Cleveland Smart Sole Wedges

Wicked Cool Bearded Man

4thegolf+4thefriends
Joined
Oct 28, 2010
Messages
29,029
Reaction score
139
Location
Massachusetts
Handicap
6.3 GHIN
High bounce is part of the equation, but definitely not the same as this one. For what it does, it does extremely well. It will be less versatile than a wedge that you can open, close and manipulate, but it will also be more forgiving and easier to use.
Great points. This is what I have to decide. Do I want versatility or ease of use? That is what it will boil down to for me.
 

JB

Follow @THPGolf
Albatross 2021 Club
Staff member
Joined
Oct 8, 2008
Messages
217,472
Reaction score
106,487
Location
Where the THP Tour Van Takes Us!
Great points. This is what I have to decide. Do I want versatility or ease of use? That is what it will boil down to for me.
Its not an easy decision. For me, I would go with both. I would get 2 traditional styled wedges and this one. Especially with the courses being played. But for those that use their wedges as yardage tools (meaning full swings all the time with them), I am not sure I would do the same.
 

Wicked Cool Bearded Man

4thegolf+4thefriends
Joined
Oct 28, 2010
Messages
29,029
Reaction score
139
Location
Massachusetts
Handicap
6.3 GHIN
Its not an easy decision. For me, I would go with both. I would get 2 traditional styled wedges and this one. Especially with the courses being played. But for those that use their wedges as yardage tools (meaning full swings all the time with them), I am not sure I would do the same.
That is the tough part. I love to use my yardages as a weapon from inside 100. The thing I am pondering is scrapping the D wedge and going with this - and like you said going with two others.
 

mikedean441

6X HOF
Joined
Mar 28, 2011
Messages
115,275
Reaction score
596
Location
Maineville, OH
Handicap
14.2
Its not an easy decision. For me, I would go with both. I would get 2 traditional styled wedges and this one. Especially with the courses being played. But for those that use their wedges as yardage tools (meaning full swings all the time with them), I am not sure I would do the same.
I joked but this would be what I do as well, combo set of wedges
 

Wicked Cool Bearded Man

4thegolf+4thefriends
Joined
Oct 28, 2010
Messages
29,029
Reaction score
139
Location
Massachusetts
Handicap
6.3 GHIN
Its not an easy decision. For me, I would go with both. I would get 2 traditional styled wedges and this one. Especially with the courses being played. But for those that use their wedges as yardage tools (meaning full swings all the time with them), I am not sure I would do the same.
Looks like I have a new ponder on my hands.... or in my mind haha. This one does interest me though.
 

JB

Follow @THPGolf
Albatross 2021 Club
Staff member
Joined
Oct 8, 2008
Messages
217,472
Reaction score
106,487
Location
Where the THP Tour Van Takes Us!
That is the tough part. I love to use my yardages as a weapon from inside 100. The thing I am pondering is scrapping the D wedge and going with this - and like you said going with two others.
That might be my plan as well (assuming that these are the clubs being offered). But I would be a bit different. Give me a 50* CB and a 54* MB. And then throw this one in the middle for use in the sand and around the green in thicker lies or when needed.
 

Wicked Cool Bearded Man

4thegolf+4thefriends
Joined
Oct 28, 2010
Messages
29,029
Reaction score
139
Location
Massachusetts
Handicap
6.3 GHIN
That might be my plan as well (assuming that these are the clubs being offered). But I would be a bit different. Give me a 50* CB and a 54* MB. And then throw this one in the middle for use in the sand and around the green in thicker lies or when needed.
Noted. Very good idea. There is something about this wedge that keeps working its way into my bag set up ideas.
 

Wicked Cool Bearded Man

4thegolf+4thefriends
Joined
Oct 28, 2010
Messages
29,029
Reaction score
139
Location
Massachusetts
Handicap
6.3 GHIN
That might be my plan as well (assuming that these are the clubs being offered). But I would be a bit different. Give me a 50* CB and a 54* MB. And then throw this one in the middle for use in the sand and around the green in thicker lies or when needed.
This might help with the thicker bermuda grass as well around the greens.
 

Bullitt5339

New member
Joined
Oct 25, 2009
Messages
5,221
Reaction score
1
Location
Lumber Bridge, NC
Handicap
20.1
You know, I bought one with mixed feelings about it. I wanted one to try, but I wasn't excited about it. After reading through this thread, I'm changing my mind and I'm actually getting a bit excited to try it.
 

Haggis

Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2010
Messages
832
Reaction score
1
Location
Iowa Transplant living in DFW
Handicap
16
Since I only have 13 clubs in the bag I'm thinking about pulling my 56 degree wedge and throwing both the c and the s smart sole. I use a 9 iron for the majority of chips so c wedge should be good for that. S wedge should help my sand play and close shots that need air. I played the Hogan sure out in the past and while I loved it out of sand I wasn't good with it from turf.
 

War Eagle

the Beags of THP...
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
80,176
Reaction score
138
Location
SARASOTA, FL
Handicap
Rum
That might be my plan as well (assuming that these are the clubs being offered). But I would be a bit different. Give me a 50* CB and a 54* MB. And then throw this one in the middle for use in the sand and around the green in thicker lies or when needed.
This is an ideal setup, actually. And similar to what I have been running with for a while now, and love it.

AW in the 50* spot that is a CB style.
54* 588 MB
58* Smart Sole S Wedge

So many options with that setup, and for me, it is working perfectly.
 

bobcat

Avid Golfer
Joined
Jan 18, 2010
Messages
605
Reaction score
1
Location
South Florida
Handicap
6
High bounce is part of the equation, but definitely not the same as this one. For what it does, it does extremely well. It will be less versatile than a wedge that you can open, close and manipulate, but it will also be more forgiving and easier to use.
If you go with a Smart Sole S-Wedge, you may want to also consider a low bounce conventional Lob Wedge (60-62* loft with 8-9* of bounce), for use in bunkers with firm sand. An extremely high bounce sand wedge is great when the sand is dry and fluffy, but not for when it is firm, damp and packed down. Same applies for firm fairway lies or hardpan lies. Furthermore, I cannot imagine using the high-bounce Smart Sole S-Wedge from a downhill lie in the sand or from a buried or semi-buried lie in the sand...The Smart Sole S-Wedge just has too much bounce for those lies. A low-bounce LW is the better choice for these "difficult" sand lies. Likewise, the LW is the right choice for lobs from firm tight fairway lies and/or hardpan where once again a very high bounce wedge is not going to be your friend.
 
Last edited:

JB

Follow @THPGolf
Albatross 2021 Club
Staff member
Joined
Oct 8, 2008
Messages
217,472
Reaction score
106,487
Location
Where the THP Tour Van Takes Us!
If you go with a Smart Sole S-Wedge, just be sure to carry a low bounce conventional Lob Wedge (60-62*) for use in bunkers with firm sand. A high bounce sand wedge is great when the sand is dry and fluffy, but not for when it is firm, damp and packed down. I cannot imagine using a high-bounce Smart Sole S-Wedge from a downhill lie in the sand or from a buried or semi-buried lie in the sand...The Smart Sole S-Wedge just has too much bounce for those type lies. A low-bounce LW will be the better choice for these "difficult" sand lies. The LW is also the right choice for lobs from firm tight fairway lies and/or hardpan where once again a high bounce wedge is not going to be your friend.
Im not sure if you have tried this wedge as of yet, but it is definitely not your traditional (high bounce) sand wedge. I had no problem hitting it from wet and firm bunkers or even from tight lies. I even hit it from the cart path.
 

Jman

Golfing Equipment Reviewer
Albatross 2021 Club
Staff member
Joined
Jan 20, 2010
Messages
137,344
Reaction score
34,980
Location
Oklahoma
Handicap
8.9
Yep, I had no issue off firm lies
 

bobcat

Avid Golfer
Joined
Jan 18, 2010
Messages
605
Reaction score
1
Location
South Florida
Handicap
6
Im not sure if you have tried this wedge as of yet, but it is definitely not your traditional (high bounce) sand wedge. I had no problem hitting it from wet and firm bunkers or even from tight lies. I even hit it from the cart path.
The extra clubhead weight featured in the Smart Sole will help some with firm lies, but clearly this is a very wide sole designed specfically to prevent digging in the sand. When you actually need the club to dig some, (i.e. firm, packed down sand, buried lies, etc.), that much wide sole/high bounce tends to make such a shot more difficult for most folks at least. I suppose a very steep angle of approach can be used to help mitigate the effects of the Smart Sole's wide sole/high bounce to some degree, and perhaps that is a technique you have personally mastered. Glad to hear the Smart Sole works so well for you.

FWIW, I use the Niblick 56* SW myself with 14* bounce and find it works quite well for most any "normal" lie in the sand and I use it frequently with good success for lob shots from the fariway as well. However, I find a Cleveland conventional. LW with 60* loft and 8* bounce sure comes in handy for a very firm or hardpan lie, a downhill sand lie, or a buried or semi-buried sand lie. I find the lower bounce makes it much easier to get under the ball on those shots. Nothing irks me more than skulling a shot over the green due to excessive bounce on my wedge preventing me from getting under the ball.
 
Last edited:

JB

Follow @THPGolf
Albatross 2021 Club
Staff member
Joined
Oct 8, 2008
Messages
217,472
Reaction score
106,487
Location
Where the THP Tour Van Takes Us!
Im curious if you have tried this wedge?
The reason I ask again is because there are multiple users that have had no issue at all (myself included) out of hard packed sand. FWIW, these are very different than the Niblick in both design and execution. I think the comparison is there due to branding (obviously) as well as subtle shape similarities, but the sole and turf interaction is actually very different.
 

H-SC Tiger

Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2014
Messages
241
Reaction score
1
Location
Greensboro, North Carolina
Handicap
10.5
I've been having a lot of success inside of 100 yards with both the S and C. The S is more versatile but the C is definitely more clutch. I say this because the C is incredibly accurate and helps you get it close to the hole if you miss the green in regulation. Must haves for those tired of duffing wedges or blading flop shots
 

bobcat

Avid Golfer
Joined
Jan 18, 2010
Messages
605
Reaction score
1
Location
South Florida
Handicap
6
JB...

I examined the Smart Sole Sand Wedge very closely at a local Retailer and was immeditely reminded of the old "Alien Wedge" which I tried years ago and did not care for at all. Cleveland states this is a club for the "super game improvement" crowd and I certainly agree with that. The Smart Sole does not offer any visual appeal to me at all, but I was somewhat curious to see it up close and compare it with the Niblick line. These Smart Sole clubs are definitely not Niblicks, on that we can agree. Fact is that I find the 2011 Niblick series far more appealing for better players. The bounce of the Smart Sole "S" appears to exceed that of the Niblick SW, (i.e. greater than 14*), but interestingly, Cleveland does not reveal just what the bounce actually is on their website.

Surpising to hear some folks say the Smart Sole "S" works well for them even from very firm sand lies, and perhaps better than the 56*/14* Niblick. I may have been wrong to assume the Smart Sole "S" would perform like a higher bounce Niblick SW based on looks and bounce alone. With that said however, the Smart Sole is definitely not a club I would consider putting in my bag, and I would only try one if someone I was playing with offered one up. It just doesn't have enough appeal to my eye to consider it. Furthermore, while I consider my Niblicks true PW, GW, SW replacements, I really don't see that kind of gap coverage and versatility from Cleveland's 2-club Smart Sole set. In fact, the Smart Sole "C" with its very short (34") shaft, does not appear to have been designed for a full swing shot. That probably explains why Cleveland gave it the dreaded "C" designation, (i.e its a Chipper).

Having seen the Smart Soles up close and personal, I am firmly convinced the 42*(PW), 49* (DW), and 56* (SW) Niblicks, together with a low bounce 60* (conventional LW ), is the correct and most versatile wedge setup for me. However I would certainly be willing to consider the Smart Sole set for my wife. The Smart Sole concept will suit her game and skill level far better than mine.

I must add that it is a real shame Cleveland chose to discontinue the Niblick line because, in my opinion, these truly were a breakthrough as true "short game hybrids" and appropriate for ANY and ALL skill levels.

Fortunately for those interested, brand new (2011) 42* Niblick (PW), and 49* Niblick (DW) are still available on ebay, however the 56* Niblick (SW) is virtually impossible to find now. I am so glad I bought a complete set of the 2011 Niblicks while I had the chance! I almost passed on them because I already owned a full set of (4) older design 2010 Niblicks which included the 37* (9-iron) model that I rarely used.(Cleveland dropped the 37* loft for the 2011 Niblick series). My Brother has now "inherited" my older 2010 Niblick set and along with it a much improved short game. He now loves Cleveland Niblicks as much as I do.

Just in case anyone is wondering, aside from the 37* club, the 2010 and 2011 Niblick club play pretty much the same. Yes, the spin rate was slightly bit better with the 2010 (non-conforming) zip grooves, but the 2011 Niblick design looks a whole lot better to me, and I really like having the "P", "D" and "S" on the soles of these clubs just like Cleveland's conventional wedges. Nobody is going to miss the 37* (9-iron) model from the Niblick 2010 series unless they happen to play on very, very, slow greens. The 2011 42* (PW) model is great for chipping around the all the greens that I play on, and the 49* (DW) is fantastic for most any kind of pitch shot. All (3) 2011 Niblicks are deadly accurate for full swing shots from the fairway thanks to the upright lies. Same was true for the 2010 models.

Sorry for such a long post, but it may be helpful to those who may think the new Smart Soles are the next generation of Niblicks. Clearly that is not the case, but I do hope that sometime in the future Cleveland will offer a new line of true Niblick "short game hybrids" for better players.
 
Last edited:

bobcat

Avid Golfer
Joined
Jan 18, 2010
Messages
605
Reaction score
1
Location
South Florida
Handicap
6
Almost like a "players" version of the niblick
Actually the opposite is true....this is for high handicappers. As Cleveland says on their website this is aimed at the Super Game Improvement Crowd.
 

JB

Follow @THPGolf
Albatross 2021 Club
Staff member
Joined
Oct 8, 2008
Messages
217,472
Reaction score
106,487
Location
Where the THP Tour Van Takes Us!
Actually the opposite is true....this is for high handicappers. As Cleveland says on their website this is aimed at the Super Game Improvement Crowd.
What would you believe the Niblick was geared towards? In my opinion they are designed with the same golfer in mind.
 

mikedean441

6X HOF
Joined
Mar 28, 2011
Messages
115,275
Reaction score
596
Location
Maineville, OH
Handicap
14.2
Actually the opposite is true....this is for high handicappers. As Cleveland says on their website this is aimed at the Super Game Improvement Crowd.
I'm a mid capper at 11 and will be gaming one this weekend and possibly beyond.
 

bobcat

Avid Golfer
Joined
Jan 18, 2010
Messages
605
Reaction score
1
Location
South Florida
Handicap
6
What would you believe the Niblick was geared towards? In my opinion they are designed with the same golfer in mind.
Any skill level can benefit from the Niblicks...As previously stated in Post 268 paragraph 4...
 

JB

Follow @THPGolf
Albatross 2021 Club
Staff member
Joined
Oct 8, 2008
Messages
217,472
Reaction score
106,487
Location
Where the THP Tour Van Takes Us!
Any skill level can benefit from the Niblicks...As previously stated in Post 268 paragraph 4...
I dont disagree, just as I believe these are similar in regards to who they are designed for.
That was not the question though.

I can tell you that both were designed for similar golfers and are considered super game improvement clubs. I can also tell you the same person designed both clubs. We have spent a lot of time with this individual and his thoughts are very similar to what I am relaying in regards to both clubs.

I guess I am just confused on how one would think they are both not geared towards that audience? The shape alone tends to dictate that.
 

bobcat

Avid Golfer
Joined
Jan 18, 2010
Messages
605
Reaction score
1
Location
South Florida
Handicap
6
I dont disagree, just as I believe these are similar in regards to who they are designed for.
That was not the question though.

I can tell you that both were designed for similar golfers and are considered super game improvement clubs. I can also tell you the same person designed both clubs. We have spent a lot of time with this individual and his thoughts are very similar to what I am relaying in regards to both clubs.
Perhaps it just how the Cleveland marketing plans were rolled out JB, but I actually think there is far more to it than that.

I understand that while both the Smart Soles and the Niblicks could be termed "specialty clubs" the differences are quite dramatic when you look at how the Smart Sole "C" Wedge compares to the Niblicks. The Smart Sole "C" is clearly designed as a pure CHIPPER with its 34" shaft. I think its obvious Cleveland did not have full swing shots in mind when designing the "C" Wedge. Unlike the Niblicks the "C" is not designed to replace an EXISTING WEDGE whereas the Niblcks were clearly designed to do that. That is a very key difference!

When Cleveland rolled out the Niblicks the coined the term "short game hybrids" and at the same time explained exactly what clubs the Niblicks wer designed to replace. All lofts of the Niblicks were designed for full swing shots as well as the short game, so their designations of PW, DW, and SW are therefore quite appropriate and those designations were placed on the sole on the 2011 Niblick series, which is where they should have been all along.

I personally use the term "hybrid wedges", (certainly not chippers), to define the Niblicks mainly because of their capability to replace conventional PW, GW, SW wedges in my bag. (Note: There was also a 4th loft Niblick (9-iron) available in the initial Niblick series sold in 2009 and 2010. However Cleveland dropped the 9-iron for the new design 2011 Niblick series leaving only (3) Niblick Wedges.

I think a case can be made that the 58* Smart Sole "S" is similar to the Niblick 56* SW even though it has a higher loft, (58*) and a slighly longer shaft. The downside to me is that the Smart Sole has a noticably wider sole and appears to have considerably more bounce than the already high-bounce 14* Niblick SW.

I am really surprised that Cleveland has not revealed the bounce of the Smart Sole "S". Not knowing the bounce immediately makes me uncomfortable with the club. In my opinion, having an extra heavy clubhead can help one deal with firm lies, but if the bounce is too high, then it WILL become a problem for certain types lies...thats just pure physics.

So just why Cleveland keeping the bounce on the Smart Sole "S" a secret? (Maybe you, JB can find that out for everyone)
 
Last edited:

Welcome to The Hackers Paradise

Don't just play golf, live it!

Register Log in
Top