Cleveland CG15 Wedges Review

Cleveland CG15 Wedges Review

Cleveland Golf has been producing fine quality wedges for over 25 years and they have logged over 300 wins on the PGA Tour, including 25 majors. Since they’ve been in business, they’ve sold over seven million wedges. They’re touting the new Cleveland CG15 Wedges as the best performing wedge ever produced.

The Cleveland CG15 wedges are a traditional players shaped wedge similar to their earlier predecessor, the CG12.  It’s designed with a patented precision laser milled face texture to maximize surface roughness and spin. Coupled with the zip grooves the CG15 has the best and most effective spin technology ever developed by Cleveland Golf.

The laser milled face on the CG15 wedges is created by using the precision accuracy of a laser to add four perfectly calibrated texture lines between each zip groove exactly to the conforming USGA roughness limit. The additional surface roughness optimizes ball-to-face friction and maximizes spin providing greater control for any wedge shot.

The Cleveland CG15 Zip Grooves are a breakthrough in milling technology that creates the maximum conforming width and depth resulting in 25% bigger grooves with pristine edges. They’re also available in Tour Zip Grooves for those competing at the highest level.

A new feature in the CG15 Wedges is the “S” shaped sole. This sole grind creates a constant sole width from heel to toe, accomplished by adding some material near the heel of the club and removing some material from the toe of the club. The constant sole width increases bunker performance without sacrificing versatility. The narrower toe on the wedge reduces turf contact and drag whilst the wider heel reduces digging and increases forgiveness on open faced shots.

An alternative to the “S” Sole is the DSG (Dynamic Sole Grind). DSG is the removal of material from the back bottom edge of the clubface. This material reduction turns the Cleveland CG15 into a super low bounce wedge and allows players better contact on open faced shots due to the lower leading edge.

Aside from the DSG, there are three bounce options for the Cleveland CG15 Wedges; low, standard and high bounce. The different bounce options are denoted by a series of dots on the clubhead. one dot for low, two dots for standard and three dots for high bounce.

Here’s a pretty good explanation of golf wedge bounce I found on

Bounce is the angle that is made by the metal built-up on the sole of the club and the front edge of the club. This is known as the golf wedge bounce angle.

Players can use this to their advantage by matching the amount bounce on their wedges to the grass and soil conditions of their home or favorite courses they like to play. They must also match this club set up to their individual styles of swings.

As a general rule of thumb if you play on a course with a harder turf and firmer sand in the traps you should be using wedges with less bounce. The lower amount of bounce will help the clubs leading edge dig down easier into the turf and through the rest of the shot.

On the contrary if you play on a course with softer turf conditions and fluffy sand then you should be using wedges with a little more bounce as this will help prevent the club digging to deeply into the ground thus causing the dreaded fat shot.

In terms of selecting your golf clubs to suit the style of your swing there is also a general rule to follow. Golfers with a steeper or more upright swings will tend to do better with a little more golf wedge bounce because it will prevent their clubs from digging too deep in the ground on the downswing.(also known as “Diggers”) On the other hand those players who have a flatter, more sweeping swing will fare better with wedges with a little less bounce. This will help avoid skidding off the ground with the club and making contact with the middle of the ball. This is otherwise known to golfers as skulling or blading a shot (known as “Sweepers”).

If you aren’t sure which category you fall into there’s a simple way to find out. Just go to your local driving range or practice area and hit a few balls with your higher lofted clubs. Then take a look at your divots and use Mother Nature as your own form of technology. If you’re taking long deep divots this is a sign of a digger. If you’re taking thin shallow or even no divots at all then this is a sign of a sweeper.

Once you recognize your swing type and course conditions it is fairly simple to decide on the amount of golf wedge bounce angle that you need. With this information you or you local pro should be able to fit your wedges perfectly to your game and you’ll be on your way to shooting lower scores.

Cleveland CG15 Wedges offer a variety of loft, bounce and lie combination’s, which are illustrated below.

The CG15’s come in a three finishes, black pearl, satin chrome and oil quenched and retail for $119.99.

For the club review, I received standard bounce 52 and 56 degree wedges and after eight rounds and just as many range sessions, I feel pretty confident in my assessment of the clubs. I hit a variety of shots (both good and bad 🙂 ) with the Cleveland CG15’s and overall they’re pretty solid wedges. They have a nice soft feel to them and when hit correctly can generate some serious spin.

After playing with these wedges, I can fully appreciate the importance of hitting a wedge with the correct bounce. I have a steeper swing plane and really noticed a difference between my current Eidolon Wedges and the Cleveland CG15’s when it came to hitting from the sand. This is the one area that I had trouble getting consistent performance with. I kept hitting fat shots out of the sand, which, I’m certain you know, is really frustrating.. 🙂  Everywhere else, however, I was pleased with the clubs performance and was able to get the ball to stop pretty much where I wanted it to.

The one negative thing I experienced during this CG15 Wedge Review is that the laser milled clubface scratches very easily. It doesn’t affect the performance of the club, it’s just an aesthetics thing. Now, for me, that’s no big deal, it’s bound to happen sooner or later, so might as well get it out of the way early so you can stop worrying about it. But for reviewing sakes, it’s worth noting that it happened for me on the 1st bucket of range balls I hit.

Overall, I think the Cleveland CG15 wedges are pretty awesome. There’s been a lot of hype about the wedges over the past couple months and I can say for certain, that it’s well deserved.

If you’re in the market for some new scoring sticks, I recommend giving the CG15’s a shot.

See Also: Cleveland Launcher DST Driver Review, Cleveland CG7 Black Pearl Irons – First Glance & Cleveland Launcher DST Fairway Wood – First Glance



Club Review – Cleveland CG15 Wedges

By John Duval
Cleveland CG15 w/ Black Pearl Finish Cleveland CG15 w/ Black Pearl Finish

Cleveland Golf has a long history of making great wedges. The almost iconic 588 wedges are still in play all over the world for pros and weekend hackers alike. Founded in 1979, Cleveland Golf was purchased in December of 2007 by SRI Sports, the parent company of Srixon Golf in Japan. Over the last few years the wedge market has become very competitive, with the tour success of Titleist’s Vokey wedges taking a slight edge in weekly wedge count on the PGA Tour. The founder of Cleveland Golf – Roger Cleveland, sold the company in 1990. Later, he hooked up with Callaway Golf and now designs clubs for them. Even Taylor Made has gotten into the act, and several smaller companies also seek to steal some market share in the wedge world. Still a market leader, Cleveland Golf has a new wedge offering for late 2010. The CG15. Last month I first wrote a previewof these wedges, and Cleveland was nice enough to loan me a few to test out in person. Let’s take a look at these beautiful new wedges and see how they perform.


With the exception of advances in CNC machining that led to sharper and deeper grooves, technology in wedges hasn’t changed much since Gene Sarazen invented the modern sand wedge back in the early thirties. Subsequently, little has changed in Cleveland’s wedge offerings in the past few years. From the CG10, to the CG12 and now the new CG15, Cleveland retained the same basic look. There isn’t much you can change on a classic wedge design, so most companies relocate the text or change the graphics. With the new CG15 wedges, they have moved the bounce angle number and dots from the hosel area to the sole of the club, just below the loft number. They’ve also moved the company name from the sole to the back of the club, replacing the logo that was there on the CG12. Cleveland has also rolled back the trailing edge of the club to make it more playable when opening the club.

DPP_0003Cleveland’s new CG15 Wedges are offered in 3 distinct finishes – Chrome, Oil Quenched and Black Pearl. The chrome finish is the classic treatment that we are all used to seeing in a wedge or forged iron. The Black Pearl finish is a dark matte finish similar to Cleveland’s gunmetal finish. This dark finish has become familiar to Cleveland fans. The other finish being offered with the CG15 wedges is called Oil Quenched. This finish has a beautiful reddish brown tint to it, and like other non-chromed clubs, it will rust over time. Many players have come to prefer a rusty style wedge, one for the glare resistance, and two because many players believe a lack of polish makes the clubs softer. Either way, a choice of three finishes certainly is more than most companies can offer.


The good folks at Cleveland Golf sent me three wedges of different lofts and finishes to put through their paces. I had a 52 degree Oil Quenched, 56 degree Black Pearl and 60 degree Chrome wedge to test out. The timing of my play testing was almost perfect. I was fortunate to have a fantastic venue to test out the wedges at Golden Ocala Golf and Equestrian Club in Ocala Florida. I was in town competing in the Florida State Mid-Amateur Championship and I had several friends available to hit some balls with them and give me their opinions. The short game practice facility at Golden Ocala is second to none, featuring three beautiful practice greens with bunkers and plenty of space to hit from all angles. In fact, there is enough space to hit short chips all the way out to 100 yard shots, making it a perfect place to try out new wedges. I put the CG15 wedges through their paces, hitting everything from basic chips and bunker shots to pitch shots, knockdowns and full wedges from a variety of lies. To sum things up, these wedges are very solid. They have the predictable feel common to Cleveland wedges. It’s soft and muted, and vibration is kept to a minimum, even on mishits. The feel almost reminds me of a forged cavity back iron, even though these wedges are neither forged nor cavity backs. This is a common misconception among consumers. Cast and forged clubs differ only in the manufacturing process, not in feel or performance. The reason many cast clubs feel harder than forged ones is simply that harder metals are easier to cast than softer ones. Cleveland has never made a forged wedge, and neither has Bob Vokey, who’s Titleist wedges combine with Cleveland to dominate the wedge market. They use soft carbon steel to cast their wedges, and they feel every bit as soft as a forged club of the same metal.

DPP_0007Cleveland’s Zip Grooves have been augmented with a new feature called Laser Etched grooves, introduced for the CG15 wedge. Using a laser, 4 texture lines are milled between each groove exactly to the conforming roughness limit. This roughness application optimizes ball-to-face friction and maximizes spin under the rules of golf. In my experience, the ability to produce spin depends less on the club or grooves, and more on the golfer’s ability and the golf ball used. Having said that, these wedges can put some serious spin on the ball. From a fairway lie the spin produced is similar to most other wedges. On chip shots executed with proper technique, the ball skids and grabs hard, trickling the rest of the way to the hole. From the rough is where the modern box grooves really shine. Because of the increased groove volume and shape, more grass and dirt is trapped by the grooves and balls hit from the rough spin much more than when hit with wedges with more traditional V grooves. I had no problem stopping the ball reasonably quickly from lies in all but the thickest rough.

I found that the initial finish on the face of the Black Pearl and Oil Quenched wedges wears quickly, but this is normal and unavoidable, just as with any other wedges. The face of the chrome wedges also wears just as fast, but because of the finish its not as noticeable. The grooves and even the laser etched grooves micro grooves held up well in my 4 days of testing, and I predict they will wear well for at least a season for most golfers. It remains to be seen how long the laser etched grooves last under normal use. I always recommend new wedges every year for serious golfers. These wedges are very well balanced, and in the hands of a skilled golfer they become deadly scoring weapons. I was able to hit low spinning shots and high flops alike with ease. The multiple bounce and loft options ensure that they have a wedge for everyone’s needs or wants. Another option that has been in Cleveland’s arsenal for a few years is the DSG wedge, which stands for “Dynamic Sole Grind”. These wedges have a sole that is beveled to allow the leading edge to sit closer to the ground when the face is opened. This allows for more versatility for a variety of lies and turf conditions.


Specs and Options

With three finishes, two different grind options, lofts from 48 to 64 degrees and several bounce options, there is sure to be a CG15 for everyone. The most popular lofts have several bounce options to make the wedges more versatile for different players and turf conditions. The 56 degree loft for example is offered with 10, 14 or 16 degrees of bounce, and the DSG version has 8 degrees. There are also several custom shaft options available to upgrade the stock shaft, which is the now very popular “wedge flex” shaft that many companies are selling wedges with. This is a shame, because these shafts are garbage. I have seen wedge flex shafts flex all over the place on a shaft deflection board, and the weights are also not tightly controlled as they are on a shaft like the Dynamic Gold. I would highly suggest ordering wedges with the same shafts that are in your irons for consistent feel.


Overall Impressions

I think Cleveland has a winner with the new CG15 wedges. They feel very solid and well balanced, and Cleveland offers more loft, bounce and finish options than any other manufacturer. The Zip Grooves with Laser Etched micro grooves generate plenty of spin, and they look great in the bag. My personal favorite is the Oil Quenched finish (seen at far left below), which has a gorgeous red tint that is unlike any other club out there. I wish the stock shaft was of better quality, and I also would love to see a comprehensive wedge fitting system available to help match players with all those loft and bounce combination for best performance.


Pros: Soft, solid feel, tons of loft/bounce options, good spin potential

Cons: Stock “wedge flex” steel shafts are disappointing. Laser etched grooves may wear fast. With so many loft/bounce options, Cleveland needs a comprehensive wedge fitting system.

The Cleveland CG15 wedges will become available after November 13, 2009 for an MSRP of $119

  7 comments for “Cleveland CG15 Wedges Review

  1. at

    The club is pointing the wrong way. And you have the glove on the wrong hand! WTF?

  2. at

    i ordered some new cleveland cg15 wedges from my local pro shop. i specifically requested tour zip grooves because the game just isnt difficult enough. hahaha….(i am currently a 2.3 hdcp)anyway i just got them and im not sure they are tour zip grooves. how can you tell? do they say or have any markings on the club that identifies them as tour zip grooves? thanks for any input, ken

  3. at

    Hi Ken,

    Thanks for reading the blog and commenting! It is my understanding that there are no special markings to determine if the wedges are the CG15 Tour Zip grooves. I’d say if you’re uncertain go to different shop and get their input. Not sure if you could notice a difference in the grooves between a standard CG15 and the Tour.

    Good Luck and let me know what you find!

  4. Rod

    mediaguru could it be he might be a lefty?

  5. J

    Check the markings on the back of the club, where the emblem says “Zip Gooves”. If you have the tour (conforming) grooves, it will say “Tour Zip Grooves”. Otherwise, it will only have “Zip Grooves”

  6. Dan

    Question…. Seems like you know a lot of information about cleveland wedges. What would be the difference between the CG15 (laser milled) and the CG14 zip grooves.


  7. at

    Hey Dan,

    Thanks for the question! The laser milled technology refers to the lines etched on the metal between the grooves. This gives the club face greater friction. The zip grooves refer to the larger deeper grooves on in the CG15 Wedges. Different technologies resulting in greater backspin.

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