One of the most overlooked aspects of golf equipment is ensuring that you have the correct wedge setup to suit your game and its characteristics.
Cleveland's CBX range of cavity-back wedges, now in its second iteration, provides the ultimate balance of specialist-wedge technology and performance, with the forgiveness and friendly shape of a traditional set wedge.
So if you're still using a sand wedge from your existing irons set, or you struggle to get consistent results with your bladed wedge, you're going to want to read on...
What's It All About?
The Cleveland CBX 2 wedge is based around making the short game as easy as possible by providing extra forgiveness to the amateur golfers, whilst still retaining the spin and control we all crave from the scoring clubs.
The idea is that this wedge is the perfect companion for golfers who use cavity back irons to make the switch to specialist wedges, and there are a couple of changes for this model when compared to the original CBX wedge.
Firstly, a new Hollow-Cavity design means that there is now an empty chamber near the heel and a heavy weight placed in the toe of the head. This setup is said to maximise Moment of Inertia (MOI) which provides more forgiveness, and Cleveland says that this results in 25% more shots being hit from the sweet spot.
This combines with the updated Feel Balancing Technology to create a toe-biased centre of gravity for the first time, to complement the natural tendencies of the amateur golfer, whilst a Gelback TPU Insert gives a crisp, soft feel.
There are now three different sole grinds on offer depending on which loft you are using, to give golfers greater versatility with each wedge to pull off the desired shot.
The 46-52° wedges feature a V-shaped sole which is said to get through the turf easier and is geared towards full shots, the 54-56° sand wedges have an S-shaped sole for extra help getting out of the sand or deep rough, and the 58-60° lob wedges have a C-shaped grind which allows for the face to be manipulated.
Finally, the Rotex groove design has been given an upgrade too. Three different layers are now combined to give you plenty of grip. First up is Rotex milling of the face, which adds friction between the grooves for added spin.
Laser milling makes the face even rougher to provide extra stopping power, and the Tour Zip grooves have been made even sharper and provide extra spin from the rough.
Brian Schielke, Marketing Director at Cleveland Golf, commented:
The short game is critical to playing your best golf, and playing wedges designed for your game - and the shots you like to hit - is key. That's why Cleveland CBX 2 wedges were created. They make the short game easier and more forgiving for the majority of golfers out there playing game-improvement equipment.
I took the new CBX 2 wedges down to my local club, Bramall Park. On that particular day there had been a lot of overnight rain which made the course very wet. This meant that the wedges were under pressure as I encountered some dodgy lies and my ball-striking had to be pretty precise. Great...
I also took the wedges down to The Range in Manchester to check that the numbers all added up and that they performed as expected on their GC2 launch monitor.
Cleveland CBX 2 Wedge Review
Wedge play is probably the strongest part of my game, so when I first got my hands on the new CBX 2 Wedges along with Cleveland's claims that you'd still get plenty of spin and control but also gain a little more forgiveness, I couldn't wait to get out on the course and try them.
Looks-wise, it's a really friendly footprint down by the ball. The head looks big without being too chunky and I actually think it's quite a confidence-inspiring shape. I also couldn't help but feel that the size and weight of the head made me feel confident that I could squeeze a couple of extra yards out if required removing fears of coming up short.
The wedges were, on the whole, very good good from the fairway and towards the green. I could definitely feel the added forgiveness helping me out on the wetter lies on the day where I was testing, with a good strong ball flight.
I was saved by the new Hollow-Cavity a couple of times on 'toey' strikes. Usually these would've come up short of the green with a normal bladed wedge, but with the CBX 2 I was able to cling to the front of the green and still have a birdie putt.
I am used to using a bladed wedge so I felt that there was a little loss of feel in comparison, although it was still soft and the noise was a little 'clicky' due to the head construction.
For a wedge which has plenty of weight towards the bottom and back of the club head, I was a little worried that the ball flight was going to be too high. However my session at The Range proved that the gap wedge actually flew a little lower than the bladed Callaway MD5 Jaws Wedge which I recently tested, whilst also spinning a little more too.
Around the greens, the CBX 2 had a good combination of versatility and forgiveness which allowed it to be adept at a range of shots. I played a couple of bump-and-runs with the 52 degree wedge which were really easy to pull off, and the lob wedge performed well out of the thicker rough as it was able to cut through the long grass without too much fuss.
One of the slight worries I did have prior to testing was that the lob wedge would feel a little one-dimensional, being a cavity-back design. But I was pleasantly surprised by the level of versatility that it afforded me.
On the 5th hole I pulled my approach shot left and was faced with a tricky chip over a bunker to a tucked pin, but this was no problem and I was able to make an up-and-down which looked like being a definite bogey.
On a similar note, it felt nice and easy to slide the blade under the ball in the bunkers with the 60 degree lob wedge.
The new C-Grind did a good job of allowing me to open up the face further to get plenty of height and make sure the ball stopped nice and quickly.
Cleveland CBX 2 Wedge Verdict
No, it doesn't look quite as good as a true bladed wedge like Cleveland's RTX 4 or Callaway/TM/Titleist options, but it is better than the original CBX wedge and as far as cavity-back wedges go, this is as good-looking as you're likely to get.
In my opinion its advantages should outweigh the looks anyway and I really believe that 95% of golfers could use these wedges and their game would improve as a result. They are easy to hit, forgiving, perform well and may even save you a little bit of money.
Would I Use It?
Definitely, I would have no hesitation in putting a couple of these wedges in my bag. I would say that I am a pretty confident wedge player, but I was really impressed with how good they were.
It's great to know that you have a little bit of extra security there thanks to the friendlier head if you need it, but they still feel and perform like a premium wedge. Unless you're an elite golfer, I would urge you to go and try a cavity-back wedge like this and see whether they can help your game.
- Excellent all-round wedge
- Forgiving head is easier to hit than bladed wedge
- Confidence inspiring shape at address
- Very good value for money
- Surprisingly good spin rates
- Will suit almost all golfers
- May look a little chunky to elite players
- Not as much feel as a bladed wedge
- Only three grind options