the top of the wedge is well hidden, so it still displays a thin topline that better players will enjoy.

Meanwhile, there's plenty to like about the tour satin finish, which oozes class, and the performance on offer. Despite the impressive levels of spin, full shots didn’t balloon through the air and distance control was very consistent, even when the strike wasn’t pure. That made the RTX ZipCore was a very forgiving golf wedge (opens in new tab) that still added some spin onto miss-hit shots.

Mizuno-T22-wedge-review


(Image credit: Howard Boylan)

Reasons to buy

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High level of spin control
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Wide range of finishes available
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Great in wet weather

Reasons to avoid

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Raw finish scuffs up quickly

The T22 wedges feature a microlayer of copper beneath the nickel chrome, just like on the MP20 irons, to improve the feel at impact. They feature a slightly more compact, ‘modified teardrop,’ profile with an extensively beveled top edge to make it appear thinner. The spin-weighted blade design, created by tapering the upper portion of the blade, helps create more consistent spin and a more penetrating trajectory.

Mizuno’s HydroFlow Micro Grooves deliver great wet weather performance as the club is laser etched to release moisture and reduce spin drop off, while the Quad Cut milled, and loft specific, grooves are cut into Boron infused steel to offer a longer effective lifespan. Three finishes are available - Denim Copper, Satin Chrome and Raw. The Raw finish comes without the copper underlay, but it will rust over time for a look requested by many of the Mizuno tour players.

callaway-jaws-md5-wedge


(Image credit: Future)

Reasons to buy

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Wide variety of loft and sole grind options
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Both finishes bolster the premium appeal
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High level of spin
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A soft feel

Reasons to avoid

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Some may prefer a straighter, longer leading edge for easier alignment

Not only is the Jaws MD5 one of the best gap wedges out there, but we  believe that you’ll struggle to find a better all-around wedge (opens in new tab) offering because it has no obvious weakness. The MD5's really excel at creating spin on longer pitch shots and full shots where the extra speed can generate backspin in excess of 11,000rpm in some cases. That makes it an excellent club to use from over 100 yards out giving you more precision and control over the shots you're hitting.

Everyone will enjoy that buttery soft feel on all lengths of shot, which is down to the mild carbon steel used to create the heads, the muscleback design and the soft and tacky Lamkin UTX grip. The club has a premium finish and features the classic circular weights on its back that Callaway Jaws wedges have boasted for some time. 

TaylorMade Milled Grind 3 Wedge Review


(Image credit: Future)

Reasons to buy

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High levels of spin
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Traditional shaping
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Excellent finish

Reasons to avoid

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Arguably lacks versatility for the more creative golfers

Raw face technology means these wedges have an un-plated surface material that rusts over time to maintain consistently high spin generation in wet conditions. TaylorMade has also added Raised Micro-Ribs between the grooves to aid spin and precision around the greens. This is because the abrasive surface further enhances the friction between the ball and the clubface.

The Milled Grind Sole process continues with each leading edge and sole grind being individually CNC milled for accuracy. There are three bounce options that help to make this a great wedge for chipping (opens in new tab). Those bounce options are low, standard and high. There is also, for versatility, a more aggressive TW (Tiger Woods) grind available in the 56° edition for those players also looking for a new sand wedge (opens in new tab)

ping-glide-forged-pro-wedge-review

(Image credit: Future)

Reasons to buy

+
Compact shape frames the ball well
+
Exceptionally soft feel

Reasons to avoid

-
Lacks forgiveness off centre

The tour-inspired, high-spinning design is offered in two grind profiles and multiple loft options to fit players who rely on precision and control to shoot lower scores. The smaller heel-to-toe head, which is forged from 8620 carbon steel, creates a captured look at address, giving players the confidence to manipulate the head to help execute any shot they are facing.

In combination with the precision-milled face and grooves, the new Emery face blast adds more texture to the hitting surface, creating higher friction and more interaction between the club and ball for more spin and a lower launch. The 50° and 52° lofts feature wheel-cut grooves with a 20° sidewall to optimise performance on full shots commonly associated with gap wedges. Two grind options in multiple lofts expand the offering to ensure a wedge choice is available for a wide range of golfers to match specific playing conditions and angle of attack. For more advice on the best ping clubs on the market, check out our best ping irons guide (opens in new tab) and our best ping drivers guide (opens in new tab)

cobra-king-snakebite-wedge

(Image credit: Future)

Cobra King Snakebite Wedge

Reasons to buy

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Full face and conventional grooves available
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Three grinds on offer make these a great option to get custom fit for
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Reasons to avoid

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Fairly similar to the Cobra MIM wedges

Cobra's Snakebite wedges are available with conventional or full face grooves, depending on the lofts you go for. For a gap wedge, you'll want to be using the Snakebite with the conventional length grooves as you'll be using it mostly for full approach shots with the club face square or even more closed at impact.

The grooves on the new Snakebite face - on 48°-54° lofts - are narrower and deeper than previous Cobra wedges to optimise spin from approach shots. The three grind options available mean you'll be able to find just the right fit for you gap wedge depending on your swing and the kind of turf you most commonly play on. If you like Cobra clubs, why not take a look at our guide on the best Cobra drivers (opens in new tab) on the market.

Callaway Mack Daddy CB Wedge


(Image credit: Future)

Reasons to buy

+
Very forgiving and user-friendly
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The longer stock grip allows you to choke down more easily
+
Excellent for beginners 

Reasons to avoid

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Limited versatility because of wide sole

The Callaway Mack Daddy CB wedge, because it is aimed at the mid to high handicapper, is also one of the most forgiving wedges (opens in new tab) on sale at the moment, as well as being a solid gap wedge. This is an ideal gap wedge to add to your set if you use cavity back irons, as this will give you same properties of forgiveness from full shots with a bit of a softer feel and more spin control.

With a wide sole, something which helps boost forgiveness levels, there is a compromise - and that's less versatility. For better players, there's the Callaway Jaws MD5 (opens in new tab), but for those who want a little more margin for error, these wedges tick a lox of boxes. We were really impressed with the spin control, with well struck shots from the fairway and sometimes the rough - stopping to attention on the second or third bounce.

How we test

When it comes to wedges, we take the testing process very seriously. Whether we are sent a product or buy it ourselves, we put everything through its paces to ensure we can provide thorough and reliable advice. Every member of the Golf Monthly team is an avid golfer and as such, knows what does and doesn't make for a good wedge.

As far as our methodology goes, we review all wedges properly, which means we have used each one across multiple rounds and in practice to assess every aspect of performance in all conditions. For example, if a wedge claims to be the ultimate chipping club, we will test that theory from any and all lies possible.

Specific to this guide on the best best gap wedges, we tested every club thoroughly to assess the level of spin, feel and turf interaction. We were also keen to find out how forgiving each model was and if there were any differences in flight.

This comprehensive testing style is not just exclusive to wedges as we test with the same level of thoroughness across all categories of golf gear and equipment. For more information on how Golf Monthly tests products, take a look at our methodology here. Wedge testing is headed up by Golf Monthly Staff Writer Andrew Wright who is currently using a set of Titleist Vokey SM9 wedges.

What to consider when buying a gap wedge

Gap wedges are an important tool any golfer should have in their arsenal. They cover the distance between your sand wedge and pitching wedge and can seriously help you nail the ball on the green from over 100 yards out. For that reason they can help you save a lot of shots in approach and around the greens. Its worth noting that there are a lot of different styles of gap wedges currently available on the market, many of which have different features and attributes that can sometimes be overwhelming if you're not the most knowledgable when it comes to club technology. It is important to get the club that suits your abilities and swing style, and for that reason, we've put together the below list of considerations that will help you find the right gap wedge for your swing. 

1. Gapping

Measure your current wedge yardages and how often you are in between clubs to help decide if what clubs you want to carry. Golfers will typically have around three wedges in their bag which will include a lob wedge, sand wedge and a pitching wedge but many also like to carry a gap wedge too. 

2. Bounce

Low bounce wedges are more suited to hard fairways and tight lies, while high bounce wedges are better for softer ground conditions and bunkers. The most bounce you will ever see on a wedge is about 18°, but it can be as low as 2°. The type of bounce you opt for should largely depend on things like your normal angle of attack, the firmness of your fairways and the type of shots you like to hit around the greens.

3. Forgiveness 

Every golfer knows the pain of hitting an immaculate drive down the fairway, only to chunk your approach shot into the green. Wedges are perhaps one of the hardest clubs to use when it comes to consistently hitting sweet golf shots on different lies. But you can save yourself a lot of shots, by using a wedge that provides greater forgiveness. 

Particularly if you are a beginner or a high-handicapper, a more forgiving sand wedge can help you become much more clinical around the greens. When looking for more forgiving wedges, look out for clubs that have cavity-backed heads, wedges that have a center of gravity closer to the sole and wedges that have a higher MOI to improve the quality and consistency of shots your hitting. For more information on wedges that can help you hit consistently sweeter golf shots.

4. Grooves

While grooves are now tightly regulated, it is still well worth keeping up to date with the latest designs, which use new milling processes and groove shapes to help move water and dirt away from the ball at impact to create extra spin and improve control. 

5. Testing

At Golf Monthly, we recommend players take the time to test a variety of different wedges at a club fitting. As they can come in a variety of lofts, grinds and bounce degrees, it is important to ascertain which type of wedges can help you perform the best depending on your swing and the type of terrain you're playing on. 

For more advice on the types of wedges you may also want to add to your bag, take a look at our guides on the best lob wedges (opens in new tab), best sand wedges (opens in new tab) and best pitching wedges (opens in new tab)

FAQs

What are gap wedges used for?

Gap wedges bridge the yardage difference between your sand wedge and your pitching wedge. They are an approach club that can help you hit lofted shots from approximately 110 yards out. They can also be used on chips around the greens and are a great club to use if you're looking to shave shots off your round. 

What degree is a gap wedge?

Gap wedges usually have a loft of anywhere between 50° and 54°. Its advisable to match the gap wedge loft with your pitching wedge and sand wedge loft. For example, if you have a high lofted sand wedge, maybe a 48º, you might want to go for a slightly higher lofted gap wedge of 53º to ensure you cover more yardage. 

Do I really need a gap wedge?

While it is not essential to carry a gap wedge, they can be really helpful to assist players hit awkward distances between 100 yards and 120 yards. Gap wedges are a handy tool that can also help you get out of troublesome spots on the course and get up and down without suffering any penalties.