GolfWRX Deep Dive – Cleveland RTX 6-ZipCore wedges

Aug, 2023

Cleveland released the latest iteration of its ZipCore wedges — RTX 6 ZipCore — earlier this year. Since then, we’ve seen them pop up in plenty of player bags on tour and seen positive responses from our members in the GolfWRX forums.

To dig deeper into the technology, loft and bounce offerings, custom possibilities, and more, we spoke to Senior Product Manager, Casey Shultz, and Tour Engineering Manager, Patrick Ripp.

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Check out our full Q&A below.

GolfWRX: Before digging into the new technology in RTX 6 ZipCore wedges, what can you tell me about the process of improving on the previous RTX ZipCore wedges? For the layperson, what goes into that?

Casey Shultz: For each new wedge we really start by examining every aspect of the previous design. What is the tour feedback on the shaping? What grinds are becoming popular on tour? What improvements in the previous gen can we expand upon? Where are other opportunities for improvement in our tech or consistency available? We essentially put every aspect of our design under a microscope from a tour, engineering, fitter, and average player perspective to ensure we can make the best next-generation wedge possible.

GolfWRX: HydraZip face. UltiZip grooves. Upgraded ZipCore tech. What do each of these things mean and how do golfers benefit?

Casey Shultz: Essentially, each of these technologies works to give the golfer better, more consistent performance on each shot. That’s really our focus, trying to minimize the factors that come into play when creating subpar performance with the RTX 6 ZipCore wedge.

Our newest tech, HydraZip, is specifically designed to maximize spin consistency in all conditions. In the wet, dry, or wherever you find yourself, HydraZip features a unique blast and laser combination designed with each loft range in mind to best replicate dry conditions. Our testing has shown this technology to increase wet spin up to 43 percent over previous generations, really taking the guesswork out of launch and spin performance in adverse conditions.

To go along with this consistency theme, UltiZip grooves are designed to maximize groove contact on every shot with sharper, deeper, and tighter grouping than ever before. This is designed to impart as much spin as possible from anywhere you find yourself. These grooves are especially effective from the rough or any situation where material may be between your clubface and the ball as the added groove contact will allow for a significantly reduced dropoff in spin performance, helping players to effectively stop the ball on the green from any lie.

Finally, ZipCore allows us to shift weight for a better CoG and MOI. In layman’s terms, you’ll get better performance no matter where you strike the ball. By increasing the amount of ZipCore material featured we have been able to further improve launch, spin, and distance performance consistency, even when you miss the center of the clubface.

GolfWRX: In terms of bounce, rather than offering a range of numbered bounces, you are going with LOW, MID, HI, and the number is almost secondary. Can you explain why this is and why, I’m assuming, you think it’s better for golfers?

Casey Shultz: Bounce is one metric that represents how a sole will perform but it doesn’t take the wholistic performance and turf interaction of the sole into account. We have certainly put the emphasis more on grind design and how that shaping will impact your game. Players should be purchasing wedges based on how well the sole design fits their game, not a metric designed to encapsulate one aspect of it. It’s also worth noting that marketed bounce measurements can vary brand to brand, so it’s not the best comparison metric to use in the first place when picking out a sole.

GolfWRX: For the average golfer, how does one determine if they ought to be playing a LOW, LOW+, MID, or FULL bounce at a particular loft?

Casey Shultz: In general, our LOW and LOW+ grinds are designed for players who want max versatility out of their wedges. Players confident in their wedge game who like to open up the face will have great success with these, especially those who play firmer conditions.

For players looking for a balance of versatility with some helpful bounce, the MID is a great option to allow players to open the face when needed but also provide the right amount of bounce in a wide range of conditions.

Finally, for players who really want a bit more bounce in their wedges for sand or rough performance or simply want a sole with a more traditional design, the FULL is a great option to reduce digging, while lacking a bit in versatility compared to the other soles.

It’s worth noting our website is also a great resource for much more detailed breakdowns of each grind and who they are designed for, as well as comparisons to past Cleveland or competitor wedge offerings.

GolfWRX: RTX 6 ZipCore Wedges are offered from 46 to 60 degrees. What advice do you have for golfers when considering how many wedges to carry (and what their specific set makeup should be? )

Dialing in the proper gapping between wedges is crucial. With the right gapping, a player can lower their scores with a more intuitive, efficient short game. We recommend starting with your pitching wedge loft or, if a player is looking for added control and spin, subbing in a 46 or 48-degree wedge in that slot. From there, we recommend 4-6 yard gaps between wedge lofts. For example, a player with a PW of 44 degrees and wedges of 50, 54, and 58 or 48, 52, 56, 60. Generally, the stronger the PW loft the more wedges a player should have in the bag. There is also always the question of what the highest loft a player should be playing is. I would argue that for many players with strong lofted irons, adding a gap wedge into their set may help their game a lot more than the inclusion of a lob wedge.

GolfWRX: On tour, we’ve seen RTX 6 ZipCore wedges in the bags of a number of professionals. Can you speak to that and share any feedback from the pros?

Patrick Ripp: The first comment that we consistently heard with the new RTX 6 ZipCore wedges is an increase in spin. The Hydrazip technology along with the second generation of the ZipCore technology creates more spin from all lies, and it allowed the players to more consistently produce the trajectories and control that they require.

Improved feel and forgiveness is the follow-up piece of feedback that we have heard. After players have had some time to work with the new wedges, they produced better feel and more consistent distance control on mishits.

Our sole matrix made the fitting process simple and straightforward and the enhanced technologies of HydraZip and ZipCore have made the RTX 6 ZipCore wedge line an easy product to get into our tour staff’s bags.

GolfWRX: Of particular interest to GolfWRXers, there are a number of personalization options available. Can you explain further?

Casey Shultz: Yes, at Cleveland Golf we really pride ourselves in offering wedges that can be personalized both to your style and performance preferences. Performance-wise, our Tour Rack program allows players to customize a Tour Crafted grind of their choosing. Players start by choosing a stock sole design and then are given the opportunity to choose sole grind and leading edge adjustments to fine-tune the performance of the wedge to best suit their game. It is an exciting program that allows your average golfer to get a true tour grinding experience on their wedges to help their performance around the greens.

All three finishes of our RTX 6 ZipCore wedges also offer custom paintfill and up to five unique characters to add your own personal flair to the design. Our Black Satin wedges also offer custom laser skins, which create an eyepopping design that will stand out in your bag.

GolfWRX: What has been the most popular wedge stamping order?

Casey Shultz: When it comes to wedge stamping, we see a lot of players who will put their initials or the abbreviation of their favorite team or alma mater. This coupled with a matching paintfill design can make for a fun, unique statement piece in the bag.

RTX 6 ZipCore wedges are available for purchase on Cleveland’s website.

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