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Cleveland HiBore XL Driver Review

Cleveland Golf brought a new technology to the table last year with the introduction of the original Cleveland HiBore driver. The HiBore’s unique design got a lot of people talking but we found sales a bit soft. Everyone wanted to see it but few decided to buy it.

 

The actual performance of the original HiBore was pretty good but many agreed that the look and design was a bit to radical for their liking. The new HiBore XL still features much of the technology from last year yet it’s design is almost “traditional” in today’s marketplace. Funny what a year can do…

 

What The Company Says…

 

Cleveland has set out to align the COR and the COG… or in easy-to-understand terms… the sweet spot and the center of gravity. The company found that many drivers on the market have a higher center of gravity which moves the sweet spot higher on the face. What does this mean? It means you need to hit many drivers high on the face to get the most out of them… so much for trying to hit them in the middle. Cleveland was able to lower the center of gravity using their unique “scooped back” design. Lowering the center of gravity repositions the sweet spot more towards the center of the face and also allows for a more optimal launch angle.

 

The HiBore XL is built on a very big frame but it’s crown design keeps the club’s total volume within legal limits. This larger frame combined with the repositioned center of gravity increases the club’s MOI… or performance on miss hits. The company has added a slightly smaller Tour version for players that want to work the ball. This Tour version is 3 degrees open and slightly flatter in lie.

 

Cleveland Golf has teamed with Fujikura to create two stock shafts for the HiBore XL. These two stock shafts give golfers a few different options and Cleveland offers a wide variety of upgrades as well.

 

What Our Readers Say…

 

Our readers really seem to like the HiBore XL…

 

It took me a bit to get over the look and size but I think the HiBore XL is in my bag for a looooong time!!

 

I can say I don’t quite get the ultimate distance with this club but it sure makes up for it in the consistent grouping of my shots. Out of all the clubs in my bag this one I hit the straightest – I’m not at the working the ball stage yet.

 

Far and away the best driver on the market right now. The Tour XL has changed my game.

 

Overall Reader Rating – 90%

 

What Our Customers Say…

It is still a bit of a challenge to get people to try the HiBore XL but the people that hit it really like it. Cleveland Golf really did a lot of things right with this one…

 

– They added a Tour version. The addition of a second driver brings more potential customers into the mix. Most people choose the regular version but they like having choices. We aren’t doing a separate review for the slightly smaller HiBore XL Tour because we haven’t had enough people hit it but it’s turning out to be a real sleeper in the “player’s” market.

 

– Cleveland and Fujikura developed two different stock shafts. People like options and these are a simple way to alter trajectory. Obviously you should still get the driver fit to your swing but these shafts are a good start.

 

– Cleveland added a dark finish. This might be a non-factor for some but it really helps the HiBore XL stick out in a crowd.

 

– They stuck by their guns. The company had good technology in the original HiBore and stuck with it. Looks like people just needed a year to warm up to the look. I’m thinking the same will happen with the 2nd generation HiBore fairway wood… assuming that there is one.

 

– The company positioned the HiBore XL at a great price point. There is a lot of technology for the price!

 

The HiBore XL is really long and very easy to hit. Cleveland has created a club that feels good across the majority of the face and many customers comment that it is one of the most forgiving drivers they’ve ever hit. The word we hear the most is “consistent”. The HiBore is very consistent across the face and this leads to very consistent shots. The ball flight is quite high but a properly fit HiBore XL will offer a slightly flatter flight down range. Don’t be afraid to try a few different shaft/loft combinations. Someone look for a bit more control might also want to consider the 16 degree 2 wood.

 

This leads us to one of the knocks we hear regarding the HiBore XL. You HAVE to get this one fitted to your swing. The HiBore’s unique characteristics create a completely different launch angle and ball flight. It’s not uncommon for someone to go with a lower loft than normal when hitting a HiBore. I wouldn’t recommend buying one of these without seeing it’s actual flight… either outside, in a simulator or on a launch monitor.

 

We still get some people that refuse to try the HiBore because of the look. The standard HiBore XL is built on a huge frame and can be a bit overwhelming to look at. Cleveland has tried to hide some of the girth by using a darker paint but it’s still a really big club.

 

The HiBore XL offers great performance, lots of forgiveness, quality stock shafts and a reasonable price. Cleveland Golf has a real winner here and the HiBore XL is our early leader for driver of the year for 2007. Maybe it isn’t hip to be square…

 

Overall Customer Rating – 88%

 

Overall Combined Rating – 89%

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