U.S. Open

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Equipment

Callaway CB wedges: What you need to know

June 27, 2023
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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Callaway updates its CB line of “game-improvement” wedges with a focus on making them less likely to be pigeonholed as “game improvement-y.” Specifically, that means this latest offering will be more than a disaster wedge for average golfers who can’t get out of bunkers. Rather, the line looks to cover the full gamut of full swings to chips and pitches, as well as shots from the sand. It all comes with an added focus on feel with the use of the same internal urethane microspheres found in the company’s irons to enhance feel and the same groove design found in the latest Jaws 5 wedges played on tour.

PRICE: $160. Seven lofts from 48 to 60 degrees.

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3 COOL THINGS

1. Help me help you. It’s a point made by others, most notably Cleveland Golf and its CBX wedges, but if the vast majority of golfers play game-improvement irons, why do they insist on playing wedges that are basically blades? The latest Callaway CB wedge, a followup to the Mack Daddy CB debut introduced three years ago, is part and parcel the belief that a game-improvement wedge can be as productive for an average golfer’s game as a game-improvement iron. The CB gets there with a handful of helpful attributes. Those include a wide sole that’s been revised to allow for a wider variety of shots. Also, the CB wedge also offers the forgiveness of a larger face area. It also solves a big problem for average golfers (and many above-average golfers) by pre-determining the appropriate bounce angle for each loft. That includes a healthy amount of bounce on the sand wedges (14 degrees on the 54- and 56-degree) and less bounce on the lob wedges for more efficiency on short shots from tighter lies around the green (12 on the 58- and 60-degree). Throw in a lighter shaft (True Temper Elevate), just like the kind you see on game-improvement irons, and you have a lot of things to help those whose only proximity to a tour event is in the grandstands.

Callaway CB
$160 | Golf Galaxy
4.0
GD SCORE GD HOT LIST SCORE
Hot List Silver
$160

Average players, rejoice: This wedge combines a high-spin face with a forgiving sole! More than a wedge for golfers who have difficulty escaping bunkers, the CB features a revised sole design that allow a wider variety of shots to be played. Not sure what bounce (i.e., the angle between the wedge’s leading edge and the lowest point of the sole) you should play? Callaway has done the work for you. The sand wedges have a healthy amount of bounce (14 degrees on the 54- and 56-degree) and less bounce on the lob wedges (12 degrees on the 58- and 60-degree) for more efficiency on short shots from tighter lies around the green. The lower lofts have between 10 and 12 degrees of bounce.

More on this club

“We brought in a lot of the pieces that were successful in the Mack Daddy CB,” said Patrick Dawson, Callaway’s senior R&D manager for wedges. “We also did some tweaks to the sole that we got based on feedback from the marketplace and trying to improve the soles to make them even easier for the core of the market, plus if you want to open it up and flop it, you can with this product.”

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2. Feel like a tour player. Maybe not, but the problem with making a larger, cavity back wedge turns out to be the one thing golfers of all levels want foremost in their short-game clubs: Feel. Callaway’s team used the same urethane microspheres technology found in its game improvement irons to instill the feel golfers want in a wedge. (The urethane, placed within the lower muscle on the cavity back design, is injected with tiny air bubbles that create better vibration damping within the cavity of the head.) The company tested the sound profile of the new CB wedge and found that by adding the urethane microspheres, the sound duration was shorter and the pitch was 700 hertz less than the previous Mack Daddy CB wedge.

“What we’re trying to do with any design, especially on wedges, is we’re trying to get it as quiet as possible and/or as short as possible,” Dawson said. "With the peak on the new CB Wedge, it’s much shorter compared to Mack Daddy CB. That will lead to a much more solid-sounding club. What that allowed us to do is to create a big, forgiving head that sounds like a more muscleback shape.”

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3. A familiar spin on spin. The CB wedge hasn’t short-shrifted the other element everybody wants from a wedge: plenty of grab from the grooves. The CB wedge Iincorporates the same Jaws groove design from the company’s tour-level wedges. The grooves on the higher lofts feature grooves where the walls aren’t vertical but instead form angles that fall away more from the base of the groove. The effort is designed to put the groove edge in contact with the ball more consistently. Even better for average golfers who use most of the face even on short shots, the grooves extend all the way across the face for better and more consistent spin.