An Expert Guide to Cavity Back WedgesPublished on 06/16/2023 · 8 min readGolf Expert Jorge Arteta details the benefits of using a cavity back wedge, who should be using them, and provides his top two cavity back wedge recommendations.
Image courtesy of Callaway
Cavity-back wedges make life easier for golfers.
I realize it's a simple statement, but for the short game, the forgiveness, the larger sweet spot, and the turf interaction these cavity-back wedges provide is a positive benefit for many on the links.
Here's a statistic to think about: 1% of all golfers are single-digit handicappers, according to the USGA. That means the rest of the golfers are 10 handicapped or above. The remaining 99% of golfers should probably be playing cavity back irons and/or game-improvement clubs. Although blade irons and wedges look great, not many people should be playing golf with those clubs.
The blade wedges seem to be the most popular and desirable of the bunch. Looking at the Golf Digest Best Wedges Hot List, which I really respect, you'll notice that the majority of the best are more blade-like wedges. But there are some cavity-back wedges as well! Manufacturers such as Callaway (Callaway Mack Daddy CB wedges), Cleveland Golf (Cleveland CBX), Mizuno, and TaylorMade offer blade-type wedges, but more cavity wedges are coming out into the market.
Why Use Cavity Back Wedges
As a teaching golf professional, I see many golf bags filled with dreams of birdies and eagles. Fortunately, some golf bags have the proper clubs, but others have the wrong ones. I see the wrong loft and clubs with too much spin, not enough high bounce, and the wrong graphite shaft or steel shaft. There might be a sand wedge and a pitching wedge that doesn't match the irons. I will also see grips that are the wrong size, sole grinds that should be used in a different part of the country, a lob wedge and no other wedge, a gap wedge that has no slippery grooves, higher lofts for flop shots, and high-bounce wedges with an angle that is too low.
I mainly teach beginner and intermediate golfers, the mid to higher handicap. These players lack consistency with chips, trajectory, or bump and runs. They hit off the toe, hit off the heel, should hit lower lofts, more often, have a tough time getting out of bunkers, make short shots from difficult lies and full shots that go anywhere but at the target, bunker shots that are too creative, and have a swing that needs more efficiency.
Although some of the best golf wedges offer versatility, close dispersion, and grooves that will spin the ball to infinity, most high handicap golfers shouldn't be playing those "best wedges" that are blade-like wedges, they should look for the most forgiving wedges.
In my opinion, golfers should be using a cavity back wedge because it's just easier to hit. Cavity backs have a full sole, easy leading edge, seamless transition from the irons, general sole grind options, cavity back design, and a wide sole to get through the turf easier.
Who Should Use Cavity Back Wedges?
As a golf teaching professional, I've noticed certain player types, and most players just don't have the time to get really good at golf. Time is the biggest challenge. Custom-fit equipment helps, and going to a golf teacher helps, but nothing beats having time to practice and play when it comes to being a better golfer.
Looking at it from another perspective, there are three general types of golfers:
- Plays once a month or so, and they think they should be shooting in the 70s when they play.
- They have a full-time job, a family, and don't practice.
- They want to hit the ball as far as possible.
- Type 1 golfers have difficulty trying to stay consistent, they would enjoy forgiving wedges.
- This type of player should just enjoy the game and have fun when on the course.
- They should use high bounce angle wedges.
- Type 2 plays once or twice a week, practices maybe once or twice.
- They have a full-time job, a family, and other commitments but want to improve.
- These players might have a golf teacher that they see from time to time.
- The majority of golfers fall into this category.
- This type will be somewhat consistent but not enough repetitions to improve.
- They shoot in the 80s or 90s but have a tough time getting to a single-digit handicap.
- Type 2 golfers know that short games and putting are important but spend most of the time trying to hit the ball farther. They will use game improvement irons and wedges with mid to high bounce.
- They practice six days a week or more.
- These golfers practice short games 75% of the time, 25% on irons and woods.
- Usually works out, eats more healthily than not, and not just for golf but for better overall health.
- They have time to play, shoot in the 70s consistently, and look to play in advanced tournaments.
- The difference between these advanced players and tour-level players is the short game.
- They will try a muscle back iron for maximum spin and ideal ball flight.
Which Type Are You?
The majority of players are Type One and Type Two. Roughly 70% of all golfers could be looking at game improvement or cavity-back type clubs with perimeter weighting technology. Type One and Two golfers want to play better. It's just that they don't have the time or resources to play more. It isn't easy to also manage expectations.
I saw a golfer that plays maybe once a year throw an iron into the lake after a bad shot and blame the iron for being horrible and that he should get a new one. How can someone who only plays once a year think they can get mad at their game and play with a low bounce wedge?
I can take it further. I witnessed someone who plays twice a week get mad at a shot from a fairway bunker from 160 yards out that went into the water instead of the green. When is the last time a mid-to-high handicapper practiced a fairway bunker shot?
There are many examples, but you see where I'm going. While there are many cavity back wedges, I bring you my top two choices of cavity back wedges. Life will be simpler with these!
Top 2 Choices for Cavity-Back Wedges
This club feels so good. These are not muscle backs A student of mine had this club, and I tried it around the green area. It was so easy to swing, had good balance and workability, and was very forgiving. The premium wedge club does not have to be hit perfectly to get up and spin toward the hole. It’s a great option for mid to high-handicap golfers. Sharp grooves for an enhanced spin, different grind options depending on what kind of courses you play, and multiple loft options make this a wedge to consider putting in your bag.
- Machined grooves for an enhanced spin
- Perimeter weighted clubhead for balanced clubhead
- Eight loft options to choose from for a variety of situations
- Three sole grinds to go with your particular swing
I play the Callaway Jaws MD5, but this is a solid wedge. The Mack Daddy CB takes some of its design cues from the Jaws MD5 wedge, making it bigger, more forgiving, and easier to hit. It is fun to hit short shots, high shots, and bunker shots. The wide sole allows it to go through the sand with ease. If you struggle with your short game, take a look at this option.
- JAWS groove technology
- Two sole grinds that will make shots more consistent
- Cavity-back design allows for a seamless transition from the irons to the wedges
- High-performance KBS shafts available in graphite or steel
Cavity-back wedges make life easier. Period. Would you use a butter knife to cut a steak? While the butter knife could cut it, a steak knife will cut it much easier. There are different types of wedges. Do you need tour zip grooves or a Rotex face? Or do you need a good launch, and hit the center of the clubface easier, or do you want a club for full swings, that will also help with off-center strikes?
Golf is frustrating, exhilarating, disappointing, and magnificent. Absorb all the good you can by looking at a CB wedge with a wider sole and multiple bounce options. The right wedges will help your game with less effort.
There are more than two cavity design choices out there in the market. For example, there are the Cleveland CBX wedges, Cobra, Cleveland RTX, Wilson Staff, Callaway Jaws wedges, Cleveland smart sole, Taylormade Hi-toe and hollow cavity, and Titleist Vokey. To see which cavity back wedges would be most beneficial for your game, chat with me or one of my fellow Golf Experts here on Curated for free, personalized recommendations.
Make your next chip shot easy, have fun and enjoy the round.