Cleveland Golf has officially announced the third generation of their popular super-game improvement wedges, the Smart Sole 3 S and C wedges.
At a time in golf equipment when it seems the bounce and soles of wedges are growing by the inch (that’s almost filthy and I’m sorry), the Cleveland Smart Sole 3 S and C wedges are certain to sell well. Golfers cannot get out of bunkers and high rough easily enough, which makes these new additions to this short game category a welcome sight.
But just because I know what you’re thinking, let’s address the elephant in the room.
How is this any different from the Callaway Sure Out Wedge?
When I tested the Callaway Sure Out wedge a few months ago, I knew I found an answer to my bunker woes. Also featuring a wide-sole design, the Sure Out lived up to its name by helping me get out of the sand and high rough with ease. I call it my “cheater club.” My friends hate me for it.
However, I was already well aware of past iterations from Cleveland Golf (and others) that featured similar builds. Heck, there are two generations of Smart Sole wedges easily found at golf resale websites. My wife has the Smart Sole 2.0 in her golf bag.
So what makes the 3.0 S or C any different from what is already available? At this point, it’s all relative to what the respective company has released previously.
“We designed the Smart Sole 3 with the widest, most forgiving sole of any Cleveland Wedge in the market,” said Jeff Brunski, Director of Research and Development at Cleveland Golf’s Huntington Beach, Calif. headquarters. “That wide sole makes getting out of bunkers as easy as possible. The Smart Sole 3 also features Feel Balancing Technology which provides more consistent performance and better feel.”
Yeah, there are a lot of PR buzzwords in that quote, but the point is clear: Cleveland needed to release an update to the Smart Sole family, and doing so would require widening the wedge’s build.
I’ve also been told that the differences between the new Cleveland offering and the Callaway Sure Out are substantial… depending on your point of view.
“Our Smart Sole 3.0 wedges have [a] three-tiered sole design for better play from all lies, not just the bunker,” Noelle Zavaleta, Marketing Communications Specialist for Cleveland told me. “Our wedges also have feel balancing technology for more forgiveness across the face.”
I like forgiving golf clubs as much as the next person, so let’s look deeper.
Key Innovations in the Cleveland Smart Sole 3.0 Wedges
The three-tiered sole design that my new friend Noelle referenced provides the player with a ton of versatility around the greens. Depending on where you position the SS3 wedge at address — hands forward, open club face, or any other variation you can think of — a different “tier” of the club’s sole will be used.
I’ve seen wedges with dual-sole designs in the past and can say there is a noticeable difference in playability. Tight lies on closely-mowed grass can be played as consistently as a fluffy lie in the rough; all that’s required is a small adjustment in your address position.
It’s like having three wedges in one! Sort of.
The Cleveland Smart Sole 3 wedges for Men’s steel and Women’s are priced at $119.99 MAP; Men’s graphite is priced at $129.99 MAP.