If you’re in a hurry and just want to find the Best Lob (60 Degree) Wedge in 2020, then here’s what we recommend:
- Best Overall – Cleveland CBX Full Face
- Best for Beginners and High Handicappers – Ping Glide 3.0
- Best for Mid and Low Handicappers – Titleist Vokey SM8
A lob wedge is an important scoring club, especially when there are a lot of greenside bunkers. With a loft of usually 60 degrees, it is a perfect club to use to get over a bunker to a tight pin placement. In terms of pitching, you can think of it as a “90/10” club where you want about 90% of the work to be done in the air and about 10% when it lands and rolls.
In this article we’re going to dive into how to select the best lob (60 degree) wedge for your game.
We’re going to be reviewing the following lob (60 degree) wedges:
- Cleveland CBX Full Face
- Callaway PM Grind
- Titleist Vokey SM8
- Mizuno T-20
- TaylorMade MG2
- Cobra King MIM
- Ping Glide 3.0
- Bridgestone Tour B-XW 1
It is also a useful club if you are 50 or 60 yards out and you want to hit a high shot that lands softly on the green. Accuracy on these types of shots is difficult, but when you make good contact and that ball skies into the air and lands softly on the green, sometimes it feels even better than getting hold of a long drive.
One of my favorite things to do with a lob wedge is a flop shot. You open up your stance as much as needed depending on distance, open the face of your wedge, and swing through the ball. Opening up your stance and club face and swinging under the ball will throw the ball straight up into the air causing it to land very softly on the green. This is a difficult and not very oft-hit shot, but it is a lot of fun to try. Phil Mickelson has made this shot famous on the tour, but I have learned over the years that the shot is more reserved for professionals than it is useful on the course.
The main purpose of a lob wedge is around the green in your chipping and short game. I used to wonder about how effective the lob wedge was if you already had a sand and pitching wedge, but over the years the lob wedge has shown itself to be a very important addition to my bag and I am sure you either do or will feel the same.
How to Choose the Best Lob Wedge
There are a few considerations that go into choosing the best lob wedge, but one of the most important things is to choose one that you trust. If you use and love a specific type of club, there is more than likely a lob wedge to go along with it. Almost every good club manufacturer will make a good lob wedge to go with the rest of the clubs in your bag.
The next thing you need to decide is the loft that you are looking for on your wedge. Most lob wedges are about 60 degrees but they go anywhere from 58 to 64. As a general rule, you want about 4 degrees between irons, especially when you get higher up in your lofts. So you want about 4 degrees between your 9-iron and pitching wedge, about 4 degrees from there to your sand wedge, and then it depends on what other wedges you want in your bag. If you use a gap wedge then you may want a higher loft on your lob wedge. I actually prefer a higher loft on the lob wedge because of how infrequently I take a real swing with it. The vast majority of my lob wedge usage comes closer to the green and I almost never take even a 50% swing with it.
What Are the Benefits of a Lob Wedge?
The main benefit of a lob wedge is found around the green. We have all done a bump and run with a 7 iron, putted from right off of the green, or even gotten up and down with a pitching wedge from just off of the green. When you find yourself behind a bunker and with a tight pin placement, you need a wedge with as much loft as you can get. When you have to hit the ball over an obstacle and land it softly on the green, you need a lob wedge.
A lob wedge is also the easiest club in your bag to get backspin on. For beginners this may not be a big deal and may be a little out of reach for your swing. However, as you begin hitting the ball a little better it becomes a little more important. You may never hit the ball 10 yards past the pin to see it shoot backwards like it was on a string because you will probably never be a PGA professional. But backspin is what makes a ball stop on a dime or roll 3 yards instead of 20.
Finally, there are times that you will find yourself at an awkward distance from the green, maybe 50 or 75 yards out. In some of those instances, you may punch a 7 iron or take a half-swing with a pitching wedge and be fine. However, when you learn how to hit your lob wedge using your wrists and really getting under the ball, there are few shots that feel better than when you sky a lob wedge right onto the green. It is one of those shots that just feels good and gives you something to talk about with your friends later. The truth is that a lob wedge is a very versatile club, it is fun to hit, and it is important when you get in a bind or behind a bunker.
What Differentiates Lob Wedges?
The first thing that differentiates lob wedges is the loft of the club. Most lob wedges on the market have 60 degrees of loft, but that is not standard. You can find them as low as 58 degrees of loft or as 64 degrees. The key is to find out your Sand Wedge’s loft and go at least 4 degrees over that.
The next thing that differentiates lob wedges is what is known as “bounce.” Many people think that when you lay the face of the club on the ground during address that the club sits flat. It does not. The bounce angle describes the angle from the leading edge of the club (the part of the face that strikes the ball first) and where the sole of the club meets the ground. The bounce angle is added to stop the club from digging into the sand or dirt thus stopping the momentum of the club. Low-bounce wedges will be ideal for players who sweep the ball with the club and take shallower divots. Mid-bounce wedges will be the most common and most versatile. High-bounce wedges will be most suited for those players who take deep divots, are playing in softer conditions, or for when you hit out of the sand.
While there are some other things to consider like shaft material (most wedges are steel shafts) and the finishing material on the face, the last aspect of wedge design that really affects playability is known as “sole grind.” It is basically additional shaping of the wedge around the toe or heel of the club. In fact, manufacturers actually use machines to grind parts of the club so that the club is shaped better to cut through turf or for certain conditions. You should ask the club pro or do some research to see what type of grind a certain lob wedge has prior to purchasing.
Do I Really Need a Lob Wedge?
The short answer is yes. The more you play the game of golf, the more you will realize how important a lob wedge is to your overall game. It is a great scoring club and serves you well in some of the most precarious conditions in the game. As surprising as it may seem, 4 degrees of loft makes a huge difference, especially around the green and especially when you need the ball to land in a small area and roll as little as possible.
Best Lob (60 Degree) Wedge Reviewed
For as long as I can remember, Cleveland golf has been known for their wedges. They are a premier designer of clubs, but their wedge technology and design has been consistently good.
The toe of this club is noticeably higher than average and there are grooves across the entire face, and while the look is a little off-putting at first, the performance is not. The additional grooves ensure a high spin rate and the high toe design is perfect for open face shots and chipping.
- A consistent ball flight and consistent results from a variety of distances and swings.
- One of the first high toe profile clubs that actually looks good at address.
- The high-toe shape offers players more hitting area on open-face, bunker, and trick shots.
- In between each of the many grooves on the face of the club you will find 4 additional milled grooves that promote surface roughness and friction for one of the best spin rates of any wedge.
- The half-cavity design is unique and effective. The toe section is a muscle back design while the heel is cavity-backed. This combination pushes the weight to the middle of the club and promotes consistency and feel.
- The dark metal head reduces glare and looks good at set up.
- Every wedge has 10 degrees of bounce, there are not additional options.
- Somewhat chunky club head for a wedge.
When you think of incredible wedge play and jaw-dropping flop shots, the first name that comes to mind is Phil Mickelson. The fact that he has put his name on these wedges and helped to design them speaks volumes, and the name “Callaway” does not hurt either.
The increased offset and higher toe work together to create great shots no matter where your ball lies. The club also looks as great as it performs giving you the confidence to hit a great shot every time.
- A higher toe design gives you more hitting area on open face and bunker shots.
- Designed by Phil Mickelson.
- Performs great around the greens.
- Sounds good off of the club face.
- Some of the best feel and spin on the market.
- When the ground is firm or you are in the rough, the leading edge shape and sole grind perform as well as any wedge out there.
- The premium lamkin grips look great in black with green accents. They are also durable and promote feel.
- The four holes in the sole were drilled out during testing to reduce the weight and move the center of gravity higher up the face. It worked so well that they highlighted those holes to show the improvement.
- Does not perform as well or as consistently on full shots as it does around the green.
- Has a “different” look than most wedges that can take time to get used to.
Designed by legendary club designer Bob Vokey, this lob wedge is designed for feel and spin. This wedge is one of the most consistent on the market and it stops on a dime on the green.
The biggest change in these lob wedges is that the weight of the club is moved forward to promote a consistently squared face at impact.
- More options in terms of grind and bounce options than any other club on this list.
- You can personalize your lob wedge to your game and the conditions in which you most often play.
- One of the best club designers around.
- These wedges are designed so well that they only change ever 3-4 years, and 2020 was one of those years.
- The biggest change for this year’s offering is the movement of the weight forward from the face to promote a squared face at impact. The spin and feel has always been there, this addition has increased the accuracy and consistency of this club.
- Not as strong on open-faced shots as some of the other clubs on the list.
- A better club for a 75%-full swing than for chipping.
- A pure blade design makes it less useful for beginners.
The Mizuno T-20 came out with a new offering after a couple of years and the new club did not disappoint. The center of gravity was raised to promote forgiveness on mishits.
- The grain flow forged HD process increases density in the impact area of the club giving it a soft, solid, and consistent feel.
- The blue club head option is different than anything else on the market and looks great.
- 5 bounce options from which to choose give the club a lot of versatility.
- Wide shallow grooves on the lob wedge promote increased spin and face friction.
- This wedge raises the center of gravity of the club for more forgiveness on “off-center” hits.
- They look great in the bag and at address.
- The slightly bigger head makes it easier to hit balls out of the rough.
- Only goes up to 60 degrees of loft.
- Designed for elite players, not for high handicappers and beginners.
The TaylorMade MG2 combines raw face technology with precision milling for increased spin, precision, and feel. The precisely crafted grind produces a great bounce angle and interacts well with the turf. TaylorMade has long produced irons that some of the best players in the game use, and the addition of this wedge gives elite players a viable TaylorMade wedge option.
- A precisely crafted sole grind that promotes good turf interaction and consistency on every shot.
- The raw face technology is rough to the touch and produces incredible spin rates.
- Sharper, deeper, and narrower grooves enhance the spin even further.
- CNC milling, evident along the sole and leading edge of the club, is much more precise and accurate than hand milling.
- The TPU insert on the back of the club dampens vibration and produces enhanced feel at impact.
- The club looks and feels great at setup.
- Available in matte black or chrome.
- Aimed at only low handicappers.
- Very rough face does some damage to your golf balls and you have to get used to the added spin.
- Slightly more expensive than many of the other clubs on this list.
- The face begins to rust very quickly and the club scuffs easily. It may not effect performance but it does not look great.
The Cobra King MIM (Metal-Injection Molded) has one of the softest feel of any lob wedge on the market. The consistency of the club is top notch because of how well it squares at impact and the feel that it provides.
The precision milling process has created a high friction face with grooves that promote a good spin rate around the green.
- One of the least expensive options.
- Great feel around the green.
- Performs well on full and half swing shots as well.
- 3 different sole grinds can be used on any loft in any combination.
- A consistent ball flight and launch angle.
- Plays well out of the rough or hazard.
- The Metal-Injection Molding provides one of the most consistent and intricate designs on the market.
- Does not produce the same amount of spin as many of the other options.
- It comes in only the chrome finish.
The Ping Glide 3.0 was built from scratch rather than adding to an additional design. The result is a lob wedge that looks and feels like a player’s club but has many of the game improvement features that beginners are looking for.
It has the traditional blade design look but the forgiveness and large sweet spot usually reserved for a cavity back. This club was made for feel and forgiveness making it ideal for any skill level.
- The look and feel of a blade with the forgiveness and sweet spot of a cavity back.
- The club head is big enough to cut easily through the rough.
- The offset design helps keep the club head from moving at impact and produces a straighter and more consistent shot.
- It is a very easy club to hit.
- The precision milled grooves create more friction for higher spin rates and better trajectory control.
- The softness and spin around the green are great.
- Multiple sole and grind options.
- Does not perform as well when opening up the face.
- The bigger club head is not what some players want at setup.
While Bridgestone is more well-known on the “ball side” of the golf equipment market, they are actually an underrated club manufacturer. This lob wedge has many of the same features that are found in the higher end clubs but at a better price. Of course, many of those features focus on low handicap players, and this club is no different.
It produces great spin around the green and is a very consistent performing club. Each loft has a corresponding sole grind that sets each wedge up to perform its specific role well.
- A good price for a good lob wedge.
- A specific grind with each available loft.
- “Biting Rail Technology” were added in between the normal grooves to produces great spin rates.
- Excellent forged feel is very soft with great feedback.
- The sole grind promotes versatility and shot making as well as a consistent performance.
- Looks great at setup.
- Not very forgiving.
- Very little, if any, offset will make it more difficult for higher handicaps.
- Might feel a little light for some players.
Our Choice For Best Lob (60 Degree) Wedge in 2020
Best Overall Choice
While it came down to either the Cleveland or the Callaway, the Cleveland CBX Full Face is our choice for best overall lob wedge. You just cannot beat a Cleveland when it comes to wedges, and this high-toe shape combined with a half cavity back half muscle back design fits anyone’s game.
The weight being pushed to the middle of the club is a great touch, but the bottom line is that there is just not many negatives to this club. It performs well around the green, on flop shots, and even with a full swing.
Best For Beginners and High Handicappers
While the Cleveland CBX would work here as well, our nod goes to the Ping Glide 3.0.
It may look like a tour club, but it has some of the game improvement features that beginners and high handicappers need.
Best For Mid and Low Handicappers
The Vokey SM8 is designed specifically for elite players. It promotes spin and feel and the blade design, while difficult to hit, is exactly what elite players are looking for.