One of the latest releases from Cleveland Golf is a utility/hybrid that boasts a throwback name and look. But company officials say neither of those should obscure the fact that the club, dubbed the “Mashie” and featuring a raw, stainless steel finish on the crown, has a heavy dose of high technology as well as performance attributes that makes it among the best in that product category.
“In creating the Mashie, we started by producing a sole that has lower drag and glides more easily through the turf,” says Nate Radcliffe, metal woods development manager at Cleveland. “A pair of glide rails and a center keel enabled us to do that, and those features helped enhance lift, too. So, as you drive the club into the turf, the sole not only stops you from digging too deeply but also helps get the golf ball higher into the air.”
In an effort to improve distance, Cleveland Golf engineers then borrowed a bit from their popular Ultralite driver series by reducing overall club weight through the use of lighter grips (by Lamkin) and shafts (by Miyazaki). Adds Radcliffe: “That boosted clubhead speed, which in turn creates more ball speed and greater distance.”
Radcliffe says that while Cleveland has long made hybrids, the development of the Mashie represented an effort to bring back some of the utility in that category. “Those types of clubs were designed initially to help golfers get out of trouble,” he explains. “And while we certainly wanted to provide the good performance off of tees and fairways with the Mashie that golfers have come to expect from the latest hybrids and utilities, we wanted to add a little to the attribute we felt had been lost over the years, that ability to hit longer approach shots from troubled lies.”
The Mashie comes in five lofts, ranging from 15.5 degrees (which translates roughly to a 1-iron) to 26 degrees (about a 5-iron). Cleveland also makes a tour version that has a more compact head, a little less depth face-to-tail and less offset. Keegan Bradley used one to win the HP Byron Nelson Championship earlier this year.