Are you in the market for some new wedges? Our equipment guru believes there isn’t an approach or greenside shot these wedges couldn’t handle.
TESTED BY: Jimmy Emanuel, Golf Australia Deputy Editor (GA Handicap 9.4).
MODELS PLAYED: Cleveland RTX ZipCore, fitted with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue Spinner shafts.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Straight out of the box I liked the look of the new RTX ZipCore that, for mine, hark back to the days of Cleveland’s classic 588 range of wedges in terms of appearance. In the best possible way.
The shape is compact and classic, and as a frequent user of Cleveland wedges in the past, I really enjoyed the look both at address and on the back of the new model.
Off the face with my first few shots, the work of the new grooves was noticeable, with plenty of spin on every variety of shot, while the feel is a step up from previous models.
HOW IT PERFORMED: Testing wedges might be the most fun of any form of equipment, due to the wide variety of shots and characteristics to focus on during the process. And the ZipCore models did nothing to harm this personal notion.
The feel was something that continued to impress, with an improved overall feel due to the new core material that was solid yet soft. This was true on every shot from the shortest of chips to full shots with the lower lofts and something that I believe Cleveland has done better in this model than any of its previous wedges that certainly didn’t feel bad by any means.
The new core helps shift the centre of gravity (CG) and add moment of inertia (MOI) and intentionally hitting shots towards the heel, toe, as well as high and low on the face suggested this technology has majorly improved forgiveness in the new model.
Ball flights were similar to a well struck shot, as was the performance once the ball hit the ground, and the feedback of a bad strike was still present enough to learn from. A perfect combination in this writer’s opinion.
When it came to versatility there wasn’t an approach or greenside shot the RTX ZipCores couldn’t handle.
Chipping and pitching was fantastic, with the soles offering enough variation to cater to any preferences or swing types, and the grooves offering serious stopping power and consistency of spin that meant my confidence increased knowing exactly how the ball would react each and every time.
Bunker play was another area where the new models were really well suited. The MID sole grind was extremely good in this area from a variety of lies and bunker types. Every shot imaginable was possible, again with consistency the major plus.
When hitting approach shots with the wedges, there was a pleasant continuation of consistency as the standout characteristic. The aforementioned forgiveness certainly is an improvement, but the ZipCore range’s main positive aspect when hitting full and finesse approaches was the distances, reaction on the green and ball flight were the same each and every time.
Having used many of Cleveland’s previous models in the past, I fully expected to enjoy the ZipCore range. The hallmarks of the company’s best models are certainly there, mostly in the looks department where they are among the best on the market.
The improved performance in key areas of wedge play are again no surprise for a company with such a storied history in wedge design, but even so, I was still a little more taken with these than I anticipated I would be. And I couldn’t fault Cleveland’s ZipCore in any area of key performance for what are some of the most fun and important clubs in the bag.
FACTS AND FIGURES
SUITABILITY: With lofts ranging from 46˚ to 62˚, three sole grind options as well as three finishes to choose from there is an RTX ZipCore for every golfer.
SHAFTS: RTX ZipCore wedges come with Temper Dynamic Gold Spinner Tour Issue shafts as standard.
CLEVELAND SAYS: RTX ZipCore is both radically new and ultra-familiar. On the inside, its new core has unlocked design freedoms pushing the performance beyond any wedge in Cleveland Golf’s history. Yet on the outside, the sleek yet traditional design is familiar and inspires confidence at address.
The foundation of RTX ZipCore is a unique, low-density core that sits at the heart of the wedge. This ‘ZipCore’ makes you better by shifting the centre of gravity, while also boosting High-Low moment of inertia (MOI) for more stability high and low on the wedge face. The result is that ZipCore puts more impacts on the sweet spot for more consistent spin, distance and feel on every shot.
Furthermore, RTX ZipCore features Cleveland’s new ‘UltiZip Grooves’. Compared to previous generations, UltiZip Grooves are 11 percent sharper and 7.3 percent deeper, while also being 7.4 precent closer together for more groove contact area. The combination and optimization of these factors ensure that RTX ZipCore generates increased spin and consistent spin performance from any condition on the course.
To preserve the lifespan of our grooves, RTX ZipCore also features a new heat treatment to boost durability and maintain spin performance round after round.
For more information, visit www.clevelandgolf.com.au