50 Words or Less
The Cleveland Golf RTX ZipCore wedge takes a perennial winner and innovates with new low-density material at its core. A pure player’s look and feel with performance to match.
We all love the feeling of catching a drive pure, but a perfectly executed short game shot is arguably just as pleasurable. What’s less of a debate is that precise play from 100 yards and in and from situations around the green are where the majority of strokes are saved. The new Cleveland RTX ZipCore wedge makes both full swings from green-light distance in the fairway and greenside shots out of sand and rough a joy to hit.
Simply put, they look good. The design is clean and modern. In the bag, they are eye-catchers. The satin chrome finish has a classic look and doesn’t reflect sunlight the way some chrome finishes do.
At address, the shape exists in the Goldilocks zone. The blade length is not too long or too short, the toe is not too high. The leading edge has just the subtlest amount of curvature. It’s everything you would expect from Cleveland, and looking down at it inspires confidence.
Sound & Feel
The sound of impact is a mid-range ‘click’. I’ve hit forged wedges that come off with a higher pitched sound and cast wedges that have a much lower, dull ‘thwack’. For me, the sound is very nice.
When struck well, the feel is as pure as it gets. Less than ideal strikes feel, well, less than ideal. If that might be construed by some as a lack of forgiveness, I view it as valuable feedback. This is a blade-style wedge, after all. For those seeking added forgiveness, I had a great experience testing the Cleveland CBX 2 (review here).
I alluded to this in the introduction, but if your wedges aren’t saving you strokes, you probably don’t have the right clubs in the bag. Are there several key factors that go into determining the right wedge for you? Of course. But, based on my experience and my self-identification as an everyman golfer, I think the RTX ZipCore will fill that void for many players.
The RTX ZipCore performed well for me right away. During a round with thoroughly sub-par ball-striking, my wedges bailed me out time and time again. With an open-faced spinner from the fringe, with an explosion from a greenside bunker, with a hole-out for birdie from 65 yards after punching back into the fairway following an errant drive, these wedges repeatedly saved my bacon and gave me something to hang my hat on at the end of the day.
When it comes to getting these wedges to perform at their peak, it’s important to select the right grind. The RTX ZipCore has three options: Low, Mid, and Full. Because I tend to leave shallow divots with my full strikes, I chose the Low grind for the higher lofted wedges and it proved to be the right choice. With heel and toe relief, it’s proven to be remarkably easy to open up and play a variety of shots. Cleveland’s website has a handy grind selector tool if you want to explore what would be best for you.
One more aspect of the club’s performance I want to mention is the new Dynamic Gold Tour Issue Spinner shaft. It’s nice to see Cleveland paying more attention to the shaft that goes into its premium wedges and providing a stock offering that represents a step up from what has typically been available from big OEMs in the past. Swinging it feels remarkably smooth and stable.
The Cleveland RTX ZipCore is the total package. A beautifully designed and manufactured wedge from a company whose name has become synonymous with quality wedges. Grind options to suit every type of swing. Results that speak for themselves.