From Golf Magazine ClubTest 2012 (March, 2012)
Category: Game-Improvement Drivers
WE TESTED: 9°, 10.5°, 12° with Miyazaki C. Kua 39 graphite shaft.
KEY TECHNOLOGIES: Cleveland’s largest, deepest face ever is engineered to produce a penetrating ball flight. It has the same construction as Launcher Ultralite XL270 (Ti 6-4 face and Ti 3-1-1-1 body), but the Classic’s center of gravity is higher and closer to the face.
OUR TESTERS SAY: Retro, persimmon-like appearance generates a lot of chatter and goodwill. Adequate overall performance.
DISTANCE: Tall, massive head provides good distance; lightweight club is a nice option for slower swingers.
ACCURACY/FORGIVENESS: Moderate swingers and slow, smooth swingers find the short grass with ease.
FEEL: Well-balanced stick; clubface engulfs the ball at contact, producing a loud “crack” sound; substantial feel throughout the swing despite its light weight.
PLAYABILITY: More skilled players have fun shaping shots; typical shot pattern is straight with a little draw action.
LOOK: Most applaud the persimmon-like look; club instills confidence at address stylized No. 1 on gold soleplate; subtle “Classic” graphic on crown is a useful aid.
The majority of results are simply serviceable; some testers find it easy to overpower the club; many guys prefer a higher degree of accuracy and forgiveness.
From The Shop Blog (November 11, 2011)
Late at night, after everyone else has left the Huntington Beach, Calif., headquarters of Cleveland Golf, the engineers and clubs designers must be using a Wayback Machine to go back in time.
Last season they released the Mashie, a retro-looking hybrid with an unfinished crown. Sure, it's made of stainless steel, but the Mashie looks like something your great-grandfather used, right down to its pom-pom-topped knit headcover.
If you liked the Mashie, check out the Classic, which Cleveland plans to release in early 2012. The Classic is made using a modern material, in this case titanium, but it's the club's old-school look that will get everyone talking.
With a mahogany-colored crown, a brass-colored sole (complete with a "1") and a faux face insert designed, the Classic looks like a driver Ben Hogan or Byron Nelson might have used.
Even the script "Classic" on the crown, which should help golfers position the ball in the sweet spot at address, harkens back to a time when swings were homegrown and clubs were hand-carved.
But while the Classic’s retro styling recall the Golden Age of America car culture, under the hood the Classic is a thoroughly 21st century club. Nate Radcliffe, Cleveland Golf's metalwoods development manager, said there is a lot of technology built into the Classic.
"It's got the biggest face of any driver we've ever made," Radcliffe said. "It's deeper and it has more surface area. That gives it a lot of forgiveness. It's also got variable face thickness, and the thin areas around the outside of the face really help you maintain ball speed when you hit the ball off the center."
Two versions of the Classic will be available, one weighing 270 grams and the other weighing 290 grams, a trend Cleveland established when it made three versions of the Ultralight drivers, each tipping the scale at a different weight. The idea is to offer drivers that appeal to a broader range of players; slow swingers will be able to swing the lightest models faster for added power, but hard-hitters will get a little more stability from the slightly heavier models.
The stock shaft for the Classic driver will be a Miyazaki C. Kua and you should start to see the club in your local pro shops in late January for about $299.