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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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Accessory Reviews

WRX Spotlight: Swag ball markers and divot tool

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Product: Swag ball markers and divot tool

Pitch:  From Swag: “Swag is the brand that isn’t scared to push the limits in a conservative sport that isn’t evolving to meet changing styles. We like to listen to music on the course, we want to be bold, we love having fun, we love golf, and we’re going to express that both on and off the course. We aren’t going to try to sell you on how great our proprietary materials are and we don’t need to rely on clever marketing to sell more. We’re a no BS company. What matters is that our putters feel good and in turn make you feel good when putting. We have some crazy ideas, we love to tinker, and we experiment on how to perfect everything we do.”

Our take on Swag’s ball markers and divot tool

Swag Golf is creating some of the most sought after products on the market right now, with their funky headcovers and putters all being in high demand. Well, the companies ball markers and divot tool are no different, both of which are easily identifiable as coming from this emerging company who create high-quality products.

The Skull is the companies flagship symbol, and their Stainless Steel Skull Marker their most recognizable marker. The skull marker features black and fluorescent paint, with the bright sunglasses on the marker giving it a vibrant look. 100% CNC milled, the tool contains the companies name engraved on the back of the marker.

A variation on the Skull Marker is the companies Rainbow Skull Marker. Just in case the black and fluorescent paint job on the former wasn’t flashy enough for you, Swag’s Rainbow Skull Marker will make sure to get you noticed, containing the same features as their Skull Marker with a Rainbow PVD finish.

Moving away from their Skull Marker’s, Swag’s St Paddy’s Day Cap Marker is more than worthy of a mention. Identical in size to a bottle cap, the St Paddy’s Day inspired marker features a hand polished golden finish, with the word Swag in green written on the front, while on the back the words “Swag Golf Co.” as well as the company’s philosophy “Don’t give a putt” featured.

The company describe their bottle cap/marker as not being the first bottle cap/marker on the market but “the best one” out there. While I can’t confirm how true that statement is, I can certainly say it is an excellent one.

Swag’s first divot tool is the DTF Divot Tool. Get your head out of the gutter, that stands for “Down To Fix”. The device comes in a black and lime paint job, and an impressive weight of 49 Grams which should ensure that it doesn’t go missing on you.

The divot tool, like their ball markers, is 100% CNC milled and made from 303 Stainless Steel. For a Swag product, the writing and branding on the tool is quite minimalist, and it is as clean and sharp looking a divot tool as I’ve seen from the 2019 releases.

As always with Swag products, the only issue is the limited releases and how quickly the items go, which is no surprise considering the unique products as well as the quality provided. They are, however, continuing to create and release more and more products and their website, as well as their social media sites, are all well worth keeping a close eye on if you’re looking to snag some of the companies top gear in the future.

 

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Apparel Reviews

WRX Spotlight: Etonic Stabi-Loud shoes

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Product: Etonic Stabi-Loud shoes

Pitch: From Etonic: “Throughout the years Etonic continued to achieve recognition for its footwear throughout the entire sports industry. From partnering with tennis legend Fred Perry to releasing the signature shoes of NBA All-Star Hakeem Olajuwon, Etonic has shown a passion and dedication to supplying athletes everywhere with the highest quality athletic shoes. Etonic continues to follow its commitment to athletes around the world by producing industry-leading activewear that allows you to achieve your best while feeling your best.”

Our take on the Etonic Stabi-Loud shoe

If you were to think of one Tour player which you would expect to wear the Etonic Stabi-Loud shoe, then who would you pick? I’m confident you all got it right. John Daly is partnered with both Etonic and Loudmouth who collaborated on this shoe, and you’d be hard pressed to find a golf shoe which represented his flamboyant style more than the Etonic Stabi-Loud shoe does.

Looking to create the loudest shoe in golf, Etonic did just that, with bold colors in a zebra style pattern. According to John Holst, VP of Sales for Etonic Golf,

 “The Stabi-Loud shoe is truly one of a kind. If you’re looking for an ultra-comfortable, high performance shoe that will stand out on the course, then look no further!”

What’s more, the color sequences they’ve paired together work excellently. The classic zebra look, the black and orange and particularly the companies deep red and black pattern which looks electric.

The shoes come in four different color schemes and are fully waterproof. The shoe also features a microfiber material which makes the shoe extremely comfortable as well as durable.

The shoe hits the retail market in May, and for those who admire the styles of John Daly, Ian Poulter etc. then you’re likely to love Etonic’s Stabi-Loud Shoe. It covers all the bases in terms of comfort, and if you’re looking to stand out on the course, this shoe will undoubtedly help you achieve that.

 

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Apparel Reviews

WRX Spotlight: Puma polos

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Product: Puma polos

Pitch:  From Puma “A world leader in high-performance sports clothing, Puma launched their first golf collection in 2004 complete with Puma golf shoes and clothing. The collection has gone from strength to strength ever since its creation, with tour pro golfers wearing the range out on the course. With bold colorful clothing to classically sporty and smart pieces, Puma golf is a versatile collection certain to appeal to golfers of all preferences.”

Our take on Puma’s polos

It’s difficult to look past Puma’s 2019 polo collection without seeing its Paradise golf shirt. Showcased by Rickie Fowler during the Island stretch of golf to begin the new year, the unconventional all button up shirt may not be to everyone’s taste, but anyone who pulls the shirt on will likely agree on its comfort. The shirt will channel your inner Ned Flanders, “feels like I’m wearing nothing at all,” and the ultra-lightweight feel combined with the looseness makes it an ideal summer shirt for swinging the club freely on the golf course.

Puma has a lot more polos on offer in 2019 than its Paradise shirt though, and one of the most visually striking shirts of theirs is the Aletknit Radius Golf Polo. The shirt comes in three vibrant colors (blue, white and green), and its camo inspired pattern is subtle and discreet which gives the shirt a cool look without being distracting. Also a lightweight polo, the Aletknit Radius Golf Polo features a clean three button look, as well as a very comfortable fit, and its dryCell technology means you won’t be drenched in sweat this summer.

Then there’s the Rotation Golf Polo which comes in both solid and stripes styles. The shirts offer a very modern feel and look, and you certainly won’t be disappointed with the selection of colors which the shirts come in, with an abundance on offer.

On the throwback front, Puma has you covered with their Nineties Golf Polo, with a striped shirt style and color. There are five different color blocks to choose from which are about as representative of spring/summer as I’ve seen, and the shirts also come with Ultraviolet Protection Factor, which is a nice summer touch.

The Faraday Polo is according to the company itself “one of our best”. Lightweight and one of the softest shirts they provide, it’s hard to disagree with them in terms of comfort level. The only off-putting feature of this shirt for me is the odd unfinished lining around the pocket.

The exhaustive selection of golf polos provided by Puma is impressive, and they’ve covered everything you’d want in a golf shirt in each of their styles. Prices range from $50-$70, and no matter what your taste, you’re bound to find a great summer golf shirt to add to your collection from their 2019 lineup.

 

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