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Cleveland RTX 588 2.0 Wedge Review
03 Jul 2015
by Kyle Rector of amateurgolf.com

see also: Equipment Reviews

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The Cleveland RTX 588 2.0 Wedge
The Cleveland RTX 588 2.0 Wedge
The name Cleveland RTX 588 2.0 is pretty technical for a wedge -- it almost sounds like a fancy computer that a gamer might use the to play Call of Duty. But these technical wedges, despite their high-tech machining, couldn't be more "classic" in appearance, and more importantly, feel. It's the best of both worlds.

As the name implies, there are a number of technical features that demand attention -- I'll get to those -- but these wedges really look good in the bag, and more importantly when setting up behind the ball. They also provide excellent feedback on long and short shots.

Let's start with the appearance.

The laser etched groove and surface on the Cleveland RTX 588 2.0 wedge

The Black Satin finish I selected is gorgeous. But if you prefer a lighter color you might opt for the Tour Satin. And without even knowing much about the technology behind the grooves, I was amazed by the level of detail. Framing either side of the rough part of the face are the repeating words Rotex 2.0. The etching is so small you almost need a magnifying glass, and almost looks like the engineers at Cleveland are showing off their laser machinery. And why not? It looks really cool.

ROTEX 2.0 MILLING AND TOUR ZIP GROOVES

You probably know that the USGA has stringent specifications on grooves, with the rule change away from so-called "square" grooves that went into effect in 2010 for USGA, PGA Tour, and most other major competitions. Of course, the Cleveland RTX 588 wedges comply with the groove rule. But Cleveland's designers push the limit to the very edge (excuse the pun) by laser milling a design they call "Tour Zip" with sharper radii and steeper walls than they've ever accomplished. On mid to long shots, and bunker shots, more grass, sand, and wetness get channeled away from the face for better contact and spin.

You may not know that they USGA also limits face roughness, and the Cleveland's lasers also work the surface area outside the grooves, providing better spin around the green where the ball isn't being compressed enough for the grooves themselves to have as much of an impact. Even the toe of the club, beyond the grooved area in the middle, is "Rotex" milled to the USGA maximum roughness. (Around the green, we all hit it out there more than we would like to admit -- and heck, it beats hitting it on the other side of the face, where we all know what can happen.)

A UNIQUE "3 DOT" SOLE SELECTOR

The constant-width sole on the 3 dot model of the Cleveland RTX 588 2.0 wedge

The Rotex wedge "system" involves a series of one through three dots, with one dot designating the narrowest sole, and three being the widest. There has been trend towards wider soles that can tackle a wide variety of lies, so I decided to try a 56 degree with 3 dots, and 14 degrees of bounce. As you'll note in the photo, the way the sole is beveled gives it more gives it a constant sole width -- I found it particularly effective at extricating myself from some of California's unique "Kikuyu" grass -- while providing just-right bounce on a longer shot from the fairway. I carry a 60 degree wedge, but if we went back to the "old days" when a 56 degree wedge was all a player needed for a wide variety of shots, I feel like I could lay the club back and get plenty creative around the greens. The 3 dot sole encouraged me to use the bounce on pitch shots around the green -- I can definitely see why there is a trend towards a wider sole and more bounce.

With so many options, anything that simplifies the selection and ordering process works for me. Cleveland also has a website that allows you to get fitted for, and custom order their wedges, even models that are only available to their Tour staffers like Keegan Bradley and Graeme McDowell. Read Rusty Cage's review of this site here.

SUMMARY

Like drivers, wedges have to pass and appearance test - and these definitely fit the bill. I got plenty of feedback on medium and long shots, notching off another important item on my checklist. I believe in the technology behind the grooves and face roughness, and I'm glad to see that Cleveland has implemented this without losing site of what they're known for - classic shapes and feel. If you're intrigued, the best place to see all of the sole grind options is to visit the Cleveland Rotex 2.0 section of www.clevelandgolf.com.

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