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Cleveland Golf 588 RTX Wedges: Editor Review

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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.

Overview

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.

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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.

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Performance

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.

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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

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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.

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The Takeaway

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. 

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Franky Jay

    Nov 16, 2014 at 3:04 am

    Great review! I found this awesome website y’all might want to check out as well. http://www.golfreviewguy.com/cleveland-golf-588-20-rtx-wedge-review.html

  2. Pingback: Golf Clubs – Our Selection | Romney Warren Golf Club

  3. Pingback: The Results Are In… : Cleveland Golf Blog

  4. Pingback: The Results Are In… | Cleveland Golf Blog

  5. Cole

    Jun 26, 2013 at 9:47 pm

    I got one of the Crome 56* wedges and I love it but it just got dented on the toe so I was wondering if you can do anything about it.

  6. johnny

    Jun 26, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    What is the difference between one dot verse two,three dot on the club selection list?

    • Agustin

      Feb 9, 2014 at 5:19 pm

      Look at the spec sheet, for every loft, one, two and three dots mean different bounce angle. (f.e 10º, 14º and 16º)

  7. Hiwattage

    May 30, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    Just wondering how hard these grooves will be on the ball. Are they sharp enough to cut into the surface and ruin a ball?

  8. JL

    May 4, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    Does look different. I was thinking well what does it matter if you are not supposed o hit it on the toe, but looking at the review photos he did so with some scratches on the toe on one of the pics.

  9. pablo

    Apr 24, 2013 at 10:28 pm

    I use ping copper 48 and 52 wedges but cleveland 588 56 and 60 wedges. the pings are cavity backed and smoother due to their age, but work well on full shots. My around the green pitches and chips are always either with my 56 or 60 clevelands. they bite really well even on the hard arizona greens. one observation, the RTX faces on the pics above look exactly like mine last years model (588) but the pics i’ve seen online of the rtx’s look like this: (3rd pic) http://m.clevelandgolf.com/US_588-rtx-cb-satin-chrome__588_rtx_cb_satin__viewProd_Wedges.html

    is it just that the pics above aren’t zoomed in quite enough to pick up the detail on the toe side of the face/s?

    • Agustin

      Feb 9, 2014 at 5:25 pm

      You are right. I already have the new 588 RTX, and I can tell.

  10. michael

    Apr 24, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    these wedges look incredible and perform! if i wasn’t a ping guy, these would certainly be my second choice for a cast wedge! cleveland does it again.

    • Ryan

      Mar 23, 2014 at 7:19 pm

      Michael, checkout our web site groovybirdgolf.com , where we have milled ping wedges in our online store. We sell used clubs with a newly milled face for added backspin.

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Apparel Reviews

Brooks Koepka’s Winning Outfit: 2018 U.S. Open

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Brooks Koepka played like he dressed on Sunday at Shinnecock Hills for the final round of the U.S. Open; his outfit was athletic, well put together, boring with a bit of flash (those shoes!!), and most importantly, it got the job done.

See the golf clubs and shafts Brooks used to win.

A great representative of the new age of golf, Koepka has the frame of a baseball player, and he’s not afraid to accentuate it with tight-fitting polos and an athletic look. For Sunday, he chose a white-on-gray-on-gray look that was understated, but clean — just like his scorecard. He really made the Nike Golf Tour Premiere PE shoes, with hits of electric orange, the star. Check out the details on his full outfit below.

Brooks Koepka’s Winning Outfit

  • Hat: Nike AeroBill Classic99
  • Shirt: Nike Zonal Cooling polo
  • Belt: Nike Stretch Woven
  • Pants: Nike Flex
  • Shoes: Nike Golf Tour Premiere PE
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Apparel Reviews

Dustin Johnson’s Winning Outfit: 2018 FedEx St. Jude Classic

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Dustin Johnson won the 2018 FedEx St. Jude Classic by 6 shots — and he holed out on the 72nd hole for eagle as the cherry on top.

You can check out the clubs he used to win here, but this article is all about his outfit.

Per usual, DJ went with the white-on-navy-on-navy-navy look that he wears often, especially on winning Sundays. Also, according to Adidas, it’s the first time that a Primeknit shoe has won on the PGA Tour, so there’s that.

Let’s dive into his full outfit…

Dustin’s Winning Outfit

  • Hat: TaylorMade New Era Tour 9Fifty (White)
  • Polo: Ultimate365 Heather Polo (Collegiate Navy)
  • Belt: 3-Stripes Perforated Reversible
  • Pants: Ultimate365 Flat Front (Navy)
  • Shoes: Tour 360Knit (Grey/Real Purple)
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Apparel Reviews

Modern classics: Catching up with Holderness & Bourne

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If you haven’t heard of Holderness & Bourne, well, for one thing, you’ve missed a couple of our gift guides. We’ve lauded the Rye, New York-based apparel manufacturer on more than one occasion for making some of the best polos in the business.

H&B, not surprisingly the product of two men named (Alex) Holderness and (John) Bourne, is quickly establishing a reputation for classic styles in tailored fits using modern materials. In addition to both performance and cotton polos, Holderness & Bourne makes sweaters, vests, bags, and other accessories.

I spoke with Alex Holderness about the company’s growth and what’s next.

BA: We first spoke a couple of years ago, but things have really taken off since then. Tell me about the growth.

AH: It’s been a great few years for us. We’ve basically tripled the past few years. We’re now stocking more than 150 clubs around the country and some great clubs abroad as well. We’re seeing traction for the brand; we’re seeing momentum. A lot of people like the concept of the brand, which is classic style with a more modern approach to fabrics and fit…and it’s working, so we’re trying to grow carefully based on that.

BA: What did establishing traction look like for you?

AH: It’s been steady all along. There wasn’t a point where the tide turned and things started to get good when they weren’t good before. But it is tough to get traction in green grass, and we feel very fortunate that we were based in New York…early in the history of the brand, we landed Winged Foot…Greenwich Country Club and a few others in the area really early on…So we were very lucky…because traction in green grass for brands like us is driven by perception, so if you can align yourself as a brand with the better clubs and public facilities around the country it can be very favorable. A lot of times, it results in people…calling us, because they’ve heard it [our apparel] did very well at Winged Foot or some other club. So that’s our general approach to green grass.

We’re not snobs about it by any means. It’s not like we have some grand strategy to only stock the top 100 clubs. But we care a lot about making premium products and being a premium brand. As a results of that, we are a natural fit for higher-end facilities, whether they’re public or private. We’re not going to ever be the cheapest brand in the shop, and we’re not going to be on clearance for 70 percent off…we’re very careful about what we’re building, and as a result of that, having these relationships with facilities around the country has been really helpful for us…and it’s helped us generate momentum in terms of getting inbound inquiries.

But it has taken a while. We’re four years into this thing, and it’s a day-by-day, year-by-year process..It’s not like we went out and raised $5 million in investor capital. We didn’t go out and try to be an overnight success…and get into every club. We only raised a small amount of capital, and we’re trying to kind of bootstrap: make great product, sell it, then use those proceeds to broaden our assortment. We want to add additional categories and get into more clubs every year, but it takes time.

BA: Can you talk a bit about your core consumer and how you’re appealing to him in ways that maybe other brands weren’t?

AH: My business partner John and I are both guys in our late 30s, married with kids and all that, but young enough to want a cleaner, more modern fit without sacrificing the classic look. We just knew that the combination of fit and style that we had in mind would resonate with plenty of guys, because we started out looking at this whole thing from the customer’s perspective. We also wanted to put some real soul into the brand, creating something very authentic within golf, because we didn’t always feel we were getting that as customers buying golf apparel in the past.

BA: Can you talk a little bit about the balance between e-commerce sales and green grass?

AH: Green grass has been the focus for us so far, but it’s a nice overall split. I think these days any relatively new brand needs to have a website where their customers can reach them directly, but for us the relationships we have with the clubs and public facilities that stock our brand are certainly just as important. Those places are the real stewards of the game and golf culture, and our brand has proven to be a strong fit for them.

BA: You’ve been pretty selective in your marketing and messaging…can you talk about that?

AH: We’re just kind of old school about it. We don’t care to shout about the brand or pay a bunch of money for marketing and PR. Our thinking has always been that if we focus on designing and manufacturing excellent products and get them into the right people’s hands, the brand will grow nicely as people tell their friends about the brand. We also put a huge emphasis on customer service for that same reason. We want people to have an excellent experience with us, even if that involves solving a problem for them, and that approach has been a good one so far.

BA: Talk about Roberto Castro wearing your wares, as it were…

AH: We are really proud to have Roberto onboard as a brand ambassador, and he’s become a great friend of ours as well. He found out about us a couple years ago by reading a piece about new golf brands on the blog Red Clay Soul, and reached out. We weren’t looking to sponsor tour players, but we got to know him and realized that he is the perfect guy to have out there representing the brand. He’s a big family guy, humble and low-key, and he just let’s his game do the talking, all of which we admire. And the guy has got tons of game. He made it into the field at the U.S. Open again this year, so we’re headed out to Shinnecock next week to cheer him on.

BA: Speaking of the Tour, apparel is in an interesting and dynamic place, isn’t it?

AH: Definitely. We think it’s great that there are a number of new brands out there pushing things forward, and it’s not a winner-take-all market. Things are certainly competitive, but brands both within and beyond golf are becoming more niche, which helps customers find the ones that specifically work for them. We don’t really pay a lot of attention to the apparel game on tour specifically, to be honest. We care just as much what’s going on out on the mid-am scene, where a lot of guys who obviously aren’t getting paid choose to wear our stuff simply because they like it better.

BA: Beyond deliberate growth, what’s on the horizon for H&B?

AH: We’re now stocking more than 150 pro shops around the country (and abroad – Sunningdale in England and Toronto Golf Club up in Canada have picked up the line), so we are excited about that momentum. For 2019, we’ve got big plans to expand our apparel collection, with a broader range of shirt fabrics and styles, some very cool layering pieces, and more premium accessories such as belts, hats, and bags. As designers, we really feel like we’re just getting started.

BA: Thanks, Alex.

You can find Holderness & Bourne on the web here.

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