50 Words or Less
By: Zack Buechner
The Cleveland Golf RTX-4 wedges offer a compact blade with a tour-level shaft and grind options for every type of player. The progressive head shaping and double milling patterns makes this 4th generation club versatile in any condition.
When you say “wedge” to a golfer, fan of the game, or even just the average Joe, most will think of Cleveland in some degree. Cleveland worked to expand upon this success by creating a more tour-authentic wedge in the new RTX-4s. Played by many tour pros, Cleveland added the Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 shafts as stock with every wedge. They also reduced the amount of offset in the lower lofts while adding a variety of sole options to fit every player.
The RTX-4’s progressive head shapes are most apparent at address. The lower lofted wedges have a more linear look, less offset, with a straighter leading edge and sharper corners. The higher lofted clubs have a rounded look which is important in being able to open up the face with confidence around the green.
Turn the club over and you see some aesthetic improvements to the back of the club. New this year is a mirrored finish which looks very high-end.
Sound and Feel
Cleveland did a great job of not straying too far from what made these wedges so successful in years past – their sound and feel. The sound at impact on full shots is a muted click which deepens as you find the center of the face. The sound is very close to the previous version of the RTX and not too dissimilar from some other top wedge brands available.
Center-face contact feels like the ball melts into the club head. Off-center strikes can be somewhat harsh yet still forgiving in distance. The immediate feedback of a mishit is hard to argue with as these are true players wedges.
The RTX-4 wedges have 18 different grind and bounce options, allowing you to fine tune each club to the needs of the courses you play. I found the low bounce 60 degree wedge to be perfect on tight lies while the more traditional mid-sole was beneficial on softer turf conditions in the fairway and first cut.
The progressive Feel-Balancing Technology comes into play from wedge-to-wedge as the higher lofted clubs have more forgiveness vertically. Several mishits around the green grabbed some turf before the ball, yet the higher lofted wedges still had plenty of forgiveness.
The benefit of a low grind wedge with 6 degrees of bounce is the versatility to lay it open for flop shots and cut right underneath the ball. Being able to create shots from any lie or condition is a major benefit to using a low bounce wedge.
The triple layered milling patterns perform from the short grass with plenty of hop and stop power on approaches. However, the Rotex milled face really showed its teeth from lies everywhere else. Chips and pitches around the green in deep, nasty Bermuda grass still had a good amount of spin and stopped just beyond their ball marks. Looking down after the fact and seeing grassy dots in the center of the club face was a big clue that these will spin out of any condition. Even out of the bunker, there was plenty of stopping power. I intentionally hit some shots off the toe to test the Rotex milling outside the groove area and still seemed to find a bit of side spin on the green.
With the reduction in offset, it felt like I could aim at pins and find my target without issue. I must have had at least a dozen wedge shots that I stood over confidently knowing they would end up where I wanted. All I had to do was point and shoot!
If you’re looking for a tour-level wedge that still has forgiveness for those seemingly impossible lies, then the RTX-4s might be the answer. These are better players wedges packed with technology and versatility. Combine these wedges with its high profile shaft, and you could argue this might be the best stock wedge offering available. Many of the changes came from Tour recommendations and feedback so if you do prefer less offset in a traditional blade design, then find a way to try out this wedge.