The C3i Wedge touts itself as a savior for golfers who struggle with wedge shots in the bunkers and around the green. Like many of the golf infomercial products out there, it makes some big claims.
Recently, I put it to the test. My goal was to find out if it lived up to its hype, and whether or not it actually can help golfers.
Every golf infomercial has to have its claims. It's just part of the deal. Here is what the C3i Wedge promises:
Get out of any bunker with a single swing
Practically eliminate fat shots within 50 yards of the flag
Aim directly at your target and attack without opening your stance or clubface
Handle any type of lie, from tight turf to fluffy bunkers
Play sky-scraping flop shots like a tour pro
Enjoy the same satisfying sensation of pure contact you get with a traditional wedge
Here is the commercial in case you haven't seen it yet:
Long story short, the club has a very exaggerated design with its sole and use of bounce that is trying to eliminate golfers from digging with the leading edge of the club. It also has 65 degrees of loft to help get the ball up in the air quickly.
Lately, I've been testing many of the major releases from golf infomercials. My goal is to try to give golfers the straight story and see how they live up to the claims from the commercial. On the whole, I've been very unimpressed so far. The GX-7 was nothing more than a glorified 3-wood, and something started ratting inside the club within a few swings. The Super Sonic X10 also had some performance issues out of the box, and I'm not sure it can help golfers increase their swing speeds.
So you could say I came into the C3i Wedge testing a little skeptical.
I have to say I was surprised by how it performed; I would even go as far as to say that it does live up to some of the claims it makes.
I tried the C3i from many lies in the short game facility at my course. I put it through tight lies on the fairway, fluffy lies in the rough, buried lies, and took plenty of shots out of various bunker lies. Also, I threw it on my launch monitor. Compared to my 60-degree lob wedge it did launch a little higher and had similar spin rates.
I'm no Seve Ballesteros out of the bunker, but I would consider myself an overall decent wedge player. I tend to deloft the club and expose the leading edge, so my sand wedge has extra bounce, and I'm a good candidate for a club like this. Out of the bunker, I thought the C3i performed very well. I did what the commercial said I could do, which was take a normal swing and let the club do the work. I didn't open the face up at all or make any "bunker swing." The ball popped out of the sand pretty nicely, and the sole did glide smoothly through the sand. You still can hit chunky shots, but I would say the club does a decent job of limiting them.
The C3i also did very well out of the rough; the ball gets up in the air very nicely without too much effort. There's a nice margin of error. If you're struggling with bunker shots and many other lies around the green, I do think this club can provide you some relief.
Since the C3i Wedge has such an extreme design, there are a few things you're giving up. Because the sole of the club is so large, the leading edge of the wedge is raised off the ground a bit at address. If you have very tight lies on your course, it may result in some skulls. I found that to be visually intimidating when addressing the ball on a range mat or tight fairway lie.
I think you'll be giving up a lot of distance control as well using a wedge that has 65 degrees of loft. The wedge does get the ball in the air quickly, but you'll need a lot of precision with where you land the ball rather than allowing it to roll out more on the green.
Also, it will limit the versatility of shots you can play around the green. It's a bit of a one-trick-pony, similar to what I found the Square Strike wedge to be. The Square Strike can help you hit low-running chip shots reasonably well, and the C3i can get the ball airborne very quickly from many lies - but that's about all they can do.
Lastly, I don't think you can use this club outside of 40-50 yards because it has so much loft.
Who is the C3i Wedge For?
Modern wedge design has come a long way. Most wedges made by the major OEMs are easier to hit than ever. In a perfect world, I'd want golfers to be playing traditional designs because they are more versatile.
That being said, I know plenty of mid-to-high handicappers struggle mightily with bunker shots and various other lies around the green. I would say the C3i Wedge can help those players as somewhat of a last resort. If it's the choice between not getting the ball on the putting surface most of the time with a typical wedge, or being able to land more of your shots on the green with the C3i, then choosing the latter might not be a bad idea. But to be clear, I think learning the proper technique and using a regular wedge is the better route.
Overall, I was impressed by the C3i Wedge. While some of the claims might be a little exaggerated, I think this club delivers on its ability to get the ball up quickly out of various lies without perfect technique. I wouldn't call it magical though; don't expect to become Phil Mickelson overnight. You'll be making some tradeoffs because of the club's design, but if things are that bad for you around the greens, you might not even care. Additionally, the club looks funny so expect to take some flack from your buddies if you show up to the course with it.
I've been mostly unimpressed with the other golf infomercial products I've been testing, but I liked this one.