REVIEW: Cleveland Launcher HB Driver

Simple Straight
How many adjustments, slides, weights or configurations before you find the right combination that helps you hit more fairways?  The more adjustable the driver becomes, the more uncertain we become if we have the proper settings to maximize our driver.  Some drivers have 1000s of combinations of settings, can we ever find the perfect setting?  Sometimes less is more and simple is better.  The Cleveland Launcher HB Driver is a simple straight forward driver that does what is says; higher and straighter.  Cleveland re-entered the driver market by bringing back their most iconic driver name with a revamp of their technologies.  It was done with one purpose, Simple Straight drives.
Cleveland Golf has been out of the driver business for a couple years.  It decided to focus their attention on wedges and putters while leaving the driver (woods and irons) their partner company, Srixon.  During that hiatus, the market moved high-end and super adjustable.  Everyone makes a driver that not only has hosel adjustments for flight, but weights to manipulate CG.  The market was missing a simple club that the average golfer could benefit from at an average golfer’s price point.  That is why Cleveland is bringing back the Launch line.  The Launcher HB is a straight forward simple driver that targets that market.

The Cleveland Launcher HB has High-Bore technology which essentially reshapes the crown to move weight lower and back for higher, easier launching drivers.  The previous generation did that very aggressively with a large “scoop” taken out of the crown.  The new Launcher HB is much more subtle with the shape; if you don’t look to closely you might not notice it was done.

The Cleveland Launcher HB has a Flex-Fin sole which creates a slot like technology for added forgiveness.  The energy is distributed throughout the “fins” and returned to the cup face for power even on miss hits.  The Cup Face also creates a super large sweet spot so that you can hit the ball just about anywhere on the face and yet won’t lose power.  The final key to this driver is the short and lightweight hosel.  The adjustable hosels of many clubs are heavy this reduces the weight available for low and back CG placement for higher straighter shots.

That’s a bunch of tech talk about the Cleveland Launcher HB Driver, but the real truth comes on the course.  I hit it on my FlightScope Xi Tour first to see the numbers.  It wasn’t the lowest spinning driver I’ve ever hit, but it certainly did launch the ball high and straight.  My 5 rounds with this club saw fairways hit increase and better approach shots as a result.  I wasn’t bombing past my typical landing zones, but I was getting it out there with ease and confidence.  But the real moment of truth was when I handed this club to my golfing buddy.  He relatively new to the game and has struggled with his driver.  With the Cleveland Launcher HB Driver in his hands, it was like his golf life suddenly changed.  He went from hitting weak fades to straight bombs.  I let him use it an entire round and his distance went up considerably and hit way more fairways.  It completely changed his game, more fairways, more green and less penalty strokes.  In his hands, this driver was a game changer.

The Cleveland Launcher HB Driver comes stock with a Miyazaki C. Kua 5s which is a great real deal shaft.   The C. Kua was reintroduced for this club and offers a smooth, stable yet is very lightweight.  I was impressed with the results with this shaft since I haven’t always got along with lightweight shafts, but since this club was designed for such a shaft, it didn’t feel unbalanced, but overall the combo feels just right and very stable for consistently straight shots.  It is a fairly easy launching shaft, but don’t expect moon balls, it keeps the flight fairly flat even with the quick launch of the head.  Plus it has amazing looks.

FlightScope Xi Tour Launch Monitor

Cleveland Launcher HB  Driver

  • Spin: 2804 rpms
  • Launch Angle: 15.7*
  • Dispersion: 6.0 yds
  • Club Head Speed: 105.8 mph
  • Ball Speed: 153.6 mph
  • Total Distance:  278.3 yds
  • Carry Distance:  260.1 yds

Do you really need all the bells and whistles of an adjustable driver?  How often to your really mess with it?  If you don’t adjust it, what is the point? And if you adjust it regularly are you ever sure if you have it right?  The Cleveland Launcher HB is simple straight.  Just step up, swing and #LaunchIt.  Cleveland reentered the club market with a solid club that will serve the average golfer very well at a great price point.  If you just want to hit more fairways, launch the ball high and still achieve good distance, this is the club you should try; it is Simple Straight!

Check the price online here

For more information:

Quick Hits:
+Simple design
+Nice looks
+Excellent performance
+High launching
+Straight hitting
+Excellent stock shaft

–Not necessarily ideal for low-handicap or strong golfers.

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