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Cutter Golf CTR-1 wedge: Here to help

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Let’s start with this—if you don’t struggle using a traditional-style wedge then the CTR-1 from Cutter Golf is probably NOT for you. But if you do truly struggle, this could be a game-changer for your short game.

Greenside shots, especially ones that involve escaping deep rough or sand are some of the most feared shots for the average golfer. It’s one of the biggest differences between amateurs and professionals. With a decent lie, pros give themselves a fairly high potential to hole out, while amateurs are just hoping to escape in less than one attempt.

The “pitch” from Cutter

Thanks to the unique shape and hosel transition, the Cutter wedge has 65 percent less leading-edge contact than a traditional wedge to prevent twisting on shots out of the rough. The additional face height and aggressive perimeter weighting offer a 75 percent larger sweet spot (per the company), and you have a club that should make hitting short game shots a lot easier.

My take

The Cutter wedge doesn’t claim to be traditional, but the principles behind the design all have merit in creating an easy to hit wedge. The high bounce sole with heel-toe relief improves turf interaction while the pushed back from the leading edge hosel gets through long grass easier and lowers the possibility of hitting the dreaded shank. As mentioned off the top, total versatility and shotmaking are not high on this club’s list of priorities, but being easy to hit is!

After going out and testing the wedge in some poor turf conditions I will fully admit, as much I do not prefer the look of it compared to my traditional wedge, it flat out works in getting the ball out of almost any tough spot. Feel is the last part of the puzzle and because of the large thin face it has a higher pitch than what I was used to, but it’s still very pleasant – similar to the acoustics produced by other large game-improvement clubs.

Overall, if you are headed into 2020 with a lot of doubts about your short game or just want to try a wedge that will actually help around the greens the Cutter CTR-1 could be for you.

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Ryan Barath is a club-fitter & master club builder with more than 17 years of experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour players. He is the former Build Shop Manager & Social Media Coordinator for Modern Golf. He now works independently from his home shop and is a member of advisory panels to a select number of golf equipment manufacturers. You can find Ryan on Twitter and Instagram where he's always willing to chat golf, and share his passion for club building, course architecture and wedge grinding.

16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. M.Coz

    Mar 27, 2020 at 2:42 am

    Sometimes I don’t know about some of the posters here. How many times do we have to put up haters here who really don’t know the game or it’s history of both the game and its equipment. Do I need to remind of the first steel headed drivers, much revolt or even more the first big headed drivers how they looked like a (use many descriptions here) on a stick. Or the first rescue/hybrids that some thought the head would make a better handle of a crutch if turned upside down. Or how about the first Ping K-1 irons were considered an abomination compared to the typical blades with their offset and no chrome finish. Of course those Eye 2 wedges were thought to be large and ridiculous. Then they came out with their big wooden head drivers with its goofy shape that was so strange. Oh and then Jerry Pate winning a major with (god forbid!!) a colored ball!! GET OVER it. If you have nothing to contribute move on.

  2. Petalocos

    Mar 23, 2020 at 11:09 pm

    I’m an 8 index and have experimented with the CTR-1. While I don’t see it necessarily replacing my current (TaylorMade) wedge, it certainly performs around the green as well as my current wedge. Therefore, I would recommend it to anyone who likes the CTR-1 aesthetic (looks like a driver face) and/or is struggling with improving their short game.

  3. Danny M.

    Mar 20, 2020 at 9:16 am

    How about golfers just LEARN to hit a bunker shot, work hard at figuring out how to escape deep rough, and dedicate some time practicing around the green.

    This junk is just a band-aid used to cover up laziness.

    • andy c

      Mar 20, 2020 at 11:08 am

      haha, yeah because everyone has time and money to go to the short game practice range that doesn’t exist and spend 2 hours a day honing our skills. Can’t tell if you are trolling or not but most golfers I know work for a living and time spent on the course is for fun. Call out a blue collar guy like me for being lazy over how a club looks, and you’d find out how it looks in your in shin.

      • Joe

        Mar 23, 2020 at 1:11 am

        If you have time to play you have time to practice.

        This wedge is one of those 1 – 2 months gimmicks, and then disappears. Through the years I (everyone) have seen many.

    • Big Danny M Fan!

      Mar 23, 2020 at 12:52 pm

      Wow! The great Danny M. has spoken! I’m sure Danny M. has tried the “junk” and most likely a +2 and knows what he’s talking about because he doesn’t sound like a “know it all” and a douche….nope, not at all.

  4. D. Fosbury

    Mar 20, 2020 at 2:51 am

    Life is full of this… “but it looks funny”.

    If it works, it works. This article seems a little short on that, but don’t judge solely on looks. Sometimes, we find out that we’re doing it all wrong because someone is crazy enough to make a point.

  5. Guia

    Mar 19, 2020 at 7:37 pm

    It is said that “there is one born every minute”. So they are guaranteed to sell at least “one”.

  6. Tim

    Mar 19, 2020 at 5:22 pm

    Many of us can get under a ball in long grass its the tight lie we fear. Where tempo and touch are critical. This is why I and many others use an 8 iron or hybrid from off the green.

  7. Charlie Waffles

    Mar 19, 2020 at 5:07 pm

    You’re kidding I hope…..

  8. GoCougs!

    Mar 19, 2020 at 3:17 pm

    I’ve seen the wedge and although the looks are strange. The person using it was making some serious shots and was deadly accurate on his chips from 30 yards out. Just my 2 cents…

  9. Rich Douglas

    Mar 19, 2020 at 12:08 pm

    And when you get done with your round, you can take it home and serve up a nice piece of pie.

  10. SV

    Mar 19, 2020 at 11:00 am

    It looks like the mutant offspring of the Cleveland VAS irons.

    • Rich Douglas

      Mar 19, 2020 at 12:07 pm

      Oh, I so disagree. The VAS was a good iron in its day. Take a look; you’ll see a lot of design features–anti-vibration badge, large bounce, long heel-to-toe, lots of offset–that you see in many GI irons today. They’re just blended into the design and not as obvious as they were in the VAS.

  11. Shallowface

    Mar 19, 2020 at 10:01 am

    Considering how many of us struggle around the greens with the myriad of conventional wedges, any attempts at innovation for this section of the bag are most welcome. Many of us would benefit from having a good look at (horror of horrors!) chippers. I’m looking at trying a wedge with a more upright lie angle to see if that helps.

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5 things we learned Saturday at the British Open

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For a third consecutive day, Royal St. George’s golf course provided ample opportunity for golfers to make moves up the leaderboard. As with all potions and recipes, knowing the proper amount of each ingredient was critical. For many, knowing which ingredients to leave out, and which ones to incorporate, was also decisive. Too many drivers, too much draw, too great a risk into a particular green, all resulted in lost shots and descents. By day’s end, most of the expected players were still in contention, ensuring that Sunday’s march across the storied links of RSG, sandwiched between Prince’s and Royal Cinque Ports, will be memorable.

Our memory is fading, but we do know five things that we learned today. Share them with us, won’t you?

1. Driving Suez

As Bryson DeChambeau continued his search for a new realm of golf performance, his climb up the leader board stalled. He made a double at nine and a bogey at 13 and stepped to the tee of the 14th at Sandwich at 3 over on the day. With nothing to lose, the scientist proceeded to bang driver OVER the crossing hazard known as Suez Canal. The carry was measured at 340 yards to find fairway, and DeChambeau’s tee ball ended 366 from its point of origin. His wedge approach barely missed its tiny target front left, ending in the guarding bunker. With a deft touch, Bryson got up and down for his first birdie on the day. Given the glee of the online announcers, we bore witness to a first-ever event with that swing of the driver.

2. Louis, Collin, not fade away

Louis Oosthuizen and Collin Morikawa began day three in the same pairing, separated by a pair of strokes. Morikawa began to fade with bogeys on two of his first five holes. Recalling that he was a PGA champion just a few years back, the young Californian reset and rebounded. He played the final 13 holes in minus 4, posted 68 on the day, and made up a stroke on the leader.

Oosthuizen’s front nine was ideal. He turned in 33 thanks to birdies on seven and nine. At that point in the round, the top challenge to the South African’s lead was Jordan Spieth, who also turned well on day three. Oosthuizen struggled a bit coming home carding two bogeys and one birdie, but Spieth struggled more. That will be discussed further on. As for Louis, the 2010 Open champion, his birdie at 16 renewed his lead over Morikawa. The two will partner for a second consecutive day on Sunday, and odds favor one of them to depart with the Claret Jug’s suitcase.

3. Who else remains?

Despite closing with three bogeys on his last eight holes, Jordan Spieth sits just three behind the 54-hole medalist. He has been the most impressive when it comes to making birdies of all the leaders. What he needs to solve for Sunday is how to continue this while eliminating that. “That” would be the bogeys, the lost shots, the anxious, hurried swings. His three major titles suggest that he knows how to do this, but it has been since 2017 that he hoisted major hardware. On Sunday, he might do so again.

Corey Conners and Scottie Scheffler are the most intriguing new names on the leader board. Each has played with composure and expertise — not just this week but over the past 18 months. And they’ve done so in other major championships. They’ve suffered the lumps, bumps, and bruises of also-rans and almost-weres along the way, and both appear ready to shed that baggage at Sandwich.

4. Who went away?

Dustin Johnson did. As quickly as he ascended on Friday, he derailed on Saturday. Not in fabulous, dramatic fashion, but little by little. He ended 3 over on the day and minus 4 for the week. As little as 2 under on the day would have seated him in one of the final two groups on Sunday, but 2021 was not to be DJ’s year at the Open. Rory McIlroy came and went even quicker. He was 4 under on the front nine, and 3 over on the back. His woe-ridden face, sagging shoulders, and quickened pace said it all: The tournament was his for the taking, and he forgot how.

Brooks Koepka, Emiliano Grillo, and Andy Sullivan also struggled on Saturday, as did the aforementioned Bryson DeChambeau. The common thread was trying too much and not accepting what the course offered. The wind was up, but not to a flamboyant degree, just enough to topple wayward strikes toward sand and higher grass.

5. Who wins on Sunday?

This guy. Two Open titles in the same year.

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5 things we learned: Friday at the British Open

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Yesterday we hinted that the morning and afternoon waves at Royal St. George’s (aka Sandwich) were mostly equal, in terms of weather conditions and impact. Others observed that the winds picked up in the afternoon but, in all honesty, they weren’t that different. Perhaps a stroke was lost, but nothing like we’ve seen in past Opens. Despite exaggerated warnings of difficult morning conditions on Friday by some outlets, two scores of 64, one of 65, and two of 66 were reported as players moved up the board, into contention.

Today, the cut danced back and forth between plus 1 and plus 2, before finally settling on the former. 77 golfers reached the tee for round three, including Bryson DeChambeau, who played the final five holes in minus 2 to make the cut on the number. From all these tidbits, we’ve extracted five things learned from Friday at the 149th Open Championship. Have a glance with us.

1. Magnificent Matthias

It’s rare that we lead with someone chasing silver, rather than gold, but when an amateur signs for a 65 at Royal St. George’s, the die is cast and the route, selected. Germany’s Matthias Schmid, who recently completed his time at the University of Louisville, began day two at four shots beyond par. By morning’s conclusion, he had regained five with a bogey-free 65, and sat at minus-one on the week, safely inside the cut line. Twice the winner of the European Amateur, Schmid is currently the 12th-ranked amateur in the world, and is playing in his second Open Championship. Schmid’s round equaled the lowest ever posted by one who plays for glory and not for money. China’s Yuxin Lin is the only other amateur currently on the safe side of the plus-1 cut wall. Schmid and Lin will do their own battle this weekend, hoping to claim the low amateur’s silver medal.

2. Gigantic Jigger Thomson holes in one to gain a Saturday tee time

It seems like everyone wanted to make it to the weekend, but none did it in more spectacular spectacular fashion than Jonathan Thomson. The Englishman measures in at six feet nine inches tall, but made bogey at 15 to drop to plus 1, exactly on the cut line. With one swing of his iron at the 16th, Thomson move to 1 under par with an improbable ace. He followed that with birdie at 17 and stands proudly at minus 2 through 36 holes. Let’s all raise a jigger of whatever to the welcome figure of Jonathan Thomson.

3. Mighty Collin

Despite making his Open debut on the most psychologically challenging of the Open rota of courses, Collin Morikawa proved to be the class of the early set of Friday tee times. Paired with Corey Conners (who made the cut) and Sebastián Múñoz (who did not), Morikawa posted seven birdies through his first 14 holes. He drove poorly at 13 and 14 (bunker and thick rough) but escaped for par and birdie at each hole. His only blemish was a bogey at the 15th. The nearly-500 yard par four is playing first in difficulty through 1.5 rounds, and the California native missed a third consecutive fairway with his driver. Another recovery was not in the cards, with Morikawa ultimately missing a five-feet putt for his par.

Offer any player in the field an even-par total after missing three consecutive fairway, and he’ll most likely accept the deal. After the morning wave, Morikawa sat three ahead of South Africa’s Daniel Van Tonder, who negotiated five birdies from the course after a fifth-hole bogey set him in arrears on the day.

4. “I’m still number one” Johnson stands at seven deep

With all the heroics of the first two days at Sandwich, add one more name to the mix: Dustin Johnson, he of two major titles and a near-miss the last time the Open visited Royal St. George’s. The tall man from South Carolina had himself a day on Friday, posting seven birdies against two bogeys for 65. He moved from minus 2 to minus 7, good for a tie for fourth spot with Scottie Scheffler and Dylan Fritelli. Johnson had bogey at the 3rd and 15th holes, but made birdie at the last to position himself for a weekend charge.

He wasn’t the only big name to make a sizable move on day two. U.S. Open champion Jon Rahm had 64 to reach minus 5, and Brooks Koepka had 66 to reach the same figure. Oh, and don’t forget defending champion Shane Lowry, who carded 65 on day two to reach four-under par. The weekend on the southwest coast of England promises a memorable champion and an even-more memorable slate of challengers.

5. Louis part touis

You didn’t think we’d forgotten him, did you? The major champion golfer of the year is working hard, hard, hard to become the Champion Golfer of the Year for a second time. Oosthuizen played spectacular golf for a second consecutive day, and reached the 34th hole of the week at 12 under par. He made four at the par-three, antepenultimate hole, but still managed to finish at 129 for two rounds, a new championship record. His performance to date is just two better than early leader Morikawa, but is historic in a way that demands we pay little attention to that late-round hiccough. Oosthuizen posted four birdies on the day, an concluded a sizzling, three-hole stretch on the inward half with an eagle-three at the par-5 14th.

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Five things we learned: Thursday at the British Open

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Morning coffee with the Royal and Ancient returned on this morrow with the 149th playing of the Open Championship. When last we saw Royal St. George’s, we welcomed one of the most favorable tournament resolutions of this generation: the coronation of Darren Clarke.

Prior to that, in 2003, the the course greeted the most unlikely winner in Ben Curtis, after Thomas Bjorn gave away late a two-shot advantage. To summarize, we might witness a complete dark horse drink from the Claret jug on Sunday, or we might see a favorite son finally break through. In each player’s case, the Open at RSG was his only major title. Today, however, tells us nothing more than the 18-hole leader, so let’s have a look at five things that we learned on Thursday at the Open Championship.

1. The putting at RSG is the thing

One thing that might go unnoticed is the points at which putts begin to break on these beguiling putting surfaces. One minute, a putt turns left two inches off the clubface, confusing the golfer beyond words. At a second, the evaluation suggests a trace a full 1.5 cups less than needed. As considered by an English journalist “Some of the undulating slopes on the greens and fairways feel more like a creation of Zaha Hadid than that of Dr Laidlow (sic) Purves in 1887.” Laidlaw Purves, much like Henry Fownes at Oakmont, designed precisely one course in his lifetime, and it is this one. There are no other Purves putting surfaces with which to compare his work in Kent. Thus, find the caddie with the best eyes for greens, and hold on to that looper for the week.

2. Put Shane in the … and he’ll make magic

One of my regular playing partners is known wide and far as The Scrambler. It’s an affliction, more than a compliment. The lad simply loves recovery shots. Give him a flat, fairway lie and lord knows how bad he’ll play it. Place his ball in spots favored by the world’s devils and he’ll seize the moment for glory. On Thursday, Shane Lowry hit some brilliant shots from the thick stuff. As defending Champion Golfer of the Year, his work merits some attention today. Lowry made two birdies from healthy grama, but could not avoid bogey at the last for 71 and much ground to make up to defend his title.

3. Our man Louis

The 2010 Champion Golfer of the Year has been the top major-event competitor of 2021. Oosthuizen has a pair of runner-up finishes in the past two months, at both Kiawah Island and Torrey Pines. He certainly played well enough to win each, but some other golfer found a way to play better. Perhaps if Louis had attended Arizona State University (school of the two golfers that defeated him) he might have another major or two. Enough with the daydreams; on to the performance. Louis Oosthuizen played 18 holes at RSG with no bogey on his card. Staring bogey in the face at the last, he smartly pitched out of the left fairway bunker, hit a full wedge to the back shelf, and deftly holed the putt for par. His 6-under tally had him one ahead of USA compatriots Jordan Spieth and Brian Harman at the close of the morning session.

4. Webb and Heb lead PM posse

The afternoon wave of golfers dealt with good weather and slowing greens, and Webb Simpson and Ben Hebert were the cream of that crop. The American parlayed five birdies against one bogey (on a par five, no less!) in hiss 66, while the Frenchman turned in a clean card. Hebert had two birdies on each half, and a passel of pars to sit two behind Louis Oosthuizen, in a tie for fourth with Simpson and three others. In many an Open championship week, either round one or round two features a morning or afternoon wave of unrelenting atmospheric influence. Ardent supporters of the vagaries of links golf, simply shrug their shoulders when weather impacts half the field. Precious little time remains to make up for Mother Nature’s inconsistencies, making it a shame for half the field to suffer a fate not felt by the other 80-odd golfers.

As mentioned earlier, a pair of American golfers sit one behind first-round leader Oosthuizedn. Jordan Spieth ran consecutive birdies from the fifth through the eighth, then added two more late in the round, after making bogey at the third early on. Brian Harman notched birdie at four of his opening five holes, then fell back with two bogeys around the turn. The Georgia resident regrouped and had birdie coming home at 13 and 18 to match Spieth’s 65.

5. Those penal bunkers

We would be remiss if we did failed to mention the reveted bunkers that make Sandwich such a demanding layout. The sandy declivities are pot bunkers in the horrific sense of the feature, but their lofty faces preclude a full recovery to the green. Most golfers accept the punishment that their errant tee balls meted out, and pitch partway home. Day one saw a number of golfers loft a third shot close enough to the hole to save par. When a golfer tried for too much, as US Open champion Jon Rahm did below, things turned against the player. As golfers march through the coming 54 holes, it will be interesting to watch and see if anyone is able to reach the putting surface from a fairway basement, and precisely how much pressure was on the shot’s execution.

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