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Cleveland Launcher XL driver review

Cleveland Launcher XL driver review

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 driver

 

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

Cleveland Launcher XL driver
4.5 stars
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.

PROS

  • Huge sweet spot
  • impressively long
  • Great adjustability

CONS

  • The elongated head could be off-putting if you’re used to something more traditionally shaped

First Impressions

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.

Cleveland Launcher XL driver review

NCG Review

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.

Cleveland Launcher XL driver 2021

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.

Cleveland Launcher XL driver trackman data

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.

cleveland driver

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

Available: Now

RRP: £379

Lofts: 9°, 10.5°, 12°

Shafts: Project X Cypher 50 Shaft – A, R, S

More information: Cleveland XL Driver

Jack Backhouse

Callaway Epic Max driver review

Jack is a PGA Golf Professional who specialises in coaching, teaching golf to beginners and top-level amateurs for 10+ years. He also loves his golf equipment and analysing the data of the latest clubs on the market using launch monitors, specialising in blade irons and low-spinning drivers despite having a chronically low ball flight.

Although Jack has no formal journalism training, He has been reading What's In The Bag articles since he started playing at 12 and studying golf swings since his dad first filmed his swing to reveal one of the worst over-the-top slice swings he reckons has ever been recorded, which set him off on the path to be a coach. His favourite club ever owned was a Ping G10 driver bought from a local top amateur with the hope that some of the quality golf shots would come with it (they didn't), and worst was a Nike SQ driver he only bought because Tiger was using it.

Jack is a member of Sand Moor Golf Club and regularly gets out on the golf course to prepare for tournaments. Jack uses a TaylorMade BRNR Mini driver, a half set of TaylorMade P7MB irons, MG4 wedges and a TaylorMade TP Reserve putter.

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