Cleveland CG Black Driver Review

Innovation. It is a word that is thrown around a lot in the golf equipment world and when it comes to the game changing drivers, the amount of technology over the last decade or two has been downright staggering. Cleveland Golf has taken innovation to different levels in terms of light weight technology over the last couple of years and with the launch of the new Cleveland Black driver (11/15), the company is proving that they are not resting on their laurels.

From the Company
The CG Black driver weighs in at only 265 grams, which makes it the lightest driver on the market to help players generate measurable increases in swing speed and distance with the same swing effort. The advanced aerodynamics found in the driver’s Speed Crown Design – an innovative, teardrop-inspired crown profile – maximize distance by reducing drag at all angles of airflow during the swing. MaxCOR2 Variable Face Thickness Technology reduces face weight and increases trampoline effect on off-center hits, meaning higher ball speed and more distance on off-center hits. Plus, a high-density weight screw at the rear of the sole plate positions the center of gravity lower and deeper to promote a high, draw-biased trajectory with optimal launch conditions for effortless distance. The CG Black driver also features a Miyazaki C. Kua 39 Limited Edition graphite shaft – from the worldwide leader in ultralite graphite shaft technology – as well as a lightweight Golf Pride Tour 25 grip, a combination that decreases overall club weight for faster swing speed.

At 265 grams, this is the lightest driver available on the market.

• Club weight: 265 g
• Club length: 46”
• Swingweight: D2
• RH lofts: 9.0, 10.5, 12.0
• LH lofts: 9.0, 10.5
• Shaft: Miyazaki C. Kua 39 Limited Edition (A, R, S flexes)
• Head volume: 460 cc
• Face angle: Square

First Impressions

Why So Light?
Rather than give you statistic after statistic or discuss who this works for and who might not benefit from the technology, THP would rather you hear it right from the source. On a recent episode of THP Radio, our guest was Nate Radcliffe, from Cleveland Golf and the conversation was centered around this new and innovative driver. Click here to be hear that in depth interview and find out exactly if this new sleek looking golf club is right for you.

Sound & Feel – One of the most interesting aspects of club testing is the different impact sound that each driver makes and how that relates to the feel of the club through our perception. The Cleveland CG Black has a deeper, but yet still composite type of sound. Not tinny and/or overly loud, but not a quiet ‘crack’ either. The sound translates to a feel of power and at impact you get the impression that the ball is jumping off the face.

Shaft – Through its roots in Japan, Cleveland Golf is able to maintain a unique partnership with Miyazaki golf shafts. Miyazaki is a high end shaft maker and their aftermarket shafts are some of the most sought after by the THP readers. Though early in their roots as a name brand product, the shaft maker has had some incredible success worldwide and you can read about that in a recent article here. While tour success is wonderful and shows a level of high quality, one of the most important factors in a shaft is how it performs for the individual. During our testing the Special Edition Miyazaki C. Kua 39 series did admirably and worked with the club head in a marriage that you rarely see in today’s golf market. Smooth is the best way to describe the feeling of the shaft during the golf swing and at impact you see a nice high ball flight.

Performance – While the original feeling of picking up the club is just how light it is, after a few swings, the swing weight takes over and that sensation of “Wow, it’s light” kind of goes away. All you are left with is an increase in swing speed due to the lighter overall weight without any sacrifice in balance. In our thorough testing, THP found the results were very similar to what was discussed by Nate Radcliffe in the THP Radio Show. For certain golfers, this may in fact be the perfect driver for them. It is not a one stop shop to fix a golf swing and its not the golf club that will assist all players. In our launch monitor testing, THP found that golfers with a fairly smooth tempo and driver swing speeds under 103 MPH experienced some rather large distance gains. Some as much as 14 yards. Once a golfer reached that swing speed, the returns started to diminish due to some ballooning of the golf ball. This goes back to a fitting theory and making sure you are fit correctly for the golf clubs in your bag.

While the Cleveland CG Black driver is not a golf club for every golfer, what THP found is that in the right hands, it can be absolutely revolutionary. Light weight with an incredibly high quality shaft and club head is one thing, but to do it without any loss of balance throughout the club is something else. The company was able to create a golf club that will increase your swing speed and give you more distance off the tee and in the right golfer’s hands, that is a great combination to have. The new driver hits golf stores later this month at a price of $399. For more information on Cleveland Golf CG Black Driver, check out their website at

Till Next Time

Josh B.

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  • Awesome review JB! After hearing all of your reviews in the thread and listening to the radio show, I have no doubt this driver will be great. This should be in a lot of people’s bags come December! Great job!

  • Excellent review for an amazing driver. I believe Cleveland has absolutely made a revolutionary club for those with lower swing speeds. The launch monitor data was very interesting, and really shows the importance of being fit to your clubs. Great review!

  • Nice review JB! Having followed the thread about this driver, I am excited to see if it works for me in terms of distance gains. Thanks for helping to keep us “in the know” on all of the great new products coming out.

  • Great review JB. I can’t wait to find this in the store and test it out. I think it would be great for my swing and get me some extra distance. Which is always nice!

  • Great review JB, really enjoyed the whole thing – the radio show really must be listened to, in order to get the full idea of just how bold a move this is by Cleveland. Usually we see OEMs putting out ‘the best club for everyone’, but Cleveland really is throwing weight behind the proper fitting process and telling us where their clubs work best. Really refreshing to hear.

  • Great review! i am looking forward to trying this club out.

  • Nice review JB, this club would most likely not work for me, but in the right hands the results speak for themselves.

  • awesome review JB… def on my list of new drivers i wanna try out for next season even if im not sure it will fit my game.

  • I love that Cleveland has a line out there right now for guys like me. It’s refreshing to see that they are really trying to get clubs out there that can make the game a little easier and more fun. This is an amazing looking driver and to say that I can’t wait to hit it would be a huge understatement.

  • I still cannot wait to try this driver out. It could be the best looking driver on the market, and that always has some sort of pull with me.

  • 14 yards? I’ll take it. Love the looks and will have to give it a try to see if it works for me.

  • Great review jb. This driver is one on the short list to try out for next season.

  • Great review Josh and the 14 yards is hard not to ignore. I’m right around that SS and will really take a hard look at this driver once I’m able to test it.

  • Like the looks of it. Can’t wait to try it out. My SS is slightly below 103, would love to see what gains(if any) I would get from this driver.

  • Thanks for the review JB, this is definitely a great looking stick…possibly the best looking driver I’ve seen from the pics and videos you’ve posted on the forum. I can’t wait to get a few swings with it to see if I’m one of those golfers whose game will be revolutionized by using it. I could use a little of that!

  • My SS usually tops out at 101mph and that’s when I’m really going for it and am in the groove. 97-99 is usually where I’m at and that sure seems like the spot that the Black is aiming at. I’m very intrigued by this driver, I can’t wait to try it out. Thanks for the review JB.

  • THank you for the review JB, this driver really has me intrigued, and I’m planning on hitting it the moment it gets into stores.

  • Excellent review JB! This is the best line in the whole review and should sway people who are on the fence about hitting it or not (me) to go and hit it…. “in the right hands, it can be absolutely revolutionary.’ Pretty strong statement that if true for some golfers, could be a game changer.

  • Hanks captured exactly what caught me in that review. Normally thoughtful measured articles like that don’t include such strong statements unless the product really deserves it. As if reading the forum posts weren’t eye opening enough! Well done, JB.

  • I can see this one sitting pretty in my bag. After this review and the radio show that was mentioned, I think this thing is perfect for me.

  • Awesome review JB! I cant wait to have this in my bag, it will be my first non adjustable driver in years.

  • Nice review JB. I really love the fact that Cleveland is really spreading around their technology this year. They are making every club imaginable for every possible player. Really a revolutionary year for Cleveland. Seems like a rocket launcher in the right hands!!!

  • Once again… another great review by JB..!! I think Cleveland/Srixon is spot on with targeting that segment of golfers with less than tour level speeds, and can’t wait to give this driver a whirl..!!

  • I am sucking with a driver. This might be my answer.

  • Sounds like everything needed for my swing speed in a beautiful package. I may dream about this bad boy tonight.

  • Great review JB. This driver has me super intrigued and I can’t wait to try it out.

  • NIce work JB, the driver does all it’s talking the first time the ball jumps off the face.

  • Love the honest summary and it says it all. The right driver in the right hands is what it’s all about. Will definitely give this beast a go.

  • How about showing the results of L.M.testing?How large was the test group?

  • All of our launch monitor numbers are available in the forum from this test group in detailed posts.

  • JB, wondering why the shaft would come in a regular and stiff flex? If it is for players under 100 mph
    would the stiff be for 90 to 100 and the regular for 80 to 90 mph ?

  • Dazu,
    There are a few more aspects other than swing speed that determine shaft stiffness, such as tempo. You may want to jump on a launch monitor and see which one fits best.

  • Bought this club and am very impressed with it. Am getting 15-20 more yards carry.

  • You’re really a excellent webmaster. The web site loading velocity is amazing. It sort of feels that you’re doing any distinctive trick. Furthermore, The contents are masterwork. you’ve done a fantastic activity in this subject!

  • Based on you review and some personal testing I purchased a cb black . Wow an increase of 9mph and about 12-15 yards. I have picked up some of the lost yardage (65 years old) and feel I have fought the age factor back for the time being

  • Tried many – picked the CG Black 9 loft. Getting 40++ yard gain with this club.

  • Man i do not believe it!
    I was visiting MGA driving range to exorcise my disappointments of the weekend past
    Just as i entered i noticed a clearance bag with an array of all sorts
    In the bag i see this lonely Cleveland CG Black 10.5 R Driver
    Not knowing anything about it, i proceeded to pick it up and have a look
    The first impressions upon taking the cover off were “Wow” Nice looking club, followed with; this is so light
    I had such a shocking day on the Saturday i decided to take this lonely thing out of the clearance bag and give it a hit………..what’s the worst that could happen right……i put it straight back at no cost
    I normally hit a good drive with roll and finish at around the 200 meter mark
    I start to think what the heck was wrong with me on Saturday as i couldn’t reach 180 and couldn’t hit the fairways even when i did…….now on the driving range i hit normally and all within a radius of about 10 meters
    Pleased that it was coming together again but still totally disheartened at my performance or lack thereof on Saturday i decide it was time to hit this CG Black thing sitting here looking at me
    Well! What an absolute shock to my system!
    I am a 15 handicapper, 60 years of age and love my golf
    My Driver swing speed is between 95-98 MPH
    My normal drives with my latest purchase “RBZ 2” is landing the ball at about 180 – 185 and finishing around the 200 meter mark, and i think that’s good for me!
    This black thing i drove from the first shot was consistently landing at 200+ meters
    I got so confident with this thing after about 20 to 30 balls, i nearly reached 260 meter
    Are you kidding, i thought to myself………….where have you been all this time. Under a rock as i had never read up on or received any advertising jargon on this driver!
    Needless to say i purchased this baby from its clearance bag at the driving and boy am i looking forward to this coming Saturday, eagerly waiting to unveil this Cleveland CG Black baby!
    I am converted………….
    I have truly gained 50 meters on average!
    I am not an employee of Cleveland! I have nothing to gain by this report but you have if you’re in my category of golfers
    And now to look at the black series irons!

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