The Hi-Toe 3 wedge is an interesting beast. It’s peculiar in design, oddly shaped and non-traditional in the purest sense. But you can’t argue with the results.
If you’ve ever played pickup basketball, it’s like that one kid with the weird looking jump shot but somehow, they never miss.
We can’t hide it. There’s definitely an aesthetic factor when it comes to players who choose to play Hi-Toe 3 and those who that don’t. For example, a certain GOAT picked up a Hi-Toe at our last photoshoot and proceeded to make every short game shot imaginable look routine. Full-swing high floppers. Saucy little low nippers. Bunker shots to tap-in range. All the shots.
Ultimately, the look and shape just weren’t for him. But even he gave a telling nod of affirmation when it came to the performance.
Now that we’ve got the anecdotes out of the way, let’s get down to the nitty gritty and the reason you’re really here. To understand the difference between Hi-Toe 3, traditional wedges like Milled Grind 3 and how you determine which one is right for you.
Let’s start with the obvious: The shape. As the name suggests, the toe area stretches higher than a traditional wedge (66mm higher that MG3 to be precise). In the process, it creates a larger face with increased surface area. What you can’t see, however, is that the shape significantly raises the CG (center of gravity) compared to traditional wedges shapes like MG3.
To put it in laymen’s terms, CG is the balance point of an object. As it relates of golf clubs, it’s very close to center face as you may expect. However, any manipulation of CG can have a significant impact on performance.
In the case of Hi-Toe 3, raising the CG creates a lower launch with increased spin on full swings and/or longer shots into the green. So, if you’re a player who likes a flighted trajectory on your wedge shots, giving you the opportunity to throw low-traj high-spin checkers into tucked flags, then Hi-Toe 3 is the wedge for you.
The next, and perhaps most significant, point of differentiation for Hi-Toe 3 is the added versatility on partial shots around the green. Because of the larger surface area, you naturally have more contact points. Meaning you can have the face wide open and be able to hit a variety of finesse shots that require a deft touch.
New with Hi-Toe 3 is the addition of Raised-Micro Ribs, which create a rough surface texture for even better spin on partial shots. We’ve also expanded the full-face scoring lines down to the 54° offering – meaning there’s added control on off-center strikes given that the grooves of the wedge engulf the entire face.
If you’re looking for real-world application of Hi-Toe 3’s versatile performance around the greens, look no further than Collin Morikawa. The two-time major champion often switches to a 60° Hi-Toe depending on course and conditions. Generally speaking, the more challenging the setup, the more likely he is to reach for the Hi-Toe. High rough, difficult bunkers, fast greens – places where he’ll need a variety of different shots to save strokes, out comes the Hi-Toe.
“Collin has told us that he primarily loves Hi-Toe around the greens. The versatility of the design gives him a tool capable of producing all the shots. While he hasn’t come out and said this, it makes sense that the tougher course setups lend themselves to the performance of Hi-Toe 3 – when there are so many variables around the greens, you need a wedge that’s capable of taking on anything the course throws at you.”Paul Demkowski, Senior R&D Manager | Putter & Wedge
There’s something to learn from Morikawa’s wedge rotation. Would it help us mere mortals to rotate wedges based on course conditions? The answer is absolutely. However, you’ll need an advanced golf IQ to truly assess the best combination of wedge and conditions.
A simple rule of thumb: On courses with higher rough and diverse surroundings near the greens (bunker complexes, hilly lies, tightly mown areas) perhaps you reach for the Hi-Toe 3. The added versatility will help relieve some of the stress on your short game. On courses where you have a lot of full wedge shots in greens, maybe reach for a traditional design like MG3.
Remember, every golfer is different. So, the best way to find the right wedge is go get fit. We have Experiential Teams across the country just waiting to get you dialed. If you’re looking to grab n’ go, consider some of the factors we outlined within this article and make the best choice on which model is right for your game.
To help out a little more, here’s a quick comparison chart that breaks down the differences between Hi-Toe 3 and Milled Grind 3 wedges.
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