Back in January of this year THP got a chance to review the Cleveland CG7 line of irons and came away fairly impressed. What we learned from that testing was that the CG7 line from Cleveland Golf was one of the most forgiving irons that we had tried in quite some time. Tester after tester remarked at how “high and straight” seemed to be the ball flight even on mishits while using the 2009 CG7 irons we were testing. THP was extremely unsure how they could change or better these irons, but when we got the announcement of the CG7 BP set for 2010, one thing was for sure….The curious part of us was itching to give them a try.
From the Company
Cleveland Golf/Srixon is pleased to introduce their latest irons, the CG7 Black Pearl (BP) and CG7 Tour BP irons. These new CG7BP and CG7 Tour BP irons combine the Gelback and Micro-Cavity technologies of their predecessors with Cleveland Golf’s new Laser Milled and Zip Groove™ technologies, which are currently featured in their latest CG15 wedge.
Laser Milled Face – Cleveland Golf’s precision surface roughness technology. Using the precision of a laser, four perfectly calibrated texture lines are Laser Milled between each groove. The result is a clubface featuring a perfectly consistent surface texture – right to the conforming limit. This breakthrough surface roughness application allows for optimal ball-to-clubface friction and maximizes spin under the Rules of Golf.
Zip Grooves – The breakthrough, envelope-stretching geometry from Cleveland Golf. This patented technology features consistent milling of each groove to maximum conforming dimensions. The CNC machine form cutter bit is designed to the exact shape of the groove – creating grooves and edge radii with total precision. The absolute integrity of these grooves is maintained through the application of a proprietary coating to each groove for protection during the sandblasting process. Players are assured that groove volume is optimized to channel more debris at impact than traditional grooves. More spin is generated by this improved ball-to-clubface contact and this results in more consistent shot-making.
Gelback & Micro-Cavity – These breakthrough Cleveland Golf technologies offer players of all levels increased benefits in the areas of feel, distance and forgiveness. Feel comes in the form of 360 Gelback Technology; a one piece injection-molded, lightweight insert providing vibration dampening across the entire face. Superior distance is the result of Dynamic MCT (Micro-Cavity Technology), which incorporates progressively sized micro-cavities for optimized CG location in each head. The CG7 BP and CG7 Tour BP irons also boast heel/toe muscle weighting, which provides forgiveness with 6% greater MOI than traditional irons for maximum performance on off-center shots.
Click on each image for Hi-Res Photo
These are not the old fashioned irons that still have some elegant class left in them. The Cleveland CG7 BP irons may possibly be the best looking irons I have I have ever come across. That statement is purely a preference, however I was not alone in that assessment. Most of the testers that got a chance to try this set out for our magazine and website review had similar thoughts. The finish of the clubs, as mentioned above, is a black pearl finish that simply looks as if it was carved for artwork. It does come off when playing and starts to get that weathered look, that most of our reviewers fell in love with. The cavity of the club seems slightly less busy than that of the last version of CG7’s we tried, and this was mostly do to the yellow insert being pulled out in favor of going with a black version. The result is an iron that looks dark, mysterious, and eager to help your game. The star of this attraction has to be the face of the club and the changes that Cleveland has made to it. From a purely aesthetic view, the changes have been well received and most of the testers involved agreed that this may in fact be the best looking iron they have tried. Cleveland Golf added their widely popular “Zip Grooves”, that have been made famous in their wedge line, to the face of each iron in the set. But the company did not stop there, as they then added Laser Milled lines in between each groove and when looking at the club, you get chills wondering what else could they do. We will check out the performance of the grooves shortly, but when discussing looks, the club face shines through like few others that we have ever seen. The etching brings something to the face that makes the club heads sparkle and beg to be hit and each time you see them, you get the same joyous reaction. The overall club look is something special that we just have not come across very often in our testing.
The Cleveland CG7 BP irons were featured in our inaugural issue of THP: The Magazine and during our testing on the range THP had 24 golfers try out these irons. In what only could be another testimonial about how people felt about the looks of the CG7 BP irons, we started our testing with only 18 golfers but as people came to the range and saw the beauty of these clubs they wanted to be involved. To qualify for this testing group each tester must be playing Game Improvement irons and their current set must have been less than 36 months old. We set each person up with bucket of range balls and let them hit their own clubs and the new Cleveland CG7 BP irons and judge for themselves based on looks, feel, forgiveness, and overall. Here is a breakdown of their scorecards after the testing was complete.
Looks – 23 of the 24 thought the looks were superior to what they were playing. 21 of the 24 thought they were the best looking clubs they had seen to date. (That is a REALLY high number)
Feel – 17 of the 24 thought they had a better feel than their current irons. This was a purely subjective category and each tester judged feel differently than the last.
Forgiveness – 19 of the 24 golfers felt as though the Cleveland CG7 BP irons were more forgiving than what they are currently playing. The term high and straight was used repeatedly during the testing.
Overall – 20 of the 24 testers felt as though these irons had a better overall performance than what they were playing currently.
When the range testing was complete we sat as a group with the testers to go over some of their thoughts. When 24 people share most of the same opinions about a product you can realize a trend growing. The looks were the most discussed aspect from every single tester there. Most considered these the best looking clubs they had tried and could not wait to see more from the line. Another aspect that was discussed quite a bit were the grooves on the face and did they notice a performance difference. Most thought the balls were stopping quite a bit better as they hit them onto the greens, and common quotes were “watching a ball stop from 165 like it normally only does from 75 was a treat”. The Laser Milling was something that just about everybody loved from an aesthetic stand point but most of the testers felt it did little in terms of noticeable performance. But surprisingly, despite the lack of performance associated with the Laser Milling, all 24 people wanted them on their irons. The only complaint that our testers had was with the stock grip that they called “not great” and would have liked something a little more.
Since the range testing was complete, I decided to put these in my bag for 10 full rounds of golf. What I found was spot on with the range testers. As I mentioned previously, I think that these irons are perhaps the best looking I have come across in quite some time. While the finish wears, the irons appear to get even better looking than before, if that is at all possible. During the course of play, the Laser Milling gets a little dulled down, but still looks great and like the testers I am not sure if it helps performance, but whether it does or not, I want them on all my irons. The Zip Grooves are simply a joy and the spin generated with them leaves you wanting more. The course used for this testing has a par three that is 172 yards with all water to carry. What I found with these is that you really do generate almost the same spin with 6 iron for example that you would previously only with a wedge. Sure the ball flight will be different, but the sticking power certainly helps on those long par 3s.
The ball flight achieved with these is nothing short of exactly what a game improvement iron should be. High and straight with a nice soft landing. When struck well (sweet spot) the distances are spot on to what most GI irons are right now. I did not lose any distance or gain any distance either. However where the shining light is, is when you miss it on the toe or heel a little bit and the ball is still high and straight. Very little distance was lost with mishits off the toe and that was a pleasant surprise.
The feel is still responsive and feedback in general on mishits and well struck balls is what is to be expected. The irons a little softer than what I remember from last years version and a well struck ball still feels superb. One thing to note here is that the Laser Milling really helps dictate where your misses are. The Mill lines show marks after a shot and it is a great way to identify where you are hitting each shot, even more precise than just the grooves. These are clubs that as you play them more, you just fall more and more in love with them with each shot.
After 10 rounds of golf and countless range sessions it is safe to say that on course testing of the Cleveland CG7 BP irons was a success. My scores stayed the same which is a great feat to not have a drop off when switching irons and when you pair them with the new CG15 wedges you have a top to bottom uniform set that helps quite a bit.
When it comes to picking irons there are certain things THP looks for that stand out. Rarely does a product have looks, performance, and forgiveness rolled up into one package yet we are seeing it more regularly now than ever before. The Cleveland CG7 BP irons have exactly that. If you are looking for an iron that goes high and straight and at the same time has looks that are second to none, than keep these on your short list. Cleveland is making a strong push as we move towards the new year and with each product we try, we find ourselves liking them even more than the last. These irons are available at retailers everywhere and carry a price of around $699. For more information on these irons or any other Cleveland Golf products, check out their website at www.clevelelandgolf.com.
Till Next Time