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Review: Nike VR X3X Dual Wide and Toe Sweep Wedges

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Pros: Beautiful satin finish, 8620 carbon steel, and a two cool, new grinds that are serious contenders on the wedge front for pros and amateur alike.

Cons: Toe sweep version can cause issues for steeper swings.

Bottom Line: The performance of the VR X3X wedges are on par with last year’s model, and the new grinds are great for golfers looking for more versatility around the greens.

Overview

No matter what the course has to offer you, Nike designed the VR X3X Toe Sweep wedges to offer you an escape plan. Thick rough, deep bunkers, delicate chip shots… whatever it is, Nike has created a grind that will undoubtedly offer golfers the correct tool for the job.

“We built the VR X3X Toe Sweep wedges from the ground up,” said Mike Taylor, Nike Golf master modelmaker. “Our Tour athletes have told us that the toe side of the sole is most critical in bunker performance. In a bunker shot, these new wedges are carefully crafted to provide bounce relative to the path of the club head. Around the green, our athletes ask for material to be ground away from the heel to aid open-face versatility – and we’ve done that with this new design.”

Both wedges wedges also have the company’s new X3X grooves, which the company says are deeper and have sharper edges to deliver more distance consistency from bad lies and improve stopping power around the greens. They come stock with Nike Tour Velvet grips, Dynamic Gold S400 shafts and sell for about $110 each.

Loft/Grind

Hand

Length

Lie

Head Weight

Swingweight

Bounce

56 Toe Sweep

RH/LH

35.25”

64*

306 grams

D4-D6

10

58 Toe Sweep

RH

35”

64*

309 grams

D4-D6

10

60 Toe Sweep

RH/LH

35”

64*

308 grams

D4-D6

10

52 DS Wide

RH

35.50”

64*

300 grams

D2-D4

8

56 DS Wide

RH

35.25”

64*

307 grams

D4-D6

8

58 DS Wide

RH

35”

64*

310 grams

D4-D6

8

60 DS Wide

RH

35”

64*

310 grams

D4-D6

 8

Performance

Most C-grind wedges on the market are designed with relief on the heel and toe, which enables golfers to lay the face open while effectively reducing the bounce angle. Generally, these designs have narrow soles. While it’s functional, wedges with narrow soles tend to dig in softer conditions for golfers who have more upright, or steeper swings.

IMG_0737

By giving the Dual Wide wedge a beefier sole, Nike allows golfers to take full advantage of the VR X3X Dual Wide’s C grind with less fear of hitting their shots fat. That’s why chipping with the Dual Wide wedge is a breeze. The width of the sole allows golfers to be more aggressive through the hitting area without fear of digging.

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The Dual Wide is also very good out of the sand since its wide sole keeps golfers from taking too much sand and leaving the ball in the bunker. For very firm conditions, the Dual Wide might be a little bulky, but that’s what Nike’s Toe Sweep (more on that wedge later) and other models are for.

I consider myself a fairly decent wedge player. As a 4-handicap that is constantly looking to get better, I practice my short game at least 2-to-3 times a week. I feel my best short game asset is my sand game followed closely by my ability to hit half and three-quarter wedge shots. This wedge design allows me to hit these shots with the utmost confidence. With the Dual Wide, full shots did what I  expected them do. They fly high, land soft, and have more than adequate spin to keep the ball on the firmest of greens. I found the distances to be very consistent with no worries about potential hot spots on the face.

The Nike VR X3X Toe Sweep model, while being a beautiful design, feels a little like the prom queen in high school. Pretty girl, but for me it lacked that inner substance that would truly set it apart from the rest. For golfers with steeper swings, the heavily pronounced toe seems to prohibit face rotation through the shot. While this came in very handy on open-faced and greenside bunker shots where golfers want the toe to stay open, it seemed to make the wedge fly a bit shorter than usual on full shots.

IMG_0733

I also found myself finding the right side of the target area more often than not. I am sure this is all due to the fact that I have a steeper angle of attack with my wedge swing. Someone that has a more shallow angle of attack likely won’t have the problem of the toe digging in and resisting the release. This type of player should have great success with this design.

For shots around the green, however, the performance of the Toe Sweep wedge was very impressive. If a high lob shot is needed, the Toe Sweep design was very helpful. There is more weight on the toe area of the club, which helped keep the face open on those shots. On chip shots, the toe had less impact on the shot since there is less face rotation. This allows golfers to open the face and play the hop-and-stop shot, or shut the face down and hit the low skip and run.

Where these wedges shine is their ability to handle both soft and firm conditions. With that huge bulge out on the toe, these wedges really resisted digging. On the other hand, firm conditions simply require the user to open the face slightly to expose the leading edge a bit more and hit crisp shots.

The other advantage of having all that mass out the toe is if the user was to miss the shot in the toe region of the face. There was enough weight out there to keep the shot online and flying the intended yardage. Other than on full swing shots, this wedge performed admirably. For me, it was not quite as good as the Dual Wide version, but it will be a great option for many golfers.

Looks and Feel

These wedges look and feel incredible. If you are a fan of low offset wedges, look no further. These fit that bill to a tee.

IMG_0738IMG_0767
Nike’s Toe Sweep Wedge (left) has a special grind that moves its center of gravity further toward the toe than any of the company’s previous wedges. The Dual Wide wedge has a wider sole to increase the club’s effective bounce. Click the photos to enlarge them. 

The sizes of the heads are smallish, but still very confident inspiring designs. The toplines are thick enough to feel powerful, but not to the point of being overwhelming to look at. I was actually surprised that these wedges are not forged, because the 8620 carbon steel felt fantastic on full shots and partial shots alike. The tour satin chrome finishes on these are truly beautiful. They offer the perfect balance of glowing good looks and the ability to mask the sun’s glare.

Being that they are 8620, these wedges should provide years of fantastic performance without the wear associated with 1025 forged designs. I have had these in the bag over the course of 10 rounds and many practice sessions. I have found the finish to hold up very well. I do not see any sweet spot wear or any excessive chatter, even though they have been bouncing around in the bag and I have hit many bunker shots. These wedges will definitely add a very classic, yet modern feel in any player’s bag.

The Takeaway

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These wedges can be a great asset for any caliber of player. Even though the Toe Sweep wedges had their limitations with full shots for a steeper-plane player like myself, the ability to handle every condition the course can throw at you makes up for that. Golfers with more shallow angle of attacks should find these a joy to play.

The Nike VR X3X Dual Wide is one of best choices for players looking for a forgiving, wide-soled wedge in its category for 2014.

Nike has come to the table trying to offer up something a little different to help separate them from the pack. I feel these wedges do just that. They both offer something in their designs that other companies just don’t. If you are looking for a versatile wedge design that performs as well as it looks, then you owe yourself the experience of testing these models. You won’t be disappointed.

Click here to see exclusive photos that show the development of Nike’s VR X3X Toe Sweep and Dual Wide wedges.

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Kevin owns a home improvement business, and is currently studying for his degree in business management. He loves golf, as much as much as his lovely wife and one beautiful 6-year-old daughter. His wife introduced him to the game 12 years ago. Her father owned a small 18-hole par 3 course in Pennsylvania that she was lucky enough to play whenever she wanted at a young age. They got him into the game, but since then he has become a full-blown serious golfer. He enjoy playing as many as 12-to-15 tournaments a year, and loves the feeling of coming down the stretch with money on the line.

8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Matt Campbell

    Jun 25, 2014 at 9:52 pm

    I love my 60 DS Wide. It gets the ball up in the air fast. Super smooth feel and the satin finish looks great.

  2. Lachlan McMath

    May 14, 2014 at 11:30 am

    Who deals these club’s in Geraldton WA 6530 Australia

    • Andy Patt

      Oct 8, 2014 at 2:53 am

      Don’t know if you have a Golfbox up in Geraldton they stock them alternatively you can order one from their web site and have one delivered free.

  3. Charlie

    May 14, 2014 at 1:07 am

    Nike Golf should be a Sports Authority exclusive.

  4. j.a.

    May 13, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    How the Dual Width compares to the former Nike VR II Pro Dual Sole (DS) wedges?

  5. TheLegend

    May 13, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    cost?

    • Billy

      May 13, 2014 at 5:30 pm

      Did you read the article? Says $110 retail.

  6. Billy

    May 13, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    I have the 60 Toe Sweep!!!

    Thanks for that, Nike. Great wedge out the bunker and tight lies.

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Equipment

Titleist launches new Vokey WedgeWorks 60 “A” grind wedge

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The menu of grind options just got more expansive for Titleist Vokey WedgeWorks consumers, with the addition of a “60A” wedge to the lineup.

Previously, Vokey offered seven main grind options for players with various needs:

  1. T Grind: The narrowest sole option, which is widely used by PGA Tour players, and has low bounce
  2. L Grind: The lowest bounce option, with heel, toe and trailing edge relief for maximum versatility
  3. F Grind: An all-purpose grind that’s best for full wedge shots played with a square face
  4. S Grind: A neutral grind, best for full shots played with a square face
  5. M Grind: A versatile grind that’s for players who want to open and close the face for various shots
  6. D Grind: A higher-bounce wedge that’s for players with a steep swing angle, but want to play shots from various club orientations
  7. K Grind: The highest-bounce wedge option, with heel, toe and trailing edge relief for versatility

Titleist has now added the “A” grind, which has actually already been played on the PGA Tour by golfers such as Tom Kim, who used an A-grind to win three times on the PGA Tour, Wyndham Clark, who won the U.S. Open using an A-grind, and Max Homa, who used an A-grind at the 2023 Open Championship.

According to Titleist, the Vokey WedgeWorks 60A wedge is a low-bounce option that’s for golfers with a shallow angle of attack, and who play in firmer conditions. It has a “smoothed-out” sole for a faster feel through the turf, helping some golfers slide under the ball easier at impact.

“The most important club for me, probably in my bag, is this A grind,” Clark said, according to a Titleist press release. “I use the SM9 60-degree A grind, which is a low bounce 60 that is very versatile. I’m able to – on tight lies, rough, wet lies, firm lies, whatever it is – hit the shot I want, and with the amount of spin I want, trajectory and everything.”  

Apparently, Geoff Ogilvy played a large part in the A-grind coming to life.

“I spoke with Geoff (Ogilvy), and we got on the topic of Australian golf courses and how they compared to courses in America, and around the world,” said Vokey Tour Rep Aaron Dill, in a press release. “I asked him some specific questions, which resulted in an idea to design another lob wedge grind option that complemented the firm links-style conditions that players face – not just in Australia and Europe – but globally. Geoff has always been a low bounce player in his 60-degree, so I took his 60.04L wedge and removed the ribbon, resulting in a grind that moves through the turf quickly with very little resistance.” 

The new Vokey A-grind will be available on Nov. 7, selling for $225 each. Custom options include up to six toe engravings, 10-15 character stamping options, the Flight Line alignment feature option, and custom shafts/grips/ferrules are available.

Click here to read more about why the bounce/grind of your wedge actually matters

 

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Reviews

In-Depth Review: Titleist Vokey SM6 Wedges

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Pros: A new, progressive CG design helps the low-lofted wedges fly a few yards farther, and improves the feel of the high-lofted wedges while boosting consistency. With lofts from 46-62 degrees and five distinct grinds, most golfers will be able to find an SM6 wedge that works for them.

Cons: At $149, they’re $20 more expensive than SM5 models.

Who they’re for: All golfers.

The Review

  • Price: $149 (MAP)
  • Lofts: 46, 48, 50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60, 62
  • Grinds: F (46-56), S (54-60), M (54-62), L (58-60), K (58-60)
  • Finishes: Tour Chrome (plated), Steel Gray (plated) and Jet Black (QPQ)
  • Stock Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold S200
  • Construction: Cast (8620 carbon steel)

A glance at Vokey’s new SM6 wedges reveals that something is different. Some golfers will understand the science of why the wedges look like they do, but many won’t. Unlike a lot of new golf club technologies, however, golfers won’t need to be in the know to be impressed. I don’t talk about the “cool factor” in many of my reviews, but the SM6 wedges certainly have it.

Vokey_SM6_Featured_2

Those curves on the back of the SM6 wedges? They create what’s called a progressive center of gravity (CG), which means the weighting of the SM6 wedges varies based on loft. The lowest-lofted SM6 wedges (46-52 degrees) have the lowest CG, the mid-lofted wedges (54, 56 degrees) have a higher CG and the highest-lofted wedges (58-62 degrees) have the highest CG. The three different CG positions match the desired impact area on each wedge’s club face — lower-lofted wedges are generally contacted lower on the face, while higher-lofted wedges are generally contacted higher on the face — to improve trajectory, feel and consistency.

Low-Lofted SM6 Wedges 

If you’ve ever wished your Vokey 46-, 48-, 50- or 52-degree wedge flew a little farther, SM6 models will. Vokey says the low-lofted SM6 wedges create about 1.5 mph more ball speed and 3-4 yards more distance, and I buy their claim after testing SM6 wedges that were built to the same specs as my SM5 models on Foresight GC2.

“Distance doesn’t matter with wedges,” you might be saying, and you’re correct in theory. Who cares if your gap wedge goes 110 or 113 yards, as long as you hit it a consistent distance. That’s not the issue, though. Improvements in golf equipment technology have irons flying farther than they ever have, which means more golfers need a club — and maybe even two clubs — between 46-and-52 degrees to bridge the gap between their shortest iron and mid-or-high-lofted wedge.

I’m one of those golfers who needs two wedges to fill the gap. I use a 9 iron that measures 41 degrees and carries about 150 yards. I also use a 54-degree wedge (bent to 55 degrees) that carries about 105 yards. I fill the gap with a 46-degree wedge (bent to 45 degrees) that carries about 135 yards. I prefer its look and feel to the pitching wedge from my iron set because I can vary trajectory more easily with it. I also carry a 50-degree wedge that carries about 120 yards.

An issue I had with the SM5 wedges (46-08 F Grind, 50-08 F Grind) is the same one I’ve always had with other low-lofted wedges. Many times when I tried to hit them a little harder to make them go a few yards farther, they didn’t. Shots often just went higher due to excess spin. I’ve seen countless golfers experience this problem, especially better players.

The biggest improvement to the low-lofted SM6 wedges is that they create a more iron-like ball flight. It’s slight, but their faster trajectory is a little bit less likely to balloon. To me, they also feel slightly softer than the SM5’s at impact.

Probably just as important as the new progressive CG design of the low-lofted SM6 wedges is something that isn’t new — the different bounce options Vokey offers in its 50- and 52-degree wedges. Both the 50- and 52-degree models are offered in F Grinds with effective bounce angles of 8 and 12 degrees. Most manufacturers offer multiple bounce options in their mid- and high-lofted models, but it’s rare to see two different options in low-lofted models.

In July 2015, I traveled to Titleist’s Oceanside, California Test Facility to learn more about the company’s 716 iron line. During the downtime, Titleist offered me an opportunity to be fit for SM5 wedges by the man himself, Bob Vokey. My steeper angle of attack theoretically made me a better fit for the 50-12 F Grind (a 50-degree wedge with 12 degrees of effective bounce), but my results were better with the 50-08 F Grind.

Vokey explained that the reduced bounce helped me contact the ball slightly higher on the face, and that improved my ball flight. That moment cemented how important it is for golfers to be fit for not just their lob wedge, but for as many of their wedges as possible.

Mid-Lofted SM6 Wedges 

The mid-lofted SM6 wedges (54 and 56 degrees) are most similar to the SM5 models, as they do not have the weight pads used in the low-lofted and high-lofted wedges. That’s because, according to Vokey representatives, the CG of the mid-lofted wedges was pretty much where it needed to be.

For that reason, the biggest change golfers will notice if they switch to an SM6 from an SM5 is the shaping. Unlike the low-lofted SM6 wedges, which are significantly smaller than SM5 models and have shorter hosels, the mid-lofted SM6 wedges are roughly the same size. There’s no denying, however, that the shaping of the SM6 wedges gives them a more streamlined look. Their toes are more rounded, their top lines are thinner and their par area, the part of a wedge’s top line that conjoins with the hosel, blends more seamlessly.

I’ve given my SM5 and SM6 54-14 F Grind wedges (bent to 55 degrees) to several golfers and had them hit shots with each one to see if they could notice a different in feel. Some told me the SM6 felt softer, while others told me the SM5 felt softer. For that reason, its hard to make an absolute statement about a change in feel in the mid-lofted wedges. I’ve had a few golfers tell me the SM5 wedges look better at address, but many more have preferred the look of the SM6.

Before moving on to the high-lofted wedges, I want to point out two more things; one is specific to the mid-lofted models, one that is not.

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SM6 wedges use Vokey’s new TX4 grooves that feature a parallel face texture to increase spin and consistency.

  • Like SM5 models, both the 54 and 56 are available in three different grinds (F, S and M). For the SM6 line, however, the popular M Grind has 2 degrees less effective bounce to make it more versatile from a wider variety of lies.
  • All SM6 wedges also feature Vokey’s new TX4 grooves, which use a machine-milled, parallel face texture that Titleist says can increase consistency and sharpens groove edges to add as much as 200 rpm of spin. The SM6 wedges also use the same progressive groove design as the SM5 wedges. The lower-lofted wedges (46-54) use narrower, deeper grooves to displace more debris on square-face shots, while higher-lofted wedges (56-62) use shallower grooves that create more friction on open-face shots.

High-Lofted SM6 Wedges 

With a slightly higher CG, the high-lofted SM6 wedges do seem to launch shots slightly lower and with a little more spin than SM5 models, and that’s exactly what most better players want their high-lofted wedges to do. But the change likely won’t be noticed by the majority of golfers. What they will notice, however, is how much better the high-lofted SM6 wedges feel at impact. Every golfer has experienced the “clank” that occurs when a wedge shot is hit too high on the face, or toward the heel or toe at impact. With the high-lofted SM6 wedges, those shots felt softer and more solid.

Due to their higher CG, the high-lofted wedges also seemed to be a little more consistent in my testing on Foresight. Especially when hitting 50-yard shots, I saw that the 60-degree SM6 M Grind wedge seemed to land a little closer my target on mishits. Sometimes it flew 1-2 yards farther than I expected when I contacted a shot slightly on the toe or the heel; sometimes shots just held their line just a little bit better. The difference is small, but can make an difference. We’re all better at making 6-foot putts than we are 9-footers, aren’t we?

As for shaping, the new wedges don’t look the same as the SM5’s at address. They appear slightly larger, and have the same general appearance as the other wedges in the new line.

IMG_9639

At Address: A Vokey SM6 lob wedge (60-08 M Grind)

No discussion of a Vokey high-lofted wedge is complete without mentioning their four distinct sole grinds, which Team Vokey continues to tweak based on its work with Tour players, as well as average golfers. Despite the several improvements to the new wedges, the grinds continue to be one of their main selling points. That’s how powerful using the proper sole grind can be.

Again, it’s best to get fitted, but if you can’t, the chart and list below offers a few starting points.

Vokey_SM6_Specifications

full-chart

  • If you struggle from the sand, try the K Grind (available in 58, 60). It has the widest sole of any Vokey wedge, and can work well for golfers with steep attack angles. Compared to SM5 K Grind wedges, it has 1-degree more effective bounce to help the wedge better resist digging on square-face shots.
  • If you play courses with extremely firm turf conditions, try the L Grind (available in 58, 60). It has the lowest effective bounce (4 degrees), and slightly more camber than SM5 models to goflers resist digging.
  • The M Grind (available in 54, 56, 58, 60, 62) will work best for golfers who like to manipulate the face open or closed, while the S Grind (available in 54, 56, 58, 60, 62) is better for golfers who tend to play more square-faced shots. The 58 and 60-degree S Grind wedges have 3-degrees more bounce than SM5 models.

Vokey Custom Options

As noted above, I don’t use a standard SM5 wedge. At Oceanside, Vokey fit me for a V-Grind that’s offered through the company’s Hand Ground Program. According to Titleist representatives, Hand Ground SM6 wedges, which make available Tour-only grinds and enhanced customization options — will be released to the public at a later date.

Do I really need a V-Grind wedge? I must admit, with a little practice I could probably use the SM6 M Grind and hit all the shots I need to hit. But I liked the performance V Grind enough to pay the extra money for it (Hand Ground wedges start at $350 each).

For golfers not willing to pay that much for a completely custom wedge, Vokey offers more affordable custom options to standard SM6 wedges through its WedgeWorks Services. Through the program, golfers can customize the shafts, grips, shaft bands, ferrules, stampings and paintfill of their wedges. I’ve had several wedges customized through WedgeWorks, and the work is always A++.

Should you Upgrade?

Vokey_SM6_Featured_3

If you’re currently using a set of properly fit SM5 wedges, your transition from them to the SM6 models should be an easy one. Many golfers will see certain benefits from the newer wedges, as I did, but they may or may not warrant an immediate upgrade, especially if their grooves are still fresh.

An aside about buying wedges: Many tournament players purchase two sets of wedges at a time. They practice with one set and use another on the golf course, which keeps their grooves as fresh as possible for tournaments. While it doubles cost, it helps their gamer wedges last longer and adds peace of mind that they’re getting the best possible performance from their wedges on the course.

More questions?

Vokey_SM6_Featued_1

What else do you want to know? I’ll do my best to answer your questions in the comments section.

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Reviews

Review: Callaway MD3 Milled wedges

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Pros: Options are plentiful with the MD3 Milled wedges. There are three different sole grinds, two finishes and a wide range of lofts (46-60 degrees). Low-lofted, mid-lofted and high-lofted wedges are each equipped with a distinct groove design that’s tailored to shot-specific needs. 

Cons: Wedge heads are not able to be customized with stampings, engravings or paint fill. Unlike Callaway’s Mack Daddy 2 wedges, the MD3 Milled are not forged. 

Who they’re for: Anyone can play the MD3 Milled wedges, especially with the addition of the wider-soled “W Grind.”

The Review

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  • Lofts available: 46, 48, 50, 52, 54, 56, 58 and 60 degrees
  • Grinds: S Grind (46-60), W Grind (54-60), C Grind (56-60)
  • Finishes: Matte Black (46-60) and Satin Chrome (46-60)
  • Price: $129.99
  • Stock Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold S300

New and improved are popular terms in the golf equipment world, but generally there’s more emphasis on the “new” part than the “improved” part. Fortunately, what’s new about Callaway’s MD3 Milled wedges also offers noticeable improvements over previous models from the company.

So what’s new and improved about the MD3 Milled wedges? Here are five things to know about them.

Throwing weight around

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Each MD3 Milled wedge has four colored ports in its rear cavity. Weight was removed from those areas to give the wedges a higher-toe design that moves the center of gravity (CG) higher for a slightly lower launch and more spin — exactly what the best golfers want from their wedge shots.

For me, it wasn’t the fact I could hit the 58.9 S Grind with as much spin as I wanted; it was the ease with which I was able to alter the trajectory. With the 54.12 W Grind, I had no problem hitting the ball high to front pin locations, or flighting shots that minimized the effect of the wind.  

Shot-specific grooves

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All 54- and 56-degree (pictured) MD3 Wedges have Callaway’s 20V grooves.

With the MD3 Milled, Callaway offers three specific groove patterns to optimize launch and spin based on the loft of the wedge. Pitching and gap wedges (46-52 degrees) have Callaway’s 30V grooves, which have 30-degree side walls that perform best on the more aggressive, downward strikes that are common with the clubs. Mid-lofted wedges (54-56 degrees) use Callaway’s 20V grooves, which have 20-degree side walls that excel on bunker shots and full swings. Lob wedges (58-60 degrees) have Callaway’s 5V grooves, which create maximum spin on shots around the green.

In testing, I was most impressed with the 5V groove, which does a remarkable job moving additional moisture and debris away from the ball. That came in quite handy when navigating juicy lies around the green. 

More refined grinds

The MD3 wedges are available in three distinct sole grinds: S Grind, C Grind and W Grind. My thoughts on each are below.

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S Grind: The “S” is the most versatile of the three available grinds. I’m tempted to say that S stands for “Swiss Army Knife,” as there was no shot I couldn’t hit with the grind. It was the most consistent grind on full swings from the fairway and tight lies, and more than held its own out of both light and deep rough. There’s no doubt that the S Grind will fit the majority players, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with bagging the S Grind in two, three or four different wedges, depending on your bag setup.

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C Grind: This grind offers more heel and toe relief than the S Grind, creating an effectively thinner sole that excels in firmer conditions. While it doesn’t play nice with steep angles of attack, the additional relief in both the heel and toe did keep the head moving through the rough and allowed the leading edge to sit nicely under the ball at address — especially on open-faced shots. That adds versatility for golfers who hit a lot of specialty shots around the green.

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W Grind: The W Grind is ideal for bunker play, messy lies and players with steep attack angles. It was my favorite grind, because it seemed to get better the closer I got to the hole. Out of both light and deep rough, the W Grind operated like one of those old ginsu knives, but without the lame sales pitch. Getting up and down from gnarly lies around the green felt entirely too easy. And if the lie was clean and the turf was on the softer side, I had no problem hitting aggressive shots with a square or opened club face because I knew the wider sole would resist digging. Especially on less-than-full shots from inside 100 yards, the W Grind quickly earned the go-to spot in my bag.

Two finishes

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The MD3 Milled’s Matte Black finish (above) will wear and rust over time, while the Satin Chrome, which is plated, will show less wear but produce slightly more glare on sunny days.

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Although the MD3 Milled wedges aren’t forged — they’re cast from 8620 steel — both finishes felt fantastic with an edge in softness going to the Matte Black.

Looks to get emotional about

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At Address: A 58-degree S Grind.

Last but not least, the MD3 Milled are an awesome choice if you favor a teardrop shape at address. In that regard, the MD3 Milled approaches aesthetic perfection. The slightly raised toe and marginally straighter leading edge, compared to previous models, gives the wedge a clean look that balances angular lines with subtle curves.

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Notice the added sole curvature visible at address in this 56-degree wedge, which is a result of its C Grind.

For all the time we spend looking at the face of the wedge, many golfers are concerned about the appearance of the club as it sits in the bag. Some will call the cavity of the MD3 Milled is a bit gaudy, but others will see the four luminescent ports and green accents as fun and recognizable. 

The Takeaway

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The W Grind will work best for golfers who play golf in soft conditions, as well as those looking for improved sand play.

The MD3 Milled are the best production wedges Callaway has released in the past decade for a variety of reasons. At $129.99, the three distinct grinds and two finish options should cover the needs of most interested golfers. The shaping of the wedges is also so beautiful at address, and I found them to look and feel as good as leading wedge models.

The lack of custom options — stampings, paintfill, etc — isn’t a deal breaker, but does leave some room for improvement. At the end of the day, however, wedges should judged on how they perform. With an improved weighting scheme and loft-specific grooves, Callaway put performance first with the MD3 Milled and it won’t go unnoticed.

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