The best 56 degree wedges can help you with your short game. Being accurate from 100 yards and less is an excellent way to improve your overall game. In this piece we’ll list the best 56 degree wedges so that you can develop accuracy and consistency in your wedge game.
You want a 56 degree wedge that offers the spin and control necessary for shots around the greens. A 56 degree wedge should also be somewhat forgiving, especially on a touchy chip shot. You don’t want a big drop-off in performance when you miss the center of the clubface. Forgiveness gives you consistency which helps with overall accuracy. Let’s dive into our short list.
Best 56Degree Wedges for 2023: Our Short List
1. Titleist Vokey SM9
2. Callaway MD5 Jaws
3. TaylorMade Milled Grind 3.0
4. Mizuno T22
5. Cleveland RTX ZipCore
Best Overall: Titleist Vokey SM9
- Excellent control
- Outstanding spin
- Nice feel
- Range of grind and bounce options
- Limited gains from previous SM8
For 2023, the Titleist Vokey SM9 is the best 56-degree wedge. You can dial in your short game with this wedge because it offers outstanding control. The design helps you fly the ball lower with more spin, giving you that all-important control around the greens.
Titleist positioned the center of gravity further forward in the clubface with this wedge. That positioning allows you to better control the ball’s flight. Control is a major piece of wedge play, and can help bring down your scores significantly.
Controlling the flight also helps you to land the ball at your target more consistently. Once the ball lands, the spin this wedge gives you ensures it stays there. This wedge offers impressive spin across the entire clubface. Titleist cut the grooves to the edge of the face, so you still get spin even on off-center strikes.
That gives you excellent forgiveness in terms of spin performance. And the Vokey SM9 is forgiving overall, too. You won’t notice a massive drop-off in the distance when you mishit the ball, giving you more consistency.
This wedge also looks amazing behind the ball and in the bag. It’s a premium wedge in looks as well as performance. It comes in four finishes: tour chrome, brushed steel, jet black, and raw.
You can customize the Vokey SM9 to suit your swing and your game. It has six grind options – F, S, M, K, L, and D – and five bounce choices. You can get exactly what you need to improve your short game. For us, the SM9 is easily the best option out there.
Best Spin: Callaway MD5 Jaws
- Phenomenal spin
- Excellent feel
- Great accuracy
- Good flight control
- A bit pricy
The Callaway MD5 Jaws offers you the best spin out of this group of high performance 56 degree wedges. It can help you get the ball to stop on a dime when it hits the green. V-shaped grooves grip the ball when it strikes the clubface, and mini grooves in between keep the ball on the face for longer. So, you get more spin around the greens.
The feel this wedge offers is another standout feature. It’s made from 8620 mild carbon steel, while Callaway specifically placed the center of gravity for the best feel possible. It feels soft on impact, but a crispness in the contact gives you feedback on every shot.
Overall, this wedge offers good flight control. That helps you with accuracy and consistency, which are essential for a good wedge game. This 56-degree wedge comes in two grind options and three bounce choices.
Amazing Looks: TaylorMade Milled Grind 3.0
- Looks amazing
- Soft but stable feel
- Great from various lies
- Outstanding control
- Tiger Grind option
- Spin could be better for a premium wedge
The TaylorMade Milled Grind 3.0 offers amazing looks when it comes to the best 56-degree wedges. It looks fantastic behind the ball and gives you the confidence to hit those delicate shots around the greens.
This 56-degree wedge has a soft yet solid feel. It helps you with finesse shots close to the hole while giving you stability on pitch shots and full swings.
The Milled Grind 3.0 is versatile from various lies. Not only is it accurate from the fairway, but it’s also precise when you’re playing from the rough. That versatility is a good option to have in the bag when needed.
TaylorMade made this wedge with a Thick-Thin Design. It has a thinner topline with more mass near the top of the spin, so the center of gravity is in the optimal position. That results in a precise ball flight and enhances the feel. You can tell it’s worked when you play with this wedge. It gives you impressive control where you need it most.
This wedge comes in three bounce options – low, standard, and high. Also, there’s a special Tiger Grind option with a standard bounce.
Best Feel: Mizuno T22
- Unbelievable feel
- Great spin performance (even in wet conditions)
- Predictable ball flight
- Excellent consistency
- Versatile wedge
- Copper finish scuffs easily
- Raw finish rusts quickly
Out of the best 56 degree wedges, the Mizuno T22 has the best feel. That’s saying something because the other wedges feel unbelievable as well. Mizuno is renowned for designing irons that feel phenomenal on impact, and they’ve carried that into this wedge.
It has a layer of copper underneath the chrome finish, while the heads are one-piece Grain Flow Forged. That combination gives you a buttery feel off the clubface. We can’t overstate how good this wedge feels when you strike it pure.
The T22 also performs very well when it comes to spin. On various shots, the ball feels like it stays on the face for ages. That results in the ball coming out with a low flight with plenty of spin when it lands. The ball checks and sits where it lands on the green. And the ball flight you get with this wedge is predictable, helping you stay consistent.
You also get good spin in wet conditions. The loft-specific Quad Cut milled grooves and laser-etched HydroFlow Micro Grooves release moisture from the clubface. That helps keep the high spin characteristics even when there’s moisture on the ground or when it’s raining.
This wedge comes in four grind options. You get excellent versatility and can find the best one for your game.
Best Value: Cleveland RTX ZipCore
- Fantastic value
- Super forgiving
- Smooth turf interaction
- Amazing spin
- Good overall performance
- Sounds clicky on impact
The Cleveland RTX ZipCore offers the best value option out of the 56 degree wedges we tested. You get a solid overall performance with this wedge at an excellent price. It’s cheaper than the other options on our list, but don’t let the lower price fool you. Cleveland makes some of the best wedges on the market, and this wedge can help you improve your game.
The RTX ZipCore has plenty of forgiveness, with a hollow-cavity design increasing MOI. You won’t get punished too much when you miss the center of the clubface. The forgiveness on offer makes this wedge excellent for mid-to-high handicappers. They might not strike their wedge shots consistently, but this wedge ensures consistent results.
Chunked shots are also a common problem for these players. But Cleveland designed this wedge ZipCore technology to help stop that frustrating shot. It has a lightweight, low-density core at the center of the clubhead that stops the leading edge from digging into the ground. That means smoother turf interaction and fewer chunked shots for you.
This wedge isn’t only for mid-to-high handicappers, though. We could all use extra forgiveness and help, after all. And the impressive spin the RTX ZipCore offers will appeal to the better players. The UltiZip Grooves maximize spin on the greens. So, your ball will grip the green and stop quickly, even on shorter shots.
The Cleveland RTX ZipCore is an excellent choice if you want great overall performance at a reasonable price.
What is the average distance for a 56 degree wedge?
The average distance for a 56 degree wedge for the average amateur golfer is around 85 yards. Of course, the yardages for a 56 degree wedge depend on the player. Generally, the distance range for a 56 degree wedge is from 75 to 115 yards.
Golfers with slower swing speeds will be at the lower end of this range. Those with faster swing speeds will hit a 56 degree wedge to the higher end of this range. But don’t get too hung up on the distance you hit your wedges. Accuracy is king when it comes to the wedge game, so focus on landing the ball where you’re aiming.
How should you use a 56-degree wedge?
You should use a 56 degree wedge for various shots. But it depends on the situation, so you need to assess the circumstances before deciding. This wedge is handy for chip shots, flop shots, pitch shots, full shots, and bunker shots.
Make sure you select the best grind and bounce if you want to use your 56-wedge from bunkers. The leading edge shouldn’t dig into the sand for optimal performance. It’s harder to play bunker shots with a wedge that digs into the sand.
You should choose a wedge with a higher bounce for bunker play. It ensures the leading edge bounces off the sand and doesn’t dig, making it easier to get out of the bunker. Also, a tapered grind works well for these types of shots. It glides through the sand so that you don’t get stuck.
Is a 56-degree wedge considered a sand wedge?
Yes, a 56-degree wedge is considered a sand wedge. The loft of a sand wedge ranges from 54 degrees to 58 degrees. So, a 56-degree wedge falls into that category and is considered a sand wedge.
But not all 56 degree wedges are set up to work optimally as a sand wedge. As we’ve seen in the previous section, the grind and bounce play a crucial role in playing bunker shots. Always ensure you’ve got the correct setup if you want to use your 56 degree wedge as a sand wedge.
Should I carry a 56-degree wedge?
You should carry a 56 degree wedge if it suits your overall wedge setup. It’s crucial to consider the gapping when making that decision. Let’s say your pitching wedge is 48 degrees, your gap wedge is 52 degrees, and your lob wedge is 60 degrees. A 56-degree wedge slots perfectly into that setup. It leaves a gap of four degrees between each club.
The best 56 degree wedges offer you control and accuracy around the greens. They help you land the ball where you aim it and give you consistency even when you mishit a shot. When the ball lands, the best 56-degree wedges have the spin performance to ensure it stops there quickly.
Overall, the Titleist Vokey SM9 is the best 56-degree wedge in 2023. It gives you excellent control and outstanding spin around the greens. This wedge is forgiving and feels awesome on impact. With a versatile setup, the Vokey SM9 gives you everything you need in a 56 degree wedge.