Cleveland CG15 Wedge Review

The Hackers Paradise holds what we call “Shoot Outs” each year in which we take regular amateur golfers from all different handicap classes and have them determine which products they like best in a particular category. Earlier this year we had the opportunity to hold an event in which we compared the wedges from just about every major manufacturer to determine, according to our testers, what wedge line reigned supreme. Cleveland Golf’s CG14 wedges the Shoot Out and the response from our testing panel was extremely positive. When we got word that Cleveland was putting out their new wedges and they were even better, we had to see for ourselves just what was going on.

Click on each picture for large Hi-Res image
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From the Company
Cleveland Golf/Srixon is pleased to announce the introduction of the ultimate wedge to their wedge family, the CG15. The new CG15 combines classic wedge design with advanced manufacturing technology. Adding to our breakthrough ZIP GROOVES technology, the CG15 features a revolutionary surface roughness technology called LASER MILLED.

Laser Milled Face Cleveland Golfs precision surface roughness technology. Using the precision of a laser, four perfectly calibrated texture lines are Laser Milled between each groove. The result is a clubface featuring a perfectly consistent surface texture right to the conforming limit. This breakthrough surface roughness application allows for optimal ball-to-clubface friction and maximizes spin under the Rules of Golf.

Zip Grooves The breakthrough, envelope-stretching geometry from Cleveland Golf. This patented technology features consistent milling of each groove to maximum conforming dimensions. The CNC machine form cutter bit is designed to the exact shape of the groove creating grooves and edge radii with total precision. The absolute integrity of these grooves is maintained through the application of a proprietary coating to each groove for protection during the sandblasting process. Players are assured that groove volume is optimized to channel more debris at impact than traditional grooves. More spin is generated by this improved ball-to-clubface contact and this results in more consistent shot-making.

S Sole Grind A 3-segment sole feature designed to increase versatility on all shots around the green. The wider sole width on the heel section improves forgiveness on open-faced shots by reducing digging which is especially beneficial on bunker shots. The center section has a standard sole width for traditional Cleveland wedge performance on square-faced shots. The toe section of the sole has material removed to reduced turf interaction and drag. This combination optimizes contact and sole function on all conceivable shots around the green.

Tour designed shape and offset like every Cleveland Golf wedge, the CG15 shape is tour scrutinized to ensure the best possible address view and functionality. Players will notice that the CG15 shape profile is a fraction smaller than previous Cleveland wedge models. The smaller shape reduces turf interference, and the hint of offset encourages spin by promoting a downward strike. The face is slightly thicker to improve feel, and the S-sole is designed for improved versatility around the greens.

3-Bounce Fitting System – The CG15 continues Cleveland Golf tradition of offering the most comprehensive selection of bounce and loft options to players of all skill levels. The Low, Standard, and High Bounce options are clearly displayed with the same 3 dot system used on all series wedges (1 dot = Low Bounce, 2 dots = Std Bounce, 3 dots = High Bounce). In addition, the bounce value (measured in degrees) is engraved on each sole providing players with even more information to help the selection and fitting process.

Traction Wedge Shaft – Engineered from Tip to Grip to improve feel and spin performance, the stiffness profile of Cleveland Golfs TRACTION shaft reacts to the flex demands of any wedge shot. The tip section is slightly softer improving feel and responsiveness. Stiffness was increased in the mid and butt sections of the shaft to assure optimal launch conditions and consistency on full shots. The combination consistently delivers the wedge head to the ball with a release that assures optimal “Traction” and spin performance on scoring shots.

The CG15 DSG couples all the features of the CG15 wedge with a unique Dynamic Sole Grind (DSG) which enables players of all levels to open the clubface more easily at address. The CG15 DSG wedge allows square-faced shots to play like a standard bounce wedge. The leading portion of the sole is narrow with a high bounce angle, while the trailing edge sole grind provides low bounce performance on open-faced shots due to its lower leading edge. This combination of sole features allows players to hit high and soft touch shots with ease.
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First Impressions
When we got the information that you just read above, we did not know what to think. It seemed a little too good to be true. We had previously seen the pictures and were just not sure they were for us. I mean writing on the sides? Really? Well, Cleveland Golf was nice enough to send over a set of these wedges to put to the test and our first thoughts were “this is art, not golf equipment”. It appears as though Cleveland took the classic and elegant looks of their CG12 line and combined them with the great performance of the CG14 line, but then went further. They added what they are calling Laser Milling to the face, in between each groove, to have an added roughness or rougher surface area for even more spin. Whether it does or not will be determined in testing, but it certainly adds to the appeal in my opinion. The wedges we got are from their Oil Quench line, which is a beautiful copper like finish that wears off with time to give it a rustic look. If the copper look does not suit your taste, the CG15s come in other finishes such as Black Pearl and Satin Chrome. Overall first impressions of the CG15s were extremely high.

Grooves & Bounce
The CG15 wedges from Cleveland Golf have what they call Zip Grooves. They are deep grooves that are to assist golfers in creating more spin. There has been a ton of talk recently about the USGA changing the groove rule and making deep grooves such as these illegal for play. Rather than get into that aspect, here is a link to our forum in which the USGA groove rule is explained clearly via pictures and timeline and makes it easy for everybody to understand whether or not the equipment they are using or planning to use will be legal.

The CG15 wedge is using something called the 3 Bounce Fitting System and what it means to the consumer is that more bounce varieties are available in each loft than ever before. Even more than that it makes it easy to make sure you are finding the right wedge for your game and the courses you play. The number of dots as well as the actual bounce are engraved on the sole of each wedge making them easy to identify as well. We are big fans of the dot system at THP because we believe it can simplify the process a little more for consumers to understand exactly what equipment can work for them. The CG15 is also being offered in a Dynamic Sole Grind as mentioned above, but for the purposes of this review, we will not be covering that product.
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Range Testing
We gathered up a testing crew of 12 (13 if you count me) and went over to our local short game practice area at our golf course. THP set up golf balls at various locations around the green and in the bunker and asked people to work with each wedge supplied and hit multiple shots from each location. Each person then filled out a card with their findings and we got the results. The test that dazzled the crew was setting up golf balls at 40 yards out and telling them to hit it to the green by punch, pitch, chip, and swing. Every shot worked flawlessly and each one seemed to work better than before. Before I go on any further, I can safely say this…”If you were a fan or are a fan of the CG12 wedge line, you MUST try these wedges.” Not a single person of the 13 had anything negative to say about the performance of the wedge. Here are a few observations from the testing.

Looks – 11 of the 13 people liked the looks of the wedge. 2 people felt as though the writing would distract them.

Feel – 10 out of the 13 thought the wedge felt great. Responses ranged from soft and supple to amazing feedback. There were a select few people that felt as though the wedge was almost too forgiving and lacked feedback. I, personally, did not have that issue at all.

Spin – 12 out of the 13 people felt the spin was superior to what they were currently playing. Comments ranged from “the best I have seen” to “great spin and control”.

Performance – 11 out of the 13 testers felt as though this was the best performing wedge that they have tried this year. For the record, you can conclude me in that group, as I do feel that these outperformed every wedge I have tried this year.
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Course Testing
Normally course testing is reserved to just myself or one foursome of golfers, but with the demand we were getting for these after the range testing, we decided to do something different for this one. 16 different golfers got a chance to use these wedges for their regular round and report back to us their feedback. The overwhelming consensus is that they were well liked and perform as advertised. 15 out of the 16 golfers that got a chance to use them for their round reported back that they preferred them to their current wedges. The main reason for the response was that the new CG15s “just worked better”. Most of the testers had a hard time putting it into words. When asked if it was feel, spin, or an area of their game, the response seemed to be unanimously that “they just worked”. The big thing to note is that 14 of the 16 testers said that they had an easier time getting up and down with these than their current wedges and that from inside of 85 yards they felt that they were putting the ball closer to the flag than normal. At this point I was ready to put them in my bag for a few rounds and see what all the fuss was about. During the course of this review I got a chance to personally play 6 rounds of golf with these wedges. My feedback will be a little more detailed but in the end, the other testers really just hit the nail on the head. “They do “just work”!

Looks – In my opinion, they are simply the best looking wedge I have come across. The classic shape, the laser milling, the oil quench finish, everything about the CG15 looks elegant and using it was a joy.

Feel – My personal opinion was that while the CG14s had a nice, but muted feel, I felt as though the CG12s felt a little softer and offered a little more feedback. This new model seems to offer the best of both worlds in giving you the unbelievable feel without the clicky feeling that some have had issues with, and the feedback on every single swing whether or not it was well struck. But they also have the playability of the CG14s.

Spin – As much spin as any wedge offered on the market today. Chips checking instantly, full shots backing up as much as you could possibly want, and everything landing softly is exactly what we had with these. Is it because of the laser milling? Somewhat, the slightly rough surface does help a little. However the shape, weighting, and the Zip Grooves all keep the ball stopping at will.

Performance – Possibly the best I have ever used. I have to agree with the rest of the testers in their thoughts “it just works”. The look, feel, and spin all give you a certain confidence setting up over the ball and then the CG15s just deliver.
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Overall
While I do not think Cleveland Golf should use the slogan “They just work”, it is apparent that it seems to fit with the new CG15 wedges. When you combine soft and responsive feel, incredible spin, perfect weighting, with top notch performance what you get is one AMAZING WEDGE. It is a little early, but Cleveland may possibly be looking at the wedge of the year with the new CG15. Prices seem to be in line with what most of the other wedges are going for around $119 each. You can read much more about these or any other Cleveland Golf products at their website at www.clevelandgolf.com.

Till Next Time

Josh B.

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