At address, the mid and long irons in the Cleveland CG16 Black Pearl set look forgiving. The topline is thick enough to inspire confidence without seeming too bulky. We liked seeing the cavity in the mid irons at address. By noting the loft of each club on the sole these irons have stand-out shelf appeal. We especially liked the Black Pearl version as it promises a classic look with modern technology.
We tested the stock Traction 85 shaft and were impressed at the strength of flight on offer from such a forgiving iron. It felt stable through impact and increases the overall appeal.
The CG16 irons should blend seemlessly into the wedges. At address the wedges look to have a sizeable hitting area and continue the feel of forgiveness from the longer irons. The CG16 wedges are priced at £105 per club.
The lofts of the CG16 irons have been strengthened to help provide greater distance. However, by marking the exact lofts on the sole, Cleveland say players should find more effective gapping. The laser-milled face and zip grooves seen in previous irons and wedges return here to offer high levels of spin control. The thin face design should also help improve overall distance.
For us, these irons offered more forgiveness than feel. Through impact they were extremely solid, but the feel from a sweetly struck shot is not quite as pure as some other irons in this category. For the mid or high handicapper after a classic-looking set, but without giving up on forgiveness, the CG16s are a must-try. From long irons to wedges these offer consistent strikes. Often a problem for forgiving irons, but we were surprised by how much control they offered. We suspect this comes from a flight that is high but strong throughout the set. The initial launch angle was high, but the shots did not lack distance in difficult conditions. The strength of flight is a real plus for any year-round golfer looking for a new set. PGA pro verdict Straight out of the box this set had a quality look. The laser-milled groove design enhanced the visual appeal, as did the gun-metal finish. Where as some sets look better in the longer clubs than the short ones, the head shape here looked good throughout the set with no irons looking out of place. They produced a quite fantastic, high-launching flight that really impressed. (John Jacobs)