A few weeks ago I had an interesting package show up at my door from Cleveland. The packaging appeared to be a large tube that clearly imitated a classic leather stovepipe golf bag. The packaging had a leather handle and stickers from famous golf destinations around the world. I knew that I had something on the way from Cleveland, but I wasn’t sure what to expect and I certainly wasn’t anticipating such great presentation before ever opening the packaging. To say the least – my introduction to the Cleveland Classic Driver started off on the right foot.
After unboxing, it was clear that this is an absolutely beautiful driver. I was a bit skeptical when I heard the rumblings of a “throwback” influenced driver. I tend to be a bleeding-edge enthusiast – but the retro styling of this driver has absolutely won me over. The execution of the old-school look with new-school technology is perfect and the club stands out against any of the other drivers on the market.
Cleveland nailed it on the headcover as well. The cover is a retro-styled headcover with nice leather with well-crafted stitching. The Cleveland Classic logo stamping, CG logo stitching, and dual stripes are all nice details. The headcover has an inner elastic band inside the cover that tightens under the head of the club to keep the headcover in place and it appears to hold up well after quite a bit of use.
The club is obviously a dedication to the original Cleveland persimmon woods. The club head is 460cc and has brass coloring to mimic the sole and faceplates of the traditional Cleveland persimmons.
The brass coloring on the faceplate extends to the top of the club head and adds a nice touch when looking down on the club. The head also has the Classic logo as a site line on top of the driver and a classic badge on the bottom of the sole. The face is deep with an excellent shape and a unique look that you won’t find on any other modern driver out there.
The Cleveland Classic Driver that I reviewed was customized based on a combination of my preferred specs and swing statistics. The driver I reviewed was fitted with a Miyazaki C. Kua 39R Special Edition shaft that seemed to complement the driver and my swing perfectly. The shaft in all black also looks great with the driver and is the perfect combination for my ability and the look that I prefer.
The driver will be offered in both 270 and 290 grams versions. The model I reviewed was 270 grams. In my previous encounters with 270 gram drivers I I lost quite a bit of consistency – but that doesn’t seem to be the case with this driver. Although the club is noticeably light, it also feels extremely solid and under control.
Cleveland is positioning this club as both workable and forgiving. As a mid-handicapper I’m probably a better test for forgiveness than workability. As far as forgiveness goes – I’ve never hit a driver that is this forgiving. I’ve tested the forgiveness of the club in just about every way possible over the past few month and it simply performs. I recently took the club with me on a business trip and over a period of three days I hit over 400 balls with this driver and I was constantly impressed with how well mis-hits flew and the distance that I’m getting from solid hits.
I’m extremely impressed with this driver at all levels. Almost everyone I’ve played with has asked to hit the club and I’ve yet to find anyone that it didn’t leave a positive impression with.
The more I play this club, the more I love it.
Well done Cleveland.
Availability for the Cleveland Classic Driver is Spring 2012.
This is an absolutely beautiful club. If you’d like to see more images of this driver and headcover, you can check out more photos in full-resolution in our Cleveland Classic Driver photo album on Facebook.