How does the latest edition of the Cleveland Launcher XL driver perform? Find out in our Cleveland Launcher XL driver review.
Cleveland Launcher XL driver review: NCG Summary
This driver performs really well. Cleveland have put together a driver that performs competitively with the big names at a very attractive price.
The Launcher XL has a brilliant adjustable shaft sleeve that gives the player 12 different options to dial in their flight. This driver will suit a lot of players.
- Huge sweet spot
- impressively long
- Great adjustability
- The elongated head could be off-putting if you’re used to something more traditionally shaped
The Cleveland Launcher XL has a huge footprint and looks humongous behind the ball. The clever face design makes you feel like the hitting area of the club is big as well, which gives you the confidence you don’t need perfect swings all of the time.
I really like this driver. As a fan of an underdog and a huge proponent of keeping the price of playing golf down, I am always hopeful that less expensive drivers made by someone other than one of the big brands will perform well. The Cleveland Launcher XL did not let me down.
The Launcher XL driver has a couple of features that result in high long drives. The first is 2 rebound frames that flex on impact which gives more ball speed. The other is that because the head is so big, they can move the centre of gravity lower and deeper to give a higher launch and low spin.
The result of this tech is quite impressive. Although I didn’t achieve particularly high club head swing speed or ball speeds, the ball launched pretty high with low spin, giving me a great 262-yard carry distance and nearly 280 total distance.
This is just as good if not better than a lot of other more ‘premium’ drivers I’ve hit this year, so I am really pleased.
I also must talk about how forgiving the Cleveland Launcher XL driver is. Those recorded shots in my Flightscope were certainly not all out of the centre of the face and there really wasn’t much drop-off in distance. This forgiveness is probably down to the size of the head and the massive MOI it provides.
This driver somehow feels quite a lot different in the swing than my current driver of choice. This could be due to the size of head, but also could be down to the 8g counterweight that Cleveland have put at the grip end of the shaft.
This is in to make the club feel more balanced and give more control to the player. It made the club feel heavier, which may be why my club head speed wasn’t as high as normal. There is also a Cleveland Launcher XL Lite driver available in the line if you do feel like you want something lighter.
The Launcher XL also has a loud distinct sound which perhaps is caused by the size of the head.
One of the best parts about the Launcher XL driver is the adjustable hosel. It offers 12 different options ranging from 9 to 12 degrees, with options to open and close the face. This makes the driver really easy to custom-fit and set up for a golfer’s tendencies.
I was able to set the driver up with a low loft and a flatter, more open setting which helps me hit fades and helps lessen the chance of a card-ruining pull hook.
You can also order this driver 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 if you play at a narrow golf course might be useful.
This driver is a great performer and should be tested by all golfers looking for more yards and increased forgiveness. Its low price is a draw but it’s not what you will end up buying it for!
Cleveland Launcher XL driver review: The Details
Lofts: 9°, 10.5°, 12°
Shafts: Project X Cypher 50 Shaft – A, R, S
More information: Cleveland Website
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