Cleveland CG16 Irons Review

Cleveland CG16

Cleveland Golf's CG16 irons were released in 2011, which is decades ago in terms of golf club technology. Today, the CG16 irons in various iterations — CG16 Pearl Black, CG16 Satin Chrome, and CG16 Tour versions — are still out there on the secondary market. Golfers looking for a cheap, used set of irons might consider them. Just be sure to also consider how long ago 2011 was in golf club design terms.

According to the PGA Value Guide, the trade-in value of the set today hovers around $50. Unused sets of Cleveland CG16 irons are, at the time of this update, selling on eBay for the upper double-digits to the low- and mid-triple digits in terms of dollar amounts.

Original Review: Cleveland CG 16 Irons

Following review written in 2011 by correspondent Todd Berman

This large, undercut cavity back iron set is "lighter and longer" with reduced weight and strong lofts. Distance and accuracy are maximized on off-center hits. Larger sole is useful from a variety of turf conditions.


  • Beautiful Black Pearl finish (also available with Satin Chrome finish)
  • Lighter overall weight improves distance, but shaft/clubhead weights are well-matched and maintain feel
  • Outstanding accuracy


  • Golfers need to re-calibrate distances on their iron shots

The Basics

  • Cleveland CG16 irons come in 3-PW set configuration; a CG16 Tour set is also available (we tested the standard CG16).
  • Set we tested had steel shafts and Black Pearl finish; graphite shafts and Satin Chrome finish also available.
  • Laser Milled face with Tour Zip grooves optimizes spin from any conditions.
  • Large, thin clubface helps optimize distance on mishits.
  • Total club weight is lighter overall compared to previous Cleveland irons, and shafts are slightly longer. That is the "longer and lighter design" to which Cleveland refers.
  • Gapping is consistent across the set.
  • MSRP at time of launch was $699 with steel shafts and $799 with graphite shafts.

Review: Cleveland CG16 Irons

"Cleveland Rocks!" — or something like that — is a shoutout heard at many music venues. Well, how about the golf course? Yes, Cleveland Golf has come out with an iron set that in this tester's opinion just flat out rocks.

What is about the sticks that are so impressive? To begin with, a look - with a stunning black pearl finish - that belies the forgiving nature of this club. A large, undercut cavity back takes care of forgiveness on mishits. How about strong lofts and lighter shafts? A laser-milled face that looks like it could spin a rock; confidence-inspiring topline; wide, forgiving sole; lighter overall weight. Distance, control ... yeah! Isn't that what irons are supposed to provide?

What's really exciting about this set of irons is that Cleveland's lineage includes a lot of harder to hit tour-caliber player's irons; or super easy-to-hit game improvements that aren't so easy on the eyes. But the Cleveland CG16 irons combine the look and feel of a better player's club with the ease and performance of a game improvement iron.

A mid-flexpoint, 85-gram "Cleveland Traction" steel shaft provides smooth power to back up soft feel throughout the set. Cleveland has lengthened the shafts, too, but by a modest amount. A stock 7-iron is a quarter-inch longer than modern standard length. The weight and length felt just right to me.

I really got giddy with what I perceived to be a real improvement in ballstriking. Was it the golfer or the clubs? Usually a bit of each, but in the case of the CG16 I felt Cleveland had delivered a set that inspired confidence in the look and delivered with the technology. The result was shots that flew high and long — as long or longer than anything I'd tried previously.

While standard iron lofts on the CG16 set are on the strong side — the 7-iron has 31 degrees of loft — much attention has been paid to the gap between those lofts. But it does take some getting used to when you start hitting your irons a little farther.

The pitching wedge in the Cleveland CG16 irons set is lofted at 44 degrees. That means there is almost room for two gap wedges between your PW and SW. Something to consider as you dial in your wedges.

So, will a Cleveland CG16 iron set make it into your bag? If you try the CG16 irons, you, too, might find yourself excited for the extra distance and accuracy. And hey, in golf, that just rocks.