First of all it's very unusual for me to give an opinion on any club. I go through a lot of club changes, sometimes for the better and sometimes just because I want to. If that makes any sense. With all the excitement about Hi Bore's being a failure in the thread in the Tour Section, I felt I needed to share my thoughts on this club.
Background of my drivers: I have played import drivers for the past year and a half. Mainly models from Tourstage. I have loved them all. Great solid hitting drivers, although possibly not the most forgiving out there on the market but it was my general preference. The last American OEM driver I used was a Tour Taylor Made R7 driver. It's still in my back-back-up bag and will probably never be sold.
Background of my playing ability. I carry a single digit handicap which to some may seem like no big deal, but I find it pretty good considering I put zero time in on the range and average about 6 rounds or golf per month. I have been as low as scratch during my tournament years, but hey...I'm old now and really with a job and regular life, golf is just a hobby. I'm a pretty big guy at 6'2"/235lbs and my driver swing speed is 115-120mph.
The Hi Bore..... I initially saw the Hi Bore at the Sony Open. I had seen the covers in the Cleveland Reps bag and when he went to the back room to do some adjustments, I followed him in. I asked him about the driver and he told me it was the newest thing that Cleveland had just made and was pretty unknown to the whole golf community. He told me Vijay was playing it at 47" and was killing the ball with it. I asked him to photograph the head and he asked me if I was planning on putting it on the net. I told him.."Of course! It's going to be on Golfwrx!". To which he replied..."Cool...go right ahead.". As I photographed the head, he told me "You do realize there are no pictures of this anywhere...not even on Clevelands website?". I told him "Of course..why do you think I want the pictures!". I posted the pics of the Hi Bore here at Golfwrx where they promptly caused some excitement on other websites. I apologize to those of you who got yourself a "vacation" for posting a link to Golfwrx...but hey...why would any site stop it's members from getting the hot news.
The Hi Bore was met with terribly mixed reviews from "I'd hit it" to "Who would want to play with that soup ladle?!". I myself was terribly intrigued by the club and of all American OEM's this was the club I wanted to try. The Cleveland rep at the Sony teased me with stories of penetrating ball flights and yards and yards. How could anyone pass up on this personal "infomercial"??!!
Well, the other week I decided to send my Tourstage X Drive to Joe Kwok to shaft it up with a Fujikura 660TR ....that I won for FREE here at Golfwrx for posting the pictures of the Sony Open. Don't you just love that....a free shaft for posting pics that would have just sat in your computer or camera's memory bank? Awesome stuff! Anyways...my X Drive which I had been very happy with was heading out to a REAL internet Club Guru and I was without a driver. I stopped by my favorite golf shop and found a beat up 9.5 Hi Bore. I looked at it and realized it only looked beat up and it was tee marks and ball marks all over the face and sole. Something that I could easily remove. I asked the shop guys about the Hi Bore compared to the 905R and they all told me that they were getting more 905R trade-ins and hardly any Hi Bore's were coming back. Well that was all I needed to know. I got the club for a steal and was on my way to my local club guru to have it reshafted.
My Hi Bore.....I had a UST V2 75gram X Shaft installed at 45.5" and at a weight of D4. No tipping was done, just cut to length.
Today I got to try out the Hi Bore for the first time. I got to the course early to get a few swings with it on the range before taking it on the course. I hit ten balls with it and left the range with a smile. I was hitting straight into the wind and the ball was boring right through it and landing on the far end of the range. I figured it was just a major case of "honeymoon" and was eager to get it out on the course.
The course I played today is rather short and I only needed to hit a driver on 10 holes. Of the ten holes, I hit 9 fairways. Again...possibly a honeymoon but I'll take 90% of my fairways on any day and any course.
Sound: I initially expected to get a "tinny" sound out of hit because that's what I'm used to from American OEM's. I got quite the opposite. In my opinion, the Hi Bore has a very solid sound, not quite the solid sound like from a Titleist, and definitely not like a Tourstage, but solid enough to feel like I wasn't going to cave in the face. I can't stand the high pitched "katingggs" that I hear from so many large headed clubs on the market. The Hi Bore had none of that.
Feel: The feel of the Hi Bore felt fantastic all across the face. I kept thinking while hitting it on the range and course, that if Cobra say's they've got sweet spots all over the faces of their drivers, the Hi Bore could say the same. I caught a drive on the heel and although I could feel I did, there wasn't that total miss feeling that I'd get off of a Tourstage driver. In fact my playing partners thought I had hit it solid but in fact I knew that I had heeled it.
Ball Flight: As I hit the Hi Bore, I kept getting reminded of my personal informercial with the Cleveland Tour Rep. I could hear his voice saying, "Get's up quick with a penetrating ball flight...yards..yards". The wind today was playing different from it normally does. On holes that I usually have a back wind, I was hitting into a heavy cross wind. Particulary on the 16th hole, a par 5, where I usually end up with about 235 to the green, today after a very solid hit, the ball seemed to carry through the wind like it wasn't there. I ended up with 215 to the green with a easy shot on in two putting for eagle. I'd give the tee placement ten of those extra yards, but the other ten has to be the Hi Bore. I easily carried corners that I usually don't dare to cut over because of my lack of confidence in getting my driver up in the air. My ball flight with the Hi Bore started off low and rised quickly to it's apex and just kept going.
At the end of today's round with the Hi Bore, I can honestly tell you that I was shocked. Physically it's not the most appealing club on the market. Especially comparing it to my Tourstage 435 which in my opinion is one of the prettiest clubs out there. The Hi Bore was everything a guy like me who doesn't put too much time in his game but expects the world from it could ask for. The sweetspot felt enormous. Now it could have been that I was just swinging well today. Though by the end of the round, I wasn't holding anything back on it. I was swinging for the fences and the ball was taking off from the face and bore-ing its way down the fairway.
I understand too well how honeymoon periods can be with all the club changes that I make. I know with my routine of playing golf, and not putting in practice time, all this could easily change tomorrow. But for now or at least till I get my X Drive back from being "Kwok-ed"....the Hi Bore has earned it's place in my bag. It's a very impressive driver and maybe not for everyone including Vijay and Tom's but it just might be for pitbull808. Go ahead and try it and decide for yourself how good/bad the Hi Bore is.