Are Used Golf Wedges Any Good? Expert Opinion

On this page
Louis Pringle
May 01, 2024
5 minutes

The growth of the used golf clubs market has revolutionized the way golfers shop for their equipment. Newcomers to the sport, amateurs with limited funds, and even deal hunters are amongst the millions of golfers who’ve turned to used golf clubs to build their club set. But are all used golf clubs the same? In this one, we’ll let you know why you shouldn’t be afraid of shopping for used wedges and how it can actually become a benefit in the long run!

We’ll first look at the differences between used and new wedges by diving into the discrepancies in appearance and performance between them. We’ll then discuss the perks of buying used wedges in further detail. We’ll conclude this one by offering some suggestions as to who should be shopping for used wedges and how we think they’ll benefit from using them.

Shop Wedges

What are the differences between used and new wedges?

When it comes to the differences between used and new wedges, there are a few obvious ones. First off, there will be a clear difference between the look of a brand-new wedge and a used one. A quick look at the condition of the grooves or the sole will quickly help you tell the difference between a used and a new wedge.

New Condition Wedge Club Face
Very Good Condition Club Face

Differences in appearances

In terms of visual differences, this is where you’ll see the greatest discrepancy between used and new wedges. Used wedges will show clear marks of use simply for the fact that golfers tend to use these clubs a lot, especially when practicing, and that they tend to be used out of suboptimal ball positions that can potentially damage the club.

The condition of the grooves is usually the greatest differentiator between used and new models. New models will feature extremely sharp grooves that will look clean and feel just as abrasive when you press a finger against the face and drag it down.

When it comes to most used models, the quality condition of the grooves will be hard to tell just by looking at the club face. What you’ll be able to see, however, is the depth of the grooves (the darker the shade is between the grooves, the deeper they tend to be) and if there are any defects or knicks that run across the club face, perpendicular to the grooves.

Otherwise, the marks of wear are usually easier to tell on used wedges, especially models with a finish other than chrome. Copper, raw, black, blue ion, or any sort of finish that was added over the clubhead will most likely wither away over time due to repeated impacts, multiple club face cleanings, and the years of brushing the grooves to clean them. This is usually a good sign that the grooves have been well-worn.

The last thing you’ll want to compare between a new and used wedge is the condition of the sole. As previously mentioned, we use our wedges in all sorts of conditions, lies, and ball positions. This also means that, sometimes, the sole of your wedge will hit rocks or some other type of solids in the ground. This tends to result in knicks and possibly dents, that could potentially impact the bounce of the wedge and your performance on impact if the defects encroach on the club face.

Differences in performance

Worn-out grooves or a club face that shows obvious marks of use may lead most people to think that the performance of your wedge will be affected. But we tested this theory in the past and the results were not what you might expect.

Above is a chart that shows the performance of the different wedge conditions we tested recently when we wanted to see how much of a difference there is between wedges of various conditions. You’ll find five different conditions in the chart, which are the five conditions you can shop with Golf Avenue. We used a TaylorMade Milled Grind Satin Chrome Sand Wedge for the test, which was featured in our list of the 5 best wedges from TaylorMade.

Shop TaylorMade Milled Grind Satin Chrome Wedge

All of these represent the five different club conditions that you can encounter when shopping with us. The five conditions are new, excellent, very good, good, and fair. These conditions rankings apply to wedges and any other club sold on our website.

You can check out our complete comparison test, but in summary, used clubs proved to be just as efficient as the more recent models in almost all departments, whether that was spin rates, carry or total distance, or any other metrics. The results from our test suggest that used wedges have nothing to envy to brand-new ones, as long as they are not overworn (our worst condition club did trail a bit behind the competition).

Overall, performance-wise, the difference between used and new wedges was negligible on full swings. It would be interesting to conduct this same test outdoors at a short-game area to see what the difference in performance will be on chip shots.

How many years do used wedges last compared to new ones?

This question is a bit tricky to answer because the condition of the used wedge you purchase will play a key role. The better the club’s condition on purchase, the longer the club should last you (based on regular use). Fair and good condition clubs most likely have a few years of on-course experience but should still last you for a few seasons. Very good condition clubs will usually have many more seasons left to give. While excellent condition clubs are often former demos, which means that they should last just as long as new models.

In other words, most used wedges will have a slightly shorter lifespan than brand-new models, simply because they were used by someone beforehand who already put some mileage in with this specific club. Your volume of play will also dictate how long your used wedge’s condition will last.

Can used wedges be refurbished?

There are certainly some aspects of a wedge that can be refurbished. At Golf Avenue, we focus on the condition of the grip as we’re able to change those on any of the clubs we have in inventory. We also give a lot of attention to the condition of the grooves. While we avoid using any tools that would illegally sharpen the grooves, we make sure to give them a deep clean so that when you receive them, they are as effective as possible from the get-go.

What are the perks of buying used wedges?

Now that we know that used and new wedges are very similar in almost every single aspect, whether that’s look or performance, it’s time to take a closer look at the perks that you get to take advantage of when you buy used wedges.

1. Cheaper than brand-new models

First off, this almost goes without saying but used wedges will have a much cheaper price tag than brand new models. They’re so affordable in fact, you could build yourself a set of three used wedges for the price of a single brand-new model.

Plus, when you shop for used wedges with Golf Avenue, you have the possibility to save even more by trading in your older clubs. The value that you will receive for your old clubs will help offset the already affordable price that you’re paying for them, thus making used wedges even more affordable. The trade-in process applies to any purchase you make with Golf Avenue, so be sure to take advantage of these savings!

2. Similar performance levels to new models

As we touched upon earlier, when it comes to performance on full swings, used models have nothing to envy from brand-new ones. Unless their grooves are badly damaged, they’ll provide you with performance that is as good, if not better in some cases, than new models.

Performance chart from our test of the NEW condition model

Performance chart from our test of the GOOD condition model.

A quick glance at both charts above will show that used wedges are a match for brand-new ones. Spin rates are almost identical, while club speed is also very close, but the distance numbers were a little better on the side of the good condition club. That can certainly be attributed to the launch angle and the height of the ball trajectories, but the resulting ball speed is still higher on the side of the used club which indicates that you don’t necessarily need to resort to brand-new clubs for high-quality performance.

3. Receive and try them right at home

When you shop for used golf clubs with Golf Avenue, you get to order multiple clubs at a time, and more importantly, you get to try them from your favorite location, whether that’s at home or your local driving range.

And don’t worry about properly testing them! These clubs are already used and are meant to be tested during the 30-day try-it-at-home period that Golf Avenue offers. That’s probably the greatest perk of used wedges as you get to try them at home and return them at no cost if they’re not to your liking. Alternatively, if you take a brand-new golf wedge out of its wrapper to try it out and try to return it, you’ll most likely be paying restocking fees.

Who should consider buying used wedges?

When it comes to buying used wedges, we’d have to argue that any golfer should consider buying those. More precisely, any golfer looking for high-quality wedges at a more affordable price than brand-new models. So, whether you’re a beginner building your first set of clubs, a slightly more experienced player looking to upgrade the clubs in your bag, or an experienced golfer simply looking for a deal on wedges, you should strongly consider used wedges.

Shop Used Wedges

We hope that this article helps you realize just how valuable used wedges can be to golfers of all skill levels, and more specifically, to ones who need to make do with a limited budget. As we’ve established in this one, used wedges can perform just as well as brand-new ones, but will come in at a much more affordable price.

Now that you know that you can save a lot of money by turning to used wedges, the only left for you to do is find the right one for you. If you need any help, you can always give our “Club Finder” tool a try. It’ll provide you with insightful recommendations and all you need to do is answer a series of short questions.

If you’d prefer a more personalized approach where you get to have one-on-one interactions, be sure to book a call with one of our experts. They’ll be able to provide you with educated recommendations on top of offering more information on how they picked the models they did for you. Book today!

Until next time,

The Golf Avenue Team

Further reading

We tested golf wedges of various conditions to see their performance in terms of spin and distance. Find out how old wedges compare to their brand-new counterparts!

Hard to choose a golf wedge when Titleist has so many great options. Here's our list of the top 5 Vokey wedges from the last 10 years, all tested by our experts.