Expert Review: Callaway JAWS Wedges

Published on 03/14/2023 · 7 min readThis review is my own honest opinion of the wedges, which I bought with my own money in December 2020.
Matt Jolley, Golf Expert
By Golf Expert Matt Jolley

Photos courtesy of Matt Jolley

About this review This review is my own honest opinion of the wedges, which I bought with my own money in December 2020.

My take

From 120 yards in, to pitches and chips, the Callaway MD5 JAWS Wedges provide a high amount of spin with good control and forgiveness! With so many bounce and grind options, these wedges are so versatile and have a beautiful look. They have an extraordinary feel on solid shots and are made from premium components. With maximum grip, they offer a satisfying pop when I hit it just right. These wedges are geared toward the intermediate to advanced player, but the average golfer and newer golfer may like these to improve their wedge game.

About the club

  • Model: 2020 JAWS MD5 Wedges
  • Loft: 52, 56, 60
  • Bounce: 52 (10 bounce), 56 (12 bounce), 60 (10 Bounce)
  • Grind: 52 (S Grind), 56 (W Grind), 60 (S Grind)
  • Finish: Platinum Chrome

About me

  • Average Score: 90
  • Handicap: 18
  • Experience: 1.5 years
  • Right/Left-Handed: Right
  • Golf Ball Used: Srixon Z Star
  • Angle Of Attack: Steep

Photos courtesy of Matt Jolley

Test conditions

  • When I bought these wedges: December 2020
  • Days tested: 4 months
  • Where I’ve used it: Trackman simulator, Greystone Golf Club
  • Weather Conditions: Soggy, dry, soft, sunny, windy
  • Green Conditions: Bermuda, bent grass. Wet and very dry

How it performs

Bounce
5/5
Full Shots
5/5
Launch
5/5
Spin
5/5
Around the Green
4/5
Feel
4/5
Forgiveness
3/5

What I was looking for

I was looking for sand wedges and a lob wedge with moderate heel relief that would be a catalyst to tell me the truth. I didn't want a super forgiving wedge, I wanted a high-quality, total performance wedge that would tell me my misses, have unique versatility to be used with my full swing, chip shots, fairway hits, wedge shot, or out-of-sand traps, and be a wedge I could grow with as my game improves.

Why I chose this club

Ultimately, I purchased these wedges because they felt the best for me at approach and had consistent performance. They provided the best spin, controlled trajectory, and power on full shots, flop shots, pitch shots or get out of the trap shot, with the ability to hit draw and fade if I want to as well.

I replaced an older set of Titleist SM5 Vokeys with these JAWS wedges. Ultimately, I found them to feel the best for my swing and I like that there are plenty of shaft offerings. These were designed with the direct result of tour player feedback, and it shows. My Vokey set was old and the grooves were wearing thin. I was looking for deeper and better grooves, and I can’t get much better than the groove-in-groove technology on the JAWS!

Photos courtesy of Matt Jolley

What I love about it

  • Launch: Excellent Launch with a very good descent angle, from 52 through 60. I found that the S200 Stiff steel shaft pair well with all the wedges for my swing speed (90-93), and the center of gravity is nice and low allowing for great open-faced shots. Even off the bottom grooves, I can get the ball up in the air if I strike the ball first, and with 12 bounce on the 56, I can cut through the turf since I have a steep descent angle. The 12 bounce will still pop that ball right up in the air!
  • Forgiveness: Great forgiveness in terms of getting a straight shot even when I hit off the toe or heel of the club. I feel as the sweet spot is stretched just enough to off-center areas to help with mishits, even if the feel changes on off-center hits. The JAWS wedges are made with mild carbon steel, and are not cavity-backed wedges and do not have as much forgiveness as cavity-backed wedges do, but are still exceptional for a player’s style wedge.
  • Spin: Absolutely exceptional spin when I hit in the center of the face, and the wedges are still good with mishits due to groove-in-groove technology.
  • Bounce: Generous bounce combinations options and matched with distinct grind options with the tightest tolerances, that provide me with wedges that suit my game perfectly. In Florida, I use a C-grind that is a sole grind useful on most courses, but there is an X-grind and a new low-bounce W-grind feature. Through multiple types of lies, there was minimum digging and the playability was easy. A high-bounce crescent sole is available for golfers looking for more forgiveness and there are a variety of different sole grinds.
  • Around the Green: The wedges have a smooth leading edge that produces so much spin from the surface roughness that I feel confident in “one hop and stop,” even from very short distances. The turf interaction was smooth. and I had precise control. The bunker shots didn't bother me at all, the bounce angle was just right for my swing.
  • Full Shots: Full shots have great stopping power due to the deep grooves, and I find that the 12 bounce works best for my steep swing, and the soft to neutral conditions where I live. For diggers, I’d suggest 12 bounces too. I find that the gapping (distance each club hits) is perfect so you can rely on consistent distances for each club.
  • Shaft Feel: The shafts work great for me because I use stiff shafts in my irons. I’ve had a seamless transition using stiff shafts as the feel is similar, especially in the gap wedge (52 degrees).
  • Aesthetic Appeal: The Platinum Chrome finish is sharp and cleans up well with a good rag and some polish. They land somewhere between shiny and matte, and I love that look. The blue dots look really cool in the bag!
  • Innovation: I really like the innovation put into the grind/bounce combos as well as the groove-in-groove technology. While I noticed a little less spin on pitches and chips, full shots will really come ripping back after impact with the green.

Photos courtesy of Matt Jolley

Photos courtesy of Matt Jolley

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Feel: I feel a hard impact all the way in my hands if I hit one off the heel or toe. Feels very stiff when not hit in the middle of the face, but still gets decent spin and straight flight.
  • Grip Feel: I did not like the Lamkin UTX grip or the Lamkin comfort grip that came on these as stock grips. I felt that the standard grip size felt too skinny in my hands compared to my preferred grips and didn’t provide enough tack for me. I had them changed at my local retailer before taking them home.

Best shot with this wedge

Without a doubt, hole 9 at Greystone Golf Club has been my most memorable shot. I had a short 68-yard shot into a green with a backstop. I choked up my 56 as it was soggy that day, so I wanted to take advantage of the 12-bounce W Grind. I hit a good lofted ball that buried into the hillside behind the green. And then POP! It came right out of the hillside, still spinning, and stopped 2 ft from the pin. Sunk that for a birdie on that par 4.

Value for the money vs. other options

The fit, finish, and attention to shaping the head make these worth the money. I looked at Cleveland CBX by Cleveland Golf, Cleveland RTX, Callaway Mack Daddy CB Wedge, and Titleist Vokey (the partnership with Callaway chief designer Roger Cleveland). This was definitely a good idea and resulted in some superiority of high-quality premium heads, and high-performance wedges, with high-end finish options. The Callaway JAWS is part of Callaway's most comprehensive wedge line-up, including women’s specific models, and stand up next to Vokey with no problem at all and are a better option for a premium performance wedge that will play for years.

Final verdict

The Callaway JAWS MD5 Wedges are true and will help guide players in learning a good stroke, while also performing well on mishits. From the scratch golfer to the mid-handicap golfer, these clubs are worth a look. Looking for a new pitching wedge or 56-degree sand wedge, these will work just fine for a wide range of players. I knew I was hooked when I saw these wedges cause the hit and sit, and when I watched the ball hit and spin back for the first time with sticky teeth and the most aggressive groove combination. You will use these more than anything in your iron set. Newer players will see these wedges unlock a lot of confidence as they learn to swing them properly for their short game. Check them out for your next purchase, put them in your golf bag, and they will surprise you.

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