Golf

Best Sand Wedge For Every Challenge

Some can see golfing as driving the ball down the golf course and then putting it on the green. Both are important, but to improve your game, you need wedges to approach the green.

Finding the best sand wedge will get your golf ball into the short game and lower your golf score.

There are different types of wedges, each having different degrees of loft and distances hit. Sand wedges are great at getting your ball out of bunkers and other tight spots with their high degree of loft and bounce.

Below we explain what loft and bounce mean for your game and why having a trusted sand wedge is critical for getting to the short game!

For more about pitching wedges, gap wedges, sand wedges and lob wedges, and the differences between them, check out our spotlight on the Best Golf Wedges For Even the Toughest Shots.

Table of Contents

What to Look For in a Sand Wedge

Just because an iron is called a sand wedge does not mean that they all have the same degree of loft and bounce. You’ll find that out quick when searching out the sand wedge for you, as two of the same clubs can have different degrees of loft and bounce.

To know what to look for in your new sand wedge, examine your game. Try a sand wedge with a high degree of loft if you have trouble getting the ball high enough to escape bunkers. Alternately, try a sand wedge with a high bounce if you find yourself ‘digging’ when you swing.

There will always be significant price differences and even more considerable differences in the many clubs you can try. To test a sand wedge with a different loft and bounce, start with an affordable option—the Wilson Sporting Goods Harmonized Golf Wedge, which will have you spending around $50.

Most clubs will have the loft and bounce stamped on the clubhead, so practicing with a friend’s club can help you learn what type of sand wedge your swing needs. Note that the loft and bounce may not be stamped into an iron set, so make sure you know before you buy.

When Should You Use a Sand Wedge, and Why?

The name ‘sand wedge’ may imply that they are used only for shots out of the sand, but that is not the case. A sand wedge can be used on sand or grass, as it is a wedge that lets golfers get under the ball with its high degree of loft and bounce. Sand wedges are great at popping the ball out of thick grass or helping golfers hit out of bunkers.

But, why have one?

A popular opinion is that you only need a wedge when you make a mistake, so learning how not to make those mistakes is a better investment of your time. But you still should have one to get a leading edge.

Sand traps are part of the game and are not the only time to use sand wedges. The sand wedge is excellent in the long grass as its bounce lets you get under the ball without tearing through the grass. They also offer a consistent distance when using a full swing, stopping you from having to reduce your power with a pitching wedge.

What is Loft, and What is the Best Loft For a Sand Wedge?

The loft angle is the angle formed by the center of the shaft and the club’s face; basically, it is how much the top of the club’s face is pushed back from the shaft. A club with a low loft angle will have its face more in line with the shaft.

A higher loft makes the golf ball pop up into the air more when struck, while a lower loft sends the ball further. This is why different types of wedges have different degrees of loft, with sand wedges often having the highest. The highest degree of loft tends to be 58 but can be weakened to 60 degrees.

The best degree of loft for your sand wedge depends on how you swing and where you’re trying to get the ball. Since sand wedges are great at popping the ball out of bunkers, they need a high loft angle.

We have a great table that shows how different wedges have different degrees of loft and how that affects the average distance hit here.

What is Bounce, and What is the Best Bounce For a Sand Wedge?

Bounce is the angle between the ground and the sole on a club; clubs with a low bounce dig into the ground more than clubs with a large bounce. Different wedges have different sole grinds that will change how much you can get under the ball. Unfortunately, there is no “correct” bounce angle. The best sand wedge for your use can only be found through experience and research.

Most bounce measurements range between 4 and 14, though some sand wedges’ bounce can be as low as 2 or as high as 16. A high degree of bounce is great when hitting in loose sand because it lets you get under the ball and not into the sand.

The 6 Best Sand Wedges in 2021

Wilson Harmonized golf wedge

Best Value: Wilson Sporting Goods Harmonized Golf Wedge

Wilson is one of the most well-known brands in sporting goods, so it is no wonder why their golf clubs are both high-quality and affordable.

The Wilson Harmonized Golf Wedge provides precise control and spin with every swing. The sole grind leads to accuracy by opening the face of the club and maximizing bounce.

The harmonized golf wedge is an affordable addition to your iron set, letting you experience great sand wedges with different degrees of bounce and loft.

TaylorMade Golf Milled Grind 2 Wedge

Most Innovative: TaylorMade Golf Milled Grind 2 Wedge

The TaylorMade MG2 Wedge has a patented Raw Face that is designed to go rusty over time. The old theory is that a rusty wedge will make the ball spin more and feel softer. The launch of the MG2 has revitalized that theory and keeps the rust only on the face of the wedge.

Now, a rusty wedge is either great to look at or awful to see. It depends on your preference, but no one can say no to more spin. In the end, whether or not rust improves your shot is still a theory. Still, TaylorMade undoubtedly created one of the best wedges with the MG2.

Callaway Golf Mack Daddy 5 JAWS Wedge

Best for Low Handicappers: Callaway Golf Mack Daddy 5 JAWS Wedge

The Callaway Mack Daddy 5 JAWS is named after Callaway’s new Jaws grooves that improve grip and spin. Made from 8620 mild carbon steel, the MD5 JAWS has a range of loft from 46 to 56 degrees, 8 to 12 degrees of bounce and 84 contact points to increase spin.

The purpose of Callaway’s design is user preference with their S-Grind, W-Grind and C-grind, their option of steel or graphite, and the MD5’s new compact head shape.

This great wedge has excellent playability for low handicap players with its high spin and control.

Callaway Sure Out 2 wedge

Best for High Handicappers: Callaway Sure Out 2 Wedge

There is a reason why the Callaway Sure Out 2 is the best sand wedge for high handicappers; it’s because it has a wide sole and a comfortably rounded shape. It is the most forgiving club on our list.

Callaway’s goal with the Sure Out 2 is consistency. The sole of the club is refined to increase playability by letting your swing cut through the sand or the rough, and into the ball. The Sure Out 2 also has grooves all the way to the toe to make all hits spin.

With a good range of bounce and loft, the Callaway Sure Out 2 is a great sand wedge for high handicappers.

C3i sand wedge

Best For Beginners: C3i Sand Wedge

The C3i is more than just a good-looking wedge. It is an excellent club for high handicappers and beginners with a performance that can get the ball out of the sand or the rough. This wedge has a range of loft from 55 to 65 and 12 degrees of bounce.

The C3i plays great with a square stance to aim the ball directly where you want the ball to go and has a wide sole that will open the face for better contact.

This wedge is the one for getting out of bunkers.

Cobra King MIM wedge

Best Overall: Cobra King MIM Wedge

This sand wedge stands out in a bag and on the course with its modern design. The MIM (Metal Injection Molded) wedge has a range of loft from 54 to 60 degrees and provides a great spin.

This wedge offers three grind options: Wide Low, Versatile and Classic. Each grind has meaning, with the Versatile grind being the most forgiving for tight lies. Each option also brings a different bounce, so make sure the one that makes it into your bag is right for your swing.

The Cobra King MIM wedge is our Best Overall pick with it’s great spin, durability and customizable grind options.

FAQs

Bounce is the angle between the ground and the sole on a club; clubs with a low bounce dig into the ground more than clubs with a large bounce.

Most bounce measurements range between 4 and 14, though some sand wedges’ bounce can be as low as 2 or as high as 16. 

The most significant difficulty when trying to hit a sand wedge from the fairway is bounce. To deal with the bounce, you have to place yourself a few inches forward in your stance so that the ball is back a touch more than your regular swing. When you take the shot, your hands will be more forward when connecting with the ball, and the bounce would be effectively reduced.

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