The design of the golf wedge has come a very long way over the last two decades. In the olden days, a golf set normally featured a pitching wedge and a sand wedge. But over the years both the game of golf and the design of golf clubs have changed dramatically.
We will take a closer look at one of the newest wedges on the block, the lob wedge, and we will also take a deeper look at the technical details of this wedge in our buyer’s guide.
- The 5 Best Lob Wedges:
- 1. Titleist Vokey SM8 Lob Wedge
- 2. Callaway Jaws MD5 Lob Wedge
- 3. Cleveland RTX 4 Lob Wedges
- 4. Wilson Staff Model Wedge
- 5. TaylorMade Hi-Toe Lob Wedge
- What to Look for When Buying a Lob Wedge
- Different Wedge Shots
- Popular Lob Wedge FAQs
- How to Hit a Lob Wedge:
- Stance that is open in relation to target at address
- Use the shoulders, not the wrists
- Weight on the left side
- Wedge Practice Drills
The 5 Best Lob Wedges:
Below are the 5 best lob wedges. You should select the best one for you based on your taste and playing style.
|58 – 62 degrees||Right & Left Handed||64 degrees||5 different grind options||4 – 14 degrees|
Bob Vokey is one of the most famous names in golf. Vokey is an expert wedge designer and he exclusively designs wedges for Titleist. Vokey wedges are trusted by some of the world’s best players and it is easy to see why.
The SM8 wedges by Titleist are the latest range of Vokey wedges. These wedges feature the height of innovation and they are jam-packed with industry-leading technology. The SM8 wedges feature a center of gravity (CG) that has been pushed towards the front of the clubhead. The result of this repositioning of the CG is a higher moment of inertia (MOI) which ensures improved feel, added distance, and trajectory control.
SM8 wedges are available in 5 different grind options, each grind option is designed to interact with the ground uniquely. Each Vokey grind option also features bounce that is optimal for the sole grind of the clubhead.
The grooves of the SM8 wedges are cut to maximize both spin and control. Every groove needs to pass a rigorous testing process to ensure perfection, the grooves are also treated with heat to double the durability of the grooves which ultimately extends the lifespan of the wedge.
The SM8 lob wedge is available in 4 different finishes namely tour chrome, brushed steel, raw and jet black, all of which are very aesthetically pleasing. The SM8 is Vokey’s best wedge design yet, and that is saying something considering that Vokey has set the industry standard for wedge designs for many years.
|58 – 64 degrees||Right & Left Handed||64 degrees||5 different grind options||8 – 12 degrees|
Callaway is a leading golf equipment manufacturer. In recent years Callaway partnered with leading wedge designer Roger Cleveland, and his influence is evident with every Callaway wedge that hits the market.
The Jaws MD5 range of lob wedges features a precisely shaped clubhead that is shaped out of 8620 mild carbon steel. This sleek design is available in 3 different finishes namely platinum chrome, tour grey, and raw.
The Jaws MD5 range of lob wedges is available in 5 different grind options, each grind option differs in bounce and interacts with the ground differently. Finding a wedge that works for your swing has never been easier.
The grooves of the Jaws MD5 wedges steal the show in the design of these lob wedges. Jaws grooves maximize spin, it offers exceptional control and it promotes a piercing trajectory.
If you are in the market for a high-quality, high performing low wedge that is aesthetically pleasing look no further than the Jaws MD5 range of lob wedges from Callaway.
|58 – 64 degrees||Right & Left Handed||64 degrees||4 grind options||3 – 9 degrees|
Cleveland is a very reputable name in golf with its wedge designs taking center stage. Cleveland’s latest range of wedges, the RTX 4, is set to continue this rich legacy for many years to come.
The RTX 4 wedges are packed with technology including 4th generation Rotex face technology. The Tour Zip grooves of the RTX 4 wedges refers to the precision laser milled grooves of these wedges that generate added spin and exceptional short game control.
The RTX 4 wedges also feature Cleveland’s Progressive Feel Balancing Technology, this technology adjusts the CG in the clubhead on both the horizontal and vertical axis to ensure enhanced feel and exceptional distance control on both center and off-center strikes.
The RTX 4 wedges are available in 4 different grind and bounce combinations. Each grind interacts with the turf differently, to find out which grind will be best for you swing click here.
Cleveland wedges have always been known for their sleek designs and it is no different from the design of the RTX 4 wedges. These aesthetically pleasing wedges are available in black satin, satin, and raw finish. If you are looking to add a high-quality affordable lob wedge to your bag look no further than the RTX 4 wedges from Cleveland.
|58 – 60 degrees||Right & Left Handed||35.35 degrees||1 grind option||10 degrees|
Wilson is a very reputable sporting goods brand, but not many golfers are aware of the fact that they are one of the oldest golf club manufacturers around.
The Wilson Staff Model Wedge is the latest wedge release from Wilson and this sleek wedge can hold its own with the best of the best in the industry. The Staff Model is a tour proven, tour inspired, wedge that was designed in close consultation with Wilson’s sponsored professional players which includes 2019 US Open Champion, Gary Woodland.
The Staff Model wedge features a soft forged clubhead that is constructed out of high-quality 8620 carbon steel. This soft steel ensures exceptional touch and feel around the greens.
The aesthetically pleasing Staff Model features a machine engraved clubface with precision milled high-density grooves that produce maximum spin and control on both greenside and full shots.
The Staff Model doesn’t offer variety in terms of finish and grind, but this high-quality wedge will be a great addition regardless.
|58 – 64 degrees||Right & Left Handed||64 degrees||2 grind options||10 – 12 degrees|
TaylorMade has and continues to be one of the leading manufacturers in golf. Taylormade is renowned for its driver designs but their wedge designs are equally impressive.
The TaylorMade Hi-Toe lob wedge is very eye-catching thanks to its bronze/copper finish and it’s signature full-face scoring line groove pattern. This full-face groove pattern ensures exceptional consistency especially out of the rough. The Hi-Toe got its name for a reason, the toe height of this wedge is 5 mm higher than any of TaylorMade’s previous wedge designs. This increase in toe height allows for a CG that is engineered to promote lower launch and added spin.
The Hi-Toe lob wedges are available in 2 different sole options, the 4-way sole is ideal for players with steep swings, and the ATV grind with its V-shaped sole moves through the turf more easily which makes it ideal for players with shallower swings.
This wedge might look slightly unconventional, but you will be sold the moment you hit your first shot with it.
What to Look for When Buying a Lob Wedge
Grind refers to the width and the sole of the club. Wedge designers play around with different grind options and new grinds hit the market annually. Grind options can be very confusing given the fact that there is no standard classification for grinds.
It is important to understand the different grind options when purchasing a lob wedge, each grind will interact with the turf differently and it is important to play with a grind option that matches your swing type.
Wedges are available in a variety of different finishes. The finish of a lob wedge is about more than just its look, different finishes promote a different feel. Most brands offer chrome and raw finish options, some however do offer other finishes as well.
Chrome finishes offer exceptional durability, but it doesn’t offer the same forgiveness that one can expect from a softer raw finish. Glare from the sun can also be a problem when playing with a chrome finish but this isn’t a factor that you should be too concerned about.
Raw finish wedges can also be classified as unfinished wedges. Raw finish wedges are renowned for the exceptional feel and high spin that it promotes. Raw wedges have a lot going for them, the only downfall is that raw wedges wear out a lot faster than chrome finish wedges.
In the words of master wedge designer, Bob Vokey, bounces can be defined as: “The angle between the leading edge and lowest point on the sole”. In layman’s terms bounce is how the clubhead interacts with the ground at impact.
To learn more about the anatomy of the lob wedge read our The 4 Most Popular Types of Wedges article.
Low bounce wedges normally have 4 – 6 degrees of bounce. Low bounce wedges are ideal for players with shallow swings that sweep the golf ball off of the grass instead of hitting big divots. Low bounce lob wedges are also very beneficial when playing in firm conditions
Mid bounce wedges feature 7 – 10 degrees of bounce. Mid bounce wedges are ideal for everyday golfers that play on courses with inconsistent turf conditions that vary in firmness.
High bounce wedges normally have 11 – 14 degrees of bounce. High bounce wedges are best suited for golfers with steep angles of attack, high bounces low wedges are also ideal when playing on a soft golf course.
Different Wedge Shots
Lob wedges can be used for a variety of different shots including:
Approach shots are full shots to the green, the aim of an approach shot is to land the golf ball onto the green as close as possible to the hole.
Phil Mickelson is arguably the best in the business when it comes to hitting tricky lob shots. A lob shot is required if you need to hit over an obstacle such as a bunker or water hazard.
Pitch shots vary in distance from roughly 15 – 40 yards. Pitch shots can also be defined as shots around the green where roughly half of the shots need to cover the fairway or rough and the other half of the shot to the hole consists of green.
Chip shots are also known as bump and run shots. Chip shots vary in distance, the majority of high handicappers will opt for their putter from the side of the green instead of hitting a chip shot.
Bunkers shots are shots that are played from the sand next to the green. Bunker shots are tricky shots, but with the correct technique these shots can easily become a strength instead of a weakness.
Popular Lob Wedge FAQs
What loft is a lob wedge?
Lob wedges are available in a variety of different loft options. Traditionally a lob wedge is 60 degrees but lob wedges have evolved over time and the majority of manufacturers offer lob wedges in 58, 60, 62, and 64-degree options.
What is the difference between a lob wedge and a sand wedge?
Lob wedges and sand wedges feature very similar designs with the main difference being loft. Sand wedges vary in loft between 54 and 56 degrees. Additionally, sand wedges are also featured as part of the set make-up of game improvement and super game improvement iron sets. The sand wedges featured in these sets feature oversized clubheads that resemble the rest of the irons in the set.
Why should I buy a lob wedge?
There is no rule about who should and who shouldn’t buy a lob wedge. In general lob wedges are more popular amongst low handicappers, but there is no rule that states that beginners and high-handicappers shouldn’t add a lob wedge to their bag.
How to Hit a Lob Wedge:
Stance that is open in relation to target at address
Good technique is required when hitting a lob shot. Good lob shot technique includes a stance that is open in relation to the target. Having a stance that is slightly open will give your shoulders and hands space to move.
An open stance will also promote a swing path that is out-to-in which is very important when hitting lob shots. This out-to-in cutting motion generates spin which is a must when hitting a lob shot.
Use the shoulders, not the wrists
Many amateur golfers have overactive wrists when hitting lob shots which in return leads to inconsistent lob shots. Lob wedges are designed to hit the golf ball into the air, using your wrists to add height to the shot isn’t necessary and it only causes more harm than good.
Weight on the left side
Any golfer’s worst nightmare is to either blade a chip shot across the green or to cover it in dirt by barely advancing it. Crisp clean contact on lob shots are as a result of doing multiple things right, but it all starts with weight distribution at address.
For right handed players it is important to have at least 60% of your weight on your left side/foot at address. Starting in the correct position is important, but it is even more important to maintain that weight on the left side throughout the shot.
To learn how Phil Mickelson hits lob shots watch this video.
Wedge Practice Drills
Lob shots require good technique, but in addition to the correct technique confidence is also required in order to pull these shots off.
The golf bag lob drill is a very simple yet effective drill to do in order to boost your confidence when hitting a lob shot. Simply take your golf bag and place it 2 to 3 yards away from you, take 10 balls and hit lobs shots over your golf bag and onto the green. The goal is to successfully hit all 10 shots over your bag and onto the green. If this is too easy for you, bring the bag closer to you or increase your target from 10 to 15 in a row.
¾ Wedge Shot
A ¾ wedge shot is a lot easier out on the practice tee than what it is while out on the golf course. A great drill to mimic on course play is to play par 2 holes around the practice area which simulates on course conditions. Not only is this a fun drill but it is also one that you can enjoy with/against a friend.
Take 1 ball and hit 9 different ¾ wedge shots between 50 and 80 yards around the green, putt out every putt just like you would during a regular round out on the golf course. The goal is to finish in 21 shots or less. Keep track of your best score and try to beat that score every time that you do this drill. At first 21 (3 over par) might seem impossible, start out by setting a goal for yourself with the goal of improving it everytime that you do this drill.
Lob wedges are available in a variety of different options in terms of loft, shape, grind, and finish. With so many options to choose from it is important to purchase a lob wedge that matches both your golf swing and your needs.