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In case you’re looking for a decent budget-wedge to help you pare down your handicap to what you feel is acceptable, then you just might want to check out the Cleveland CG16 wedges. Granted, it’s an older model, so chances of finding one in mint condition are slim, but it’s worth a try. Continue reading this Cleveland CG16 wedge review to get some detailed information about the legendary club.

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Our Rating:

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A Little Bit of History

If you think the CG16 looks familiar, that’s probably because you’ve played the CG14 at some point in the past; based on the CG14, the major difference being the grooves and the fact the CG16 doesn’t have the insert; Cleveland took the CG14 and the CG15 and wed the best from both of these – you have the slightly tweaked shaped taken from the former and the spin-maximizing tech from the latter.

It’s a bit larger than the CG14, which should make it appealing to mid handicappers  and high handicappers struggling with confidence at address.Now, if you’re a Cleveland player, you might be aware that the CG15 was very popular, but it sported non-conforming grooves. The CG16, however, is pretty much the same as the 15 when you look at the face, but with new (well, they were new back in 2010) Tour Zip grooves that are conforming.

The first thing you’ll notice looking at the rest of the club is the deep channel or rather, the cavity in the back. This goes a long way to providing great feel and slightly higher launch angles than either the CG14 or CG15 could give you.

Cleveland CG16: Forget and Forgive

Now, it’s important to note that the CG16 wedges were made as standalone, and not strictly to complement the CG16 irons. That’s why the lofts in the CG16 range from 46 up to 64 degrees, with 2-degree gaps in stock options. However, seeing it’s a fairly old model, you might be able to find bent models that would really nail the yardage gap in your bag to a tee.

And now that the obligatory golf pun for the day is out of the way, we can move on with the review. So, getting back to the point, if you need a 53-degree gap wedge or a 57 pitching wedge, you just might be able to find it.

Cleveland CG16 Wedge

What’s Your Degree?

While we’re on the subject of angles, it’s important to note that the wedges have bounces going from 8 degrees all the way up to 14, which should give you plenty of versatility for all sorts of conditions and swing. Here’s what’s on the table: 46.8, 48.8, 50.10, 52.10, 54.10, 54.14, 56.10, 56.14, 58.8, 58.12, 60.8, 60.12, 62.8, 62.12, 64.8, and 64.12

Performance Ready

As for the performance, if you get a good stroke, and we mean really nail the sweet spot, the feel should be clean and soft. The CG16 wedges are quite comparable to any newer high-end wedge on the market, even today. Granted, some players might find them a wee bit on the light side, but then again, it more than makes up for it with the excellent feedback.

There’s appreciable vibration on mishits towards either the heel or toe, letting you know your swing went awry, and vice versa. On a similar note, the Cleveland CG16 wedges are plenty forgiving throughout the lofts, so if you’re looking for something to help you shave a few strokes off your short game, then this just might be the thing for you.

Face the Music

The face features the now-standard conforming Tour Zip grooves, which were all the hot stuff back in the day (2010, right after the rule changes that saw the box grooves off). For those of you not in the know, in 2010 the USGA banned the use of square grooves on tour, though you could use them recreationally until they phased out. Seeing as the then cutting-edge CG15 rocked non-conforming grooves, Cleveland’s R&D department had to come up with a new model – cue in the CG16.

Also, if you take a closer look at the clubface, you’ll be able to see laser-milling across it and in-between the grooves, the idea being to additionally roughen up the face and give it more teeth; this, in turn, improves the spin by a considerable margin.

When you couple the laser-milled face of the CG16 with the slightly oversized head profile, you get a nice-looking GI wedge that instils confidence when you look at it down by the ball. Sure enough, it’s a bit of a trade off on the feel, but you’ll still get a good, fairly precise feedback (we’ll get to that shortly).

Heart and Sole

The switch from non-conforming Zip Grooves to the Conforming Tour Zip grooves was a smooth and welcome change in the CG range, but it wasn’t the only thing the engineers over at Cleveland’s “borrowed” from previous generations. What they did, as we mentioned above, was to take the best from the earlier CG14 and CG15 models and combine it into the CG16, with slight tweaks (head shape and laser-milling, respectively).

So, what the CG16 wedges have in the way of sole is a C-grind with essentially two bounce options, designated by Cleveland’s patented dot system (this is painting with a very broad brush) – the low 1-dot and standard 2-dot.

Although, to give the full account, the angles do vary quite a bit, and the standard bounce tends to go quite high. The cavity back design on these wedges combines nicely with the widened sole, and both definitely go a long way to helping with stability and impact, giving you a nice amount of forgiveness on mishits.

Low Bouncers

Now, with respect to the low/standard bounce issue, here are a couple of recommendations to pick a CG16 that will fit into your configuration. If, say the golf course you play has firm, tighter conditions, you’ll want lower bounce. Also, lower bounce is great for those looking for that type of flop shot around the green, so that leading edge is tighter to the ground, as well as players who would count as sweepers/sliders, with respect to their style of swinging.

High Bouncers

For those of you who are looking to improve bunker play or just get some help getting out of the bunker, maybe some long-grass rough conditions, you’ll definitely want to go with the higher-bounce heads.

Alternatively, maybe the golf course you play tends to be a little bit softer and/or wetter, or you just have a habit of taking big divots – the higher bounce should do the trick. On that note, the CG16 wedges don’t actually play that well off soft lies, but they’re all but perfect on firm conditions.

Cleveland CG16 Satin Chrome Wedge

A Little Tip

Bottom line, if you are a digger, you should always go for more bounce rather than less. But be careful, if you have too much bounce, that might cause bladed shots, while too little bounce might cause fat shots. On that note, flop shots with the CG16 can be a bit tough to execute properly, as the somewhat straight leading edge on the club forces you to fully commit to the shot or risk skulling it.

A Short Point About Long Shafts

Another selling point the Cleveland CG16 wedges have is the Cleveland Traction Shaft, which is a uniflex shaft, or a middle-of-the-road type of shaft, as it were. It runs somewhat light, which should help folks struggling with reaching useful swing speeds, and coupled with a somewhat head-heavy balance of the club, it goes a long way to improving your game.

That said, it probably won’t appeal to scratchers and low cappers, but mid to high handicappers will love it (and they do, if the user experiences count for anything). Also, the tip on the Traction Shaft is a little bit softer, which is going to give you more action at the bottom of the club, thereby helping the grooves generate a little bit more spin.

Pros

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    Great deal of forgiveness on full shots, especially compared to the CG15
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    Seeing it’s an older model, the bounce selection is more than decent
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    Good for aspiring mid cappers and anyone looking for forgiveness
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    Great on full shots, knockdowns 50-yard low spinners
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    Perfect on firm conditions
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    Plays beautifully off the fairway
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    Plenty of heel and toe relief
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    Slight offset, should help shave a couple of strokes off your short game
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    Bent clubs available, makes finding the perfect loft for your bag that much easier

Cons

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    Not ideal distance control, takes quite some practice to really dial-in pretty much any type of shot
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    Not as effective on softer lies
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    Discontinued, which is no wonder, seeing it’s a fairly old model

Our Rating:

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The Final Verdict

All in all, the Cleveland CG16 wedges might be a bit old, but if you do happen to come across some in mint condition, you’d better grab them. This especially applies to those of you looking for more forgiveness and something to help you with your swing.

Granted, the distance control with these puppies is not comparable to the newer Cleveland wedges, but on the flipside, these play wonderfully off tight lies. Whichever way you decide to go, keep in mind – it’s about having fun, so enjoy the course, especially the 19th hole.

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Ryan S

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