50 Words or Less
With its new distinctively stealthy look, the Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo driver is an eye catcher, but its performance is the true attention getter.
Bringing back the fabled Launcher driver may have seemed risky for Cleveland Golf two years ago, but with a solid base of golfers who remembered the brand, along with new golfers who liked the price, the decision turned out to be a wise one. Fast forward to the present and Cleveland Golf seems poised to gain even more spots in players bags with their totally fresh looking Launcher HB Turbo. Looks alone don’t sell drivers, but it’s a good place to start.
“Stealthy” was the first thing Master Fitter Jay said when I pulled off the headcover at Club Champion. Several attributes likely caused him to make that astute observation of the Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo driver. Top of the list is the use of matte black and smoky grey finishes on the driver’s head that blend seamlessly into the black Miyazaki shaft. The namesake step down HiBore Crown is much less noticeable and is complemented by the formed pockets at the back edges. Three ridges and a plethora of micro nubs on the crown complete the aerodynamic look at address.
The sole of the driver has numerous angular levels yet retains a sleek look. The red accent lines offer pops of color and complement the red dashes on the club face. Overall, the completely revamped, high tech look of the Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo has tons of appeal.
Sound & Feel
While the look of the driver has been overhauled, the sound remains similar – powerfully loud. A piercing metallic crack, the Launcher HB Turbo doesn’t leave your playing partners questioning whether you’ve already teed off. The sound is consistent with any decent contact, exemplifying the forgiveness of the face design.
The Miyazaki C. Kua 50 may read the same as the previous model’s shaft on the outside, but the counter balanced design gives the new driver an improved feel. With shaft weight moved towards the grip, the club felt very fluid, encouraging me to swing confidently.
For me, confidence breeds speed and my numerical results backed that up. Pleased with the ball flight and carry right from the onset, I continued to push the Launcher HB Turbo driver. Looking over the performance data, my swing speed ticked up a few MPH, while the dispersion stayed tight. Even less than perfect strikes were rewarded.
Much of the forgiveness is attributable to the new Turbo Charged Cup Face, which, like most modern designs, has variable thickness, expanding the desirable coefficient of restitution (COR) across the face. The weight savings from the HiBore Crown and Ultralight Hosel designs allowed the Cleveland Golf designers to position weight deep and low in the head. The results for me were high launching drives, consistent ball speeds and targeted spin.
The engineer in me is still a bit uneasy about the turbo nomenclature, but the club is definitely deserving of a distinctive name. I’m a big fan of the new look of the Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo driver and was impressed that its performance lived up to the big sound. No hosel adjustment? No problem – the shaft and head are well suited to the average golfer. This is a viable contender for any golfer who values a value.
Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo Driver Price & Specs