Best Sand Wedges

Find the right model from our picks of the best sand wedges help you master your short game

best sand wedges
(Image credit: Golf Monthly)

Best Sand Wedges

One avenue of the short game that the best golf wedges have to be able to deal with is the sand. Playing from the sand can be very difficult because of the rules and the challenge of the shots needed to be played around the green.

Finding the right sand wedge is vital to help with your scoring and having a club that gives you confidence around the greens and out of bunkers can really help change your mindset on the course and lead to making more up-and-downs.

What Makes A Sand Wedge?

As the name would suggest, the sand wedge - a club with a loft typically between 54° and 58° - was created to help golfers escape from bunkers. The best sand wedges use design and technology to help make this as easy as possible for a wide range of abilities.

Additionally we don't just use sand wedges to pop the ball out of the sand - they are more versatile than that.

Often it's the best, or only, choice of club when you need to hack it out of thick rough; it's the club you'll go to from 80 yards and for many it's the club they'll reach for immediately whenever greenside.

How To Choose The Right Sand Wedge?

When thinking about which sand wedge is right for you, there are a couple of key questions you need to ask.

Firstly, where do you most commonly use your current sand wedge? Do you use it exclusively out of a bunker? Do you chip with it greenside? Do you primarily use it as an approach club from 60 yards out?

Next, what irons do you currently use? If you use cavity back irons, find a sand wedge that matches them closely as possible that will offer you similar forgiveness. While if you use bladed irons or something similar, look for a sand wedge that has a similarly thin topline and is made from a softer, forged metal.

Finally, what loft do you need? As we mentioned above, sand wedges are traditionally lofted between 54° and 58° and the loft best suited for you will depend on your current iron set. We recommend researching the loft of your current pitching wedge and gap wedge - if you have one - and make sure they are all separated by 4-6 degrees of loft.

For example, if your pitching wedge is 46° and your gap wedge is 50°, a sand wedge of 54° or 56° would be ideal.

Bearing all of these important factors in mind, we have tested the latest models to give you an idea of the best sand wedges on the market right now and how they vary from brand to brand. If there are other facets of the game you want to find a wedge for, check out our guides on the best wedges for chipping, best gap wedges, or if you are new to the game, the best golf wedges for beginners.

Best Sand Wedges

taylormade-mg3-wedges-web

(Image credit: Future)

One of the best models for spin

Reasons to buy
+High level of spin+Traditional shaping
Reasons to avoid
-Arguably lacks versatility for the more creative golfer

Raw face technology means the 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 - low standard and high - for versatility with a more aggressive TW (Tiger Woods) grind available in the 56°.

Best Wedges For Chipping

(Image credit: Future)

Reasons to buy
+Classic address profile and finishes+Versatility and aggressive spin control
Reasons to avoid
-Premium price (£450 for a set of three) a big investment

The key technology to note with the SM8 is the longer hosel and high-density tungsten toe weight, which increases MOI by seven per cent and moves the CG to help the face square more naturally.

We compared its performance with the SM7 from 80 yards, and found that the SM8 flew slightly higher, whilst the grouping around the hole got tighter - which could well have been down to that design change.

In terms of using a SM8 as a sand wedge, we enjoyed having a little more margin for error with the D-Grind, but with 23 loft and bounce options across six different sole grinds, we're confident everyone has the tools to perfect their wedge line-up to get the ball closer from 120 yards and in.

The newer K-Grind is also a great option if you have a tendency to chunk and fat greenside chips often.

callaway-jaws-md5-wedge

(Image credit: Future)

Reasons to buy
+Two superb-looking finishes+Wide variety of loft and sole grind options
Reasons to avoid
-Some golfers may prefer less taper in the hosel area

Callaway has been making some of the best sand wedges in the game for a while now. These MD5 wedges continue that trend and feature new Jaws grooves, designed with a 37 degree wall angle to make them sharper for maximum grip and spin from all types of lie.

In addition, three raised micro-ridges between the grooves increase the number of contact points with the ball to 84, which creates added spin.

We were most impressed with the spin this wedge created on longer pitch shots and full shots. We switched between the different offerings, and they all felt buttery soft, which is a down to the mild carbon steel, the muscleback design and the soft grip.

If you're not comfortable with your current sand wedge, we recommend trying the high-bounce W-Grind for the most forgiveness possible.

rtx-zipcore-outdoor-web

(Image credit: Future)

Reasons to buy
+Wonderful soft feel+Tour satin finish looks stunning
Reasons to avoid
-Some players may prefer to see a straighter leading edge

This wedge will catch the attention of low handicap players, with a beautiful muscleback design offering a soft feel. A unique core at the heart of this plays it part in creating a larger sweetspot, which is better aligned with the impact location.

We tested a couple of different options on the Foresight Sports GCQuad against other current wedges, and from a variety of distances the RTX ZipCore proved to be one of the highest-spinning wedges on the market.

Despite the high spin levels, we didn't suffer with balls ballooning through the air and distance control was very consistent, even on shots that weren't quite out of the sweetspot.

In summary, RTX ZipCore is one of the most comprehensive wedge offerings right now and represents excellent value for money. As such it also features in our guides on the best lob wedges and best golf wedge for mid handicapper golfers.

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.

Meanwhile, the 54° to 62° options are milled with a 28° sidewall and tighter radius to provide more spin and precision on the finesse shots around the green and from the sand.

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.

Mizuno-T22-wedge-review

(Image credit: Howard Boylan)

Best looking sand wedges

Reasons to buy
+High level of spin control+Wide range of finishes available
Reasons to avoid
-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 bevelled 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 they’re 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 Full Toe Wedge Review

(Image credit: Future)

Reasons to buy
+Provides excellent control+High levels of versatility
Reasons to avoid
-Triangular in shape-Won’t look pristine over a long period.

Brought in to replace the PM Grind wedge, the Jaws Full Toe combines four distinct technologies that create as much spin as possible.

Callaway’s Jaws grooves have been extended all the way across the face to provide spin anywhere that the golfer makes contact.

Callaway has also added a raw face for the first time in a wedge and, coupled with offset groove-in-groove technology, the wedges are said to give golfers the spin and control needed to approach any shot with confidence.

The Full Toe shape and a specialised C-Grind is said to make bunker shots, high flop shots, and short pitches and chips easier to hit from a multitude of lies around the course.

The Jaws Toe Pad pushes the CG higher, creating a lower, more controlled trajectory ideal for improved control on full wedge shots.

mizuno-es21-wedge-web

(Image credit: Future)

Reasons to buy
+Stable feel+Narrow topline is really pleasing to look down on
Reasons to avoid
-Limited loft and bounce options.

Mizuno's latest wedge is designed to be more stable and consistent, thanks to a more central sweetspot.

Whilst we're yet to really put this wedge through its paces, we've been mightily impressed with the soft feel it offers.

Traditional wedge designs tend to have a sweetspot that is slightly towards the heel due to long wide hosels and high lofts, which can make achieving a consistently good strike difficult for some players.

With the hollow cavity design, players should be able to deliver a squarer strike and greater levels of controllable spin.

Honma T//World Wedge

(Image credit: Tom Miles)

Reasons to buy
+Looks and feels great+Variety of sole shapes available
Reasons to avoid
-Compact shape may be intimidating for some

One of the finest looking wedges on the market, Honma’s T//World wedges, pack a compact look at address which will suit the better golfers looking for a thinner top line.

The thinner top line is not to say these wedges are unforgiving, in fact Honma have added aluminium back inserts to improve the CG location and make these wedges more forgiving from off-centre hits.

When we tested the T//World wedge, we loved how consistent the ball flights were with the 52° wedge, ideal for a club you’ll be using for full shots more often.

There are three sole shapes available too, allowing you to custom fit these to suit your swing or turf conditions you most commonly play on.

The C-SOLE, which is across the 56°, 58° and 60° wedges, has a thicker design on the upper portion of the head for greater versatility - a great option for your sand wedge

cobra-king-snakebite-wedge

(Image credit: Future)

Cobra King Snakebite Wedge

Reasons to buy
+Full face grooves are ideal for a sand wedge+Three grinds on offer make these a great option to get custom fit for
Reasons to avoid
-Fairly similar to the MIM wedges

What makes the Cobra King Snakebite wedge a great option for a sand wedge are its full face grooves.

On the 56°, 58° and 60° wedges, the grooves are full face and are wider and shallower than the lower lofts to create more spin on the wedges you’d be using with an open blade around the green.

There are three grind options so there is plenty of scope to get the sand wedge that most suits your swing and the turf conditions you most commonly play on.

It is also a friendly wedge to look down on and will really appeal to the mid-high handicapper looking for a sand wedge that closely mirrors a cavity back iron set.