Best Sand Wedge for Bunkers - Get Out of Bunkers First Time Every Time

Best Sand Wedge for Bunkers 2024

Last Updated on January 27, 2024 by Matt Greene
*Read our review guidelines.

Bunker shots are difficult, but not for long. You will fall in love with bunkers after I'm done with you.

I'm going to show you not only the best sand wedges for bunkers but also the technique to get out of a bunker in one shot.

Sometimes your technique works well, but your sand wedge may be wrong for your conditions. But do not fear, I'll guide you in the right direction.

I LOVE bunkers and after years of perfecting the bunker escape with a sand wedge, I'm going to transform your bunker life. 

TOP SECRET TIP to get out of bunkers first time: You DO NOT hit the golf ball when you're in a green side bunker.

You actually hit the sand and the club face never touches the ball.

You hit 1-2 inches behind the ball, with the sole of the golf club. You actually have to slap the sand with the sole of the club.

The ball floats out on top of the sand that you hit out of the bunker. This is the magic no one ever told you.

 And if you're a more advanced player, check out great wedges for mid handicappers.

Easiest Wedge to Hit Out of Sand 2024

Easiest wedge to hit from sand

cleveland smart sole s wedge 2023

Smart Sole 4.0 S Wedge

The Smart Sole S Wedge gets you out of the bunker and onto the green effortlessly. Despite the weird looks of the club, at address it looks like any other wedge. There is a massive difference between this one traditional wedges though. 

The Smart Sole makes bunkers fun. You can use it easily from fried egg lies, plugged lies, wet sand, dry sand, fluffy sand.

You can play all of the shots with a square face - no need to open it up and manipulate the club. It does all the work for you.

My experience

I bought a Smart Sole S Wedge for a friend of mine. He plays to a 17 handicap and would never play with a club like this but he couldn't get out of bunkers. I bought the Smart Sole without him knowing and I gave it to him when he hit it into yet another bunker.

He thought I was joking but he hit the bunker shot to 5 feet from the hole and made the putt for bogey to save the hole. Normally he would take a triple or quadruple bogey after finding the sand.

I have used this wedge often to find the best way to use it.

Note: You need to use a square stance and square club face. You don't have to open the face or open your feet up but you can. You must however, still use a lot of wrist on the shot like in the technique shown in the videos below.

I have bought three of the Smart Soles for friends who struggle with bunkers: 15, 17 and 25 handicap golfers and they swear by them.


  • Makes bunker play actually fun
  • Point-and-shoot with a square face and get out in one shot
  • Can be used with full swings on approach shots
  • Eliminates hitting it fat on chips 
  • Playable from most lies on the course


  • 50/50 on hard ground - the big sole might bounce off hard pan turf
  • Not for people who like to manipulate the club the club open very wide

Best bunker wedge for mid handicappers

cb mack daddy best wedge for bunker

For mid handicappers struggling from the sand, the Callaway Mack Daddy CB is a simple and forgiving wedge. So many wedges nowadays are blade-style wedges and they can be hard to hit especially when you do not enter the sand in a bunker accurately.

The Mack Daddy CB is a Game Improvement wedge with a large cavity back.  The thick, wide sole and heavy weighting allows the wedge to glide through long grass and sand with ease. 

Callaway feature a two step grind on the CB which gives the club extra forgiveness for multiple shot choices. Callaway brought the grooves from the jaws design to the CB wedge and those are some of the highest spinning grooves in golf. 


  • Very forgiving wedge with cavity back, like most people's iron sets
  • Purpose built specifically for sand
  • Will  also work well from multiple types of grassy lies
  • Excellent for the player looking for a pitching club and a bunker club 


  • Less suited for full shots

Best sand wedge to keep forever

Cleveland CBX 2 Wedge

Cleveland CBX is a wedge that will last you well into the future. It's a hollow cavity club so you'll find it very easy to hit with a full shot as well as for pitching and chipping, reducing those ones that get left short on mis hits.

From the sand, you will need to learn the proper technique of manipulating the face, which you can see in the video at the bottom of the article. 

I played Cleveland wedges from 17 handicap down to a 7 handicap before I started playing with the blade style Mizuno and Ben Hogan wedges.

Cleveland are and always have been a specialty wedge manufacturing company.

These are excellent for low, mid or high handicap golfers looking for a good overall wedge that performs well from the bunkers. Learning the technique will stand you in good stead for when you want to upgrade later after building a lot of confidence.


  • Easy to get the ball out of the bunker and onto the green
  • Brilliant for full swings, pitches and chipping too
  • Well priced and from the famous Cleveland company
  • Good sand wedge for beginners, casual or regular players


  • You'll need to learn the technique in the video at the bottom of this page to use this one effectively

Best sand wedge for beginners

C3i Wedge

C3i wedge

The C3i wedge is best for beginners to get out of sand because it's cheap, and purpose built for the sand. It works well. I bought one of these for testing because I wanted to compare it to the Smart Sole wedge. 

The main difference between the C3i and the Smatt Sole is that the C3i is much heavier. 

C3i wedges are also a cavity back with a big hollowed out section in the back.

They have a very wide and thick sole to glide under the ball in the sand. 

You still need to hit behind the ball in the sand but you don't need to open the face with this club.

You should use the C3i square to the ball in the sand and then take it back and swing with a very loose-wristed chip into the sand 2 inches behind the ball in the sand. The ball pops out softly with the C3i wedge.

This is an easy to use bunker club and is almost identical in performance to the Smart Sole mentioned above. Smart Sole is also available in black and the only reason I would recommend this over the Cleveland is if you want a heavier club.


  • Stand up to the ball, square face, square stance, and a loose-wristed chip will get it out
  • Works fine for mid range pitch shots of less than 40 years
  • Similar to the Cleveland Smart Soles just heavier
  • Good sand wedge for beginners or people struggling to get out in one shot


  • Not great for full swings

Important information for bunker specific sand wedges

The ideal sand wedge specifications for bunkers

Loft angle and bounce angle made simple

Most manufacturers will state the loft and bounce angle for their wedges.

Thick sole and high bounce are the key factors in hitting good bunker shots. 

Why bounce is important for sand shots

In combination with a big thick sole, the sand wedge uses the bounce of the sole to BOUNCE off the sand instead of digging in and leaving the ball a few feet in front of you.

Unlike irons, the wedge should not dig into the sand on green side bunker shots.

The reason you might not get out of bunkers is lack of follow-through because you lose commitment to the shot. When you lose commitment to the shot, you lose club head speed in your swing which we call deceleration. When we decelerate, the club head stops in the sand with no follow through.

If you follow through and trust that the club will bounce off the sand, the ball comes out on the pillow of sand that you excavate. High bounce wedges help you produce the pillow of sand effect.  

Get out of all bunker types in one shot

With the right club (and technique), you won't have any fear of the sand anymore.

You'll get out of the bunkers in one shot and slash strokes off your game. You might even look forward to impressing your buddies with all the sand saves you'll be racking up.

How to get out of bunkers first time

This is a good video for people using traditional style sand wedges.

The specialty wedges like the Smart Sole and big fat soled wedges are a bit different and you'll need to play a chip style shot with very loose wrists. 


You can learn the technique with a standard sand wedge or you can use a specialty sand club designed to get the ball out as the number one priority only. 

If you find yourself in bunkers and never getting out of them, it's best to build some confidence and get yourself a specific sand wedge from Cleveland or Callaway that is designed to be used ONLY for sand. Confidence creates a breeding ground for growth and learning so get confident with these first, then you can move onto the normal sand wedge and become a sand god!

Last Updated on January 27, 2024 by Matt Greene