In this post, we take a detailed look at the Cleveland Smart Sole 4 Chipper vs Square Strike Wedge.
If you struggle with chipping, there is no question that either of these clubs could be a game changer when you find yourself on the outskirts of the green needing to get up and down.
Now let’s take a look at why these chippers exist, while examining the key differences and the key similarities between these two products.
What are these Golf Chippers Designed To Do?
A number of studies have found that amateur golfers give up between 2 – 6 shots around the greens during most rounds of golf.
The fundamental issue is that making good contact with a traditional wedge isn’t actually that easy to do.
For instance, it is extremely common for mid and high handicappers to hit:
- Fat Shots (Chunks)
- Thin Shots (Skulled chips)
And even when you do make solid contact, distance control is still a big issue. Simply put, it’s difficult to judge exactly how far you are going to hit the ball when playing short shots around the green.
The goal of the Cleveland Smart Sole Chipper and the Square Strike Wedge is fundamentally the same. Both clubs make it possible to use your putting stroke rather than a traditional chipping stroke when hitting chips around the green.
From a technical standpoint, the putting stroke is the simplest movement in the game of golf. You literally just need to take the club back and through in a simple pendulum motion to make good contact with the ball. With the Square Strike Wedge and the Cleveland Smart Sole chipper, you can effectively apply the biomechanics of putting a golf ball (super easy), to your chipping game.
This is a very compelling selling point, a viable way to lower your handicap and a legitimate strategy for making the game of golf considerably easier when you find yourself on the outskirts of the green.
Specs Comparison - Cleveland Smart Sole Chipper vs Square Strike Wedge
|Product Name||Cleveland Smart Sole Chipper||Square Strike Wedge|
|Additional Loft Options||50°, 58°||55°, 60°|
|Price||More Expensive||Less Expensive|
Key Differences Explained
1. Loft of Chipping Wedge
The first major difference between the Cleveland Smart Sole Chipper and the Square Strike Chipper is the loft. The Cleveland chipper offers 42° of loft, which is the equivalent of a modern-day 9 iron. The Square Strike chipper offers 45° of loft, which is the equivalent of a modern-day pitching wedge.
The point is, the loft of the Cleveland chipper is about 1 club stronger than the Square Strike. As a result, you should find that the Cleveland chipper launches a bit lower, and runs out a bit more than the Square Strike.
Regardless of which option you choose, you will need to spend some time on the chipping green to figure out how high the club launches and how much it will roll out in various conditions. As with any Cleveland wedge, you can count on a ton of backspin with the Smart Sole in your hands.
2. Lie Angle
The lie angle of these chippers is one of the main reasons you can use an upright putting stroke rather than a traditional chipping stroke when making contact with the ball.
Most putters have a lie angle of either 69 or 70 degrees, depending on the manufacturer. This upright lie angle simplifies the challenge of taking the clubhead back and through in a pendulum motion.
The Cleveland Smart Sole 4 Chipper (66 degress) is about 2 degrees more upright than a normal wedge, me. The Square Stroke wedge (68 degreess) is about 4 degrees more upright than a traditional wedge.
As a result, you should find it more comfortable to employ straight-back straight-through stroke when hitting chips and pitches.
4. Face Profile
While the face profile of the Smart Sole 4 Chipper is more ovular than the extremely rectangular face profile of the Square Strike wedge, it’s still pretty clear that both of these clubs fall into the ‘chipper’ category rather than the traditional wedge category.
Unlike a normal wedge, both clubs feature a relatively small club face. In addition, both of these chippers offer:
- A beveled leading edge to prevent digging
- Extremely wide sole which makes it difficult to hit fat shots (this is a good thing)
Simply put, the Cleveland Smart Sole 4 Chipper is about 20 dollars more expensive than the Square Strike wedge. The price difference isn’t substantial enough to be a dealbreaker. You should make the final purchase decision based on which club you think is better suited to your game.
Key Similarities Explained
1. Work Best With A Putting Stroke
From a biomechanical perspective, the putting stroke is the simplest movement pattern in the game of golf. You can literally take someone that has never played golf before, and have them putting with a reasonable degree of proficiency with about 30 minutes of guidance.
This is good news, because you can leverage this extremely simple movement pattern when using the Cleveland Smart Sole C or the Square Strike Wedge to hit chips shots.
In other words, when using these clubs, you don’t have to use a traditional chipping technique. Instead, you simply need to putt the ball, but with the chipper in your hands. You should find it pretty simple to make good contact and judge how far the ball is likely to travel. These are pre-requisites for a solid chipping game.
2. Extremely Wide Sole To Reduce Fat Shots
Of all the golf equipment categories in existence, wide sole wedges don’t get the attention they deserve. The benefit of an extra wide sole is fundamentally clear. It reduces the likelihood of hitting shots fat.
A wide sole helps the club glide through the turf and reduces the likelihood of the club digging in and scooping underneath the ball. While Square Strike’s claim that it can eliminate fat shots completely is a slight exaggeration, it is valid to say that you can vastly reduce the likelihood of hitting a fat shot when chipping with either of these clubs.
3. Anti-Dig Leading Edge
Both the Cleveland Smart Sole Chipper and the Square Strike wedge are built with an anti-dig leading edge.
The anti-deg leading edge works in unison with the ultra-wide sole, to help reduce the tendency to hit fat shots. Again, this is not a cure-all scenario, but you should see an immediate improvement in your ability to make solid contact when compared to a traditional wedge.
4. Designed for short chips and pitches
Both of these clubs are designed for short shots on the outskirts of the green. In most cases, that means anywhere from 5 to 30 yards, depending on your distance to the hole.
In addition, it is worth clarifying that both wedges work well on the fairway, the first cut, and thick rough. It’s only in the bunker where you will probably need a more lofted club than a chipper.
Another shot that you can’t really play with a chipper is a flop shot. This isn’t actually a bad thing. Most amateurs have no business playing flop shots regularly. In most cases, it is better to take your medicine by taking the conservative route. You can leave the flop shots to to elite amateurs and highly skilled professionals.
5. Not designed for full length golf shots
The last thing to note is that the Cleveland Smart Sole C and the Square Strike Wedge are not designed for full-length golf swings.
So, if you’re anywhere from 50-100 yards out, it probably isn’t the club to turn to. That being said, if you have the chipping yips, you could definitely experiment with 3/4 and even full-length swings.
Product Technology - Cleveland SmartSole 4 Chipper
The Smart Sole 4 makes the short game easier. Featuring an extra wide sole and improved Feel Balancing Technology, the Smart Sole 4 delivers maximum forgiveness and easier bunker play for those needing more short game assistance.
Enhanced Three-Tiered Sole – An extra wide three-tiered sole, with added leading edge bounce, provides maximum forgiveness from the fairway, rough or out of the bunker. Improved Feel Balancing Technology – The redistribution of weight from the hosel allows the center of gravity to be moved closer to the center of the clubface for better feel and more consistency on all shots.
Aggressive Milled Grooves – New aggressive milled grooves generate better spin performance from any condition.
Product Technology - Square Strike Wedge
NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE TO HIT FAT: The Square Strike Wedge pitching wedge has an extra-wide sole and beveled leading edge prevent digging; No more chunked pitch and chip shots reduces wasted strokes; Heavy, solid feel promotes greater confidence vs thin-faced wedges that dig and rotate; Less rotation with the Square Strike Wedge golf wedge for men and women makes clean contact easier and much more consistent.
EASIER SWING MOTION VS TRADITIONAL WEDGE: The square strike wedge golf club for men and women has a putter-like length, 35.5 inches, and putter-like lie angle, 68 degrees, plus anti-rotational weighting make it easy to swing and control; No opening your stance or the clubface; Use a simple straight-back-straight-through, putter-like stroke for greater control and much more accuracy; Use this chipping wedge to chip it close from a variety of lies.
MORE EFFECTIVE THAN CHIPPING WITH YOUR 7-IRON: The Shorter length of this golf wedge for men and women makes it easier to control, with no gripping down; The square strike wedge for men and women features a heavier club head, 330 grams, glides smoothly through the turf and minimizes overactive hands and wrists, a leading cause of fat and thin chip shots; Extra weight moved to the toe keeps club square vs rotating through impact; More loft than a 7-or 8-iron for a wider variety of shots, not just low runners
LEGAL FOR TOURNAMENT PLAY: The square strike wedge golf clubs for men and women conforms to the rules of golf; Give yourself an edge without breaking any rules with this chipping and pitching wedge.
In the end, it’s fair to say that these two wedges are actually very similar golf clubs. Both units allow you to employ a putting stroke to hit chips around the green, offering an almost instantaneous method for improving your short game.
In addition, the price difference between the two products is nominal, which actually makes it a bit more difficult to choose the right club for your bag.
If you’re still on the fence, these final buying tips may help:
Go for the Cleveland Smart Sole 4 Chipper If:
- You prefer the slightly more traditional shape of the clubhead
- You currently use a 34 inch putter (the Smart Sole 4 C is 34 inches)
- You’ve had good experiences with Cleveland wedges in the past
- You want a more premium look and feel
Go for the Square Strike Chipper if:
- The more rectangular club face inspires confidence at address
- You want slightly better value for money
- You currently use a 35-inch putter (the Square Strike Chipper is 35.5 inches)