Cleveland HiBore XLS Driver Review

Cleveland Golf’s original HiBore driver introduced us to the “scoop back” design and showed us that clubs could have a unique shape without being square. Consumers didn’t really fall in love with the original model and the company soon introduced the HiBore XL. Reaction was far different and the XL went on to be one of the most popular drivers of last year. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it… right? Wrong. Cleveland has tweaked the XL and brought us the HiBore XLS.    


What Our Advisory Team Says…


Our Advisory Team likes the HiBore XLS. It’s long, straight and relatively inexpensive. Our retailers like to sell it and our readers like to hit it!


Cleveland continues to improve the HiBore driver line, higher launch with lower spin on this one.


Excellent forgiveness with some workability.  This baby just wants to go straight. Distance was better than most.


The ball comes off like a rocket.


They're pushing the envelope a little in terms of shape… but most are having a dabble at that these days.


Scooped out back is still bothersome at address, but with the overall performance this driver delivers, I could get over it relatively quickly.  Tour version sets up square at address and is a must for the better player.


Great price for this driver, it’s a steal compared to other $400-$500 drivers.


Overall Advisory Team Rating – 87%


What Our Readers Say…


Readers we talked to seemed to agree that Cleveland didn’t need this one. The XL was really good… why not let it stick around for another year?


Overall Reader Rating – 59%


What Our Customers Say… 


Cleveland has this club perfectly positioned in today’s marketplace. The HiBore XLS offers technology and performance at a price that most golfers can handle.


Performance – Straight. That’s what we hear the most with this one. Keeping the ball in the fairway is 75% of the battle for most and the high MOI helps ensure even poor drives stay straight. The XLS is also no slouch when it comes to distance. Some customers stay away because the ball flight is quite high. It’s vital that get you this driver fit properly. Focus more on the ball flight you see and less on the number of degrees written on the sole.


Feel – Most people we talk to agree that the HiBore XLS falls somewhere in the middle in this category. If you base your driver decision solely on feel… you can probably skip the XLS. Some people complain that the feel at impact is a bit hard and harsh.


Value – The XLS is a monster in this category. It’s tough to think of too many others that compare here. The biggest competition to the XLS could be the HiBore XL at a clearance price. Not a bad problem for Cleveland Golf to have…


Looks – This has been one of the downsides of the entire HiBore line. Golfers are starting to warm up to the idea that “traditional” drivers are being replaced with radical designs so the whole “looks” thing isn’t as big a deal as it once was. Cleveland has done a nice job with the aesthetics and has tried to hide the scoop with a darker paint color. The HiBore XLS features a huge footprint that helps instill confidence.   


Innovation – Cleveland offers some nice options to help golfers choose the proper HiBore XLS. Golfers can choose between three different models…the Standard, the Tour and the Draw. The company also offers two different stock shafts and a variety of custom shafts to ensure golfers are able to dial in the proper combination. These are fantastic options for a driver in the “value” category. Many customers that purchased the XL last year can’t justify buying the XLS… there just isn’t enough of a difference to warrant a new driver.

Overall… the Cleveland HiBore XLS offers fantastic value and above average performance. Is it really that much better than the previous model? Most people say no. Some shy away from it because of its unique design and average feel but those looking for a “non-square”, high MOI driver better have a look at this one.  


Overall Customer Rating – 71%


Overall Combined Rating – 72% 

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