Cleveland Golf CG16 Wedge Review

Cleveland Golf fittingly named 2010 “The Year of the Wedge”, largely due to the fact that 2010 was the last year they could produce wedges with the larger box grooves. There was a big push for consumers to stock up while the old grooves were still being manufactured. Now that it’s 2011, Cleveland has moved on and released their latest wedge, the CG16, which conforms to the USGA’s condition of competition. The CG16 is a continuation of sorts to the CG14 line, and should not to be confused as a replacement for the CG15. The two lines have some pretty significant differences that I will touch on more later on in the review. So, how did Cleveland do with their first offering the year after The Year of the Wedge?

Technical info from Cleveland

Based on the shape of the Tour proven CG14™ wedge, the CG16™ has a hint of offset and is slightly larger for added forgiveness.

  • Laser Milled Face – More precise and consistent surface roughness than alternative methods. Optimal surface roughness to maximize spin.
  • Wedge Cavity Back – Perimeter weighting and geometry to deepen center-of-gravity while maintaining signature “Cleveland” feel.
  • Tour Proven C Sole Design – Wide constant width sole from heel to toe combined with heel and toe grinds. Improves bunker performance while maintaining shot-making versatility.

The CG16’s come in a plethora of loft and bounce combinations, making it very easy to find the right set-up for each golfer’s needs. The easy to understand ‘dot’ system is in place on these wedges as well. The lower bounce wedges are considered ‘one dot’ and the higher bounce wedges are considered ‘two dots’.

Looks and First Thoughts

We’ll start at the bottom and work our way up when it comes to looks. The first thing I noticed when I picked up the CG16 was what appears to be a small cavity on the back of the head. Wait, a cavity on a wedge? Yes, that’s what I said. While it is small, there is definitely a cavity there. It looks surprisingly attractive to the eye and sort of blends right into the rest of the head. The face features Cleveland’s laser-milled grooves that add a very unique look to the wedge. To me, they make the CG16’s appear like they are going to grab the ball and spin the heck out of it. I don’t know if I can say that they actually do that, but they definitely inspire confidence. The head comes in two finishes, Black Pearl and Satin Chrome, which is what I had for this review. I’ve also had a chance to try out the darker Black Pearl and found that I love it. The laser-milled grooves really seem to pop against the dark background. One last note about the head is that it is slightly larger than the CG15 wedge. It is noticeable while not appearing to be huge. I actually loved the slightly expanded head size as I felt a bit more confidence looking down at it. Apparently, there is also a hit of offset, but I honestly didn’t even realize it was there until I read the technical info from Cleveland. The CG16’s come stock with Cleveland’s Traction shafts in wedge flex and they are of the stepped variety. I will talk a little more about my thoughts on them later in the review. The stock grips seemed just a bit slick to me. Not so bad that I felt like I would lose my hold on the club, but I just didn’t love them and wouldn’t mind changing them out. In all, the total package was great. To me, the CG16 looks like a wedge that I can do some serious work with on the course.

In Range

Due to the frosty temps in the Midwest, I spent a few weeks testing these at the driving range off of mats. I welcomed the chance to become familiar with the CG16’s, even though I don’t feel mats are the best way to test a wedge. During this time, I worked quite a bit on getting a feel for full shots. What I found was that the CG16’s were exceptional at hitting the ball with amazing accuracy and consistent distance. Ball flight on full shots is incredibly high. That’s to be expected from wedges, but I felt that the ball flight definitely towered above shots from my old wedges. I was able to put the ball near the same spot repeatedly and noticed that I seemed get good contact quite often. The feel from well struck shots was blissful and almost felt like I was hitting nothing at all. When I did miss the center of the face, the CG16’s quickly alerted me with superb feedback. In fact, I was able to notice the slightest misses out on the toe, even though I didn’t seem to notice too much loss in distance. I’ll have a bit more on that later.

I also spent time working on my arsenal of touch shots while on the range and found that I was able to drastically change the flight and distance of the ball with long and short chips and partial-swing pitch shots, mostly by adjusting ball position. Again, mats never give the full story, but there is certainly some value to be found in hitting off them.

On the Course, of Course

So, spring is rolling around once again, and as a result, my sanity is once again preserved. I’ve been able to test the CG16’s on the course over a handful of rounds and have to say that I’m quite smitten by them. It almost seems like they were made with my game in mind. Well, actually they were made for my game now that I think about it. Forgiveness isn’t really a word most will associate with wedges, but I did have the chance to see what the CG16’s cavity design had to offer a golfer that misses the sweet spot from time to time. There is a very short par 3 I’ve played a few times this year that is pretty much the perfect distance for my gap wedge. The hole is actually one of my least favorite in that a miss that comes up short usually sends the ball into a ravine about 30 feet below the pin. The first time I had the chance to hit the CG16 at the pin, I hit the ball as perfect as is possible for me and actually ended up about 5 yards too long. That was shocking, but even more shocking was the next time I came up to the tee. I took a swing that left me cringing. I knew that I hit the ball a little out on the toe and I was expecting to go trudging down into the ravine to hack my way out of it. To my surprise, the ball ended up just three yards short of the pin and a little off to the right, but still over the chasm. In other words, there was just enough forgiveness to still give me the chance for an up and down instead of a trip to jail. As well as I hit these wedges, I know that I’ll screw a few up here and there and to know that I may still have chance at saving par is a big deal for this golfer. I can’t say that I noticed any negative effects from the cavity when it came to how this wedge felt.

So, full swings are fun, but we all know that wedges are used for a myriad of other shots. I’ve found that the CG16’s are as versatile as any other wedge I’ve played. I was able to use them for all of the touch shots that I normally use including high and low pitch shots, spinny chip shots, bunker shots, and even a couple high flying, soft landing flop shots. These shots are the way I score (or prevent high scores), so they are very important to my game and the CG16’s didn’t disappoint. I found that the slightly straighter leading edge played well to my strengths and provided excellent turf interaction. The wedges took effortless divots when needed and still slid through the grass when I opened up the face. The only shot I actually struggled with was keeping the ball flight lower on full shots. I mentioned earlier that the ball flight with the CG16’s is towering, which I think is a product of the Traction shafts. Normally, I would welcome that, as I sometimes rely on trajectory to stop my shots, but it has been pretty windy here and we all know what that can do to a high ball. I did eventually find taking a bit more wedge, adjusting ball position, and swinging smoother helped, but it was a struggle at first. I think that some players may enjoy these wedges a bit more with a shaft that lowers the ball flight a hair, but that is a personal preference that each golfer will need to evaluate.

Closing Thoughts

There is no doubt that Cleveland knows wedges and has given golfers some options when it comes to choices. I personally love that there is a wedge available that gives me all of the versatility I need combined with a touch of forgiveness and a slightly larger head. I absolutely loved my old wedges, but the CG16’s have pretty much made choosing them a no-brainer. They obviously aren’t going to be for every player due to different preferences in looks and shafts, but I would recommend that anybody shopping for wedges take some swings with these. I know I’m not the only one that could use a bit of help on those days when things aren’t going perfect and I think that many golfers would benefit from the features that the CG16’s have to offer. For a little more info, check out Cleveland Golf’s website at . While you’re there, make sure to check out their wedge fitting system as well. It’s a great little tool to help you figure out the best combo for your game. You can purchase the Cleveland CG16 wedges at retail and online stores such as

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  • Great review. These might be the first clubs I hit in May

  • As a current player of CG15s, I am eagerly looking forward to spending more time with these and trying them out. Good review.

  • Solid review Hawk! I think you summed these up perfectly when you said that they offer versatility, but with a touch of forgiveness. I think that deep down we could all benefit by having those characteristics in our golf bags.

    Well done.

  • Great review! I did the wedge fitting system and it gave me a different loft setup of what I have now. I might have to look in to changing things around and the CG 16s might be part of that. Thanks.

  • Nice Hawk! These wedges are what a lot of golfers need I think, especially people like me. Little bit of forgiveness, with a lot of style.

  • Nice review Hawk! Sounds like these wedges excel at all sorts of shots and shouldn’t be passed up if someone is looking for new wedges in 2011. Good stuff

  • Great review hawk! These wedges are something I am going to have to try out. I was curious about the cavity and how that would effect them and from what you write it sounds like it is a good thing. Thanks for the great review.

  • Well down Hawk. These were among my top choices for the year and they have just shot towards the top. The prospect of forgiveness in a wedge is really exciting and I cant wait to check them out on the course!

  • Nice looking club! I like the grooves between the grooves, I bet it helps a ton with control!!!

  • Great review Hawk! These sure are nice wedges. They were some of my favorites last September at the Outing.

  • Excellent review, Hawk. I’m looking for an AW and the bit of extra forgiveness these offer over the CG15 or MP T11 puts them high on my list. I normally only take 3/4 as my “full” wedge shot but I am a bit concerned about the high ball flight. I’ll have to test one out. Thanks.

  • Hawk, great comprehensive review. You always bring it. Well done!

  • Good review Hawk. A wedge that has all the versatility of a traditional offering with some additional forgiveness for full swing shots is very appealing to me. It seems the cavity and weighting definitely had an effect on your full swing shots with the higher ball flight. I’m looking forward to giving these a long look at the THP outing in May.

  • Excellent review. I really want to get my hands on these and see if they would be a good replacment for the CG14’s. I really like the milled face but have never had the chance to play a milled face wedge.

  • Nice review, Hawk! You touched on every single point about the wedge in which I had questions about. Very good read!

  • great review Hawk! I liked the cg14 so this would seem like a great replacement for that wedge.

  • Uh Oh, looks like Cleveland has another winner on their hands

  • How do you like them when comparing to the CG15? Different design I know, but since you can still buy the CG15, which would you buy?

  • @ Vegan, for my game, I’d take the CG16 every time. The 15 is an excellent wedge, but I need the forgiveness and like the slightly larger head.

  • Great review Hawk. I just purchased the cg16 58* 8b BP and I just love this wedge

  • Great review and thanks for the info. I will be trying these out next week on a sim and am really looking forward to it.

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