Lamkin Grips


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
toe back
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.
Range 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.
Course Testing
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

Till Next Time

Josh B.

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Category: Equipment, Irons

About the Author ()

Josh is the Publisher of The Hackers Paradise and co-founder of THP Media with his wife Morgan Babbitt. Together they share a passion for golf, and they travel the country along with their two dogs in the THP Tour Van bringing their love and knowledge of the game to golfers everywhere.

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  1. The Hackers Paradise » Srixon Z-TX Forged Irons Review | December 23, 2009
  1. TheDue says:

    Great job JB. Sounds like these are everything I’m looking for in a set of irons. I tested last years model a few weeks ago and was very happy with them, but wanted to wait and see what your tester results turned up. The one thing lacking here for me would be after pictures to see how much wear the face showed from the testers, but I should get a good idea for myself at the range.

    Great company, great products!

  2. Kevin™ says:

    I have to agree, these are great looking irons! Love the ninja black look! Cant wait to see what they bring out next in this line! Great review and once again a great product from Cleveland!

  3. Dirt_Guy says:

    This is great! There’s no doubt these irons look great, but it sounds like their performance is spot on as well. I’ll have to go try these out and see if they work for me enough to find a spot in my bag.

  4. JB says:

    We thought about taking a few snap shots of the after and will do that for the forum. It comes off as you would expect an oil can type of finish. Not quite as fast, but close. They look great worn too, that was a key for me.

  5. C-Tech says:

    I’ve been waiting for the review on these and it sounds like they are everything I hoped for after seeing the preview pictures of them in the TGW catalog. Thanks for the review.

  6. Jtower1969 says:

    I play the Black TA-5’s now and love them…I’m seriously considering moving to these…

  7. John Biggs says:

    Thanks for your review. I am going to try these the next time I am GG.

  8. Smallville says:

    If I decide to change irons next year, these will be on my short list. Very nice look. Sounds like a group of very satisfied testers.

  9. Mike Rausch says:

    Great review. These are a huge winner for Cleveland Golf and are one of the best clubs on the market for 2010. I have had the CG7 Tour BP in my bag for a month now and they’re PHENOMENAL. Great feel, great control, fantastic ball flight, and amazing spin. As much as I appreciate the high res photos, why do they make it look more like a dull chrome finish? I first thought that you had pictures of the CG7 Gold and not BP. The finish in person is much darker than the pictures show.

    Jtower1969 – I had TA3 Gunmetals in my bag for 5 years and upgraded. Trust me, they’re worth it. These are the first line of irons from CG I’ve been blown away by that I could not live without. I recommend you try them ASAP.

  10. Admin says:

    Mike, they were taken in daylight with a great camera and those are the results. Part of it could be the white they are on and part of it could be because they are not right next to another iron.

  11. Mike Rausch says:

    I’m not that concerned with it, just an observation. Every other picture I’ve seen high res or not, even pics you guys first took in the forum, show the BP finish darker. Great review!

  12. tcalloway1 says:

    Very thorough review JB. Cleveland has never really been on my radar but they are now. Not only to they come out with a fantastic set of irons but from what i gather on the forum, they are a company that cares about golfers off of the course as well. I’m inclined to ditch the x-22’s that i love, and replace with these, just out of principles.

  13. LefTe says:

    Informative review with hard to argue with info JB. Come spring I’m going to have to take a hard look at these without a doubt. It’s getting near time to replace my current irons and these sound like a must try. I’m so pleased with the performance of the Cleveland product already in my bag that it’s a natural to put more in. Great company (I can surely attest to that) with great product

  14. Keith says:

    Great review and these sticks sound fantastic.

  15. DefCon1 says:

    I really like that milled face. Another set of irons I would like to play…LOL

  16. I saw them and had to have ’em. They feel and play as good as they look. My set; 3-5 CG7 and 6-pw CG7 tours.
    They come off very solid with great distance and control. Played outside only once before snow fall, but after hitting balls in the dome, the black pearl finish wears in very well.

  17. S says:


    In comparison to the AP1s or R9s in particular, were you able to work the ball at all with these? Ive narrowed it down to these 3 sets, and all have gotten great reviews here, but I want something I can also grow into and manipulate shots with as I improve. Thanks, keep up the great reviews!

  18. Admin says:

    You can work the ball to a degree with this set, but they are more of a straight ball flight iron.

  19. dtak84 says:

    Those clubs look really nice… I’m liking the black insert on the darker finish.

    Not sure about how I feel about the smaller laser etched grooves… but eh.

  20. bonknhead says:

    Great, well-written review JB. Such gorgeous irons! Like TCalloway, Cleveland has never been an iron I ever considered, but these black pearls are beautiful. I wondered how they’d wear, but from what you wrote it sounds like even though the BP finish will wear, it looks great. The looks of these irons, coupled with their performance make them an easy choice. Throw in what I’ve read here as Cleveland being an amazing company that cares about their customers, and they’ll garner customers for life.

  21. Dirt_Guy says:

    Well, thanks to this review (and the current Cleveland promotion) I went to the golf shop and took some swings with them today. Now I need to move my old irons to my spare bag because Santa (UPS) will be delivering them to my door next week.

  22. Dave Sanchez says:

    concerning the zip groves, the strike to the ball feels very soft and the face is soft to the touch as well. And, have not seen any adnormal wear and tear to the ball; very unique.

  23. itsbarker says:

    How did the stock shaft perform?

  24. Administrator says:

    The stock shaft caused no issues and just about every tester liked the high and straight ball flight.

  25. biggsy says:

    I have hit these a few times now and as soon as I can afford it, these are going in my bag. Fantastic set of irons!

  26. coach53 says:

    Beautiful looking irons! Played CG2’s for a couple of seasons and was sorry I ever sold them. I think I will be going back to Cleveland irons for 2K10. Too cold and snowy up here in the Northeast. I need to find a place to demo indoors for now I guess because I can’t wait until spring to see how they look and feel in person.
    I love the way you review clubs on this site. They really give you a real world test.

  27. Doug says:

    Excellent reviews on this site! I’ve been playing R7 irons for a while and I’m looking for something new. Ilike the look of th Black Pearls and will be hitting them later today. Do you think they’ll be an upgrade compared to the R7’s?

  28. Administrator says:

    I love the Taylormade R9s, but was not a huge fan of the R7 irons, so I may not be the best person to ask. If it were me, I think the feel and forgiveness is better in the CG7 BP than that of the R7s, but its just my opinion. Perhaps others in the forum could help.

  29. Doug says:

    Thanks. I was about ready to upgrade to the R9’s (your review was the clincher), but I want to try the BP’s before I pull the trigger on the R9’s. I’m a 62 yr old 10 hndcp who is now in the game improvement club catagory! The R7’s are a bit harsh, but give great distance.

  30. Administrator says:

    Have you tried out the Burners? While they are GI irons, they can add some great distance and we found them to have better feel (softer) than that of the R7s. However they are hard to work left and right. They just go straight and far. Your short list of R9s and BPs is tremendous and you cannot go wrong with either set.

  31. Doug says:

    I have tried the Burners; hit them great at a TM demo day this year. Forgot to mention it. I probably would have those in my bag now, but I hit the R9’s and liked the sound and look better. I just replaced my 5 iron with a hybrid so the extra length on the Burner long irons would be a mute point with me. I think between the two TM’s and the cg7 BP’s it will be impossoble to make a bad decision. Thanks for the help!

  32. Curt says:

    Cleveland has a real winner with these clubs! Probably the best-looking clubs I’ve ever played, and the performance is nothing short of superb! The black pear finish looks spectacular, and the new laser-milled grooves just plain work! If you haven’t seen them, you have to find a set and look at them in person! You WILL be impressed! Can’t say enough good about their performance, either! Great clubs!!!

  33. Aussie Nick says:

    My local golf shop recommended these as a game improvement iron, as a result i test drove them was impressed with the feel and of course the look!.
    Took them out for the first game last week and lost 1.2 off my handicap. Needless to say my game did indeed improve.

  34. The Surrey Golfer says:

    The first golf review I have ever read that I can relate to because the test was performed and written in real world terms. Love the fact you have taken the time to involve lots of people at the driving range, get their opinion and then put them into play yourself to get a comprehensive feeling, as opposed to the traditional ‘couple of whacks, look at the monitor’ reviews that are all too common today.

    Interesting, my UK custom fit overwhelming recommended the CG7 Tour BP… I decided to purchase them to replace my ageing MX23’s. I VERY much look forward to their arrive in a couple of weeks!

  35. Chris says:

    Whats the difference between the tour and cg7. 6 handicap playing Hogan apex plus irons, which would be best to replace those. The tour or cg7?

  36. Administrator says:

    The difference between the CG7 and CG7 tour is smaller head, less offset, and thinner topline.

  37. Martin Hansen says:

    I have been thinking about buying a new set of golf clubs and I was wondering which club would you prefer – the r9’s or the CG7?


  38. DJ Benko says:

    Just played my first round with them (not the tours) and I can’t believe the difference. Looking down at the ball you feel nothing but confidence. I hit my 8 iron off the toe on a par 3 and it still went straight and I put it 10 feet from the pin. Hitting it pure feels like heaven and the club doesn’t twist on the toe hits. Its nice to make a purchase that you are 100% satisfied with. Oh and for the looks….even my girlfriend who does not like golf said they were sexy looking clubs.

    All in all…..the round was great and my friends are jealous. Thank you Cleveland.

  39. Blake W says:

    Another great review: Glad to hear the stock shaft performed well. I can’t seem to find much info on the stock option; any more observations? I’ve read that it’s a “soft” shaft. Did you find them playing to flex?

  40. Marc says:

    Man, I’m jelous. Had my heart set on some 09 Burner Plus irons for $369, after looking around the pro shop I saw these CG7 Black Pearls… looked them over and couldn’t believe the face milling! I’m around a 16 handicap, I put ZERO spin on the ball, even with short irons. I think these BPs would be a great choice for me. I really want a set, send me your demo clubs!!!

  41. Kelly says:

    I’m stuck between the BP tours and the non-tours. I love the look of the tours’ thin topline at address, but am a 20 handicap, and probably need the offset. Is there a big enough difference in game improvement between the two for me to choose the non-tours instead?

  42. Admin says:

    There is more than just the offset in my opinion. Larger club head, wider sole and topline. And DEFINITELY more forgiveness on mis-hits.

  43. Randy says:

    Just a curious question if anyone who has these has noticed a decrease in the zip grooves. I have read tons of people talking about the clubs as their appearanceand functionality, however; how is their longevity? I am not looking to have to replace my clubs every year or two. has anyone hit these clubs long enough to see the wear? Thanks

  44. Putty Man says:

    Great review guys.

    I ilke the idea of super dooper grooves on all my irons, to help my approach shots stop on the green.

    I’m a bit concerned about added side spin tho. Did anyone notice this added spin causing slices and hooks to be exagerated?

  45. Administrator says:

    Not at all actually.

  46. Mark says:

    Just bought a set of cg7 bp’s and have used them couple of times on my home course. I play off 15 and wanted to swap my ping raptures for a more playable and responsive set of irons. I am really impressed with the feel of cg7’s and the accuracy ! When flushed the ball absolutely flies off the face with such a solid feeling. The clubs also look beautiful in my bag and i have had a number of people commenting on the aesthetics of the set.

    My only complaint is the durability of the black finish on the clubs. My home course is a links and the sandy soil is making light work of removing the black finish.. I did expect this after reading reviews before buying them but i am still disappointed with how the clubs are starting to look after just two rounds.

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