In my Titleist iron post a few days ago I said launch season is quickly approaching and like most mondays during launch season we have a new one today! Cleveland Golf is releasing their 3 models of their new Launcher XL driver.
Whos it designed for?
When Cleveland jumped back into the market a few years ago they were clearly a wedge company and the rest of the line was going to be all Game Improvement lineups. The previous driver, the Launcher HB, was a high launch high spin driver that focused on forgiveness. If you were a low handicap with a high swing speed, it simply wasnt going to be for you.
What makes the 3 the same?
One of the cool things when you have so many companies under 1 umbrella like Srixon/ Cleveland/ XXIO is the fact you can share technology. You can put Cleveland wedge tech into Srixon irons. You can take some of the lightweight XXIO tech into the Cleveland driver. They did this with the Cleveland and have added the “Rebound Face” to the entire lineup. This should really help increase ball speeds across the entire face.
The next and most noticeable change to the driver is the size. Ceveland is claiming these are 6.7% (oddly specific) larger than the Launcher HB. This allowed engineers to change their weight distribution and add 11% more MOI. More MOI leads to more forgiveness.
The final thing is a counter balance on the shaft. This gives a little more feel to the hands. It may not sound important but a lot of the all time greats have used some sort of counterbalance in their grips just to give themsleves a little more feel and hopefully control. In fact PING has been counterbalancing their shafts for years now. Its a proven technology and one thats pretty sweet to see in a new club.
What makes the models different
Cleveland is offering up 3 models this time around. You have the Launcher XL, the XL lite and the XL Draw. All 3 will have Rebound face, the larger body, and the Counter Balance.
One of the cool aspects of the new Launcher XL is the standard version will come in a 9 degree which you dont see from companies in their mid- high handicap line up. You will also see an adjustable sleeve which again you dont see very often in clubs targeted to this market
The lite will actually reduce the entire weight of the driver by 12 grams. While on the whole that doesnt sound like a lot were talking a few swingweight points. The lighter overall weight should help squeeze those few extra yards .Thats important to an older or high handicap golfer. Hitting the ball far is fun and if take 12g out of a club makes the game more fun for people I am all about it.
The draw version is pretty straight forward. It helps you draw the ball. The weight is put in the heel and will hopefully help get that ball turning over for the golfer.
Specs and Final Thoughts
I think if you are the target market for this club it could be a real winner. It looks good. It doesnt look like a club designed for a higher handicap. I think sometimes companies make their high handicap stuff look high handicap and these dont. If you go with the Launcher XL, you will be able to get it in 3 lofts 9,10.5, and 12. The lite is offered in the 10.5, 10.5 draw, and a 12.