Cleveland HALO XL Hy-Wood Review

50 Words or Less

The Cleveland HALO XL Hy-Wood blends a fairway wood and hybrid together to make an extremely reliable long game club.  Mid-high spin and launch.  Easy to hit.  Very consistent.

Introduction

In 2021, Cleveland introduced their version of the fairway/hybrid combo, the Launcher XL Halo Hy-Wood.  Drew wrote about it [review HERE], and I got a front row seat to many of the excellent shots he hit with it.  While we toured the upper peninsula of Michigan, it seemed that the Hy-Wood was in his hands at least once a round, saving him from trouble or setting up a great scoring opportunity.

New for 2024 is the Cleveland HALO XL Hy-Wood.  I snatched up this review opportunity to see if this could become my personal get out of jail free card.

Looks

The new Cleveland HALO XL Hy-Wood dumps the blue found on the previous Hy-Wood for an all-business black/white/silver color scheme.  It sports a very sharp sole with prominent branding divided by the middle GlideRail.

In the address position, the reason for the name Hy-Wood becomes obvious.  This is far too big to be a “true” hybrid, but it’s significantly smaller than most fairway woods.  Per Cleveland, the HALO XL Hy-Wood is 162cc which is 28cc smaller than the HALO XL 3W (above, Hy-Wood right).  The Hy-Wood is 55cc bigger than the standard 3H (below, Hy-Wood left).  Full review of the HALO XL hybrid HERE

The shape of the Cleveland HALO XL Hy-Wood is round and nearly symmetrical, favoring the heel just slightly.  There is a subtle sparkle in the gloss black crown as well as a nearly invisible graphic at the back of the head.  The face is fairly tall and sits just a bit shut.

Finally, I want to tip my hat to Cleveland for giving this club a strong head cover.  The black/white/silver color scheme is used to great effect here.  Functionally, I like the fur-lined “pocket” that makes it easy to pull the cover off.

Sound & Feel

My first few swings with the Cleveland HALO XL Hy-Wood produced the prototypical fairway wood sound – a fairly quiet, high pitched “tink.”  When I caught one perfectly flush, the sound shifted to something a bit more robust, closer to a mid-pitch “snap.”  I appreciated this clear feedback and the fact that the sound, even on mishits, was never ugly.

The feel of the Hy-Wood doesn’t stand out, and is overshadowed by the sound.  It’s right in the middle of the bell curve – a mix of solid and quick.  What your hands will deliver is strong feedback on impact location.

Performance

The first time I set up to hit the Cleveland HALO XL Hy-Wood, I was a bit confused.  My brain has an idea about how to stand to a fairway wood and a hybrid, but the Hy-Wood is a tweener.  It’s 0.5″ shorter than Cleveland’s like-lofted HALO XL fairway wood [review HERE] and 1 degree more upright.  Compared to the HALO XL hybrid, the Hy-Wood is 1.5″ longer and 1.5 degrees flatter.  Combine this with the in-between head size, and it will likely take a couple swings before you settle in over this club.

As you would expect based on the preceding paragraph, my first few tries were not very successful, but that actually gave the Cleveland HALO XL Hy-Wood a chance to show off.  Despite poor contact, the ball was carrying over 190 yards.  This club has very impressive consistency.  Ball speed, spin, launch angle, and carry distance all stay within tight windows, even when you’re swinging poorly.

Adding to that forgiveness are the GlideRails on the sole.  I’ve been hesitant to give sole rails too much credit in the past, but the impact here feels undeniable to me.  I hit a few substantially fat shots that still carried 200 yards.  If you tend to take deep divots or struggle with poor contact, this sole design can be a real help.

Shifting away from the mishits to better strikes, the HALO XL Hy-Wood launches easily on a medium trajectory.  The spin is medium-high which caps its distance potential but is also a major reason why it’s so consistent.  My best shots carried around 215 yards which is only 20 yards past some of my worst.  This is a very playable dispersion.  There are certainly clubs with a higher ceiling, but they won’t treat your mishits nearly as well.

Finally, the HALO XL Hy-Wood does have a moderate draw bias.  The stock shaft is very light – 40 grams – and it sits a little shut at address.  When I was swinging this club well, I was hitting controlled push-draws.  If you tend to leave your long game shots out to the right, the Hy-Wood can help rein them in.

Conclusion

Virtually every golfer is searching for more consistency.  You won’t find many long game clubs with more of that than the Cleveland HALO XL Hy-Wood.  From pure contact to mishits, this club just wants to produce long, high draws.

Visit Cleveland Golf HERE

Cleveland HALO XL Hy-Wood Price & Specs

Matt Saternus
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11 Comments

  1. I’m glad you reviewed this club, Matt, as I was a fan of the previous version. Cleveland purposely put this in a shaft lighter than their fairway woods and hybrids. Do you think have this in the bag along with slightly heavier fairway or hybrid clubs would create a consistency or feel issue?

    • Matt Saternus

      Steve,

      As someone who is a little OCD about his clubs, I would not want to bag this club with a 40 gram shaft and put it between a fairway wood with a 60-70 gram shaft and a hybrid with a shaft in the 80 gram range. That said, the results I got were really good, so I’m very open to the idea that I’m overthinking this and making a mountain out of a mole hill.

      Best,

      Matt

  2. Great review. As someone who gamed the previous model and added both new models into the bag, I’m glad to see what is considered a niche club get some love.

    I do agree with Matt about the lighter shaft and put a 60g in both of mine. But it is such a safe and consistent club! Those who are looking for a club between the 5i and FW, 4+ at 20° is essentially a Heavenwood version of a hybrid. It lauches high and will hold greens. The Heavenly Hy-wood.

    • Roy, which shaft did you go with?

      • Hzrdus Red RDX. Wanted a no upcharge option with mid launch and spin. Just didn’t like the Aldila. Even the Cypher from the previous generation felt better.

        • So u carry both the 3 & 4 hy-woods. I was thinking of adding the 4 to go with the older 3 I bought last year. Am I right in thinking the 4 hywood would be close to a 7 wood? I carry 6 iron up, no 4 or 5 irons.

          • The 4+ is 20° so its essentially the similar loft as a Heavenwood or 7w. I am treating it as such.

            I did consider keeping my old hy-wood but the issue is the original is only 18° and the head was 143cc. While new 4+ is 20° and 147cc. Both are the same length at 41.5″. So the gapping would probably be off. So i switched out my super hybrid with the new 3+ because it had a larger head at 163cc vs 147cc and was a half inch longer with a similar loft. And the new 4+ replaced my original hy-wood to keep my gapping consistent. I don’t carry woods only hybrids.

  3. While the newer 3+ is a larger head, the all new 4+ I think is only slightly bigger than last years 3+.

  4. Wondering how this club performed compared to the Big Bertha B21 fairway woods. I’m looking for something when not in the middle. I have a 3H rogue and a halo 4H at the top of the bag.

  5. Bud Sandy

    Thank You for this review! I just bought a new Hot Metal set with a very strong 5i. I think a couple of these would sit perfectly between that and my driver.

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