Review: Cleveland Launcher HB irons

Golf Equipment

If you're someone who struggles to get the ball in the air with your irons - go and give these a try immediately. That's an order from equipment editor James Savage

Our Cleveland Launcher HB irons review took place at the Golf Shack at Moor Allerton in Leeds.

We first saw these irons at the brand’s launch event in the summer but were keen to get them on a launch monitor and have a look at the numbers.

Thanks to PGA Professional James Whitaker for letting us use his Foresight GC Quad launch monitor to capture the data.

Cleveland Launcher HB irons review – First impressions

This isn’t the first range of Launcher irons from Cleveland. And we had been told by the brand they they were focussing on short game with wedges and putters only.

But they are back in the woods and irons game, claiming that too few companies are offering truly helpful clubs.

Cleveland Launcher HB irons review

These don’t really look like irons – they are more like hybrids or chippers. And they will put some people off from the outset.

People will be put off by these because they think they are too good to be playing something which offers this much help.

Cleveland Launcher HB irons review

The truth is that a lot of people could really benefit from using these but their egos won’t let them admit it.

Cleveland Launcher HB irons review – The technology

There’s a fully hollow construction  with a high-strength steel face, something Cleveland call a HiBore Crown – this allows weight to be pulled low and back into the head.

Cleveland Launcher HB irons review

So overall it’s a hybrid-like design to help golfers launch the ball higher and farther than typical cavity back irons.

Cleveland Launcher HB irons review – The results

Yes, they do look a bit weird as you address the ball but they are incredibly easy to use.

Cleveland Launcher HB irons review

They are fun to use too – you almost feel yourself relaxing in a way that you wouldn’t when normally trying to crunch a crisp iron shot.

These clubs are all about getting the ball in the air easily – and they certainly do that.

From a numbers point of view I wasn’t quite seeing the distance I would normally expect with a 6-iron. With a Ping G400 or a Titleist 718 AP1 6-iron I’d be looking for at least 160 yards of carry.

Cleveland Launcher HB irons review

And I didn’t quite get that with the Launcher HB. Probably because they were flying higher with a bit more spin.

But as I said, that’s exactly what some players need. Launching a 6-iron two feet off the ground with no spin is not going to work out on the course – especially if there is water which needs carrying in front of the green.

Cleveland Launcher HB irons review – NCG verdict

These clubs make me think about the 27th hole at Moor Allerton. Bear with me.

It’s a par-5 where the approach to the green normally requires a shot with at least 130 yards of carry to avoid the water hazard and treacherous bunkers on the bank of a steep slope.

Moor Allerton, EuroPro Tour

I’ve lost count of times I’ve seen players – normally seniors and ladies – unable to get the ball in the air sufficiently to make it on to the green.

Or they hit a fairway wood which makes the required distance but flies so flat it embeds straight into the bank or worse – the bunker.

These are the players I think about when I think about the Launcher HB irons.

So if you’re someone who struggles to get the ball in the air with your irons – go and give these a try immediately. Trust me, you’ll get so much more enjoyment out of the game.

Details

Men’s steel Set (5-PW): £570 (single iron: £95)
Men’s graphite set (5-PW): £648 (single iron: £108)
Women’s graphite set (5-PW): £648 (single iron: £108)

More information is available on the Cleveland website.

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