Cleveland RTX Full-Face Wedges
- Cleveland RTX ZipCore wedges now are available with full-face grooves.
- Available in 50- through 64-degree lofts in Tour Satin and raw Tour Rack finishes
- $159.99 in Tour Satin, $179.99 in Tour Rack.
- Available June 11.
On one hand, you could say the Cleveland RTX Full-Face wedges are a little late to the full-face wedge party. But on the other hand, fashionably late means the floor is yours and all eyes are on you.
Just don’t trip on the red carpet.
From what we can tell, the Cleveland RTX Full-Face wedge is ready to make a smooth entrance. And if you’re at all intrigued by full-face wedge-craftery, it’s a stick you’ll want to pay attention to.
Cleveland RTX Full-Face Wedges – With ZipCore
We’ve seen a mini-boomlet in the full-face wedge world. Yeah, we know, PING and the Eye 2 … yada yada yada. But it was Callaway with its original PM Grind in 2015 that brought the full-face back into vogue. Since then, TaylorMade, Wilson and others have joined the parade, with Cleveland chiming in early last year with full-face CBX wedges. Apparently, the time was ripe to add RTX to the party.
“We make something for every golfer,” says Cleveland GM Ryan Polanco. “By having the CBX already in the market, we learned there’s definitely an appetite for full-face. And there’s definitely a place for a product designed for better players with a more refined eye.”
If you look at the Callaway PM Grind, the Wilson Staff Model HT or the TaylorMade Hi-Toe, you’ll notice, well, a pretty high toe. That’s by design, of course. And while the Cleveland RTX Full-Face wedges are high-ish toe, the high toe doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb.
“Not being first to market meant we could look at what else was out there and what we could do better than our competitors,” says Polanco. “ZipCore technology allows us to keep traditional shaping and have the performance of a high-toe wedge without needing to make it look like a high-toe wedge.”
A side-by-side comparison does indeed show the RTX Full-Face model leaning high-toe. But depending on your eye, it doesn’t appear excessive.
We gave you a deep dive on Cleveland’s ZipCore technology last year but let’s check the Cliff Notes. Cleveland developed a new low-density core for the new ZipCore line, which reduced internal weight by 16 grams. That freed up mass and shifted the CG more toward the center of the clubface, as well as slightly higher, thus improving MOI and feel.
Who Needs Full-Face?
That’s a fair question. Full-face wedges typically make the most sense for golfers who have a variety of greenside shots in their tool bag. They’re typically on the low-bounce side with aggressive C-grinds, making them very easy to open up.
“Our studies show when you’re hitting out of the rough around the green, the ball is going to kind of come up the face a little bit,” says Polanco. “Golfers generally wind up hitting those high on the toe. So having full-face grooves will help.”
High-toe full-face wedges are most useful as a lob wedge. Cleveland is going so far as to call the new RTX Full Face wedge a “flop shot machine.” Generally speaking, high-toe full-face usefulness drops as you approach gap wedge territory. The Cleveland offering, however, stretches all the way down to a 50-degree wedge.
“From a pure performance standpoint, you’re still getting all the benefits of ZipCore,” says Polanco. “You’re still getting all the benefits of UltiZip grooves, high MOI performance and full-face grooves. You’re still getting all the performance from the fairway and you’ll get help when hitting out of deep rough.”
If you do like manipulating the face around the green but haven’t tried a full-face wedge, the lob is the best place to start.
“Golfers start there,” says Polanco. “And if they like the look and feel of it, they can work their way down from there and maybe add a sand or gap wedge if it works for them. Wedges are personal and each golfer has their own eye and the way they play the game.”
And if you’re bold enough to try it, Cleveland is also offering a 64-degree model. If it doesn’t work on the course, you can always flip hamburgers with it.
Bounce and Grind
For the most part, high-toe full-face wedges tend to be on the low-bounce side. Cleveland is taking a different route with the RTX Full-Face.
“These wedges have a bit more bounce than you’d expect,” says Polanco. “The actual bounce [listed at nine degrees in all models] is closer to Mid-Grind on our standard RTX wedges. That’s a little more bounce than other full-face wedges but that extra bounce adds to the forgiveness.”
The Cleveland RTX Full-Face wedges come in two finishes: Tour Satin and the raw Tour Rack, which it introduced last year. Both come standard with an aggressive C-grind sole. The C-grind offers heel and toe relief for open face shots as well as neutral to shallow attack angles and medium to firm playing conditions.
The Tour Rack model also offers (for a $10 upcharge) an optional Relief Edge Grind which removes some additional material from the trailing edge. Included is an option to sharpen the leading edge for very firm conditions or to round the leading edge for softer conditions or if you have a steeper angle of attack.
“If you play in tighter lie conditions and want to pick the ball cleaner, we can sharpen up that leading edge and get it as low to the ground as possible,” says Polanco.
Cleveland RTX Full-Face Wedges: A Flop Artist
As mentioned, Cleveland is touting the RTX Full-Face wedge as a flop shot machine. After maybe eight rounds with a 58-degree in the bag, we can definitely concur. The very first shot I tried was a flop over a bunker from a tight lie. Normally, I skip the formalities and just toss the ball in the bunker and go from there but the combination of bounce, grind and leading-edge produced the ultimate oxymoron: a successful flop. The wedge has since proven to be a reliable weapon around the green and from the sand (where it’s a near-automatic) so it likely won’t be out of the bag and put in a time-out any time soon.
As a gap wedge, the 52-degree model certainly performs as it should, but there’s been nothing about its performance that would make me swap out my gamer for it.
Specs, Customization and Availability
The Cleveland RTX Full-Face wedges in Tour Satin come in two-degree increments from 50 through 60 degrees. A 64-degree option is also available. The meat of the line—the 54 through 60—will be available for both lefties and righties. The 50-, 52- and 64-degree models will be right-handed only.
The raw Tour Rack models will be offered in 56 through 60 degrees, as well as 64. It will be available for righties only.
The stock shaft is the Dynamic Gold Spinner Tour Issue, not to be confused with True Temper’s standard DG Spinner. Cleveland and True Temper co-developed the new Spinner Tour Issue specifically for last year’s RTX ZipCore launch. At 128 grams, it’s about four grams lighter than an S400 and features a slightly more active tip. True Temper classifies it as a mid-spin, low-launch wedge shaft.
Cleveland will also offer its best-deal-in-golf customization options for the RTX Full Face. We’ve already discussed the grind and leading-edge options for the Tour Rack models. For $10, you can have three separate color paint fills on your RTX wedges, one for the loft and bounce marking, one for the Cleveland logo and a third for the RTX and Full-Face logo area. There are 16 color options.
You can also get up to five characters of custom stamping for another $10. All customization, along with custom shafts and grips, can be ordered through Cleveland’s website.
The Cleveland RTX Full-Face wedge will retail for $159.99 in Tour Satin and $179.99 in Tour Rack.
They’ll hit the stores June 11.
For more information, visit Cleveland’s website.