Illegal Golf Wedges List — (Golf Instructor’s Tips)

Illegal Golf Wedges List of Non Conforming Golf Clubs from Golf Instructors

As the head golf instructor at Tell Me More Golf, in this article, I will cover what makes a golf wedge illegal. I’m also going to give you some examples of illegal wedges, so you know what to look out for.

Illegal Wedges List

Here, in this list, you can see 4 illegal wedges that you might come across. However, you shouldn’t worry about accidentally buying a brand new illegal wedge, as the big brands don’t sell them.

Ping Eye 2 Wedge

The Ping Eye 2 is one of the most common non conforming wedges golfers use today. It was released a long time ago, but its square grooves make it non conforming with today’s groove restrictions.

Mazel Hollow Out Sand Wedge

The Mazel Hollow Out sand wedge is in many ways the ultimate bunker wedge, as it features holes throughout the clubhead. This means that you can hit the bunker shot like a standard shot, and the sand just travels through the club. However, it’s of course illegal because of this design

Crestgolf Two-Way Chipper

The Crestway Two-Way Chipper uses a chipper design, making chipping easier because of the flat sole that prevents fat shots. Chipper designs are allowed, as they fall into the golf iron category, but two-way chippers are illegal as a club can’t have two faces. 

Two-way chippers allow right-handed golfers to hit left-handed shots, and vice versa, which is obviously unfair to other golfers. 

DTG Felon Rip Groove Wedge

The Felon Rip Groove Wedge is another golf wedge that’s illegal.

The reason for this is the design, which features both a non conforming face and non conforming grooves.

This wedge is supposed to deliver the highest spin rates possible, but it’s not clear how much of an effect it actually has. 


What Makes a Wedge Non Conforming?

The governing bodies of golf, the USGA and the R&A, have clear regulations on how a golf wedge can look. If a wedge does not meet these regulations, it’s considered non conforming, and therefore illegal to use for official events or rounds where you submit your score. 

The rules are in place to ensure that all golfers compete on an even playing field, and so equipment can’t ruin the challenges of the game. 

There are many things that can make a wedge be considered non conforming, but the main requirements are on the grooves, the face, and the head shape. 

Groove Specifications 

The USGA and R&A have specific regulations regarding the size, shape, and depth of grooves on a golf wedge’s face. If a wedge’s grooves do not meet these specifications, it is considered non conforming

One example of a non conforming wedge based on its grooves is some wedges with square grooves.

These wedges are illegal, and have in fact shown very few, if any, benefits. 

Face Design 

The rules on wedges also dictate how the wedge’s club face can be designed. Wedges with face designs that do not meet the requirements are considered non conforming. 

Some of these rules are that the face must be flat and have a continuous surface, it can’t help you with alignment, and it must not exceed the surface roughness limits. An obvious, but good, example is that you can’t have a golf wedge with sandpaper covering it. 

Head Shape 

Additionally, the USGA and R&A have regulations about the shape of the club head. Wedges with non conforming shapes, such as ones that are too wide or have too much offset, are considered non conforming.

A common question we get is if chippers are legal.

These are a type of wedges with a flat sole that makes it hard to hit the shot fat. These wedges are in fact legal, as they fall under the golf iron category. 

However, they can’t have a face on both sides, as that would mean that you could hit left-handed shots when you’re right-handed, and vice versa. 


Should I Use a Non Conforming Wedge? 

Non conforming wedges are golf wedges that are considered illegal, meaning they can’t be used in official play. That’s the case for both tournaments and for rounds where you submit your score.

However, you can use a non conforming wedge for casual rounds where you don’t submit your score. On these rounds, your results simply don’t matter, and using a non conforming wedge can make the game easier, and therefore more fun for some. 

What Makes Illegal Spin Wedges Illegal?

Illegal spin wedges are wedges designed to produce the most spin possible to give the golfer an advantage. They do this by using a non conforming design, leading to the user having an unfair advantage

There are different ways to increase the spin, but the most common is to either change the grooves or the club face. These two can also be combined into a super high-spin wedge, but as the changes don’t follow USGA and R&A rules, it’s non conforming and considered illegal. 

Non Conforming Grooves

By using grooves that don’t follow the official rules, such as them being deeper, wider, or closer-spaced, leads to some wedges having higher spin rates.

Non Conforming Surface

Some wedges also have a rougher surface which increases friction between the club face and the golf ball, which also results in higher spin rates.

Why Non Conforming Gear Is Illegal   

The rules on golf clubs are in place to ensure an even playing field where no golfer has an unfair advantage. This is done by standardized golf equipment where all clubs, including wedges, are very similar despite being from different manufacturers.  

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What is an illegal wedge in golf?

An illegal golf wedge is simply a wedge that doesn’t meet the rules set by golf’s governing bodies on how a wedge can be designed.

There are many rules for how a wedge must be made, but the most notable things that could make a golf wedge illegal are a non conforming club face, head shape, or grooves. 

How can you spot an illegal wedge?

Spotting an illegal wedge can definitely be tricky, as it’s for example hard to see if the grooves are conforming or not.

However, there are some very blatantly illegal golf wedges, such as two-faced chippers and wedges with a weird non-steel surface. Generally speaking though, we would say that it’s very rare for stores to sell illegal wedges and for golfers to use them in secret.

Felon golf wedges are not legal, as they’re considered non conforming. This is the case as both the grooves and the face’s surface don’t meet the necessary criteria. 

Felon wedges are meant to give you an unfair advantage by providing much higher spin rates. That’s why they’re illegal, but for casual rounds where your score isn’t submitted, they can definitely be fun. 

Are square grooves wedges illegal?

There are many rules for golf wedges targeting how their grooves can look. The rules are on the dimensions of the grooves, and they make it so many square-groove wedges are illegal

However, there are wedges with square grooves that meet the necessary criteria, as the rules don’t explicitly say that grooves can’t be square.

It’s worth noting though that many studies have found square grooves to offer no significant benefits when it comes to spin rates, making them unnecessary. 

What is the lowest degree wedge you can get?

Generally speaking, the lowest lofted wedge a golfer has is their pitching wedge, which typically has around 44 degrees of loft.

Some pitching wedges may have lofts as strong as 41 degrees, but that’s quite unusual. When not counting the pitching wedge, a 48 degree wedge, or perhaps a 46 degree, is usually the lowest lofted wedge. 

When it comes to what most golfers have in their bag, a gap wedge of 50-52 degrees is the most common when the pitching wedge is not counted in. 

Are 60 degree wedges illegal?

60 degree golf wedges are perfectly legal, as long as they’re conforming. 60 degree wedges are very popular, and fall into the lob wedge category, making them great for high-trajectory bunker and chip shots. 

There is no limit to a golf wedge’s loft, but if the 60 degree wedge does not follow USGA and R&A rules, it can be illegal. This could be the case if the grooves are constructed in a certain way, or if the surface is not conforming. 

However, all golf wedges sold by major brands are legal, so you don’t shouldn’t have to worry about this.

Is there a restriction on wedge loft?

No, there is no restriction on any golf club’s loft. This means that you can carry a 90 degree lob wedge, despite it probably being very impractical. You can also have a one degree driver for example, but you probably won’t be able to hit a single decent shot with it. 



In this article, we’ve covered what makes a golf wedge illegal, as well as some examples of illegal wedges you might come across. Generally speaking, virtually no respectable golf brand sells illegal wedges, so you don’t have to worry about accidentally picking one up.

However, some golfers may try to cheat by using non conforming equipment, and some might do it in casual rounds just to make the game a little easier and a little more fun. 


Patrick Corley Tell Me More Golf Instructor and Coach
Patrick Corley
From a golf scholarship to a Southern California University, to a private golf coaching career and an instructor position at a nonprofit organization, I’m here to help you get better at golf! With my 50+ years of golf experience; I bring you Tell Me More Golf. A golf coaching website that helps your game with instructional golfing content that’s ultimately geared toward making you a better golfer and having more fun!
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