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|Zip Grooves added to the face of Cleveland Golf's Reg. 588 wedges raise the level of control for amateurs and pros alike. (Courtesy of Cleveland Golf)|
As borne out by data and reported by a sage and insightful golf writer, when U-grooves were outlawed, scores on the PGA Tour actually went down.
You see, Tour pros can produce spin without fancy box grooves or game-improvement technology. This is why they are "Tour pros."
Us recreational golfers, though, we need all the help we can get. The change in regulations relating to groove shape and depth, therefore, actually affects us more than the pros.
So it is with us in mind that Cleveland Golf has taken their Tour-proven and universally popular 588 wedge and added more "zip" in the Reg. 588 design ($140).
The "zip" I keep referring to is the Tour Zip Grooves found in both its Tour-proven forged irons and now the 588 wedges. These Zip Grooves are CNC-milled and lie between the main grooves on the clubface.
The Zip Grooves conform to USGA limits on spin. In effect, they do what previous generations did by applying steel wool to wedges and leaving them out in the rain to rust: They increase the amount of friction between the ball and clubface (as long as you keep them clean). Being precision CNC-milled, though, they are a good bit more, well, precise than random distributions of rust spots.
The Reg. 588s come in myriad lofts, and the key wedges, such as the typical 56-degree sand wedges, also come with various degrees of bounce. The model I tested was a 56-degree sand wedge with traditional 14 degrees of bounce and the company's swanky Black Pearl finish.
Out on the course, the Reg. 588 lived up to its illustrious heritage. From 130 yards and in, it has set up a dozen birdie putts over several rounds (if only I could have made a better percentage of them). Being a pretty average golfer, I don't spin the ball back on a lot of approaches, but the Zip Grooves all but ensure that just about every approach lands soft and either sits down or rolls only minimally forward.
Most impressive to me was the feel: The forged 1025 carbon steel feels as soft as an easy-over egg yolk, and the feedback on center-struck and off-center contact is exquisite. On more than one occasion, I've pured a shot with the Reg. 588 and, for a split second, panicked that I had missed the ball altogether -- the feel was so soft that it was almost like the ball wasn't there.
Wedges are very personal -- they are the scoring clubs, and we grow accustomed to the ones in our bags. Cleveland Golf is, arguably, the most highly respected wedge maker in the business. Add in the option of customizing the shaft and grip to fit your swing, and you have a precision tool in your hands -- one that is carried by a large proportion of Tour players.
The Reg. 588 wedges -- with Zip Grooves, CNC milling and the level of precision forging that we expect from Cleveland Golf -- represent another winner in the Cleveland Golf stable.
For more information, visit clevelandgolf.com.
June 25, 2012
Kiel Christianson has lived, worked, traveled and golfed extensively on three continents. As senior writer and equipment editor for WorldGolf.com, he has reviewed courses, resorts, and golf academies from California to Ireland, including his home course, Lake of the Woods G.C. in Mahomet, Ill. Read his golf blog here and follow him on Twitter @GolfWriterKiel.
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