Cleveland Golf has always been a major player in the wedge market. The CG14 is their latest entry into the short game market, and from what I have seen so far, they seem to have put together another great product. Without further ado, let’s get into the meat of the review.
Gelback, Cleveland Golf’s lightweight, visco-elastic, vibration-damping material, is placed directly behind the hitting area of the clubface in the back cavity. Gelback is vibration-tuned to remove unwanted vibration on mis-hits while still allowing the player necessary feedback from the clubhead for a soft yet responsive feel.
The CG14 offers a perfect balance of performance, versatility, and forgiveness. The design integrates Cleveland Golf’s most advanced manufacturing and feel technology with a tour scrutinized shape, sole, and offset. On each CG14 wedge, the grooves are milled to maximum conforming dimensions using a proprietary CNC mill bit to create envelope-stretching geometry. To improve shot consistency, the new groove geometry was coupled with an innovative plating process – making ZIP Grooves Cleveland Golf’s most consistent, precise, and visible wedge technology to date.
The CG14 wedges are available in a variety of combinations. My review wedge was a 60* low bounce setup. This sets up well for me off tight lies, hard north-eastern fairways (this time of year) and hard packed bunkers.
Look and Feel
The Cleveland CG14 is a very sharp looking wedge. In the past, even recent past, I have felt the Cleveland wedges were a little too rounded for my tastes. I owned a CG11 gap wedge, loved the performance, but wasn’t overly thrilled with the look at address. The CG14 is a little less round in the overall shape, looking more like other ‘modern’ wedges.
The slight cavity back is concealed well, and the large face inspires a lot of confidence at address. The chrome finish on the model I tested could be used as a mirror. The grooves themselves are matte, so, reflections when addressing the ball at noontime aren’t too bad. If you’re bothered by that style look, have a look at the Black Pearl CG14 wedges, they look very sharp as well.
Considering I never take more than a half swing with a 60* wedge, I am not sure how often the Gelback technology would come into play. That being said, if I am messing around at the range, trying to shred balls, I can certainly miss the center of the clubface and end up with a painful strike with my current 60* wedge. I tried this a few times with the CG14, intentionally trying to hit the ball off the toe, and it certainly did not feel as harsh as a mis hit TM Rac 60* wedge. I could see this technology being more useful in say a 50* wedge, or your irons, but in this area…I don’t know. I would think you would want to know when you’ve missed the center of the clubface.
As I mentioned earlier, the size of the clubface really inspires some confidence. The sole of the club is also very smooth, and seems to slide over the turf or through the grass quite nicely. When I would lay this wedge down, I generally felt very comfortable playing just about any shot with it. The grind on the leading edge is quite smooth, and with the low bounce, you definitely feel as if it would be very easy to pull off lob shots with this club.
With my current bag setup (56* Eidolon, 60* TM Rac) I rarely hit the 60* off anything but very tight lies, I just don’t feel comfortable with it. I generally use the 56* for just about everything inside 50 yards. I played a lot of those shots with the 60* CG14, and was pleasantly surprised. The zip grooves provide a fair amount of bite, on par with my 6 month old Eidolon grooves. And with the 60* I am also able to land the ball a lot softer.
For the most part, I play a lower trajectory, one/two hop stop pitch shot when conditions allow it. I generally do not feel very comfortable ‘lobbing’ 30 yard shots way up and getting them to land soft. I’ve found the low spinner shot is more consistent for me. However, with the CG14, I did feel a lot more comfortable hitting a high lob shot. I was also able to continue to play the low trajectory hop/stop shot. I just had to close up the club face a little, put the back in the stance, and I stuck a few 40 yard shots quite close to the hole, even with the cold/fall greens around here. The sharp zip-grooves obviously were doing their job, imparting a lot of spin on the ball.
With the recent acquisition by SRI Sports, it will be interesting to see the direction Cleveland Golf takes. I, for one, hope they continue to design and develop great new wedges and drivers.
If you’re in the market for a new wedge, are looking for some good spin, a smooth leading edge, and some forgiveness in your wedge, be sure to add the CG14 to your list of wedges to demo.