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If you’re a beginner or high handicap golfer, you’re considered to be average. Having a wedge or two is super important, but what’s even more important is having the right wedge for your skill level.
If I was a beginner or high handicap and was in the market for a new wedge, these are the three I’d consider. Which one you end up going with will all depend on your budget and what wedge you actually need.
What Handicap Is The Average Golfer
The average golfer has a handicap that’s somewhere around 28. This means you’ll typically shoot close to 100 on a par 72 golf course.
For people who actually record their handicap, the average score is 91. What doesn’t make that accurate is all the people who don’t keep track of their handicaps.
Think about the people who keep track of theirs.
They’re probably pretty serious about golf and most likely practice and play a lot. This is why the number is quite a bit lower.
The average hacker who’s only out once or twice a month probably doesn’t keep track of their handicap, but if they did, they would bring the average score closer to 100.
So, if you’re a beginner or high handicap who normally shoots around 100, you’re considered to be average.
I don’t think there’s an exact definition of low, mid, and high handicap, but here’s how I look at it:
- If you shoot under 80 = low handicap.
- If you shoot in the 80s = mid handicap.
- If you shoot above 90 = high handicap.
Some of the wedges we’ll be talking about are designed for the average player and some of them are good for all skill levels. If you shoot in the 80s, you might want to check out our article for mid-handicap wedges.
RELATED: Best Wedges For Mid Handicappers
How Many Wedges Should An Average Golfer Carry
A beginner or high handicap only needs to carry 2 wedges in their bag. The first is a standard pitching wedge and the second is a sand wedge with at least 10 degrees of bounce.
Pretty much every set of irons will already come with a pitching wedge. The loft of these irons is somewhere around 45 degrees and they’re one of the more versatile clubs in the bag.
What you’ll also want to do is go out and get yourself a sand wedge. I’m sure you could tell, the sand wedge is mainly used for hitting out of the sand.
Sand wedges have lofts between 54 and 58 degrees and normally have more bounce than the other wedges. This is what makes them better for the sand.
Just because it’s called a sand wedge doesn’t mean that’s all it’s for. You can hit it from the fairway, you can pitch it into the green, and you can lob it over a tree.
Just make sure the wedge you get has at least 10 degrees of bounce. We’ll get into this more in a sec, but basically, more bounce helps you not dig into the ground as much.
As you work your way into mid-handicap range, you could add another wedge to your bag. I’d start with the one that’s between your sand wedge and your pitching wedge (aka gap wedge).
Finally, the last wedge you could add to the bag is the lob weight. This has somewhere between 58-64 degrees of loft and is the least important wedge. I’d only recommend this wedge when you can shoot in the 70s and low 80s.
Learn More: For more info on how many wedges average golfers should carry and some strategies to go along with it, be sure to check out our full guide.
What Wedge Bounce Is Best For Average Players
The best wedge bounce for beginners and high handicaps is 10 or higher. This will stop the club from digging into the ground and will make chipping a lot easier.
The most important wedge you can get right now is a sand wedge. It’s the most versatile and easiest wedge to hit consistently.
Sand wedges normally have more bounce than the other wedges and that’s why they’re the first to go in our bag. Here’s what more and less bounce looks like on a wedge:
A wedge with more bounce has more of the leading edge off the ground at address. The sole is normally wider and that makes the club “bounce” off the ground.
A wedge with less bounce has its leading edge closer to the ground at address. This is normally better for tricky shots and ones that need to quickly lob the ball.
If you hit a lot of fat/chunky shots then having a wedge with more bounce will help you out. That’s the most common fault for average players and that’s why the sand wedge is the play.
What Are The Different Types Of Wedges
The five types of wedges are pitching wedge, gap wedge, sand wedge, lob wedge, and most recently, chipper wedge. The differences between them are their loft and bounce.
Pitching wedge: This wedge is normally around 45 degrees and is part of every single iron set out there. It’s called a pitching wedge because it’s ideal for pitch shots (between a full shot and a chip).
Gap wedge: This wedge fills the “gap” between your pitching wedge and your sand wedge. It’s going to be somewhere between 48 and 52 degrees and can be used in a number of different situations.
Sand wedge: This wedge is the second most common and is ideal for hitting out of the sand. It’s going to be somewhere between 54 and 58 degrees and has more bounce than the other wedges.
Lob wedge: This is the last wedge to add to your bag and it’s going to be somewhere between 60 and 64 degrees. It’s designed to “lob” the ball over bunkers, trees, or whatever else is in your way.
Chipper wedge: This is a mix between your putter and traditional wedge. It’s a wedge with a shorter shaft and is used to hit bump and run shots around the green.
Learn More: If you’d like to know more info about the different types of wedges and when you should use each of them, be sure to read our full guide.
When To Use Each Type Of Wedge
When it comes to what wedge to use it’ll depend on a number of factors. It’ll depend on the distance to the hole, what’s in front of you, and how firm the ground is.
Everyone’s going to prefer one or two of their wedges over the others and it’s something you’ll have to mess around with. Here are some general guidelines for what wedge to use in different situations.
Sand shots: The somewhat obvious answer here is that you’ll want to use your sand wedge. The extra bounce will help your club not dig as deep into the ground and will lift the ball nicely out of the trap.
Firm ground: The best wedge to use here is one that has less bounce. I find that if I use a sand wedge when I’m chipping off firm ground I’ll tend to hit a lot of topped shots.
Soft ground: The best wedge to use here is one that has more bounce. The extra bounce will help your club bounce off the ground and take less of a divot.
High shots: If you want to hit the ball up in the air you’ll want to use a higher lofted club (obvious). I find it a bit easier to hit a wedge with lower bounce (lob wedge).
Low pitch shots: The best wedge for this would be your pitching or gap wedge. You can still hit this shot with your sand or lob wedge but it’s definitely not as easy for most.
Best Wedges For Average Golfers
If I was a beginner or high handicapper and was in the market for a new wedge, these are the ones I’d consider. Which one you get will depend on what you want it for and your budget.
All of them are solid options and I don’t think you could go wrong with either. Some of them are designed for higher handicaps only but some of them can be used by all skill levels (for when you get better).
Cleveland CBX (Best For Full Shots)
If you’re looking for a wedge to hit full shots with, this will be the option for you. It’s one of the more forgiving wedges on the market and will hit the ball longer than a traditional bladed wedge.
This is actually the wedge I have in my bag and absolutely love it. I have a CBX gap wedge but my sand wedge is more of a blade design.
I find the blade design to be a bit better for finicky chip shots but I wouldn’t recommend it for you. Having a cavity back wedge will be so much easier to hit and control.
Cleveland has always made some of the better wedges on the market and I’ve used them from pretty much day #1. Plus, the price is pretty reasonable.
The CBX comes in either 50, 52, 54, 56, 58, or 60 degrees. You don’t need all of them and if I had to pick one it’d be the 56-degree sand wedge.
The sole (bottom) of this wedge has a “v” shape to it and that’s going to help the club glide through the sand and ground. It’s not going to dig as deep into the ground and should help with chunky shots.
The first CBX came out in 2017 and the CBX 2 came out in 2019. The first CBX will be a bit cheaper and is all you’ll need right now. If you can’t find one for sale, the CBX 2 is just as good.
- Extremely long and forgiving.
- Great quality groves and face.
- Can be used as you get better.
- Not as good as a bladed wedge for lob shots.
PING ChipR (Best For Chip Shots)
If you’re looking for a wedge that makes chipping around the green easy, this will be the wedge for you. It’s probably the most forgiving wedge I’ve ever used for hitting lower and shorter chips, which makes it one of the best golf chippers on the market.
The sole on this wedge is wider than the CBX and that’s designed for the hacker who slaps the ball all over the place. We’ve all done it.
The wider sole will stop you from digging too deep into the ground and taking a 2-inch divot. It won’t work well for lobbing the ball over a bunker or getting the ball to quickly spin on the green but I don’t think you should be worrying about that right now.
It’s almost like a more lofted putter. All you have to do is swing like you’re putting the ball and it’ll pop up and roll out nicely. Keep the game simple and you’ll play better golf.
There is only one loft setting that this club comes in and that’s 38.5 degrees. Its got a low amount of loft and the reason is that it’s mainly used for bump and runs. It’ll be like chipping with your 9 iron.
I think you’ll definitely need a pitching and sand wedge in your bag to hit shots from further back in the fairway and in the bunker. That being said, if you struggle with getting the ball close to the pin when you’re around the green, I’d highly recommend giving this a try (if you can actually find one).
Read Full Review: PING ChipR
- It’s the best club I’ve come across for bump and run shots
- Your consistency around the green should improve
- The price is quite high
- It’s not always easy to find (sold out everywhere)
- It won’t lob the ball up in the air
Stix Wedges (Best Budget Option)
If you’re just getting started with golf or you don’t want to spend much money, these will be the wedges for you. They do have a few minor issues, but they’re some of the best at this price point.
What I liked about these wedges was the way the shaft and clubhead felt. The shaft felt nice and light while the clubhead had some good weight to it. It felt very comfortable to swing.
That being said, considering the price, don’t expect them to perform as well as a $150-200 Vokey wedge. They’re designed for two completely different markets, Stix wedges are designed with the average golfer in mind.
They’re more of a traditional blade so they won’t be the most forgiving or longest-hitting wedges. That being said, I was really impressed with how they performed compared to my normal wedge.
On full shots, I was able to get a decent amount of spin on the ball to have it stop fairly quickly on the green. Around the greens, the slightly more compact blade design was pretty good at getting the ball out of tricky lies.
Read Full Review: Stix Golf Wedges
- The price can’t be beaten
- More of a traditional look
- The overall performance is surprisingly good
- The grip is a bit on the thin side
- The black paint scratches and marks up (silver color might be better)
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