Bettinardi HLX 3.0 Wedge Review

50 Words or Less

The Bettinardi HLX 3.0 wedge has stunning looks and excellent feel.  Two sole options.  Plenty of spin.

Introduction

It’s been over five years since Bettinardi released the H2 wedge [review HERE].  That’s a long product life cycle, especially by golf industry standards.  What have they been doing with all that time?  Completely redesigning their approach to wedges, with new material, a new face, and a stunning new look.  The result is the Bettinardi HLX 3.0.

Looks

In the bag, the Bettinardi HLX 3.0 is easily one the best looking wedges on the market.  Bettinardi covers the top of the blade in their signature Honeycomb milling.  Thanks to a simple monochromatic paint scheme and tasteful branding, the focus stays on this unique element.  Another thing that I like about the look of the HLX 3.0 is the abundance of mill marks along the sole.

At address, the HLX 3.0 wedge has a traditional teardrop profile with a very slightly rounded leading edge.  The head is average in size overall, giving it appeal to players of all ability levels.

The Bettinardi HLX 3.0 wedges are available in two finishes: Black Smoke and Chrome.

Sound & Feel

One of the biggest changes to the new HLX 3.0 wedge is that it’s made of carbon steel.  According to Bettinardi, this change was made to give the player a softer feel at impact.

To me, this soft feel really comes through on short shots.  From pitches to chips, the ball feels very heavy on the face and creates a quiet “thud.”  As you move into 3/4 and full swings, the feel firms up a little and the sound gets more crisp.  The feedback on strike location is excellent.

Performance

Let’s start with the sole.  Bettinardi is offering the HLX 3.0 in six different lofts with two different grinds.  At 50, 52, and 54 degrees, the HLX 3.0 comes with the C-Grind.  At 56, 58, and 60 degrees, players can choose between the C-Grind and the RJ-Grind.

Looking at the specs, you’ll see that the RJ-Grind has 2 degrees more bounce than the C-Grind.  This leads Bettinardi to describe the RJ-Grind as being more forgiving and better for the player with a steeper angle of attack.  What you’ll notice in looking at the two grinds is that the RJ-Grind has more relief in the heel and toe and appears a bit narrower overall.

Despite having a fairly shallow angle of attack, I often gravitate toward wedges with a little more bounce and sole width, so both Bettinardi HLX 3.0 wedge grinds worked well for me.  With either wedge, I was able to make an aggressive swing without fear that the club would stick in the turf.  I did find the RJ-Grind to be a little easier to open up, but the difference between the two grinds was not huge.  I could be very happy gaming either grind.

In addition to offering new grinds, Bettinardi has redesigned the face of the wedge.  Per Bettinardi, their High Helix Cut machining process cuts grooves that are at the USGA limits.  In my launch monitor testing, the HLX 3.0 wedge was in the elite range for spin.  From full swings to half swings, spin was very high and consistent.

The Bettinardi HLX 3.0 wedge comes with four premium stock shaft choices.  I tested these wedges with the KBS Hi-Rev 2.0.  The other options are the Nippon Modus3 115 and the True Temper Dynamic Gold in S200 and S400.

Conclusion

The Bettinardi HLX 3.0 wedges were well worth the wait.  In the bag, they’re pure eye candy, and they reward good strikes with excellent feel.  Add in consistent spin, a pair of versatile grinds, and a quartet of premium stock shafts and you have a wedge I can confidently recommend to nearly any player.

Bettinardi HLX 3.0 Wedge Price & Specs

Matt Saternus
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14 Comments

  1. Nicest looking wedge I have ever seen. I will own a set I hope sometime.
    Matt what is the difference of a S200 shaft compared to a S400?
    Thanks for another great review Matt.
    I look forward to them ,robin.

  2. I have Bettinardi H2 303 Stainless Steel Forged Wedge and love them. Bettinardi factory is located about 30 mile from my home and I went to the factory for a putter fitting (what a great experience.) The quality of all of their products are amazing. When you have a chance to see and hit with one of their clubs you will understand the difference between mass market production and custom hand made. I can’t wait to go there now that B has re-opended and try these new wedges. I assume that they are an improvement over my current set but will find out.

  3. Anthony P.

    Matt,
    Great looking Wedge. Is this wedge about the same size as the mizuno T-20?

    • Matt Saternus

      Anthony,

      With the caveat that I don’t have them side by side, I would say yes because neither stood out as being particularly large or small.

      Best,

      Matt

  4. Mike Crowell

    Bought a set (50-54-58a0 this year because I’ve been struggling to find a wedge that is as soft as a forged iron set which I normally play. I currently am gaming PXG 0211 and they fell softer than most of the forged I’ve played in the past. These are the best wedges I’ve ever played. Have so much confidence on full, partial, or around the green with these. Big issues with my previous wedges are that they don’t gap yardage correctly from the stock set I’m playing, and I would often hit full shots fat regardless of bounce. These fly as much as my set so gapping is correct, and the distance control is perfect. They fell so soft, and are very forgiving. I have a ton of confidence stepping up on a fairway and they cut through everything. I play in a weekly match, and a few weeks back I had two chip ins off the green in one round which sealed the match. My opponents now comment when I pull them out and are threatening to throw them in the woods!! LOL. Give them a try so much better feel than any steel wedge out there. Hope they stand the test of time. I heard that is the one reason manufacturers don’t offer forged wedges often.

  5. Hey Matt,

    I currently own the original carbon steel H2 Wedges from Bettinardi. The later updated stainless version H2 303 wasn’t worth the upgrade for me then, and now recently I tried the new HLX 3.0 I am not fully impressed either…From your experience, do you think the original one is as good if not better then the HLX 3.0? I just don’t feel its as soft…was the new one better from your perspective?

    Thanks

    • Matt Saternus

      Bolin,

      Overall, I’ve never been disappointed with a Bettinardi wedge. To compare the original to the HLX 3.0, I’d have to dig pretty deep into the memory banks, so I’m hesitant to say anything definitive.

      -Matt

      • Hi matt i am a higher handicap 24 at the moment would these wedges suit more of a lower handicap player or would they be forgiving enough for a higher handicap player like me ? Have allso been looking at the mizuno Es21 but completly lost as can only buy the bettinardi on line so not sure with feel any help would be greatly appreciated

        • Matt Saternus

          Craig,

          The Bettinardi is not a forgiving wedge, but there’s nothing about it that makes it only playable for better players. If you want a forgiving wedge, check out the Edison wedge, PING Glide 3.0 or Cleveland CBX 2.

          Best,

          Matt

  6. Mike "Swagdeuce" Martin

    Let me start by saying, “Brovo!”
    When a company doesn’t put a new edition out for, what is it, almost 5 years? When you have all the Fat Cats introducing the most innovative release every chance they get. Nic a wedge hitting out of the dessert in Scottsdale. “I kinda like they way that chip looks on the toe. Let’s run with it.” “OK boss, usual marketing points?”
    “Not this time, Sherman. You got your pen? We got a chance to really hype this up.
    Instead of removing perimeter weight. We take the hardest rocks found in AZ and we smash the weight towards the middle, offering better MOI, the new ‘Sonoran’ shape offers an escape for moisture, keeping your clubs as dry as the dessert and your ball spinning as high as the temperature on a summer day in Scottsdale.” Sherman dropping his pen and paper starts to clap loud and slow, followed by the other 2 after realizing Sherman was urging them to join in. Awkwardly trying to seem inspired and authentic they begin to yell words like “brilliant” and “homerun” but it’s not long before Sherman is having to curb the anything but genuine enthusiasm from the 2 after one yells “this will end world hunger”
    Anyway it seems obvious the new release from Betti isn’t the same re-marketed garbage and is a different club that I believe no matter what you think about the previous generation I’d urge you to take a fresh look at this new release with an unbiased approach. And that goes not just for the people that didn’t like the previous wedge. Even if you loved it I found the differences, though subtle, enough to not guarantee you will feel the same about this new wedge.

  7. kevin shafer

    these wedges are not for the average player. This wedge at 60 degrees can be playe many ways depending on the lie and green conditions. They do tend to come off the face a little firmer a impact thus requiring to back down on swing at most forged irons. The weight is heavier than mos clubs allowing a scraper attack at impact acausing more back spin. They do take some time to get use to but when you do its like the putters money. Kid you not!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Jon Skinner

    Hi Matt, I understand the bettinardi wedges are forged from 8620 like wilson wedges as opposed to 1025 which is what mizuno and a lot of manufacturers use for their wedges. I think 8620 is meant to be harder and more durable. Did you find the bettinardi wedges more durable. My biggest frustration is stone gorges you often get with forged wedges due to the soft forgings. I have used hogan, mizuno and vega wedges and they have all had nasty stone chips from bunkers. I know they are tools not jewels but stone chips do look ugly. Are there any more durable wedges you have tested that you would recommend that would still have good forged feel. I am looking for a conventional blade like wedge that is durable if such a thing exists.

    Kind Regards
    Jon

    • Matt Saternus

      Jon,

      I can’t say that I’ve found any wedge noticeably more durable than any other with regard to those nicks and chips. I understand the desire to avoid those blemishes, and my best advice, if you’re really committed to the cause, would be to keep an old wedge in the bag to deal with the occasional rocky bunker. If your home course is full of such bunkers…I’m not sure there’s a great answer.

      Best,

      Matt

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