Jump to content

Clubs: Cleveland HiBore Driver Review


staff@thesandtrap.com

Recommended Posts

By Jeff GladChun via TheSandTrap.com
The Cleveland HiBore is a radically shaped driver that boasts, for perhaps the first time in the age of the titanium driver, a sweet spot that perfectly lines up with the center of gravity.

clveland_hibore_sole.jpgCleveland's HALO Hybrid is one of the more unique hybrids to hit the market. Featuring a "scooped back" design, the HALO succeeded at getting the ball in the air with a good amount of spin. Consumers voted with their wallets, and the HALO is the third-best selling hybrid at retail.



Cleveland, spurred on by the success of the HALO, has forged forward with the scoop-back design with the HiBore driver. The HiBore driver not only features the same dome-less crown as the HALO, but also the wider stance and lower center of gravity (CG). These changes, Cleveland says, marries the location of the CG with the center of the clubface, resulting in a super-long, super-forgiving clubhead.

That's what Cleveland says, anyway, but the real proof comes in the testing. I've been fortunate enough test the new HiBore long enough to get to know it pretty well. Read on to see whether this club blazes a new trail for Cleveland or whether people will some day be caught saying "remember that funny scooped driver way back in 2006?"



Design and Technology
The HiBore was designed with what Cleveland calls "Distance Driven Geometry" (or "DDG" for short). DDG emerged because the projected center of gravity (the spot on the clubface corresponding to the exact center of gravity of the clubhead) of domed-crown drivers is positioned above the point of maximum Coefficient of Restitution (CoR measures the trampoline effect of the driver face). This means that, in theory, traditional domed-crown drivers are leading players to hit higher on the clubface, missing the high-CoR zone. The HiBore's lower CG, Cleveland says, changes that.



clveland_hibore_cg_location.jpg
Cleveland says traditional domed-crown drivers have a higher CG that does not align with the center of the clubface where CoR is the highest. The HiBore's lower CG aligns with the CoR, producing a hotter hot spot.



In order to drag the center of gravity deeper and lower than in any modern driver, Cleveland had to throw the traditional clubhead shape out of the window. Imagine grabbing the back sole of a typical driver, pulling it back, and then pushing in the crown like one of those "DIET" bubbles on a soda pop lid. By dropping the crown and widening the chassis, the CG moves lower and further back in the clubhead.



This alignment of the sweet spot and the hot spot leads Cleveland to claim that the HiBore is longer and straighter than its leading competitor. On the HiBore website, Cleveland has a demonstration showing the spread pattern of eight balls struck on seven impact areas of the clubface: very high center, high center, dead center, low center, very low center, left, and right. The "leading competitor" is comparable to the HiBore for the very high, high and center areas, but the HiBore has a much tighter spread pattern than the competitor for the four other areas.



clveland_hibore_impact_comparison.jpg
According to Cleveland and an independent tester, the HiBore produces a much smaller dispersion for six kinds of mishits: two high, two low, and one each towards the toe and heel.



Whether or not Cleveland's claims are true remains very much up for debate. Personally, I don't quite believe their assertion that most drivers have a CG as high in the clubface as their diagrams lead you to believe. I think that the primary reason most people have tried to hit the ball above the center of the clubface in recent years has been due to the improvement in launch conditions - a ball struck higher on the face launches higher with less spin. Most drivers, like TaylorMade's r7, Titleist's 905 series, and others have a CG that projects through the center of the clubface. While striking the ball there provides the most ball speed, it often does so with a lower launch angle and more spin than is optimal.



Still, Cleveland insists that they have achieved an incredibly low CG and that other drivers indeed fail to align the projected CG with the high-CoR spot. As for me, well, count me out of further debate on the merits of claims made by marketing departments - I place a lot more weight on results than marketing, anyway.



Looks and Setup
The first thing anyone will notice about the HiBore is the huge scoop-out section where the crown should be. Obviously, this "scoop" is very apparent at address. While I really had no problem adjusting to this, most of my playing partners could not quickly adjust. As we all know, a club that inspires confidence at address is always easier to hit, and while the HiBore didn't exactly throw me off, it didn't inspire much confidence, either.



clveland_hibore_closed_face.jpg
The HiBore is certainly unique to look at, but what bothered us most was the closed face.



One thing the scooped-out or collapsed crown did was mask the HiBore's face angle, which appears quite closed at address. When you look hard at the angle of the face, it appears to be a good three to four degrees closed. While I understand the need to compensate for 95% of the golfers out there who slice the dickens out of the ball, I am not one of them.



When asked about an open-faced or "Tour" version, Cleveland's Director of Media Relations Keith Patterson said "we wanted to address the needs of the vast majority of golfers, but a more open or Tour version may become available eventually if the need arises."



clveland_hibore_face.jpg
The HiBore's face is neither super deep nor super wide, instead opting for a happy medium between the two. The grey grooves, seen here, served as my alignment aid once I noticed them.



The HiBore is actually one of the most attractive drivers on the market. The crown has been painted in a black matte finish that, while not exactly non-glare, definitely creates less glare than the glossy polishes of most other driver crowns. Like Cleveland's Launcher 460 Comp, the HiBore has no marking on the crown to indicate proper ball position. If you're used to drivers without such markings, you won't have any problems. I am used to the aid, so I found the lack of an alignment aid disconcerting. Fortunately, I eventually noticed that the grooves in the center of the clubface are grey, not white, and I began using the gap as my alignment aid (see above image).



Performance
I tested a 9.5° HiBore with a stock stiff Cleveland shaft designed by Fujikura as well as one shafted with a stiff UST ProForce V2. The stock shaft weighed 65 grams and featured a low kick point. My current driver, a TaylorMade r7, is equipped with a 65-gram Aldila NV. The two shafts are fairly similar in their specifications, though they felt quite different to me. I'm no Iron Byron, and while I pride myself on my consistency, I rely on nothing but my own feel to determine the differences between shafts. We're not talking nearly imperceptible differences: the stock Fujikura felt a good bit softer than my NV. The ProForce V2 felt similarly.



I tend to hit very high fades with softer flexes, and whether this comes from the shaft not "catching up" at impact and leaving the face open or a subconscious compensation on my part to leave the head open to prevent a snap hook, I do not know. With the stock shaft, these were the shots I hit. However, once I either got used to the shaft (or was able to defeat my compensations), the HiBore provided some noticeably longer drives than my r7.



clveland_hibore_tungsten_weight.jpg
This weight, positioned nearly on the bottom of the club helps create the deep and low CG that Cleveland was looking for.



It takes a solid wack with a carry of about 250-260 (with limited-flight range balls) to clear the back of my practice range and if I'm not striking the ball well, I sometimes struggle to clear it. However, once the HiBore and I were in sync, I pumped range rock after range rock out of the driving range.



I find nothing prettier than a golf ball on a low, boring trajectory moving slightly right to left. No matter what, I couldn't get the HiBore to provide this sight with the stock shaft. Don't get me wrong - the HiBore was quite long when well struck - but I found its ball flight to be higher than I like. The Fujikura shaft has a low kickpoint which may help explain this, as lower kick points can easily add a few degrees to the launch angle.



With the ProForce, I could keep the ball flight down slightly, but the closed appearance to the face led me to either hook the ball or try to hold off the face, creating a similar small cut. "Fear of a draw turning into a hook" is not a common problem among the average golfer, though, making the HiBore a great club for the masses, but one the low-handicapper will want to test thoroughly.



clveland_hibore_toe.jpg
From this view, you can clearly see the depth (or lack thereof) of the face. This lends itself to a smaller margin for error.



When I lose feel for my swing, my swing plane grows much too tall and I tend to strike down on the ball, producing the occasional pop-up. My normal driver is the rather deep-faced r7, so I hit more than a few pop-ups with the HiBore. This driver actually has a taller center-of-clubface than Cleveland's Launcher 460 Comp and roughly as deep a face as the Nike SQ. ALso, due to the HiBore's radical design, slight misses low or high traveled much further and straighter more than shots struck off-center with my r7.



The acoustics of the head took some time getting used to as well, it sounds rather like a half-full soup can at impact. That's not exactly an explosive sound, but not necessarily a negative. When hit dead solid perfect, it provides a little more growl, which contrasted sharply to the high-pitched "ping" of my r7. Eventually, I could tell quite easily by the sound the club made where on the face I'd struck the ball, a welcome (if unintended) feature.



cleveland_hibore_fitting.jpg
This chart shows the optimal launch conditions for a variety of ballspeeds. The HiBore's CG helps achieve the high-launch, low-spin combination.



Extras and Specs
This driver comes with an excellent headcover - one of the best I've ever used. The finely woven elastic fibers of the sock stretch more than enough to accommodate the oddly shaped club head and the attractive use of red, yellow, navy, and white lends itself to just a plain good-looking cover. It sports an "EZ Grab" handle that provides enough grip to quickly pull off the cover. I never thought I'd find myself saying this, but the ease of use of this cover rivals that of any other headcover I've ever seen.



The stock grip is very tacky, providing the necessary grip and feedback in colors that match the stock shaft. Usually the first thing I do with a new driver is replace the grip with the Tour Velvets to which I'm accustomed, but with this grip I felt no need.



clveland_hibore_headcover.jpg
Unlike many stock headcovers, this one slips easily on and off while remaining secure when you don't want it off.



This $399 club is available in lofts of 8.5°, 9.5°, 10.5°, and 11.5° for righties and 9.5° and 10.5° for lefties, all at 45" in length. Standard shafts include the Aldila NV and NVS, the stock Fujikura, the Graffaloy Blue and ProLaunch Blue, and the UST ProForce V2, all in a wide range of weights and flexes. Custom shafts include the Aerotech SteelFiber, the Fujikura Speeder 652 or 757, the Fujikura Tour Platform 26.3, the Fujikura Vista Pro, the Graffaloy Prototype Comp NT, the Graphite Design YS6+ and 7+, the MCC/Apache MFS Matrix, and the Mitsubishi Diamana, again in varying weights and flexes.



Conclusion
I believe that if you struggle getting the ball into the air, or put a little too much spin on your drives, the HiBore could definitely be a nice addition to your bag. I could even see myself using the HiBore on a regular basis if it was mated with the right shaft. However, if you prefer a mid to low ball flight, you may be less than satisfied with the HiBore's high, arcing flight. Also, consistent contact is a must in order to play this driver as the shallowness of the clubface leaves less room for error. Overall, the HiBore performed more than adequately in the distance catergory, left little to be desired if you don't mind playing a fade, and sports an excellent head cover.

Click for Article>>>Here

"This article is republished with permission from The Sand Trap .com and
remains copyright © The Sand Trap .com. All rights and privileges reserved."

"This article is republished with permission from The Sand Trap .com and
remains copyright © The Sand Trap .com. All rights and privileges reserved."
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies -1
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Days

Top Posters In This Topic

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Our picks

    • Tiger Woods - WITB - 2024 US Open
      Tiger Woods - WITB - 2024 US Open
        • Like
      • 49 replies
    • 2024 US Open - Discussion and Links to Photos
      Please put any questions or comments here
       
       
       
       
      General Albums
       
      2024 US Open - Monday #1
       
       
       
       
      WITB Albums
       
      Tiger Woods - WITB - 2024 US Open
      Edoardo Molinari - WITB - 2024 US Open
      Logan McAllister - WITB - 2024 US Open
      Bryan Kim - WITB - 2024 US Open
      Richard Mansell - WITB - 2024 US Open
      Jackson Buchanan - WITB - 2024 US Open
      Carter Jenkins - WITB - 2024 US Open
      Parker Bell - WITB - 2024 US Open
      Omar Morales - WITB - 2024 US Open
      Neil Shipley - WITB - 2024 US Open
      Casey Jarvis - WITB - 2024 US Open
      Carson Schaake - WITB - 2024 US Open
       
       
       
       
      Pullout Albums
       

      Tiger Woods on the range at Pinehurst on Monday – 2024 U.S. Open
      Newton Motion shaft - 2024 US Open
      Cameron putter covers - 2024 US Open
      New UST Mamiya Linq shaft - 2024 US Open

       

       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      • 5 replies
    • Titleist GT drivers - 2024 the Memorial Tournament
      Early in hand photos of the new GT2 models t the truck.  As soon as they show up on the range in player's bags we'll get some better from the top photos and hopefully some comparison photos against the last model.
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
        • Thanks
        • Like
      • 291 replies
    • 2024 Charles Schwab Challenge - Discussion and Links to Photos
      Please put any questions or comments here
       
       
       
      General Albums
       
      2024 Charles Schwab Challenge - Monday #1
      2024 Charles Schwab Challenge - Tuesday #1
      2024 Charles Schwab Challenge - Tuesday #2
      2024 Charles Schwab Challenge - Tuesday #3
       
       
       
       
      WITB Albums
       
      Keith Mitchell - WITB - 2024 Charles Schwab Challenge
      Rafa Campos - WITB - 2024 Charles Schwab Challenge
      R Squared - WITB - 2024 Charles Schwab Challenge
      Martin Laird - WITB - 2024 Charles Schwab Challenge
      Paul Haley - WITB - 2024 Charles Schwab Challenge
      Tyler Duncan - WITB - 2024 Charles Schwab Challenge
      Min Woo Lee - WITB - 2024 Charles Schwab Challenge
      Austin Smotherman - WITB - 2024 Charles Schwab Challenge
      Lee Hodges - WITB - 2024 Charles Schwab Challenge
      Sami Valimaki - WITB - 2024 Charles Schwab Challenge
       
       
       
       
      Pullout Albums
       
      Eric Cole's newest custom Cameron putter - 2024 Charles Schwab Challenge
      New Super Stroke Marvel comic themed grips - 2024 Charles Schwab Challenge
      Ben Taylor's custom Cameron putter - 2024 Charles Schwab Challenge
      Tyler Duncan's Axis 1 putter - 2024 Charles Schwab Challenge
      Cameron putters - 2024 Charles Schwab Challenge
      Chris Kirk's new Callaway Opus wedges - 2024 Charles Schwab Challenge
      ProTC irons - 2024 Charles Schwab Challenge
      Dragon Skin 360 grips - 2024 Charles Schwab Challenge
      Cobra prototype putters - 2024 Charles Schwab Challenge
      SeeMore putters - 2024 Charles Schwab Challenge
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      • 0 replies
    • 2024 PGA Championship - Discussion and Links to Photos
      Please put  any questions or comments here
       
       
       
       
      General Albums
       
      2024 PGA Championship - Monday #1
       
       
       
       
       
      WITB Albums
       
      Michael Block - WITB - 2024 PGA Championship
      Patrick Reed - WITB - 2024 PGA Championship
      Cam Smith - WITB - 2024 PGA Championship
      Brooks Koepka - WITB - 2024 PGA Championship
      Josh Speight - WITB - 2024 PGA Championship
      Takumi Kanaya - WITB - 2024 PGA Championship
      Kyle Mendoza - WITB - 2024 PGA Championship
      Adrian Meronk - WITB - 2024 PGA Championship
      Jordan Smith - WITB - 2024 PGA Championship
      Jeremy Wells - WITB - 2024 PGA Championship
      Jared Jones - WITB - 2024 PGA Championship
      John Somers - WITB - 2024 PGA Championship
      Larkin Gross - WITB - 2024 PGA Championship
      Tracy Phillips - WITB - 2024 PGA Championship
      Jon Rahm - WITB - 2024 PGA Championship
      Keita Nakajima - WITB - 2024 PGA Championship
      Kazuma Kobori - WITB - 2024 PGA Championship
      David Puig - WITB - 2024 PGA Championship
      Ryan Van Velzen - WITB - 2024 PGA Championship
       
       
       
       
      Pullout Albums
       
      Ping putter covers - 2024 PGA Championship
      Bettinardi covers - 2024 PGA Championship
      Cameron putter covers - 2024 PGA Championship
      Max Homa - Titleist 2 wood - 2024 PGA Championship
      Scotty Cameron experimental putter shaft by UST - 2024 PGA Championship
       
       
       
        • Like
      • 13 replies

×
×
  • Create New...