Pros: Rotex face technology isn’t marketing mumbo jumbo. The spin and stopping power, particularly on shorter shots and shots played with an open face around the green, is exceptional.
Cons: Although the S grind is versatile, it wouldn’t hurt for Cleveland to have a few more grind options, as well as custom options.
Bottom Line: The innovative groove and face technology in Cleveland’s 588 RTX wedge make the club a serious consideration for low-handicappers. The wedge’s milled face and the amount of spin generated on mishits and shorter shots make the 588 (particularly the CB model) the optimal wedge choice for higher handicappers.
The showpiece of Cleveland’s RTX wedges is Rotex Face technology. The rougher, milled face is designed to impart more spin on wedge shots than a traditional, smoother club face could.
The 588 RTX wedge’s grooves are also 16 percent larger than those on its 588 predecessor. Of course, generally speaking, the wider the grooves, the more spin that can be generated. The larger grooves in this year’s model are intended to maximize spin on shots from the rough or sand and in wet conditions. Additionally, the surface roughness and milling create the most durable grooves that Cleveland has ever offered, extending the longevity of the club.
The face’s optimum dimensional roughness creates maximum spin on partial shots, and shots struck with slower club-head speeds. In other words: maximum spin on shots around the green.
The sole of the popular CG15 wedge inspired the club’s S Sole. The S grind, of course, is one of the most versatile sole configurations available. Also, the 588 RTX wedge features a wider sole towards the heel, which becomes narrower near the toe. Cleveland’s objective with the sole is to promote the best bunker performance possible without sacrificing versatility.
There a variety of loft and bounce configurations for Cleveland’s 588 RTX wedge. Full spec sheet, below.
On approach shots from the fairway, the RTX produces spin comparable to Cleveland’s now-outlawed Zip Groove technology. On full shots struck in the center of the face, the feel is incredibly soft and there is a discernible sensation of compression and the ball sliding up the face. On shots struck with more club-head speed, the grooves seem capable of tearing the cover off the ball.
Open-faced shots around the green with the 60-degree wedge produce an incredible amount of spin. The party line about off-center hits still generating maximum spin isn’t just talk, either. Obviously, the golfer can feel that a shot was struck closer to the toe, but he/she may not be able to tell based purely on the flight of the ball and the way it stops on the green.
The S sole on both the 56- and 60-degree wedges allows any shot to be played around the green, and a golfer can open the face of the club with confidence. Further, the sole digs but doesn’t drag in both deeper rough around greens and out of the sand. Again, the club does what the manufacturers purport it to do here, as well.
Cleveland has gone the cavity wedge route in the recent past, and surely the design isn’t for everyone. However, in the 48- to 52-degree range, where a player might be willing to sacrifice some feel for an increase in forgiveness, the 588 RTX CB performed admirably. The club features a reverse C sole, rather than the S, which seemed to sacrifice an element of versatility around the greens, but improves the club’s performance on full shots from the rough. The perimeter weighted CB feels very much like a forged iron, but spins like a wedge, particularly out of the rough.
Looks and Feel
With the 588 RTX, Cleveland has retained a classic look, which has defined most of its offerings in recent years. As mentioned, last year’s 588 wedge featured more stamping than the present model, which has a less busy look, but perhaps still too much stamping for some purists.
At address, the Rotex face milling and grooves are apparent. One can assume that the grooves continue to look sharp for a long time.
As mentioned earlier, the feel of the wedges, both the 588 RTX CB and standard model is second-to-none. From a pure, soft, feedback-producing feel standpoint, this offering is exceptional. The sound of a solid strike may be a little quieter than with certain wedges. However, the feel, especially with quality golf balls, is exceptional.
The finish options — satin, satin chrome and black pearl — are all very attractive and cover the major bases of buyer interest. However, the absence of a raw finish option may be bothersome to rust enthusiasts.
If you’re a Cleveland Golf loyalist looking for a little more spin, you’ll love this club. If you purchased the 588 last year and were happy with that club, it’s possible you might not want to make the switch. However, for those who support team Cleveland, the 588 RTX merits a demo.
The Rotex face perfoms like the Zip Grooves of old more than any Cleveland offering has since its extinction. Those looking for a wedge that generates maximum spin on all shots will surely want to give the 588 RTX a try, whether they’ve previously been fans of Cleveland’s wedge offerings or not.
For the player who likes to play a variety of shots around the green, this club is a fine choice, as well.
Ultimately, The 588 RTX and 588 RTX CB improve upon the 588 model, offer intriguing technology, and are as solid as any option in the wedge marketplace this year.
Check out the photos of the wedges Ben tested below.