Most Forgiving Wedges 2023

We review the most forgiving wedges on the market so you can find the right option for your game

Most forgiving wedges
(Image credit: Future)

Most Forgiving Wedges

We all have different preferences when it comes to selecting our golf equipment, and it's no different when it comes to the scoring clubs, your wedges. For some, it's a soft feel, while others demand exceptional levels of spin. Then there are golfers who place a premium on forgiveness, with the wedge being one of the hardest clubs to use consistently in your bag. The best golf wedges (opens in new tab) usually offer an excellent mix of everything. We hear a lot about forgiveness levels when it comes to drivers, fairways and irons, but it's perhaps less talked about where wedges are concerned.

Chipping and pitching shots require a great deal of skill, and just like driving, it's not always easy for amateurs to repeat the same move and find the perfect contact. there are models, however, that will help you with the quality of your short game striking, allow you to spin the golf ball (opens in new tab) and, as a result, add greater control to your short game. 

Levels of forgiveness vary from brand to brand, but we've tested some of the most forgiving wedges to help those of you who are in the market for a new wedge set, find a club that offers that extra margin for error. We also recommend reading our best golf wedges for beginners (opens in new tab) guide if you are new to the game. Be sure to read our reviews below to see how the most forgiving wedges performed. Also, see some more forgiving clubs in our most forgiving drivers (opens in new tab) guide, most forgiving irons (opens in new tab) guide, and most forgiving putters (opens in new tab) guide as well.

Most Forgiving Wedges

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Titleist Vokey SM9Editors Choice 2022

(Image credit: Future)

Specifications

Lofts: 46°-62°
Grinds: 6 (F, S, M, K, L, D)
Finishes: 4 (Tour Chrome, Brushed Steel, Jet Black, Raw)

Reasons to buy

+
Tremendous versatility
+
Great distance and trajectory control
+
Unrivalled looks

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited gains over SM8

Titleist Vokey wedges continue to stand out from the crowd in this gear category. The SM9 (opens in new tab) is a case of evolution rather than revolution from the SM8 but Titleist says it has developed the groundbreaking Progressive Center 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 to optimise 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. We averaged over 10,000 RPM with the 54º SM9, compared to around 8,700 with the 52º SM6 on testing. From fluffier lies and bunkers with a lot of sand, we found the 54º was less likely to dig into the terrain and that allowed us to swing through with a more fluid stroke. We also found the 58º with 8º of bounce was also great from bare lies and bunkers with slightly less sand. As such, it features on our best golf wedges (opens in new tab) and our most forgiving golf wedges guides (opens in new tab).

TaylorMade Hi-Toe 3 Wedge

(Image credit: Future)

Specifications

Loft: 50° to 60°
Grind: 3 (Standard, Low, High)
Finishes: 1 (Aged copper)

Reasons to buy

+
High level of spin control
+
Incredible looks from every angle
+
Ample versatility from the four-way cambered sole

Reasons to avoid

-
Only one bounce option available in the low and mid lofts

This brilliantly balanced wedge offers excellent control around the greens for those who struggle with distance from the sand. The Hi-Toe 3 wedge from TaylorMade has a very low centre of gravity and a wide back that provides extra forgiveness and bounce on much shorter shots. This is the third generation of the Hi-Toe design and we found it performs brilliantly on the course. Aesthetically, this wedge looks incredible, with its aged copper finish giving a rustic, yet sophisticated look. 

Akin to many of the best wedges for chipping (opens in new tab), this club excels when it comes to adding spin to the golf ball. We think that is partly due to the micro-ribs added to the face of the club that give extra traction between the grooves, giving the face of the club additional friction. And you can really feel this work when you strike low, spinny chips onto the greens. 

In the sand wedge editions of this club, you'll also find the Hi-Toe comes with full-face grooves, that give extra forgiveness on off-center strikes. The only drawback we can think of is that it won't suit players who tend to get a steep in their downswing, but that being said, it is a great wedge for golfers of all abilities. Plus you also get a lot of high-bounce forgiveness, meaning it is fantastic for digging shots out of deep lying bunkers and heavy rough. It is also a fantastic lob wedge (opens in new tab) for any player looking for greater stopping power around the greens. 

Callaway Mack Daddy CB Wedge

(Image credit: Future)

Specifications

Lofts: 46°-60°
Grinds: 2 (Full, W)
Finishes: 1 (Satin Chrome)

Reasons to buy

+
User-friendly design
+
Satin finish works well in varying light conditions

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited versatility with wide soles

These wedges look like game-improvement, cavity-back irons, which won't appeal to everyone, but for the mid to high handicapper, they offer impressive forgiveness and control. They don't feel as soft as the Jaws MD5 (opens in new tab), but generally speaking, they make it easier to deliver good contact consistently when chipping and pitching.

In testing, we were also impressed with the forgiveness on full shots, and the feel off the clubface was really pleasing. Callaway set out to provide a more user-friendly experience with this club and we agree that this has comfortably been achieved. These clubs have super-wide soles which means there is much more resistance with the ground at impact. That means if you hit a shot slightly fat, you can still produce a fairly clean chip shot. 

That also provides golfers with more forgiveness in the bunker, with the bouncier sole helping the club get through the sand more efficiently. As you move up the clubs to lower lofts, you'll notice the clubs have a fully grooved clubface, allowing for control over miss-hit shots. But for well sweetly struck shots, we found the spin control on this club excellent too, with the ball checking after their second or third bounce. 

Ping ChipR Wedge

(Image credit: Future)

Specifications

Lofts: 1 (38.5º)
Grinds: 1 (cambered sole)
Finishes: 1 (silver)

Reasons to buy

+
Great-looking club
+
An absolute guaranteed stroke saver
+
So easy to use

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited versatility

The Ping ChipR Wedge is a great option for any player struggling with the chipping yips. We all know how infuriating duffing a textbook wedge shot can be when you've just hit the perfect drive up the middle of the fairway. Chipping isn't easy, but the Ping ChipR Wedge can really take some of the headaches away of chipping from 40-yards out. Ping has coined this club, a fully engineered chipping solution and combines elements of both your putter and your wedges to make a chipping solution. 

Interestingly though, it has the loft of a 9-iron but sits more vertically. That helps to play little bump and runs around the green and give you the feeling you can accurately place the ball next to the hole. It weighs the same as a lob wedge and can still give you the same level of grab as a lob wedge, with its MicroMax grooves being situated closer to each other than normal. That allows you to put more stopping power on the ball and control it from tighter lies. Chipping from the fringes with this club couldn't be easier and you'll find this club gives you a lot of consistency when playing onto the greens. 

Best Cleveland Wedges

(Image credit: Future)

Specifications

Lofts: 46°-60°
Grinds: 3 (V, S. C)
Finishes: 2 (Chrome, Black Satin)

Reasons to buy

+
Extra forgiveness helps get full shots closer
+
Solid and stable feel

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited finish options

A model that is featured in our best lob wedges (opens in new tab) guide, the CBX 2 is one of the most forgiving wedges on this list for a variety of reasons. Cleveland's cavity-back offering features a hollow chamber towards the heel and a weight that is strategically placed in the toe to 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 shots that didn't quite find the sweet spot. Cleveland's fourth-generation Rotex Face also combines sharp grooves with an aggressive face milling to help control the amount of spin we were able to put on the ball.  

The wide sole design increases forgiveness on the strike, and whilst traditional blade users might not take to its looks, it clearly delivers on its objectives. This is definitely a wedge for the more inconsistent player to consider. Plus at address, the larger profile of the clubhead will give you greater confidence over the ball. 

Ping Glide 4.0 Glide ReviewEditors Choice 2022


(Image credit: Golf Monthly)

Specifications

Lofts: 46°-60°
Grinds: 4 (Eye2, SS, WS, TS)
Finishes: 1 (Chrome)

Reasons to buy

+
High levels of spin
+
Inviting address look
+
Eye2 sole profile is a game-changer from the sand

Reasons to avoid

-
Feel off the face is a little firm

Perhaps one of the best-looking wedges on the market, the Ping Glide 4.0 takes a more traditional teardrop shape that matches the brand's original iconic Eye2 profile. It also features the classic Ping Hydropearl 2.0 chrome finish, that reduces glare and adds a touch of style to the aesthetics. 

Ping describes this wedge as the ultimate bunker club and we thought that it was one of the best performing wedges out of the sand due to its forgiveness from tougher lies. Shots that we struck a little firmer and lower than expected still checked a lot faster than other wedges thanks to the club's new Emery face blast which adds more friction onto the clubface.   

With four sole options to choose from, we had the most success in the sand from the wide sole variation of the club. The interaction with the terrain and the 14º of bounce that the club gave made us feel more confident over the ball, particularly in softer conditions. The performance of this wedge was so good that it has been included in Golf Monthly's Editor's Choice Awards for 2022 (opens in new tab)

The King Cobra Snakebite wedge

(Image credit: Future)

Specifications

Lofts: 48°-60°
Grinds: 3 (Classic, Versatile, Widelow)
Finishes: 2 (Chrome, Black)

Reasons to buy

+
Highly forgiving
+
Loads of spin
+
Soft feel

Reasons to avoid

-
Shiny finish won't suit some
-
Limited grind options

This is a progressive-groove wedge that performs excellently in all categories. It makes an impression right from the off with its shiny finish and is available in a classic shape with traditional grooves in lofts of 48° to 54°, and has been designed with a wider, shallower shape and full-face grooves in lofts from 54° to 60°.

As such, it's highly forgiving in the higher lofts and allows golfers to open the face safe in the knowledge the drop-off in performance for an off-centre strike won't be as stark, which is especially handy when in the rough or a bunker. 

There is also loads of spin on offer from Cobra's new groove technology aimed at helping golfers create more 'bite'. The brand says its Snakebite grooves are 11% deeper and 40% sharper, pushing the tolerance level right to the limit. We really felt this at work from all distances.

Truth be told, the only real criticism is that there aren't more bounce and grind options available so golfers can really dial in their specific needs.

Cleveland CBX ZipCore wedgeEditors Choice 2022

(Image credit: Future)

Specifications

Lofts: 44°-60°
Grinds: 3 - (V, S and C)
Finishes : 1 (Chrome)

Reasons to buy

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

Reasons to avoid

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

The Cleveland CBX ZipCore wedge is a cavity-backed wedge that is visually a very nice golf club that comes with a black Catalyst Spinner graphite shaft, something that is rarely seen in a wedge. On testing, it was relatively easy to hit and to flight and that is due to its low-density ZipCore that sits at the heart of the wedge, raising its MOI for greater forgiveness. That makes it a great sand wedge for those golfers who might get a little nervy over their chips or are prone to hitting a shot slightly fat. Plus, with its cavity-backed club head, you'll find this a much more forgiving wedge that will reduce the number of times you'll hit those costly chunks around the greens.

While we found the club weighed a lot less than the Cleveland RTX because of its graphite shaft, the balance and fluidity the CBX gives on longer shots is excellent. And thanks to its sharp UltiZip grooves, the clubface provided plenty of spin but did feel slightly clicky, giving the impression that the club is quite firm. Overall, it is a very impressive piece of kit that ticks boxes in all key performance areas. For that reason, we've also chosen to include this in the Golf Monthly Editor's Choice Awards for 2022 (opens in new tab).

PXG Sugar Daddy II wedge in two finishes

(Image credit: Future)

Specifications

Lofts: 50°-62°
Grinds: 2 (C, BP)
Finishes: 2 (Chrome, Xtreme Dark)

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent levels of adjustability
+
Very well balanced
+
Easy to control flight and distance

Reasons to avoid

-
Custom fitting required to dial in specs

After the success of the original PXG Sugar Daddy wedges (opens in new tab), 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 has 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 on the market. The club is also available in two different soles, a 13º BP-Grind and a 10º C-Grind. Depending on the turf you're playing from, both are invaluable to have with a higher-bounce wedge like the BP-Grind giving greater spin in a sandy bunker or softer turf. On firmer ground, the 10º option is more appropriate and helps golfers get better traction on their chips. 

Mizuno ES21 Wedge

(Image credit: Future)

Specifications

Lofts: 54°-62°
Grinds: 2 (Standard, Wide)
Finishes: 1 (Black)

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent spin in all conditions
+
Stable and easy to manipulate
+
Black finish reduces sun glare

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the best looking wedge

Traditional wedge designs tend to have a sweet spot that is slightly towards the heel due to long wide hosels and high lofts, making it hard for many players to find consistency. But the ES21 wedges feature a higher, more central sweet spot, similar to  which delivers a squarer strike and greater levels of more controllable spin.

A multi-piece stainless steel construction clubhead features a hollow body for a higher and deeper center of gravity that promotes more vertical gearing for an increased spin, while the high toe and low heel keep the wedges extremely stable when the face is opened. Hydroflow Micro Grooves, which are vertically etched and help release moisture and maintain spin even in damp conditions.

Cleveland CBX Full Face wedge

(Image credit: Future)

Specifications

Lofts: 56°-64°
Grinds: 1 (C)
Finishes: 1 (Black Satin)

Reasons to buy

+
Full-face grooves provide added control
+
Darker finish stops any sun glare

Reasons to avoid

-
Full-face grooves take a while to get used to aesthetically

The Cleveland CBX ZipCore wedge is a cavity-backed wedge that is visually a very nice golf club that comes with a black Catalyst Spinner graphite shaft, something that is rarely seen in a wedge. On testing, it was relatively easy to hit and to flight and that is due to its low-density ZipCore that sits at the heart of the wedge and raises its MOI for greater forgiveness. That makes it an excellent sand wedge (opens in new tab) for those golfers who might get a little nervy over their chips and are prone to hitting a shot slightly fat. Plus, with its cavity-backed club head, you'll find this a much more forgiving wedge that will reduce the number of times you'll hit those costly chunks around the greens.

While we found the club to weigh a lot less than the Cleveland RTX because of its graphite shaft, the balance and fluidity the CBX gives on longer shots is excellent. And thanks to its sharp UltiZip grooves, the clubface provided plenty of spin, but did feel slightly clicky, giving the impression that the club is quite firm. Overall, it is a very impressive piece of kit that ticks boxes in all key performance areas. For that reason, we've also chosen to include this in the Golf Monthly Editor's Choice Awards for 2022 (opens in new tab).

Callaway Sure Out 2 wedge

Callaway Sure Out 2 Wedge

Specifications

Lofts: 56°-64°
Grinds: 1
Finishes: 1 (Chrome)

Reasons to buy

+
Refined bounce angle enhances playability
+
Confidence-inspiring at address

Reasons to avoid

-
Wide sole won’t appeal to everyone

If you’re after more forgiveness from a wedge, there’s a fair chance that one of the more frequent shots that you struggle with is a fat strike, which is where you catch the turf before the ball. This Callaway Sure Out 2 model is one of the most forgiving golf wedges because it features a larger face area than most wedges, and a wider sole, which promotes a solid ball contact to propel the ball up in the air. Meanwhile, the grip comes with 3 “step down” markings to promote effective and ultimate distance control and shot selection.

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 brand claims its wedge is the most forgiving golf club in the game, we will test that theory from any and all lies possible. Specific to the most forgiving wedges, we tested each club thoroughly to assess the consistency when it came to spin, feel and distance control on offer. We were also keen to find out how easy it was to hit full shots with each model was and analyse differences in flight and dispersion.

This comprehensive testing style is not just exclusive to wedges as we test with the same level of thoroughness across all gear categories. To read more about how we test our equipment, take a look at our testing methodology here (opens in new tab).  Wedge testing is headed up by Golf Monthly Staff Writer Andrew Wright (opens in new tab) who is currently using a set of Titleist Vokey SM9 wedges.

What you need to consider when buying new wedges

1. Gapping

Measure your current wedge yardages and how often you are in between clubs to help decide if you need to carry an extra option especially for chipping. Golfers will typically have around three wedges in their bag which will include a lob wedge, sand wedge and a pitching wedge. 

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. 

While having a forgiving set of wedges can really help you score low cards, you may also want to make sure you have a good set of wedges across the board. For that reason, we've put together several guides including our guides on the best lob wedges (opens in new tab), best gap wedges (opens in new tab) and best wedges for chipping (opens in new tab).

FAQs

Which wedges are most forgiving?

There's no one-wedge-fits-all solution when it comes to forgiveness, but in our buying guide, we have endeavoured to find and test the most forgiving models on the market. However, wedges with high MOI are considered to be the most forgiving, especially when it comes to hitting full shots

What is the best wedge for a high handicapper?

High-handicap golfers who struggle to control strike location would likely benefit from a cavity-back wedge or one with full-face grooves. With that in mind, the Cleveland CBX Full-Face or the Ping Glide 4.0 would be great options.

What is the easiest golf wedge to hit?

Most modern wedges are now designed to provide forgiveness on everything from chip shots through to full shots. However, as mentioned above, cavity-back wedges are probably the easiest to hit due to their maximised MOI and game-improvement technology.

What degree wedge is best for chipping?

This comes down to personal preference and the type of shot you're facing. For example, some golfers might have a 'favorite wedge' they use from any and all positions, while others might mix it up depending on if they need to hit something high, low or loaded with spin. Whatever the case, it's worth heading to the practice ground to find out what works best for you.

Sam Tremlett
Senior Staff Writer

A golfer for most of his life, Sam is a Senior Staff Writer for Golf Monthly. 

Working with golf gear and equipment over the last five years, Sam has quickly built outstanding knowledge and expertise on golf products ranging from drivers, to balls, to shoes. 

He also loves to test golf apparel especially if it a piece that can be used just about anywhere!

As a result he has always been the one family and friends come to for buying advice and tips.

He is a graduate of Swansea University where he studied History and American Studies, and he has been a part of the Golf Monthly team since December 2017. He also previously worked for World Soccer and Rugby World magazines.

Sam now spends most of his time testing and looking after golf gear content for the website. He also oversees all Tour player content as well. 

Unfortunately, Sam is not a member of any club at the moment but regularly gets out on the golf course to keep up the facade of having a handicap of five.