Cleveland irons 2016

Cleveland irons 2016 DEFAULT

From Titleist to Nike to TaylorMade, with a few other bits and bobs along the way. We look at Tiger Woods' golf gear down the years...

Tiger Woods’ Golf Gear Through The Years

Take a journey through 2019 Masters champion Tiger Woods‘ golf bag through the years, from 1996 up to the present day…


In 1996 Woods won his third US Amateur title in a row using Mizuno MP14 irons and Cleveland 588 RTG wedges. He was using Titleist woods, a Ping Anser putter and the Titleist Professional 90 ball.


Woods won the 1997 Masters using a King Cobra driver. He also had a Scotty Cameron putter in the bag.

His Titleist golf bag seen. He reportedly signed a five year deal with the company in 1996 worth $20m.


Woods used the Titleist 975D in 2008 as well as Titleist forged blades and wedges.


Woods’ Titleist golf ball seen.


Tiger’s Titleist irons seen. He had a full bag of Titleists but had switched to a Nike ball in May at the Deutsche Bank Championship in Hamburg. His Nike contract had been extended for 5 years worth $105m. He now had a Buick sponsored golf bag too. He won the US Open, the Open and the USPGA Championship in 2000.


Woods was still using Titleist clubs and the Buick bag in 2002. He had now started wearing his famous ‘TW’ logo caps.

Although he eventually switched to a Nike driver in 2002.

Wood’s bag pictured at the 2002 USPGA Championship in August at Hazeltine. He would win the 2003 WGC-Amex Championship in September using Nike irons too.


Tiger’s Nike Forged irons and Pro Combo wedges seen. He put a Nike TW One golf ball into play too.


In 2004 Tiger put the Nike Ignite 410cc driver into play.


In late ’04 Woods switched to a 460cc Nike driver and by 2005 he had the Nike T60 Ignite 3 wood in the bag.  He then put the T40 5 wood in play as well as a TW One Platinum golf ball.


2006 was a huge year for Nike, with the SasQuach woods debuting in Tiger’s bag. Tiger put the SQ 460cc driver into play initially and then opted for the SQ Tour later that year. The SQ’s weren’t actually officially launched until 2007, however.


Nike launches the SasQuach range including the fairway woods which would become a mainstay in Tiger’s bag – he’d use them right up until mid-2010. Woods put both the SasQuach 3 and 5 woods in play as well as a new Nike SV 60 degree lob wedge.


Woods’ Nike forged blades seen. 2008 saw Tiger put in a VR wedge.


2009 was a big year for Nike and Tiger, with Woods putting a new Nike SQ Dymo driver in the bag as well as new VR blade irons.

He also had an AT&T golf bag.

Woods’ Nike One Tour golf ball seen.

Continues below

Tiger Woods What's In The Bag

Check out the equipment Tiger Woods uses

Rory McIlroy's Golf Gear Through The Years

We take a look at the equipment used…

Phil Mickelson's Golf Equipment Through The Years

We take a journey through the equipment that…

Who Coaches Tiger Woods

Here we take a look at who coaches…


Woods sported a Tiger Woods bag in 2010 as well as a host of new clubs.

He put the Victory Red Tour driver into play as well as VR Pro wedges and a Nike Method putter halfway through the season. He also switched out his SQ fairways to VR Pros. He was using the Nike One Tour ball.


In 2011 Woods went to a slightly smaller 420cc driver, kept the Nike Method 001 putter in the bag and switched to a Nike One Tour D ball.

He also changed to a Powered by Fuse Science golf bag towards the end of the year.


Woods put the SasQuatch five wood back into play during the 2012 season.

He remained using the Nike Method 001 putter and One Tour D golf ball.


Woods put the Nike red-headed VRS Covert driver into play during 2013 as well as the fairway woods.

A close up of Tiger’s VRS Covert fairway wood and One Tour D golf ball.


His golf bag was sponsored by Muscle Pharm in 2014.

He began using a prototype Nike Vapor Speed driver later in the year as well as the fairway woods. He would keep this setup with his Nike VR blades and wedges in 2015, however he moved into the Nike RZN Black golf ball.


2016 was a huge year for Woods’ equipment, after Nike announced that they would no longer make golf hardware. Woods was out for the majority of 2016 until he appeared at the Hero World Challenge in December. He arrived with some new clubs.

Woods had the TaylorMade M2 driver in the bag along with M1 fairway woods, his old trusty Scotty Cameron and a new Monster golf bag. Was he going to sign with TaylorMade? All would be revealed.


Woods played with this same set up for the Farmers Insurance Open in January, where he missed the cut, and in the opening round of the Dubai Desert Classic before pulling out. At the PGA Show in February he did sign with TaylorMade, despite rumours that he was buying the company. He also signed with Bridgestone to play the Tour B330-S golf ball.

Image: @PGA Tour

Woods turned up to this week’s Hero World Challenge with TGR branded irons, the logo for his company, along with a TaylorMade RSi TP UDi driving iron.

He is using the 2017 M2 three wood and the 2017 M1 five wood along with Nike wedges. His ball is the Bridgestone B XS.


Tiger Woods What's In The Bag

Woods tweeted an image of his new TaylorMade ‘TW-Phase 1’ blades prior to the Wells Fargo Championship in May.

It was his first set of TaylorMade irons since signing with the company in early 2017.


(Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Fast forward to 2019 and Tiger Woods put in the M5 driver along with M5 and M3 fairway woods.

He moved on from his TW Phase 1 irons to new P7TW blades.

He was still using the Scotty Cameron putter, which he has now won 14 of his 15 Majors with, and the Bridgestone ball.

Related: Tiger Woods’ Masters winning clubs


No major changes for Tiger in 2020 apart from the additon of the TaylorMade SIM driver. His current ball is the Bridgestone Tour B XS.

Related: Tiger Woods What’s in the bag?

Tiger Woods What's In The Bag

Check out the equipment Tiger Woods uses

Rory McIlroy's Golf Gear Through The Years

We take a look at the equipment used…

Phil Mickelson's Golf Equipment Through The Years

We take a journey through the equipment that…

Who Coaches Tiger Woods

Here we take a look at who coaches…

Don’t forget to follow Golf Monthly on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram


Frequent Player Program

Every time you play Vaaler Creek Golf Club, you will be entered into a monthly drawing for various prizes. The more often that you play...the more chances you'll have to be a winner.  Prizes vary each month, but they are very generous. See the list of previous winners below, along with their claimed prize:

September 2021 Mark Belar won a Bushnell Wingman; Ken Moore won a Titleist golf bag; Ryan Wagner won an Odyssey putter; Josh McFall won a pair of shoes

August 2021 David Miller and Andrew Hamilton each won a merchandise gift card worth $250

July 2021 Shane Saidler won a new TaylorMade SIM2 driver, and Shauwn Dibman won a Theragun Wave Roller

June 2021 Steve Petrick won a new Odyssey Putter and Alejandro Mendez won a new TaylorMade Putter

May 2021 Paul Mitchell won a Titleist TSi driver, Carlos Ramirez won a TaylorMade SIM2 driver, Heath Johnson won 2 Cleveland wedges, and Cord Samuels won a TaylorMade putter

April 2021 Dallas Homas won a new TaylorMade SIM2 Driver; and Mike Stevens won a $400 merchandise gift card

March 2021 Dude Spellings, Rich Moore, Trey Hogar, Alan Hedgepeth, Alan Miller, Freddy Cantu, Jimmy Wright, Jim Pickett, Jared Casperson, and Ron Panozzo each won 4 dozen personalized Titleist golf balls

February 2021 Sandra Wise won a $400 merchandise gift card

January 2021 Mike Williamson won a new Titleist TSi driver and fairway wood

December 2020 Mike Stevens and Jesse Solis each won 2 new Cleveland wedges

November 2020 Jake Houston and Dylan Dahse each won a new Titleist TSi driver

October 2020 Craig Smith won 2 Vokey SM8 wedges and an Odyssey putter;  Dustin Brudnicki won 2 Cleveland ZipCore wedges and a Cleveland putter;  Gunar Fugler won a Leupold GX-2i rangefinder

September 2020 Mark Carlson won a TaylorMade driver; Jared Graham, Kevin Zenor and Andrew Plistil each won a merchandise gift card worth $350

August 2020 Alejandra Farias won a new Ttitleist driver; Estevan Vargas also won a new Titleist driver; and Joel Harriff won a Leupold rangefinder

July 2020 Pat Gilkey won a custom set of Titleist irons, and Brook Greene won 2 Cleveland wedges

June 2020 Heath Johnson won a new TaylorMade SIM driver

May 2020 Juan Vargas won a new set of Titleist T-300 irons, Tammy Trichell won 2 new Vokey wedges, and Bodo Knockenhauer won a new Scotty Cameron putter

March 2020 Josh Hood won a new set of Titleist T-300 irons

February 2020 Ken Hudspeth and Israel Garcia each won a new Odyssey putter

January 2020 Jim Wilkes, R. Panozzo, Charles Schultz and Paulette Pilsner each won a new Titleist Vokey SM7 wedge

December 2019 John Sullivan won a $500 merchandise gift card

November 2019 Tracy Drott won a new Titleist TS driver and a dozen EXP balls

October 2019 Darrell Mobley and Bart Kalsu each won a new Titlest TS driver of their choice

September 2019 Alan Hedgepeth won a set of Titleist irons

August 2019 Chris Klotz won a $500 merchandise gift card

July 2019 Doug Digman won a new Cobra driver and Fairway metal; Jud Brady won two new Cleveland wedges

June 2019 Bobby Kohler won a new Titleist TS driver and TS fairway metal; Sean Messick won a new Scotty Cameron; and Josh Hood won a new Odyssey putter

May 2019 Brandon Palomo won a custom set of Titleist irons

April 2019 Ernest Casanova, who won a new Bushnell Hybrid GPS/Rangefinder; and Steven Fraunhofer, who won a new Leupold GX2i Rangefinder

March 2019 Mark Whitten, Chris Hill, Homer Hall, Jim Allen, and Larry Mazuo each won 4 dozen personalized Titleist golf balls

February 2019  Mike Gutierrez won a new Cobra F9 driver

January 2019  Jane Sandpiper won a $300 merchandise gift card

December 2018 Rick Adams won 2 new Titleist Vokey SM7 wedges

November 2018 Tim Digman won a new Titleist TS Driver

October 2018 Daryl Johnson won a new Scotty Cameron putter

September 2018 Geoff Pitts won a merchandise gift card worth $500

August 2018 John Robertson won a new Cobra driver and fairway wood

July 2018 Chris Potts and Monte Glosson each won a new Titleist Driver

June 2018 Todd Hensley won a new Titleist Driver and Jim Mertens won a Scotty Cameron putter

May 2018 Isaac Hall won a custom set of Titleist irons

April 2018 Ryan Hill won a custom set of Titleist irons

March 2018 Dalton Wallace, Bob Kohler, Paulette Pilsner, Jair Ellis and Roger Presl each won 4 dozen personalized Titleist golf balls

February 2018 Arnie Tovar, Jerry Frey and Ben Brendel each won 2 Titleist Vokey SM6 wedges

January 2018 Wyatt Nelson won a $300 merchandise card

December 2017 Larry Altner won a $400 merchandise card

November 2017 Paul Naizer won 3 Titleist Vokey wedges

October 2017 Lawrence Golden won a custom set of Titleist 718 irons

September 2017 Chris Foster won a new Titleist 917 driver

August 2017 Morgan Crow won a $500 merchandise card

July 2017 Brian Habernath won a $500 merchandise card

June 2017 Matthew Carp won a new Cobra driver

May 2017 Kevin Ranger won a $400 merchandise card, and Chance Calahan won a new Cleveland wedge

April 2017 Matt Martin was a custom set of Titleist irons

March 2017 Barry Hughey, Suzanne Randle, Robert Bosl and Darryl Seidel who each won 4 dozen personalized Titleist Pro-V1's

February 2017 Jose Gutierrez won a pro shop merchandise gift card worth $400

January 2017 Kirk Sparkman won 4 golf shirts of his choosing

December 2016 Joseph Gregg won a pro shop merchandise gift card worth $300

November 2016 Ben Aguirre won a pro shop merchandise gift card worth $400

October 2016 Rodney Young won the brand new Titleist 917 Driver

September 2016 Julia McDonald won a pro shop merchandise gift card worth $450

August 2016 Craig Blevins won a new Titleist 915 Driver and fairway wood

July 2016 Pete Mitchell won a custom set of Titleist AP1 irons; and Ryan Woodlow won a Titleist 915 Driver

June 2016 Mike Gutierrez won a Titleist 915 Driver, 3-wood and hybrid; and Steve Hurley won a Titleist 915 Driver and 3-wood

May 2016 Tim Digman won a custom set of Titleist 716 irons

April 2016 Rick Adams won a custom set of Titleist 716 irons

March 2016 Ryan Helm, Aaron Wardlow, Ted Bennett, Steve Nivin and Alan Hedgepeth each won 4 dozen personalized Titleist Pro V-1 golf balls

February 2016 Paul Woerner won a $400 merchandise gift card

January 2016 Frank Oliva, Danny Allen, and Bill Perry each won 2 Titleist SM5 Vokey wedges

December 2015 Carlos Ortiz won a Titleist 915 driver and fairway wood

November 2015 Craig Richardson won a $400 merchandise gift card

October 2015 Chuck Galvan won a $500 merchandise gift card

September 2015 Damon Lyles won a new set of Titleist 716 irons and James Pyott won a new Titleist 915 driver

August 2015 J.R. Williams won a new Titleist 915D driver

July 2015 Stephen Connell won a custom set of Titleist AP-1 irons

June 2015 Arnold Ulland won a custom set of Titleist AP-1 irons

May 2015 Joseph Pribyl won a new Titleist 915 driver and fairway wood

April 2015 Daryl Johnson won a new Titleist 915 driver and fairway wood

March 2015
Lee Johnson, Fran DuBose and Rick Adams each won 4 dozen personalized Titleist golf balls

February 2015
Ron Ranger won a Titleist 915 Driver

January 2015
Jerry Slye won a $300 merchandise Gift Card

December 2014
Brian Loeffler won a Cobra driver and 3-wood

November 2014
Paul Naizer won a Taylor Made SLDR driver and a new golf bag

October 2014
Jay Nichols won a Cobra driver, fairway wood and a wedge

September 2014
Curtis Northup won a set of TaylorMade Speedblade iron and a TaylorMade bag

August 2014
Mike Steinmann won a new Titleist 913 driver and hybrid

July 2014
Bill Predmore won a new Titleist 913 driver and 3-wood

June 2014
Garon Shuler won a new Adams Golf XTD driver and 3-wood

May 2014
Cary Blake won a set of Adams Golf Idea irons

April 2014
Buster Frazier won a TaylorMade Spider putter, 2 TaylorMade wedges and a Sky Caddie SGX

March 2014
Ken Patla won a TaylorMade bag, Jetspeed driver and 3-woo
Mike Daskivich won a Titleist bag and 913D driver

February 2014
John Evilsizer won a $300 merchandise gift card to the golf shop

January 2014
June Schell won a new Cobra Amp Cell driver, 3-wood and hybrid

December 2013
Mark Brown won a $300 merchandise gift card to the golf shop

November 2013
David Adams won a new Titleist 913 driver and a new Titleist golf bag

October 2013
Daniel Englehardt won a new Titleist 913 3-wood and hybrid

September 2013
Jarrett Harris won a new Taylormade R-1 driver
Darrell Mobley won a new Cobra Amp Cell driver, 3-wood and rescue club

August 2013
Rob Strob won a new TaylorMade RBZ driver, 3-wood and rescue club
Arnold Ulland won the new TaylorMade Slider Driver

July 2013
Steve Spivey won a new Cobra Amp Cell driver, 3-wood and 5-wood
Jeff Reid won a set of 3 Taylormade wedges

June 2013
Paul Edelen, Larry King, Fernando Gutierez and Josh Hazzard each won a new R1 driver

May 2013
Tom Schwartz won the new Taylormade Rocketbladez irons and the new R1 driver

April 2013
Jarred Johnson won a new Titleist 913 D Driver

March 2013
Roger Presl won a set of Cleveland CG Black irons and woods

February 2013
John Park won a new TaylorMade RBZ 2 driver and fairway wood

January 2013
Dave Durrant won a new TaylorMade RBZ driver, fairway wood, and hybrid

December 2012
Mike Gotfredson won a new Titleist 913 D Driver

November 2012
Mark Belair won a new Titleist 913 D driver

October 2012
Paul Woerner won the brand new Titleist 913 D driver

September 2012
Paul Wuerdeman won a custom set of Titleist 712 AP2 irons

August 2012
Lance Hughey won a custom set of Titleist 712 AP2 irons

July 2012
Shawn Carlson won a custom set of Titleist 712 AP2 irons

June 2012
Doug Schamp won a custom set of Titleist 712 AP1 irons

May 2012
Danny Burke won a custom set of Titleist 712 AP1 irons

April 2012
Arlen Ramsey won a custom set of Titleist 712 AP1 irons

March 2012
Mike O'Neill won a custom set of Titleist 712 AP1 irons

February 2012
Joe Saenz won a new Titleist 910 D3 driver and Titleist 910F 3-wood

January 2012
Alec Denbo won a new set of Adams Golf Redline irons

December 2011
Daniel Engglhardt won a new Titleist driver

November 2011
Ken Franks won a set of custom Titleist AP1 irons

October 2011
Terry Osborne won a new TaylorMade R11 driver and 3-wood
Ritchie Sorrells won a new TaylorMade Burner Superfast driver

September 2011
Cip Munoz won a set of custom Titleist AP1 irons

August 2011
Dave Kuhns won a new TaylorMade R11 Driver
Jerrod Rogers won a new TaylorMade R11 Driver

July 2011
Steve Potts won a set of custom Titleist AP2 irons

June 2011
Don McCracken won a set of custom Titliest AP1 irons and 910H hybrids

May 2011
Kris Kilmer won a set of custom Titleist AP1 irons and a Titleist 910H hybrid

April 2011
Brian Zembik won a new set a custom Titleist irons
Bill Tripp won a new TaylorMade R11 driver

March 2011
Todd Reus won a new set of custom Titleist irons

February 2011
Harold LaPrime won a new set of custom Titleist irons

January 2011
Wayne Stringer won a new Titleist 910 driver and a matching 3-wood

December 2010
Chris Flores won a custom set of Titleist irons

November 2010
Kendrick Baros won a custom set of Titleist irons

October 2010
Mike Cervantes won a Cobra ZL driver
Bob Monogue won a Cobra S2 driver
Michael O'Neill won a TaylorMade Superfast driver
Craig Rickaway won a TaylorMade R9 3-wood

September 2010
Fielding Winchester won a set of Adams Idea A7 irons
Bennie Hancock won a $200 merchandise card
Scott Rose won 4 free rounds of golf
Bernd Stoecker won a $100 merchandise card

August 2010
Jerry Sirmans won a set of Cobra S2 irons
Bill Evans won a Ping G15 Hybrid club
Dennis Larsen won 2 Adams Golf "Tom Watson" wedges
Joe Daughtry won 4 free rounds of golf

July 2010
Eddie Garcia, Jr. won a TaylorMade R9 driver, 3-wood, and 5-wood set
Matt Frey won a pair of golf shoes of his choice
John Williamson won 4 free rounds of golf
Lori Herrin won a dozen golf balls of her choice

June 2010
Gary Ryan won a TaylorMade Burner Superfast driver
Dave Ross won a SkyCaddie 2.5
David Austin won 2 Adams Golf "Tom Watson" wedges
Randy Voorheis won a Ping Karsten Series putter

May 2010
Paul Smith won a Cobra S2 driver
Britt Martin won a TaylorMade Raylor rescue club
Paul Woerner won two Titleist Vokey Wedges
Kevin Henderson won a TaylorMade putter

April 2010
Dennis Isbell won an Adams Speedline Fast driver
Robert Jenkins won two Titleist Vokey Wedges
Rick Solis won an Adams A7 hybrid
Tyson Shires won a TaylorMade putter

March 2010
Joey Cox won a Cobra ZL driver
Craig Calley won a new TaylorMade R9 driver
Charlie Welch won a new TaylorMade putter
Ben Gorby won a new pair of golf shoes of his choice

February 2010
Tony Bausola won a new TaylorMade Rescue club
Rich Abts and Ted Wilk each won a new Cobra 3-wood
Erin Edgar won a new pair of shoes of choice

January 2010
Bob Comstock won a new Scotty Cameron putter
Joe Gomez won a new Cobra Baffler
Rick Beaty won a new Cobra Baffler
Ricky Laxson won a new Titleist Vokey wedge

December 2009
Greg Howard won a new Cobra S9-1 Driver
Jason Payne won a new TaylorMake R9 3-wood
Tim Aldrick won a new Cobra Baffler

November 2009
Arnold Ulland won a new set of Cobra irons
James Standish won a new TaylorMade R9 driver
Bob Monogue won a customized golf bag
Cory Mann won a new Cobra Baffler

October 2009
Kevin Kiwcaire won a new set of irons of his choice (he chose Ping Rapture)
John Wilcox won a free golf lesson with Chris Rice
Kevin Hale won a free golf lesson with Joey Hardin
Ray Keller won a free golf lesson with Jonathan Strellow

September 2009
Al Duffey won a new set of irons of his choice (he chose Titleist AP2's).
Pat Lieke won a new Titleist Vokey wedge.
Mike Rainwater won a new Adidas golf shirt.
Rob Nohra won a new Adidas golf shirt.

August 2009
Tim Rowley won a full set of Cobra clubs including an S9-1 driver, 2 fairway
woods, a set of irons, and a cart bag.
Don Barham won a new Scotty Cameron putter.
Fielding Winchester won a new Adidas golf shirt.
Stephen Dimiceli won a new Adidas golf shirt.

July 2009
Bo Needham who won a new set Titleist AP1 irons
Bob Deluca won a new Club Glove embroidered cart bag.
Kendrick Baros won a new Izod golf shirt.
James Alfaro also won a new Izod golf shirt.

June 2009
Ted Bennett was the winner of a Cobra Baffler utility wood
Ken Morgan, Craig Calley, Steve Foucheck, and Pam Markiewicz were
winners of an Izod Golf Shirt

May 2009
Mario Garcia was the winner of a TaylorMade Rescue Club
Rob Hankosky, Aaron Staas, and Austin Wilson were winners of an Izod Golf Shirt

April 2009
Juan Vargas was the winner of a Cobra Speed Driver
Randy West was the winner of a Adidas Golf Shirt

March 2009
Drake Thompson was the winner of a Cobra Speed 3-wood
Bob Alonzo was the winner of a Cobra Baffler utility wood

February 2009
Steve Foucheck was the winner of a Cleveland Hi Bore Rescue Club

January 2009
Margarita McAvay was the winner of a Nike Oz Putter

December 2008
Carlos Salazar was the winner of a Nike Ignite Putter
Galen George was the winner of a Nike Ignite Putter

November 2008
Craig Rickaway was the winner of a Vaaler Creek Golf Club Golf Bag

October 2008
Ralph Harner was the winner of a $125 gift card and a free golf lesson

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Cleveland CG16 Irons Review

Cleveland Golf's CG16 irons were released in 2011, which is decades ago in terms of golf club technology. Today, the CG16 irons in various iterations — CG16 Pearl Black, CG16 Satin Chrome, and CG16 Tour versions — are still out there on the secondary market. Golfers looking for a cheap, used set of irons might consider them. Just be sure to also consider how long ago 2011 was in golf club design terms.

According to the PGA Value Guide, the trade-in value of the set today hovers around $50. Unused sets of Cleveland CG16 irons are, at the time of this update, selling on eBay for the upper double-digits to the low- and mid-triple digits in terms of dollar amounts.

Original Review: Cleveland CG 16 Irons

Following review written in 2011 by correspondent Todd Berman

This large, undercut cavity back iron set is "lighter and longer" with reduced weight and strong lofts. Distance and accuracy are maximized on off-center hits. Larger sole is useful from a variety of turf conditions.


  • Beautiful Black Pearl finish (also available with Satin Chrome finish)
  • Lighter overall weight improves distance, but shaft/clubhead weights are well-matched and maintain feel
  • Outstanding accuracy


  • Golfers need to re-calibrate distances on their iron shots

The Basics

  • Cleveland CG16 irons come in 3-PW set configuration; a CG16 Tour set is also available (we tested the standard CG16).
  • Set we tested had steel shafts and Black Pearl finish; graphite shafts and Satin Chrome finish also available.
  • Laser Milled face with Tour Zip grooves optimizes spin from any conditions.
  • Large, thin clubface helps optimize distance on mishits.
  • Total club weight is lighter overall compared to previous Cleveland irons, and shafts are slightly longer. That is the "longer and lighter design" to which Cleveland refers.
  • Gapping is consistent across the set.
  • MSRP at time of launch was $699 with steel shafts and $799 with graphite shafts.

Review: Cleveland CG16 Irons

"Cleveland Rocks!" — or something like that — is a shoutout heard at many music venues. Well, how about the golf course? Yes, Cleveland Golf has come out with an iron set that in this tester's opinion just flat out rocks.

What is about the sticks that are so impressive? To begin with, a look - with a stunning black pearl finish - that belies the forgiving nature of this club. A large, undercut cavity back takes care of forgiveness on mishits. How about strong lofts and lighter shafts? A laser-milled face that looks like it could spin a rock; confidence-inspiring topline; wide, forgiving sole; lighter overall weight. Distance, control ... yeah! Isn't that what irons are supposed to provide?

What's really exciting about this set of irons is that Cleveland's lineage includes a lot of harder to hit tour-caliber player's irons; or super easy-to-hit game improvements that aren't so easy on the eyes. But the Cleveland CG16 irons combine the look and feel of a better player's club with the ease and performance of a game improvement iron.

A mid-flexpoint, 85-gram "Cleveland Traction" steel shaft provides smooth power to back up soft feel throughout the set. Cleveland has lengthened the shafts, too, but by a modest amount. A stock 7-iron is a quarter-inch longer than modern standard length. The weight and length felt just right to me.

I really got giddy with what I perceived to be a real improvement in ballstriking. Was it the golfer or the clubs? Usually a bit of each, but in the case of the CG16 I felt Cleveland had delivered a set that inspired confidence in the look and delivered with the technology. The result was shots that flew high and long — as long or longer than anything I'd tried previously.

While standard iron lofts on the CG16 set are on the strong side — the 7-iron has 31 degrees of loft — much attention has been paid to the gap between those lofts. But it does take some getting used to when you start hitting your irons a little farther.

The pitching wedge in the Cleveland CG16 irons set is lofted at 44 degrees. That means there is almost room for two gap wedges between your PW and SW. Something to consider as you dial in your wedges.

So, will a Cleveland CG16 iron set make it into your bag? If you try the CG16 irons, you, too, might find yourself excited for the extra distance and accuracy. And hey, in golf, that just rocks.

You WILL NOT buy these irons!! But you should!!
Cleveland Launcher XL Halo Irons

The large hybrid-style heads of the Cleveland Golf Launcher XL HALO Irons help players needing added distance in a super game-improvement category iron with high MOI and lots of forgiveness.

Fast Facts: Cleveland Launcher XL HALO Irons

Category: Super game-improvement
Design: Hybrid-style iron design
Sole: V-shape (short irons), Rails (long)
Grip: Action Mass CB counterbalance
Crown: Stepped
Grooves: Loft specific
Lofts: 5-i (23°), PW (44°)
Set: 7 irons (4-PW)
Price: $899.99 (Graphite), $799.99 (Steel)
Available Retail: Sept. 17, 2021

What You Need To Know: Cleveland Launcher XL HALO Irons
Cleveland Launcher XL Halo Irons

Cleveland Golf recognizes the need for women, beginners, and seniors to have an easy-to-hit iron with design features that help clubhead speed in a confidence-building head size. The new Launcher XL HALO irons, an update of the Launcher Halos from 2019, fits that description nicely.

“From head to grip, Launcher XL HALO Irons just make golf easier and more fun,” said Brian Schielke, General Manager at Cleveland Golf.

“Most of us don’t have much confidence standing 170 yards out with a long iron in hand and needing to carry a bunker to make the green. But with Launcher XL HALO, you’ll swing easier, feel confident, and be shocked at how forgiving they are. These irons will become your go-to clubs.”

The heads are slightly larger and have a very high MOI, for example in the 7-iron, 2,908 g-cm2, to maintain the greatest amount of ball speed possible when impact is off center.

The lower lofts, the long irons, have rails on the soles to ensure smoother turf contact and the higher lofts have V-shaped soles for a solid strike to the ball.

Each has an 8-gram weight in the butt end of the shaft under the grip to improve swing speed without making the club too light.

Cleveland offers the option of an “Accuracy Build” without the counterbalance weight in the butt with shafts that are one-half inch shorter.

Learn More:

Ed Travis

Ed is a national award-winning golf journalist and has carried on a lifelong love affair with the game. He has competed in tournament golf both as an amateur and professional and though his competitive days are behind him, Ed still plays regularly and carries a handicap of 4. He lives on a water hazard in suburban Orlando.


2016 cleveland irons

The 5 Most Forgiving Irons for Golfers

If you’re hoping to shave a few strokes off your game, you need to choose the most forgiving irons. Since you’re reading this article, you already know that some irons are more forgiving than others. My goal is to help you find a set of irons that will improve your performance in spite of the occasional bad hit.

How did I select the Most Forgiving Irons?

Great question. There are large golf websites (Golf Digest, GolfWRX, and MyGolfSpy) that conduct extensive testing for the most common game-improving irons. Given their budgets, connections, golf knowledge, and various skill-sets, I reached the conclusion that I couldn’t do better testing than what they had already done.

Consequently, I decided to cross-examine each of their conclusions and offer you one definitive article that ranked the most forgiving irons, instead of forcing you to read three (or more) consecutive articles. I also consulted a number of smaller sources that tested these irons. All of their insights are packaged nicely for you below, along with a link to buy the product through the manufacturer or through Amazon.

Most Forgiving Irons, Ranked

Before we go any further, it’s worth noting that there are more than 5 iron sets that would fall into the “forgiving iron” category, so I’ll include several others for you to research at the end of this article. If you hate reading, you can just consult the chart below to see my rankings.

# 1 – Callaway Rogue

Most Forgiving Irons 2018 - Callaway Rogue PhotoCost:$900 (but you can get them for about $675 on Amazon)
Shafts: Steel or graphite (this influences cost)
Summary: Callaway’s reputation speaks for itself, so it’s no surprise that the Rogue irons were one of Golf Digest’s Golf Medal winners for 2018.

The Rogue irons pair Callaway’s proven 360 Face Cup technology with what they call VFT (Variable Face Thickness). In short, this tandem leads to more ball speed and greater distance, even for off-center shots.

Each club head incorporates tungsten weighting. Since tungsten is 2x as heavy as steel (something I’m sure you remember from the periodic table you memorized in high school), Callaway was able to set the center of gravity for each club in such a way that golfers get optimum loft on more of their shots.

You can depend on this club for:

  • better ball speed
  • more distance
  • improved launch

What Golfers are Saying

  • The Rogue irons help me golf better.
  • A great feel and sound on each hit.

See the Callaway Rogue on Amazon


# 2 – Cobra King F8 One Length

Most Forgiving Irons 2018 - Cobra King F8 PhotoCost:$800
Shafts: Steel or graphite (this influences cost)
Summary: I’ve never owned a set of Cobra irons, but I’m tempted to make a move with the Cobra King F8 because they differentiate themselves in a number of strategic ways. I appreciate companies that think outside the box, and not just for shock value.

A few examples to demonstrate my point:

  • The F8 short, middle, and long irons are all built differently because they’re supposed to do different things. This seems logical.
  • Sensors are built into the F8 grips which allow golfers to track shot data using the Arcos app. Shouldn’t all companies be doing this in 2018?
  • Carbon fiber medallion inserts look sweet while providing exceptional sound and feel on distance irons. Style and substance — I’m a fan.

You can depend on this club for:

  • great distance
  • more consistency
  • shot data feedback

What Golfers are Saying

  • The longer irons feel explosive.
  • These clubs are a great value and I love the Cobra Connect sensors.

See the Cobra King F8 on Amazon


# 3 – Cleveland Launcher CBX

Most Forgiving Irons 2018 - Cleveland Launcher CBX PhotoCost:$699 (but you can usually get them for about $580 on Amazon)
Shafts: Steel or graphite (this influences cost)
Summary: Cleveland took a hiatus from the world of irons, and I think the Launcher CBX irons reflect a carefully-planned return.

These irons might not have the “coolest” design, but they clearly take the crown for 2018’s most affordable forgiving irons. Golfers sometimes need to be reminded that spending more doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting a better product. My Cleveland sand wedge my favorite club, so the Cleveland team always has my attention.

Some key features include a micro-cavity in the hosel (which improves the center of gravity location) and special grooves (which help golfers get better spin in the fairway AND in the rough…not that you ever spend any time there).

You can depend on this club for:

  • more distance
  • improved accuracy
  • better hits on difficult lies

What Golfers are Saying

  • A great value without sacrificing performance.
  • The Launcher name is spot on. These irons launch my shots!
  • I’m getting better hits with the longer irons.

See the Cleveland Launcher CBX on Amazon


# 4 – TaylorMade M4

Most Forgiving Irons 2018 - TaylorMade M4 PhotoCost:$899.99 (but you can get usually get them for about $790 on Amazon)
Shafts: Steel or graphite (this influences cost)
Summary: If more distance, more forgiveness, and straighter shots sound good to you — you’ll want to take a hard look at the TaylorMade M4 irons. These clubs feature RIBCOR technology which aims to reduce energy loss and increase ball speed.

TaylorMade’s careful adjustments in the M4 resulted in their thinnest club face ever and a lower center of gravity. As a whole, TaylorMade’s forgiving irons seem to make it on every list, and there has to be a reason for that.

You can depend on this club for:

  • increased ball speed
  • straighter shots
  • improved launch and spin

What Golfers are Saying

  • These updated irons are a big improvement from TaylorMade’s M2 and M4.
  • I definitely get more distance from these clubs.

See the TaylorMade M4 on Amazon


# 5 – Mizuno JPX900 Hot Metal

Most Forgiving Irons 2018 - Mizuno JPX 900 Hot Metal Photo

Cost:$900-$1,200 (but you can usually get them for about $820 on Amazon)
Shafts: Steel or graphite (this influences cost)
Summary: Have you ever heard of Chromoly 4140M? Well until the JPX900 hit the scene, I hadn’t either. This material is 15% stronger than stainless steel, and Mizuno claims that these clubs have the hottest face ever.

There are some golfers that swear by Mizuno, so if you’re looking to step away from the Callaway’s and TaylorMade’s of the world, the JPX900 are worth considering.

You can depend on this club for:

  • better distance as a result of superior initial ball speed
  • greater forgiveness thanks to a unitized cup face
  • more power all-around

What Golfers are Saying

  • These clubs helped me play my best round ever.
  • Very happy with my purchase.
  • These irons are soft and smooth. My distance has shot through the roof.

See the Mizuno JPX900


Other Forgiving Irons to Consider in 2018


Most Forgiving Irons 2016

My original post highlighted these five sets of irons from 2016. If you can still find a new 2016 set, you can save a big chunk of money and pick up a great set of game improvement irons. I’ve left all five sets here so you can get digging. You might even want to consider a used set of you’re really looking to save.

The TaylorMade RSi 1

TaylorMade RS1 - Most Forgiving Irons Photo

Cost: Originally $799-$899, but Amazon currently has them in the $549-$599 range
Construction: Cast
Shafts: Steel or graphite (this influences cost)
Summary: TaylorMade’s studies indicate the over 70% of the shots hit by golfers are mis-hits, so they’ve designed a club that forgives the mis-hit.

MyGolfSpy & Golf WRX had the RSi1 ranked #1, and for good reasons. There are face slots in the 3-8 irons (for better consistency) and speed pockets in the 3-7 irons.

You can depend on this club for:

  • better distance
  • higher launch
  • more power all-around

Summarized Reviews

  • “These clubs help me hit the ball further and straighter.”
  • “The large sweet spot helps you strike the ball well.”
  • “I compared clubs from all the major companies and the TaylorMade RS1 felt the best. Lots of pop on the ball.”

See the TaylorMade RSi 1 on Amazon


The Cobra Fly-Z

Forgiving Irons - Cobra Fly ZCost: Originally $699-$799, but Amazon currently has them in the $300-$400 range
Construction: Cast
Shafts: Steel or graphite (this influences cost)
Summary: A solid performer in all tests. I’ve ranked it #2 because it combines good looks (colors can be customized as well) with a price that’s slightly below all the other tested irons. Why hit your wallet harder when you don’t have to?

The Cobra Fly-Z is generously forgiving and offers a helpful bottom groove for alignment purposes.

You can depend on this club for:

  • extreme distance on center hits
  • consistent distance on mis-hits
  • remarkable feel at impact (no vibration thanks to a thermoplastic urethane insert)

Summarized Reviews

  • “Great clubs at a great price.”
  • “Delivers higher trajectories throughout the set for the ultimate in ‘Easy Distance’ from tee to green.” –

See the Cobra Fly-Z on Amazon


The Callaway XR

Forgiving Irons - Callaway XRCost: Originally $799-$899
Construction: Cast
Shafts: Steel or graphite (this influences cost)
Summary: It’s no surprise to see Callaway on this list. The XR are reported to be one of the easier clubs to hit, and if improved distances are your goal, these clubs performed consistently in that area. Better for mid to upper handicaps, as low handicappers had some minor criticisms.

You can depend on this club for:

  • great ball speed
  • above-average performance

Summarized Reviews

  • “These are the best Callaway clubs I have ever played with.”
  • “These clubs deliver top-notch performance.”
  • “Very happy with my purchase. Price was worth it. Added distance on every shot.”

See the Callaway XR on Amazon


The Mizuno JPX-850

Most Forgiving Irons - Mizuno JPX-850Cost: Originally $799-$899
Construction: Cast
Shafts: Steel or graphite (this influences cost)
Summary: These clubs hit the market in 2014 and the reviews have been mostly positive. A well-rounded set of irons with 13 different fitting options, the Mizuno can be carefully customized to match your swing.

You can depend on this club for:

  • great ball speed
  • firm feel
  • consistent height

Summarized Reviews

  • “If you’ve shied away from Mizuno clubs, you need to check these out.”
  • “Out of all the irons I’ve tried, these are my favorite.”
  • “Superb feel and ball trajectory.”

From Mizuno’s Research and Development Team

  • “With the Power Frame we were able to take ball speeds to a completely different level – all while keeping it hand in hand with a nice feel and a level of workability.”

See the Mizuno JPX-850 on Amazon


The Ping G30

Most Forgiving Irons - Ping G30Cost: Originally $799-$899
Construction: Cast
Shafts: Steel or graphite (this influences cost)
Summary: Most of the online reviews put Ping anywhere from 3-7 in their rankings, so we’re fitting them right in the middle with a #5 ranking.

The G30 strong suits are forgiveness and ease of use. The majority of golfers will like these consistent irons. Delicate shots will require some extra care of the part of the golfer. Look and sound were a minor complaint in the review, but I think the black carbon finish is a nice alternative.

You can depend on this club for:

See the Ping G30 on GolfSmith


The Orlimar Golf Intercept Iron Set

Cost: $206

Shafts: Orlimar 95 Steel

Summary: This club set by Orlimar is a perfect beginners set because the set is quite affordable considering that it is a 7 piece set.

The set includes five 9 irons, PW, and GW wedges. The shafts of these sticks are made of steel, which can be a bit heavy, but all irons have the same length to promote consistency and swing as you practice. In spite of their affordability, the set is made of quality materials and offers a very beautiful design.

The Orlimar 95 Steel is a perfect beginner set, with each iron designed to give you maximum forgiveness while you learn to play. 

You can depend on this club for:

  • Greater consistency
  • An improved swing
  • Excellent forgiveness

What are golfers saying?

  • It is a great beginner set
  • The golfing offers good quality for the price

See the Orlimar Golf on Amazon


The Callaway Golf 2020 Mavrik Fairway Wood

Cost: $299

Shafts: Graphite

Summary: You can choose from various wedge sizes and types when buying this club by Callaway. 

These wedges are ideal for beginner golfers or for those who need a bit more forgiveness to excel on the course.

These wedges are made of high quality graphite materials to reduce the weight while offering maximum strength. Each club is designed to maximize ball speed and performance and these clubs do have a very fashionable overall look.

You can depend on this club for:

  • Maximum ball speed
  • Excellent forgiveness
  • Quality and durability

What are golfers saying?

  • These clubs are stylish and made of the finest quality materials
  • Great sticks for improving your ball speed

See The Callaway Golf on Amazon


Buying Guide

It can be hard to pick the best irons for golfing when there are so many great options to choose from. 

If you are having a tough time choosing then perhaps this quick guide can help you decide.

The Budget-Friendly

If you are shopping on a tight budget, then we recommend you consider the Orlimar Golf Iron set or the Callaway Golf 2020 Fairway Wood. These are both good budget picks. The Orlimar Golf iron set on our list is the most affordable, since it includes a 7-piece set at a remarkable price.

The Best for Beginners

All of these clubs are great for beginner golfers, since they do offer good forgiveness. But the golf set by Orlimar is the absolute best for beginners, since it is affordable and includes a full set of irons. 

Those who want a good quality beginner golfing set can also consider the Cobra King F8 or other full sets included in this list. 

The Best for Serious Golfers

Experienced and serious golfers can consider higher quality clubs such as the Callaway Rogue, Cobra King F8, Cleveland Launcher, Taylor Made M4, or the Mizuno JPX900 Hot Metal. These are all great picks.

Other Forgiving Irons to Consider

If you’re the type of person who needs more options, you should take a look at the iron sets below.

Do you own clubs from our most forgiving irons series?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the most forgiving irons in the comments below.

Looking for the Easiest Driver to Hit? We can help you out there too.

TOP 10 IRONS 2016

Cleveland Golf Returns: Resurrection or Hail Mary?

Do you realize it’s only been two years since Cleveland Golf morphed into a short game/putting specialty brand and away from the full-line company it had been for over 35 years?

Sure seems a lot longer, doesn’t it?

Truth be told, despite iconic clubs like the Launcher and HiBore drivers and 588 wedges, Cleveland as a full-line brand had been sliding into irrelevance since the late 2000’s. Sumitomo Rubber Industries and its subsidiary, Dunlop Sports Ltd (parent company of Srixon Golf), bought Cleveland for a relative song in 2007, and spent the next several years trying to figure out how to blend a struggling full-line brand in Cleveland with an emerging (in the US, anyway) full-line brand in Srixon.

Ultimately, it couldn’t. Cleveland’s last Tour-level irons were the circa-2012 588 MB/CB lines and by 2014 the course was set: Srixon would be the Tour-level/better player brand and Cleveland would be the Game Improvement/Senior/Short Game brand.



That didn’t work either. Cleveland released the CG Black, the last of its full-line equipment, in early 2015. Soon thereafter Dunlop made it official: Cleveland would be the short game brand (wedges and putters) only, while Srixon would handle irons and woods.

With that as a backdrop, you could look at today’s announcement that Cleveland is returning to the full-line equipment world – as a Game Improvement line, no less –  as more slapdash corporate strategizing.

I think you’d be wrong, though.

We’ll discuss strategic merits in a bit, but first let’s look at Cleveland’s new goodies: 2 sets of irons and a driver-fairway-hybrid lineup. The entire package is aimed squarely – and unapologetically – at the Recreational/Game Improvement golfer.

Launcher HB Woods

Cleveland can take credit for releasing the very first 460 CC driver with the original Launcher, but you can make a case their last compelling driver was the HiBore. Since you’re making a comeback anyway, why not bring back both names?

“At the time, those were some of the best performing drivers on the market,” says Brian Schielke, Cleveland’s Senior Product Manager for Golf Clubs. “A lot of golfers have fond memories of their Launchers and HiBores, so we thought it was important to bring back and enhance the best technologies of both.”

Cleveland Launcher - 3-1020

The Launcher HB driver features a new-age HiBore Crown on top, Flex-Fin technology on the bottom and the Launcher Cup Face in front, all in the name of thinner, lighter and more forgiving.

“Giving us a more forgiving club head by moving the center of gravity back and lower, that’s what we’ve all been trying to do for years,” says Cleveland R&D chief Jeff Brunski. “The physics haven’t changed much, but what we’re able to accomplish with the thickness and the strength of titanium has.”

“Flex-Fins get you more ball speed lower on the face, the HiBore crown gets you better energy transfer high on the face, and the Cup Face lets us go thinner and stronger over a larger area of the face. We need to see ball speed and efficient launch conditions to get people straighter and longer.” – Jeff Brunski, Cleveland Golf

You’ll notice the Launcher HB, at a very 2008-ish price of $299, is not adjustable (also very 2008-ish) – a move Cleveland says is as much about performance as it is about price, if not more.

Cleveland Launcher driver - 1-0984

“If you’re a TaylorMade or a Callaway, you’re trying to get 30 or 40% market share with your drivers,” says Schielke. “You need to make something that’ll work for every type of golfer. so you put adjustable hosels on them, you put adjustable weights. That works kinda well for everyone, but it’s not optimized for anyone. We’re not making this driver for everyone. We’re making it for people who want to hit it high and straight.”

Adjustable hosels are all kinds of fun, but they aren’t terribly aerodynamic and tend to add mass high and forward – the worst possible location for this driver’s target golfer.

“If you’re a tinkerer or if you like to hit low fades or things like that, this isn’t the driver for you,” says Schielke. “There are a lot of other drivers that will work better for you. But if you just want to hit it high and straight time after time, this performs.”

“Adjustability serves a purpose from some golfers,” adds Brunski. “Ultimately people are going to realize they can get the same or better performance without paying for things they don’t use.”

Cleveland Launcher driver - 3-1001

Brunski says the driver, fairway and hybrid are designed for golfers with average swing speeds – mid 80’s to mid 90’s. “We’ve been using the term ‘real golfer,’ a golfer who’s average in every dimension,” he adds. “Average swing speed, average distance – that’s the core golfer we’re targeting.”

The Launcher HB fairways and hybrids both feature the HiBore Crown and Flex-Fins. The driver will be available in 9, 10.5 and 12 degree options, with 15 and 18 degree fairways and 19, 22 and 25 degree hybrids. The stock shaft for the line is the Miyazaki’s C. Kua, but true to the target market, there will be no XS option.

Cleveland Launcher 3 wood - 1-0942

“There will be custom options available,” says Brunski. “But we’re not going to have a variety of no-upcharge options because the C. Kua was built as part of a cohesive design. We feel it will give the best performance for most golfers – the 8 to 20 handicappers who are the meat of industry. The lower handicap or tourney golfer – this driver really is not for them.”

As mentioned, the driver MSRP is $299. The fairway is $219 and the hybrid $199.

Launcher CBX Irons

Last week we told you about Cleveland’s new Game Improvement CBX wedges, which should dovetail nicely into the new Launcher CBX irons.

Cleveland CBX Irons - 16-0826

“These are on the Better Player side of Game Improvement irons,” says Schielke. “The Cleveland brand is positioned for average golfers, but a lot of them are used to nice looking irons. We didn’t want these to have super-thick top lines or be extremely oversized. These might even appeal to lower handicaps, maybe 5 to 16 or so.”

There’s plenty of familiar Srixon-Cleveland tech built into the CBX irons, including Tour Zip Grooves and Double Laser face milling (same grooves as Cleveland’s wedges) throughout the set and a progressive V-Shaped sole for better turf interaction.

“If people associate anything with Cleveland Golf, it’s the ability to design good grooves and a sole that gets through the turf effectively,” says Brunski. “Those are things that help you score better. A lot of other manufacturers, as they chase distance, make tradeoffs. If you put it all into distance you don’t have much money left to create spin generating technologies.”

Cleveland CBX Irons - 8-0796

Testing shows the CBX long irons are remarkably easy to launch due to their low profile and low center of gravity. “The shape progresses from a low profile in the long irons to more of standard profile with the short irons,” says Schielke. “Blade length also progresses. The 4-iron blade is slightly longer, so you have more area to hit the ball if you’re less precise. The short irons are designed for more control. They’re more compact with a higher CG so you’re not hitting balloon balls.”

Comparing the 7-iron to a Srixon Z 765 you’d see a smidge more offset and a tad wider sole, but just a smidge and only a tad. Cleveland does a nice job masking GI features, producing an iron that wouldn’t look out of place in a better player’s bag. Also of note: the sole carries both the iron number and the loft.

Cleveland CBX Irons - 6-0793

Thank you, Ben Hogan.

The stock shaft is the new Dynamic Gold DST 98, which Cleveland says has the same profile as the Dynamic Gold, just a good bit lighter. The Miyazaki C.Kua is the stock graphite shaft.

CBS pricing is also very 2008-ish: $699 for the 4-PW in steel, $799 in graphite.

Cleveland CBX Specs


Launcher HB Irons

There’s a very specific – and underserved – market for the Launcher HB’s, which occupies a space even more forgiving than Super-Duper Game Improvement irons. These are very much the “Sons of the 588 Altitudes.”

Cleveland HB Irons - 1-0839

“The HB’s are for golfers who just want to hit the ball farther and straighter with a more forgiving club,” says Brunski. “These were some of our most popular irons in the past, simply because they perform so well and are so unique. It’s a fun product to design in that you have the fewest constraints on shape. You don’t have some Tour player telling you they want to see this, or feedback from avid golfers with strong opinions.”

The Launcher HB’s are a hollow body iron with dramatically more forgiveness than even the most Super Game Improvement cavity back. The HB’s feature Cleveland’s HiBore Crown, which allows for a very low and very deep center of gravity to get the ball in the air.

Cleveland HB Irons - 10-0872

“A lot of things in this product still stand the test of time,” says Brunski. “The most significant enhancement, from an engineering standpoint, is in the materials and our ability to thin out the face to produce more ball speed.”

The HB’s use HT 1770 high strength steel for a thin, hot face. “Most average to slow swing speed players can add distance just by hitting the ball higher, and these will hit the ball higher than anything else on the market,” says Brunski. “But on top of that, where can you add performance? It’s getting them a little more ball speed with a thinner face.”

With Adams dead and buried, Cleveland sees a huge opportunity in this end of the market (something our own Tony Covey predicted in 2014). Schielke thinks the HB’s might be Cleveland’s biggest seller, at least in the short term, since the product will be launching in the fall, at a time when aging avid golfers, who lost their egos 20 yards ago, return to the Sunbelt.

Cleveland HB Irons - 5-0859

The HB’s have the same stock shafts at the CBX’s, and are priced the same as well – $699 in steel, $799 in graphite.

All of the new Cleveland products will be available starting September 15th.

Cleveland HB irons specs

Now About That Comeback?

So, is this a Resurrection or a Hail Mary for Cleveland? We can rule out Hail Mary for one simple reason: Srixon-Cleveland is simply not in desperation mode. By all accounts, it’s been a banner year for both brands, but without a solid GI/SGI offering, both brands are missing out on the industry’s biggest segment, Srixon’s Z 355 line (to be discontinued with Cleveland’s return) notwithstanding.

In retrospect, pulling the plug on full-line Cleveland in 2015 made sense. Dunlop Sports tried making a big splash that year with Srixon’s Z-45 line, but wound up missing the pool altogether. Early shipping and availability issues crippled the line before it could even get out of the starting gate, and Cleveland’s CG Black line was yet another blah Cleveland release that excited no one.

Cleveland CBX Irons - 4-0785

Clearly a reset was needed.

And say what you will about not being influenced by what Tour players play, Tour validation is important (how many Matsuyama WITB stories have you seen today?), as is strong management, a focused sales team, retail availability and some good old fashioned mojo. Srixon has clearly found its mojo with some badly needed successes in balls and clubs, including top honors in MyGolfSpy’s Most Wanted Driver and Game Improvement iron testing, to go along with Matsuyama’s stellar play.

Srixon has clearly kicked the door down and taken a seat at forged iron/better player table. However, it’s not serving the biggest chunk of the market, so bringing back Cleveland as the Recreational Player/Game Improvement brand makes sense. Doing it now makes even more sense when you consider 2017 is the off-year in Srixon’s two-year product cycle. We won’t see new drivers or irons from Srixon until next fall, so the anticipated whoopdeedoo surrounding Cleveland’s return keeps the positive brand mojo rolling.

Cleveland Launcher 3 wood - 2-0946

This targeted, dual-brand approach is essentially the same plan that failed back in 2014, but the context is completely different. Back then Cleveland was reeling, Srixon was desperately seeking validation and a new management team was trying to sort it all out (longtime CEO Greg Hopkins left just a year before). Both brands are on much more stable footing today, and a year-plus of CEO Matt Yasumoto’s leadership has palpably energized corporate’s attitude and culture.

Will it work? Cleveland is playing it smart by clearly differentiating its new products from the Srixon line, targeting the fat part of the bell curve and pricing for value. But if you define success as forcing TaylorMade and Callaway to wave the white flag and close up shop, then no, it won’t. The bar, however, is set kind of low. In 2014, Cleveland’s market shares in irons and metal woods were 1.6% and 1% respectively, barely good enough for a participant’s ribbon. Matching those numbers with an upward trajectory would be a solid first step.

John Barba

John is an aging, yet avid golfer, writer, 9-point-something handicapper living back home in New England after a 22-year exile in Minnesota. He loves telling stories, writing about golf and golf travel, and enjoys classic golf equipment. “The only thing a golfer needs is more daylight.” - BenHogan

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Cleveland 588 Iron Sets



Cleveland has recently release their new 588 Irons. The 588 irons come in a variety of styles to allow for any golfer to custom-build their set based on their desired feel, trajectory, forgiveness, and workability desires.

The 588 options include the 588 Altitude (high launch / forgiveness), 588 MT (mid-trajectory), and 588 TT (tour trajectory) sets. The intent is to allow the golfer to choose clubs from any series in order to build a custom iron set.


While the clubs all do mix-and-match really well, I think the majority of players would only mix two sets of the irons (e.g. the Altitude with the MT or the MT with the TT). The differences between the Altitude through the TT are fairly significant and although possible – I wouldn’t imagine too many people putting a mix of all three series in a mixed set.

588 Altitude, 588 MT, 588 TT Testing

For the higher-lofted clubs, the feel and sensation at address was very similar and surprisingly – the clubs look very similar at address.




While the back of the clubs do have a different looks (especially the Altitude), the clubs look very similar standing directly over them. For the higher lofts, all of the clubs felt great with the workability increasing from the Altitude to the MT to the TT. My favorite high-lofted series were the TTs, but they all felt and performed very similar.



For the mid-lofted clubs, the story starts to change a bit with performance. The feel of the Altitude becomes much different than the MT and TT. The MT and TT still feel similar while the Altitude has a hollow or “numb” feel. It was actually a bit hard to hit a bad shot with the Altitude. Even off the toe and on significant mis-hits, the Altitude still seemed to fly pretty good. For the mid-lofted clubs, my favorite feel and performance were still the TTs with the MTs being a close second.



For the low-lofted clubs, there is a large difference in everything from ball flight to feel. The Altitude starts to become huge and is clearly a club that would work nicely for a high-handicapper. The downside of the Altitude is the sheer size and bulk of the clubs – however the forgiveness is simply amazing. Although the MTs are a little bulkier than the TTs – they are significantly easier to hit. For this range, the MT was my clear favorite.


I was very impressed with the performance of all these clubs and the variety of the mix-and-match possibilities gives plenty of options for fine-tuning your iron set.


While the Altitudes are not something I would put in my bag, they are clearly a great choice for a high-handicapper or senior crowd. The MTs and TTs are both good series and can easily be mixed by the majority of mid-handicappers out there. After the testing, my personal preference is the TT for P,9,8,7 and the MT for 6, 5, 4.


If you’d like to see some additional photos of the 588 Altitude, MT, and TT sets – check out our photo album on Facebook.


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