Cleveland Smart Sole 2.0 Wedge Review

Cleveland Smart Sole 2.0 Wedges_0328

50 Words or Less

The Cleveland Golf Smart Sole 2.0 wedges are unbelievably effective at eliminating fat shots and helping golfers to escape bunkers.  Extremely fun to play.

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Introduction

I love being surprised by golf equipment, and the Cleveland Golf Smart Sole 2.0 wedges are two of the best surprises of the year.  As an equipment snob and someone who likes to think of himself as a better-than-average player, I was primed to turn up my nose at these “hacker wedges.”  But a funny thing happened when I actually tried them – I had fun, and I didn’t want to put them down.  Read on to find out why.

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Looks

The first thing I noticed about the Cleveland Golf Smart Sole 2.0 wedges was the sharp Black Satin finish.  While these are clubs designed to help high handicap players, the finish gives them sex appeal.  The one consideration with a dark finish is that it will wear over time (you can see the wear after several bunker sessions in the slideshow at the bottom).

In terms of the look at address, the “S” wedge has a conventional tear drop shape, though it is a bit larger than average.  The “C” wedge has a unique shape with a normal heel-to-toe length but a very short face.

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Sound & Feel

One of the key improvements in the Cleveland Golf Smart Sole 2.0 wedges is the sound and feel.  At impact, the feel is firm but without being hard or click-y.  The low pitched thud is about the same no matter where on the face you strike the ball, but there is decent feedback in the feel.

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Performance

“Fun” is the last word on most golfer’s minds when they see their ball in a bunker, but it’s the first word in mine when I think about hitting the Cleveland Golf Smart Sole 2.0 “S” wedge.  When I saw the massive sole on the 58 degree “S”, I knew that getting out of a trap was going to be easy.  What I didn’t anticipate was the near-impossibility of leaving the ball in the bunker.  I tried everything – hitting four inches behind the ball, trying to pick it clean, swinging steep, swinging shallow – nothing kept the Smart Sole 2.0 from tossing the ball onto the putting surface.  I got so desperate that I tried different lies – bare lies, fluffy lies, fried eggs, buried lies, wet sand, dry sand – again, the “S” laughed off my attempts to keep the ball in the bunker.  All of this leads me to a simple recommendation: if bunkers make you weak in the knees, you need to put the Smart Sole 2.0 “S” wedge in your bag NOW.

The “C,” or chipper, is also very good, but not on the same level as the “S”.  With an upright lie angle, wide sole, and plenty of bounce, the 42 degree “C” wedge puts you in a position to simply “putt with loft” and not fear the fat shot.  If you tend to chunk your chips, you will love the “C.”  If you miss fat and thin, the “C” will be a big help, but it won’t be a cure-all.

What is also worth mentioning about these wedges is that they are serviceable beyond their primary job.  Though the wide sole and high bounce might make some players uncomfortable, both the “S” and “C” can be played from a variety of lies and distances all around the green.  The forgiveness they provide, and their refusal to hit fat shots, will be an asset to anyone looking to #Own125.

Cleveland Smart Sole 2.0 Wedges_0341

Conclusion

If you struggle with the short game, or simply want to take the stress out of bunker shots, you need to think about adding the Cleveland Golf Smart Sole 2.0 wedges to your bag.  The “S” will allow every golfer to get out of the sand in one, and the “C” will help to remove the word “chunk” from your vocabulary.

Buy the Cleveland Smart Sole 2.0 wedge HERE

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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.

Latest posts by Matt Saternus (see all)

45 Comments

  1. Matt,
    I noticed on cleveland’s website they offer a 588 RTX 2.0 60° Wide Sole wedge.
    I wonder how this compares to the smart s sole wedge you just tested?
    thanks
    Eddie
    Also you guys and gal do a wonderful job on the reviews!

    • Matt Saternus

      Eddie,

      Thank you!

      I haven’t tested the Wide Sole, but I would guess it falls somewhere between a normal wedge and the Smart Sole 2.0. That sole is wide, but it’s not nearly as big as the Smart Sole 2.0.

      Best,

      Matt

  2. Thank you, thank you, thank you. This sort of review is exactly what I’ve been looking for. I especially like the part in the Performance section about you purposely trying mess up in the bunker. And you describe me correctly, going into a bunker makes me weak in the knees. I don’t have the leisure time to work on my bunker game but this gives me hope. Great review and I’m so glad I found your site.

    Do you do a best of review for equipment? I know it is a very subjective topic but I’m always curious to hear what people think, even if it is their preference. For example, I was a Taylor Made fan and was looking for some new irons. It was going to be the rsi 2s but I read more and more about the callaway apex irons and went that route. Found a great deal on a brand new set of them and pulled the trigger. Looking forward to seeing how this works out.

    • Matt Saternus

      Bob,

      I’m glad you enjoyed the review.

      Historically we have not done any “best of” stuff because there are so few bad products, at least when it comes to big name OEM clubs. We just try to help people find the right club for them by telling them what each club is designed to do. That said, he have recently launched our “Blue Ribbon Gear” award which will recognize the best gear in golf. I’m not sure how many drivers, irons, etc that you’ll see winning that award, but if you do, you’ll know they’re something special.

      Best,

      Matt

      PS: If you’re looking for the personal preferences of the staff, our WITB’s is a great place to look.

  3. can you help??..I cannot find the bounce amount anywhere for the sand cleveland…. smart sole 58 degree wedge s ? all I find is lie angle shaft weight….what is the effective bounce at address for this wedge???…Thank you…B

    • Matt Saternus

      Bernie,

      I don’t know what the bounce on this wedge is, but I would suggest to you that bounce by itself doesn’t tell the whole story – you also need to consider size and shape of the sole.

      Best,

      Matt

  4. Michael Madden

    Did you get a chance to test it from different lies as an approach wedge, say 10 – 20 metres out?

  5. Michael Madden

    Sorry … Should have specified … The “s” club, not the chipper.

    • Matt Saternus

      Michael,

      Yes, I did. It’s a good club, but the large sole will give some people problems either visually or technically. I tend to have more shaft lean than I want, so the bounce didn’t bother me. Others might find it difficult to use on tight lies.

      Best,

      Matt

  6. Can you suggest a similar 54 degree wedge to use alongside the 58 Smart Sole wedge? They don’t make a 54. Similar sole and bounce characteristics. Any brand. Ping. Callaway. Cleveland.

    • Matt Saternus

      Cliff,

      The closest thing I can think of is the PING Glide with the Wide Sole (WS). You could also look at Edel wedges, which I love, but they’re not as readily available at retail.

      Best,

      Matt

  7. Ricky Vee

    Just a quick review: The Cleveland Golf Smart Sole 2.0 is the best Utility Club I’ve ever owned. I’ve dropped and average of 3 to 4 strokes around the green in comparison to using a sand wedge or some other brand Lob Wedge. The 58 degree angle and smoothness through deep rough to sand shots, is a dream come true for the purest to all the way to the beginner when it comes to truly enjoying each round of golf. Thank you Cleveland Golf, you didn’t let me down. Go out and take one out for a test drive.

    • Rick Lipman

      Thanks for your review. I am going out tomorrow and buying the CG Smart Sole Sandwedge. Knocking a few strokes off my short game will make a huge difference.

  8. Lin Connolly

    Thanks for CG Smart Sole Sand Wedge review. So….. the Cleveland or XE-1? Which do I put in my bag? Thx

  9. I played this club yesterday for the first time….once out of the sand and twice in thick rough (The 58 degree S). It’s my new favorite….by a landslide. Impressed would be a huge understatement.

  10. Is the C wedge able to be used for full shots seeing it’s similar loft to a 8ir can it replace it? Thanks.

    • Matt Saternus

      Jim,

      I would not recommend replacing your 8I with the C wedge. The C wedge is very upright – likely too upright to make good full swings.

      Best,

      Matt

  11. Hi, great review! I’m thinking about getting the C wedge, but do you think it is good to replace my PW (45°) ? thanks

    • Matt Saternus

      Bob,

      No, the C wedge is not meant to replace any full swing clubs. It’s a uni-tasker built only for chipping because of the extremely upright lie angle.

      Best,

      Matt

  12. Do you use/swing the SS sand wedge as any other wedge? Same swing out of the sand?

    • Matt Saternus

      Jim,

      You certainly can, but it’s really even easier than that. It’s meant to require no change to your set up in the bunker: line up square, swing away, enjoy the result.

      Best,

      Matt

  13. Do most “S” users replace a SW (56 degree) or a LW (60 degree)?

  14. is the “c” basically the same as the Niblick ?

  15. Regarding the Cleveland Smart Sole wedges, what is your opinion on the pros and cons of the graphite and the steel shafts? How would someone decide which to get?

    Thank you!

    • Matt Saternus

      Gary,

      It’s all about getting what fits you. Generally graphite is lighter and it absorbs more of the shock of impact, but there aren’t any inherent performance benefits to one or the other.

      Working with a qualified fitter like Club Champion is always the best way to figure out what to buy.

      Best,

      Matt

  16. John Clougherty

    Matt, the bunkers( sand consistency) at my club range from soft to hard packed. Im sure the Smart Sole 2. will glide thru the soft sand easily, my question, and concern, –will the SS.2 bounce on packed sand.
    Thanks in advance– your review was terrific

    • Matt Saternus

      John,

      The object of the Smart Sole is to resist digging, so you are correct to be concerned about hard packed sand. It becomes a question of degree: I think that, with a slightly steeper, more aggressive swing, you could make the Smart Sole work in firm bunkers, but perhaps not the hardest of the hard.

      Best,

      Matt

  17. Hi Matt,
    just adding a quick reply on the Cleveland 2.0 .I could not agree more with the review I have loved these Cleveland’s since I first found them and saw some great potential. For me, The “C” has been very versatile and beneficial ,and can be used in quite a few situations. I will say getting “your feel” for the club and different levels of ball flight/distance may take a few trial/error shots and , a little practice to get that feel for each lie and how much touch/force/swing you need to put with each of your shots . As the one gentleman noted in regards to his 8I /replacement , would not probably be a good idea, but that said, you can in fact get quite remarkable accuracy with the C from varying yards out, and just some adjustments here or there you can put the loft on it for very low flight shot with distance or getting a great drop down floater / no roll right onto the green , For people who do struggle occasionally with frustrations of their wedge play — who maybe hit that perfect wedge shot from off the green and landing it right by the pin—> then “sky rocketing” the exact same shot 20 yards over another green the next time :-) The C could be the perfect club for you to play in variety of shots with impressive and consistent results. A few different angles of attack and you can play this from 50,60- 80-130 yrds ( maybe more) or a short chip or wedge shot from just off the green . As you had mentioned Matt , the different possibilities to try them out in, makes the C & S exactly what you said they were ,”lots of fun to play” Many times would use a hybrid for a punch out shot I need to keep low under the trees for a hundred yards or a bit more/less , but always concerned with the roll out at the end of the shot with they hybrid, I then tried these types of low flying shots with the C and it is now my go to for that type shot as well as many others and can put it at that height/loft I need on it ,but now with greater distance control and added accuracy on the shots as well. All in all a couple of great clubs with lots of possibilities for your game . Great review , Thanks Matt. Sean

  18. So I have just started looking at the Cleveland SS- I am currently trying to work my way back into decent enjoyable golf scores- but I just keep hacking the wedges- very fat all the time. I stumbled upon these- but honestly believe they look like the old Ping Eye 2 sand wedge? Is there any real difference between the two?

    • Matt Saternus

      Dean,

      The old PING Eye 2 was a little before my time, so I can’t give you much of a comparison. What I can tell you is that if you’re suffering in the sand, the Smart Sole will help.

      Best,

      Matt

  19. Just seen the Cleveland wedges at my local golf shot and was needing feedback thank you for the information and help.

  20. David Noblr

    Hi, I am an 18 handicapper and my game has really benefitted from the C wedge in particular. I hit it from 70 to 140. I don’t like chipping with it and have had very disappointing results so I am looking into other options (a chipper) On the full swing (mine is more 3/4)the C wedge goes STRAIGHT. I have the straight line accuracy of a much lower handicapper because this club just agrees with me. The challenge is that I control distance by swing size not club loft. It is just the way I play the game. But I unreservedly say that the C wedge is the best club I have ever played with. The S wedge is good too, but it is nowhere in the same league as the C. Honestly, because of the C, I don’t find myself in the sand very often. But it the sand is decent, it is a pretty easy out. I am not like the reviewer. I have left some in the bunker, particularly when there is trouble on the other side of the green. To be clear, I am a dreadful putter and typically give up 3-4 strokes a round on putts that are 3 feet or less. So I should be playing of about 14. The stability in my game comes from decent driving and the C wedge (which I hit probably 20-25 times a round) My only wish is that Cleveland would make another wedge like the C with a stronger loft. So that I could have a 140-170 club. That would be amazing.

    • Look out for a S/H 37 degree Niblick. Amazing club for what you want. I use a 37 and 42 degree Cleveland Niblick and have just purchased the S wedge as apparently they are very close to the Niblicks in construction.

  21. carmen mazick

    What is the bounce on the Smart Sole?

  22. Matt,
    I own both clubs. The S club is great in the sand. The C club seems to have a lower trajectory and gives me a continuous roll on the green which never stops its more than I want. Am I doing something wrong? Is this chipper designed that way? I could use some input. Many thanks

    • Matt Saternus

      Rick,

      The C is much lower lofted than the S, so that’s one reason that it hit the ball lower. The C is designed to be used like a putter – “putting with loft” as the cliche goes. If your shots are running too far, I would guess that you’re either hitting them a little thin or you just need to spend some time dialing in your feel for that club. I hope that helps.

      Best,

      Matt

  23. is there a special set up for the smart sole in bunkers? Full swing?

  24. Deciding to get the C or S, mainly want for chipping, can I use C in bunkers or am I better off with my sand wedge? Is the 3 much better than the 2,

    • Matt Saternus

      Jill,

      The S is more versatile than the C. The C is really meant to be a chipper, exclusively.
      I think you’d probably be happy with the 2 or 3 – not a huge difference.

      Best,

      Matt

  25. Dennis L Smeiska

    I use my Chipper from 100 yards and in and it is money. Love both of them.

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