The Cleveland RTX 4 wedge is the latest in their tour wedge dynasty that stretches back over 30 years.
It is the successor to the Cleveland RTX-3 Wedge, but following the introduction of the cavity back CBX wedge in 2017 Cleveland has been able to move the RTX 4 more towards the better players end of things.
The head size of the RTX 4 is smaller than the RTX-3 to give it that tour profile, although I am not sure why better players don't need forgiveness as the generous size of the RTX-3 was one of its strong points.
There is also less offset and a straighter leading edge, all of which points towards a blade wedge for players who want feel and versatility.
The RTX refers to the Rotex face and funnily enough this is version 4.
As you might expect, the RTX 4 claims to generate even more spin than before and most of this gain comes from improvements in the manufacturing process so that Cleveland can sail closer to the wind without breaking any of the rules governing groove size and shape.
Tighter tolerances, more precise laser milling and even more aggressive face milling deliver all this and in their tour player testing the RTX 4 was delivering an extra 250rpm of spin with more consistency too.
For mere mortals like us that level of increase is going to be hard to see, so just rest assured it will probably be at least as good, if not better, than your current Cleveland wedge.
The aim is to really increase spin from the rough on shorter shots rather than the fairway and the RTX 4 performed well in this respect.
The RTX-3 switched to a V Sole grind and this continues in the RTX 4, which Cleveland claims improves the turf interaction over a traditional cambered sole as it can exit quicker.
It is particularly good from grass in the lower lofts and once again comes in Full, Mid and Low grinds, plus a new XLow version.
The Full grind is really for bunker play and you will find it on the 56° to 60° heads. There is a little bit of trailing edge relief that is now a shiny finish to make it stand out, at least until you wear it off.
The Full is effectively the three dot grind from the RTX-3 and with only 10° of bounce on the 56° version, it is not a particularly high bounce wedge, so steep swingers may still prefer this grind.
If you need this amount of bounce in the lower lofts then the CBX wedge is the three dot grind alternative you should try out.
The Mid is the workhorse of the range and comes in 46° to 60° which sees this trailing edge extended with a sort of double dip effect with the extra relief on the main part of the sole reaching down over the heel.
Visually this looks good, but for some reason I am not sure about the ridge steps on the back. It is really more cosmetic than performance related but in my warped mind I prefer the idea of something more smoothly cambered slipping through the grass
That said it did perform very well and for most golfers this two dot Mid grind will be the 'go to' bounce level.
As it sounds, the Low sole grind is for those who like to open the face up and therefore only comes in the higher lofts from 56° to 64°.
The step down trailing edge gets progressively wider as you go from heel to toe and complements the C shaped grind on the main part of the sole too.
It is particularly low bounce and in soft conditions will dive into the turf so unless you play on hard pan a lot or are very skilled then I would stick to the Full and Mid grinds.
Finally the XLow takes this a step further with a wider sole grind on the main section and the trailing edge ground more in the heel and toe areas.
Coming in 58° and 60° with only 3° of bounce this is one for the skilled golfer who needs to go vertical and has the skill and confidence to do so.
Cleveland like their three word tech and their 'Feel Balancing Technology' is further enhanced in RTX 4. This refers to the balancing of weight around the head to position the Centre of Gravity (CG) as close to the centre of the face where the ball impacts in order to get consistent results and better feel.
They do this by having a small cavity in the hosel below the end of the shaft and through the design of the muscle on the back of the head. It is progressive so the CG is higher on the higher lofts where the ball hits further up the face and vice versa for the lower lofts.
Most manufacturers do this now in some way, shape or form, but I like Cleveland's micro cavity solution as it doesn't mess around with hosel lengths or head sizes too much.
The RTX 4 comes in a choice of three finishes once more, comprising the Tour Satin, Black Satin and Tour Raw.
The Tour Raw has a bronze look that will rust over time, as you can see from my two year old RTX-3 below.
The stock shaft is a True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 which is a 3 grams heavier than the S200 version that most manufacturers put in their wedges.
The Tour Issue version in made to tighter tolerances and is very good and when quizzed about the weight, Cleveland said that this is the shaft their tour players go for.
That’s fine but they are selling it to amateurs so check that this shaft feels ok when used with the rest of your set, especially at the lower lofts when it will be a full shot club. If it is not for you then I am sure it can be replaced through Cleveland custom fitting.
The Cleveland RTX 4 is an extremely comprehensive range that cover 18 different loft and bounce combinations from 46° to 64° so there should be something in there for everyone.
The feel from the head is once again very good and the tour profile and offset moves it down the handicap range a little, so some high single figure to mid handicap players might want to stock up on RTX-3 models while they still can.
Once again it is going to be one of the wedges to beat in the market and even through Cleveland has raised the price more than you would expect, it is still lower than most and is going to be one of the best value for money wedges from the leading brands.