With so many options on the market, it’s hard to find the best sand wedge for your game. You’ll have to consider loft, bounce, and grind for a start. Also, there are looks, feel, and performance to think about, among other things.
Don’t worry if thinking about features and performance makes your head hurt, though. We’ll make it easy for you and recommend the best sand wedges in 2022.
This guide will outline the best premium options, the best for mid handicappers, beginners, and a solid budget pick.
Best Sand Wedges in 2022
- Titleist Vokey SM8 (Best Overall)
- Callaway Jaws Mack Daddy 5 (Runner-up)
- TaylorMade Milled Grind 3 (Best Premium)
- Cleveland RTX ZipCore (Also Great)
- Cleveland CBX 2 (Best for High Handicappers)
- Cleveland Smart Sole 4.0 (Extreme Forgiveness for Beginners)
- Wilson Harmonized (Budget Pick)
1. Titleist Vokey SM8 (Best Overall)
From Bob Vokey's legendary design, this is is a premiere, tour preferred wedge—and my top pick. It's what's in my (Joe's) bag. The SM8 grooves are cut to the edge, and the clubface is maxed out for durability. Comes in 23 different loft/grind combinations.
- Fantastic consistency and control
- Smooth but solid feel on impact
- Awesome spin
- Loads of options to choose from
- Beautiful finish and clean design
- Price may be too high for some
The Titleist Vokey SM8 is the overall best sand wedge on the market. This premium wedge has three stunning finishes – Tour Chrome, Brushed Steel, and Jet Black. It offers incredible versatility with a loft range of 46-60 degrees and six different grind options.
There are 23 loft/grind/bounce options available in right and left hand in all three finishes. For a sand wedge, however, that range will be narrowed down. But there’s still plenty of options to suit all types of players.
The K-Grind wedge is the highest bounce option in the line. It’s billed as the ultimate bunker club. So, most players will find these two options best for a sand wedge: 58-degree loft K-Grind with a 14-degree bounce and 60-degree loft K-Grind with a 14-degree bounce.
Of course, this comes down to the individual. Some players will find different combinations better suit their games than others. You should think about getting professionally fit for clubs, especially if you’re going for a premium option like the Titleist Vokey SM8.
- Clean looking design with the most beautiful finish yet
- Forward center of gravity improves consistency, squares the clubface, controls distance, and boosts feel
- Solid on impact yet smooth feel
- Mini grooves between main grooves promote more spin
- 9 different grind and bounce options between 54-60 degrees loft
- High pricing
- Jet Black finish can get scuffed from bunkers
2. Callaway Jaws Mack Daddy 5 (Runner-up)
This is a premium tour wedge—and Callway's most comprehensive wedge line-up. For the golfer looking for enhanced performance.
- Exceptional spin
- Great precision
- Nice flight control
- Accurate and consistent
- Fantastic range of options
- Premium price tag
The Callaway Jaws Mack Daddy 5 is hands down the best sand wedge for spin. You’ll get awesome action on the greens with this wedge. Give it a go, and your ball will be moonwalking along the dancefloor.
Out of the five grind options, the W-Grind is the best option for a sand wedge. It has a wider center and toe area on the sole and generous front-to-back curvature, which prevents digging without increasing bounce.
For the best sand wedge option, you’ll want to consider the W-Grind with 54-60 degrees of loft and 12 degrees of bounce.
- Simple, clean look is easy on the eye, in the bag and at address
- Exceptional spin off the face, even on short chip shots around the green
- Soft but solid feel with great flight control
- Super versatile from different lies
- Very consistent from different ranges
- Less options for sand wedge compared with the Vokey SM8
3. TaylorMade Milled Grind 3 (Best Premium)
You get a soft but solid feel with this wedge. With plenty of versatility, the TaylorMade Milled Grind 3 offers excellent control. You’ll love the consistency this wedge brings to your game.
- Soft but solid feel
- Versatile from various lies
- Consistent ball flight
- Amazing control
- Spins less than other premium models
- Ball flight on full shots might be too high for some
The TaylorMade Milled Grind 3 ranges in loft from 46-60 degrees. And it offers four grind options, including Tiger Grind. The loft and grind options give you 15 different combinations to choose from.
TaylorMade claims the RAW Face Micro-Ribs deliver more spin around the greens. With that technology, the face will rust while the rest of the head maintains a premium finish. The rust is supposed to increase friction to grip the ball even more.
Additionally, the Thick-Thin Design optimizes the center of gravity location for precise flight and enhanced feel. This is down to a thinner top line and additional mass distribution nearer to the top of the spine.
- Nice high-toe look and a good grip
- Sounds good and delivers a consistent flight
- Interacts well with the turf on impact
- Versatile for different shots, like pitching and bump and runs
- Good feedback from the face
- Spin isn’t as good as the previous options
- Ball flight on full shots might be too high for some
4. Cleveland RTX ZipCore (Also Great)
This is Cleveland's flagship wedge. A great premium choice for golfer's who want the best performance. My second choice after Vokey.
- Compact at address
- Classic Cleveland looks and quality
- Improved feel on previous models
- Great spin and control
- Forgiving and versatile
- Spins less than other premium options
The loft of the Cleveland RTX ZipCore wedge ranges from 46 degrees to 62 degrees. It has 16 loft/grind/bounce combinations, with three grind options: Low Sole, Mid Sole, and Full Sole. And Black Satin, Tour Satin, and Tour Rack (Raw) finishes are available.
The Full Sole option offers a classic design, stability on full shots, and extra bounce if you open the face. This is a big help when in the sand and is perfect for bunker shots. The RTX ZipCore Full Sole is an excellent option if you want added bounce for bunker shots.
- Classic Cleveland look, compact at address
- Soft feel – improved on previous models
- Forgiving on mishits but provides good feedback
- Good spin, control, and consistency
- Versatile wedge that performs well from bunkers
- Less sand wedge options compared to other premium choices
5. Cleveland CBX 2 (Best for High Handicappers)
Great wedge for beginners or high-handicappers. The cavity back design provides more forgiveness, thanks to the hollow cavity design. However, you’ll still be able to get a lot of spin if you do hit it properly.
- Very easy to make contact with
- Lower vibration and great feel
- Hollow cavity design for more forgiveness at impact
- Some won’t like the larger head
The Cleveland CBX 2 is a cavity-back wedge, which combined with a lighter hosel, tapered flange, and a wider toe increases forgiveness. Cleveland says the Hollow-Cavity Design and weighted toe results in 25 percent more sweet-spot shots.
With lofts ranging from 46 degrees to 60 degrees and three different sole grinds, it offers eight loft/grind/bounce combinations. However, for the best sand wedge option, players will most likely want to go for the S-Shaped grind with 56 degrees of loft. This is an excellent option to get out of bunkers, and it’ll be versatile for other types of shots.
- A forgiving wedge
- Easy to hit the sweet spot
- Toe-biased center of gravity suits amateur golfers
- A crisp yet soft feel off the face
- Offers good grip on the ball, resulting in decent spin
- Only 2 optimal choices for sand wedge
- The head looks quite big, which won’t appeal to some players
6. Cleveland Smart Sole 4.0 (Extreme Forgiveness for Beginners)
Extra-wide sole and Feel Balancing Technology, providing maximum forgiveness. Great for beginner and high-handicap golfers.
- You know what you’re getting every time
- Very forgiving
- Offers optimal bounce for beginners
- Redistribution of weight in hosel
- As you improve, you may need to buy a different one
For beginners, the Cleveland Smart Sole 4.0 is a great option. It makes difficult shots from various lies much easier.
This wedge offers incredible forgiveness and consistency due to the wide sole and the center of gravity being moved to the center of the clubface. So, beginners can clear hazards and splash out of bunkers with confidence. A mishit shot won’t fall way short of your target.
- A super forgiving wedge
- The Enhanced Three-Tiered Sole offers extra bounce – combats beginners digging into the ground and duffing shots
- Good spin to get the ball stopping on the greens
- Consistent performer with good feel
- Only one good option for a sand wedge – S model with 58 degrees of loft
- Some players won’t like the chunky look
7. Wilson Harmonized (Budget Pick)
This is the best wedge "for the money" on the market. Wedges aren't flashy clubs, and something like this Wilson can do the trick more often than not. The sole grind allows you to open the clubface to hit higher shots. It also helps stop shots from rolling off the green.
- Amazingly affordable
- Versatile from various lies
- Great performance and consistency
- Comes from a reliable brand
- Spin is not up there with other wedges
- Grip quality isn’t the best
The Wilson Harmonized wedge is the best budget sand wedge on the market. For the price, it offers excellent performance and versatility. Therefore, it’s a fantastic choice for beginners and experienced players who don’t want to break the bank.
The loft range is 52-64 degrees, while the bounce ranges from 8-12 degrees.
- Good weight and well balanced
- Great feel
- Awesome price
- The grip is poor quality
How to choose the right sand wedge?
To choose the best sand wedge, you’ll want to consider loft, grind, bounce, forgiveness, and distance.
Traditionally, sand wedges had about 54 degrees of loft. These days the loft ranges from around 54-60, although you’re getting into lob wedge territory at the higher end of that range. However, you might want to use a 60-degree sand wedge if you struggle to get height on bunker shots, for example.
Grind is the manipulation of the sole of a wedge. Think of it as sculpting the sole of the golf club to improve contact with the turf.
The grind affects how the leading edge of the wedge sits on the ground behind the ball. In turn, this affects how the leading edge behaves through impact.
Different grinds will have specific advantages for certain conditions. For instance, the Callaway Jaws Mack Daddy 5 with a W-Grind prevents the club from digging into the ground. This is advantageous for very soft conditions.
Bounce is the angle between the leading edge and the lowest part of the sole. The greater the angle, the higher the bounce.
A high bounce will stop the leading edge from digging into the turf. For that reason, higher bounce sand wedges offer more forgiveness. A high bounce is a good option for beginners and mid-high handicappers.
Forgiveness is important for choosing a sand wedge, depending on your level of skill. Beginners and high handicappers are best suited to choosing a sand wedge with tons of forgiveness. It’ll keep you out of trouble when you don’t catch a shot as clean as you’d like.
However, mid-low handicappers can also benefit from forgiving sand wedges. Maybe wedge play isn’t a strong part of your game. In that case, forgiveness could be the way to go.
Distance is also important to consider when choosing a sand wedge. The loft will play a big part in the distance. You won’t hit a 58-degree sand wedge as far as a 54-degree sand wedge.
You have to figure out the most important thing you want a sand wedge for. If you can’t get enough height on a 54-degree sand wedge to get out of bunkers, do you care if you can hit it 100 yards? You’d be better choosing a higher loft sand wedge, even if it means you hit it shorter.
Frequently Asked Questions
Now that you’ve seen the best sand wedges in 2022 and know what to look out for let’s consider a few more questions before you put a new sand wedge in the bag.
What degree sand wedge is best for beginners?
A sand wedge with 58 degrees loft is best for beginners. That’s because beginners usually struggle to get the ball into the air. A higher loft will help get that golf ball airborne, which is what you want when using a sand wedge.
What degree sand wedge do pros use?
Most pros use a 56-degree sand wedge. However, the range pros use typically goes from 54 degrees loft to 58 degrees loft. Like any golfer, pros will use equipment that suits their individual characteristics.
How many wedges should I carry?
You should carry a minimum of 3 wedges – pitching wedge, sand wedge, and lob wedge. But it depends on your game. If you’re frequently hitting approach shots from 100 yards and less, you might want to add more wedges. This will give you more shot variety and increase your chances of a better outcome.
After reading this article, you should be ready to go out and get a new sand wedge. You’ll now know what to look out for when choosing one. Of course, it all depends on you and how you play the game.
If you’re hitting the face of every bunker and plopping back into the sand, consider going for a higher loft. Whatever your tendencies are, think about them when you’re making a choice.