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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