Cleveland HiBore XLS Driver
The 2008 Cleveland HiBore XLS Driver is a well made and unique looking golf club. Not only is the head on this Driver one of the biggest ever made by Cleveland, it's one of the biggest on the market just now from any manufacturer.
The design of this club is intended to give players a larger sweet spot to work with, and thus make it easier to launch straight and powerful drives.
The lofts available on the HiBore XLS Driver are 8.5, 9.5, 10.5 and 11.5 degrees. All are available in right hand where as only the 9.5 and 10.5 degree versions are available in left hand. There is also a Draw version of this Driver available as well as neutral.
We tested the 9.5 degree neutral model, equipped with the Fujikura Fit-On M Gold Graphite shaft in stiff flex.
Although clearly from the photo above you can see that this Cleveland Drivers head has a very unusual design, it actually doesn't look to unconventional from above when standing over the golf ball at address. So it's not something that's a problem really.
But definitely one of the first things golfers will notice when they start hitting this Driver is that it is very loud.
While it definitely wasn't the worst we have ever heard, the sound at impact of the HiBore XLS certainly is something that may put some players off the club. You would need to hear it for yourself and decide if it is something that you're going to be able to put up with on a regular basis.
That aside though, the performance of the Cleveland HiBore XLS Driver was overall quite impressive.
Distance was the area where we felt the club performed best, it's difficult to find a longer Driver than this one. It wasn't unusual to see drives that were up to 30 yards further that what could be achieved with some other newer Drivers.
The ball flight was always very penetrating, and the golf ball regularly rolled on some extra yards down the fairway when it came to land.
But while being reasonably reliable, the HiBore XLS wasn't quite as forgiving as we expected it to be. The distance is still pretty impressive when the club isn't hit too well. But the odd pull or push was there to be seen sometimes.
As such though it meant that the HiBore XLS wasn't all that difficult to work the ball with. While not producing massive results, this is definitely a club that most capable players should regularly be able to shape their drives with when required.
To sum up, the Cleveland HiBore XLS Driver is a Driver that will give any golfer a huge amount of distance, along with a reasonable amount of forgiveness and control.
However the unique shape and design, and certainly the huge noise at impact, is something that may put some people off.
As of 2012 though the club is very good value for money. Brand new the HiBore XLS retails at around £100 or $159, which is likely to put it in a lot of players price range.
|Looks || 6/10|
|Easy To Hit || 8/10|
|Forgiveness || 7/10|
|Workability || 8/10|
|Value For Money || 9/10|