Cleveland RTX ZipCore Tour Rack Wedge Review

50 Words or Less

The Cleveland RTX ZipCore Tour Rack wedge gives every golfer the chance to get their short game tools customized like the pros.  Excellent menu of options.  Performance is outstanding.

Introduction

Every gear nerd dreams of having access to a Tour van: the drawers full of club heads, the racks of shafts, and a team of the best club builders to make sure every detail is perfect.  Sadly, Tour vans are made for the elite of the elite, not us.

Thankfully, Cleveland Golf is making Tour-level customization available to everyone with their new RTX ZipCore Tour Rack wedges.  With a menu full of options that were previously unavailable to the public, you can give yourself the gift of perfectly dialed-in wedges, even if your short game isn’t Tour ready.

Looks

If you want to see a compact, traditional profile at address, the RTX ZipCore is ideal.  This is a classic teardrop profile with a fairly straight leading edge and a Tour-preferred head size.  It’s not scary small, but it’s definitely not a game improvement wedge.

In the bag, the RTX ZipCore looks great.  The loft and bounce are displayed on the toe in a modern font that’s easy to read.  The branding is prominent, but the execution is outstanding and the colors are timeless.

The Tour Rack wedges are available in two finishes: a Raw finish and a Hand Polished finish.  You can see the Raw finish on the 50 degree wedge, the Hand Polished on the other two.  The Hand Polished finish gives the wedge a little more shine but is not hugely different.  Both finishes are on top of unplated 8620 carbon steel which will patina and rust over time.

Sound & Feel

Solid.  Not hard, not clicky, not clunky, just 100% solid.  Every time I hit a shot, I felt like the club was an extension of my hands, communicating exactly where the ball struck the face.  After spending a little time with these wedges, I felt like I barely needed to look up to know where the ball would be.

The Tour Experience

Before I get into the details, I want to praise Cleveland for the quality of their Tour Rack web page.  There are plenty of options, but they’re easy to understand.  Everything is spelled out and shown with clear graphics.  This makes the process of designing your wedges fun, not frustrating.

Customizing your Tour Rack wedge starts with picking one of Cleveland’s three standard soles.  Again, kudos to Cleveland for having a common sense system: Low, Mid, and Full.  If you have a steep swing or play in softer conditions, you’ll want more bounce and more sole.  Shallow swings and firm conditions generally call for less.  The Mid sole is the jack of all trades.

Now we get into the fun stuff.  Step two is picking from five “Tour Crafted Sole Grinds.”  The Standard grind leaves the sole untouched.  Relief Edge removes material from the trailing edge.  Heel and Heel and Toe each remove material from the namesake locations.  Finally, the S-Shaped Grind provides relief in the heel and trailing edge.

The next choice is “Tour Crafted Leading Edge Grinds.”  You can choose to leave the leading edge as is or have it Rounded or Sharpened.  A Rounded leading edge (above, left) is best for softer conditions as it will resist digging.  If you play in firm conditions, a Sharpened leading edge (above, right) can be beneficial.

As you would expect, Tour Rack also offers a wealth of shaft and grip options, plus the ability to customize the build.  You can get extra wraps on your grip, custom lie angle, hard or soft stepped shaft installations, and more.

The last piece of the puzzle is personalizing the wedge.  You can get up to five characters stamped on the wedge, and you can customize the paint fill of your stamps, the Cleveland and ZipCore logos, and the loft and bounce on the toe.

Before I move on, let’s discuss cost.  The base Tour Rack wedge costs $169, which is $20 more than the standard ZipCore.  A Tour Crafted Sole Grind adds $20, a Tour Crafted Leading Edge Grind costs $10, and stamping and paint fill is another $20.  There are also upcharges for some grips and shafts.

Performance

After spending way too long scheming up different combinations, I settled on my wedges specs.  I chose a 50 degree with a Mid Sole, 54 degree with a Full sole, S-Shaped Grind, and Rounded leading edge, and a 60 degree with a Low sole, Relief Edge Grind, and a Sharpened leading edge.  This covered my normal lofts while giving me a sole for every occasion.

The most obvious question is, “Do the grinds and leading edges actually make a difference?”  My answer is a resounding, “Yes!”  Even on mats, I can feel how the Sharpened leading edge bites and the Rounded leading edge resists digging.  On grass, the effect is even more pronounced.

The effect of the sole grinds is equally strong.  With the Low sole and the Relief Edge Grind on my 60 degree wedge, I feel like I can hit flop shots off concrete.  The S-Shaped Grind on the 54 degree with the Full sole takes a club that could be a uni-tasker and makes it very versatile.  Even though the bounce and leading edge make it anti-digging, I can still hit open-faced shots with it.

All of this customization is built on the RTX ZipCore which is already one of the best wedges available.  The namesake technology, ZipCore, helps to center and raise the CG so that spin is higher and more consistent.  In my testing, I saw spin numbers that were robust and decidedly above average.  It’s also worth noting that Cleveland is using a new heat treatment on the ZipCore wedges that should improve their durability.

Conclusion

Wedges can be great canvases for personalization and creativity, but Cleveland has gone far beyond stamps and paint with the Tour Rack wedges.  The menu of performance enhancing options is outstanding, and, when well fit, these changes can make a real impact on your short game.  If you need something beyond stock to dial in your wedges, I would strongly recommend checking out the Tour Rack.

If you can’t get enough ZipCore content (or just want a second opinion), you can find Dylan’s review of the standard RTX ZipCore wedges HERE.

Visit Cleveland Golf HERE

Cleveland RTX ZipCore Tour Rack Wedge Price & Specs

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Matt Saternus

Founder, Editor In Chief at PluggedInGolf.com
Matt is the Founder and Editor in Chief of Plugged In Golf. He's worked in nearly every job in the golf industry from club fitting to instruction to writing and speaking. Matt lives in the northwest suburbs of Chicago with his wife and two daughters.

3 Comments

  1. Matt, excellent review. Thank you for discussing the various effects that the different grinds will have on their playability.

  2. Steven Gottschalk

    Matt, have RTX 4’s 50, 54, 58, in bag. Is it worth switch? 50 & 54 are mid, 58 is full. My problem is inconsistency of turf conditions on my course. Should I stick with mid grind rounded edge for zip cor if I switch? Thks

    • Matt Saternus

      Steven,

      Personally, I wouldn’t buy new wedges until my current ones are worn out.
      As for what to do with inconsistent conditions, I would think more about my swing. Mid sole is a great one-size-fits-all. If you tend to dig more, the rounded leading edge is great. If you rarely hit it fat, there’s no need to round the leading edge.

      -Matt

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