From Golf Magazine ClubTest 2013 (March 2013)
Cleveland CG Black Driver
Category: Max Game-Improvement Drivers
WE TESTED: 9°, 10.5°, 12° with Miyazaki C. Kua 39 Limited Edition graphite shaft
DISTANCE: Ultralight club helps several testers generate faster clubhead speeds compared with others tested; some guys pick up as much as 10 extra yards on solid shots; less-than-perfect shots still get out there without much distance loss.
ACCURACY/FORGIVENESS: Off-center hits tend to stay well in play; the light club has enough mass when you need some help; stable even on toe and heel hits.
FEEL: Well-hit balls deliver a smooth, powerful sensation; well balanced for such a light [39-gram] shaft and overall lightweight club.
PLAYABILITY: Several testers experience a consistent, repeatable draw that flies higher than normal.
LOOK: The Johnny Cash of drivers -- all dressed in black; traditional pear shape with sleek, teardrop-inspired profile.
Lightweight shaft, grip and head are too light for a few testers -- they have to throttle back or suffer in terms of accuracy; the absence of an alignment aid on the crown can make setup and aiming slightly more difficult than it need be; no built-in adjustability features -- no additional face or loft options.
BOTTOM LINE: The top performer in its class. It ranks among the best in all categories from distance to look.
HOT STIX'S TAKE
Spin: Low to mid
Ultralight club for faster swing speeds, maximum forgiveness on off-center hits.
From Golf Magazine ClubTest 2012 (March 2012)
Cleveland CG Black
Category: Max Game-Improvement Drivers
WE TESTED: 9°, 10.5°, 12° with Miyazaki C. Kua 39 graphite shaft
KEY TECHNOLOGIES: Engineered for moderate swingers, the CG Black has an aerodynamic, teardropshaped profile to reduce drag and increase swing speed. The lightweight, 265-gram club features a Miyazaki 46” shaft. It has a shallower face than the Launcher Ultralite XL270 and generates a higher, more draw-biased trajectory.
OUR TESTERS SAY: One of the top-rated drivers in its class. Receives high marks in all categories.
DISTANCE: Top-shelf length; many testers gain 10 yards versus their own.
ACCURACY/FORGIVENESS: Among the most forgiving, accurate test clubs; a real fairway finder; shots don’t travel far off-line, which is surprising for a super-lightweight driver built for speed.
FEEL: Exceptionally light but stable through impact; nice explosive feel to solid shots; well-balanced club swings easily without applying much effort.
PLAYABILITY: High, penetrating, straight ball flight; several testers find they can hit a gentle draw with it.
LOOK: Sleek, teardrop-shaped profile, all-black head and shaft; looks like it means business at address.
A few testers tend to overswing because of the lighter club—it requires a smooth, even transition at the start of the downswing; a minority of guys lose the lighter head, on occasion, during the swing.
Cleveland CG Black Tour
Category: Tour Drivers
WE TESTED: 9°, 10.5° with Miyazaki C. Kua 59 graphite shaft
KEY TECHNOLOGIES: The teardrop-shaped “speed crown” reduces air drag during the swing to help you swing faster. A rear weight screw positions the center of gravity (CG) low and deep for improved launch conditions. The clubface (variable thickness) is engineered to bolster ball speed and carry on off-center hits.
OUR TESTERS SAY: Among the higher-rated drivers. One of the longest in its class.
DISTANCE: In the top tier of drivers tested; a majority of testers consider it to be “above average” to “long”—some guys achieve noteworthy distance gains over their own driver.
ACCURACY/FORGIVENESS: One of the top models; noticeable sidespin reduction on mis-hits keeps balls in the fairway; provides repeatable shots.
FEEL: Crisp, pleasing sound and hot sensation at impact; controllable, light feel through the swing for many testers.
PLAYABILITY: Consistent, medium flight; draws and fades are relatively easy to create on solid strikes.
LOOK: Sleek, traditional profile; classy black and gold color combo.
Lightweight feel is a turnoff for some testers; a few high-swing-speed players could benefit from slightly less spin.
From The Shop Blog (October 17, 2011)
The ultimate boxer would be as quick as welterweight champ Manny Pacquiao but would hit like heavyweight titleholder Wladimir Klitschko. Golf club makers have a similar goal when it comes to making drivers: build something that's light and easy for the average player, but make it pack a wallop.
With its new CG Black driver, Cleveland Golf hopes that it has created this combination for players whose swing speed is less 100 mph.
The CG Black features a head that is aerodynamically shaped to slip easily through the air, with a crown that slopes down in the back section more sharply than last season's Launcher Ultralight drivers. Cleveland's head of metalwood development, Nate Radcliffe, says that the shape of the crown decreases the club's drag throughout the downswing, which in turn helps players generate more clubhead speed.
At the same time, the 460-cc head has one of the lightest and thinnest faces Cleveland Golf has ever designed. Radcliffe says the faceplate is very thin on the perimeter, which not only saves more weight, but also broadens the CG Black's sweetspot.
Add to that mix a new Golf Pride grip that Cleveland says is half the weight of a typical grip and a special edition Miyazaki C. Kua Gold shaft and you've got a driver on Weight Watchers.
However, Cleveland put a little bit of that saved weight back into the head, adding a weight screw to the back of the sole plate. By adding weight to this key area, Radcliffe says the CG Black should naturally hit the ball on a higher launch angle to maximize carry distance, which is essential for slower-swinging golfers who want more distance.
"The overall package is a club that is designed to generate speed and be really easy to hit," says Radcliffe.
That's music to the ears of distance-hungry golfers looking to land a few haymakers on their opponents.