GOLF EQUIPMENT

Cleveland Golf is
More than Just Wedges

By Shane Sharp,
Contributing Writer

California-based club manufacturer enters irons race with new TA-7 Series

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (July 15, 2002) - Time was, you could pick through the golf bag of a low handicapper and be assured that you'd find one thing - Cleveland Tour Action wedges. The irons, 3 through 9, might be Ping or Titleist, the woods Taylor Made or Callaway and the putter Carbite or Odyssey.

But the wedges, almost invariably, were Cleveland.

Fast-forward to today and the Cypress, California-based company finds the competition breathing down its neck. Titleist, MacGregor and Taylor Made all have dogs in the race with new lines of wedges that are as sleek as they are deft around the greens. Cleveland has made it quite clear, however, that it won't relinquish the throne without a fight.

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Not only has Cleveland answered the call with the introduction of its 900 Series Form Forged wedges, the company has gone full bore into the iron manufacturing business. Its TA series irons are rapidly becoming favorites with all skill levels of golfers, and the club's reasonable prices appeal to players on a budget.

Cleveland's latest offering is the sharp looking TA-7, featuring the patented Micro Cavity technology. This technology lightens the top line of the club and lowers the center of gravity, moving more weight to the perimeter of the clubhead. A progressive offset works to counteract the average golfer's slice, and the patented Vibration Absorbing System provides a sneaky large sweet spot. The TA-7's are priced on the high side of Cleveland's spectrum, ranging from $700 to $900, depending on shaft type.

"The great thing about these clubs is even though the Micro-Cavities are obvious when you look at the back of the club, you don't see them at address," said Greg Hopkins President and COO of Cleveland Golf. "They set up like a traditional shaped club. The main difference is feel and results. They work so well, in fact, that David Toms and Joe Durant plan to put the irons in their bags next season."

The TA-7's success was built upon the foundation laid by Cleveland's TA-5 series, which has developed an almost cult-like following among recreational golfers. A set of TA-5's with metal True Temper Shafts retails for under $400 and a majority of golfers claim to get five to ten extra yards from the clubs. Like Cleveland's wedges, the TA-5's are also available in a sleek, black Gun Metal finish that eliminates glare and improves alignment.

Lower handicappers gravitate towards Cleveland's form forged TA-1 muscle back blades and the hybrid TA-3 series. The TA-1's were designed for highly skilled ball strikers who possess the ability to shape shots at will. The TA-3's are a solid blend between blade and cavity back, and are a good club for the golfer who wants maximum control but plenty of forgiveness.

Cleveland recently extended a hand towards the senior golfer with the introduction of the Senior TA-5 series. The Senior TA-5's have the same popular club head as the regular TA-5's, but feature a specially weighted shaft designed to give players with slower swing speeds the ability to create more power. The clubs also offer a soft and tacky oversized grip and are available in graphite shafts only.

Successful, visible PGA Tour players like David Toms, Joe Durant and Vijay Singh are also helping to establish Cleveland as the industry leader in irons. Toms and Durant plan to play the TA-7's next season and 31 other Tour players will have Cleveland irons or wedges in their bags.

"So far 2002 has been an exceptional year for Cleveland Golf," said Hopkins. "We had an early win by Jerry Kelly, Golf Datatech reported our growth across the board and now this Iron win...it's going to be a really good year."

For more information on Cleveland Golf products, visit www.clevelandgolf.com.

Shane Sharp is a Contributing Writer at TravelGolf.com. Contact him at sharp@travelgolf.com

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