The Club Report: Cleveland CG Black Driver

The Club Report: Cleveland CG Black Driver

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Attention lower swing speed golfers. Today we’ve got something just for you.

I know…it’s about time.

As participants in golf forums and other golf-related communities we’ve been conditioned to believe that the average golfer swings 110 MPH and carries the ball at least 300 yards (and that’s uphill, at sea level, and into a headwind).

Can you believe we had a reader question the validity of our Most Wanted Driver test because the average distance across all testers was below 290 yards? The unrealistic expectations and the quest for distance have gotten that far out of hand.

Let’s spend today getting real about some things. Let’s spend today talking about a driver for the guy who doesn’t hit the ball 250.

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Shifting Focus

The golf companies have increasingly catered to the gearhead, and while average golfers like shiny things that move too, it means more, and often complex adjustability.

The trend towards low and forward CG positions does have the potential to create massive distance, but it offers little help to the guy who struggles to get the ball in the air or who like many of us, has a tendency to work the face rather than work the ball.

When you consider all of that, it’s actually ironic, though not surprising, that a club like Cleveland’s 2015 CG Black – a club actually designed for truly average golfers – occupies a space a bit outside of the mainstream. There’s just a hint of absurdity in that.

Slower swing speed guys, this one is really and truly for you.

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The Competitive Set

When we compared CG Black to the majority of Speed-centric drivers on the market, we found that only Wilson’s D200 at 268 grams is in the same weight class. TaylorMade’s AeroBurner (300g), and even Callaway’s lightweight-ish V-Series (290g) aren’t really playing in exactly the same space.

The CG Black is for guys who want a lightweight driver…a really lightweight driver. At only 260g, the Cleveland CG Black is the lightest driver on the market right now.

Cleveland CG Black Driver Specs

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CG Black Technology

On a comparative basis, it’s noteworthy that in the process of evolving the CG Black from 2012 to 2015, Cleveland’s engineers shifted the center of gravity lower and closer to the face.  Now all of that happened within the relative vacuum of the Cleveland CG Black line, so a lower and more forward center of gravity doesn’t mean a low/forward CG. The new CG Black isn’t designed to compete with TaylorMade’s R15 or Callaway’s Big Bertha Alpha 815 Double Black Diamond. We’re still talking about a driver designed to help average golfers get the ball in the air.

Like many drivers on the market today, the CG Black features variable face thickness. The idea is make the face more responsive in the areas where average golfers tend to miss. Face design coupled with MOI is where forgiveness comes from.

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Speed through weight reduction is gaining in popularity with most companies now offering something that either qualifies as ultralight or is designed to compete with ultralights. Cleveland’s CG black is on the extreme end of that ultralight range. Of the 260 grams of total weight, 187g of that is in the head, while the 44g Mitsubishi Bassara shaft accounts for the bulk of the rest. You can do the math yourself to figure out the grip weight.

The totality of the design contributes to what Cleveland calls Low Swing MOI. Now is a good time to make sure everyone understand the distinction between head MOI and Cleveland’s Swing MOI. High MOI in the head is desirable. It’s where forgiveness comes from. Lower Swing MOI, according to Cleveland, is desirable because it produces more speed with the same effort.

Everybody wants more speed…at least that’s what all the commercials say.

Aesthetics

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The CG Black offers a slightly rounded shape, a matte black crown, and absolutely no alignment aid. The only crown detail, blue accents on the trailing edge, is subtle-enough that most won’t notice it at address. While you might call CG Black a game-improvement driver, the overall design proves that game-improvement doesn’t need to be in your face. Much like the Classic line, CG Black reflects a modern take on a traditional aesthetic.

Other details include a slightly shallow face, and while difficult to explain in any meaningful way, the majority of golfers who sole driver at address will appreciate the way the heal-side edge contours hug the turf.

Cleveland put a fair amount of effort into refining the sound (and consequently the feel) of the CG Black driver. The addition of an internal rib creates a higher frequency sound at impact, which most will likely prefer over a deeper thud. The result is a club that feels more alive at impact.

Performance

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Everything we’ve talked about is all well and good, but doesn’t it really boil down to how the driver performs?

Because of its specific and arguably narrower market focus, Cleveland declined to have CG Black included in our Most Wanted Test, but it did provide us with samples for testing. So while not specifically part of the test itself, a subset of our testers (those within CG Black’s target audience) did hit the CG Black driver during the test.

When we look at key metrics like swing speed, ball speed, and distance (total and carry) it’s not surprising that for our golfers within its target audience, the CG Black outperformed low/forward CG designs like the TaylorMade R15, Callaway Double Black Diamond, Cobra FLY-Z+, as well as a majority of the sub-460cc drivers.

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Those drivers are generally designed for lower launching, lower spin players. They’re not designed to produce higher club head speeds or help the golfer get the ball in the air.

Among the drivers in our test, and likely across the entire market, the closest comparison to the Cleveland CG Black is the Wilson D200, and so we thought it could be interesting to take a look at a direct comparison.

The Data

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As you can see, the two drivers performed quite similarly and depending on what exactly it is you’re looking for in a driver, you could probably make a case for either.

When we take a deeper dive into our data we find a bit clearer of a dividing line. For the subset of testers who swing above 85 MPH (the range was roughly 86-91 MPH), the Wilson D200 put up better numbers (nearly across the board), while for our testers under 85 MPH (roughly 78-84 MPH), the results were better – again, nearly across the board – with the Cleveland CG Black.

While the results of our larger tests suggest the D200, and other fast drivers like AeroBurner and V-Series should have wider reach within the market, for lower swing speed players, particularly those below 85 MPH, Cleveland’s CG Black is an intriguing option.

The Takeaway

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If you swing more than 90 MPH, the Cleveland CG Black probably isn’t for you. If you’re happily playing a TaylorMade SLDR or something else of that ilk, it’s probably not for you either, and that’s okay…at least it should be.

Much to Cleveland’s credit the company isn’t taking the usual this driver is for anyone who wants more distance route. Instead the company is being specific and honest about who is most likely to benefit for the CG Black.

Unfortunately that probably also means the CG Black won’t  grab the same level of attention as the marketplace juggernauts. All things to all people is what the market likes. Still, if you’re a slow to moderate swing speed player looking for help getting the ball in the air, and who wants to have fun hitting the driver again, then take a look at Cleveland’s CG Black.

The 2015 Cleveland CG Black driver is available in 9°, 10.5°, and 12°. Retail price is $349.99.

MyGolfSpy

The Scientific Origins of Golf Equipment Fanboy Culture

The Scientific Origins of Golf Equipment Fanboy Culture

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Written By: Jay Baker

3 THINGS THAT CREATE GOLF FANBOYS

We have all experienced an Internet troll at one time or another. For those who are unfamiliar with the term “troll”, consider yourself lucky, but also know that it refers to someone who relentlessly posts messages online (forums, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) with the intent to inspire outrage. The trolls are the guys who write what’s very often ill-informed nonsense, and they do it with the sole objective of pissing otherwise reasonable people off.

It is believed that the majority of Internet trolls live in their mom’s basement.

The troll isn’t always dissimilar from the fanboy. In the golf world, fanboys love the brands they play deeply, and they support them whole-heartedly, passionately, and very often aggressively.  If you don’t share that same sense of deep affection for <insert brand name here> because they or their products <insert marketing tagline here>, then you sir are a moran (outrage and spelling seldom play well together).

internet-troll

There is at least an argument (a polite one, of course) to be made that golf companies actively cultivate fanboy culture. Sometimes it just happens by accident. At a minimum, every golf company wants you to be passionate about their products because a passionate fan is often a loyal customer. Every golf company wants loyal customers.

You are cordially invited to join #TEAM<insert company name here…and make sure it’s in ALL CAPS>.

Unfortunately, sometimes passion and loyalty cross a line and things get a little weird, plenty vitriolic, and very often downright hateful.

No company is immune from fanboys (except maybe for Warrior Golf – don’t call them, they’ll call you). Fanboy culture is pervasive enough to make one wonder how it is exactly that companies like TaylorMade, Titleist, Ping, and Callaway can reduce the behavior of grown men to that of petulant children arguing over which Disney princess is best?

FYI, it’s Cinderella.

Would it surprise you to learn that there’s an actual science behind your disdain of anything Nike?

Team-Nike

Choice Supportive Bias

The first expensive driver I ever bought was a Callaway Big Bertha War Bird with an RCH 90 shaft. The driver was almost too pretty to hit. The dull industrial gray finish gave it a blue-collar look. Every detail was designed to do real work.

The first time I put it in play, I was joined by  a friend who had also just purchased a new war stick, the TaylorMade Burner Bubble. Could you imagine if TaylorMade relied on paint to sell clubs today? All day we compared the performance of our drivers. As he hit mine, I could see a certain level of buyer’s remorse beginning to set in. Big Bertha was clearly winning the battle.

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After the round, however, he raved about his Burner. He went so far as to recommend it to the other golfers in clubhouse. My friend was trying to satisfy a post purchase rationalization. He stuck to his guns despite the contrary reality. He certainly wasn’t going to admit to himself that he’d just made a very expensive mistake. My buddy experienced what’s called Confirmatory Bias, and it’s in play every time we buy something.

Think about the last time you purchased a new car. After you drove it off the lot, you probably went online to check out other personal reviews of the car. Chances are you enjoyed reading the reviews that supported your decision, and looked for fault with those that suggested that your new Pontiac Aztek was an outhouse on wheels. We focus on what’s good while dismissing the negatives.

As buyers, we look for like-minded reviews and people to justify and support our purchases. Golf equipment is expensive, especially for something none of us really need. Your brain’s concept of this discretionary expense feeds on justification.

As golfers we defend our purchases. We’ll argue that the technology justifies the cost. We’ll point to like-minded reviews, and the facts as dictated by the golf companies that created them, as proof that we made the right decision. No matter how compelling the evidence to the contrary, we cling to our beliefs. These bouts of Cognitive Dissonance are a large part of the reason why a golfer might feel inclined to act out and occasionally rage against anything and anyone who even hints that his shiny new driver isn’t everything he believes it to be.

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Companies Listen To Crazy

In 2002, Joss Whedon, of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame, decided to piggyback on his TV success by creating a new show known as Firefly. It was basically a TV version of Star Wars, which would make you think it would have been successful. The reality, however, was that the ratings sucked. The show was canceled after just 14 episodes.

So what did all the Firefly fanboys and girls do? They took to Internet forums to let the television execs know what a crappy multi-million dollar decision they had made. That coupled with strong DVD sales lead to a Firefly based major motion picture called Serenity.

Fanboys had once again proven that a mob mentality can achieve the desired results

The same situation plays out to some degree in golf retail more often than you think. Remember the Taylormade R1 when it came out? If your reaction was “Not another white driver!”, you probably do. So what happened? While most of you cried like a sorority girl after a positive E.P.T., some of you took to your golf forum of choice and expressed the frustration via a CAPS LOCKED diatribe for the ages.

GIVE ME THE BLACK DRIVER I’M ENTITLED TO!

r1-black

What did that get you? You got a black R1 driver of course.

The R1 isn’t an isolated example. Elite Scotty Cameron fans clamored for a black putter production model from 2008 until 2011. In 2012 Mr. Cameron finally caved to fanboys and introduced the Select line.

Nike released an all red Covert driver last year that was close to perfect in every way with the exception that it was red. Never mind that an all-red driver named Covert is as ironic as a wrinkled ironing board; by the time summer rolled around Nike had an all-black version on shelves.

Why do golfers want everything to be black? I digress…

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After 2 years of listening to forum-based moaning, Rory’s coveted putter has found it’s way to the market, albeit in limited quantities.

This community pressure is the same reason we don’t see as many Made For shafts anymore.

Golf companies read forums. That’s not a secret. The power of a community is much greater than a single individual. Golf forums have given a voice to the voiceless.

The consumer doesn’t always get exactly what he wants. For every R1 Black story, there is the unsuccessful call for Tiger’s actual golf ball (and everything else in Tiger’s bag). Still, this perceived influence gives a sense of power to the people. When we get what we want it serves to validate and reinforce the behaviors that we believe made it happen. We get louder, and we get crazier.

We Want To Belong

This is a golf website so I’m not looking to explore the authenticity of evolution as it pertains to man coming from ape, Adam, asteroids, or lizard people that live under ground. You guys can re-try the Scopes Monkey Trial in the comment section if you’d like. What I want to talk about is evolution in regards to passing genes and social traits from one generation to another, which is something I think we can all agree happens. Genes and social traits that were important to human survival 250,000 years ago still exist today, even though we live a very different lifestyle compared to cavemen. For example, your great (great, great, etc., etc.) grandfather needed his Fight or Flight response to survive a bear attack when all he had was a pointy stick. These days, your Fight or Flight response is about as useful as a VCR.

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The same thing happened with our need to belong to a group. It evolved out of necessity and still exists today (necessary or not). You can’t stop trolling TaylorMade threads because of the same trait your ancestors relied on to survive. Early man formed groups for survival purposes. These small groups of early man helped keep predators away and food on the table. Once beer and agriculture came along, the groups increased in size and turned into villages. The need to keep track of these large social groups actually furthered our brain’s development. Think about it… equipment discussions on a golf forum will stimulate your brain more than reading the Golf Digest Hot List by yourself.

Cavemen formed groups to survive. The management of groups required increased brain capacity, and a bigger brain lead to more social interactions; the origin of creativity and innovation. The desire by early man to impress his caveman group has led to every breakthrough humans have developed. Essentially, social acceptance spurred the development of problem solving skills in humans. The same force that drives your need to be part of #TEAMTITLEIST put a man on the moon.

Why does this need to belong compel us to attack others who don’t share our love for forward CG in the driver head? The human brain is a social tool that craves companionship to create networks. These networks are sometimes based on a fundamental or idea (like say golf clubs). Once we identify with an ideology, we’ programmed to attack other networks that challenge our fundamental beliefs.

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Like any good marketing organizations, golf companies understand these primal needs, and have become increasingly adept at using Social Media to play to our base urges. They interact with us, they bring us into the fold, and in some cases, indoctrinate us into the brand culture. We are no longer a customer, we are one with the brand. We are part of the pack.

We don’t spit venom because we blindly believe in the principles and technology stories our favorite golf companies tell, but rather because we are programmed to defend our pack. Think about this within the context off the offline world. Each of us has likely stood up for a friend…even when we knew he was wrong. It’s really not much different.

Gamergate certainly proved that our online group interactions can snowball out of control. Gamergate was arguably lowest point of online bullying within any community. It’s never that bad in golf. Online golf communities are rather tame when compared to the communities built around video games, choppers, rice rockets, NASCAR, guns, TV shows, or the NFL. Perhaps we can attribute these differences to the gentlemanly nature of the game. Perhaps it’s because, for the most part, golf doesn’t have teams.

Fans of team sports find it easier to identify with a given group. Fans simply choose the team in closest proximity or they choose a frontrunner. Golf is an individual sport, so golfers must fulfill their social needs by aligning with an equipment manufacturer or apparel company. Your need to belong can affect your equipment decisions, choice of ball, what clothes you wear on the course, and many other  aspects of your golfing habits.

For many parts of the US, golf is a seasonal sport. In order to get their golf social fix, golfers go online to support their team in forum threads and comment sections. Winter is the leading contributor the rise in fanboy and troll culture. At least in the summer, golfers can step away from their keyboards and actually play golf.

We’re Better Than This

As a new golfer I was immediately initiated into Team Callaway. Team “Hangout With Chicks” happened to be all booked up at the time, and fortunately for me, Team Jacob and Team Edward hadn’t yet been formed. Naturally I gravitated towards other Callaway players and pros that played the company’s wares. I preached the benefits of the S2H2 technology to anyone who would listen. I still have no clue what it really means or what it actually does. The bandwagon effect is very strong in golf.

I have since realized the error of my ways.

The same commitment to hardline ideologies that can take a basic bible study group and convert it into a cult is what drives fanboy culture. The people involved in cults are almost always normal people with above average intelligence. They just want to belong to a group and have purpose. That’s not crazy, even if the behavioral manifestation is.

So the next time you decide to troll the other golf fanboys out there on forums, just remember they are after the same thing you are: the right to belong. Make sure to hear them out and understand where they are coming from. That is, unless they’re from Jonestown (or Carlsbad) and offering you Kool-Aid while you discuss slot technology. In that case, use the fight or flight response to run for your life.

 

 

MyGolfSpy

blue Is the Future of Adams Golf

blue Is the Future of Adams Golf

Post image for blue Is the Future of Adams Golf

Written By: Tony Covey

Last month Adams held a small event in Boca Raton, Florida, where a small group of media got to try out the new blue driver, bag the red hybrid, and play 9 holes (2 groups) with two-time Masters Champion Bernhard Langer.

En route to some of the most atrocious golf I’ve played in quite some time, I picked up a few tips from the pro, found a hybrid that’s immediately going into my actual bag and, as you might imagine, had a nearly infinite amount of fun.

It was almost certainly the biggest, if not the only media event in the history of Adams Golf. The Delaire Country Club where we played was beautiful. Langer was genuine and engaging, and the food was pretty good too.

What wasn’t abundantly clear to me was the point of any of it.

A Day with Adams and Bernhard Langer

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On the range before our round we watched and listened as Bernhard stepped us through his practice routine, explaining how to hit the variety of different shots needed to win on the PGA Tour. We attempted those shots ourselves, tried the Adams blue driver and red hybrid. We had lunch. Langer told stories. We played golf together, and had a truly memorable dinner.

The small group of media in attendance spent an entire unscripted day with Bernard Langer with none of the awkward moments that occur when professional golfers and paid celebrities fumble through their company-supplied bullet points.

We talked golf, not product. Bernhard Langer kept it real.

The Adams guys kept it real too. They didn’t try and sell us (or oversell us) on the technology. Conspicuously absent from the event were the typical assortment of industry must-mentions. Longer, faster, better were replaced by “hit this”. The requisite bits about face technology, precise CG placement, and adjustability superseded by “what do you think?”

The summary discussions were light on talk of ball speed, launch angle, and spin rates. Launch monitors eschewed for a more basic metric.

“It’s fun, right?”

That, it turns out, was the point. The Adams event provided a gentle reminder that golf is fun…at least it’s supposed to be.

For guys like me who cover equipment, a day with Adams and Bernhard Langer also provided a very different way to start an equipment conversation.

But then again, this is a very different Adams Golf…at least it wants to be.

Like a Lil’ blue Phoenix

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After spending the better part of 3 years in limbo, TaylorMade’s newish (and now former CEO Ben Sharpe, detailed his vision for Adams Golf. TaylorMade was the brand for competitive golfers. Adams would specifically target recreational golfers – guys just out to have a good time.

While the identity is no longer that of a brand for old men and hacks, if along the way Adams products happen to appeal to senior golfers or higher-handicap golfers, the company is perfectly fine with that; but recreational is the key word.

To make that distinction clear, the original Adams 2015 lineup, including a driver with what I’m told would have been an interesting new take on adjustable CG, was sent to the scrapheap to make room for the recreationally-oriented blue line.

The Adams red line (which currently consists of only a single hybrid) remains serious business. It’s the heritage of the company, and remains suitable for tour use. While red stands in contradiction to the larger message, it also proves that the tour always matters.

Even a recreational brand needs a tour presence.

Along with blue comes a strategy that targets beginners, recreational golfers, and anyone else who thinks that the status quo of golf marketing has become too serious, too stale, or – from my perspective – too stupid.

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The TaylorMade-Adams team believes that the recreational crowd is currently being underserved, if not totally ignored, by the industry. The company believes that if you speak simply and use words everyone can understand, there’s a real opportunity for success. It’s what Adams calls shooting straight.

There’s no need to obsess over technology. Blue is easy to hit. Blue is fun.

This is still the golf industry, however, so even a brand devised for an entirely different market can’t stray too far from the industry’s script. Shoot straight, but not too straight.

Being too different is too risky, even for a company reconceived to be different.

Abide.

What Might Have Been

“Starting today, golf is a game again.”

We were fortunate enough to shoot a video of the video that Adams created to provide some context for the brand’s place in the industry. It eventually might have made it to the masses as part of an ad campaign but apparently it was deemed too rebellious or at least too unconventional for an industry stuck in its own divot.

Take risks…really small ones. That’s how it’s done in golf.

What do you think? How great is this ad?

Much like the driver that never really was, the most rebellious side of Adams – the one that pokes fun at the industry for its overreliance on slight variations of the same ol’ same ol’ will likely never see the light of day beyond this story.

Rock the boat, but keep your feet dry. It’s too bad.

Are simplicity and fun enough?

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As Adams attempts to position itself as the brand for golfers who don’t take themselves too seriously and who just want to have fun, it faces an uphill climb. The lil’ lessons campaign is brilliant in its attempt to remove some of the intimidation factor from the game of golf, but it’s hard to know who’s actually watching.

Fun, unintimidating, and easy to hit are all great concepts, but I suspect that even the most recreational of golfer leans towards either the brands that the pros play or the cheapest thing on the shelf. He doesn’t actually want to be shot straight; he wants to buy more distance (cheaply). Distance is fun.

That’s not to say blue isn’t long. Those who hit it well on the course came back with tales of bombing blue 30 yards past their $500 gamers, but Adams wants to be different. Adams isn’t supposed to compete with TaylorMade, and so it’s unlikely Adams will tell that part of the story to the masses.

Your purchase of blue doesn’t include a day with Berhard Langer and the simple reality is that there’s absolutely nothing inherent in products from Callaway, PING, Cobra or anybody else that specifically precludes fun. Each of those companies brings its own brand of fun to the table.

Is Adams really that different?

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To be successful, I believe Adams will need more than simplicity and straight talk. It likely needs to offer a value proposition.

The big miss here may be that, apart from a few videos, Adams blue does very little to break down barriers.

$299 for a driver, $199 for the fairway, and $799 for the irons.

Adams is offering blue products with design considerations that won’t appeal to avid (competitive) golfers at a price that doesn’t make them any more appealing than anything else to the recreational golfer.

The message may be different, but for the consumer the bottom line is the same. If you’re asking what I think…I don’t think it’s going to work.

With all of that said, I want more than anything to be wrong. Golf marketing is largely nonsense. The industry needs straight talk, and it needs simple technologies that actually benefit a majority of golfers.

I want to support that company from the video – the one willing to poke fun at the absurdity of the golf equipment industry, while still being a part of it.

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The recreational market is underserved, and it does present one of the few viable opportunities for real growth. It’s an opportunity for Adams and an opportunity for the game.

But let’s actually shoot straight for a moment.

Is the plan for Adams to truly differentiate itself specifically for the recreational golfer, or is the plan for Adams to get completely out of TaylorMade’s way? Is blue the non-compete clause missing from the original contract?

Is this new Adams different enough to actually matter, or is TaylorMade simply killing time with Adams until it’s time to kill off the brand completely?

I hope it’s the first one, but ultimately golfers will decide.

MyGolfSpy

The Club Report – Miura CB57 Irons

The Club Report – Miura CB57 Irons

Post image for The Club Report - Miura CB57 Irons

3.5 Years…Really?

It seems almost unfathomable, but it’s been 3.5 years since we took a close look at a set of Miura irons.

That’s the thing about Miura…in a time where even the most conservative of golf companies are releasing irons on a predictable 2-year cycle, Miura seems oblivious to the calendar. Miura designs are timeless and the company’s release cycles reflect that.

New products are released only when there is a reason, and only when they are absolutely ready.

Miura – A Very Brief Intro

For those as yet unfamiliar with the Miura brand, here’s a quick list of what you need to know.

  • Irons are forged at the Miura factory in Himeji Japan to exacting specifications and tight tolerances
  • Miura disavows the idea of a stock offering. Each Miura set is built to the golfer’s individual specifications
  • Miura clubs are available exclusively through Miura fitters/dealers

MIURA CB57-1

About the CB57

The CB57 is Miura’s first new iron offering since the MB-001, which was released in October of 2013. It’s been a year and half between releases, and it’s not like the CB57 supersedes anything in the Miura lineup. With Miura newer often also means different.

The CB57 is positioned comfortably between Miura’s MB-001 blade and the CB-501 cavityback. It’s more forgiving than the former, but a bit more compact than the latter. Those alternatives along with the PP-9003, and Miura’s legendary small or ‘baby’ blade remain current in the Miura lineup.

The  CB57 is part of Miura’s Series 1957 lineup, which also includes the baby blades and K-Grind wedges. Named for the year in which Miura Golf was founded, and denoted by the 1957 crest, clubs bearing the Series 57 distinction are the most favored designs of the company. Series 1957 clubs are benchmark products in the company’s history. They are the most revered among the Miura offerings.

Our set of CB57 irons was built to my specifications and assembled by our friend Josh Chervokas at the New York Golf Center. At the risk of offering a shameless plug, when you’re in the greater NYC area, you absolutely must add the New York Golf Center to your list of stops. Josh and his team are among the most knowledgeable and respected fitters and builders in the golf industry.

MIURA CB57-30

Aesthetics

One of the various Miura taglines is “Commitment to Tradition“. The CB57 is most certainly in-line with that mantra. While technically a medium-sized cavityback, the CB57 features one of the most compact heads currently in production. As others have moved to larger footprints, even in their more player-centric designs, Miura continues to produce irons for golfers who love irons.

Simple, understated, and unquestionably beautiful. Miura knows no other way.

Toplines are absolutely minimal by the modern standard, as is offset. It’s a virtual certainty that some will find the design intimidating. On aesthetics alone, the Miura CB57 probably wouldn’t be your first choice as someone looking to begin the transition from game-improvement irons.

For players who are either accustomed to, or simply prefer the look of a more compact iron, however; the vintage good looks of Miura’s latest offering will be one of the more appealing designs you’re likely to come across.

MIURA CB57-3

Sound & Feel

Miura’s steel is the topic of some debate. The company certainly professes to have a superior product, while detractors argue that steel is steel and what Miura uses can’t possibly be better than anyone else’s. I’m not about to delve into the finer points of metallurgy, but I will say that between the forging process, and the spin-milled hosel, Miura has engineered a superior feeling iron. We can haggle over Mizuno and a few others, but sufficed to say, Miura’s offerings are in the top tier.

I’m spoken about it in the past. Those accustomed to the feel of a Mizuno forging may find Miura offerings (including the CB57) a tad clickier, but my opinion is that shot for shot, no iron provides more rewarding feedback than Miura.

We must also acknowledge that feel is completely subjective and so while one of our club testers (a low single-digit golfer who currently play Titleist blades) described the CB57 as “the most f#%$ing incredible feeling iron I’ve ever hit“, we each have our unique preferences, and yours may lay elsewhere. I’m totally cool with that.

For me, hitting the CB57 made me realize how much I miss hitting Miura irons.

MIURA CB57-26

Performance

Given that all Miura irons are custom built, it’s difficult to really compare Miura to an off-the-rack offering. To provide a general sense of how the CB57 performs, however, we hit it side by side with a modern blade offerings. Noteworthy, while the irons tested were built to the same playing length, the CB57 is a degree stronger in the 4-iron, 2 degrees stronger in the 7-iron, and 1 degree stronger in the pitching wedge. All of this suggests that, number for number, the CB57s should be a bit longer.

The Miura CB57s are shown in blue, our control blade in red.

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In the long irons, the Miura CB57 produced similar launch and spin numbers while carrying an average of just under 5 yards farther (likely due to ballspeeds that were on average, 3MPH faster).  Noteworthy is that across all shots, the CB57 produced a tighter dispersion pattern, and was, on average, closer to the target line.

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In the middle irons, the Miura CB57 launched just under a degree lower, produced 400 RPM less spin, and carried an average of roughly 4 yards farther. Ballspeed numbers again favored the CB57. Despite the initial launch conditions, differences in peak height were negligible, and the dispersion pattern was once again tighter for the CB57.

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As irons get shorter, loft becomes less of a contributing factor in distance. With that in mind, it’s not surprising that despite launching lower and spinning less, the CB57 was only  marginally longer than the blade we tested against. Comparatively speaking, the CB57 showed significantly better dispersion as well.

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The Takeaway

While it’s reasonable to suggest that the CB57 probably isn’t the best option for mid to high handicap golfers, our testing suggests that for better golfers who prefer the look and performance of a more traditionally designed iron, Miura’s latest offering brings more to the table than just a pretty face.

While nearly every aspect of the design begs to be in the hands of a better player, Miura believes that golfers should play whatever clubs bring them the most pleasure. The subtext is that it doesn’t always need to be about shooting the lowest score. There is enjoyment to be found in the game itself.

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That’s thinking that should be easy to rally behind.

As a current game-improvement player I managed to convince myself that what I’m playing feels almost as good as the CB-501s I previously gamed. 3 swings with the CB57 and I’ve realized the extent to which I’ve fooled myself. It’s nowhere near the same. I’ve rediscovered perfection and I’m finding it difficult to walk away.

Pricing and Availability

Pricing for Miura CB57 irons begin at $275 per iron (custom fit and built), and are available through an authorized Miura Dealer near you.

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More Information

Web: MiuraGolf.com
Twitter: @MiuraGolfInc
Facebook: MiuraGolf

Miura CB57 Gallery

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Survey – What’s In YOUR Bag?

Survey – What’s In YOUR Bag?

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Because You Paid For It

What’s in the Bag? Or WITB (if you’re down with abbreviations). It’s the quintessential question asked by every golf site ever created. More often than not though, they’re talking about what the pros play.

Who cares? Yeah, I get it. It’s cool to see new gear, but if you want the simple answer to the question of what the pros play, I’ll give it to you straight. The pros play what they’re paid to play, with very few exceptions.

Rory’s driver – paid. Tiger’s irons – paid. Phil’s wedges – paid. Spieth’s shoes – paid. That doesn’t interest us in the least. What we really want to know is what golfers such as yourselves have chosen for your bags.

What brands are you playing? How long have you played them, and of course, what new gear are you planning on purchasing this season. We want to hear from the guys who pay to play, not the guys who get paid to play.

While you’re here, feel free to use the comment section to tell us exactly why you play what you play.

Take the Survey

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