Nearly twenty years after The USGA’s failed legal battle with Ping founder Karsten Solheim over square grooves, the rule makers have chosen to revisit the issue. They now propose to reduce overall groove volume and edge sharpness to impede Tour pros’ ability to produce spinning, biting approaches from any and all conditions. (Weekend golfers would likely notice little change in how their shots check or release on greens.) More lawsuits are possible, but even if modern wedges (such as the ones reviewed here) are deemed nonconforming in the next few years, those that you purchase today will be grandfathered in for a long time to come.
Cleveland CG12 With the CG12, Cleveland returns to the head shape of its classic 588 series, moving away from the Carbon Metal Matrix face design of its more recent CG10 line, which wasn’t to everyone’s taste. But it’s hard not to like the box-shaped "zip" grooves of the CG12, touted as the largest and most precisely milled ever in a Cleveland wedge. The added channel volume helps steer more grass and dirt away from the ball, which allows for more contact with the clubface and thus better spin. It’s available in sixteen loft and bounce combinations and in chrome and black-pearl finishes. $109. Call 800-999-6263 or visit clevelandgolf.com.
Hot Stix Stats: Cleveland CG12
Fairway: Spin Rate 4,208 rpm and Launch Angle degrees 36.01
Rough: Spin Rate 4,215 rpm and Launch Angle degrees 32.18
About hot stix stats For this issue, Hot Stix Golf (480-513-1333, hotstixgolf.com) measured the average launch and spin of these wedges at its outdoor test facility. All were fifty-six-degree models, tested by a golf pro hitting shots on a Trackman launch monitor.
Ping Tour-W This teardrop-shaped model features tungsten weighting in the toe to stabilize the club at impact, and the black elastomer custom-tuning port across the back enables the center of gravity (CG) to be moved lower and forward, complementing the reduced offset and promoting proper clubhead rotation. The hosel notch allows the lie angle to be adjusted more readily. $125. Call 800-474-6434 or visit pinggolf.com.