Head-to-Head: Cleveland RTX-3 v Titleist Vokey SM6 Wedges - We pitted two of 2017's best wedges up against each other but which would prevail?
Head-to-Head: Cleveland RTX-3 v Titleist Vokey SM6 Wedges
Titleist Vokey SM6 RRP: £140 Shaft: Dynamic Gold S300 Lofts: 50˚, 54˚, 58˚ (46-62˚ available) Grind/Bounce: F (12˚), M (8˚) and M (8˚) grinds
Cleveland RTX-3 RRP: £99 Shaft: KBS Hi-Rev 125 Available lofts: 50˚, 54˚, 58˚ (46-64˚ available) Grind/Bounce: MG, MG, LG
Titleist Vokey SM6
Progressive design aligns the CG with the impact position of each loft (so higher in the higher lofts) to improve trajectory control and feel. A new Spin Milled TX4 groove and parallel face texture is said to delivers more spin thanks to a sharper, more consistent groove edge.
A shorter and lighter hosel shifts the CG closer to the centre of the clubface to reduce vibration and improve feel, head stability, forgiveness and distance control. Tour Zip Grooves with a deeper, narrower U shape and sharper edge radius combine with laser milling on the face to increase surface roughness and levels of spin.
Titleist Vokey SM6
There is very little difference between the two in terms of address profile. The SM6 is perhaps marginally more rounded, has a longer hosel with a shorter ferrule a slightly thinner topline. They come in three finishes (Tour Chrome, Steel Grey and the raw Jet Black, the classic Tour Chrome being our favourite.
The thicker topline creates a marginally more chunky appearance. A narrower hosel has the potential to reduce the tendency for the clubhead to snag and turn over in long grass. There are two finishes available – the tour satin and the black satin, which has been made even more durable.
Titleist Vokey SM6 Regardless of the loft, golfers will experience a soft, forged-like feel at impact with the SM6 wedges. It is very similar to the RTX-3 in this department, there really were no decipherable differences between the two brands.
Cleveland RTX-3 For a muscleback style design, the RTX-3 wedges feel surprisingly solid and stable at impact. They offer a soft, crisp feel and sound at impact that doesn’t change much across the face.
Titleist Vokey SM6 A lower trajectory with the higher lofted wedges compared to RTX-3 will provide more control of the ball flight, especially in windy conditions. It means you can use your lob wedge more on full shots, rather than making a shorter swing with a mid-lofted wedge that can be difficult to judge.
Cleveland RTX-3 As the length of shot reduced, we found the level of spin became higher with RTX-3 compared to SM6, so you’ll get more grab on chips and partial pitch shots. This would suggest the face milling is marginally more effective – it certainly feels rougher to touch than SM6.
Titleist Vokey SM6 With the five grinds available (L, M, S, F, K) golfers are going to be able to settle on a combination that works for their turf conditions and playing style. The M Grind especially offered a nice balance of trailing edge and heel and toe relief for open-faced shots.
Cleveland RTX-3 The new V shape sole definitely improves turf interaction. The lack of significant heel and toe relief makes it harder to get the club under the ball on really open-faced shots – you need to switch to the lower bounce LG but that said, the three sole options cater for the majority of shots, the MG being the most versatile.
Titleist Vokey SM6 You’d be hard pressed to find a better looking or more versatile wedge range on the market. They come with a premium price tag, but for that you get the ultimate in personalisation and shot-making creativity around the greens.
Cleveland RTX-3 These wedges really come into their own around the green and allow you to commit to your chips, knowing they will check up quickly. There’s excellent value for money to be had here given the exceptional feel and control you’ll experience.
Titleist Vokey SM6 - WINNER 45/50
Cleveland RTX-3 - RUNNER UP 44/50
Performance Averages (54˚ wedge on a 50-yard pitch)
Titleist Vokey SM6 Launch: 29.9° Peak height: 9 yards Spin: 6986 rpm Descent angle: 38.7˚
Cleveland RTX-3 Launch: 28.8° Peak height: 9 yards Spin: 6962 rpm Descent angle: 37.5˚
Joel has worked in the golf industry for over 12 years covering both instruction and more recently equipment. He now oversees all product content here at Golf Monthly, managing a team of talented and passionate writers and presenters in delivering the most thorough and accurate reviews, buying advice, comparisons and deals to help the reader find exactly what they are looking for. So whether it's the latest driver, irons, putter or laser rangefinder, Joel has his finger on the pulse keeping up to date with the latest releases in golf. He is also responsible for all content on irons and golf tech, including distance measuring devices and launch monitors.
One of his career highlights came when covering the 2012 Masters he got to play the sacred Augusta National course on the Monday after the tournament concluded, shooting a respectable 87 with just one par and four birdies. To date, his best ever round of golf is a 5-under 67 back in 2011. He currently plays his golf at Burghley Park Golf Club in Stamford, Lincs, with a handicap index of 3.3.
Joel's current What's In The Bag?
Driver: Titleist TSR3, 9°
Fairway wood: Titleist TSR3, 15°
Hybrid: Titleist TSi2, 18°
Irons: TaylorMade P770, 4-7 iron, TaylorMade P7MC 8-PW
Putter: Evnroll ER2V
Ball: 2021 Titleist Pro V1x
Scott And Morikawa To Join Woods And McIlroy's Golf League
The players are the latest to sign-up for Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy's tech-focused golf league
By Mike Hall • Published
Report: Jeddah To Replace Miami As LIV Golf League Finale
The Royal Greens Golf and Country Club in Saudi Arabia is expected to host the final event of the 14-tournament season
By Mike Hall • Published