Cleveland ZipCore XL Irons Review

GolfMagic tests out the Cleveland ZipCore XL Irons.

Cleveland ZipCore XL Irons
Cleveland ZipCore XL Irons
Very easy to hit, offer bags of forgiveness, lovely looking irons
Long toe-to-heel length might not suit the eye of every golfer

Cleveland XL ZipCore Irons Key Features:

  • MainFrame: Ai designed face featured in the 4i-7i that features a variable network of grooves, channels, and cavities to maximise flex at impact.
  • ZipCore: Featured in the 8i-SW ZipCore replaces heavy steel in the hosel and heel with an extremely lightweight yet strong, vibration-dampening material that sets the CG right behind the ball.
  • HydraZip: loft-specific grooves, to balance spin performance on every club throughout the lineup

Designed to blend distance and forgiveness, the Cleveland ZipCore XL Irons boast an array of technical features designed to help you hit the ball longer and straighter. 

With that aim in mind, Cleveland has built the XL ZipCore's with a balanced approach that blends both the forgiveness you would typically expect from a game improvement iron, with the aesthetics and profile of something closer to a player's distance iron. 

The combination is an intriguing one, so to see how the irons performed, we took them down to Mannings Heath Golf and Wine Estate before digging deep into the numbers using a Foresight GC Quad at Custom Golf Works in Woking. 

Let's get into it.

Player Level

These irons are best suited to high handicap players who desire ample forgiveness but don't want to sacrifice on looks. 

They're incredibly easy to launch but also offer suitable amounts of feedback for players looking to develop and improve their iron play. 

Cleveland ZipCore XL Irons
Cleveland ZipCore XL Irons

Cleveland ZipCore XL Irons Looks and Feel

The first thing we noticed when taking these irons out of the box was just how long the blade length is. 

They offer considerable length from heel to toe, which not only improves MOI but also provides a really confidence-inspiring look at the address. 

We have to say we are big fans of this look, and when coupled with the relatively refined top line and less offset than you would typically expect from an iron in this category, the overall appearance behind the ball is very appealing. 

Turn the club over, and the chrome accents will immediately catch your eye. Typically, we're not huge fans of a super busy cavity. However, we have to hand it to the design team behind these irons, as the collection of panels and textures work really well together to create a very modern and sleek aesthetic. 

Another design choice we're big fans of is the stamping of lofts on the soles of each iron. It's a choice you don't regularly see from brands these days, but personally, we really like the additional detail. 

In terms of feel, these irons provide a nice pop off the face, and feedback from poor strikes is also present, allowing you to get a good idea of your bad shots. 

Having opted for a cavity back design, these irons don't feel quite as hot as a hollow body build, which is typically filled with some kind of foam. However, there is still enough heat off the face to provide a deep feel at impact. 

Overall, we were really pleased with our first impression of these irons. The aesthetics are top-notch, and the hitting experience is right up there with the best game improvement irons on the market in 2024. 

Cleveland ZipCore XL Irons
Cleveland ZipCore XL Irons

Cleveland ZipCore XL Irons Performance and Forgiveness

Cleveland ZipCore XL Irons
Cleveland ZipCore XL Irons

As you can see from the numbers above, these irons pack some serious punch. 

The ZipCore XLs offer a superb overall performance profile. While we did experience slightly lower than optimal spin rates with the longer irons, that's more down to our clubhead speed, which is higher than that of the target audience for these irons. 

What impressed us most with these irons was how neutral the ball flight was. Typically, game improvement irons have a draw bias to counteract the heavy fade possessed by most amateur golfers. However, the irons flew very straight, and we found we were able to hit a baby cut with them on command. 

In terms of forgiveness, these irons really do excel. Thanks to the long toe-to-heel length, you have plenty of clubface to utilise, and it certainly comes in handy, especially when struck from the toe. 

While poor shots obviously reduced ball speed and spin, the clubs do a very good job of keeping the ball online, which is paramount when trying to lower scores. 

Strong, stable, and reliable, these irons allowed us to swing with real freedom. We found that time and time again, our ball reached the target with very consistent numbers backing up the enjoyable striking experience. 

All in all, we really enjoyed hitting the ZipCore XL irons, and we found that the performance data was remarkably consistent at as close to optimal numbers as we could hope to gain from a game improvement iron. 

Cleveland ZipCore XL Irons
Cleveland ZipCore XL Irons

Should you buy a set of Cleveland ZipCore XL Irons?

If you're a golfer who has been using game improvement irons for some time and wants to transition to a set that offers more workability without sacrificing forgiveness, the ZipCore XLs could be the perfect fit.

Offering sleek aesthetics, strong performance data and a price point that won't make you cry, the Cleveland ZipCore XLs are well worth considering if you are looking tp upgrade your irons in the near future. 

Sponsored Posts