Wedges

Which of these new spin kings will give you the best chance of suc­cess in the scor­ing zone?

Today's Golfer (UK) - - Contents -

Our 10 favourite clubs that will help you get up and down more of­ten.

CLEVELAND RTX-3 £99 www.cleve­land­golf.co.uk

Lofts: 46° / 48° / 50° / 52° / 54° / 56° / 58° / 60° / 62° / 64°

Head op­tions: Sole; V-LG Low bounce, V-MG Mid bounce sole, V-FG For­giv­ing full sole. Fin­ishes; Black Satin, Tour Satin

Shaft: True Tem­per Dy­namic Gold

TECH: A shorter hosel re­moves 9g of weight and by redis­tribut­ing this mass en­gi­neers have po­si­tioned the CG closer to the cen­tre of the face, which means bet­ter feel and a tighter shot dis­per­sion.

WE SAY: We par­tic­u­larly liked the straighter lead­ing edge which gives the sense of be­ing able to nip shots cleanly and con­fi­dently from tight lies and makes it eas­ier to set up square to your tar­get. Our testers gen­er­ated over 10,000rpm of back­spin (the magic tour player bench­mark) with 44% of full shots, well above our 28% test av­er­age. It means you’ll have no dif­fi­culty nestling shots by the flag.

VER­DICT: Cleveland ob­sessed over the RTX-3, im­prov­ing every as­pect. Tiny things like the di­rec­tion of the face milling to max­imise grip when open­ing the face, and pro­tect­ing every face groove from the fin­ish­ing process (so it’s ra­zor sharp) means the RTX-3 is right at the top of the pile.

MIZUNO T7 £120 golf.mizu­noeu­rope.com

Lofts: 46° / 48° / 50° / 52° / 54° / 56° / 58° / 60° / 62° Head op­tions: Fin­ishes; White Satin or Blue IP Shaft: True Tem­per Dy­namic Gold (plus 16 others at no up­charge)

TECH: For the first time Mizuno has used boron in a wedge, say­ing it makes the grooves more durable so you get sharper per­for­mance for longer.

WE SAY: Wedges, like put­ters, are re­ally per­sonal bits of kit. So you’ll need to make up your own mind if you’re a fan of the T7’s high toe, low heel teardrop head shape. For two of our three testers it wasn’t their favourite. The head’s a bit smaller than the S5, it has a classy glare-re­duc­ing satin fin­ish and its lead­ing edge sits nice and tight to the turf, which in­creases con­fi­dence over rounder al­ter­na­tives. It didn’t quite break through the magic 10k spin ceil­ing for any full shot, but it came close.

VER­DICT: The T7 didn’t come out right at the very top of the tree for spin, but it was right among the pre­mium brand pack. For us the at­trac­tive­ness lies in the op­tions the T7 is avail­able in.

CO­BRA KING PUR £89 www.co­bragolf.co.uk

Lofts: 52° / 54° / 56° / 58° / 60° Head op­tions: Ver­sa­tile, Clas­sic and Wide Low sole Shaft: True Tem­per Dy­namic Gold S200

TECH: The PUR’S new raw fin­ish pro­vides max­i­mum spin, as over time it’s de­signed to rust, adding fric­tion be­tween club and ball. A 304 stain­less steel head max­imises feel. 100% Cnc-milled face.

WE SAY: The round­ness of the head shapes are per­haps a nod back to Co­bra’s “Trusty Rusty” her­itage and the shape was the first thing our test pro picked up on. It was very quickly fol­lowed by su­perla­tives about how soft and re­spon­sive the PUR’S felt. Head shape is sub­jec­tive so we have ab­so­lutely no doubt plenty will like it, along with its ex­cel­lent abil­ity to pro­duce well above av­er­age spin on both full and shorter shots.

VER­DICT: Re­mem­ber the PUR’S head is raw, which means it’s not plated, so it will rust. If you’re a lover of more rounded head shape and want de­cent value for money, then the PUR is an ex­cel­lent op­tion in 2017.

CALL­AWAY MD3 £109 (S) £119 (G) www.call­away­golf.com

Lofts: 46° / 48° / 50° / 52° / 54° / 56° / 58° / 60° / 64° Head op­tions: S, C and W Grind Soles. Matt black, chrome and gold nickel fin­ishes

Shaft: True Tem­per Dy­namic Gold

TECH: Three sole grinds let you fit each loft to your own game. Pro­gres­sive groove op­ti­mi­sa­tion en­sures you gen­er­ate spin where you need it most.

WE SAY: This is def­i­nitely a wedge for the masses as there is sim­ply noth­ing not to like about the MD3. In our opin­ion the head shape is ab­so­lutely spot on and sits beau­ti­fully be­hind the ball, the 8620 steel trans­mits good feel to the hands and it ranked well up our list in terms of the spin num­bers gen­er­ated. On av­er­age it was Si­mon’s high­est-spin­ning wedge on test – every shot he hit had a carry dis­tance fur­ther than the to­tal dis­tance – mean­ing shots span back, which cer­tainly wasn’t the case with every model we hit.

VER­DICT: We love how there’s enough groove and CG tech to con­vince you it’s not just “an­other tra­di­tional wedge” but not so much to rad­i­cally change the look of this clas­sic club.

PING GLIDE 2.0 £130 (S) £140 (G) www.ping.com

Lofts: 46° / 50° / 52° / 54° / 56° / 58° / 60° Head op­tions: TS; Thin Sole, SS; Stan­dard, WS; Wide, ES; Eye Sole Shaft: Ping AWT 2.0 Wedge

TECH: Pre­ci­sion-milled tour-spec grooves have steeper side walls and sharper edges for max­i­mum grab and grip on shorter shots.

WE SAY: Where some brands are built around mar­ket­ing, Ping are grounded in engi­neer­ing. Their phi­los­o­phy is to study and bet­ter un­der­stand every as­pect of how golfers launch shots, and by do­ing so they be­lieve they’ll pro­duce con­sis­tently bet­ter prod­ucts. They’ve worked their magic with the new Glide 2.0s; they pro­duced not only the high­est av­er­age spin for two testers, but also the high­est num­ber (67%) of full shots over 10,000rpm. We loved how the white, bot­tom groove and darker groove area re­ally fo­cused at­ten­tion at ad­dress, and how the longer grip gives you con­sis­tent grip-down po­si­tions.

VER­DICT: Yes, the blade’s a frac­tion longer than some, but the head looks great and be­cause there’s plenty of op­tions we reckon any­one look­ing at spend­ing over £100 on a wedge should try these.

‘THE PUR PRO­DUCED WELL ABOVE AV­ER­AGE SPIN ON BOTH THE FULL AND SHORTER SHOTS’

TAYLORMADE MILLED GRIND £139 www.tay­lor­made­golf.com

Lofts: 50° / 52° / 54° / 56° / 58° / 60°

Head op­tions: SB; Stan­dard Bounce, HB; Wide Sole, C Grind; Low Bounce. Satin and an­tique bronze fin­ishes

Shaft: True Tem­per Dy­namic Gold

TECH: Cnc-milled sole grinds of­fer pre­ci­sion and con­sis­tency. A weight port in the hosel re­moves weight to cen­tre the CG and there’s new, sharper ZTP grooves with steeper side walls to max­imise spin on shorter shots.

WE SAY: In his prime, Sir Nick Faldo picked his favourite in­di­vid­ual irons from 20 dif­fer­ent sets, hav­ing re­alised each hand ground head was slightly dif­fer­ent. What Taylormade have done with the MG is take that con­sis­tency ques­tion out of the equa­tion. It’s re­ally clever and pretty costly to set up but it means club golfers will now play ex­actly the same sole and bounce set­ups as TM’S Tour pros. The head is pretty high in the heel and gen­er­ously pro­por­tioned, but spin was well above av­er­age.

VER­DICT: A nice qual­ity wedge, gen­er­ates lovely feel and oo­dles of spin. With plenty of loft and bounce op­tions and two fin­ishes they can fit into any­one’s bag for 2017. CALL­AWAY MACK DADDY FORGED £139 www.call­away­golf.com Lofts: 50° / 52° / 54° / 56° / 58° / 60° Head op­tions: Nickel Chrome, Brushed Slate Shaft: True Tem­per Dy­namic Gold Tour Is­sue

TECH: Forged soft 1025 car­bon steel max­imises feel and feed­back. Re­fined head shape and a pro­gres­sive CG low­ers tra­jec­tory for ex­tra con­trol. New ex­tra groove max­imises spin, es­pe­cially on shorter chips and pitches. R-grind sole in­creases ver­satil­ity.

WE SAY: The whole forged v cast wedges de­bate has sub­sided thanks to new ma­te­ri­als and pro­cesses mean­ing cast heads can feel a lot like forged, so it’s in­ter­est­ing Call­away felt the need to bring back a forged model. We re­ally liked the sharper and squarer lead­ing edge but our pro saw lit­tle dif­fer­ence be­tween Forged and MD3 in launch and spin, but an av­er­age of four yards more carry with MD3.

VER­DICT: We like the Forged but hit it along­side an MD3 and de­cide for your­self if the forged head and Tour Is­sue Dy­namic Gold shaft are worth an ad­di­tional £30. TITLEIST VOKEY SM6 £140 (S) £155 (G) www.titleist.co.uk Lofts: 46° / 48° / 50° / 52° / 54° / 56° / 58° / 60° / 62° Head op­tions: F,S, M, K, L Sole Grinds & Tour Chrome, Gold Nickel and Raw Black fin­ishes Shaft: True Tem­per Dy­namic Gold S200

TECH: A pro­gres­sive CG means ex­tra con­trol over spin, tra­jec­tory, and dis­tance for im­proved gap­ping be­tween lofts. New TX4 grooves cre­ate a more tex­tured face de­liv­er­ing tighter tol­er­ances and ex­tra spin.

WE SAY: Bob Vokey is leg­endary when it comes to wedges. It was no sur­prise two testers (Chris Ryan 11.5k and Si­mon 10.5k) recorded their sin­gle high­est spin­ning shots with the SM6. Av­er­age spin wasn’t quite the very best for any tester (27% of full shots hit were over 10K rpm), but no­body could ar­gue they’re not solid across the board.

VER­DICT: An ab­so­lutely top drawer wedge, which should be ex­pected as they’re the priciest here. We love the new groove and CG tech; it demon­strates how far man­u­fac­tur­ers are go­ing to im­prove your game. LYNX PREDA­TOR £40 www.lynx­golf.co.uk Lofts: 52° / 56° / 60° / 64° Head op­tions: Loft and paint fill colours only Shaft: True Tem­per

TECH: De­signed to be a great look­ing wedge at an af­ford­able price point. The head is based on a pop­u­lar Tour shape.

WE SAY: Here at TG we love help­ing you choose be­tween the pre­mium brands. But we re­alise not ev­ery­one’s got a suit­case full of cash to spend on shiny new clubs, so we al­ways try to high­light the best bud­get op­tions, too. And that’s where the Preda­tor fits into our Top 10 wedges for 2017. It doesn’t come with any fancy fin­ishes; there are no Cnc-milled grooves, no laser-milled face pat­terns; and you cer­tainly won’t get tons of loft and bounce op­tions. But what you do get is a £40 wedge that spins shots right up there with the very best.

VER­DICT: A set of three Preda­tor wedges will set you back £20 less than a sin­gle Titleist SM6 (the most ex­pen­sive wedge on test) and for that rea­son alone we reckon it’s worth fur­ther at­ten­tion if you’re shop­ping on a bud­get. The loft choices are ba­sic, the head shape is un-of­fen­sive and it has a shiny pol­ished fin­ish, but trust us it does per­form. WIL­SON STAFF PMP £85-£110 www.wil­son.com Lofts: 48° / 50° / 52° / 54° / 56° / 58° / 60° / 62° Left hand: Yes Head op­tions: Tra­di­tional, Tour Grind and Wide sole grinds. Tour Frosted, Gun Blue, and Oil Can fin­ishes Shaft: KBS Hi-rev 2.0

TECH: “Pre­ci­sion Milled Per­for­mance” tech­nol­ogy widens the milled grooves for max­i­mum spin on full shots. Eleven laser etched mi­cro spin lines be­tween each groove in­crease spin on par­tial shots.

WE SAY: You can’t fail to spot how wide and ag­gres­sive the grooves look and these, along with the laser etched mi­cro grooves, milled face and high-spin KBS shaft, meant the PMP punched well above its weight in terms of spin. We tested the 52° and 58° heads with the Tra­di­tional sole grind which we felt sat re­ally nicely with the lead­ing edge just off the deck, of­fer­ing re­ally good shot ver­satil­ity.

VER­DICT: A lovely no-fuss, no-frills wedge. We par­tic­u­larly liked the two dots on the longer-than-stan­dard grip, which mean you can al­ter your grip po­si­tion con­sis­tently to cover off var­i­ous yardage gaps, which has to help your scor­ing po­ten­tial in­side 100 yards.

‘TWO TESTERS RECORDED THEIR HIGH­EST SPIN­NING SHOTS WITH THE SM6’

CO­BRA KING PUR CALL­AWAY MD3 CLEVELAND RTX-3 PING GLIDE 2.0 MIZUNO T7

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