For the past several years Cleveland Golf not only has made wedges that suit the needs of those who play at a high level, but has produced designs such as the CBX and CBX 2 that are geared toward a specific player type that perhaps does not require a large matrix of sole grind and bounce options.
The company continues down that path with its latest wedge introductions: the CBX Full-Face and Smart Sole 4 lines.
The CBX Full-Face is a half-cavity design made from stainless steel that shares some common technologies with the CBX 2, including the company’s “feel balancing” principle where the center of gravity moves more out toward the toe—particularly important on a wedge likely to be used on open-face shots. The larger face and grooves extend across the entire face, making for a wedge designed to be played more towards the toe. Cleveland gets the CG more in that direction thanks to a deep heel cavity, wide sole in the toe area and extended hosel bore.
The face is slightly larger and taller in the toe region than the CBX 2. The half-cavity (where the cavity is near the heel and a solid muscleback near the toe) helps push the CG away from the heel and closer in line with where the ball is struck for enhanced consistency and feel.
The Full-Face takes the company’s Rotex Face milling and extends it across the entire face for more spin. The sole is C-shaped, which provides extra relief on the heel and toe for short-game versatility.
“We wanted to provide another option for players to use closer to the green,” said Dustin Brekke, the company’s R&D manager. “The grooves extend across the face and to the upper toe region and are the same grooves we use on CBX 2. The laser mill goes all the way across as well. The sole is basically the same as CBX 2 but we’ve taken some bounce out of the center and added more relief to the back end of the sole.”
The CBX Full-Face comes in just four lofts (56, 58, 60 and 64 degrees), the rationale being a wedge with grooves across the entire face is really only needed for shots relatively close to the green. The price is $150 per wedge. They will be available Feb. 28.
The other wedge aimed at everyday players is the Smart Sole 4(available Feb. 7) . Like its Smart Sole 3 predecessor, the line incorporates S and C models but now adds a new G version as well. The Smart Sole 4 line has a singular goal: make it as easy as possible for players to hit serviceable shots out of sand and around the green.
Data from Shot Scope, an Edinburgh, Scotland-based shot analytics company, reveals that 20 handicappers find 2.3 bunkers per round on average. That same group hits it to six feet or closer just eight percent of the time, but miss the green entirely 42 percent of the time, adding unnecessary strokes to the scorecard.
It is with those players in mind that Cleveland Golf designed the Smart Sole 4 wedges ($120). The design encourages an easier, square setup and Cleveland engineers also redistributed weight from the hosel towards the toe to get the center of gravity more in line with the center of the face. The “S” version is a high-lofted (58 degrees) model designed for sand play; the new G is 50 degrees and is for use on shots that require some height around the green and the 42-degree C is a chipper-like club that can help prevent frustrating flubs on chip shots in close. Each model features an extra-wide, tiered sole with extra leading-edge bounce for crisper contact.