In this guide we look at what makes a good pitching wedge and some of the best models.
Best Pitching Wedges
Getting the best wedge for all the different types of shot you have to play approaching and around the green can be a difficult thing to do. Therefore most people carry more than one so that chip shots, bump and run shots, flop shots, bunker shots and everything else can be played when needed.
Another very specific shot that should be included in that is pitch shots, and therefore getting the best pitching wedge for you is also very important. Getting up and down from 100 yards and in, or at least hitting more greens from that yardage, will definitely help you shoot lower scores.
Usually a pitching wedge loft will fit somewhere between 42° and 46° but they can occasionally vary either side of this range. The most important decision to make here is whether you want to use the specific pitching wedge iron that comes in your iron set, or opt for a speciality wedge with a loft within that bracket.
Knowing you have the right loft and right club here will then inform your gapping in terms of your gap wedge, sand wedge or lob wedge. That way you know you will avoid having two wedges that do the same job.
Put simply, you have to trust the pitching wedge you’ve got in the bag. It acts at the vital link between the irons and the wedges whilst also being one of the most versatile clubs in the bag when it comes to chipping, pitch shots and full shots.
Acknowledging all of this, below we have put together a guide on the best golf wedges for pitching, and be sure to check out our reviews of all the models too.
Best Pitching Wedges
Mizuno JPX921 Forged Irons
+ Thin face and fast ball speeds
+ High spin provides stopping power
– Not as easily workable as some may want
There is a reason the phrase, ‘nothing feels like a Mizuno’ is so synonymous with its irons, and the JPX 921 Forged is no exception.
The irons have a sleek, compact profile with reduced offset, along with the feel of a traditional forged iron so perhaps will be best suited to those consistent ball strikers in the mid handicap range and lower.
The JPX921 Forged iron integrates the power of Chromoly into a full body Forged iron for the very first time. Initially applied in Mizuno’s Hot Metal irons – Chromoly has made the cross over to Mizuno’s forgings with excellent results. Testing shows the fastest ball speeds Mizuno has ever produced from a fully Forged iron.
The pitching wedge in the set has a loft of 45° so be sure to check the gapping to your gap or sand wedge so you have all the necessary slots filled.
Callaway Apex Pro Irons
+ Good workability
+ Aesthetically appealing
– Not as forgiving as Apex or Apex DCB
The Callaway Apex Pro also has a loft of 45° in the pitching wedge and the overall package combines a great balance between a modern, technology-packed iron and a classic looking blade-like club.
That means this model, from an aesthetic point of view, will suit those who want to blend the clean looks of the irons with muscleback wedges.
However, in terms of playability, these irons aren’t just for single handicappers because we found the ball to get up into the air nice and easily, whilst the look did inspire confidence without being intimidating.
That being said if you are after distance, there are some other distance options in the Apex 21 family. It is the control, flight and playability that makes the Apex Pro stand out and it is a great iron for the ball striking golfer who is after style and feel from a classy iron head.
TaylorMade SIM2 Max Irons
+ Good distance and forgiveness
+ Nice soft sound at impact
– Minor performance differences over the last model
Designed for those players who want as much forgiveness and distance as possible, the SIM2 Max will suit the a higher handicap player.
The SIM2 Max does what all good cavity back irons should do: go far and offer forgiveness. While it performs similarly to the previous SIM Max, it still does a very good job at offering distance and forgiveness, all in a good looking iron head.
TaylorMade created a much more pleasing look compared to the previous model, utilising subtle carbon fibre details, generous sole width and a confidence inspiring look at address.
Because these irons are all about distance the lofts are stronger which means the pitching wedge comes in at 43.5°, so that is something to be wary of when filling out the bottom of the bag.
Ping G425 Irons
+ Classy, neutral styling
+ Arccos sensors embedded into the grip
– Not the most workable iron in the Ping range
The G425’s from Ping are also all about distance but the brand hasn’t really fiddled around with making the lofts significantly stronger here.
The pitching wedge loft is 44.5° and as a result the iron is a forgiving, controllable and classy looking model that many golfers will enjoy.
Off the face it felt fast and off-centre strikes still maintained strong flights through the air, whilst the strong descent angle made approaching into greens simple. This is especially helpful when we are faced with shots from 100 yards and in.
The final thing to mention is the looks. Previous irons from Ping have looked large and cumbersome but the G425 gives a premium look thanks to the darker colour and slightly smaller profile compared to the previous G410.
Titleist 620 MB Irons
+ Beautiful looking club
+ Ultimate for feel and shot-making
– Not forgiving
The final iron set pitching wedge we wanted to mention is for the better player, the Titleist 620 MB.
A real players’ iron, the muscleback design looks awesome in the bag and particularly transitions nicely into the Vokey SM8’s below.
As you would expect, these irons are all about control, workability and feel, which explains the pitching wedge loft of 47°. Distance is not important here.
We found the feel off the face to be supremely smooth and we enjoyed the penetrating ball flight from good strikes.
It has to be said, this is really only a club for better golfers, but those with the necessary ball-striking skills will get a great deal out of it.
Also check out our guide on the best golf blade irons if you are in the market for a new dream set.
Callaway Mack Daddy CB Wedge
+ Very forgiving and user-friendly
+ Satin finish works well in varying light conditions
– Limited versatility because of wide sole
Lofts: 46-60 degrees
Grind options: 2 (Full, W)
Finish: 1 (Grey)
The first speciality wedge we wanted to mention is the Callaway Mack Daddy CB, designed for those mid to high handicappers who need a little more help than the better player.
They don’t feel as soft as the Jaws MD5, but generally speaking they make it easier to deliver good good contact consistently when chipping and pitching.
In testing, we were also impressed with the forgiveness on full shots, and the feel off the face was really pleasing.
From a looks perspective, better players will perhaps be better suited to the other muscleback designs below but if you are a player who uses cavity irons, then the CB wedge will sit well in the bag.
Mizuno T20 Wedge
+ Soft feel, consistent flight
+ High levels of spin even in damp conditions
– Not having the sole grind marked on the head is a little confusing
Lofts: 45-62 degrees
Grind options: 3 (S, M, C)
Finish: 4 (Satin, Blue, Raw, Custom)
Mizuno’s renowned iron performance translates into this wedge offering, with the Grain Flow Forged process producing a club that is among the very best in terms of distance control and feel.
The good thing here you can get the T20 with any loft from 45-62 degrees so there are lots of options for your setup whether it be filling your pitching wedge slot, or getting a good gapping spread to cover all yardages.
The four colours are a nice touch and we should mention that this does have a thicker topline compared to other speciality wedges on this list. This is to ensure as much spin as possible and stability across the face.
Titleist Vokey SM8 Wedge
+ Stunning looks
+ Total performance
– May suit only better players
Lofts: 46 to 62 degrees
Grind options: 6 (F, M, S, D, L, K)
Finish: 5 (Tour Chrome, Brushed Steel, Jet Black, Slate Blue, Raw)
Like the TaylorMade model below, we see many Tour professionals put the SM8 pitching wedge into play because they feel like it offers more control and consistency. To some extent it also makes sense to have all wedges be the same design too.
In our testing, we found that they produced more consistent direction and distance than the previous SM7 model, without sacrificing any of that solid feel and aggressive spin control.
The grooves have been cut to the legal limit and the SM8 design in the lower lofts really was versatile. The full shots were consistent especially in terms of ball flight, which is thanks to the centre of gravity, which has been moved forward thanks to a longer hosel and high-density tungsten toe weight.
They are also arguably the best looking wedges on the market so they will make your playing partners jealous no doubt.
The SM8 has 23 loft and bounce options, along with six different sole grinds too.
Cobra King Snakebite Wedge
+ Full face and conventional grooves available
+ Three grinds on offer make these a great option to get custom fit for
– Fairly similar to the MIM wedges
Lofts: 48-60 degrees
Grind options: 3 (Versatile, Classic, Wide Low)
Finish: 2 (Grey, One Length)
Cobra’s latest offering in the wedge market is the Snakebite wedge. It may be available with lofts from 48-60, and the groove lengths vary across the range, but the 48 degree model is where we are focusing here.
The grooves on the pitching wedge model are conventional in length across the face but narrower and deeper to optimise spin. This is particularly useful on full and pitch shots in which you’d be using the club with a square of de-lofted face when approaching the green.
From the MIM to the Snakebite, in terms of shape, not much innovation has taken place but this is welcome because it has a pleasing aesthetic in the bag and down behind the golf ball.
Also if you are a one length iron player, then this wedge is also available in the one length specification so the blending from irons to wedges can be seamless.
Cleveland CBX 2 Wedge
+ Extra forgiveness helps get full shots closer to the hole
+ Decent savings to be had considering price
– Skilled golfers may feel it lacks versatility
Lofts: 46-60 degrees
Grind options: 3 (V, S, C)
Finish: 1 (Grey)
Another pitching wedge design that will suit those looking for more forgiveness is the Cleveland CBX 2 – it also made our guide on the most forgiving wedges by the way.
Cleveland’s cavity back offering features a hollow chamber towards the heel and a heavy weight strategically placed in the toe help maximise MOI to improve forgiveness.
We liked how stable the clubhead felt at impact, and it proved consistent in terms of controlling direction and distance on those shots which didn’t quite find the sweetspot.
Now traditional blade users may not like the looks but the wide sole design is there for a reason, to air forgiveness so it could be a pitching wedge for the inconsistent player to consider.
TaylorMade Milled Grind 2 Wedge
+ Rusty look reduces sun glare
+ MyMG2 gives golfers the option to personalise their wedges
+ Tour proven performance
– Not everyone will enjoy the rusty look
Lofts: 48-60 degrees
Grind options: 3 (Standard, Low, Tiger Woods)
Finish: 3 (Chrome, Black, Custom)
A club that is often seen out on Tour in the pitching wedge slot is this TaylorMade Milled Grind 2.
One reason why could be the rusty face which develops over time and is said to aid spin and feel. Additionally the ZTP Raw grooves are sharper, deeper and narrower too to maximise spin especially when greenside.
In our testing we couldn’t prove with any certainty that the rusty face generated more spin or felt softer, but that’s not to say you won’t enjoy more success, and we definitely felt this was one of the most playable models out there.
The black finish in particular looks fantastic in the bag.
Wilson Staff Model Wedge
+ Consistent flight
+ Soft feel off the face
– Not a lot of bounce and grind options
Lofts: 48-60 degrees
Grind options: 1 (Classic)
Finish: 1 (Grey)
If you are in the market for a wedge that looks like a blade and yet still inspires confidence at address then this Wilson Staff Model could be the one for you.
Designed in collaboration with Tour players, it is more forgiving than it looks too which will make it suitable for a wide range of players.
The higher density pattern on the face will help with consistency of strike and the machine-engraved scorelines will suit players who like to be aggressive when chipping.
Whilst this club may not spin as much as other on this list, which may suit some players, the difference is minimal and shouldn’t detract from what is otherwise an excellent club.
Callaway Jaws Mack Daddy 5 Wedge
+ Exquisite looks and feel
+ Plenty of bounce and grind options
– Some may prefer a straighter, longer leading edge for easier alignment
Lofts: 46-64 degrees
Grind options: 5 (S, W, C, X, L-W)
Finish: 3 (Platinum Chrome, Tour Grey, Custom)
The final speciality wedge in this list we wanted to mention is the Callaway Jaws MD5.
It looks great because it has a shape designed by Roger Cleveland and better players will love how its muscleback design looks in the bag. It will also help blend nicely with blades or cleaner looking irons.
Spin comes from the new Offset Groove-In-Groove technology, which basically means there are diagonal score lines between the JAWS grooves. That being said, and despite it being one of the spinniest models we tested, the wedge still felt buttery soft for several different shots
As a result it would work excellently as a pitching wedge, and because of the sheer array of grind, loft and bounce options, a full set of them would blend together well.
What to look out for when buying a pitching wedge
So the first thing you need to consider is whether you want to carry the pitching wedge from your iron set, or put in a speciality wedge with the loft of a pitching wedge.
If you’re going to stick with your iron set pitching wedge, then you need to know what loft your pitching wedge is so you can work out what loft your next wedge (typically a gap wedge) ideally needs to be.
If you’re dropping your set’s wedge, you need to check your 9-iron loft so you can work out what will be the best pitching wedge loft for you.
As we all know, you are only allowed 14 clubs in the bag so you shouldn’t waste any of them, it is about making sure each one has a purpose. When it comes to pitching wedges, you should know how far your shortest iron goes and then transition down into your wedges, so you have an understanding of your yardages at the bottom of the bag.
As we mentioned above you should know whether you want to use an iron as your pitching wedge or a speciality model. Once you know this you can decide on the style you want to go for.
Speciality wedges come in different shapes and sizes these days. Tour players obviously go for the muscleback designs that blend seamlessly with their irons, whilst amateur players may be more suited to cavity back wedges that aid forgiveness through the turf and on off-centre strikes.
This is all about personal preference really and what you like to look down on. Given how many shots amateurs play around the green, and from 100 yards and in, it pays for you to like the aesthetics of your pitching wedge. As the models above have shown, you can get irons, classic designs, or ones with different finishes like a black PVD coating or a copper design.
It should be noted that whilst these finishes are usually just cosmetic, darker finishes will reduce glare.
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.
We hope you enjoyed this guide on the best pitching wedges, and for more buying advice content, check out the Golf Monthly website.