2008 Wedge Buyer’s Guide

If the golf bag were to have a go to problem solver, hands down, the wedge would be the top pick. Designed to be playable from literally anywhere on the course, the right wedge can be a real lifesaver.

2008 Wedge Buyer's GuideOften dubbed as a "scoring tool," the right wedge can be a real lifesaver on the golf course. Whether it's a pitching, sand, gap or lob wedge, each can be used from a perfect lie in the fairway or a buried lie in the bunker. In fact, there's a reason why the distance from within 100 yards is called the scoring zone. It's the "make or break" area, where a great wedge shot can redeem a bad drive or poor approach to the green. Any miscue from this zone is considered an unforced error that should have been avoided (especially from the fairway). So, what's that mean? Choosing the right wedges can be the difference between one or more strokes on any given hole! To start, it's important to find a wedge that matches your needs, and luckily, if you're in the market for game-improvement models, '08 has plenty of options. The key, as with every other club, is in finding the right setup for you. Pay attention to loft, bounce angles (more bounce is better for soft surfaces or for those who tend to hit it heavy), and grooves, as well as sole grinds, since each are designed to perform differently from all sorts of lies.

Understanding Our Charts Key Features: What distinguishes this wedge from the rest. What We Like: We have our preferences, too. Basically, what impressed us in our review. Who It's For: The type of player these wedges were made for. Clubhead: The material used for head construction. Clubface: Indicates the material used for the strike area. Design:Indicates the club's general shape. Generally, wedges fall into two shape categories–blades or cavity-backs. Custom Options: Whether or not custom options are available. This includes shafts, grips, etc. Shafts: The stock shaft offerings from the manufacturer. Adams Watson

Key Feature: Two acoustical channels and a molded TPU insert lend a soft feel, and the Tour-inspired grind makes the Watson series one that better players will appreciate. What We Like: Three for the price of one? That's one of the best deals we've ever seen. Who It's For: Anybody who wants some added touch around the greens and the name of the one of the greatest golfers ever imprinted on the back of the wedge. Gunmetal also avail. Clubhead: Stainless steel " Clubface: Same " Design: Cast blade " Custom Options: No " Clubs: 52_¡/7_¡ GW; 56/13 SW; 60/7 LW " Shafts: True Temper DG steel (wedge) adamsgolf.com | $99 (Set of 3) Ben Hogan Apex

Key Feature: Slight offset is handy to prevent slicing with irons, but on wedges, it appeals to a skilled player looking for total shotmaking and trajectory control from various distances. What We Like: The deep grooves and Tour-inspired sole design help to spin the ball not only from perfect lies, but also out of gnarly rough and sand. Who It's For: Although designed with the aid of Tour pros, these wedges will help any player. Clubhead: Carbon steel " Clubface: Same Design: Forged blade " Custom Options: No " Clubs: 52/8 GW; 56/12 SW; 60/6 LW " Shafts: Ben Hogan Apex steel (wedge) benhogan.com | $135 Bridgestone WC Design

Key Feature: The wedges were produced with feedback from Tour player Stuart Appleby. What We Like: The milled U-Grooves produce higher and more consistent spin from all kinds of lies. The 8620 carbon steel is super soft. The WC stands for "West Coast." Who It's For: Shotmakers. Bridgestone's Variable Bounce Technology creates a sole with less bounce in the heel and toe, providing more shotmaking versatility. Clubhead: 8620 Carbon steel " Clubface: Same Design: Cast blade " Custom Options: Yes " Clubs: 52/9.5, 54/11.5 GW; 56/12 SW; 60/10.5 " Shafts: Dynamic Gold Wedge steel bridgestonegolf.com | $120

Callaway X-Forged

Key Feature: With a tighter heel-toe radius and unique C-Grind sole, the X-Forged is designed to help golfers become short game wizards. Any shot is possible with these wedges. What We Like: The sole is a neat feature, but the Mack Daddy grooves are what make the ball check up nicely on the green. Who It's For: Moderate to better players who want shot-shaping abilities. Clubhead: Carbon Steel " Clubface: Same Design: Forged blade " Custom Options: Yes Lofts: 48, 50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60, 62, 64 (multiple bounce options available) " Shafts: Callaway steel (wedge) callawaygolf.com | $109 Callaway X-Tour

Key Feature: Forged carbon-steel construction, special PM (Phil Mickelson) grind and "Mack Daddy" grooves complement the head shape. What We Like: Carbon-steel construction provides exceptional feel while the sole grind and unique groove design makes the X-Tour extremely versatile, particularly for better players. Who It's For: Better players who like to execute a variety of shots. Clubhead: Carbon steel " Clubface: Same Design: Forged blade " Custom Options: Yes Clubs: Eight loft and bounce configurations Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold steel (wedge) callawaygolf.com | $135-$150 Cleveland CG12

Key Feature: The milled Zip Grooves mean these wedges pack a tremendous amount of spin and control. What We Like: The grooves are the real deal, and the head shape is versatile and simple. Available in chrome or black pearl. Who It's For: Anybody looking for tremendous control around the greens. Clubhead: Carbon steel " Clubface: Same Design: Cast blade " Custom Options: Yes Lofts: 46/8, 48/8, 50/10, 52/10, 54/8, 54/12, 54/14, 56/10, 56/12, 56/14, 58/8, 58/12, 58/14, 60/4, 60/10, 60/14 " Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold steel (wedge flex) clevelandgolf.com Chrome Black | $109 Cleveland CG14

Key Feature: The CG14 has a Gelback insert in the trailing edge side, for enhanced feel and sound. Also, these wedges have Zip Groove technology and a slight offset for more discerning players who want better trajectory control. What We Like: All of it, but in particular the soft-as-butter-warmed-in-the-microwave feel. Who It's For: Everyone who wants control and touch from the fairway or greenside. Clubhead: Carbon steel " Clubface: Same Design: Cast blade w/insert " Custom Options: Yes " Lofts: 46/6, 48/6, 50/8, 52/10, 54/9, 54/12, 56/11, 56/14, 58/10, 58/12, 60/8, 60/12 Shafts: Cleveland Traction steel (wedge) clevelandgolf.com Chrome Black | $109 Eidolon V-Sole

Key Feature: The dual-bounce sole allows golfers to adjust trajectory without compromising bounce angles. What We Like: The sole near the trailing edge has almost no bounce, so it lies flat whether the clubface is square, open or closed. Who It's For: Better players will love the shotmaking versatility and the spin-inducing CNC-milled grooves. Clubhead: Carbon steel " Clubface: Same Design: Forged blade " Custom Options: No Clubs: 52/18 (3) GW; 56/30 (7) SW; 60/25 (6) LW (available LH) " Shafts: Rifle Spinner steel (F, S) eidolongolf.com | $129 F2 Series Plus

Key Feature: The f2 Plus series is 15-percent larger than the original f2 Series wedge, resulting in a larger sweet spot. What We Like: Its unique "face-forward" technology makes shanks a thing of the past. The f2 performs best when the clubface stays square. Who It's For: Players who tend to shank or struggle with sand play will find the f2 to be a life-saving addition to their arsenal. Clubhead: 304 Stainless steel " Clubface: Same " Design: Cast cavity-back " Custom Options: No _â" Clubs: 52/6 GW; 56/12, 58/14 SW; 60/8 (available LH) " Shafts: f2 Steel and Graphite (wedge) f2golf.com | $99

Fore Golfers Only! DW-1

Key Feature: The Tour-like shape of the DW-1 is very inviting and easy to align at address. What We Like: Multiple loft/bounce combinations make finding the right wedge an easy task. The grooves have tremendous bite, especially on the 64_â_¡ wedges. Who It's For: Everyone who likes classy looks. Clubhead: Carbon steel " Clubface: Same Design: Cast blade " Custom Options: Yes Clubs: 46/4, 46/8, 50/6, 50/10 PW; 52/8, 52/12, 54/10, 54/14 GW; 56/8, 56/14, 58/10, 58/16 SW; 60/8, 60/16, 64/8, 64/16 LW (available LH) Shafts: There are several custom options available. Contact FGO for more information. forgolfersonly.com | $89 Infiniti IP-3 Pro

Key Feature: A precision-milled flat face produces maximum spin and helps your ball check when it lands "on the dance floor." What We Like: Three holes drilled in the toe provide feel and balance and its special heel grind allows you to open the clubface for shots that require touch. Who It's For: Better players who crave touch, spin and versatility when playing from a variety of turf conditions. Clubhead: 304 Steel " Clubface: CNC Milled Design: Cast blade " Custom Options: Yes Clubs: 51/8 GW; 56/14 SW; 60/5 L Shafts: True Temper Dynalite steel (wedge) infinitigolf.com | $89 KZG RSS Wedge

Key Feature: An innovative notch and sole design that affords players the chance to open or close the club without altering its bounce. What We Like: Its design and mirror finish are classy. The RSS was designed by two of the top designers in golf–and it shows. Who It's For: Low-handicappers who want a versatile wedge; and mid- and high-handicappers who need a club that will improve their short game. KZG recommends using a soft shaft flex for maximum feel. Clubhead: Carbon steel " Clubface: Same Design: Forged blade " Custom Options: Yes Lofts: 52/8, 56/12, 60/10 " Shafts: Custom kzgolf.com | Custom Order Mizuno MP-R Wedges

Key Feature: Its "workshop grind" sole provides advanced playability. What We Like: We're all about choice, and the MP-R wedges give us just that. We can choose between two finishes: nickel or chrome. Also, it's got a classic round head shape and CNC Max-Milled square grooves. Who It's For: Players looking for minimal offset and a classic, round head shape. Clubhead: Carbon steel " Clubface: Same Design: Forged blade " Custom Options: Yes Lofts: 52/7, 54/10 GW; 56/10, 56/13, 58/10 SW; 60/5, 60/9 LW; 52/7, 56/13, 60/9 (available LH) " Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold steel mizunousa.com | $120 Mizuno MP-T Wedges

Key Feature: A C-shape grind sole that makes it easier to hit a variety of different shots. What We Like: We've always been a big fan of Mizuno's legendary craftsmanship, and the MP-T doesn't disappoint. Its rolled leading edge minimizes digging and a cambered mid-sole makes consistent ballstriking a breeze. Who It's For: Players who like the teardrop-shaped clubhead and a buttery soft face. Clubhead: 1025E Pure Select mild carbon-steel Clubface: Same " Design: Forged blade Custom Options: Yes " Lofts: 47/6, 51/6, 53/8 GW; 56/10, 56/14, 58/10 SW; 60/5, 60/8 LW " Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold S300 mizunousa.com | $120 Nickent ARC

Key Feature: Its Accelerated Rebound Core technology, which consists of an internal core of compressed high-rebound elastomer positioned inside the clubhead directly behind the sweet spot. It eliminates vibration. What We Like: The hidden perimeter weighting system and its chrome and gunmetal finishes. Who It's For: Players who like a traditional blade, but want a dose of game improvement too. Clubhead: Stainless steel " Clubface: Same Design: Muscle-back " Custom Options: Yes Lofts: 50/8, 52/8, 54/10 GW; 56/12, 58/8, 58/8 SW; 60/7, 62/7 (LW) " Shafts: Nippon 1180 steel (wedge); Dynamic Gold steel (wedge) nickentgolf.com | $99

Nike SV Tour

Key Feature: Its milled flat face. It provides consistency and a clean, pleasing look. Its profile, bounce and groove contours came about from feedback provided by Nike's Tour staff. What We Like: The price. You'd think such good craftsmanship would cost more. Who It's For: Golfers who don't want to spend a lot, but who still crave performance. Clubhead: 8620 Carbon steel " Clubface: Same Design: Cast blade " Custom Options: Yes " Lofts: 50/10, 52/10, 54/12 GW; 56/10, 56/14, 58/10 SW; 60/6, 60/10 LW; (52/10, 56/14, 60/10 avail. LH) " Shafts: Dynamic Gold steel nikegolf.com | $89 Ping iWedge

Key Feature: A deep multi-layer cavity maximizes forgiveness and positions the center of gravity toward the center of the face for a low, solid feel. Vibration dampening is a plus. What We Like: The nod to PING's classic Eye 2 sand wedge, not to mention the iWedge's extreme forgiveness. Who It's For: Players who crave distance control. Clubhead: Stainless steel " Clubface: Same Design: Cast cavity-back " Clubs: 50/11, 52/11.5, 54/12 GW; 56/13, 58/11.5 SW; 60/12.5 LW (avail. LH) " Shafts: PING CS Lite (S,R), TT Dynamic Gold steel (X, S), Z-Z65 steel (S), TFC100i/909i graphite (S, R, A) pinggolf.com | $99 Ping Tour Wedge Black Nickel

Key Feature: A slightly smaller head size and a ferrule for a traditional look. These wedges retain Tour-tested capabilities melded with playability. What We Like: Variable bounce angles and machined U-grooves enable customized control. The slight offset helps make shotmaking easier. Who It's For: Tour pros dig the clean, traditional look; casual golfers like the forgiveness. Clubhead: Stainless steel " Clubface: Same Design: Cast cavity-blade " Custom Options: Yes " Clubs: 52, 54 GW; 56, 58 SW; 60 LW (available LH) " Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold steel (X, S), PING CS Lite steel (S, R), PING Z-Z65 Steel (S); PING TFC 100i graphite (S, R, A) pinggolf.com | $125-$150 Ping Tour-W Wedge

Key Feature: A dense tungsten toe weight and Custom Tuning Port increase the club's MOI. What We Like: The options. It comes in 13 different configurations and two different finishes (Brushed Silver and Black Chrome Nickel). Who It's For: With 13 loft and bounce configurations available, there's a Tour-W for everyone. Clubhead: Stainless steel " Clubface: Same Design: Cavity-back " Custom Options: Yes Lofts: 47/10, 50/12, 52,/12, 54/10, 54/14 (GW); 56/10, 56/14 58/6, 58/8, 58/10 (SW); 60/6, 60/8, 60/10 (LW) _â" Shafts: Multiple shaft options. Check Website for further details. pinggolf.com | $125 Solus Tour 7.1

Key Feature: The Tour 7.1 design features subtle changes to the leading edge, toe area and trailing edge to deliver what world-class players are looking for in a wedge. What We Like: It's not as forgiving as the 4.1 on off center hits because there's no perimeter weighting. It incorporates a slightly higher initial bounce angle to impart more spin and control. Who It's For: Better players who like a soft-feeling blade that provides a shallow impact. Clubhead: Carbon steel " Clubface: Same Design: Cast blade " Custom Options: No Lofts: 47, 51, 53, 56, 59, 61; 51, 56, 61 (LH) Shafts: True Temper steel (wedge) solusgolf.com | $129 Sonartec T35 Wedge

Key Feature: Its "Yo-Yo" grooves will have your ball spinning, checking and backing up like never before. What We Like: The T35's forged 8620-carbon steel makes the club incredibly soft. Who It's For: Players who want to take advantage of its multi-grind sole, which allows for a greater manipulation of the clubface for a wide range of shots. Clubhead: Forged 8620 carbon steel Clubface: Same " Design: Forged blade Custom Options: No " Clubs: 52/8, 54/8 GW; 5/11, 58/9 SW; 60/9 LW " Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold steel (wedge) sonartec.com | $120

Srixon WG-706

Key Feature:UV grooves whose sidewall angle has been reduced by 75 percent, increasing the total groove volume, allowing dirt and grass to channel away from the clubface. What We Like: The classic shape and soft carbon steel from which it's constructed. That results in tons of spin. Who It's For: It comes in 7 different loft/bounce configurations. There's a WG-706 for everyone. Clubhead: 1020 Soft Carbon Steel " Clubface: Same " Design: Forged blade " Custom Options: N/A " Lofts: 50/8, 52/8, 54/12 GW; 56/8, 56/12, 58/8 SW; 60/8 " Shafts: Dynamic Gold Shaft (Wedge Flex, High Flex Point, 1231g) srixon.com | $169 Taylormade Z TP

Key Feature: The Y-cutter grooves have been upgraded to Z-cutter, meaning they're sharper and produce more spin and control than ever before. Other cool features include a sole and hosel design that make it a cinch to hit shots with an open face. What We Like: Its smoked PVD finish and extra sharp Z-cutter grooves. Who It's For: Golfers looking to hit a variety of different shots from different turf conditions. Clubhead: Carbon steel " Clubface: Same Design: Cast rac Cavity " Custom Options: Yes Lofts: 52/8, 54/10 GW; 56/12, 58/8 SW; 60/6 LW " Shafts: Dynamic Gold steel (wedge) taylormadegolf.com | $140 Titleist Vokey Spin Milled Oil Can

Key Feature: These wedges have 30-percent more groove volume when compared to other models. They spin the ball like crazy. What We Like: The micro-grooves really aid in creating spin, especially from the rough. We also dig the glare reducing Oil Can finish. Who It's For: Even though it was designed for Tour players, the Spin Milled series is great for anyone craving short game touch. Clubhead: Carbon steel " Clubface: Same Design: Cast blade " Custom Options: Yes Lofts: 54/10, 54/14 GW; 56/10, 56/14 SW; 58/8, 58/12, 60/4, 60/8 LW " Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold steel (wedge) titleist.com | $130 Tour Edge Exotics Xtreme Spin

Key Feature: A removable weight (2-, 4- and 6-gram screws included) allows players to adjust its swing weight based on their preferences. What We Like: Its milled face grooves and super-thin 1025-milled carbon steel clubface. (The clubhead is filled with Thermal plastic elastomer that allows for such a thin face.) Who It's For: Players who crave control and spin on their approach shots. Clubhead: Carbon Steel " Clubface: Same Design: Adjustable weighting blade " Custom Options: Yes " Lofts: 50/8, 52/8, 54/12 GW; 56/12, 58/10 SW; 60/8 LW " Shafts: Dynamic Gold taper tip steel exoticsgolf.com | $129 Wilson Tw7 Tour Wedges

Key Feature: Deeper and sharper grooves than most wedges, Tw7's squared edges result in more spin, bite and better control. What We Like: The clubhead's gunmetal finish and the expert feedback from Open champion Padraig Harrington is a big plus. Who It's For: Golfers looking for a wedge that performs just as well as it looks. Players who like the non-glare gunmetal

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