New wedges for extra spin and control in autumn conditions

·8 min read

The Ryder Cup is in the books, and the start of autumn is bringing cooler temperatures and softer conditions to many parts of the country. In the Northeast and Midwest, morning dew is hanging on the grass longer and bunkers are retaining moisture deeper into the day, making the sand around the greens heavier.

Pros on the PGA Tour often obtain fresh wedges every four to six weeks because they practice short game shots so often and play several times a week. The grooves in their sand wedges and lob wedges lose their sharpness, and when competing on firm, fast greens surrounded by thick rough, sharp grooves are a must. Recreational golfers, on the other hand, often use wedges until the grooves are as smooth as glass, disregarding their loss of spin and control.

If you are in the market for new wedges, here are seven models that have been released in 2021 you might want to try.

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Callaway JAWS Full Toe

Callaway JAWS Full Toe wedges
Callaway JAWS Full Toe wedges

Callaway JAWS Full Toe wedges (David Dusek/Golfweek)

Price: $169.99 each (at Carl’s Golfland and Dick’s) with True Temper Dynamic Gold Spinner steel shaft or Project X Catalyst Wedge graphite shaft and Lamkin UTX grip.
Specs: Cast stainless steel. Available in 54-, 56-, 58-, 60- and 64-degree options. Chrome and raw black finishes.

The back, neck and sole of the clubs are chromed, but every JAWS Full Toe wedge comes with a sticker over the hitting area because the faces are raw steel. After the sticker is removed and the face is exposed to air and water, the face will rust over time. Callaway said the rust boosts surface roughness and spin production.

By raising the height of the toe and extending the groove pattern all the way up the face, players can open the face on bunker shots and pitch shots and have a larger grooved area to hit the ball. At the same time, compared to the PM Grind, the JAWS Full Toe wedge does not pull the center of gravity as high because it has less mass at the top of the head. Therefore, when players keep the face square, it should produce a more traditional wedge flight. More …

Cleveland RTX Full-Face

Cleveland RTX Full-Face wedges
Cleveland RTX Full-Face wedges

The RTX Full-Face has a higher toe and the surface is covered in spin-generating grooves. (David Dusek/Golfweek)

Price: $159.99 each (Tour Satin) with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue Spinner shaft and Golf Pride Tour Velvet 360 grip. $179.99 each in Tour Rack raw-steel finish (From $149.99 at Carl’s Golfland and Dick’s).
Specs: Cast 8620 carbon-steel heads with surface-roughening treatment.
Lofts: 50-60 degrees and 64 degrees (Tour Satin); 56-60 and 64 degrees (Tour Rack)

As the name implies, the higher toe is not the only thing that makes these wedges unique. The entire hitting surface is covered in Cleveland’s UltiZip grooves from the leading edge to the topline. Like the grooves in the original ZipCore wedges released last year, these grooves are deeper with sharper edges, and designers have packed them more tightly in the hitting area. This should ensure that more groove edges grab the ball on chips and pitch shots to help generate more spin.

There are also microgrooves between the main grooves to increase surface roughness and friction to help golfers create more spin. More …

Cobra King

Cobra King wedges
Cobra King wedges

Cobra King wedges (Cobra)

Price: $149 each (at Carl’s Golfland and Dick’s) with KBS Hi-Rev 2.0 shaft and Lamkin Crossline Smart grip.
Specs: Cast stainless steel with CNC-milled face and grooves and three sole grinds. Even lofts from 48 to 60 degrees.

While the logo on the back is a throwback to Cobra’s old-school past, the grooves that are CNC-milled into the faces of these clubs are high-tech. First, the grooves vary in size and depth based on the club’s loft. Pitching wedges and gap wedges (48-54 degrees) have iron-like grooves that are narrower and deeper, while the sand wedges and lob wedges (56-60 degrees) have wider, shallower grooves to channel water and debris off the face more effectively.

Cobra also designed each wedge’s face differently, filling the entire hitting surface of the 56-degree, 58-degree and 60-degree models with grooves because players often open the face of their sand wedges and lob wedges. If contact is made high or in the toe, the clubs can impart more spin on the ball.

However, all the new Cobra King wedges have Snakebite grooves utilizing a new cutting method that the company said produces an edge radius that is 40-percent sharper than Cobra’s previous wedge groove. More …

Mizuno T22

Mizuno 22 wedges
Mizuno 22 wedges

In addition to satin chrome and a raw finish, Mizuno offers the T22 wedges in denim copper. (David Dusek/Golfweek)

Price: $159.99 each with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue Wedge shafts and Golf Pride Z Grip at Carl’s Golfland and Dick’s Sporting Goods.
Specs: Forged 1025 boron-steel with milled grooves and four sole grind options. Lofts from 45 to 62 degrees.
Available: Oct. 14.

The T22 wedges are grain-flow forged using 1025 carbon steel that has been infused with boron, like several of Mizuno’s irons since 2016. Boron is harder than the carbon steel, and using it strategically helped Mizuno designers create grooves that maintain the durability of their sharpness without sacrificing feel.

The CNC-milled grooves in the T22 wedges vary based on loft. The pitching wedges and gap wedges (45-53 degrees) have grooves that are deep and narrow to mimic the grooves found in irons. The grooves in the sand wedges and lob wedges (54 to 62 degrees) are wider and deeper to help get water, sand and debris off the hitting surface for increased consistency. More …

Ping Glide Forged Pro

Ping Glide Forged Pro wedges
Ping Glide Forged Pro wedges

Ping Glide Forged Pro T grind. (David Dusek/Golfweek)

Price: $217.50 each with Ping Z-Z115 steel shaft and Golf Pride Arccos Lite Tour Velvet 360 grip. $232.50 per club with UST Recoil 760 ES graphite shafts (From $197 at Carl’s Golfland and $199 at Dick’s).
Specs: Forged 8620 carbon-steel with milled face and grooves and water-repellant finish. Two sole grinds with even lofts between 50 and 62 degrees, with special options available through a custom program and a special 59-degree club.

Ping machined each groove in the Glide Forged Pro and designed the grooves differently for each club based on its loft. The gap wedges (50 and 52 degrees) have grooves with a 20-degree sidewall, which is similar to the shape found in most irons, because golfers will tend to hit these clubs from the fairway. However, the sand wedges and lob wedges (54 to 62 degrees) have wider and shallower grooves that are designed to remove water and debris from the hitting surface.

Every Glide Forged Pro wedge also has a new emery-blast, surface-roughening treatment in the hitting area to add friction. Ping said the grooves and surfacing-roughening elements help the Glide Forged Pro wedges create lower-flying, higher-spinning shots, especially in wet conditions for improved consistency. More …

TaylorMade Milled Grind 3

TaylorMade MG3 wedges
TaylorMade MG3 wedges

Raised micro ribs on the raw steel hitting area, between the grooves, increase friction on shots near the green. (David Dusek/Golfweek)

Price: $179.99 each (at Carl’s Golfland and Dick’s) with True Temper Tour Issue S200 shafts and Lamkin Crossline 360 grips.
Specs: Cast 8620 carbon steel in low-bounce, standard-bounce and high-bounce versions. Even lofts 46, 50-60 degrees.

To enhance the MG3’s grooves and create more friction around the greens, TaylorMade added a series of raised micro-ribs to the raw-steel hitting area. TaylorMade debuted the raw-steel hitting area in the MG2, shipping wedges with a peel-off sticker over the hitting area. The new MG3 wedges are also being shipping with covered faces, because after the non-chromed steel is exposed to air and water, it starts to rush and creates a rougher texture.

That rust is now complemented by the micro-ribs between each groove that create more friction and spin on pitches and chips shots hit inside 50 yards. TaylorMade said the combination of the raw face and micro-ribs adds about 200 rpm of spin. More …

Wilson Staff Model Tour Grind

Wilson Staff Model Tour Grind wedge
Wilson Staff Model Tour Grind wedge

Wilson Staff Model Tour wedges (Wilson)

Price: $149.99 each with True Temper Dynamic Golf X100 120 shaft and Golf Pride Tour Velvet grip (From $139.99 at Carl’s Golfland)
Specs: Forged 8620 carbon steel with milled face. Available in 56-, 58- and 60-degree versions.

Forged from 8620 carbon steel for a soft feel at impact, the Staff Model Tour Grind wedges are available only in sand wedge and lob wedge lofts and have moderate bounce (10-12 degrees). A significant amount of material has been ground out of the heel and toe areas, which should make it easier to open the face, get the leading edge under the ball and still receive the benefit of the bounce. More …

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