Player Staff Review: Cleveland's Wedge Website And Fitting Tool
22 Feb 2015
by Rusty Cage

see also: Equipment Reviews

Customize your wedges with Cleveland Golf's new website
Customize your wedges with Cleveland Golf's new website

You may have noticed PGA Tour pros Keegan Bradley and Graeme McDowell have traded in their Cleveland bags for bags with the sporty Srixon logo on the side. And it's not just the Srixon ball they are promoting -- both players have lined up most of their arsenal with Srixon branded equipment, like the Z- 745 irons. (Srixon, if you didn't know, is the parent company of Cleveland Golf.)

Their wedges, however, still carry the Cleveland brand. And as you would expect, these short game tools are built for them to order and customized to their liking whenever the need arises.

Cleveland is now offering that level of customization to the rest of us.

Cleveland Golf plans to launch what could be called a "tour van experience in a website" before the end of the month. They aren't the first company to do this -- Vokey Wedgeworks started in 2010 and Cleveland's former CEO Greg Hopkins now runs custom wedge company Hopkins Golf -- but their attention to detail and options on their new microsite show that they intend to keep the historic Cleveland brand relevant in the wedge market.

The new microsite, My Custom Wedge, encourages the avid amateur golfer to purchase Cleveland's latest line of 588 RTX 2.0 wedges and customize them to their heart's content. The wedges, which are offered in two finishes - Black Satin or Raw (which many pro golfers prefer) - are available in all standard lofts (from 48 to 60 degrees). How you choose to upgrade the look of those wedges and adjust the performance to best suit your needs is totally up to you.

“Our goal is to give the consumer the same type of custom options that a professional player can get through the tour van experience,” says Adam Sheldon, Brand Manager for Cleveland Golf. “This year we’ve worked with Keegan and Graeme on some of their wedges and those configurations will be available online as far as being able to offer the same customization.”

A custom-designed Cleveland 
588 RTX 2.0 wedge
A custom-designed Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 wedge

The original microsite which launched in 2013 let golfers personalize paint fills, stampings and skins. The revamped website expands on those selections significantly:

  • Several new skins (laser etchings that cover the entire wedge) are being offered
  • Two new areas to inscribe your initials, three total locations (back flange, toe and center)
  • Updated library of different logos to add detail to your wedges

In addition to adjusting the look of your wedges, the My Custom Wedge site lets customers choose from a variety of sole grinds. Cleveland’s narrow-to-wide grind configuration (1 dot, 2 dot, 3 dot) is a standard offering on most 588 RXT 2.0 wedges, depending on loft and bounce. Customers can order a wedge with a standard grind or pick from a full range of specialized grinds that focus on either heel or toe bias.

If for whatever reason you’re still not impressed, Cleveland Golf is releasing a new 60-degree wide sole wedge. It’s based on a prototype played by the company’s ambassadors on tour and will only be available to purchase from the microsite.

“It’s definitely something we’ve seen gain momentum out on tour,” says Sheldon. “The advantage of a wide sole is that of having more surface area in contact with the turf conditions. When you talk about wide soles in that type of loft, the player is looking for some versatility and enough bounce to stop any digging in different conditions, whether they be grass or sand.”

The 588 RTX 2.0 wide sole 
wedge is available only on the microsite
The 588 RTX 2.0 wide sole wedge is available only on the microsite

Sheldon expects the new microsite to be a huge hit with Cleveland club junkies who know their wedge specs inside and out. The real challenge, he admitted, is to get the average customer who purchases an off-the-rack wedge to invest the time and money to get fitted for a custom model.

To that end, Cleveland Golf is introducing their Wedge Analyzer fitting system this year. The analyzer is made up of a Cleveland Fitting Wedge outfitted with a lightweight (approximately 1 oz.) Swingbyte motion analysis sensor permanently affixed just below the grip.

Cleveland's wedge analyzer 
renders a motion analysis of your swing
Cleveland's wedge analyzer renders a motion analysis of your swing

During the fitting process, the sensor transmits data via Bluetooth to a computer or iPad. The information generates a 3-D rendering of the swing and calculates key metrics like attack angle and shaft lean at impact. The data collected helps a qualified fitter find the optimum bounce and sole grind for any golfer, regardless of their swing shape or playing style.

The wedge analyzer offers 
bounce recommendations based on your swing 
The wedge analyzer offers bounce recommendations based on your swing dynamics

“There has always been a lot of confusion in the marketplace about bounce and sole grinds on wedges,” says Sheldon. “The wedge analyzer is going to open up more knowledge to the average golfer so that they can understand more about bounce and grind. Once they have the correct understanding about what’s best for their game, they can take it a step further by personalizing their wedges.”

Cleveland Golf plans to roll out a comprehensive marketing campaign around both the My Custom Wedge site and the Wedge Analyzer. Their new fitting system will be available worldwide at major big box retailers and select authorized dealers. Any wedge ordered from the microsite takes up to two weeks to be delivered, but many orders, according to Sheldon, can take as little as two days to be fulfilled.

Some telling facts about the 
importance of your short game
Some telling facts about the importance of your short game

The goal is to make the process of wedge fitting simple and enjoyable for everyone. The new microsite is a natural extension of that process, encouraging golfers to get creative with what Sheldon believes is a very important, and personal piece of equipment.

“We quote that 65 percent of shots are played from 125 yards and in - that’s a huge part of your game,” says Sheldon. “If you look at the best players in the world they dial in their wedges specifically for themselves. And I think it’s critical that you get the right kind of equipment - personal equipment - for your short game.”

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