FIRST LOOK REVIEW: Cleveland RTX-3 Wedges
Cleveland's 588 range of wedges started in 1988 and were the fifth model they created, hence the name. Since then they have sold over 10 million of them culminating in the Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 wedge that has now been superseded by the Cleveland RTX-3.
Wedges are not clubs that make you think “technology.” We expect new materials and visible technology in our drivers and even our irons, but we expect new wedges to give us little more than a new finish or sole grind. Cleveland’s new RTX-3 wedges buck that expectation with meaningful improvements to the face, sole, and center of gravity.
The Cleveland RTX-3 wedges come in a variety of flavors: Blade, Cavity Back, and Women’s Cavity Back. However, only Blade, Cavity Back are available in India. Also, the RTX-3 blade has three different finishes that you can see here: Tour Satin, Black Satin, and Tour Raw. The Black Satin, Cleveland’s most popular finish, has been made more durable than ever.
The difference between the RTX-3 Blade and the RTX-3 Cavity Back is small but noticeable. On its own, the CB isn’t an oversized wedge, but next to the Blade, it’s just a little bigger in every dimension.
Overall, the Cleveland RTX-3 is a very solid-looking wedge that will please most golfer. The leading edge is a bit rounded, the head has a slight teardrop shape, and the toe is neither too square nor too bulbous.
Sound & Feel
Using a quality ball, the Cleveland RTX-3 wedge produces a satisfying, soft “tock” when you hit the sweet spot. The feedback is very good as the sound gets louder when you move off center.
Feel is key to one of the RTX-3’s major upgrades – Feel Balancing Technology. In short, Cleveland has moved the sweet spot of the wedge closer to the center of the face. You may not be aware of this, but some major OEM wedges have a sweet spot that is as much as 10 mm closer to the heel! For players that suffer from the occasional hosel rocket, this change is hugely important because you’ll no longer be playing a wedge that rewards you for flirting with disaster.
In addition to Feel Balancing Technology, the RTX-3 has new V-Sole Grinds. As with past Cleveland wedges, there are three sole options: One Dot for low bounce, Two Dots for medium bounce, and Three Dots for high bounce. Having tested all three, I can speak to the importance of getting fit for the right grind. When your wedge matches your swing and the turf conditions, you get better results from both good and bad shots. Good results beget more confidence which begets more good results.
Finally, Cleveland has given the RTX-3 wedges a new Rotex Face. The grooves are deeper and narrower with a sharper edge radius. What does that mean for you? More, and more consistent, spin.
You can evaluate all of Cleveland’s testing data about the new RTX-3 wedges here.
Overall the RTX-3 is a significant improvement on the 588 RTX 2.0 and it sounds and feels better and the benefits of the CG placement should result in an increase in accuracy. It is probably the start of things to come from Cleveland as more resources go into wedges now that they have stopped making irons and woods.