Cleveland Golf RTX 3 Wedges – Make Short Work of your Short Game

Sep 19, 2016 by

Cleveland Golf RTX 3 Wedges – Make Short Work of your Short Game

Behind a putter, wedges are the most important clubs in your bag.  They are the tools you use to create short game magic, greenside surgery and bunker victories.  They are also the clubs in your bag you should be replacing most often.  If you play more than 15-20 times per year, you should be cycling through new wedges on that same schedule.  Because of the job they perform, wedges need to be sharp and consistent in order to deliver on their intended job.  Cleveland Golf has released its third iteration of the Rotex family for 2016, the RTX-3 – if your wedges are in need of replacement, Cleveland has you covered with more technology and options for ’16.

 

 

Technology

Feel Balancing Technology – the most significant performance upgrade in the new RTX-3 line is the addition of what Cleveland calls ‘Feel Balancing Technology’.  By both shortening the hosel and adding a small cavity inside, the extra weight (9 grams) can then be distributed closer to the strike zone of the wedge, improving forgiveness and creating a sense of greater control.

Rotex Grooves – improved for 2016, the new grooves are slightly deeper (yet conforming) and are paired with an improved Rotex milling procedure, designed to generate more spin from less-than-optimal lies.  Directional grooves to help full swings at lower lofts and precision swings on shorter shots round out the technology on the face.

V-Sole Grinds – exactly what you think they are – new sole grinds in an aggressive V shape allow golfers to tune their wedge selections across their entire game.

The RTX-3 is available in 2 models – the Blade, which is a more traditional shape that offers shot flexibility, and the Cavity Back, a larger profile model offering more forgiveness and consistency out from less-confident swings.

My review units were configured in the following manner: 52* loft, 10* bounce CB model, 54* loft 11* bounce blade model, and a 56* loft 8* bounce blade.  These are almost identical to what my current game-time wedges are, so I was excited to see how they stacked up.

For testing, I hit 10 shots each with both my gamer and the RTX-3.  I used the Srixon Z-Star XV ball in order to assess maximum potential spin.

First up was the 52* gap wedge.  Admittedly, I don’t hit many shots that require this wedge, but I set up a 115 yard shot in ideal conditions and fired away.  My expectations with the larger body of the CB model was that I would get a fairly wide dispersion and little control.  While it lacked a little control, sending shots straight to where I was aligned, I found the dispersion to be tighter than I had anticipated.  For ten balls, the maximum dispersion I saw between my two worst balls was six yards.  In real-world terms, I am looking at a nine foot putt on either side of the hole, which for me is a scoring chance.  The CB model also reminded me that I am far tardy for a lesson in proper alignment.  Feel was excellent, with a nice, muted sound off the face.

Next up was the 54* RTX-3 blade wedge.  I play eleven degrees of bounce at this loft because I like to hit different types of shots with this wedge.  Often, the 54 degree is my go to bunker club, so more bounce helps resist digging in the sand.  For the test, I hit five bunker shots and five shots from forty yards in an effort to gauge stopping power.  These are the finest wedges I’ve hit from a bunker in a very long time.  The V-Sole glides against the grain, pops the ball up and was compliant with my choice of shot.  From the sand, I could set up for a shot to release or one to spin, and I had the confidence to commit and go with it – the RTX-3 always performed.  From forty yards, the same story was present.  Depending on how I set up, I could will the ball to release or check up.  Because I was looking more at versatility than accuracy here, I did not record dispersion.

Finally, the Swiss Army Knife of most golfer’s bags – the 56*.  I play eight degrees of bounce on the 56 because, as a personal preference, I like to hit full shots with that wedge.  Given that, my playable yardage is eighty yards in.  For testing, I hit 10 shots each from eighty yards to assess dispersion and shot-making ability.  The results were a little troubling in that the RTX-3 spins so much that an eighty yard shot quickly turned into seventy yard shots.  Dispersion was tight – 3 yards max, but an adjustment was necessary to use these wedges as full shot clubs from my normal distance.  In my assessment, it’s a good problem to have, given that the wedges can help create versatile shots from closer in, effectively improving our short game with a simple club change.

Overall, the Cleveland RTX-3 line of wedges serve golfers of all skill levels and for every short-game shot you can throw at them.  The CB models are great for longer clubs and less skilled players, while the blade models are great for shot-shaping and green side creativity.  Bottom line, you would be hard pressed to go wrong playing these in your bag this season.  See more at http://www.clevelandgolf.com

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