It has been four years since the USGA and R&A’s 2010 groove rule changes went into effect for manufacturers. Soon after, spin created by new wedge models decreased, but designers are crafty.
Now, with the release of its 588 Rotex 2.0 wedges, offered in blade and cavity back versions, Cleveland Golf promises more spin and control for golfers.
Like the previous version of the Cleveland 588 RTX wedge, the new clubs feature the company’s Tour Zip Grooves. However, in the 588 Rotex 2.0 line, the grooves are 8 percent deeper. Cleveland also says the sidewalls of the grooves are slightly steeper, which makes the edges a little sharper.
Adam Sheldon, Cleveland’s brand manager, said it’s all about precise tolerances.
“We have improved our manufacturing standards and are literally measuring every head that comes off the process,” Sheldon said. ” We measure the radii on the corner of the grooves and have been able to maintain them even more tightly than before.”
Sheldon said Cleveland tested grooves in a vast array of playing conditions to create the ideal blend of depth, sharpness and pattern.
“Wet conditions and dry conditions, different kinds of rough and sand . . . I think we ran 12 different tests to come up with the correct groove configuration,” he said. “The real art is coming up with the best groove for all of these conditions.”
To help golfers gain more control and increase spin, Cleveland enhanced the Rotex surface-roughening treatment on all the 588 2.0 wedges. It is now a two-step process that micro-mills a curved pattern over the face to help the club grab and spin the ball more effectively.
Finally, lasers are used to etch another surface roughening treatment between each of the grooves.
Add it all up and Cleveland claims the 588 Rotex 2.0 wedges create about 15 percent more spin from the rough than their predecessors.
As might be suspected, the perimeter weighting in the cavity back version of the 588 Rotex 2.0 wedges makes them slightly more forgiving. The blade wedges are a more orthodox interpretation of the original 588 wedge, the club that put Cleveland Golf on the map.
Both models are offered in lofts ranging from 46 to 64 degrees and are made from carbon steel for an especially soft feel. Each is available in tour satin and black satin finishes.
To provide a club that perfectly matches the playing conditions a player faces most often, Cleveland offers a low-bounce, standard-sole and full-sole version of both the blade and cavity back models.
The low-bounce option features a single dot on the toe below the stated loft. It offers lots of relief in the heel and the trailing edge, making it ideal for golfers who typically play in firm conditions or who have a sweeping swing.
The standard-bounce wedges, signified by two dots, offer slightly less heel and toe relief. They are designed to be versatile and perform well under a wide variety of sand and turf conditions.
The full-sole wedges have three dots and offer the most effective bounce. Golfers with a steep angle of attack and who often play in soft, fluffy conditions might benefit from the wider sole.
All of the Cleveland 588 Rotex 2.0 wedges come standard with either True Temper Dynamic Gold or Rotex Graphite Wedge shafts for $129.99.