Face Value

Cleveland WedgeCleveland’s new RTX Full-Face wedge is designed to help you hit better lob shots.

It’s six years now since Callaway revived the full-face wedge – wedges with grooves reaching to the four extremities of the clubface. The Mack Daddy PM Wedge went where Ping’s Eye 2 wedge had gone decades before, and was soon followed by other full-face models – Wilson’s Staff Model HT and TaylorMade’s Milled Grind Hi-Toe among them. Last year, Cleveland joined the fray itself, launching the CBX Full-Face.

By design, full-face wedges invariably come with high toes and, though they seem to be trending in a better direction, it’s clear that high-toe wedges will never win any beauty contests. It wouldn’t be excessive, in fact, to suggest most high-toe/full face wedges look somewhat disfigured. And yet, Cleveland’s new RTX Full-Face wedge looks more or less normal. Okay, that might be generous, but it certainly isn’t as unsightly as some of its predecessors.

Cleveland says the reason for that is the ZipCore technology, which creates a much lighter than normal hosel area thus pushing the center of gravity nearer the center of the clubface – a popular trend in wedges – and slightly higher up, allows them to create a more traditional-looking wedge. Indeed, put it up against a conventional RTX ZipCore model and the difference isn’t too alarming. So, what it is good for? On its web site, Cleveland makes it perfectly clear what this club is designed for, calling it a ‘Flop-Shot Machine’. Because the RTX Full-Face wedge comes with a C-Grind (Tour Satin finish) with a lot of heel and tow relief, it is ideal for opening up and lofting that ball high. And if you’re hitting out of rough, the ball is likely going to ride up the face a little ways at impact. That’s where the full-face grooves come in.

The grooves themselves are Cleveland’s acclaimed UltiZip grooves which debuted on the ZipCore wedge last summer. The UltiZip groove is narrower and deeper than previous Cleveland grooves as well as sharper at the edges and closer to its nearest neighbors. It’s designed to channel debris better and create more groove contact meaning better control. Microgrooves between the UltiZip grooves add to the level of roughness and friction and help create more spin.

The RTX Full-Face wedge comes in two finishes – Tour Satin and raw Tour Rack. Opting for the raw Tour Rack allows you to customize the grind (Relief Edge grind, Heel grind, Heel and Toe grind, S-Shaped grind, Standard Sole grind). Those grinds come with a $10 surcharge, and you can further customize your RTX Full-Face, for another $10, with three paint fills (the word ‘Cleveland’, the bounce marking and the loft). And for $10 more you can have five characters stamped into the back.

$160 (Tour Satin)

$180 (Tour Rack)

Lofts – 50˚-60˚ and 64˚ (Tour Satin); 56˚-60˚ and 64˚ (Tour Rack)

Availability – 54˚-60˚ – right and left-hand, 50˚, 52˚, 64˚ – right-hand only (Tour Satin); Tour Rack right-hand only.

Shaft – Dynamic Gold Spinner Tour Issue

Available – June 11th (Friday)