The Cleveland HiBore series of drivers and clubs was among the first to utilize revolutionary design specifications to dramatically improve ball flight, carry distance and the ability to hit the ball squarely. The HiBore XL Tour driver, introduced in 2007, is an updated version of the original standard HiBore driver, and it gained immense attention for its role in the Mercedes Benz Championship PGA Tour event. It was not sold for long, however; improvements to the HiBore line led to it being replaced by the HiBore XLS series in 2008. However, HiBore XL Tour drivers are still available on the secondary market.
Golf equipment manufacturer Cleveland Golf introduced the HiBore XL and the HiBore XL Tour drivers simultaneously in early 2007. The drivers were ready to ship by January 15 of that year, and the HiBore XL Tour initially retailed for $450.
The unusual and groundbreaking shape of the HiBore XL Tour's driver head is the result of a trademarked Cleveland Golf design system dubbed Distance Driven Geometry. Using this system, Cleveland designed the golf head with a large scooped-out depression on the crown. This depression lowers the sweet spot of the club face so that it perfectly aligns with the hot spot, or the point on the club face where the transfer of energy from the club to the ball is the greatest. By contouring the club head so that these key impact points are combined, Cleveland created a driver that offered great potential for distance and loft of squarely hit shots. Additional design improvements to the club face increased the overall size of the sweet spot and made it more forgiving with accidental wrist-twisting during swings.
The HiBore XL Tour received its share of both criticism and praise. Critics largely agreed that the driver represented a breakthrough in design, as it was the first to combine the sweet spot and hot spot in a single club face. However, some critics found that while the driver greatly rewarded perfect shots, it also punished poor shots more than the average driver would.
Notable HiBore XL Tour Victories
Immediately after the January 2007 launch of the HiBore XL Tour driver, PGA golfer Vijay Singh used it to help him win the Mercedes Benz Championship, the first event of the year on the PGA schedule. The following March, Singh again won with the HiBore XL Tour driver at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. That month, the HiBore XL Tour driver was the best selling driver in the golf equipment industry. The very next month, "Boo" Weekley used the driver in his first-ever PGA win at the Verizon Heritage PGA event, and he won with it again at the same tournament in 2008.
The HiBore series of drivers, fairway woods and irons was initially launched in 2006 with the standard HiBore driver. After the HiBore XL series including the HiBore XL Tour driver was launched in 2007, it remained the performance standard for Cleveland Golf until the summer of 2008.