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Best Wedges 2013: Editors’ Choice
Contrary to popular belief, the best wedges aren’t the ones that spin the most.
According to legendary wedge designer Bob Vokey, the most important part of finding the right wedge is finding the right sole configuration, which can be the different between chunking chips and chipping it close.
A wedge’s sole, or grind, is made up of several variables, such as its width, bounce, bounce location, camber and relief.
Don’t know what those terms mean? Click here to read our full story about our trip to Vokey headquarter in Carlsbad, Calif., where we spoke with Bob Vokey and went through a full wedge fitting at TPI Oceanside with his trained wedge fitters.
Golf equipment companies are currently offering more sole options than ever before, so there’s no excuse for not playing a grind that gives you the best chance to get it up and down. To help you narrow it down, we’ve created an Editors’ Choice list for the best wedges currently available. They’re offered in a slew of lofts, grinds, finishes and custom options, and are a great starting point if you’re in the market for a new wedge.
Cleveland 588 RTX Wedges
Cleveland’s new 588 RTX wedges have rougher, more tightly milled faces than previous models that impart maximum spin on wedge shots. They perform more like Cleveland’s original Zip Grooves, which were one of the spinnest options around before the groove rule change.
Those looking for a wedge that generates maximum spin on all shots will surely want to give the 588 RTX a try. They come in low, medium and high bounce options in most models, as well as a cavity back (CB) option that is a great choice for high handicappers seeking a little extra forgiveness.
Those concerned with aesthetics will appreciate that both the MB and CB models are offered in both black pearl and satin finishes.
The most important part of selecting a wedge is finding the right sole grind, and Vokey offers more sole grinds than any of its competitors. The SM4, TVD and 200 Series wedges look good, feel great and have been validated by some of the game’s best wedge players.
Vokey Spin Milled SM4 wedges offer a large variety of off-the-shelf lofts ranging from 46 to 64 degrees in two-degree increments, with as many as three different sole grinds for each model. On Vokey’s WedgeWorks website, which offers premium customization options, golfers can also choose from Vokey’s TVD and 200 Series wedges, which have different sole grinds. Click here to see our article on Vokey’s custom wedge department, WedgeWorks.
Mizuno MP-T4 Wedge
With input from the one of the games most precise wedge players, Luke Donald, Mizuno has designed a “tear shaped” wedge that is forged from the company’s 1025E “Pure Select” mild carbon steel. The MP-T4 also feature Mizuno’s Quad Cut Grooves. The results? A nice feeling, balanced scoring weapon.
Mizuno doesn’t offer as many sole options as others — most of its wedges are in the low-to-mid bounce range. But if the MP-T4′s are a fit for you, they’re forged feel and ample spin will bring you ample confidence around the greens.
The “New Wedge Series” from Miura preserves the eternal elements of the “old” series and adds refinements that make the clubs look and play even better. Like all things stamped Miura, they feature the buttery soft forged feel and a premium chrome finish that is often replicated, but rarely duplicated.
They’re available in odd-numbered lofts from 51 degrees through 59, and feature redesigned bounce angles that work well with the way skilled players like to play golf. Despite the limited sole options, these low-bounce wedges are ground in such a way to add versatility from variety of lies and limit digging.
Fourteen Golf’s RM-12 wedges are the company’s latest models for 2013. They look similar to their predecessors, the RM-11 wedges, but they have a more rounded toe and a more agressive heel grind that adds versatility on open-face shots. They also have the same carefully milled trapezoidal grooves, which add 15 percent more spin that Fourteen’s popular M-28 J.spec-IV wedges.
According to Fourteen’s website, its “mirror face milling process” takes twice as long as traditional milling procedures, but adds consistency in both wet and dry conditions, as well as extra zip from the rough and on partial shots. The RM-12′s also feature more weight distribution on the upper blade to create a “reverse muscle design.” In effect, the weight is more evenly proportioned throughout the club head, which creates more consistent balls speeds and stability at impact on all shots.
Scratch Golf two lead craftsman, Jeff McCoy and Don White, have made clubs for some of the best professional golfers in the modern era.
McCoy has made clubs for two former No. 1 players in the Official World Golf Rabkings and countless other tour pros worldwide. Don White is a legend in the golf industry, having made clubs that have won 14 Major Championships and an unthinkable amount of PGA Tour events. Scratch sells both cast and forged wedges that are available in an unmatched amount of grinds and custom options.
Scor wedges come in 21 different lofts, from 41 to 61 degrees, and feature a special V Grind that company president Terry Koehler says works for golfers of all swing types and abilities. They also have a progressive weighting design that the company says lowers ball flight, and creates more consistent ball speeds on mishits.
Scor has also made shaft fitting, which is often overlooked in wedges fitting, a priority. In January, the company has introduced its “Genius” shafts — four new shaft models that are available in four different weights. All four of the Genius shafts have stiff tip sections that limiting ballooning on full shots, but softer mid sections that allow the shaft to bend on smaller swings, giving golfers more feel.