Last year Cleveland Golf introduced Distance Driven Geometry with the original HiBORE driver. In 2007 Cleveland Golf has improved upon the original HiBORE design with the release of the HiBORE XL driver. While last season it seemed as if Cleveland staff players were shying away from the HiBORE, the HiBORE XL is being embraced by PGA Staff players. From what I heard, 10 players at the US Open put a HiBORE XL in the bag, while one still played the original HiBORE.
Distance Driven Geometry
Moves weight lower and deeper in the clubhead. This optimized CG location aligns the Center of Gravity Projection (CGP) with the C.O.R. Hot Spot in the center of the face, resulting in optimal launch conditions for greater overall distance.
My friend Tim was in need of a new driver, and was convinced that the HiBORE XL was the way to go for his game. I, of course, had to check the club out and share the results with you!
Full Face Performance
Alignment of Sweet Spot and C.O.R. Hot Spot produce optimal launch conditions over a larger area of the face, allowing for efficient energy transfer that maximizes ball-speed across the entire face
High Moment of Inertia
High MOI and deeper CG provide increased stability on off-center hits, leading to greater distance and a tighter shot dispersion over the entire face.
Look and Feel
The HiBORE XL is definitely a nice looking club. The swoop back makes the club appear smaller than it is, which, in my opinion is reassuring. I currently play an R7 425 and feel comfortable swinging that sized club. While the HiBORE XL is physically larger (425cc vs 460cc), it did not feel much larger in my hands or while swinging.
Feel off the club face is awesome. Pound one in the middle, and wow…you know you have absolutely crushed the ball. The sound that accompanies such a hit is also stunning. The only problem is…hit it a little off the toe, heel, fat, thin….worm burner…still sounds and feels pretty decent. Unfortunately, then you look up and say hey…wait…why isn’t the ball splitting the fairway 300 yards away?
We took the club to the driving range and pounded some range rocks. I hit perhaps 40 balls with the HiBORE XL. When I swung smoothly, I was launching very high bombs down right down the middle, sometimes with a slight draw. A little quicker in my tempo, and I was less accurate. This may be something to do with the shaft, may just be my swing. All in all, the first range session was a thrill. If nothing else, I would suggest heading over to your nearest pro-shop/driving range and hitting a few balls with the HiBORE XL.
One little, simple design element…I absolutely love the head cover. The E-Z Grab system makes pulling the head cover off a breeze. If you have ever tried to get the head cover off a 460cc driver, you know what a pain in the behind that can be. E-Z Grab is…well….easy! Even the head cover on my smaller r7 425 is a challenge to get on and off. Everyone should take a design cue from Cleveland and incorporate a similar element in their head covers.
The Fit-On Gold shaft matched with the 10.5 loft launches the ball a little too high for my liking. However, I generally am a high spin, pretty high ball flight kind of guy. For me, the Fit-On Red shaft may have been a better option. I would have to get fit for the club to find out. Even in stiff flex, I caught the ball ballooning on me at times. This combination provided a lot of carry, but little roll. The RE*AX stiff flex shaft in my r7 425 isn’t a whole lot better, it flies pretty high as well.
Distance wise, compared to the R7 425, hits on the screws were similar. However, off center hits were certainly much better with the HiBORE XL. Given that, I found the R7 425 to be more workable than the standard HiBORE XL. However, if you are looking for a workable driver, you are probably in the market for the HiBORE XL Tour anyway. Looking to hit the ball straight, in the fairway, stick with the HiBORE XL.
All in all, I really liked the confidence the HiBORE XL inspired, and confidence, as we all know, is such a huge part of golf. While I was not totally convinced that the end results of good swings were much different than the r7 425, off center hits definitely seemed to hold the line better. Properly fit with the correct shaft, I am sure I could eek out some more distance with the HiBORE XL. I’ll have to go try out one of the Fit-On Red shafts!
Update: I went over to GolfSmith last night to hit a few drivers on the simulator. I hit the HiBORE XL with a 9* head and the Fit-On Gold (stiff flex) pretty well. Off the simulator (who knows how accurate those are) I was seeing a launch angle of 13*, backspin of ~2700 and just a very slight fade, which carried about 285. Pretty nice!