Expert Review: Cleveland Golf Smart Sole 4.0 Wedge

Published on 04/24/2023 · 5 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the wedge, which I purchased with my own money in May of 2022.
Alex Rothery, Golf Expert
By Golf Expert Alex Rothery

Cleveland Smart Sole Wedges (S & G). All photos courtesy of Alex Rothery

About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the wedge, which I purchased with my own money in May of 2022.

My take

I have tested a lot of different wedges and none have provided consistency like the Cleveland Smart Sole wedges. The continued frustration of ruining an excellent drive with a chunked or thinned wedge shot is the least of my worries with these! I will happily sacrifice a little bit of distance for their improved accuracy around the greens.

About the club I own

  • Model: Cleveland Smart Sole G and S Wedges
  • Loft: G - 50˚ S - 58˚
  • Bounce: N/A
  • Grind: Aggressive Milled Grooved Face
  • Finish: Black chrome finish

About me

  • Average Score: 80-82
  • Handicap: 12
  • Experience: 10+ years
  • Right/Left-Handed: Right-handed
  • Golf Ball Used: Usually the TaylorMade Distance+ or the Tour Response
  • Angle Of Attack: Relatively shallow

Test conditions

  • When I bought the wedge: May 2022
  • Days tested: 3-4 days a week
  • Where I’ve used it: Multiple rounds at my local courses (Atkins Golf Resort, Woodlawn Country Club, Hulman Links Golf Course) multiple practice greens, and a few rounds with different simulators
  • Weather Conditions: All conditions; dry and wet, warm and cold
  • Green Conditions: Typically I play on pretty quick greens but have played a few rounds on some slower greens

How it performs

Around the Green
5/5
Feel
5/5
Forgiveness
5/5
Full Shots
4/5
Launch
4/5
Spin
4/5
Bounce
3/5

What I was looking for

When searching for a new wedges set my main goal was consistency and forgiveness, and that is exactly what I got with these wedges. They offer great feel and feedback with excellent spin and control.

Why I chose this club

I choose these clubs due to the ease of hitting them, and the SW primarily for dealing with those dangerous bunker shots. I love the aggressiveness of the milled grooves as the spin performance is excellent!

The main thing I love about these wedges is the enhanced sole. By making them more of a wider, multi-tier sole, it better distributes the balance and offers phenomenal forgiveness. Consistency when getting up and down makes this game much more enjoyable, and these wedges give me exactly that!

What I loved about it

  • Launch: Excellent launch, and gives me great ball height. I have had no issues getting up and down when needed with these. Most wedges don’t have the consistency with ball flight like these do.
  • Forgiveness: UNMATCHED FORGIVENESS! Cleveland’s main goal with these wedges is to make the short game as easy as possible. The balanced weight technology behind these helps keep the face square to the ball.
  • Feel: The feedback I get from these is great. It’s very easy to tell when I have caught it flush versus a toe or heel shot.
  • Spin: The face designed with the milled grooves helps promote excellent spin, in any condition.
  • Bounce: These wedges provide a much lower bounce, leaving less room for error when we are greenside.
  • Around the Green: Excellent around the greens, I have had no issues getting up and down. Whether I need to bump and run off the fringe, or close the face and get it to sit down in a hurry.
  • Innovation: The tech and designs speak for themselves here. These are the most consistent wedges I’ll find due to their weight distribution, oversized sole, and bounce design. The aggressive milled grooves on the club face will give control in any situation, while the wider soles will keep me consistent with any lie.

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Distance: I will lose some distance with these wedges. They are not going to compare to the thinner blade wedges out there in terms of distance.
  • Bounce: I would like a higher bounce rating, but the forgiveness of these wedges doesn’t allow for this which is understandable.
  • Aesthetic Appeal: Not going to be a sleek slender blade-like we are used to, and some golfers may be turned off by that. The larger sole and open back design does make them bulkier than the typical blade wedges.

G and S Wedge

Favorite moment with this gear

I have had a couple of great shots with both the S and the G wedge. The GW actually just happened a couple of weeks ago at an outing. We were on a shorter par 4, sitting 110 yards out from the green. It was very dry so the greens were rolling. I knew I was not going to get the ball to sit as I wanted it to this round. The pin was sitting back of the green, I hit my first bounce on the fringe, then let the ball trickle all the way to the hole. Struck the pin and dropped, won ourselves a skin off that shot

With the SW, it has been my go-to when I need to lob shots with no worries about chunking it. Especially out of the bunkers I have been much more consistent. I’ve never made a bunker shot since I started playing golf until I purchased this wedge; I’ve dropped two in one round this year already!

Value for the money vs. other options

These clubs are 100% a great value for the money. Most wedges now are going for $160-$200, and these can be snagged for $130 – golfers will not be disappointed with this purchase.

Final Verdict

As I mentioned above, these wedges are great for someone looking for consistency in their short game. What I am losing in distance, I’ll be gaining right back with consistency and forgiveness. I cannot harp on that enough: what's the point of hitting my wedges a mile long when it's not consistent? I would recommend these wedges to any golfer looking to improve their short game.

This club is featured in the Best Cleveland Wedges. Check it out for more recommendations and reviews.

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