Cleveland CG Black Custom Driver Review

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50 Words or Less

The Cleveland CG Black Custom driver is 100% built for maximum speed and distance.  Light weight, long, and one of the most fun-to-hit drivers of the year.


While Cleveland Golf primarily markets itself as a wedge and short game company, over the last few years they’ve also put out some very fine drivers.  The Cleveland CG Black Custom driver keeps that tradition alive.  This is a lightweight club geared towards players with swing speeds from 85-105 MPH who are looking to maximize their distance.

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The new Cleveland CG Black Custom driver steers away from the look of the last two Cleveland drivers, the 588 Custom and the 588 Altitude.   Those drivers were nearly twins with their very tall faces and slightly squared appearance at address.  The CG Black Custom is much more rounded at address, and the face is more moderate in height.

While I’m not much for crown graphics, I do genuinely like what Cleveland has done with this club. The white and blue on the matte black look crisp without being distracting, and the thin band of mirrored-black on the trailing edge is a very sharp addition.  Interestingly, there is no alignment aid.

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Sound & Feel

Though its appearance is stealthy, the CG Black Custom driver is not quiet at impact.  This club produces a loud, metallic crack that does make it feel quite hot.  The feedback on this club is minimal – only the biggest toe and heel shots feel like misses.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing if you’re looking for a little more confidence on the tee box.

CG Black Custom Driver LM Data

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My testing with the Cleveland CG Black Custom driver showed that this is a driver that’s all about distance and producing a draw.  The latter is evident right from the look at address: the loft is adjustable from 9°-12°, and the middle setting, 10.5°, has the face slightly closed.  As I started hitting shots with it, I noticed how draw-biased the weighting is.  The sweet spot seems decidedly towards the heel which makes the club more likely to produce a gear-effect draw.  Finally, though the light weight Bassara shaft isn’t overly torque-y, it does have a strong kick which promoted a draw for me.  All of this put together should make it a godsend for slicers or players who want to play a draw to maximize distance.

The other key component of this club is its light weight.  Though lightweight clubs are not the best for me, I’m continually impressed with how playable Cleveland’s are.  Some light weight clubs feel like swinging a feather – no feel, no control – but the CG Black Custom gave me feel and feedback, but also provided effortless speed.  I didn’t see my club head speed jump up with this driver, but I was producing my normal ball speeds with far less effort.

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All in all, the predictable right-to-left ball flight and the effortless speed make the Cleveland CG Black Custom driver one of the most fun-to-hit clubs that I’ve tested this year.  If you want to add some distance and get off the right side of the course, I’d recommend giving this driver a shot.

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Matt Saternus
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  1. hi matt,

    im 60 years old 6 handicapper fight a cut off the tee and swing speed is 88 to 92. i like cleveland stuff too, tell me its not too loud and can you set it at 9.5 with draw as well? i need more distance and can draw a 3 wood but not the big stick


    • Matt Saternus


      “Too loud” is a personal judgement, but this is not a quiet driver. The face is a bit closed at 10.5, so it will set up more open at 9.5.



  2. if closed at 10.5 would that make it square at 9.5?

  3. elaine bentley

    is this driver suitable for women

  4. Matt, how would you compare the Cleveland adjustable CG Black Driver with the Ping 25?

  5. Hi Matt, I just ordered this driver. At $ 197.oo couldn’t pass it up! Playing a Taylor Made 460 slider right now set at 10.0 with slight draw reg. flex. How do they compare?
    My club head speed is 89-93 mph. Do you think I will gain any distance with the Cleveland?
    Thanks, Mark


    • Matt Saternus


      The biggest difference will be weight – the SLDR is heavy, the CG Black Custom is very light. If you’re one of the players who responds well to light weight, you very well could see a distance boost.



  6. I bought the cleveland driver hoping to pick up some of the distance I have lost over the years. I am 84 and left handed. How high should it be teed up? since it has a lower center of gravity should it be teed lower?
    is there a left handed senior shaft available for fhis club?

    • Matt Saternus


      Just tee it up so that you’re able to consistently find the center of the face. Hitting the ball above the sweet spot can be beneficial for creating high launch, low spin conditions, but that’s only good if you can do so and still keep it in the fairway.



  7. melissa polce

    That time of year…trying to surprise husband for a new driver…quite honestly; I want to steal his Cleveland hibore 9.5 driver for I have to make his replacement really good…your review of this club doesn’t make me think its the same type of driver with the excellent performance he gets now, but his driver is about 3 or 4 years old(so its time)…he is right handed, stiff, plays 30-50 times year, prob a 7-9 handicap & can really smash the ball-what is your best recommendations on new stuff out there?

    • Matt Saternus


      PLEASE don’t buy your husband a driver, buy him a fitting. Check out Club Champion. Book a driver fitting for him, and they’ll get him into the best possible set up.

      Then you can steal his HiBore…or book a fitting for yourself.



  8. Frank Wildemann

    Matt, will the 12 setting draw the ball more with a higher launch? I have had the 10.5 draw since I bought the driver, good but not great, sometimes over cooks the ball to the left.

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