Cleveland CG Black Fairway Wood Review

Be Long Again

In case you weren’t aware, that is Cleveland Golf’s tagline for the new CG Black line. It’s hard to explain how much those three words speak to me. Struggling with distance can be tough to deal with, especially off the tee. Trust me on that one. If Cleveland had written that tagline with just me in mind, I think it would just read “Be Long“, but that’s beside the point. THP asked me to review the fairway wood from this new line, and from what I’ve seen, I’m exactly the type of person the club was designed for. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the technology built into these clubs and how well it works in the real world.

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Ultralite Technology

With the proven lightweight performance found in premium Miyazaki graphite shafts and lightweight grips from Golf Pride and Lamkin, players can expect increases in swing speed with the same swing effort.

Cleveland has definitely been towards the front of the pack in the lightweight realm over the last year or so. Much of that has to do with their partnership with Miyazaki Shafts. The CG Black fairway woods come standard with the Miyazaki C Kua 39 Limited Edition series. This shaft is extremely lightweight and seems a little on the softer side. For my swing (normally around 97mph with the driver), it worked very well. It felt nice through the swing and really assisted in obtaining some height and distance. When tested on the launch monitor, the numbers I took were a bit astonishing. I was definitely getting distance from a 5W that I’d never seen before. After this, I ended up using the CG Black in place of my driver for a round and found that it was a viable option for me, which was not something I expected coming into this review.

Finally, a quick note about the Golf Pride grip: In my opinion, this grip is an improvement over the stock option on 2011’s FL series. It feels nice in the hand, and provides enough tackiness to keep the club secure without being rough.

Lower, Deeper Center of Gravity

The center of gravity has been moved lower and deeper toward the back of the club head for higher launch angle with optimal spin and playability. Fairway woods now include a strategically positioned weight insert. This technology helps to maximize distance in all playing conditions.

We hear the preceding terms quite a bit, but in the past I’ve been left a little disappointed in the results I’ve seen from other clubs making similar claims. I was pleased to see that the CG Black did actually give me the high ball flight I look for in a fairway wood. The flight was strong, with a low start that climbed very fast and peaked very high. I don’t know that I’ve ever hit a fairway wood quite as high as I hit this one. For me, that higher ball flight resulted in some very nice carry distances. I found shots off the fairway were easy to get airborne as well, with shots off of the tee even higher. Those struggling for height from their fairway wood shots could find this line very useful.

Speed Crown Design

CG Black drivers and fairway woods include Speed Crown Design, the most aerodynamic wood shape Cleveland Golf has ever engineered. A teardrop-inspired profile reduces drag at all angles of airflow during the swing for superior speed.

Obviously, I’m not able to test the aerodynamics of a golf club, but I do want to comment on the head shape of the CG Black fairway wood. This line appears to have a slightly deeper face than the FL series, but the head shape does look to be a bit sleeker. From the top, it appears to be fairly traditional in shape and size. From the side, you can see the aerodynamics a bit more. The club tapers off towards the back and the lines are nicely contoured. Aside from the silver CG and weight on the bottom of the club, the finish is all black. It screams ‘speedy’ in just about every way. Another feature to note is the sound of the CG Black. It’s unique among the Cleveland woods I’ve tested in that it’s quite muted and powerful. It struck me as sounding very different than the FL series and was something I came to really enjoy.


I’ve already alluded to some of the results I saw while testing the CG Black fairway wood. I was able to test it on the range, the course, and the launch monitor. I found the distance to be remarkable for a 19° club and I was actually swinging it with as much speed as I do my normal driver. This equated to some nice results off the tee. As I mentioned, I used it exclusively off the tee for one round and was quite comfortable with the distances I was getting. Accuracy off of the tee was definitely acceptable in that I hit a good number of fairways on a fairly tight course. A nice smooth tempo was rewarded the most, which is pretty typical of any club I swing. Over time, my most common miss showed itself to be a pull, which is my ‘trying to swing too hard’ miss. I did not experience a great deal of sidespin in either direction.

Results off the grass were good when it came to getting the ball up in the air with good distance. I tend to prefer a hybrid in these situations as I am usually more accurate with them and I came away feeling the same after this testing. However, I do realize we are all very different, so definitely take that into consideration. Some swings definitely benefit from a fairway wood more than others when it comes to hitting the ball off of the grass.

Final Thoughts

I don’t know why, but there is something satisfying about knowing Cleveland designed a line of clubs with me in mind. I am constantly looking for a few more yards, especially with my woods, and the CG Black series delivers in a big way. These clubs aren’t going to be for everybody. Cleveland has been pretty clear about that, but those of you that fit the profile would be very wise to take a few swings with one if you can. For more information, you can listen to a recent In the Rough radio show produced by THP or head over to Also, if you happen to be in the market for something from this line, you should consider talking to the folks at as they have been very helpful to our readers in the past. As always, thanks for reading and best of luck out on the course this year.
Ryan H.

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  • Well done Ryan. I had a feeling that this club, and better yet, this series, would be ideal for you. It’s nice to know that there are options out there that can be immediately rewarding to golfers. I’d still love to see what the 3wood and driver can do for you 🙂

  • Great review Ryan! This line sounds like it is perfect for a lot of normal golfers, and the amount of weight that they’ve managed to take off this simply astounds me. Thanks for the review, and I’m very glad that this worked out for you!

  • Nice review Ryan. Interesting that you just compare it to other 5 woods. I wonder how the distance compares to your normal driver, your normal 3 wood, etc. I’m disappointed Cleveland only offers it in 3, 5, 7 wood; wish they made a 4 wood available.

  • Solid review Ryan! The tagline of “Be Long Again” is obviously holding very true with your experience. To be honest, when I saw the numbers you provided I thought it was with the 3 wood and then when I realized it was with the 5 wood, I was in shock.

    This is easily one of the best looking clubs on the market and Cleveland product development has done a GREAT job of coming up with a solution for more “average” golfers so to speak that don’t often get above 100 or so with the SS.

  • Great review Ryan, I really think the Black liine is a game changer for a lot of golfers that have normal swing speeds or have slowed down over the years.

  • Great job Ryan! I must not have paid enough attention to early posts as, initially, I didn’t realize the were as aerodynamic as they are. Very sleek and sexy, yet deep with a deeper COG. This is pretty much what I demand in a fw. I will certainly keep these on my radar.

  • Great review Ryan. I enjoyed reading this review and following the thread the club. I have had a chance to swing the three wood and this line has a real good chance of winding up in my bag.

  • I enjoyed your insight into the new Cleveland Black FW, some real nice detail. I too would like to see some long term numbers on the 3w in this series. It sounds like these clubs will do what they advertise.

  • Great review! Like you, I like the fact that Cleveland has designed this line. Pack together the looks + the performance and results people are seeing, and I think this line will be solid for a group of folks.

  • Great job Ryan! These are some really good looking fairway woods. I can’t wait to get the chance to hit them. I think they will be a solid club from your review. Great job!

  • Very good review Ryan! I like the fact they are going after a certain target and getting results it seems. Hearing a lot of good things about this line. I know my SS isn’t ideal but I can’t help wanting to hit one.

  • Great review. If these woods are as good as the driver, and everything about this review leads me to believe they are, the CG Black line is something to be reckoned with!

  • Nice! I think this was also made with me in mind and I can’t wait to have the chance to hit it. I think I want the entire line of Cleveland Black woods! Do they make a 7? hahaha

  • Great review buddy! I am really hoping to get my hands on the entire Black line to give them a try as I have heard nothing but good things, and you have continued that trend.

  • Solid review Ryan. It’s hard to think that the FL series could be improved upon, but it sure seems like Cleveland did it! I just don’t think I can replace my FL’s just yet. But it’s good to have options for the future!

  • Great write-up Ryan! This review along with the forum thread has me seriously pondering a new FW. Can’t wait to hit these on the monitor. My SS is similar to yours, so I’m hopeful that I can gain some distance with these as well.

  • Great review Ryan! I think a solid FW like this can be a real game changer for you. I’m glad you liked it and hope you find some great results long term with it in your bag.

  • Wonderful review Ryan! Following you in the review thread was a treat and to see it culminate in a well written review will be a big help when looking for a new fairway wood.

  • Nice review!!! I agree with your comment about this lineup being made for amateurs. Really cool to hear a company actually making a product aimed specifically for US. Beautiful looking club.

  • Sweet looking clubs that actually deliver, what’s not to like? Great job Ryan, I know the Cleveland Blacks are on the short list of many of us here, drive & fairways. I look forward to the opportunity to hit these beauties.

  • Nice review Hawk! I think having a FW that one can rely on is very underestimated. You’ve done a good job pointing out that this could help some people including yourself which is cool. Nice job!

  • Great review Hawk! I might have to check these bad boys out.

  • Fore Left!!!

  • Bought this club and tried for first time yesterday. Absolutely awesome! Let my 76 year old friend hit it on a par 4. He was 180 yards out and he put it dead center green, birdied the hole. Seriously considering the Driver now.

  • I’m truly enjoying the design and layout of your blog. It’s a very
    easy on the eyes which makes it much more enjoyable for me to come here and
    visit more often. Did you hire out a developer to create your
    theme? Outstanding work!

  • Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular article!
    It’s the little changes that make the largest changes. Thanks for sharing!

  • My family every time say that I am wasting my time here at net, however I know I am getting familiarity everyday by
    reading such nice posts.

  • Enjoyed reading this Ryan. I picked up a Black 3W before reading this and can agree with you very well. I was able to pick the ball of the fairways with easy and improved accuracy. I have very high club head spead but have come to the realization that slowing down increases my consistency and this club gives me much comfort and trust. I am looking at trying to demo the driver and already know I will pick up the 5W.

  • One problem with this review is that the author does not discuss shaft frequency. I found the 3W with the 39R Miyazaki shaft to be way too soft for me with my 85mph swing speed, encouraging a hook. Club becomes too inconsistent for me to play with. Pity as I like the classic head design.

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