The one word that comes to mind when thinking of Cleveland is underrated.
The brand has produced some very good clubs over the past few years, but it is rarely known as one of the top club manufacturers like TaylorMade or Titleist.
It was created in 1979 by Roger Cleveland as Cleveland Classics. However, many of the originals sold are replica cues from the 1940’s and 50’s.
However, wedges helped Cleveland make a name for itself, and the 588 wedge is well-known in the golf world.
In 1990, ski equipment manufacturer Skis Rossignol bought the company, changed the name to Cleveland Golf, and introduced woods and irons.
More recently, Cleveland Golf has explored the shift from players’ irons to game improvement. So, let’s take a year-by-year look at how each of the Cleveland irons fares.
Cleveland Irons Vintage: The Complete List
We took a trip down memory lane and into the Cleveland Archives to find a complete list of all the irons, including the Cleveland Tour irons and their year of manufacture:
|cleveland steel co.||Release year|
|Tourism Action TA3||1998|
|Tourism Action TA5||1999|
|TA-2 (microcavity)||Year 2003|
|TA-7 tour||Year 2003|
|starter LP||year 2006|
|CG4 Tour||year 2006|
|CG1 black pearl||year 2006|
|high caliber||year 2006|
|High Caliber Gold Portfolio||Year 2008|
|CG1 Tour||Year 2008|
|High Caliber XLI||2009|
|CG7 Tour Black Pearl||2009|
|CG7 black pearl||2010|
|CG7 Tour Black Pearl||2010|
|cg black||year 2011|
|CG16 black pearl||year 2011|
|CG16 Tour Black Pearl||year 2011|
|588 Forged MB||2012|
|588 forged CB||2012|
|588 metric tons||2013|
|CG Black CB||2015|
|Launcher HB Turbo||2017|
|Transmitter XL Aura||2022|
Read more: The best golf clubs of the year
Will there be a new Cleveland Irons in 2023?
Cleveland Golf will release wedges in 2023. Released in early 2023, the RTX 6 ZipCore wedge builds on the popular ZipCore wedge and offers plenty of bite and spin.
Cleveland Golf also released the CBX Full-Face 2 wedge, which has a wide sole that eases the shot and helps mid-to-high handicappers.
top cleveland irons over the years
Cleveland Irons of the 2000s
The original Launcher irons date back to 2004. Forgiving irons feature excellent stability and a low, deep center of gravity.
In 2009, the Hi Bore XLI irons were released following several previous irons. Irons also provide greater distance, forgiveness and consistency. They are hybrid irons with full hollow construction for a solid feel.
The Cleveland Ironmen of the 2010s
Transmitter CBX Iron
Launcher CBX version launched in 2017. The cavity back and Launcher cup help with distance and wedge spin technology also provides control on the shot.
588 Forged CB Irons
Forged CB Cleveland irons are tailored for the low handicap golfer. They’re made of softer 1025 carbon steel metal for a better feel. The clubface is also roughened to add extra spin.
The Cleveland Irons of the 2020s
There are really only two new irons this decade, but they’re good options. Launcher XL focuses on forgiveness and control. It had a massive head with the greatest MOI of any Cleveland iron at the time—it was XL in every way.
Transmitter XL Aura
The Launcher XL Halo features a hybrid iron design. The whole point of these irons is to enable you to produce more consistent shots. That’s thanks to the large clubface, low center of gravity and wide sole, which means you’ll hit cleaner balls more often.
Read more: Titleist Irons by Year
Learn how the Cleveland irons have evolved over the years
The VAS irons were the first irons made in Cleveland. They were even bagged by Kory Pavone, once the No. 2 player in the world who won the U.S. Open with them in 1995.
They were actually pretty innovative at the time, moving the hosel back, girth weighting and progressive offset. It all points to game improvement iron.
However, the VAS irons and the subsequent VAS 792 were not the most aesthetically pleasing irons and never really caught on.
Then there are the Cleveland Tour Action irons, with a 1998 release date. Tour Action irons and variations of these irons were introduced regularly until 2004, with the Cleveland TA7 irons released in 2011, a little later.
In between are the famous Cleveland CG4 irons from 2005.
Back to the Tour Action irons, the cue is in the name – Tour. They are better looking clubs but can be hard to hit and lack forgiveness.
However, from TA-4 to TA7, they are known as more forgiving and very solid game improvement irons.
After 2010, the CG16 irons came out. These are for the moderately handicapped. Focused on optimizing forgiveness, control and distance on every shot, these clubs feature a large, thin face and milled face grooves.
With the introduction of the 588 Forged irons, Cleveland once again flirted with player irons. These irons feature great feel, minimal offset and a rough face for maximum spin.
In 2017, the Launcher CBX irons were introduced. Since then, all of Cleveland’s irons have been driven by transmitters and focused on maximizing distance and accuracy. The Launcher cup top and thicker topline on the long irons help with this.
Its latest iron for 2022 introduces an XL version of the Launcher club. They are very tolerant and stable, thanks to their larger heads. Plus, the MOI of the 7-iron is the highest ever, which can be used to improve your game.
It’s actually one of the best irons for novice golfers.
Cleveland has tailored products for high-handicappers and doesn’t offer many options for low-handicappers. But, that’s how cookies sometimes crash. Better golfers won’t be short of options from other brands.
Read more: TaylorMade irons by vintage
Tips for Choosing the Right Cleveland Irons Set for Your Game
be aware of your obstacles
Your handicap is a pretty good indication of the Cleveland Irons. You’ll be better off with game-improving irons designed for distance and forgiveness. The Launcher XL and Launcher XL irons should be right for you.
If you have a low handicap and want to improve the details of your game, then player irons may be for you.
Cleveland is flirting with player irons with the 588 Forged CB Irons. This is thanks to softer metals, rough surfaces and minimal deflection.
It’s important to note that if you have a higher handicap, it doesn’t mean you can’t look at irons for better golfers or aspire to play with them. With your current abilities, you may find it harder to get the most out of them, so you should be better suited to game improvement irons.
don’t go over budget
You need to consider how much you will spend on a new iron. You’ve probably found a set of irons that, on paper, look and read like they’ll improve your game tenfold, but at $800, they’re probably out of your budget. It’s definitely not worth breaking the bank for some new irons. Don’t force it.
There are cheaper alternatives you can buy, which are likely to be very similar. Also, if you really want a specific club, but don’t want to pay top dollar, it might be worth looking at where you can buy used Cleveland irons.
they need to see the character in your eyes
If your new Cleveland irons look like they should, they probably will feel like they do too. I mean, if you’re really happy with the look and design of your new irons, it gives you the confidence that you’re going to play well and enjoy using them.
For example, if you’re a high-handicap player and you have a thicker topline or larger clubhead, knowing it’s more forgiving than other clubs may provide some comfort. This can only have a positive effect on your game.
Otherwise, if you only have a few irons and you’re not interested in a design that you don’t really like, you may lack confidence in your setup, which could affect your swing and connection with the ball. Before you know it, you’re heading towards a bad game.
Now you know all about the Cleveland irons. The only person who can decide if they’re underrated is you, though, so if your handicap is higher, some of Cleveland’s recent irons might be worth a shot.
Whether the brand’s irons will return to the market in the future, who knows? But for now, it’s been an interesting ride, that’s for sure…
When did Cleveland stop making irons?
Cleveland’s last iron is the Launcher XL, which launches in March 2022. Cleveland Golf will no longer make irons, drivers, fairway woods or hybrids for the entire market, DNA Sports reported. Instead, it focused on wedges and a small part of the metalwoods and irons market.
Are there any pros using Cleveland irons?
Many pros tend to associate Cleveland with wedges rather than irons because they are designed for high-handicappers. When it comes to wedges, though, Hideki Matsuyama has used RTX 4 Forged Prototype clubs before. Keegan Bradley, Shane Lowry, Sepp Straka and Matt Kuchar have also all used RTX ZipCore Raw wedges.
When is Cleveland RTX 4 coming out?
In the US and Europe, Cleveland’s RTX 4 wedges launched on September 14, 2018. At the time, the Golfer was selling for $139.99. Since its release, it has been used by PGA Tour pros such as Shane Lowry and Graeme McDowell.
Jack was inspired by his grandpa Ron’s golf game and grew up playing the great game. Now, he enjoys both playing and writing about it. He is also an avid sports fan. Jack has been trying to find ways to find the advantages of the course to share with his readers.