It seems that almost every driver on the market right now is “maxed out”… they’re as big as they can get, they’re as hot as they can get and they’re as forgiving as they can get. Companies are now forced to come up with technologies that can squeeze that last little bit of performance out of today’s designs.
Some are focusing on composite materials, some choose movable weights and some (like Cleveland Golf) are looking at the idea of different head shapes. The HiBore is Cleveland’s latest driver offering and the company is hoping that golfers can look past it’s unique appearance.
What The Company Says…
Cleveland has set out to make the ultimate high launch/low spin driver. The design looks kind of funny bit it makes sense…common sense would tell us that the best way to lower a center of gravity is to remove as much material from above the center of gravity. Most companies have focused their efforts on making the crown of the golf club really, really light and then positioning more weight on the bottom. Less weight at the top means more weight towards the bottom which means a lower center of gravity. Cleveland has decided to slope the crown in such a way to draw the center of gravity lower and deeper into the head. Moving the center of gravity also moves the sweet spot on the closer to the middle of the face. Cleveland found that a traditional driver’s sweet spot is high on the face and they wanted to find a way to put it where it belongs… right in the middle. Cleveland has gone with a stock shaft designed by Fujikura here but also offer numerous other options at no charge.
What Our Readers And Customers Say…
Let’s just get it out of the way right now… yes… the Hibore looks pretty strange. The two comments we hear the most revolve around the club’s scooped back and it’s overall size (the HiBore is built on a 520CC frame). Most agree that this club could look much worse but the matte finish makes it a bit easier on the eyes. The biggest trick I’ve had when selling the HiBore is getting people to hit it. You’ll get your traditionalists that want no part of it but I found it tough going early on for this club. People have started to warm up to it and we’re getting some real glowing reviews both in the shop and in the Inbox!
People don’t mind the sound… I think we’re just getting used to the tinny, hollow noise now. The club is very forgiving and some readers mentioned that they had to play with their tee height a bit before getting it right. The HiBore stays pretty stable through impact (it’s oversized chassis really helps here) and I’ve seen some pretty weak players hit some really straight balls. I’ve found distance to be good once the driver as been fit properly.
Fitting could be the HiBore’s biggest weakness… although it’s not a weakness if done properly. Confused? Let me explain. We really stress the idea of fitting here at SirShanksAlot.com. Golf is hard enough and having clubs that fit you can make the game a bit easier. The HiBore’s unique properties really alter ball flight and spin rate. A 10.5 degree with a regular flex here is not going to play like your typical 10.5 degree with a regular flex. Most of the negative HiBore reviews we get are from people that didn’t spend the extra time to get this driver fit. It’s vital to hit the HiBore outside and/or on a launch monitor. You need to see the flight for yourself and then choose the proper specs from there. We’ve had a few lower handicaps comment on difficulty they’ve had when trying to work the ball with the HiBore… it’s not impossible but it’s a bit harder to do. There have been a few rumors floating around a possible Tour Hibore coming to retail but we’ll have to wait and see here!
What We Say…
We were really skeptical when the HiBore first came out but we’re starting to warm up to it. Sales have improved although I think it will still take some time for Cleveland to catch up to TaylorMade, Cobra and Callaway in terms of driver recognition. The unique design will scare some people away but the HiBore is really worth a look. Cleveland offers a wide varity of shafts (most at no extra charge) although the stock shaft is a pretty good option for most players. Our biggest worry here is fitting… you’re wasting your time and money if you don’t demo this one first. Be open to different lofts and shafts… the Hibore is a different driver so don’t be surprised if you go with different specs!
Overall Rating – 71%