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

Specs tested

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

Technology

Titleist Vokey SM6

Titleist Vokey SM6 wedges
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.

Cleveland RTX-3

Cleveland RTX-3 wedges
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.

Looks

Titleist Vokey SM6

SM6-address-web
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.

9/10

Cleveland RTX-3

Cleveland-RTX-3-wedges-address-WEB
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.

9/10

 

Feel/Sound

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.

9/10

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.

9/10

Spin Control

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.

8/10

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.

9/10

Versatility

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.

10/10

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.

8/10

Overall Appeal

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.

9/10

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.

9/10

Totals

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˚