As a guy who grew up playing woods made of a strange substance called wood, I find many of today’s drivers unappealing to the eye. There’s only one form a driver should take, and that’s pear-shaped.
So my heart skipped a beat when I saw Cleveland Golf’s new Classic Driver, due out early next year. Mahogany finish. Brass-colored face “insert” and sole plate. The word “Classic” scrolled on the crown as an alignment aid. Even a black leather head cover in a shape the company calls “RetroBarrel.”
Cue Homer Simpson drooling sound.
In a word, this is one gorgeous golf club. But that’s the end of the Cleveland Classic’s similarities with its ancestors. (You know, the ones made from trees.) The Classic maxes out the USGA volume allowance at 460cc, about three times the size of a persimmon driver head. Its face is massive – the deepest on the market, according to Cleveland. And off-the-rack models are powered by an ultralight Miyazaki graphite shaft.
While it’s not yet for sale to the public, the Classic has already been tested on Tour. In fact, 2011 Rookie of the Year Keegan Bradley used it en route to winning (with Brendan Steele) the Franklin Templeton Shootout last weekend.
Bradley, who strikes me as the traditional type, instantly fell for the club’s old-school aesthetics. “When I looked at the new driver, honestly, I loved it,” he gushed. “I love the gold face on it… You look down at the face and the thing that you focus on is the sweet spot. I think it’s brilliant. I think it’s gonna change the way drivers are made.”
Of course, Callaway, Ping, TaylorMade et al will have something to say about that. In fact, TaylorMade just introduced its new wood lineup, which carries a decidedly non-traditional name: RocketBallz.
May the best club win.
Golf gear manufacturers release a lot of new equipment during the year. While the vast majority of offerings are simply updated, tricked-out versions of existing models, interesting stuff does come down the pike every now and then.
Here are a few equipment items that caught our attention in recent weeks.
Bellying up – way up
TaylorMade's Ghost Spider putter.
Every golfer of a certain age remembers Jack Nicklaus’ stunning Masters triumph in 1986. Most have forgotten the explosion of putter sales that followed his win. Specifically, sales of the mammoth-headed MacGregor Response ZT putter Nicklaus used to make all those back-nine bombs.
In the 2 ½ years following Nicklaus’ sixth Masters victory, MacGregor sold an astounding 350,000 Response ZTs. A similar boom is mushrooming now in the belly and long putter market.
Late-season victories by Keegan Bradley, Adam Scott and Webb Simpson put extended flatsticks front and center in the public’s eye. TaylorMade recently tripled fourth-quarter sales expectations for long and belly putters, and accelerated the timeline for launching long versions of its popular Corza Ghost and Ghost Spider models.
Cleveland and Odyssey have reported similar success and product plans.
adidas joins street shoe brigade
Constant innovation is a key benefit of the free-market system. And whenever something original breaks through to a mass audience, copy-cats are sure to follow.
adidas' new adicross golf shoes
Hence, Nirvana begat Bush, the Android rode the iPhone’s coattails, and adidas joined the parade of companies mimicking Ecco’s Street Premiere golf shoes.
The adicross is adidas’ entry into this expanding category, which FootJoy, Nike and startups like Kikkor Golf have joined. (For the record, we consider TRUE Linkswear shoes a somewhat different breed.)
What does adicross offer? Lightweight, full-grain leather, five color combos and, of course, a spikeless sole.
Not to be confused with soul-less tripe. For that, we recommend listening to a Bush album.
Rejoice: Mizuno intros new irons
Few golf brands inspire the loyalty of Mizuno, specifically, the company’s forged irons. (You’ll get my Mizzies when you pry them from my cold, dead hands.)
There’s a new member of the esteemed MP family, the cavity-back MP-59. Like its forebear, the MP-58, the 59 features a hunk of titanium forged into the back of the blade. The company claims a 5-percent larger sweet spot on the MP-59s than the 58s.
Mizuno aims these irons at golfers in the plus-2 to 13 handicap range. In other words, you need to be a decent stick, but not a world-beater, to wield them properly.
The Cleveland CG4 Irons are definitely game improvement irons for the beginner golfer and the mid to high handicappers.
The clubheads have a progressive off-set, lower center of gravity and high moment of inertia which works well in getting the ball high and fast at impact.
The large head has a huge sweet spot, and the cavity back design and CMM (Carbon Matrix Material) should help reduce the vibration by absorbing the shock when you hit the ball.
Greg Hopkins, president and CEO of Cleveland Golf said, "These new CG4 irons will now give players of all abilities the same opportunity to enjoy the benefits experienced by our tour staff." He should know, with Cleveland being one of the top producers of golf clubs and accessories on the professional tour.
- High moment of inertia – good elevation and speed at impact
- Improved distance and feel for the player
- True Temper shafts
- Wider sole, larger sweet spot
- Carbon metal mix (CCM) doesn’t absorb vibration for misaligned shots
- Like many other brands, beware of knockoffs/fake
What players are saying about the Cleveland CG4 Irons
- “The feel of the head is buttery soft at impact, mushy with softer balls, harder balls improve distance.”
- “I’m not seeing the distance benefits, possibly it’s the shaft not my correct fit.”
- “I like the small club head, not clunky oversized.”
- “These are fairly forgiving, make for a good swing.”
- “Consistent, slightly longer, more game improvement than traditional blades.”
- “Felt the vibration when I miss-hit, but the distance and direction of the ball doesn’t suffer
- “I don’t hook the ball anymore. These are relatively easy to shoot.”
- “My shots now seem laser guided with the CG4s.”
- “They hit unbelievably soft even on most off-center hits. The feeling of a dead center hit is the best of any game improving iron. They hit straight if you want and, curve when you need it to.”
- “I usually shoot mid 80's to mid 90's. These are 10+ yards longer than my present clubs.”
- “I've been looking to upgrade my beginner set to a set that I can grow into as I get better…this is the best priced, best feeling, best forgiving and best distance all around irons.”
Complete previously owned sets can be found online from golf retailers like Golfsmith for $228 to eBay for $150 plus shipping.
Head: Carbon Metal Matrix
Grip color: Standard Black
Shaft: Graphite or Steel
Dexterity: Right and Left Handed
Player type: Men
Shaft Flex: Regular or Stiff
Originally Retailed $799.99
Cleveland's 2nd generation of lightweight drivers has come on the scene with excellent feedback and results. The brand new Cleveland Launcher Ultra Lite Series driver provides the TL, SL, and XL, SL Series sure to fit nearly any kind of swing and golfer... which includes Cleveland's objective.
To provide you a thought of how light this new Launcher is, the newer 2011' 270 g version includes a complete 25 g lighter than the previous year's Launcher DST. Lighter shafts and drivers are absolutely a hot concept and technology right now. As you could create the technology needed to withstand the power and torque of the average swing as well as still produce lighter materials, the final result is a rise in ball speed, distance, power, and eventually control is an extra bonus.
The Launcher XL270
This is thought to be the lightest driver today in golf. This XL270 was engineered with a single thought in mind - optimal head speed when sustaining the forgiveness attribute that Cleveland will be well-known for. This XL270 will come with the hottest golf shafts upon the PGA Tour, Miyazaki Kua 39 Series.
The Launcher XL 270 Draw
The exact same characteristics of XL270 Draw will apply as XL270, just with a draw bias of two degrees closed. It offers the average player a straighter ball flight for an unwarranted slice or fade.
The Launcher SL 290
It’s similar to XL270 with a shorter stock shaft than XL, as well as twenty grams heavier. Nonetheless, this SL290 comes twenty-five grams lighter than many of the drivers upon the marketplace today. It additionally comes with a Miyazaki C. Kua forty-three gram shaft.
The Launcher TL 310
It’s designed more for the tour-caliber golfers. It’s the lightest driver on tour with the intention of delivering quicker ball speeds as it still allows a workability feature, mandatory on tour.
The lightweight drivers are absolutely coming of age, as the lighter weights produce a lot quicker ball speeds as well as longer results. Miyazaki shaft as the stock option will be an absolute plus! Alongside the lighter weight driver concept comes the longer driver shaft that I disagree with. The average golfer ought to be utilizing shorter shafts, not the longer ones. Of course, it’s only an opinion, yet the longer shaft negates the power gained and replaces it with a harder swing to manage, that’s counter intuitive to Cleveland's objective with the release... Cleveland pushes the limit with this over 46” shaft.
In summary, I liked the brand new Cleveland Launcher Ultra Lite Series Driver. Many golfers will discover the lesser weight will eventually raise distance. The sole issue I have includes adding length toward the stock shaft that I hope players decide against.
Today, there is a lot of debate and discussion on what the top longest drivers on the market are. As a matter of fact, each person has their own opinion regarding this based on what kind of hitting drivers they are using when they play golf with their friends or family. And most major manufaturers and even retailers claim that what they have in their store is the longest driver on the market and those are usually the most sellable brand items to them.
When we are to determine what the top five (5) longest drivers on the market are, we are going to seperate those in the price range of over $350 and under $350, based on some surveys by well known major manufacturers of golf drivers on the market.
On top of the list which rate over $350 is the Callaway FT- 9 that ranks as the highest of all golf drivers that combine versatility, distance and control in one driver. Unlike other drivers, this kind of gold driver sounds great. Nike SQ Dymo and Dymo2 Str8- Fit are revolutionary drivers that everyone is raving about since they offer eight (8) different clubhead positions that a player can adjust depending on the swing he or she wants to target. Among the best golf drivers that are under $350 is the Adams Speedline. Consistently this is rated as the number 1 top golf driver since it represents a new technological shift in driver design. The club head is crafted mainly to increase speed and distance. Next in the list is the Callaway Big Bertha Diablo, which is one of the longest and straightest drivers that anyone can purchase but has one major setback as considered by some to be big and ugly. Cleveland Hibore Monster XLS is big and aggressive. It is not a subtle driver and the loud noise off the tee sounds like a cannon has just been fired. The Cleveland Hibore Monster XLS also has one of the highest MOI available.
Whatever kind of driver you have and want to purchase you should determine the type by its design and most of all the consistency and distance it offers when YOU use the driver yourself.
When it comes to the top 10 easiest drivers to hit straight, golf enthusiasts vary on which of these drivers were the most outstanding. Golfers value drivers which are versatile and have optimal distance and control. Golfers insist on having the straightest drivers available and club heads which are aerodynamic to increase the speed and distance of the ball.
One of the most valued gold club drivers in the top 10 easiest drivers to hit straight was the Callaway FT-9. The Callaway FT-9 is said to be a forgiving driver which gives the golfer a combination of versatility, control and distance.
Another driver that helps hit straight is the Adams Speed driver. Adams Speed Drivers are valued for their innovative driver design and aerodynamics.
Golfers looking for a quality hybrid driver may be looking for a consistent handicap hitting like the Cleveland HALO and the Cleveland Launcher drivers. The Cleveland HALO may not be as valued in the top 10 easiest drivers to hit straight list with its shaft, it is valued for its ability to clearly outdistance most driver hybrids with consistency. The Cleveland Launcher is valued for its thin crown and horseshoe-shape which allows the golfer to maintain low weight in the club head for distance and stability.
The Cobra S9-1 scores on overall consistency with distance and accuracy. Golfers also appreciated the drivers which are versatile in their adjustability like in the Cobra L5V. The setting in the Cobra L5V include straight or draw and is said to be an excellent driver in hitting. Another Cobra noted for its driving consistency is the Cobra DWS driver. Although the Cobra DWS driver is said to be lacking in weight, it launches the ball a good bit of distance and height.
Additional hybrid drivers in the top 10 easiest drivers to hit straight are the Nike SQ Series of drivers. These drivers are said to be equivalent to putters in the way they have to personally fit the golfer’s swing, and many of the Nike SQ Series fit the bill. Nike SQ Series has become favorites with amateurs and with the pros for their adjustability, square clubheads and low profiles.
Golfers who have a minimum handicap may like the sleekness and performance of the Nike Slingshot 17. It is said to be easy to hit from the rough and fairway and when it comes to hitting off the tee. The Nike SQ Str8-FIT is said to be one of the best adjustable-head drivers designed by Nike as of yet.
Also making the list of the top 10 easiest drivers to hit straight is the Ping G10. The PingG10 is said to be an outstanding solid performing driver which has an excellent range of the ball on the freeway. Even if it is the last driver on of the top 10 easiest drivers to hit straight it still has the ability to combine speed and power for a high launching ball.
Cleveland Golf has announced that two-time Masters champion and victorious 1999 U.S. Ryder Cup captain, Ben Crenshaw, has joined Cleveland Golf as a tour staff member, as well as a design consultant for both the Never Compromise and Cleveland Golf putter lines. He will play Cleveland golf clubs under the newly inked deal, as well as carry a Cleveland staff bag.
Likewise, seven-time PGA Tour winner Peter Jacobson has joined Cleveland’s sister company, Srixon, as a member of their tour staff, playing the Srixon ball, Srixon and Clevelend clubs, a Srixon hat and glove, and a Srixon staff bag. He will also be the featured host in Srixon's national advertising campaign.
Right now, the Tour DST looks hot. It seems to be the perfect blend between a traditional looking head, and a modernized finish. We really hope to see the Miyazaki shafts come standard, but we'll just have to wait and see. These bad boys have only been seen on tour at 430cc with a high performance Mitsubishi Diamana White 64 shaft, and two degrees open at address. They have also been rumored to produce excellent ball speed and smash factor numbers. Hopefully we will find out more soon. Check back for more info.
Rednecks seem to be on a mission to put their mark on every item known to man. And why stop with the golf club? Inspired by PGA Tour Pro Boo Weekly, we give you the CG14 CAMO Wedge. And Hell Yes we want one! If your in the market for a Cleveland wedge, why would you NOT buy the camo model?
The club design integrates Cleveland Golf’s most advanced manufacturing and feel technology with a tour scrutinized shape, sole and offset. ZIP Grooves Technology will allow players incredible ball-stopping ability, while the Gelback insert provides players with a soft feel at impact. The sole was engineered to promote consistent impact, and the tour designed offset creates a controlled flight on full shots.
Cleveland Golf CG14 Camoflauge Wedges Feature:
- Extremely durable and wear-resistant multi-color laser-burn camouflage finish
- ZIP Grooves: Milled to optimize spin and improve consistency
- Gelback insert: Provides a soft, yet responsive feel
- Slight tour offset: Improves control of flight on full shots
Cleveland Golf is known for its lines of iron and wedge golf clubs. Based in Huntington Beach, California, Cleveland’s small operation allows for an increased customer relationship and investment in the finest technology available. Not only is the company known for its products, but for its services as well: custom fitting and designs are available for a hefty cost, but are well worth the investment.
One of the best places to buy Cleveland Golf Irons is probably a large, national retail store. Why? Well, the larger the store, the greater the variety of clubs and the more availability of particular models and styles as well as allowing golfers to test out the clubs and possibly purchase at a discounted price. Stores such as Dick’s Sporing Goods, Golf Smith, and the PGA Outlet Store are just some national chains to consider when doing the final consideration of Cleveland or other brand clubs.
Cleveland is one of the more popular and pricey brands for irons and wedges. Many of the designs are redesigned or reassessed every year so buyers are sure to get the most advanced and appropriate club. The downside to Cleveland’s commitment to technology is that with each passing year, the previous year’s model is considered outdated. Nevertheless, Cleveland Golf Irons are at the top of their game and are routinely counted on by professionals and amateurs to get the job done: whether it is from 150 yards away from the green or 5 yards outside the fringe, Cleveland can accomplish the task.
One model of Cleveland Golf Irons that incorporates some of the finest material and technology available in the world is the CG7 Black Pearl Series. Named to the 2010 Golf Digest Hotlist, these irons feature laser milled groves to increase the spin potential. Spin potential of course is very important on long iron shots so that the ball bounces forward, adding distance to the shot. On short, chip shots, the spin potential allows a skilled golfer to bring back the ball from an overshot situation as well as give the ball the chance to gain momentum, follow the contour of the green and park near the pin. CG7 Black Pearl Irons also utilize the up and coming standard to clubs: heel to toe weighting. Having a bit more velocity on the follow-through, the club increases forgiveness for the off center shots, while adding a noticeable distance.
Cleveland also produces some of the best wedges too. Maintaining the highest quality of material and science, these wedges are tour proven and a welcomed addition to any golfer’s bag. The cost of full sets of Cleveland Golf Irons vary, but an average cost for the basic, non-customized set is about $250 USD. Individual wedges and even three-piece sets of wedges are also available at major stores for anywhere from $35 per club to $90 for a set that includes a gap, sand, and lob wedge: truly a great deal while supplies last.