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Fourteen Golf Wedges: Editor Review

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Pros: Fourteen wedges have a classic, clean shape, and come in some of the prettiest finishes we’ve seen. They have a super soft forged feel and create lots of check on short shots.

Cons: They’re pricey (about $185 each) and not easy to demo. There are more grinds in the works, but right now sole options are limited.

Overall: World-class workmanship and quality. If you’re shopping for a premium forged wedge, these should be at the top of your list to try.

Overview

Fourteen Golf is a Japanese golf equipment company that makes a full line of high-end clubs. While Fourteen sells drivers, fairway woods and hybrids, it’s the company’s driving irons, irons and wedges that have caught on with PGA Tour players (click here top read our Q&A with Fourteen’s Director of Tour Operations, Rusty Estes, for more).

One of the company’s most popular products on tour, the RM-12 wedges, are its latest models for 2013. The RM-12 wedges look similar to their predecessors, the RM-11 wedges, but they have a more rounded toe and a more agressive heel grind that adds versatility on open-face shots. They also have the same carefully milled trapezoidal grooves, which add 15 percent more spin than Fourteen’s popular M-28 J.spec-IV wedges.

According to Fourteen’s website, its “mirror face milling process” takes twice as long as traditional milling procedures, but adds consistency in both wet and dry conditions, as well as extra zip from the rough and on partial shots.

fourteen wedge review

The RM-12 wedges are available from select retailers and custom fitters for around $185 (to find a Fourteen Golf retailer near you, click here). They come in two different finishes — satin and “half matte” black — in even lofts from 48 to 60 degrees. They come stock with True Temper’s Dynamic Gold Wedge shaft or Nippon’s N.S. Pro 950 GH HT shafts with swing weights between D0 and D3.

Performance

fourteen wedge

PGA Tour player John Mallinger’s 58-degree Fourteen wedge.

The sole design of the RM-12 wedges differ substantially from the RM-11 wedges — a change that was implemented because of feedback from tour players. Many wanted a wedge that they could use on a variety of shots, so engineers rounded the toe and heel area. They also removed a back portion of the sole, creating Fourteen’s “H-Sole,” which is available on 48-degree to 58-degree models. These modifications allow golfers to open and close the face, which allows skilled golfers to hit a variety of shots.

For the 60-degree model, the design team implemented a “T-Sole,” or Twin Sole. It has a distinct ridge in the middle portion of the sole that allows the club to get through the turf easier, as the leading edge is better able to slide better under the ball. Additionally, when the club face is open, the company says the back portion of the sole encourages the ball to pop up with a good amount of spin.

Touring professionals appreciated the company’s original “reverse taper design” in its older wedges wedges, so engineers used it as a platform for the RM-12. But they increased the weight distribution on the upper blade to create a “reverse muscle design.” In effect, the weight is more evenly proportioned throughout the club head, which creates more consistent balls speeds and stability at impact on all shots.

Looks an Feel

Arjun Atwal Fourteen Wedge-Nelson_600x450_0-1

PGA Tour player Arjun Atwal’s 60-degree Fourteen wedge.

The RM-12’s satin finish is stunning. It’s not too light or dark, and is consistent and durable thanks to Fourteen’s “forged nickel chrome molybdenum bronze” finish, which the company chose for its strength.

“It will be in the best shape for a long time without too much wear and of course promise solid spin performance,” Fourteen says on its website.

As far as feel goes, these wedges are some of the best. That’s thanks to the quality control that’s a staple of Fourteen’s forging process, which give the clubs extremely tight tolerances and a buttery soft feel. This provides golfers with the feedback they need to learn how to play the most precise wedge shots.

It’s the unusual grind on the back of the wedge near the toe area that sets theses wedges apart, however. Not only does the “reverse muscleback design” look cool, it creates a more solid feel and increased performance that makes it easier to justify the high price tag of these wedges.

Check out our images below of Fourteen’s RM-11 and RM-12 wedges in different finishes, as well as some wedges with custom stampings done by Fourteen’s Rusty Estes.

 

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GolfWRX is the world's largest and best online golf community. Expert editorial reviews, breaking golf tour and industry news, what to play, how to play and where to play. GolfWRX surrounds consumers throughout the buying, learning and enrichment process from original photographic and video content, to peer to peer advice and camaraderie, to technical how-tos, and more. As the largest online golf community we continue to protect the purity of our members opinions and the platform to voice them. We want to protect the interests of golfers by providing an unbiased platform to feel proud to contribute to for years to come. You can follow GolfWRX on Twitter @GolfWRX and on Facebook.

6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. SA

    Jul 29, 2013 at 9:16 pm

    I bought the 56 degree/12 degree bounce sand wedge and Dynamic gold shaft and have been absolutely stunned at the stopping power and solid feeling of this wedge. My old 56 degree Cleveland CG 16 sand wedge is not even close to the performance and drop dead accuracy of the RM-14. Only complaint is that it is about 15 yards shorter! I didn’t expect that much of a distance drop off even though it was mentioned in some reviews. As a result, I filled in the “gap” and bought the 52 degree/10 degree bounce wedge. It is dead accurate at 100 yards – and I mean dead accurate. Great feel and control and incredibly forgiving as well. $360 was a big dollar amount to swallow for two wedges but when compared to the cost of 1 new driver and many saved strokes on sand, pitch and tap in putts it was a great deal. Result? After 60 days with these jewels I lopped 7 strokes off my handicap. Shot the best round of my life (74 last week) My handicap last year was 17! If you have not tried them don’t knock the price. By the way, I tried the Titleist Vokey and I think I MAY have hit the sweet spot once. If your swing regularly hits the sweet spot then you are much better than me and enjoy your Titleist wedge!

  2. blopar

    May 14, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    NO wedge is worth 180 bucks

    • Scott

      Jul 17, 2013 at 3:54 am

      It is if you depend on it to win and to support yourself and your family on the tour!

      • Mike Ryan

        Mar 31, 2017 at 7:44 pm

        What would that percentage of all golfers be? .0015% Sorry scott doesn’t make sense

  3. JK

    Apr 25, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    still playing the MT28V5. they are absolutely tremendous and changed my short game. looking forward to a chance to play the RM-12s in the future.

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Apparel Reviews

On the course? Off the course? Adidas’ new adicross line has you covered

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Furthering golfwear’s trend toward the more casual and versatile in a big way, Adidas today unveiled a new line extension: Adicross.

Urban inspired. Decidedly non-traditional. The Adicross line (styled “adicross”) leverages Adidas’ clothing and footwear styles from other arenas and reimagines them for wear on the fairway. Available December 1, the line brings Anorak jackets, henleys, hoodies, joggers, and even an Oxford to the golf course.

And before you clutch your saddle shoes in terror, remember, this is a line extension targeting a particular segment of the golfing population, not a total change of course for the entire Adidas Golf brand. If you’re wondering who represents the segment in question, think Erik Anders Lang: filmmaker, irrepressible golf enthusiast, and host of Skratch TV’s Adventures in Golf.

Lang hosted a launch event in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District warehouse space where he sat down with Adidas execs and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson for a chat about the new line. He praised the performance aspects of the five-pocket pant and the footwear styles, in particular.

As for golf’s top-ranked player, regarding the Adicross line, DJ told us the line is much more in keeping with stuff he’d actually wear than the baggy shirts and khakis that were the uniform of golf when he started out on tour.

“This is a line that I’ll wear all the time,” Johnson said. “I can wear it to the course and then go meet some buddies for lunch, and I’m not a walking poster for golf.”

From the Stretch-Woven Oxford, to the jogger pant, to the Adicross Bounce footwear, every item Dustin Johnson wears in picture below is intended for both on- and off-course wear.

“Adicross is the lifestyle brand that golfers everywhere have been waiting for,” said the world No. 1. “This is something that I’ll wear when I’m traveling to a tournament, practicing at home, or even headed to the gym.”

The aforementioned versatility of the Adicross line is very much a function of the materials: No-show sweat wicking technology, nylon-spandex blends (featured in the five-pocket pant and short), Primeknit (featured in Icon Polo and Jacket). These are clothes that are ready to wear to the office, but stretch, are light enough, and offer enough comfort to play 18 holes in.

“We wanted to challenge ourselves to design a line that would aid in helping athletes in their game, their life and in their world,” said Chad Alasantro, senior designer, men’s apparel at adidas Golf. “adicross is a perfect blend of hidden technology, fused with a creative aesthetic.”

 

The Adicross line also boldly brings street-inspired footwear to the golf course, retooling Adidas’ ultrapopular Bounce design to support the foot and grip the turf during the golf swing (and resist water during dew-sweeping early morning rounds)

“Adicross was designed as a result of the feedback we were hearing from our core consumer,” said Dylan Moore, Creative Director, Adidas Golf. “Like everyone else, golfers live in a complex, busy world with many diverse interests. They expect more from less and demand performance out of what they wear.”

The centerpiece Bounce features an ergonomic fit, offset wrapped saddle with multiple eyelet rows for customizable lacing, and a non-marking adiwear rubber spikeless outsole that features 181 strategically-placed lugs for a green-friendly grip.

The Bounce will be released in January, and additional styles will follow in February.

Regarding said “additional styles,” you can spot a few in this promo video. 

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Accessory Reviews

Choose Your Tartan: Enter now to win a Sunfish Tartan headcover

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Sunfish, well known for its stylish headcover designs, is offering up free Tartan-style headcovers to five GolfWRX Members. All you have to do to apply is become a GolfWRX member, if you’re not already, and then reply in the forum thread with your favorite the Tartan pattern.

TartanPatternsSunfish

The five winners will receive a free headcover in the pattern that they select. Winners will be selected on Friday, so don’t wait.

Click here to enter into the giveaway and pick your favorite style.

Reminder: Commenting on this post WILL NOT enter you into the giveaway.

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Equipment

Member Reviews: Callaway Steelhead XR Fairway Woods

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One of the many benefits of being a GolfWRX Forum Member is exclusive access to Giveaways and Testing Threads. In this Testing Thread, we selected six members to test a Callaway Steelhead XR fairway wood built to their specs.

CallawaySteelheadXRwoods-1021x580

The Steelhead XR has a club face made of steel for that familiar Steelhead feel. The crowns are made from J-36 carbon fiber to lower center of gravity and move it more forward; that will help it produce lower spin like the original designs that sold 2.3 million units. According to Callaway, the crowns weigh just 6 grams — that’s 20 grams lighter than Callaway’s XR ’16 fairway wood crowns.

Full Tech Story: Callaway upgrades a classic, introduces Steelhead XR fairway woods

The Steelhead XR fairways also have a Hyper Speed Face Cup that produces more ball speed across the face, and Speed Step technology, or the raised portions on the crown, that were first introduced in Callaway XR ’16 metalwoods. They improve aerodynamics to help golfers produce higher swing speeds.

Each member completed a detailed analysis and rating of the club. You can see the full reviews here. Below, we pull quotes from the reviews to give you a feel for what this choice group of WRXers had to say. The responses have been minimally edited for brevity and style. Thanks to all of those involved in the testing!

lutomrSC

  • Club Tested: Callaway Steelhead XR (13.5 degrees)
  • Shaft Tested: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Blue 65X

“I like almost everything about how this club looks. The color combination of the dark blue against the steel face gives a nice contract. I really like how the carbon fiber looks under the blue paint.”

“At times the ball appeared to have a little too much spin and would tend to climb to a height that would be above my current gamer off the tee. It would tend to go further because of the stronger loft, however, usually about 5-7 yards. Perhaps a different shaft could help the spin, but it would need testing. The Mitsubishi Tensei CK Blue 65 Graphite X-flex is a great stock option. It has a good feel and a weight that I prefer, and I think it can keep up with higher swing speeds without issue.”

SDickenson642

  • Club Tested: Callaway Steelhead XR 4+ (16 degrees)
  • Shaft Tested: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Blue 65X

“The appearance of the Steelhead is amazing. The shape is perfect for my eye, as I prefer a smaller profile down by the ball in fairway woods. The face is pretty deep compared to my [Cobra] Fly-Z+ I’ve been playing for three years now. The sound is amazing off the head. I never had the privilege of playing the original Steelhead fairways, but it does remind me of the original woods I played as a kid, which I think where Tommy Armour 845’s.”

“With the deeper face of the Steelhead XR, I thought I would have issues launching the ball from the deck on par 5s, but I did not see any issue. Turf interaction with the Steelhead was great. I was able to try multiple lies from the fairway, rough, and even a bunker. From the fairway I could easily control it and actually get the ball up in the air enough and with enough spin to hold greens.”

MillerLowLife

  • Club Tested: Callaway Steelhead XR 4+ (16 degrees)

“The top of this club looks awesome at address. I really liked the look of the crown that is a dark blue and shows the carbon fiber underneath. That, coupled with the silver steel face, makes it easy to frame the ball. This is a steel club so the sound and feel will be a sharper metal sound that’s accustomed to the old Steelheads. Has great swing weight and feel. Felt really easy to hit this in the tee box, fairway, or rough.”

“I really enjoyed the versatility of the 4+ with the shorter playing length, heavier swing weight, and flatter lie angle. For me, it felt like a bomber off the tee box, but it was still something I could use to get me out of less-than-ideal lies outside of the fairway —  something I wouldn’t think about with my current gamer.”

Hackster

  • Club Tested: Callaway Steelhead XR 4+ (16 degrees)

“This club is all business. Longer than my 3-wood, flies higher and able to work the ball left and right. On the tee, the ball jumps forward when it hits fairway. Does not lose much distance on off-center hits.”

“Long off the fairway, just put on cruise control and fire away. I struggle in the rough with any fairway wood, so not much to compare to — that’s what hybrids are for. Love this club. Had concerns where it would fit in the bag, but easily able to replace my 14.5-degree 3-wood with the 4+. Much more versatile than my current 3-wood and longer.”

drifliboy

  • Club Tested: Callaway Steelhead XR 3+ (13.5 degrees)

“This club with the lower loft of the 3+ worked well for me off the tee. It was close to my driver on distance. It seemed to launch quickly and then maintain its height. It did not balloon for me. It also really seemed to want to go straight, a couple of times shots almost seemed to correct a little in the air, particularly if I had pushed it. This club at this loft is pretty much a driver replacement for me.”

“If you are looking for a very classy fairway wood that is solid, long, with some forgiveness and doesn’t look like it was developed by a “mad” scientist, this club should be on your short list. It works well off the tee and turf. Please test and get fitted for the right loft and flex. I think this club provides most golfers with very good options that should be considered if they are looking to upgrade any of their woods.”

Discussion: Read the full responses here.

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