Review: Cleveland HiBore XLS Monster Driver

Cleveland HiBore Monster XLS Driver Review
Courtesy of Cleveland Golf

When Cleveland Golf first released the HiBore driver in 2006, the newly designed head stood the golf world on its ear. Fast forward to the beginning of 2009, a mere three years later, and we're on the fourth iteration of the scooped-back driver.

This one, as the name implies, is a monster.

The high-launch, low-spin mantra that has been the backbone of driver design is taken to new heights with the Monster.

The advantage of this year's model is more of an emphasis on MOI or moment of inertia, the resistance to twisting at impact. The USGA limitation of a 5900 rating is pushed to the limit with extreme rear and perimeter weighting of 24 additional grams.

The length is a whopping 46.5 inches thanks to a Made by Fujikura Flightspeed shaft. The stock shaft offering is the Flightspeed in all flexes and Gold (lower flight and lighter swing weight) or Red (higher flight and heavier swing weight). There are a wide variety of custom shafts from multiple manufacturers, which fit a range of golfers.

Cleveland HiBore XLS Monster Is Hot, Forgiving, and Loud

Cleveland claims the face of the driver is 16-percent larger than the previous XLS driver.

Judging from the drives that fellow club members and I hit, you pretty much just can't miss with the Monster. The sweet spot appears to have expanded to the entire face.

The test club was a stiff-flex gold shafted, standard model, 10.5 degrees.

One thing that immediately stands out about the Monster is its sound. It is LOUD! A well-struck ball sounds like it has been fired from a cannon. In fact, to my eyes, that is the speed at which the ball comes off the face. Very hot.

The flight of the ball seemed like it was drawn onto the sky by an engineer; meaning, it was almost a perfect version of what ideal launch angle is prescribed. With a square face and neutral weighting, I was able to work the ball into a fade with a little more effort. A fellow club member who was working on "dispersion" issues (as in excessive fade) with his current driver immediately straightened out the direction and launched the ball with a very controlled trajectory.

Forgiveness is very real and very visible.

Three Flavors of Monster

The Monster comes in three flavors: Standard, Draw, and Tour. The standard iteration features a square face and neutral internal weighting. The draw has a 3-degrees closed face, is offset and has draw-bias internal weighting. The Tour model features a more compact head at 440cc, 2-degrees open face and internal fade bias weighting.

With high-MOI, a choice of models to fit players' swings and a super hot and ultra-forgiving face, this version of the HiBore XLS is indeed a monster.

Pros

  • Large sweet spot
  • Easy to fit correct model to player swings
  • Extra weight rear and low helps stabilize head
  • High MOI keeps shots on line

Cons

  • Loud sound at impact
  • Headcover difficult to remove and replace even with EZ Grab assist

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