Expert Review: 2020 Cleveland RTX ZipCore Wedge

Three Curated golf experts tested the new 2020 Cleveland RTX ZipCore wedge. Could it be the right wedge for you?

This summer, Cleveland revealed its latest flagship wedge—the RTX ZipCore. With sharper, deeper grooves, a new heat treatment process, and a shifted center of gravity, the RTX ZipCore was designed to add spin, enhance control, and boost consistency. Three Curated golf experts took this wedge out on the course to verify these claims for themselves.

So what did they think? Did they love it? Hate it? Who do they think it is best for? Read on to find out.

A golf wedge labeled as a Cleveland RTX ZipCore lies in the dewy grass
Photo by Kaitlyn A.

Bottom Line

The RTX ZipCore is best for the low handicapper looking for spin and control.

What It’s Good For

  • Intermediate to advanced golfers, with low to mid handicaps
  • Spin and control
  • Durable

What It’s Not Good For

  • Beginners and high handicappers
  • Players who struggle with consistent contact
  • Forgiveness

Expert Reviews

Kaitlyn A.

  • Years Playing: 12
  • Current Wedge: TaylorMade 60 Degree
  • Experience: Competed in college for 4 years. Assistant coach for two high schools and one collegiate team. Currently a 2.5 handicap.

"This club is great for a more intermediate to advanced golfer who values more playability over forgiveness when it comes to their wedges.

"I love the ZipCore wedge so far. My favorite feature is the Ultizip Groove technology for better spin and control around the greens. It really allows me to work the ball and play a great variety of shots as necessary.

"The ZipCore material is a good weight and is easy to control, and the face is very durable which will allow it to outlast a lot of wear and tear. The wedges also come in a few different bounce options, which allow for different shot preferences and playing conditions. So far I don’t dislike anything about the ZipCore wedge.

"The only golfer this may not fit is a beginner player. This club is a little heavier than most starter wedges, which may not suit a new player. This club is great for a more intermediate to advanced golfer who values more playability over forgiveness when it comes to their wedges.

"It also doesn’t have a maximum amount of forgiveness across the face, which may harm a player who doesn’t hit the center of the face very consistently."

A woman holds a golf club to display the brand name - Cleveland RTX ZipCore
Photo by Kaitlyn A.

Rob H.

  • Years Playing: 16
  • Current Wedge: New Level M-type Forged 50 Degree
  • Experience: 15 years of experience in the golf industry, including with TaylorMade and as a certified club fitter. Currently a 10 handicap.

"The club has great turf interaction, especially when you have to open the face a little and hit lofted chip shots.

"As with any Cleveland wedge, the ZipCore looks stunning. At first look at the face, with the UltiZip grooves, you can feel and see how sharp the grooves are. The performance definitely matches the looks.

"Even though the wedge is 2 degrees weaker than my Gamer, I was able to hit it just as far. On the short delicate shots, you could impart a lot of spin and could control them really well.

"The club has great turf interaction, especially when you have to open the face a little and hit lofted chip shots.

"This wedge is great for middle to low handicaps or higher handicaps that do not struggle with a wedge.

"This club is a high lofted blade. If you struggle with contact or like the looks of a bigger iron, I would gear you more towards the CBX line of wedges.

Curated expert Rob H. on the golf course holding the Cleveland RTX Zipcore golf club.
Photo from Rob H.

Robert Presley

  • Years Playing: 23
  • Current Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 50 Degree and 54 Degree; Cleveland RTX-4 58 Degree
  • Experience: Played competitively in junior high and high school. Plays today to a single-digit handicap, practicing four to five times per week.

"If you have a steep angle of attack or play in softer conditions, it should be noted that you’ll want to go at least with the mid to full bounce options.

"I’d say I’m the target audience for the ZipCore as I’m a single digit handicap and play 65+ rounds a year. Cleveland set out to provide a better player a controllable wedge that makes it easy to hit low-mid flight approaches.

"Thanks to the low-density material in the hosel, they were able to move weight in the club design and move the center of gravity higher to hit a lower apex shot than last year’s RTX-4.

"Time after time, I was able to hit controlled, mid-flighted shots that hit the green with tons of spin! This wedge could easily be played by a 10-15 handicap, but I’d say if you’re in the 15+ handicap break you’ll want more forgiveness on miss hits.

"This club does just about everything I need it to do, with very few shots I could not hit. The model tested was a 56 degree with 6 degrees of bounce.

"The only thing it could have done better would have been a 10- to 12-degree bounce, which would have been useful if I wanted to use this out of bunkers more, as it did not have enough bounce to really move harder sand. This club inspired tons of confidence, though, to open the face off the hard Texas clay soil.

"If you have a steep angle of attack or play in softer conditions, it should be noted that you’ll want to go at least with the mid to full bounce options, not the low bounce option like I tested. I suspect the full bounce would be ideal for bunker play as well.

"This wedge allows tons of creativity for the single to low teen handicapper, however, if you are above say a 15 handicap and not practicing often, this isn’t the wedge for you."

A man in a blue polo and grey shorts prepares to swing a golf club. Several golf balls lie on the grass behind him
Photo by Robert Presley

Alternatives to Consider

Players who struggle with contact might want to check out the CBX line of wedges instead. The CBX 2 is going to be more of a game-improvement type of club to allow for more forgiveness across the face, easier launch, and slightly decreased vibration at impact.

Not sure if this wedge is right for you? Chat with a Curated expert to learn more about the Cleveland RTX ZipCore wedge and get personalized recommendations!

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Written By
I started playing golf about 10 years ago and immediately fell in love with the game, which eventually lead me to play in college. I enjoy the challenges that each round and each course brings on any given day. I'm also an analytical tech guru that loves learning about new equipment. I recently move...
I have spent 15 years in the golf club industry, most with TaylorMade golf. I have vast knowledge of all brands, components and fittings techniques. ​ My grandmother started me when I was 10, but I didn't pick my sticks up again till my shoulder was blownout from colliegiate Water Polo. I became a g...
I've played the game since 13 and play to a single digit handicap today. I played competively in junior high and high school. ​ Golf has been a life changer for me. Helping me to make new friends, relax, and a healthly outlet for my competitive juices! It's truly a life long pursuit and a lot like l...

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