Cleveland RTX-3 Wedge Review

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50 Words or Less

The Cleveland RTX-3 wedges show the kind of real, measurable improvements that one of the industry’s short-game leaders can deliver.

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Introduction

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.

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Looks

The Cleveland RTX-3 wedges come in a variety of flavors: Blade, Cavity Back, and Women’s Cavity Back.  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.

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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.  There is little feel difference between the Blade and Cavity Back versions of the RTX-3.

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.

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Performance

Feel Balancing Technology isn’t just about feel, it also plays a key role in performance.  In robot testing, the new RTX-3 Blade was between 1.4 and 3.8 feet closer to the flag than other major OEM wedges.  And the RTX-3 Cavity Back was about 1.5 feet better than that!  My swing is far from robotic, but it was very comforting to get the best results from hitting the ball in the center of the face as opposed to the heel.

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.  The difference versus other leading wedges varies from 200 RPM to almost 1000 RPM, but what I find more compelling is the spin consistency.  I know that in perfect conditions, with a good swing, I can hit a high spin shot.  I’m more concerned about retaining spin in wet conditions or on less-than-perfect shots, and the new RTX-3 does just that.

You can evaluate all of Cleveland’s testing data about the new RTX-3 wedges HERE.

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Conclusion

Cleveland held nothing back with the new RTX-3 wedges.  With three finishes, three different models, three soles, new face technology, and a relocated sweet spot, there’s tons of new technology and plenty of options to fit any golfer.

Buy Cleveland RTX-3 wedges HERE

Cleveland RTX-3 Wedge Price and Specs

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Matt Saternus

Co-Founder, Editor In Chief at PluggedInGolf.com
Matt is a golf instructor, club fitter, and writer living in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. Matt's work has been published in Mulligan Magazine, Chicagoland Golf, South Florida Golf, and other golf media outlets. He's also been a featured speaker in the Online Golf Summit and is a member of Ultimate Golf Advantage's Faculty of Experts.

12 Comments

  1. Matt, Great Review as always! Ordered the 56 CB HB with a Recoil Shaft on Monday. Reports from others confirm your findings. These wedges make a difference.

  2. How would you compare them to Vokey SM6 or Callaway MD3?

    • Cocheese,

      I like the options that the RTX-3 provides, and the more-centered CoG is a big deal to me. I would game the RTX-3 over the two you mentioned.

      -Matt

  3. Could you elaborate on the differences between the cavity back and blade? Distance control? Consistency? Ball flight?

    I would consider myself a better player – but would you choose the cavity back or the blade and why? Golf is hard enough….

    • Raj,

      The cavity back is bigger and has a higher MOI, so it’s going to retain distance better on mishits and be a bit straighter on mishits. I didn’t notice much of a difference in ball flight between the two.

      There are more options in the blade (finishes, soles), and I prefer the way it looks, so I’d probably go with the blade. I would hardly be unhappy with the CB though.

      -Matt

  4. Did you test these in the bunker? I love my current 60* MD2 U grind out of the bunker, but if I get replace my other wedges I would replace the 60* club also. How did these work out of the bunker for you? Would any of the grinds work comparably to the MD2 U grind?

    • These work great out of the bunker, but they don’t have a sole similar to the U grind.

      Best,

      Matt

  5. Is there a bounce option that would be similar to the c grind of the md3s?

  6. What sole grind would you recommend for playing on wet & muddy turf conditions. I live on the coast and those are the predominant conditions, Thanks.

    • Ken,

      Generally, wet conditions call for more bounce/wider soles. That said, everything is individual and fitting is key.

      Best,

      Matt

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