As wedges continue to take over more and more of your bag, I have long wondered why there are not more cavity backed versions around.
Around 84% of golfers now play with some sort of cavity backed irons because of the forgiveness they provide due to the higher MOI from the peripheral weighting around the head.
Therefore why would you switch to a blade style wedge when you have to move from your cavity back set wedge, especially in the lower lofts of 50° and less. The loft might mean the requirement for forgiveness is less, but the sweet spot will be smaller and towards the heel side of the face.
Cleveland thankfully agree and the result is the cavity back CBX wedge.
This is not the first time Cleveland has created a cavity back wedge as they have had many CB versions of their blade wedges, which have provided a larger head with less resistance to twisting like the most recent RTX-3 CB.
However the CB versions have tended to be based on the standard blade wedges like the one below and the CBX is the first one to be designed from scratch as a cavity back wedge.
The main objective is to increase the MOI and the peripheral weighting around the back of the head and the black sole weight saves 76g of mass from what would be the muscle back that is then moved to the edges.
The sole has also been made wider, especially in the centre where it is 5mm wider and the toe area where it is 9mm wider than the RTX-3 sole. It maybe looks a bit toe heavy on the sole, but it plays in a very balanced way.
This also moves a greater proportion of the weight towards the toe of the club and as a result the centre of gravity (CG) is more towards the middle of the club and now it is around 2-3mm from the geometric centre of the face.
This may sound odd, but it is little known that with blade clubs the CG is towards the heel side of the centre because the weight of the hosel makes the heel side of the club heavier.
Cleveland claim that the CG of the CBX is around 5mm or more closer to the centre than most other leading blade style wedges and they call this Feel Balancing Technology, because we must have 3 word tech in every product.
At address the mid-sized rounded face sits nicely behind the ball with just a little bit of curve on the leading edge.
Compared to the RTX-3 the overall design of the shape is very similar so if you want to combined the two models or switch from one to the other then visually there will be very little difference.
The sole still features the Dual V-Sole that we first saw on the RTX-3 and which is very playable, especially from grass.
Unlike previous Cleveland wedges all the lofts from 46° to 60° now only come one standard bounce, but the wider sole works with this to increase the forgiveness to reduce the likelihood of chunking.
This is one of the key benefits of this shape as those who may be a little jumpy around the greens will find that the CBX gives them a little more margin for error from that wider sole, as has been proved by previous wide sole Cleveland wedges.
The bounce plays pretty much on the number and the versatility of the sole means that you can vary the lie to increase or decrease how much of it is in play.
The Dual V-Sole is comfortable being opened up as there is a little bit of heel and toe relief that combines with the narrower heel to make this possible.
The CBX is also quite a light wedge to play with and this is due in part to a new True Temper Dynamic Gold 115 wedge shaft that not surprisingly weighs around 115g.
I have had 106g Dynamic Gold S300 SL shafts in my wedges for years so this shaft is not exactly revolutionary. However whatever True Temper has done to get the flex profile right for a wedge does give it a different feel to the SL and it really adds to the concept of a light, easy to play cavity back wedge.
The face features the same ROTEX 3 grooves which combines Zip groove design, micro milling of the said grooves and then laser milling of friction lines between the grooves.
This is a proven Cleveland feature and the spin from the CBX wedge is right up there with the best in the market and provides the right balance of grip and roll.
Compared to the RTX-3, the feel is maybe not quite as sharp as a blade because of that cavity back design, but that is not a negative and it’s just going to come down to personal preference.
Good wedge players who have grown up on blade or tour style wedges should not be put off by the CBX as they will be able to do everything they want with them. If they are using split cavity irons, then having the cavity back CBX for any full shot wedges before moving to the RTX-3 for touch shots around the green would be worth considering.
For high single figure players and upwards who should be playing cavity back irons, then the Cleveland CBX offers the best of both worlds, with traditional wedge performance from a more forgiving sole and modern cavity back design.