Cleveland Hibore Irons Review

Their "official" name might be the Cleveland HiBore irons, but I think this set really should be called the "Cleveland HiBore Hybrid irons." I think "my" name for these clubs actually describes them much more accurately than Cleveland's.

Anyone who has seen a Cleveland HiBore driver, fairway wood or hybrid will see the family resemblance as soon as they pick up one of the Cleveland HiBore irons. They all share the same immediately recognizable scooped-back design. The irons have a unique but intriguing appearance that makes them look like they would be easy to hit. Their wide soles are designed to improve turf interaction by preventing digging, and their large, hollow heads provide a significantly larger hitting area than traditionally-designed irons. It all adds up to greater confidence for mid- to high-handicap golfers, and that's a good thing.

There aren't any welding spots in the Cleveland HiBore irons because the club face and hosel are cast as a single piece. The result of this manufacturing process is a sweet spot that's the size of the entire club face. And, their hollow design moves the center of gravity lower and farther back to provide greater accuracy.

In fact, when these irons were released, Cleveland said they were the easiest irons to hit that the company had made to date. But I still say they're actually closer to hybrid-irons than they are to traditional irons. All the clubs in the set look like hybrids to my eye - even the pitching wedge. If you're someone who struggles with irons but you tend to hit hybrids much better, I suspect you might like these clubs.

I've played several rounds with the Cleveland HiBore irons, and so has my husband (a 10 handicap). Both of us found the clubs extremely easy to hit. My husband typically hits his irons high and with almost pinpoint accuracy, but he lacks distance. I hit my irons longer than he does, but my balls typically have a lower trajectory and a definite tendency to go left. So he wants more distance, while I want more height and accuracy.

First of all, compared to our current clubs, I'd say the Cleveland HiBore irons are about 5 yards longer for me, and about 10 yards longer for my husband. I also hit them higher than my current irons. And, thanks to the clubs' large sweet spot, even when I hit one slightly fat it would still go almost as far as a clean hit with my current irons. I still pull them left, but since I seem to do that with most irons I haven't been specifically fitted for, I don't think my pulls were the fault of the clubs. I'm just one of those golfers that benefits significantly from club-fitting.

The Cleveland HiBore irons are an appealing-looking set despite being essentially hybrids, with attractive black heads. They seem like they're made quite well and would stand up to the kind of heavy play I would put them through - I average around 5 games a week.

The standard set of Cleveland HiBore irons is 3 through pitching wedge. They're available with steel shafts or graphite (I tried the graphite version, as I always do). I hit these clubs well straight off the rack, but I bet I would benefit from a club-fitting that could help reduce my pulls. My husband says they're every bit as accurate as his current irons, and about 10 yards longer. Basically, we're both pretty happy with them.

The Bottom Line: Cleveland HiBore irons might be a great set to consider if you love hitting hybrids but you have a harder time with traditional irons. They will probably launch the ball a bit higher than your current irons, and they'll give you good distance. It's almost like you're carrying a full set of rescue clubs. They really have no great downside that I can see, as long as you don't have a problem hitting clubs with a non-traditional look. The presence of the 3-hybrid in the set might let you take your 5-wood out of your bag, freeing up space for another club. Highly skilled players, however, may not care for the wide soles or unusual looks of these clubs. You can love 'em or hate 'em for their looks, but there's a lot to like about their results.

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