The Cleveland CBX 2 wedges, just as their original predecessor, are kind of an indictment of the current state of the wedge marketplace. While the company made the case two years ago that approximately 84 percent of golfers were playing wedges that didn’t fit in with the rest of the cavity-back irons usually found in their bags, the new CBX 2 is making a simpler assertion: They make average golfers better by making a wedge that feels better even when they don’t hit it perfect. Which, not surprisingly, happens quite often.
But isn’t feel something good players only can tell, isn’t feel something only a traditional blade-style wedge can provide? Hardly, says Jeff Brunski, Cleveland’s vice president of research and development. By studying where and how average golfers miss their wedge shots, Brunski’s team reconfigured the internal weighting on the CBX 2 through what it calls a “hollow cavity” design. That results in a center of gravity (CG) ever so slightly toward the toe. It’s a better match for where average golfers hit their wedge shots, he said.
“We think this design means 25 percent more shots will be on the sweet spot,” Brunski said. “It’s a pretty different focus than when you’re building a wedge for tour.
“Better players associate feel with blade-style wedges in terms of ‘how it feels when I miss it and how it feels when I hit it solid.’ I think the average golfer just wants to hit the sweet spot more. So the hollow cavity that gets the CG to where 25 percent more shots are in the sweet spot, that’s really a huge dial for feel. You hit the sweet spot it’s going to feel better. Every little design feature in here has to do with putting the sweet spot where it belongs and making the club feel better.”
The multiple features that locate the CG include small cavity within the hosel, a slight cutout in the heel and a hidden cavity on the heel side of the back of the wedge. All that weight—approximately 40 grams is redistributed— shifts the CG one millimeter farther toward the toe compared to the original CBX. That creates a center of percussion that lines up better with the typical toe-ward miss from average golfers.
The feel component includes a thermoplastic polyurethane gel insert between the undercut cavity and the back of the face to provide extra cushion.
The efforts toward feel aren’t merely about internal weighting, however. The CBX 2 also utilizes three new wide sole designs, each aimed specifically at improving the efficiency of the club as it moves through the turf for the particular shot it’s hitting. The lower lofts feature a “dual V” sole that’s similar to the sole on many Srixon irons and the past CBX wedge’s full range of lofts. It’s designed for the way these clubs are typically used: almost exclusively on full shots hit with a square face angle. But unlike the original CBX, the sole design then changes through the remaining lofts. On the 54- and 56-degree models, the CBX 2 uses an S-shaped sole with more heel relief and a wider toe to help those around-the-green shots where players may open the face somewhat. Finally, the highest lofts feature a C-shaped sole with the most heel and toe relief for the most versatility, while still keeping the leading edge closer to the ground than the original CBX.
The CBX 2 also employs the same groove pattern and surface roughness seen in the tour-level RTX4 wedges introduced last year. That includes a face-milling pattern of interlocking rings, 17 finer-edged grooves than the original CBX and then 96 horizontal laser-milled lines surrounding each groove.
The CBX 2 continues with the Dynamic Gold 115-gram shaft, which is lighter than many typical blade style wedges. Brunski said the 37-percent lighter shaft is going to be easier for more average golfers to control and that’s going to breed more consistency on both full and partial swings.
“We want these wedges to flow seamlessly with the rest of the set,” he said, noting that the average cavity back iron set today features steel shafts that weigh around 95 grams.
The CBX 2, which also is available in a lighter women’s version, will be offered in eight lofts (46, 48, 50, 52, 54, 56, 58 and 60 degrees) in both steel ($140) and graphite ($150) shaft options.