Cleveland’s Smart Sole wedge franchise has been incredibly popular for the last several years, as it has given higher-handicap golfers who struggle around the greens the clubs they need to help them hit better shots and have more fun.
“What separates us with Smart Sole is the history we have making clubs like this,” said John Rae, Cleveland Golf Vice President of Research and Development.“We have six or seven years now of making these clubs.”
The Smart Sole line has always consisted of two models, the S (sand) and the C (chipper), which were created respectively as their names would suggest to help players get out of greenside bunkers and make better contact on chip shots.
Still, even Cleveland engineers acknowledged that those two clubs were in a sense “one-trick ponies,” as from a playability standpoint they really had just that one task to complete.
That, however, has changed with the new Smart Sole 3.0 line, as design changes have made these clubs more versatile. And that versatility comes thanks to a new, three-tiered sole, something that especially makes a significant difference in the functionality of the S wedge.
“The three-tiered sole makes the club a little more versatile,” Rae said.“On full shots from the fairway, it will play like a standard wedge. But you can play more shots around the green. They’re not just for that one (sand) shot.”
S wedges will still, however, excel from the sand as they always have, as their 58 degrees of loft and mid-to-high bounce design were specifically implemented for more effective bunker play.
The C wedge, meanwhile, also has a new three-tiered sole that has been refined to promote even better contact every time when chipping. And has been the case with past models, the C wedge, which is about the length of a putter but has loft more in line with a 9-iron, is designed with a more upright lie angle that helps players position their hands correctly at address. Or more specifically ahead of the ball.
Also new with both 3.0 models is the incorporation of Cleveland’s popular and successful Feel Balancing Technology, which moves weight away from the hosel and more toward the center of the clubface to promote improved shot dispersion while also enhancing feel at impact.
Smart Sole 3.0 wedges are being offered in both men’s and women’s models, although the women’s versions are available in right-hand only.
Men’s versions of the S and C wedge are available with either the Smart Sole steel or Cleveland Wedge Flex graphite shaft, while the women’s models come standard with graphite shafts.