Cleveland Launcher HB Driver

50 Words or Less

The Launcher is back as Cleveland Golf re-enters the driver market.  The new Launcher HB Driver builds on its legacy of delivering distance while being easy to hit and forgiving.  No adjustability but a great price point.

Introduction

When’s the last time you saw a brand new driver from Cleveland Golf?  If you’re like me, it’s been long enough ago that you probably can’t recall.  Fortunately, the smart folks at Cleveland Golf saw an opportunity to bring back an updated version of the popular Launcher driver and give the average golfer an affordable choice when high, long, and straight are the objectives.

Cleveland tells it like it is:  “Like tinkering with settings and changing your shot shape on each hole? Stop here — this driver’s not for you.”

Looks

Slipping off the head cover, the first thing that caught my eye on the Launcher HB Driver was the clean sole.  The big yet subtle CG emblem looks great set against the matte finish.  The blue paint fill coordinates well with the blues of the shaft graphics.

The second feature that that I quickly noticed was the non-adjustable hosel.  I had almost forgotten how sleek and slim a driver hosel could be.  From an address position, the shiny black metallic crown is punctuated with a wide band of silver that makes the head look smaller.  Looking closer, you’ll see that silver band is actually the distinguishing step down of the HiBore crown.

Sound & Feel

With Launcher in the name, I expected an aggressive sound, and the HB delivered with a fairly loud metallic crack.  Collecting launch monitor data in a bay at Club Champion, the sound seemed louder than other drivers, but it was actually more about the pitch – a powerful staccato that is piercing.   It’s a sound unlike anything else on a crowded driving range and might make folks’ ears perk with curiosity.  The sound is pure throughout the large sweet spot and gets a little muddled on mishits.

Overall, the Cleveland Launcher HB Driver feels incredibly balanced.  You might think the head would feel heavy with a 50 gram shaft, but the Miyazaki C. Ku is perfectly in tune with  the weight of the Cleveland Launcher HB driver head.  Whether taking slow warmup swings or increasing my speed, that balance made me feel in complete control.

Performance

I attribute the feeling of control in part to the large sweet spot and forgiveness of the Cleveland Launcher HB Driver.  Cleveland states that the Launcher Cup Face is the largest sweet spot that they’ve ever designed, and that the Flex Fin Technology provides the most forgiveness of any driver they’ve made.  This was on display when my non-centered strikes produced solids results.  Having confidence that the driver is going to deliver a neutral ball flight and find the fairway really freed up my swing.

Straight is good in my book, but long and straight is better.  Without the burden of an adjustable hosel, the designers at Cleveland were free to put weight where it’s needed – low and deep in the head.  Having the CoG (center of gravity) in the back center is perfect for creating high launch and low spin, and my numbers showed it.  But let’s not forget about the signature HiBore Crown for maximizing distance.  That step down allows for flex in the head and acts like a spring board, boosting ball speed.

Conclusion

I like the simplicity of the Cleveland Launcher HB Driver.  Choose your loft and you’re done.  Trust that the experts at Cleveland Golf have designed a driver that optimizes a shot shape that is ideal for most every mortal golfer: high, long and straight.  Priced at $300, the Launcher HB is a strong value, unless you enjoy paying extra for a lot of gimmicky options that you’ll never use.

Buy Cleveland Launcher HB Driver HERE

Cleveland Launcher HB Driver Price & Specs

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Matt Meeker

Matt lives in sunny Orlando with his wife who allows his golf obsession to stretch the limits of normalcy. He's also a proud coach with The First Tee of Central Florida who loves teaching kids about golf and life skills.

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18 Comments

  1. Great to see a review with a club head speed that fits old golfers . Love the club . Will try it thanks

    • I don’t like to consider myself old, but my club head speed definitely falls in that over 50 typical range.

      Thanks for the reading and commenting.

      Matt M

  2. It looks like it has a high launch angle, I would like that .
    Great review Matt.

  3. Would this be a good Driver for a low handicap, 110 mph ss player?

    • Great question Bill, but impossible to answer. Swing speed is only one of the many variables that can affect results. VJ Singh used to play the Launcher in his prime. The only way to know is to hit it. Low handicaps can be the output of a variety of factors also – best putter in the state, fairway splitter, or up and down genius. Hopefully following PIG has shaved a few strokes off your game.

      Cheers,

      Matt M

  4. Matt, being that this is geared for a mid to high HC player and there is no adjust-ability, is it offset or closed at all?

  5. Carl Trantham

    I have heard they are going to have a set of GI irons as well. Believe they are called CBX. Hope you are able to get a set of these to test. Also Hybrids and FW as well. Next month I turn 80 and in need of a new set of irons. My TM burners are wearing out and i’ll be damned if i’m going to pay $1000 plus for new clubs. I average 100+ rounds a year and HC is 8.7 from the OF tees. Lot of that is from Cleveland wedges and a new putter i bought from them last year. Just ordered the new Driver from TGW. I hope you can test the new irons soon!

    • You are my idol Carl – keep enjoying the game. I’ll have a review of the FW coming out soon and plan to test the new hybrid next week if Erma plays nice. Still hoping to get the new irons in for review. You can help make that happen by contacting Cleveland Golf and posting comments on social media. They are a great company and do listen.

      An early happy birthday from all of us at PIG!

      Matt M

  6. I’m going to try the HB Launcher irons. They remind me a lot of the old HiBore irons. Hybrid like in the long irons and more traditional in the short irons. I’ve always been a big Cleveland fan since the original Launcher 400 driver.

  7. Can you compare the Cleveland Launcher HB to the Srixon 565?

  8. Pingback: Cleveland Launcher HB Fairway Wood Review - Plugged In Golf

  9. Pingback: Cleveland Launcher HB Hybrid Review - Plugged In Golf

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  11. There is a lot of Stixon in all Cleveland drivers and fways ! The zStar driver still ranks high for me! The CG7 gold irons and CG16 game improvement irons! Latter are fantastic for feel and accuracy and one tenth cost of TMs or Callys.

  12. Went to the local golf store yesterday to try this out. I haven’t hit “straight” drives since I owned the CG Hi-Bore 2008-9 driver. I regretted (now) giving up that driver for the “next new shiny” driver. My last driver, T 913 D2 was the closest to a “straight” driver, but still extremely inconsistent in my ball flight. 7 shots in the simulator with this driver netted nothing more than 25 yards offline, 2 straight, 4 within 15 yards right of target, and 1, 25 yards right. All right shots contributed to a regular sized grip, I play oversized so the club felt like it was slipping in my hand. All 7 were centered strikes, just 1-3* open face. I netted 6-7 yards farther than my D2, with an easier swing. I was sold! Can’t wait to get out with the oversized grip and really see the direction on my drives! Thanks CG for bringing the HB back, for us mid handicap golfers.

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