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Cleveland’s new Smart Sole 3 wedges add a tier for performance

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At one point or another, we’ve all dealt with the frustration of hitting chunks and skulls all day around the greens. Cleveland’s line of Smart Sole wedges, with their ultra-rounded soles, are designed to help these struggling golfers get the ball up and down more often… or at least onto the putting surface.

On July 24, Cleveland is launching its new Smart Sole 3 wedges, a line that includes a lofted sand wedge and a lower-lofted “chipper” meant to produce running shots. Each of the wedges use a new three-tiered design — thus the “3” in Smart Sole 3 — to be more versatile than their predecessors. The extra-wide sole adds forgiveness, according to Cleveland, and the different tiers will better prevent digging or other unwanted turf interaction from a variety of lies — the rough, fairway, fringe, bunker, dirt, etc.

ClevelandSmartSole3Wedges

Cleveland has also removed weight from the hosels and added it to the toe portions of the Smart Sole 3 wedges in order to shift center of gravity (CG) more toward the center of the club heads. This will provide a more balanced feel, according to Cleveland, than the previously released Smart Sole wedges.

The Smart Sole 3 sand wedge has 58 degrees of loft, while the chipper has 42 degrees of loft. They are each offered with both steel ($119.99) and graphite shaft ($129.99) options, and they come stock with a Lamkin Blue Cap grip.

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Dave R

    Jul 10, 2017 at 11:48 pm

    Presently use old old hogan sure out works great and looks the same. Hum!

  2. Kenny

    Jul 10, 2017 at 11:06 pm

    Tiger would be deadly with the chip and run model

  3. Philip

    Jul 10, 2017 at 6:23 pm

    Nothing new here, but the fact that this is a new release, maybe a lot of the casual golfers who just do not understand sand and around the green will try them out. I play with someone who has an old Callaway version of this and his is quite consistent with a basic chip out of the sand.

  4. Norm

    Jul 10, 2017 at 5:19 pm

    The Cleveland Smart Sole wedges are an important breakthrough in wedge sole design. I hope they have some kind of patent protection for this ingenious invention. They will be in my bag.

    • steve s

      Jul 10, 2017 at 7:20 pm

      Patent protection? For something that was done 30 years ago by someone else? And repeated every 5 years since and called “new, innovative” every time? I don’t think so…..see, Maltby, Alien, XE1, CEi, etc….

      • steve s

        Jul 10, 2017 at 8:01 pm

        And the Ram Recovery Sand Wedge…….there is one on ebay right now for $17….

  5. dave

    Jul 10, 2017 at 4:35 pm

    i dont get these…..these help with sand shots if you are swinging incorrectly out of the sand. yet they are worse much worse for every other shot including correct swings out of the sand and any sand that is harder or thinner…..i do have a buddy that is horrible out of the sand. maybe maybe this would help him as long as he doesnt use it other than in the sand.

    • Norm

      Jul 10, 2017 at 5:20 pm

      They are multi-purpose wedges for all wedge shots because of the Smart Sole design.

  6. ComeyforPresident

    Jul 10, 2017 at 12:26 pm

    Very original.

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Whats in the Bag

WITB GolfWRX Members Edition: Kblahey

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Recently we put out the call for our members to submit their WITBs in our forum to be featured on the GolfWRX front page. Since then, our members have been responding in numbers!

Now it’s time to take a look at the bag of Kblahey.

*Full details on the submission process can be found here, and you can submit your WITB in this forum thread.*

Member: Kblahey

Handicap: 7

Kblahey WITB

Driver: Ping G (10.5 degrees set at neutral)
Shaft: Ping Tour 65 S

3-wood: TaylorMade M5 (15 degrees set at neutral)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei Orange S

5-wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees set at neutral)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei Blue S

Irons: TaylorMade MC 2014 (3-PW)
Shaft: KBS Tour S

Wedges: Titleist SM7 Jet Black (54-14, 58-10 degrees)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold Wedge Flex

Putter: Scotty Cameron Studio Stainless Newport 1.5 Prototype

Golf Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet +4

Get submitting your WITB in our forum as we’ll be publishing more and more of them on our front page over the coming days and weeks.

Feel free to make it your own too by including some thoughts on your setup, your age, handicap, etc. Anything you feel is relevant!

Share your WITBs here.

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Cutting down driver vs Choking down – GolfWRXers discuss

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In our forums, our members have been responding to an interesting question posed by WRXer ‘Vater’. ‘Vater’ asks:

“What’s the difference between just placing your hands an inch lower on the grip vs getting an inch cut off the butt of the shaft?”

And our members have been discussing the two different options and sharing their takes in our forum.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • TourSpoon: “Even when you get to your playing length, there are times when you may want to grip down for even more control. If you grip down every time just to get to your playing length, you lose that option.”
  • ecfritts: “I’m 5’7″, but I like most of my clubs -1/2″, even my driver. Doesn’t seem like much but it just feels so much better…to me. If I’m not mistaken Rickie Fowler plays his clubs 1/2″ short.”
  • animalgolfs: “If your desire is bombs away- cut it down. If your desire is accuracies- choke down.”
  • chippa13: “I have cut 1.5 off my driver, and I also choke down almost to the shaft. After many experiments with lead tape amount and placement, I am finally hitting driver well (the few times I actually try to use it) after years of being Steve Sax with it.”

Entire Thread: “Cutting down on the driver vs Choking down”

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James Ingles resurrects custom putter brand

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Everybody loves a comeback story. Ben Hogan post-1949. Tiger Woods post-2009. You remember the first act and are now given a glimpse at what a second act could become. It’s a chance to reimagine and build on success. While the reason James Ingles Putters has been placed on hiatus for the last five years isn’t exactly “rock and roll,” they are indeed back on the market and ready to deliver. If you’re in the dark on James Ingles Putters’ history and/or why they’re back, here’s the story…

James Ingles started playing golf when he was 14 years old in 1997, which was an exciting time in golf, especially in the world of equipment and putters more specifically. Around that time, he purchased a special edition Scotty Cameron putter, which was inspired by David Duval, who was his favorite player at the time. He rushed home excited to show the new flatstick to his dad. His dad proceeded to look it over and sort of brushed it off as just a machine-made, milled steel putter. There were probably thousands of others just like it.

Heel-shafted blade 28g James Ingles Putter made from a copper alloy called Coldur A

That may be a curious reaction to most people, but as it turns out, James’ father has a unique frame of reference for this sort of thing. At that time in 1997, he happened to own Charles Hellis & Sons, a bespoke gunsmith in the London area (about 18 months ago he sold the business and retired). In his trade, no two items are alike. They begin with a quality forging and are then finished by hand to the customer’s specific requests. Shotguns from makers in and around London are known all over the world for their craftsmanship and attention to detail. It also happens that a lot of the steps in the gun making process actually transfer quite well to making putters.

In 2009, James approached the head gunsmith at Hellis and asked him if it was possible to make a putter in-house. That conversation started the development of James’ first putter, an 8802-style blade known as his 28g model. James uses the same forging house as Charles Hellis, which has been in business since 1904 and served many industries over the years. Hand engraving, when requested by the customer, is done by independent third-party engravers who also serve the local shotgun industry.

“I’d been around Hellis since my early teens, so I had at least seen and therefore had an appreciation for the machining and hand engraving that goes into shotgun manufacturing.  I spent a lot of time on the aesthetics of that first putter because I really wanted to get that right.  We knew there was going to be a fair amount of handwork involved in finishing the putter after the forging, but ensuring the overall shape of that forging was absolutely critical.”

Custom heel-toe weighted blade putter with hand engraving from James Ingles Putters

It’s worth taking a quick pause to point out an important distinction. There are loads of high-quality CNC milled putters today, which are milled by a computer to exacting tolerances from a 3D CAD model (think Tyson Lamb, Logan Olson, and the like). The “old fashioned” way many putter makers (such as T.P. Mills and his contemporaries) would have crafted their putters would have been start-to-finish on a hand-operated milling machine. One of the things that sets James’ putters apart is that they are first forged into a rough shape (not dissimilar to the way many forged irons are made) and then milled by hand into the finished product. This isn’t to say one method is objectively better or worse than another, only that they perhaps may arrive at a different result and may be for different customers.

“When we first came to market, everything we sold was direct to the consumer.  The golf industry was quite different in those days, so if you wanted to be competitive, you had to keep cost and margins as low as possible.  Then we started to partner with Scratch in 2013, which made sense for a lot of reasons.  Essentially, Scratch would work with the customer to define specifications and such.  They would send us that information and we would make the putters.  When Scratch went under in 2015, there were a host of other things going on in my life, though.  My first child had just been born and I had a full-time career as well, so going back to the way things were didn’t make sense.  I didn’t have the capability to have everything go directly through me anymore, so we made the decision to kind of shut things down for a while.”

Custom James Ingles Putter Covers

For the last five years, James’ life has mainly been focused on raising his two young kids and making a living as a building surveyor. By his own admission, he hadn’t even been playing much golf and had instead taken up long-distance running. Then, the COVID-19 pandemic started taking hold, and he started to introduce his now-five-year-old son to golf.

“We had gone to the driving range and Jude was having lots of fun hitting golf balls.  I also started to realize I could actually find the middle of the club face every now and again, so that was promising.  I then took him to the local pitch-and-putt and all of a sudden, all of my enjoyment for golf really just started flooding back.  I started an Instagram account for the golf business [@jamesinglesputters by the way] and posted pictures of Jude and I playing and also pictures of old putters I’d found lying around my garage.  Loads of people started commenting and messaging and it just felt like there was some unfinished business there.  Ultimately, I suppose that’s why we’re launching the business again and you and I are having this conversation.”

James Ingles putters have two main forgings that they can work from: the aforementioned 28g and also the 12g, a traditional heel-toe weighted blade design which can be finished in a number of ways depending on the customer’s preference. They are also capable of milling custom shapes from billet steel.  In addition to putters, James will be doing many small runs of accessories such as putter covers, ball markers, and divot tools.  All information can be found on his new website.

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