best sand wedge for bunkers

5 Best 56 Degrees Wedges 2018

Many golfers will buy a complete wedge set instead of buying singularly but it is fairly common to upgrade your sand wedge. This is because there are a range of features from loft, spread, bounce, grooves and more than improve your short game.

The best sand wedge is the Callaway Mack Daddy 4 SW, which is the improvement to the legendary predecessor with more spin thanks to Groove-In-Groove Technology.

Sand wedges are the shortest club with the majority of golfers able to hit approximately 90-100 yards. It is critical component of your short game and its vital you have the one designed to meet your requirements and swing style.

Best Sand Wedges

Sand WedgeLoft DegreesBounce
Callaway Mack Daddy 446 - 64Standard
Cleveland CBX Wedge46 - 60Standard
TaylorMade Milled Grind50 - 60Low, Standard & High
Mizuno T746 - 60Standard & High
Wilson Harmonized50 - 64Standard

The majority of sand wedges have lofts between 52 and 56 degrees and is occasionally abbreviated as SW on the club. High to mid handicappers often stick to a 56 degree loft where as more experienced golfers tend to reduce the loft.

Bounce is another significant feature of the sand wedge with many high handicappers choosing a higher bounce to prevent the club face creating large divots. Mid to low handicappers prefer a low bounce for more control.

Improving your short game is the most effective way of lowering your handicap fast. Below is a list of the best sand wedges with varying lofts, bounce and other features.

Callaway Chrome Mack Daddy 4


The MackDaddy 4 is the latest and more enhanced MackDaddy developed by Callaway. This sand wedge has been designed to provide the golfer with more spin with thanks to the Groove-In-Groove technology integrated into the club.

In terms of the lofts, there 46, 50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60 and 64 degrees, which is more than enough to satisfy the golfers needs. 56 Degrees is the popular choice for the MackDaddy and you can even choose a chrome or black matte finish to the club.

The fourth generation of the MackDaddy has 4 sole grinds, which suits a range of playing styles from attacking angles to course conditions. It is Callaway’s most performance based wedge to date and is the best sand wedge you can buy with lofts for both low and high handicappers.

Check it Out

Cleveland CBX Wedge


Cleveland have been producing reputable golf clubs for centuries but their wedges are very popular among beginners to professionals. The CBX comes with a cavity back design that is available with a graphite or steel shaft.

Cleveland have focused on making this the most forgiving sand wedge with improved feel plaque places and more weight around the perimeter of the club. Beginners will also appreciate the sole because ensures an excellent amount of loft and bounce to get the ball out of the bunker.

It is available with a 46, 50, 52, 54, 56, 58 and 60 degree of loft but it has been designed to be easy to use. Overall, it is the best sand wedge for high handicappers that struggle to get the ball out of the bunker.

Check it Out

TaylorMade Milled Grind Sand Wedge


The TaylorMade sand wedge is the most expensive and designed for mid to low handicappers with various bounce for each loft degree. It is highly over engineered with precision weight ports for an optimal center of gravity location.

For golfers that want a consistent turf interaction, this sand wedge uses a machined sole geometry to provide a precise edge to cut through the surface. It truly is a high performing sand wedge for the more experienced golfer wanting to upgrade.

If the TaylorMade sand wedge was as cheap as the Callaway alternative, it would be at the top of this article. However, if price is no barrier and you want the expensive soft 8620 carbon steel, then this is a top rated sand wedge that won’t disappoint.

Check it Out

Mizuno T7 Blue Ion Sand Wedge


The Mizuno is another premium sand wedge that is available with a 46, 50, 52, 54, 56, 58 and 60 degree of loft. Along with choosing the degree of loft, you are able to decide on both standard and high bounce depending upon your swing style.

The T7 uses a boron infused steel that maximizes the grooves for long lasting spin control. Many cheap alternatives use poor quality materials and the grooves eventually wear down and your spin control will not be as good as it used to be.

Mizuno offer the T7 Ion wedge in both blue IP and white satin, which for those wanting to stand out is ideal. It is an over engineered sand wedge for golfers wanting the ultimate sand wedge but this does come at an expensive cost.

Check it Out

Wilson Harmonized 56 Degree Wedge


For those on a budget and simply want a cheap sand wedge to add to their golf bag. It features a sole grind design that allows you to hit a higher shot if required as well as modified bounce angled for various shots.

Some people claim that it is better than the more premium sand wedges from Cleveland, Callaway and TaylorMade. However, it is better used as a replacement to a lost sand wedge due to the low cost.

Overall, if you are looking at adding a sand wedge to your beginner set of clubs or have simply require a cheap sand wedge, this is ideal and will not disappoint.

Check it Out

Sand Wedge Buying Guide

Wedges are often the least studied and least appreciated golf clubs in your club set. However, they are also the most important golf club in your set.

If you’re a beginner golfer, chances are that the Sand Wedge is the first solo club that you purchased, as most sets don’t come with a sand wedge. Wedges are seen as more specialized clubs, which is why they are not, included in most starter kits. They have been popular since 1935 after being invented by Gene Sarazen.

A sand wedge is an open-faced wedge that is specifically designed to be used to get out of traps and sand bunkers. Out of all the wedges, the sand wedge has the widest sole to ensure for a greater amount of bounce.

Traditionally, sand wedges were the highest lofted club. For today’s game of golf, sand wedges have become more versatile than ever before. Golfers use them for shots anywhere from the greens to the fairways.

The sand wedge is great for when your ball lands on muddy grounds, thick grass, traps, sand bunkers, and more. As long as the ball isn’t on any firm surfaces or hard ground, you should be able to use the sand wedge.

There are four different types of wedges, but for this article, we’ll be focusing on the sand wedge.

Loft and Spread

Nowadays, manufacturers rarely advertise their wedges through their fast and hard brackets, such as their Lob Wedges (LW), Gap Wedges (GW), Sand Wedges (SW), and Pitching Wedge (PW). Instead, they put their consumers focus on the available loft angles. The loft angle of a club determines the flight elevation that can be achieved by golf ball through the use of that club.

The higher the loft angle is, the steeper the ball will fly into the air. As wedges are considered specialized, each of them falls into a specific loft range, such as the lob wedge falling somewhere between the 60 degrees – 64 degrees range, pitching wedge falling between 44-degree – 48-degree range, while the sand wedge falls between the 54 degrees – 58 degrees range.

As we have progressed, the irons loft angle has continually fallen, which resulted in a wide loft angle gap between the traditional sand wedge, which was 54 degrees, to the modern pitching wedge, which is 44 degrees.

So, if you currently have a 46 degrees pitching wedge, then you should go for a 54 degrees sand wedge and a 50 degrees gap wedge.

When searching for your sand wedge, you’re sure to come across various models that each fall somewhere in the 54 degrees to 58 degrees range. Instead of fretting too much over which one to purchase, use your current wedges and choose a sand wedge that has the optimal four degrees dispersion.

For a rule of thumb, the table below shows approximated degree loft and distance for men and women.

Wedge TypeDegree LoftDistance (Men)Distance (Women)
Gap/Sand54°8559
Sand55°8056
Sand56°7553
Sand57°7050
Sand/Lob58°6547

What is Bounce for Sand Wedges

The bounce of a sand wedge indicates to the amount of resistance it receives to the ground when you swing. The bounce angle signifies to the distance that the back edge is lower than the front edge of the club.

The lower the back edge is, the higher the projected trajectory will be. The bounce of your sand wedge goes hand in hand with the width of the sole. So, a wide sole will have a more effective bounce in comparison to a thin sole.

The bounce for a sand wedge depends on the condition of the golf course that you are on, as well as where the ball lands. If you find yourself playing on shallow sand golf courses more often than not, then you should purchase a shallower sole that allows a bounce angle of seven to eleven degrees. This will also allow you a swing weight ranging from D-5 to D-8.

If you find yourself regularly on loose and grainy sand courses, you’ll need a wider sole so that you a bounce angle of twelve to fifteen degrees and a swing range of D-5 to E-0. For powdery sand golf courses with traps, you’ll need the widest sole to help you achieve a bounce angle of sixteen to twenty degrees and a swing range of D-7 to E-2.

The table below allows you to see the general guidelines for sand wedge bounce.

Turf ConditionsBounceDegreeSwing Style
FirmLow bounce6 or lessSweeper (no divot)
MediumMid bounce6 – 12Neutral (some divot)
SoftHigh bounce12 or moreDigger (deep divot)

The best way for you to find the best wedge for your golf needs, you will need to find a qualified wedge fitter. Being specialists, they take a variety of data, including feedback, divot patterns, and launch monitor data. If that is not something you’re willing to do, then the best way will be through trial and error.

Grooves and Finish

The grooves on your sand wedge can be thought of like the tread of your tires. The grooves grasp onto the golf ball, create spin, and produce the ideal shot trajectory. Additionally, the grooves also create the ball stopping power when the ball lands on the green.

The R&A and the United States Golf Association (USGA) recently created a new rule that eliminates manufactures from using deep grooves on wedges, as they gave an unjust lead by producing additional backspin.

There are two typical types of grooves that you’ll see on wedges while shopping, those being a laser etching and vintage finish and. The vintage finished wedges rust as they age but in a way that goes well with the feel and sound of the metal.

The laser etched wedges optimize the ball to face friction, thus creating the maximum amount of spin. However, this type does not adjust to your striking tendencies even over time.

Once a wedge is constructed, a finish is applied to it to give it a distinct color and look. Though the finish is not correlated with the game or performance, it does add a bit of a personal touch to your club.

There are various finishes out in the market, but the longest lasting ones are nickel and chrome. These two maintain their color for the longest time. Some choose to leave their finish un-plated or raw to allow their club to naturally wear and rust.

Why You Need A Sand Wedge

Beginner club sets usually only include a pitching wedge as that is really all that is necessary for that skill level who are still learning all the ins and outs of golf. But, if you’re looking to improve your shots under the 100 yards, you’ll definitely need a sand wedge. The high loft allows you to easily hit it out of the sand bunker.

There are various benefits of owning a sand wedge, with the biggest one being the high bounce that you receive with the sand wedge. Unlike other irons or wedges, the high bounce can also lead to various other advantages.

The sand wedge has a heavier head due to the design of the bounce, which also means that the center of gravity is lower and more forward allowing for a higher flight trajectory.

Sand wedges also ensure a higher amount of flexibility to allow golfers to perfectly aim for the center as the leading sole edge is slightly lifted off the ground. The higher angled sole lets the club bounce off of the muddy ground, thicker grass, and soft sand.

This makes the sand wedge the ideal club for shots like the bunker shots and those similar to that. Even more so, the sand wedge allows for you versatility than other irons and wedges due to their length, spin, and bounce.  The sand wedge allows you to have a reliable club that can hit a ball from any surface. Its high loft allows golfers to clear away from most hazards.

Quality and Durability

The quality and durability of a golf club are of the utmost importance. If you’re spending heaps of money, you expect to get what you pay for. Most of the top brands have products that meet industry standards with their technology and performance.

However, if you are a beginner or a more casual golfer, then it might be okay if you go with a lesser quality wedge as you practice your way up. Unlike other clubs, the quality and durability of wedges are interlinked. So, the higher the quality of a sand wedge, the more durable it will be.

Versatility and Control

The purpose of purchasing a sand wedge is so that you can further improve your golfing performance. In order for that to happen, your wedge needs to have great control and versatility. The control is important, as you need to be able to control the spin and trajectory of your golf ball.

If you can’t, then you’re game and handicap will suffer. The versatility is important because you need your sand wedge to be able to help you wherever you need it do, and not only in the sand bunkers.

Sole Grind

A sand wedge’s sole grind is the shape of the sole near the toe or heel. Manufactures of wedges offer golfers with a wide range of sole grinds on top of the traditional sole design. While browsing, you should ensure that the type of sole grind suits the type of turf and shots that you’ll be making.

Shaft

The shaft of a wedge is important for the swing and grip of the club. Most shafts are made from stainless steel with only a few being made out of graphite. The majority of the stainless steel shafts are designed for shorter clubs, which is why they come with a wedge flex.

If you are a regular golfer, steel shafts will be fine for you. If you are a senior, woman, or juniors, then you might try out a graphite shaft as they are built for lower swing speeds. So, it’s recommended that you see which shaft suits your needs best before making a purchase.

Weight

The sand wedge’s weight can directly affect its function and performance. The heavier sand wedge is typically the one that will do better while driving through the sand, even with mishits.

On the other hand, the lighter sand wedges are often easier to use higher speeds with, which can result in more friction, more spin, more loft, and more power. The material with which the sand wedge is made of will also affect the weight.

Material

Most sand wedges are made with soft forged steel, however, not all of them are built equally. Some clubs have different finishes, including blackened finish, chrome plate finish, or no finish. The blackened finish is great for reducing sun glare while allowing you to see the shot clearly.

The chrome plated finish is great for rust prevention, which allows you to keep is consistent and smooth over time. The sand wedges with no finish will rust over time, which is the look that some golfers like to go for.

Conclusion

It’s safe to say that purchasing a sand wedge is no easy task. It can often be seen as a delicate task due to the delicate nature of the club. More than any other club in your set, the sand wedge needs to feel comfortable otherwise it won’t work.

Regardless of if it’s light or heavy, unfinished or finished, low bounce or high bounce, it needs to gel with your swing to get the ball out of tight spots. So, take your time, go through our list and buying guide to get the best product for your money.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *