For nearly four decades now, Cleveland has been a clear industry leader when it comes to wedges.
It has earned that position by creating wedges that have been in the bags of professional golfers for countless victories around the world.
Additionally, however, Cleveland has a strong track record of building wedges that give average players the chance to have more success from 100 yards and in.
So when Cleveland found out through its latest research that 84 percent of golfers today play cavity back irons, there was really only one thing for the company to do: Build a cavity back wedge that had the forgiveness of a cavity back iron but incorporate the same spin and face technologies that would be found in a ‘tour’ wedge.
The end result of uniting those attributes is the new CBX wedge, and Cleveland truly believes this is a product that will prove to be a perfect fit for a wide array of golfers.
“The golfer who’s playing a traditional cavity back iron is either buying blade wedges or set-matching wedges, and in either case they’re giving up a lot,” said John Rae, Cleveland Golf Vice President of Research and Development. “What we’ve done is give you a little bit of both.”
When asked, Rae expanded on those comments.
“Wedges that match iron sets have next to no spin technology and sole designs that are ill-equipped for the demands of the short game,” he explained. “Tour wedges are versatile and spin the ball but are significantly heavier and lack the forgiveness features that most golfers are used to in their irons.”
“The CBX combines the spin and versatility of our tour wedges with a cavity back design so golfers get plenty of control and forgiveness.”
In terms of forgiveness, the cavity drives what has been done with the CBX wedges. By utilizing a cavity design, engineers saved more than 70 grams when compared to a typical blade design, and that weight has been pushed to the perimeter of the clubhead to create better results on mis-hits, as well as enhanced stability at impact.
Also new with the CBX wedges is a unique sole design that Cleveland is calling the Dual-V.
“The Dual-V sole has the traditional front-to-back V shape that you’ve seen but now it also has a narrow heel and wider sole,” Rae said. “That allows for more versatility and lets players open that face to hit shots.”
The V Shape that exists from front to back can be found in Cleveland’s tour wedge, the RTX-3, and it has been designed to improve turf interaction.
The wider sole design also helps improve forgiveness at impact, while as Rae explained the narrow heel allows players to adjust the face angle to play any type of shot they want.
Unique about the CBX wedges, however, is that even with their cavity design and wider toe they look similar in the playing position to the RTX-3 and are actually quite a bit smaller than the cavity back version of the RTX-3.
“The Cleveland engineers deserve a lot of credit because you can see from the back of this wedge and the bottom a little bit thicker sole, a little bit of mass, the cavity, all of which is going to make these clubs easier to play,”said Chris Wallace, TGW staff writer. “But at address, (it has) a really nice shape, compact. It looks outstanding and it feels great as well.”
Like the RTX-3 wedges, CBX wedges also feature Feel Balancing Technology, as well as a Rotex Face and Tour Zip Grooves.
Feel Balancing Technology is a design strategy that removes weight from the hosel area to position the CG closer to the center of the clubface area where players ideally strike the ball. The result is not only improved feel at impact but also a significantly tighter dispersion on full shots.
The grooves and the clubface, meanwhile, have been constructed to create optimal spin on full shots and shots played around the green, including an angled milling pattern on higher-lofted models to help golfers create maximum spin when playing shots with an open face out of any lie condition.
Also of note, the two stock shaft options for the CBX wedges, the True Temper Dynamic Gold 115 steel and the Cleveland Rotex graphite, are lighter than typical wedge shafts and more in line from a weighting standpoint with what cavity back golfers typically play in their irons.
Players will also notice that unlike the RTX-3 wedges and past Cleveland models that there are not different dot options to choose from as it relates to bounce angle.
“When we were setting out to design this wedge we were really out to eliminate confusion,” said Zack Oakley, Cleveland Golf Product Manager. “We built these wedges as mid-bounce models that will work for a lot of golfers.”
Cleveland’s new CBX wedges are available in loft increments of two degrees ranging from 46 to 60 degrees.