Improving your short game is one of the keys to reducing your handicap quickly. However, for whatever reason, most new golfers really ignore their short game clubs in favour of a shiny new driver. Overlooking the importance of some good wedges in your bag could result in poorer scores around the course. It is important to make sure you’re equipped for any eventualities on the golf course, and wedges are an essential part of that.
I’ve put together a little list for what I believe to be the best wedges you can add to your bag if you’re both a high handicapper and on a bit of a low budget. I’ve tried and tested each of these clubs, and found the pros and cons for each. Every club on this list is great, but some may lean more towards your style of play than others, so make sure you read my detailed overview of each club.
Best Budget Wedges For High Handicappers
- Cleveland CBX 2 Wedge – Editor’s No.1 Choice
- Wilson Harmonized Golf Wedge – Best On A Budget
- Ram Pro Spin – Super Budget Choice
- TaylorMade Milled Grind Hi-Toe – The “Not on a Budget” Choice
- Cleveland RTX 4 – Best Wedge for Mid to High Handicappers
- Callaway Sure Out Wedge – Best Chipping Wedge For High Handicappers
Mini Detailed Reviews for High Handicappers on a Budget
Cleveland CBX 2
When I think of wedges, I think of two names: Cleveland and Vokey. Unfortunately your typical Titelist Vokey wedge is going to be seriously outside the budget if you’re looking for something on the lower end of the cost spectrum. However, Cleveland create some absolutely amazing value wedges.
Cleveland wedges are popular across the board, with both high and low handicappers loving them. Due to the hollow back design of the CBX 2, I think they offer the best balance of forgiveness out of the options on this list.
The CBX 2 has quite a wide toe, which allows for plenty of forgiveness for higher handicappers. Cleveland themselves call this the “Dual V-Sole“, which is a bit of a unique clubhead shape, which lends itself well to those of us who haven’t quite perfected our wedge swing yet.
If you’re a high-handicapper, you’re likely using cavity back irons, which provide plenty of confidence at address to the ball. The Cleveland CBX 2’s add that same level of confidence, but within the wedge category.
The only real downsides to the Cleveland wedges are that they aren’t available in lofts of higher than 60 degrees (although, I personally don’t think more than 60 is needed). Also, I couldn’t find any availability in left hand formats.
I’ve always been a big fan of Wilson products, and think they’re highly underrated in this current era of golf. They make some cracking clubs, and tend to be on the lower end of people’s budgets as well! I personally swear by Wilson golf balls too!
The Harmonised Wedge is the best wedge on this list if you’ve really got a low budget. Shop around, and you might even be able to grab a set of three for under $100!
The wedges come in a highly polished finish, which I suspect will show scratches quite easily. I had one round of golf with these, and noticed that shots out of the bunker did seem to show marks on the finish quite easily. However, if you’re not someone who requires your clubs looking brand new at all times, this shouldn’t phase you.
The real selling point of the Wilson Harmonised Wedges is the sole grind feature, which allows you to really play with the club face to create different lofts. For example, you can open the face considerably with these clubs in order to get the ball higher in the air. I found this was great in instances where I really needed to get the ball to stop in its tracks as soon as possible. Fantastic wedges for plays around the green when in a difficult lie as well!
Ram Pro Spin
There is one pretty core downside to the Ram Pro Spin wedges, and it isn’t actually anything to do with the clubs themselves. Unfortunately, they’re only available to buy in the UK! So, anyone outside the UK may struggle to find them.
Now, ignoring the fact that they’re limited to the UK for a minute, they are absolute STEALS for the money! You can also buy all three clubs (52, 56 & 60) in one set for less than most single clubs on this list!
Despite the price, the quality really isn’t lacking. The build quality of these are probably on par with my set of Titelist Vokey wedges that I’m currently using in my bag, but at an absolute fraction of the cost. The only downside I really see is that the “Ram” branding isn’t quite to my taste. However, if you’re looking for something that is low cost, and you want to have a full and varied set of wedges, then this really is the answer!
The key here is that high-handicappers aren’t going to have the ability to really notice the tiny differences between spin rates of a wedge. You just want to get it to the green. Once you have more control over your wedge shots, then look towards the more expensive wedges, but for now, these will really hit the nail on the head for anyone who has a handicap above 15.
TaylorMade Milled Grind Hi-Toe
The Milled Grind Hi-Toe is an incredibly versatile wedge. It offers me so much control and feel, to the point that I am genuinely currently considering changing my Vokey’s over for these. They have the perfect balance of bounce and sole, which allows me to vary my shots greatly no matter the conditions.
The clubs took me some getting used to initially, but that is often the case with most clubs. However, once you dial these in, you really won’t be disappointed. The amount of times I’ve managed to steer the ball almost like a laser guided missile close to the hole from about 60-70 yards out is what really sells these clubs for me. Once I got used to playing with them, any shots within 100 yards became absolutely effortless.
I’ve always been stronger on my short game than my long game, and the TaylorMade Milled Grind really has made that small difference to really impact my game, and something that I value greatly. There’s a reason may of the top golfers on the tour are using these wedges out right now, and I can see why!
I think the real cream of the crop of these wedges is the lob wedge. I was able to get some fantastic flop-shots out of it in a very Phil Mickelson-esque manner. Now, I am nowhere near as good at them as Phil is, but it definitely made me feel like I was!
Cleveland RTX 4
Cleveland is on the list for a second time! The RTX 4 is a little more high-end of a club than the CBX 2 I had previously recommended. These clubs are probably more suited to those who have just broken the 20 handicap area, as they do require a little more experience to really take advantage of.
I gave them to a friend who has been solely playing with Vokey wedges for years. He’s a 14 handicap, and he absolutely fell in love with the Cleveland RTX 4’s. He said that the spin he was able to generate from them was far superior to his Vokey wedges, and that his confidence has gone through the roof. After a few weeks of using the Cleveland wedges, he’s put them into his bag for the long term!
I always use Vokey’s as the barometer for whether a wedge is good or not, and I think the fact he’s now using these over his previous vokey wedges is a testament to how good they really are.
They come in various colours as well, which some will really like. However, a word of caution, the black coloured clubs will lose their colour after some time in the bunkers. I hit maybe 20 shots out of the bunker at my golf range, and there was barely any black colour left on the sole of the club. If this is something which bothers you, then definitely go for one of the silver toned wedges instead! I’ll leave links for both below:
Callaway Sure Out
The Callaway Sure Out is probably the best wedge if you struggle with your chipping. There are currently lots of options out there for fancy “chippers” which supposedly make getting on the green easy. However, most of them are not legal clubs which can be used in competition. I always believe that you should train yourself to use a proper wedge, rather than trying to ‘cheat’ by using something like a non-PGA approved “chipper”
The Sure Out wedge gives you the ease of use of many of these Chippers, but is still a legal club. Therefore, it is absolutely perfect for your average high-handicapper.
The way they get around this is the sole on this club is about as wide as an aircraft landing zone. This really helps you to get the right connection, and really helps with getting out of bunkers. In fact, out of any of the clubs on this list, if getting out of bunkers is your real weakness, then I would definitely set your sights on the Callaway Sure Out.
It is really easy to get those high penetrating shots onto the green that just land and stay. One of my weaknesses early into my golf career was that I would manage to get a ball onto the green, but then it would roll for ages. If you’re struggling like this, and need that added height to stop the ball in its tracks, then this is the wedge you need. The Callaway Sure Out is just so easy to use and get optimal results straight away.