When Cleveland releases a new wedge, heads start to turn. There is no question that when it comes to wedges and tools for use around the green, Cleveland leads the way. With how great Cleveland wedges are, it is sometimes hard to believe that the next wedge will be that much better than the last. How much more room for improvement is there?
With the ZipCore, Cleveland has shown us that feel, spin, and control can be much better than it ever has. These new wedges look great, feel great and they have all the technology you need to stay in your golf bag for years to come. Here is our review of the Cleveland Zip Core Wedge.
Cleveland ZipCore All You Need to Know
The Cleveland ZipCore will come with a Dynamic Gold Spinner Tour Issue Shaft. The Dynamic Gold Tour Spinner will be a standard steel wedge flex golf shaft. For golfers that need a graphite shaft or a heavier or stiffer wedge flex, there are other options if you order a custom club.
As far as bounce and spin options are concerned, Cleveland gives you plenty of options. Having wedges that match and have consistent loft gapping is quite essential. Cleveland understands this and offers players all the opportunities they need.
- 46, 48, 50, 52, 56, 58, 60 degree available in Mid Bounce
- 54, 56, 58, 60 degrees available in Full Bounce
- 56, 58, 60, 62 degrees available in Low Bounce
There is no question that golfers want their wedges to spin. Some players who feel as though their game is lacking because they can’t spin the ball, sometimes forget that it could just be the club. If your wedge is not produced with the right conditions to generate spin, you will struggle to get the club to perform the way you want.
Cleveland has been known for its Tour Zip Grooves the last few years. They have been quite effective, but on the ZipCore, things have been changed a bit. The ZipCore wedges are made with the Ultizip Grooves.
The new groove is sharper, and it is also deeper. In addition to these two factors, the distance between the grooves is narrow. If you have ever struggled to get a wedge to spin, you will soon have no issue. We have found that even out of the more difficult lies, the ZipCore spins quite well.
For golf club manufacturers making sure that the feel is right is very difficult. They have to balance technology, performance and control while still making the golf club feel great. The ZipCore wedges are a blade style wedge, the blade style wedges are known for being less forgiving but feeling better than the cavity back style wedges.
What we love about the ZipCore is that it combines a very classic looking wedge with some modern technology. In addition to getting a great feel with that new center of gravity location, you also get a little extra performance.
The redesigned hosel saved Cleveland some weight and allowed them to move the center of gravity more to the middle of the clubface. This new position really helps the impact feel so much more stable than it did in the RTX 4. In fact, we didn’t realize that the RTZ 4 felt unstable until we hit the Cleveland ZipCore.
Blade wedges should be easier for a player to control than a cavity back wedge. You should feel as though with the ZipCore you can work the ball however you need to. The name for this wedge comes from it’s new “ZipCore”.
The ZipCore is a low-density core that helped to move the center of gravity and add spin. With the added spin and the higher moment of inertia, you can tell the Cleveland ZipCore what you want it to do.
We hate to limit golf clubs to specific handicaps. Some higher handicappers value feel and control, over forgiveness around a green and that will impact the type of club they want to put in their hand.
Generally speaking, the ZipCore wedge is built for the mid to low handicapper that wants the ultimate control with their wedges around the greens. Although a higher handicapper will enjoy the feel of this blade style wedge, they may notice a bit less forgiveness. The Cleveland Golf wedge CBX series could be a better choice for the higher handicapper.
This wedge has a brand new heat treatment that was applied to it. All golfers know that over time the grooves on your wedges are going to start to wear down. If you play a lot of golf, this can happen quicker than you may like.
The heat treatment applied to each wedge will allow the grooves to hold up about thirty percent longer than in years past. This is quite a bit longer and it will significantly increase the amount of time before you need to replace your RTX ZipCore wedges. It’s hard to complain about the price when you think about the long term use and the instant difference you will feel in your game.
If for some reason, you don’t feel as though the RTX ZipCore is the wedge for you, then it is worth considering the alternatives. The two wedges that we would consider are the RTX 4 and the Titleist Vokey SM8.
Cleveland RTX 4
Released before the ZipCore, has many of the same characteristics when it comes to spin, distance, and bounce. The RTX 4 is available in the extra low bounce that they did away with in the ZipCore series. The downside of the RTX 4 is the feel; it just isn’t as great as the ZipCore.
Titleist Vokey SM8
Many great players will tell you that you are either a Titleist wedge player or a Cleveland wedge player. If you are more of a Titleist person than the SM8 will be the closest things to the RTZ ZipCore. The SM8 has lots of spin, plenty of distance control, and, of course, those finishes that we love from Titleist.
Which Bounce Should I Get?
The RTX Zip Core is offered in three different bounce/grind options. Here is some additional information to help you decide which bounce/grind you need in your new ZipCore wedge.
The low is going to have six degrees of bounce, which is considerably low. This is good for the lower lofted wedges and for hitting off of harder surfaces.
Mid has ten degrees of bounce, and this would be considered the most versatile of the Cleveland wedges. If you are unsure about bounce and grind, go with the Mid option as you really can’t go wrong.
The high bounce option is twelve degrees. It helps to have high bounce when you are hitting out of a bunker or playing in very soft conditions. The high bounce also helps out of the rough. It is generally a good idea to vary the bounce options across your wedge set.
What Loft Should I Get?
When determining the loft for your wedges, make sure that you have equal gaps between them. It makes no sense to have a 52, 60 and a 62. Players should look to add a 52, 56, 60 or a 50, 54, 58. If you leave large gaps between the wedges, you will notice that there are holes and weaknesses in your short game.
Also, make sure to take a look at the loft of your pitching wedge. You should build your other wedges off of the loft of your pitching wedge. The traditional pitching wedge was around 46 degrees, but this has recently changed, and you will see pitching wedges with 43 and 44 degrees. If the next wedge in your bag is a 56 degree sand wedge, this is too large of a gap.
Is the ZipCore Worth It?
We always try to be as honest as we can in our reviews. When it comes to new product, the one thing that we like to focus on is if there was a significant improvement from the last model. The RTZ ZipCore has improved upon the RTX 4 so much, so that it is certainly worth the upgrade.
If you are currently playing a wedge older than the RTX 4, you will see some tremendous differences in the spin, control and feel that you will get when you switch to the RTX ZipCore. This wedge will earn a spot in your golf bag for a very long time.