The Cleveland HiBore driver made a real splash last year. It’s unique design and look really got people talking. The company has since added a newer version to the line and has continued to add to the HiBore family… introducing the HiBore hybrid, HiBore irons and the HiBore fairway wood.
What The Company Says…
Cleveland has taken the inverted crown design made famous by the HiBore driver and used it in the creation of these steel fairway woods. This unique design helps create a lower center of gravity and… in turn… a higher launch angle. The lower center of gravity also lowers the sweet spot on the face… bringing it down towards the center of the club. The inverted crown also saves some weight… which Cleveland has moved to the perimeter of the golf club. This movement of weight increases the MOI.
Cleveland offers a wide variety of graphite shaft options and there seems to be something for everyone here. There isn’t a stock steel shaft but it hasn’t been a real issue in our shop.
What Our Readers Say…
People are all over the map on this one…
The feel was not there. The ball seemed to go straight enough and long enough, but something was missing.
A very long fairway wood. The look was somewhat distracting though.
I hit the 5 wood about 5 times and put in right in my bag. It’s really long and I don’t have a need for a 3 wood!
The majority of the emails pointed in the same direction… “this is a good fairway wood but…”. We’ve targeted 60% as our “not my first choice” score in our reviews and most reader scores hovered in that range. Length seemed to be the biggest positive amongst the emails while lack of feel and overall look seemed to be the biggest negatives.
Overall Reader Rating – 62%
What Our Customers Say…
We’ve found that the Cleveland HiBore fairway is a club that everyone seems to like but few seem to love. Let’s break down the common positives and negatives that we hear…
Positives – I think the biggest positive is length. The inverted crown design helps create an optimal launch angle and this really helps with distance. The third reader comment is something we get on a fairly regular basis. The quality stock shafts are also a hit with customers. These are also very easy to hit out of the rough… a big bonus for some. Players of all skill levels try the HiBore fairway and the trajectory produced seems to appeal to most.
Feel and forgiveness seem to be right down the middle of the road. For every “this is really forgiving” comment we hear is a “this isn’t as forgiving as my…” remark. We have had a few people comment that there is a lack of feel on off-center hits.
Negative – A lot of people still talk about the look. These comments seem to be dying down a bit (the HiBore almost looks normal compared to some woods on the market today) but there are still people that shy away from the HiBore because of the inverted crown. We get the odd person commenting on the lack of steel shafts… although this can be corrected pretty easily. The HiBore is slightly higher priced than others in it’s class although it still provides decent value.
One of the biggest challenges that the HiBore fairway faces in our shop lies in the clubs that came before it. The Launcher fairway line was one of the best on the market and any Cleveland wood released today gets compared to the Launcher. Although it may look different, many customers can’t see a big enough difference from their current Cleveland Launcher to warrant a change. We still have some of last year’s Launcher steel woods in the shop and they’re a great value. They seem to garner the majority of the attention and many pass over the HiBore. It’s unfortunate but it’s reality.
The HiBore fairway seems to be a hit with those looking for distance. Others shy away from the unique look and resort to either older Cleveland fairways or something completely different. Most reader and customer comments seem to be right down the middle… good enough to deserve a look!
Overall Customer Rating – 72%
Overall Combined Rating – 67%