In many ways, the wedge is one of the most versatile clubs in the bag. It can be used for almost any different kind of shot, although you have to know which type of wedge to use. All wedges are basically designed for high-loft shots, with the main difference being the degree of loft. Whether you’re on the green or trying to get there, the wedge is likely to serve you well…but only if you choose wisely.
As we already mentioned, there are different types of wedges that are meant to fulfill specialized purposes. We will go farther into that subject later, but for now, all you need to know is that the wedge is a highly variable tool. This makes it all the more vital that you take care when choosing such a club, to make sure that it will perform its function with efficiency.
To give you some idea about what you should expect from a club like this, we present the seven best lob wedges that we could find. As we mentioned, there are multiple types of wedges, and lob wedges are easily the newest type. When you need a high-loft, high-spin, short-range club, the lob wedge is your best friend. Let’s take a look at these clubs, starting with the three best models.
The Short Game Changer
|Cleveland Golf 2018 Men's CBX Wedge|
|Callaway Golf Men's Matte Black Mack Daddy 4|
|TaylorMade Milled Grind Hi-Toe Wedge|
Plain but Playable
|Titleist Vokey SM6 Jet Black Wedge|
|Ray Cook Golf- Silver Ray SR500 Center Shafted Putter|
The Trick Pony
|Mizuno Golf MP-T5 White Satin Wedge|
The Rough Rider
|Cleveland Golf Men's 588 RTX 2.0 Muscle Back Standard Bounce Satin Wedge|
This is a pretty forgiving club, as most cavity-backed irons tend to be. The shaft is kind of flexible, being made of graphite, but it doesn’t hinder the ability to produce good power for those high lifts. It provides great control through the impact, making it so that you barely feel the impact.
We can’t see too many problems with this one, but the high degree of spin that it delivers might be uncomfortable for some players. Of course, it depends a lot upon your style of play. Some users have also complained that this club is a little bit too bottom-heavy, resulting in a swing that takes a little too much turf and slows down the swing. All in all, these problems are mostly matters of personal preference.
This might be the best-looking club on the list. Its contours are befitting of its name since it puts one in mind of a curvy lady of the night. Or, if you prefer, a stealth bomber. Either way, it is sure to turn some heads at the range. That sleek look isn’t all about appearance either. The aerodynamics of this club help to even out those rough spots in your swing and keep wind resistance from messing up your shot.
There are very few downsides with this club. It’s a little on the expensive side but offers a lot of features to compensate. That being said, all those features and adjustments might be confusing for new players or older players who like to keep it simple. Also, a few people have reported problems with the shaft bending.
This is easily the most expensive club on our list, but it does look pretty nice indeed. First of all, this is another all-steel model, meaning that it is probably quite durable. It seems to be a mix of soft and hard steels, which is also ideal. We really like the thick, reinforced hosel, as it gives us more confidence in this club.
We can’t find much that is wrong with this club, although the price point is a start. We also think that the design of the sole could be a little smoother, as it seems to give just a little friction with the ground. Also, that complex micro-and-macro-grooved surface is a lot harder to clean than most other clubs.
This is a plain and average-looking club in every way. Its smooth finish and standard shape do not really stand out from the crowd. However, it does offer an effective club in a small and convenient package. Those who enjoy a KISS (“keep it simple, stupid”) approach to golf will probably gain a lot of appreciation for this club.
This one is a little bit expensive, but it isn’t too bad. It doesn’t offer anything special, but it does its job effectively. Our only concern is that the head of this club seems a little too thin, which introduces the risk of warping or breakage.
This club is marketed as being the most high-spin club that this company has ever produced. It remains to be seen if that is actually true, but this thing definitely delivers an exceptional amount of spin. To be honest, it might be a little too much spin for some people. Still, this club wasn’t built for players who don’t like spin, so it’s fair to judge it on its own merits.
This club has the same “feel balancing” technology that we saw earlier, but it claims to have improved the thing and given it a higher degree of control. This may have been done in response to complaints of the other club being too bottom-heavy.
This one is shiny and sexy, to say the least. We really like the super-thick hosel, as this tends to be one of the main weak points of a cheap club. In spite of the extra weight in this area, the club swings smoothly and evenly, feeling light as a feather. The adjustable sole grinds give 25 different combinations of settings, so this is one of the most customizable clubs that we have ever seen.
The face of this club is meant to provide more spin than anything else on the market. It does this by using the maximum amount of surface roughness that the USGA will allow. Thus, if you find anything that gives better spin than this one, you are probably cheating.
Our only concern here is that the hosel looks a little bit thin, and the overall construction seems to have prioritized speed over durability. Also, there is only one version of this club, reducing its potential user base.
Now that we have taken a closer look at some of these products, let’s go over some essential information that you should know before buying a club of this type.
What Is The Purpose Of The Lob Wedge?
The lob wedge is meant for shots that require a high arc without a lot of distance. This is not the kind of wedge that you would use for a long-range shot, nor would it be particularly good for mid-range shots. That job requires a different type of wedge, but more on that later.
Lob wedges are also meant to impart a certain amount of spin to the ball. The high rate of spin combined with a higher angle confer an additional benefit: Less bounce. Thus, when you are trying to get yourself onto the green, the lob wedge can be a great asset. When the ball hits the ground, it will not bounce as much as a standard ball. This makes it a lot easier to get close to the hole for that all-important birdie shot.
What Are The Other Types of Wedges?
Although there is no need to go into a lot of detail here, it is worth mentioning the other types of wedges, just so that you can see the differences between them.
The pitching wedge is meant for high-loft and medium-distance shots. It was created to fill a gap that existed between the 9-iron and the gap wedge. This type of club will fly in a higher and shorter arc than a 9-iron, but not to the same extent as a gap wedge. Thus, it can be used for a larger variety of situations.
The gap wedge follows this same principle and progression. It was created to fill a gap between the pitching wedge and the sand wedge. In terms of range, this thing doesn’t go as far as the pitching wedge, but it goes much farther than a sand wedge.
The sand wedge is exactly what you would expect from the name. This club is designed for getting yourself out of sand traps. It has a very high loft to clear ridges and embankments and a very wide bottom that can more easily slide through the sand.
So, where does the lob wedge fit in? At the extreme side of the loft scale. The lob wedge is meant to deliver the highest elevation of any wedge. Because of this high arc, it cannot cross a lot of distance when compared to some others.
Who Invented The Lob Wedge?
Interestingly, the lob wedge was invented by a rocket scientist. No, really; that’s not even a joke. Dave Pelz worked for NASA as a physicist, but he is better known for his golf coaching expertise. His teaching methods have produced 21 major-circuit champions, so he must be doing something right.
Apart from coaching, Dave Pelz has also designed a large amount of golf equipment. He was the one who first realized that a higher-arc club was needed. He based this observation on the increasing complexity of golf courses that were being designed at the time, and he reasoned that steeper obstacles require a lot more loft if you expect to clear them. Eventually, the first commercial versions were produced by Karsten Solheim at Ping, and the rest is history.
The Importance Of Angles
The ability of the lob wedge to deliver superior spin and elevation comes entirely from the angles at which the clubhead is constructed. There is actually more than one angle at play here. The diagonal angle of the clubface is responsible for providing the lift. By “scooping” underneath the ball, the club uses its angled surface like a ramp to launch the ball upward.
This clubface angle represents the main difference between the various types of wedges. A lob wedge usually has an angle between 56-64 degrees. By comparison, the sand wedge stays between 55-56 degrees. The gap wedge usually has an angle of about 46 degrees, although older models will vary. Finally, the pitching wedge is angled between 45-50 degrees. Thus, we can see a clear pattern here. The steeper the angle, the higher the loft. When shopping for a wedge, it’s a good idea to bring a protractor to measure the face angle. You might look like a nerd, but you’ll be less likely to waste your money.
The extra spin of the lob wedge comes from the slight inward tilt of the clubhead. This tilt is horizontal and produces an effect very similar to the one described above. Because the extra push is coming from one side only, it causes the ball to spin. This inward curve is usually very slight and cannot be detected without looking very closely, as a larger inward curve would result in poor accuracy.
What Type Of Balls Should I Use With My Lob Wedge?
This article isn’t really about golf balls, but we did find some interesting research that is worth noting. As you already know, better spin is one of the main reasons to use a wedge. In the study linked above, researchers attempted to determine if ball type played a significant role in the performance of a wedge-type club.
It was found that balls with ionomer covers picked up a little bit more spin, mostly due to the fact that their texture isn’t quite as smooth as that of a urethane ball. This produces friction, which helps the face and edge of the club to “grab” the ball a little more effectively. However, you might be one of those people who only like a slight spin on their shots. If this is the case, you will do better to stick with urethane.
It can be hard to choose between products that are so similar, but all of these products were at least unique enough to mitigate that task. By now, you have surely seen that not all clubs are created equal, and we hope that our work will help you to choose the best one for you.
Although the first three products on our list were deemed to be the best, it should be noted that personal preference and play style will play a huge role in your selection, as it should. We thank you for reading this article all the way to the end and we hope that you will join us again very soon for more great golf-related information.