It’s nearly impossible to argue, so don’t even try. The RTX4 wedges are stunning. I went with the Black Satin finish mainly because I love the look of black irons or wedges. The first black finished club I ever played was a 56° VEGA wedge and since I reviewed that clubs years ago, I’ve been a fan of that particular look. It appeals to me very much in the address position.
With the Black Satin finish, the details in the face milling are vibrantly showcased.
The laser milling between the grooves is something to behold from up close.
The head shape is very similar to my old set of SCOR Wedges. It’s a players wedge. This may be the biggest change from the RTX3 line. This has the look of a Tour players iron and I feel that is going to be very appealing to a much broader range of players.
Moving on to the backside of the club, you know, how they look when other players eyeballs are locked in on your setup.
Cleveland did an excellent job with the black paint fill of the CLEVELAND script on the Black Satin Finish.
I know, the paint fill is the same on all the finishes, but on the black, it adds that “Murdered Out” look, everyone seems to love. I even took it upon myself to grab some Testors and added my version of the black paint to the RTX4 on two of the wedges. However, my painting skills need a little work. Most of the color has worn off already, and it’s lost some of its badassness.
If I had to rate the overall look of the wedges, it would be a 10/10. They’re the type of clubs you break your neck to go back and look at in the store. They’re some of the best-looking wedges I’ve seen come out of a prominent manufacturer.
For a lot of players, this is an area that will make or break the choice in a wedge. A lot like how a putter looks and feels to you at address, a wedge can have the same effect. Does the club rotate when you set it down? How does the leading edge look when the club sits on the ground? What’s the top line look like at address? Can I be confident this is going to be comfortable every time I look down at the club?
You certainly don’t want to have a negative feeling about a wedge in a pressure situation. The wedge may not get as much use per round as a putter, but, if you’re like me, you’re using one around the green much more than you’d like to. Yeah, I’d love to hit 18/18 greens every round, so would every player in the world. The truth is I use my wedges around the greens way more than I want to, and for that reason, I want to know I have a trusty companion in those dire situations where I have to get up and down. Or, if I am 100 yards out, knowing that I have zero issues pulling the wedge from my bag and putting it to work.
There’s nothing that I found that would detour me from confidently grabbing the club and hitting my shots. And, as a bonus, the Black Finish helps keep that damn pesky sun from blinding you during those rounds where the sun is powerful.
Who cares how it looks if the club stinks? Right?
Because I play 95% of my golf here in the desert, I like to have a minimal bounce on my wedges. Something you have to get used to is the ground here in the Vegas valley. It’s hard, and it can be very unforgiving. A high bounce wedge can cause more damage on a Vegas fairway than you’d realize. But, there are some of the higher-end courses that go over the top to make sure their courses are in pristine conditions and with a low bounce wedge on that fairway you’re taking a monster divot, or in my case more often not, hitting the dreaded chunky monkey.
I do get to play some of those courses now and then so I wanted to have an option I could go to just in case I get the call one day to head out to a place like The Summit. For that reason, I went with the two-dot •• MID option for the wedges I received.
In hindsight, choosing that style of bounce was probably a mistake.
My game, or better yet, my swing is built for the conditions I play in more than I thought. There was a learning curve that for a while had me somewhat confused. I wasn’t sure if it was the swing or the wedges. Was it the wedges or the shafts? Was it the Shafts or the grips? Or, was it my swing or the shafts? I had a million thoughts running through my head, and it took me a while to figure everything out.
What had me so stupefied was a dramatic loss in overall distance. And, for a wedge that’s not good. I didn’t want to blame the wedges for what was taking place, but I had to get to the bottom of it, so I started tinkering. First up was I changed the stock Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 shafts out with the shafts I was playing at the time. The AeroTech i95’s.
I confirmed with AeroTech the i95 is fine for a wedge and had them swapped out. Unfortunately, the same thing was happening, distance loss. For example, my 48° SCOR wedge is my 110-115 yard club all day long. The RTX4 48° was ranging from 95-100 yards. Some of you might not see that as an issue, but for me, it was tough to get the idea in my head that the RTX4 Wedges were that much shorter.
The right mindset was tough to obtain.
There were a few things that needed to happen in order for me to get my mind in the right place. The biggest being some much-needed time with James on the range. I’ve been working with him a lot lately and he’s got me swinging the club better than I ever have. But I’d be lying if it hasn’t been a struggle. Then you add the new wedges to the mix and I was a big pile of crap. Thankfully we were able to work out the problem and I’ve gotten myself back on track, swing wise. The distance thing was still perplexing though.
I had a conversation with James about it and asked his opinion. He laughed, and said, “I wish I had a wedge that I couldn’t hit over the green!” Now James is a much higher caliber player than I am so his skill set and mine are apples to oranges, but it did get me thinking. Why not just get the distances down for what they are and play with them? Seems simple right? So, I did just that, and over the next several rounds I started to see some exciting results.
Crazy, I mean crazy spin
The bottom line is the RTX4 Wedges spin the hell out of the ball. Not only once the ball lands on the green but also during its journey from the clubface to the putting surface. The amplified spin is why I believe, and others, that the distance loss I was seeing was so prevalent. More spin, especially backspin, is going to take off some distance for sure. Once I started getting my numbers down though I was hitting some damn good shots. The bounce and check chip shots were fun to see. And, if I put a ball like the Callaway Chrome Soft, good luck keeping that guy from backing up and off the green.
Accuracy was never an issue
Even on slight miss-hits, the ball reacted fine. The trajectory off the face is ideal in my opinion. Not once did I ever find myself pleading “What the hell was that?” The wedges flat-out perform! There’s no doubting that at all. My fault was not trusting the numbers I was seeing in the beginning and trying to make a change to a wedge that needed no alterations.