The Best Wedges for High Handicappers & Beginners

Best Wedges for High Handicappers and Beginners 2024

Last Updated on February 4, 2024 by Matt Greene
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You hit more greens and you spin the ball back like a pro using the right wedge. 

And if you don't hit the green, don't worry: your wedge is the weapon to chip your ball close to the hole.

Either way, we're saving strokes all day.

You're unstoppable. Women will want to be with you, men will want to be you.  I'm going to show you the best wedges for high handicappers because my team and I tested everything out there. 

The Best Wedges for High Handicappers and Beginners in 2024

  1. Cleveland SmartSole 4 wedge (most forgiving golf wedge)
  2. Wilson Harmonized wedge (best value wedge for beginners)
  3. Cleveland CBX Fullface 2 wedge  (best sand wedge for high handicappers)
  4. Ping Glide 4.0 S wedge (best premium wedge for high handicap)
  5. Square Strike wedge (best wedges for chipping)
  6. Callaway Mack Daddy CB wedge (best wedge to stay in your bag for long)

Cleveland Golf Smart Sole 4 Wedges

Most forgiving golf wedge

best wedges for beginners high handicappers

Cleveland Golf makes the best wedges for high handicappers in general but they designed the Smart Sole with high handicappers in mind.

Why the Cleveland Smart Sole 4 series is my top recommendation high handicappers:

Three wedges made for specific purposes:

  1. C wedge is 42° and made for Chipping.  
  2. S wedge is 58° and is made for Sand and lob shots
  3. G wedge is 50° which is the Gap between the S and C wedges 

C wedge: The C wedge has a loft of 42°and has been designed for playing around the green but can be used just as effectively from 125 yards with a full swing. I found that if I hit the ball from inside 125 yards, there will be a lot of roll, so you can hit the C wedge but anticipate where it can bounce before the green without rolling into a hazard.

S wedge: The Smart Sole S wedge is made to help you out of the bunker in one shot with almost no effort. I found that the very WIDE sole of the club skims the sand perfectly. I did not need to use special bunker technique to get out of the sand -the club did all the work. The face has 58° of loft, so there isn't much need to open the face on the bunker shot. Remarkable.

G wedge: The G wedge at 50° is the between club for more chipping precision and a bit of a shorter full shot than the 42° club. .

You can find me using both C and S wedge in this video on my Youtube channel

With the large sole of the club, you're going to glide through tall grass and fairways alike. Around the green, you will not hit the ground before the ball or skull the ball across the green. 


  • Playable from any lie
  • Get out of sand FIRST TIME
  • S wedge purpose built for easy bunker shots and preventing chunks with chipping
  • C wedge purpose built for chipping and running balls up from the fairway
  • G wedge slots in between the C and S wedge making this a perfect set of three


  • Unusual shape that will take time to get used to

Wilson Harmonized Golf Wedge

Best value for money wedge for beginners

Wilson harmonized wedge

These Wilson Harmonized wedges are the best traditional looking wedges for beginners especially because you can get a set at a low price.

Harmonized wedges will help you get the consistent gapping between your wedges if you get a set of them, and you'll be hitting consistent distances from 120 yards down to 70 yards. The set comes in Pitching Wedge, Gap Wedge, Sand Wedge and Lob Wedge.

It makes sense to get a couple of these wedges if you're new to the game or on a budget. I guarantee you will not play the Wilson harmonized when you drop into the mid handicap range because you will upgrade to more premium models but these are excellent starter wedges. 

You'll get a good feel for how a traditional wedge feels and works. Practice chipping, bunkers and pitch shots and when you do upgrade one day, you'll have great skill to take advantage of the premium wedges. 


  • 56° sand wedge has ideal 12° of bounce to get through the turf
  • Classic blade shape wedge 
  • One of the best value for money options to get started in the wedge game
  • Look for the black versions to reduce glare from the chrome ones
  • Wide range of lofts in Harmonized range PW, SW, GW, LW


  • Highly reflective chrome finish will cause glare into your eyes

Cleveland CBX Fullface 2

Best sand wedge for high handicappers

forgiving wedges for high handicapprs

The Cleveland CBX Full Face wedges 2 are extra forgiving for high handicappers because the grooves extend the entire face. You can hit the ball anywhere on the face of the club and get a good result.

Keep in mind, these wedges come in a so many lofts: 50, 52, 54, 56, 58 and 60 degrees. It can get confusing but I would begin with the 56 degree and once you have played with it for a while, you will know what to add next. I would avoid getting too many at one time but after you've played the 56 degree, I bet your next club will be a 50 or 52 degree. You can ignore the 60 degree for a long time. 

CBX 2 Full Face is very playable for high handicappers because of the full face grooves plus two more factors:

The first forgiveness factor is the sole design. On the 50 and 52 degree clubs, the sole makes it easier to hit full shots. The c-shaped sole on the 54, 56 and 60 degree wedges have extra bounce and a shaved sole toward the heel for easier chipping, bunker and pitch shots so you can hit the ground before the ball a little, and get a good result. 

The second forgiveness factor is that the wedge is cavity back. Cavity back golf clubs are easier to hit than blade style

If you hit the ground before the ball a lot, these wedges are for you. You will never have to replace the Cleveland CBX 2 Full Face wedges in your bag, because they are both premium and forgiving. 


  • Hit the ball anywhere on the face and there are grooves there
  • Extra forgiveness through the cavity back and new sole design
  • Wide range of lofts so you can build a full set: 50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60 degree
  • Matches the feel and look of cavity back irons


  • Nothing - these are excellent wedges for high handicappers

PING Glide 4.0 Wedge

A wedge to keep in the bag for a long time

The PING Glide comes with a specially designed grip with white markings on it to use as a guide for where to put your hands when gripping down. They designed the wedge from the hands down so you can be in control as much as possible.

Weighting has been shifted to the perimeters to improve the off center strikes on the longer shots so there is less distance variability. This is a massive help because those partial shots are everyone's worst nightmare.

Site contributor Joe from the UK has a 54 degree PING glide sand wedge and he uses it for a variety of shots on the golf course. He finds that the forgiving look of the club makes it easier to hit committed three quatre swings and he loves the amount of bounce the club has. This is ideal for the different ground conditions he can find on his home golf course. 


  • Special grip design to aid with partial shots 
  • Perimeter weighting gives extra forgiveness 
  • Low centre of gravity to help prevent fat shots
  • Premium look and feel


  • Expensive 

Square Strike Wedges

The very best wedges for chipping if you duff your chips

Square Strike Wedge

Square Strike wedges are short-game savers. I've seen 5 friends completely transform their chipping and pitching with them.

The way to use these wedges is to learn the bump and run technique. After a while of playing these, you grow in confidence and are able to get into "normal" wedges again. Square Strike can be both a permanent solution as well as a temporary confidence building club.

The struggles for a lot of golfers is the chipping and these are legal for tournament play and help the average person with a problem. They will teach you the basics of a bump and run shot which is the essential chipping shot for golf. You can see my video on Youtube about the style of chipping you need to use these clubs. 

Forget the high lobbed shots and try the lower shot with the Square Strike around the greens for more reliable and more predictable shots. It's incredibly difficult to predict the launch and spin of high lofted wedges for beginners and high handicappers. Square strikes show you that.

The Square Strike 45 degree will be the best option for bump and run chips, but for some help with pitch shots and lob shots, the 55 and 60 degree options are available too. You can use them all in every chipping, pitching and bunker situation. 


  • Easy to use when using the correct type of stroke for the shot
  • Three different lofts 45, 55, 60 degree, to collect a set if you like them
  • Great introduction to the chip and run with a putting style stroke - great for learning
  • Allowed in golf tournament play
  • Anti chunking sole for more of a putting style stroke


  • Cheap grips

Callaway Mack Daddy CB Wedge

The Callaway Mack Daddy CB is a forgiving cavity back wedge which suits high handicappers and beginners. 

Full face grooves on the 56 degree face mean you can hit the ball all over the face and get sufficient backspin. Callaway have included a pre-worn leading edge to stop any digging when you hit the turf. Behind the leading edge, is a very wide sole even down to the 52 degree wedge,

Wide soles on the bottom of the club will help to skim the wedge through the ground and give a beginner and high handicapper a lot of confidence to make solid contact and also get out of bunkers easily. 

The grip provided on the CB wedge is longer than normal grips so that you can grip down for short game shots without gripping the steel shaft. 

Callaway Mack Daddy CB wedges range from 46 degrees all the way up to 60 degrees loft, with increments of 2 degrees. You can create a set of wedges that suit your style from the Callaway Mack Daddy CB range for total consistency. 

For forgiveness and accuracy, it's hard to beat a Mack Daddy CB. They are quite pricey thoug.


  • Very good for players who don't hit the sweet spot on wedges
  • Many loft options to craft a whole set of wedges in future
  • Glides through the turf with the big sole and bounce on each club
  • No need to replace these other than if you wear out the grooves - these are top quality


  • The head shape is a bit large make sure that it suits your eye
  • Very pricey 

High handicap and beginner wedge info guide

What factors make good wedges for high handicappers?

Bounce, club head style and loft are important factors to create forgiveness in a wedge for high handicappers. Forgiveness is our priority as higher handicappers so we can get the ball off the ground and going where we want when we want. Bounce helps us do that.

What is bounce?

Before we get into that below, understand that it’s the most important characteristic of a wedge to give us more forgiveness.

To help you find the best wedge for high handicappers & beginners, I focused on bounce as the main criteria.

What is bounce on a wedge?

Bounce refers to the lowest part of the sole, that part of the wedge sole that is actually in contact with the ground at address and that causes the front of the sole to be off the ground at address.

Bounce angle is a measurement, expressed in degrees, of the angle between the leading edge of the sole and that lowest point on the sole. The higher the bounce angle, the more the leading edge of the sole is off the ground at address.

Bigger soles increase bounce

How does bounce make a wedge forgiving?

Bounce causes the bottom of the clubs sole to hit the turf and 'bounce' the club back off the ground instead of digging into the ground. If you hit the ground before the ball on your pitch or chip shot, the bounce of the club helps you to still make good contact.

If you hit behind the ball, the bounce will skim and pop the club toward the ball, ensuring you make contact. For 90% of golfers, the sand wedge from a bunker for example, should have a lot of bounce to literally bounce off the surface of the sand and float the ball out on a pillow of sand. 

When we start golf we all hit a lot of fat shots (hitting ground before the ball). If your SW has too little bounce, it will dig into the ground on a fat shot and your ball will go a few feet or yards in front of you.

If the wedge has more bounce, it will literally bounce off the earth and make good contact, sending the ball to your target. This will help your shots inside 100 yards.

What wedges should I use as a high handicapper or beginner?

If you only own the Sand Wedge from your set, you can try get yourself a gap wedge (GW) also known as an approach wedge (AW) to have a distance for a club between your sand wedge and pitching wedge.

WARNING: Do not get a 60 degree wedge until you are a much lower handicap, perhaps around 9 handicap. They are too technical and will make more bad shots than good ones.

  1. Get out of bunkers first time: If your primary concern is just getting out of that damn bunker, I definitely would go with something with a VERY thick sole and loft between 56 and 58°. You can start with a Cleveland Smart Sole or one of the other crazy fat soled wedges like an X-out or Tour Edge 1out. These are great for JUST GETTING IT OUT OF THE SAND.
  2. Chipping: Now here you can actually get away with chipping with your irons if you learn the bump and run style chip which I promote on my Youtube channel. But of course, you may find yourself in some tricky spots as a high handicapper and want to chip over bunkers and water and obstacles.
    You want a wedge that will be versatile from the rough as well as the fairway so something with a cavity back like a Ping Glide or a Cleveland CBX wedge can really do wonders for you. The Smart Sole is also very suitable for chipping as well. The G wedge in the Smart Sole range is a potent chipping club.

    The loft range for these types of shots can be 50° up to 56° and you will be fine with one or two of these wedges.
  3. Shots from 30-100 yards: These are going to be clubs with 58° loft down to 50° which are swung more 'full'. The types of wedges that are best for this are up to you entirely. You just need to practice with the one you choose and find the distance you hit it with a FULL SHOT and a HALF SHOT. Then adapt your game to use that club and that swing for the specific distance it goes.

When do we use wedges?

We use wedges from bunkers and for pitching/chipping around the green. Most golfers find one club they like to hit out of bunkers; chip green side with; and hit three-quarter shots with. This is a good formula to simplify your game and have a consistent shot for each situation.

We also use wedges inside 100 yards. This is the most important part of golf and most professionals will tell you that if they took over the game for a 24 handicapper inside 100 yards, that 24 handicapper will be a 10 handicapper. That's how important the wedge game is!

Armed with a decent wedge and a LOT of practice, you can significantly SLASH strokes off your score. Treat yourself to a nice investment in a wedge and watch how you quickly nip tuck shots from around the greens. It's remarkable.

The choice is yours and there is no right or wrong way, but starting with these guidelines will serve you well.

What are the Four Main Wedges?

Pitching wedge

The pitching wedge is most common and has a loft between 44° and 48° which you will get in your set of irons. These are great for greenside chipping.

Gap Wedge

50° to 53° which fills the gap between PW and SW for when you need to close the gap in distance. You will need to get this separately because most good high handicap iron sets don't come with one.

Sand Wedge

The sand wedge normally has 54° to 58° loft with fat soles that have 10° to 12° bounce which is essential for bunkers and shots within 100 yards. The thick underside helps to glide through longer grass and sand while also getting the ball airborne off shorter grass. The sand wedge is essential in every bag.

Lob Wedge

The lob wedge at 60° to 64° loft is perfect for hitting over bunkers around the green, short bunker shots and within 80 or 90 yards. It can add another dimension to your game allowing you to take fuller swings inside 100 yards instead of those tricky half swings with sand wedges! Lob wedges over 60° are not practical for the average golfer however. 

Here is how all four wedges work:

How wedges fly

How important are wedges?

Specialized wedge clubs are a dream to play and the number of shots you'll hit with a wedge will surprise you:

  • Pitch from 20 to 100 yards
  • Green side chipping
  • Chipping and pitching over hazards and bunkers
  • Green side sand shots
  • Chips from the rough

If we add up the total shots you play per round with these few clubs in these situations, you’ll see it can be up to 40-50% of your of the game.

The verdict: Best wedges for high handicappers

The best wedge for high handicappers and beginners are from the Cleveland Golf Smart Sole 4 Wedge range.

My main aim is to help you pick the best clubs for your game without breaking the bank or being lured into buying crappy clubs that will disappoint you. I hope this guide was helpful and you find yourself a decent wedge or set of wedges to take your game to the next level from within 100 yards.

Last Updated on February 4, 2024 by Matt Greene

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