FIRST LOOK: Cleveland RTX ZipCore wedges focus on sweet spot consistency
Finding the sweet spot with regularity is every golfer’s dream. Actually accomplishing it is another story. The birth of oversized drivers, hollow-body irons and weighty mallet putters has made it easier than ever to find the center of the face without shanking it into oblivion.
But what about the scoring clubs? You know, the wedges that help you get up-and-down for par. In recent years, some equipment manufacturers have started to focus on the importance of internal weighting in an effort to improve overall launch and spin characteristics by shifting the center of gravity location.
Cleveland is the latest to think outside the box in search of impact consistency. The new RTX ZipCore wedge is designed around a low-density core house inside the hosel that allowed designers to reposition discretionary weight and shift the center of gravity 1.4 millimeters closer to the center. (Also known as the sweet spot.)
In addition to having a more centered sweet spot, high-low MOI (a measurement of forgiveness) increased by 9 percent. In layman’s terms, the internal geometry found inside RTX ZipCore is designed to help you find the center of the face on a more regular basis while also enhancing spin and distance consistency.
“Cleveland wedges are always just beautiful looking clubs, and this one is no different,” said 2019 Open Champion Shane Lowry. “They’re very traditional and I just love them. You need to be able to trust what your wedges are going to do, and RTX ZipCore does everything I need it to do. I couldn’t ask for anything else in a wedge.”
Cleveland’s fourth-generation Rotex face technology — found on the previous generation RTX4 — has been replaced by a new UltiZip groove that’s 11 percent sharper and 7.3 percent deeper. The space between each groove was also tightened up to allow for an additional two grooves on the face. The end result is an additional 7.2 percent more groove contact at impact to ramp up spin.
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To prolong the life of the grooves, a timed heat treatment process was added to the 8620 carbon steel grain structure to reduce internal stresses and brittleness.
The wedge comes in three sole grinds designed for a variety of turf interactions. The “Low” sole (56-62 degrees) is designed around a low bounce, c-shaped grind with relief in the heel, toe and trailing edge that’s ideal for firm conditions and open-face shots. A “Mid” sole (46-60 degrees) offers a v-shaped grind with relief along the trailing edge for golfers who have a neutral to steep attack angle and tend to play on medium to soft turf conditions. The classic “Full” sole (54-60 degrees) features ample bounce for golfers who take big divots and need a reliable option out of the rough and bunker.
Cleveland’s RTX ZipCore retails for $149.99 and will be available Aug. 14 in a Tour Satin finish. Black Satin and Raw finishes will be released later in the year.
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