Aug 4th, 2016
Cleveland RTX-3 Wedges
New wares from the wedge wizards
Words: Daniel Owen
Some people will drop $500 on Japanese wedges forged in the fires of a dragon's breath by samurais riding unicorns. Other people will make sure their whole bag of clubs is matching, the same brand, the flash tour bag, and the MasterCard logos on the shirt collars. Outside of the golf perverts and the wannabe tour pros though, the majority of the golfing public use either Vokey or Cleveland wedges. So when Cleveland launch a new model, it is a massive deal.
As you read this I'll be trying the RTX-3s for the first time, and I’ll let you know how I find them as soon as we’ve given them a bash. But here's what we've been told so far. Where wedge designs can often look the same because they’re such a traditional bit of equipment, a lot of hidden technology is tucked away in Cleveland’s new spin machines.
Most wedges have a centre of gravity towards the heel, which is fine for pros. But most amateur golfers have a tendency to hit the ball towards the toe. So Cleveland had to rethink the design of the wedge to put the centre of gravity in the middle of the face, whilst keeping it looking traditional.
Cleveland have come up with a solution which they call 'Feel Balancing Technology'. A micro-cavity has been put inside the hosel, and the hosel has been shortened, both of which save weight. The nine grams have then been redistributed around the head for a more 'centred' centre of gravity, improving feel and tightening shot dispersion.
Sister company Srixon introduced the V-Sole to their irons a couple of seasons ago, and now they’ve been added to the wedges as well. Three tour-proven grinds feature in a V shape with more leading edge bounce to help get the club head through the turf faster, and with less resistance at impact.
Think of them as a skid plate for golf clubs, and you’ll understand how they work. The V-LG (•) is Cleveland’s narrowest low bounce sole for maximum versatility, the V-MG (••) has mid bounce suitable for a wide range of players and turf conditions, and the V-FG (•••) is a forgiving full sole design with trailing edge relief.
The ROTEX face has been updated too, in three distinct ways. New Tour Zip Grooves have been made sharper for more versatility across different types of golf shot.
The face milling has then been changed dependent on the loft. So the 46°- 52° have a straighter pattern to accommodate full shots and high lofts 54°- 64° have a more angled pattern to optimise open-face shots.
Cleveland’s laser milling precisely roughens the face to the conforming USGA limit, allowing golfers the maximum amount of spin possible. More importantly they’ve dropped the writing on the sides of the scoring pattern, which was a real negative for some players.
The wedges will be available in Europe in two finishes, Black Pearl, or Tour Satin. We can’t wait to give them a go, they look great, and the V soles should make a real difference, especially on full swings, and they should be friendlier on little chip and runs too.
But it’s in the sand where we can really see the benefits of the design, as they should help the club skip out the sand on slightly heavy shots.
Wedges will retail at £99 and more information is available from clevelandgolf.com.