What's new? How much does it cost? And how does it perform? Jack Backhouse brings you the low down on Cleveland's new Launcher XL Halo fairway wood.
How does Cleveland’s Launcher XL HALO fairway wood perform? Find out in our Cleveland Launcher XL HALO fairway wood review.
Cleveland Launcher XL Halo fairway wood review: NCG Summary
This is the 3 wood for golfers that don’t like 3 woods.
Its huge head size makes it a brilliant option from the tee which also being shallow enough with a low CoG to be hittable from the ground.
The Launcher XL Halo is long, forgiving, and a must-try for players who need to hit the ball higher and more consistently with their fairway woods.
- Guide rails help with strike out of the rough
- Consistent launch and spin
- No adjustability
The Cleveland Launcher XL Halo fairway has a very shallow face and a head that’s so big the ball feels almost small at address. Whether you love fairway woods or hate them, standing over the Launcher XL Halo gives you the feeling you will easily get the club on the ball.
Cleveland Launcher XL Halo fairway wood review: NCG Verdict
Like most players, fairway woods can be really hit or miss for me. Sometimes I have no issue hitting great shots, and other times, I really struggle, often just carrying it so my golf bag looks nice with matching headcovers. The Halo, however, gives me a refreshed feeling over the ball, as if all of my striking issues might disappear.
The shallow face definitely helps. The normal pattern with a fairway wood is that you hit a lot of thins or low strikes, which don’t go very far. Having a face that’s so short means your strikes are closer to the sweet spot which gives you more distance.
Like the XL Launcher driver, Cleveland has moved the centre of gravity low and further back in the head, which makes the Halo really forgiving and easy to get airborne. This might not make it the longest fairway wood out there, but when consistency is the biggest issue golfers face, these high launch high carry characteristics are exactly what we need.
I did find that there was no issue with distance. The shots I recorded on the Flightscope generally went over 240 yards which is about right if my driver goes 270-280. The trajectory of my shots was much different to normal as the balls went much higher than I’d usually expect to see.
I also tested this club off the tee and out of rough lies and was pretty impressed with the results. The tee shots were powerful and high, and I was able to get most of the rough lie shots in the air, moving a long way down towards the target.
Cleveland have included rails on the sole of the Halo fairway, which are designed to allow the club to slide through longer grass easier, making this club much more versatile than other fairway woods. I like that Cleveland have thought about something other than just all out distance.
The Launcher XL Halo features a counterweight at the grip end of the shaft, which I think noticeably changes the balance of the club when you swing it. I found that I didn’t feel like I was swinging as fast, but the club head speed recorded was still high, and the shots were just as powerful.
One thing to note about the Launcher XL Halo fairway is that the shaft feels very long. This might be to help us swing it faster, but the added length can contribute towards miss hits and topped shots, so it might be worth having it cut down.
You can also order this fairway wood in an ‘accuracy build’, which comes with an inch shorter shaft and no counterweight at the top end. This will slow you down a touch but help you hit the middle of the face more often, which would solve this problem.
The Halo also isn’t adjustable, so you can’t custom-tune it to your desired flight. This might be to keep the cost of the club down (it is dramatically cheaper than other premium fairways) but it is a drawback.
I did find this fairway incredibly easy to hit, and it goes high and seems to stay in the air for ages. If you are struggling with your fairway wood consistency, get out and try the Cleveland Launcher XL Halo!
Lofts: 3W: 15° – 5W: 18° – 7W: 21°
Shafts: PROJECT X CYPHER 50 SHAFT – A, R, S
More information: Cleveland Website
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