50 Words or Less
Cleveland’s Launcher XL Halo Fairway Wood looks to be an angelic addition to the golf bags of those who struggle to hit their fairway woods. Offering good value, ease of use, and forgiving technology, the XL Halo is worth a test.
Any time we can make golf easier, it’s a win because it gets more people to try and potentially fall in love with, the sport. In my experience, the Cleveland Launcher XL Halo fairway woods do just that. I know fairway woods can often be hard for people to hit, and it’s why the best on tour often find one that works and keep it for years. This 5-wood felt like one of those special kinds of fairway woods to do just that.
At address, this club lives up to its “XL” name – it looks bigger than other OEM’s clubheads. It comes in a pleasant no-glare matte black finish on the top. The top of the club also has a bit going on, including the Hibore Crown Step. That design element shaves mass away from the top of the club to reposition it lower for a higher launch. The club head also features an angular sight dot to confirm alignment.
Flipping the club over, it features black, silver, and a bit of blue. I love the pop of a unique color, but I’m unsure if it will be liked as much by golfers at large. Apart from the color scheme, there is more visible tech on the bottom of the clubhead. The most identifiable tech is a pair of Gliderails that aim to help keep the face straight through contact. It also features a visible weight that hints at the perimeter weighting which makes this club forgiving.
Sound & Feel
I describe the feel of the club as smooth, light, yet stable. The sound is more hollow, like an airy slap… in a word, a “swap!” I found that sound to become a bit more high-pitched on real mishits, however.
I was testing this club out during a recent trip to Sage Run Golf Course [review HERE] with Matt, and while my driver was a bit unruly at times, this club, despite being new, felt like I’d had it for years. I found myself hitting it more than I’d ever hit a fairway wood before, in large part because of the feedback on the strikes.
The feedback was lovely. On the best strikes, the clubface felt springy, almost like a trampoline that shot the ball up with minimal effort. It was explosive. On mishits, there was a noticeable higher-pitched sound, but I didn’t notice a massive drop-off in feel.
My personal performance was very comparable to the Cleveland Hy-Wood [review HERE]. In other words, it performed very well, above my expectations. While the Halo Hy-Wood was slightly more accurate, the Halo 5-wood carried longer, spun less, and produced higher ball speed. I was seeing a bit more accuracy from this than other than fairway woods I’ve tested recently. I also got more carry than I did from my previous gamer 19° hybrid. I found it to be a club that was great for my confidence, especially off of the tee on shorter par 4’s, long par 3’s, and even into longer par 5’s. I found myself going to it as often as I could.
Something many golfers aren’t aware of is a hidden 8g weight in the grip, making the Launcher XL Halo FW counterbalanced, meaning reduced swing weight. That allows for faster swing speeds and a bit more distance. Adding to that powerful feeling is another piece of tech called Rebound Frame. Cleveland describes it as, “A flex zone in the face and a second flex zone in the body of the club work in sequence to direct more of your impact energy into the golf ball, for increasing ball speed and distance.” It did feel powerful and springy to hit shots on the tee, in the fairway, and even out of the rough.
Cleveland also offers an “Accuracy Build” where the length is shortened by 0.5” and the 8g weight in the grip is not included. The head, shaft, and grip all remain the same. Personally, I was hitting this club very accurately even without the Accuracy Build, but some will benefit from the shorter shaft.
Selling at $230, the Cleveland Launcher XL Halo Fairway Wood is going for noticeably cheaper than many other OEM options. For instance, Cleveland’s sister company Srixon’s ZX model (review HERE) is going for $270. TaylorMade has offerings like the SIM2 Max (review HERE) and the SIM2 Titanium (review HERE), at $300 and $400 respectively.
So is this new iteration of the Halo fairway wood more angel or demon? I’d say it lives up to its Halo monicker and certainly has wings! This club did exactly as advertised and was easy to launch and forgiving. This is not the longest fairway wood on the market, but when building a golf bag, you want consistency as much as distance, sometimes even more, and the Launcher XL Halo delivers just that.