Cleveland Launcher XL Halo Hy-Wood Review

50 Words or Less

With the Launcher XL Halo Hy-Wood, Cleveland has created a new category of golf clubs.  For those who struggle to hit their fairway woods squarely, or maybe just need a bit more juice out of their hybrid, this aptly named “Halo” may be a Godsend.

Check out the new Cleveland HALO XL Hy-Wood HERE

Introduction

In the last year, I have heard a lot of discussion in the golf world about what clubs to have at the top of your golf bag after your 3-wood.  For many, it’s down to two choices: a hybrid or another wood.  Well, Cleveland went and created a whole new golf club to split the difference.  Part hybrid, part wood, they call it — the Hy-Wood. 

Looks

When it comes to this club’s appearance, it looks more hybrid than wood.  It’s the same size as the XL Halo 3-hybrid (143cc), which is smaller than the XL Halo 5-wood (176cc), while all have the same loft.  However, the Hy-Wood does have the face of a fairway wood

Find our full review of the Cleveland Launcher XL Halo FW HERE and a review of the Cleveland Launcher XL Halo Hybrid HERE.

Like with the rest of the Launcher XL Halo lineup, this club primarily features the color turquoise on the bottom of the club, with accents of black and silver.  Looking down at the club from address, the top comes in a matte black, which is always a positive to avoid sun glare.  Despite being only 18°, it looked like it had more loft which created a level of confidence I don’t experience from most hybrids. 

Sound & Feel

I was shocked at the pleasant, smooth feel of this golf club.  It felt light, stocky, and powerful.  Despite not hitting any practice shots on the range, I struck every single shot pure during my first few rounds with it.  The sound of this club was a “thwack.”  It was dull, pleasant, and honestly a bit unique compared to other hybrids I’ve recently hit. 

While it doesn’t feel as explosive as the 5-wood in the same family, the Hy-Wood felt fast, soft, and springy.  This was a stark contrast to the duller sound.  That pleasant feel continued on mishits, but there was a bit of feedback and vibration in the hands.

Performance

So what is this Frankenstein monster of a golf club?  Well, it tries to take the best aspects of both a hybrid and a fairway wood.  As a result, it’s a bit different than each.  It comes in a standard 18° loft, sports a Golf Pride Tour Velvet grip, and a Project X Cypher shaft, standard.  It’s also important to note that the shaft is 41.5’’, meaning that it’s a bit shorter than the Halo 5-wood (42.625″) but longer than the Halo 3-hybrid (40.5’’).  In my experience, that meant that the Halo Hy-Wood launched higher, spun more, and was slightly more accurate, but not as long, as the Halo 5-wood.

Personally, my performance with the Hy-Wood was stellar.  Apart from the numbers, which I’ll address, it was a club that performed how I needed it to from the tee or on the turf.  Even with little pitch shots from the rough around greens, it worked wonders! 

Looking at the numbers, there’s a lot to like.  I wouldn’t describe it as a club that’s made exclusively for distance even though that seems to be how it’s marketed.  I think the marketing isn’t focusing enough on how forgiving the club is.  I found it to be an extremely low-maintenance, low-effort golf club to use.  There was a lot of consistency to be found in the club in both distance and in launch, and the launch it produced was consistently high.  It lives up to its name: “HALO” line stands for “High Angle Lift Off” and that held true in my experience. 

The Gliderails featured on the Hy-Wood (and the hybrid as well) are a bit different from the fairway wood version.  Where the fairway wood features two rails, the Hy-Wood has three.  Whether there are two or three,  the reason they’re present is the same: to keep the face straight through impact.  The Gliderails on the sole helped the club flow easily through any kind of terrain, from rough to bunkers, and from the fairway to hardpan. 

One thing I did find a bit disappointing was the lack of customization options.  While the hybrid and wood models of the Cleveland Launcher XL Halo series offer an “accuracy” build, the Hy-Wood does not.  It does make a bit of sense considering the primary marketing of this Hy-Wood is distance, but the option to make that modification would have been interesting nonetheless. 

This club was flying further than my current 3-hybrid gamer and was noticeably easy to launch, even on non-centered hits.  In addition, I found I didn’t need to sweep with my swing like I had to with my 3-wood.  So although I don’t struggle to hit woods, I think those who do are going to be all over this club, getting great distance out of a hybrid.  

It’s also important to note that I was getting such great performance out of a club that’s noticeably cheaper than many other brands.  While Taylormade, Titleist, and Cobra have hybrid offerings at $279 and Callaway has a comparable model in their Epic Super Hybrid at a staggering $400, Cleveland’s Hy-Wood is on offer for just $220. 

Conclusion

There are many great clubs out there, but just because they’re awesome doesn’t mean they find their way into my bag.  I’ve had a trusty Taylormade Burner rescue for years, but this Halo Hy-Wood has replaced it.  It’s consistent, versatile, and forgiving.

The Cleveland Hy-Wood hasn’t reinvented the wheel, but it’s a really great wheel.  It’s confidence-inspiring, and it’s worth a try for almost any kind of golf.  Who knows?  Maybe it’ll wind up in your bag too. 

Visit Cleveland Golf HERE

Cleveland Launcher XL Halo Hy-Wood Price & Specs

Drew Koch

18 Comments

  1. Really interesting club. It seems like sort of a distant cousin of one of my favorite clubs on the market right now: Cobra’s Radspeed Tour 5 wood, which is also shorter at 41.75″, smaller than most other 5 woods at 148cc and has rails, too. Cleveland is making a lot of products that are worth a close look lately.

    • Eric, great call. I think these two clubs are really targeting a similar player here. You’re right, both Cobra and Cleveland are making clubs that deserve a second look.

  2. Christopher S

    Drew,
    Great review, very thorough. This club seems like it could be a great addition to my bag. Keep up the great work!

  3. I’m going to check this club out. If I can find a shaft I like.

  4. Any idea when the fairway review will happen?

  5. Hi,

    Just one question, is the hy-wood meant to replace the 3 wood in a person’s golf bag or the 3 hybrid/5 wood? I was just curious. I know the most important thing is to test the clubs and compare them with existing ones to determine best fit/replacement – definitely going to try this club out!

    • Hey there Sebastian – Great call on trying it out! You’re absolutely right. Honestly, it’s meant to fit differently in different people’s bags, the best way to try it out will be to compare it to your current 3-wood or 3/5 hybrid and see how it performs to you. As a general concept, I do think it’s trying to be a stronger 3 hybrid than average, though.

  6. I have a XL Halo 4 HY Wood ProjectX 60 5.5. Have hit it many times and it just keeps getting better. Going to get a XL Halo 5 Hy Wood next. They go well with my Cleveland UHX irons. Great job!!!!

  7. Thanks for the great review, Drew. I was able to snag this club for $159 (used) at the PGA Superstore after more than a few whacks at the SIM. Was able to hit 222 off the deck at 127.5 mph ball speed from 14.5°and 2944 backspin so I think this club has great potential to replace 2 clubs in my bag – my 3 wood and 3 hybrid.

  8. Thanks for the review Drew!
    You stated that it went further than your current 3 hybrid gamer, can you remember how much further?
    Recently purchased the regular 3 hybrid in this Launcher XL lineup, loving it so far and carrying 200 yards.
    So was wondering if the Hy-wood could give me an extra 10-20 yards to fill the gap between that and my driver, despite being the same loft (18°).
    Standard Fairway Woods are not my friend…

  9. philip o'brien

    im wondering what shaft would work for me. i have a mix of senior and reg shafts in the bag. im swinging my 4 hybrid around 75-81 mph, am 76 yo, what do you think?

  10. Steven Whiting

    Can someone who has owned and used the Cleveland Halo Hywood 3+ provide an honest assessment of all the hype to this club? Has anyone hit this club off the deck 200+ yards, is it easier than a traditional 3W off the deck, is it easier and longer than a regular 3 hybrid or 5W? Is it worth the money?
    Looking for a club that is easier and provides more confidence to hit off the deck to carry & roll 210-215 yards. Sick of all this marketing hype, just honest reviews from actual users

    • Steve Nelson

      I’m 76 years of age and play to a 12 handicap. Most courses I play are in the 6100 – 6400 yard range. I hit the driver about 220 yards and I’ve used the 3 Hy-Wood, 18 degree, for two years. I will use it up to 180 yards off the turf and 190 yards off the tee. Anything longer will require a 3/5 wood type club. If faced with a shot in which accuracy is as important as distance, I use the Hy-Wood. Cleveland has recently introduced two new Hy-Woods, a Model 3, 17 degree, and a Model 4, 21 degree. I’ll be purchasing both as soon as the local golf shop has them. The current 18 degree has been the easiest fairway club to hit in my bag.

    • Not a big hitter. My very best 5w shots go about 205-215. I hit the 2021 Hywood around 195. These are off the deck. The difference? The 5w might be 5-6/10 shots. And that’s with roll as I’m a low ball hitter. The hywood is 8-9/10 good shots and that’s mostly carry due to the higher spin. It’s an amazing club that’s on sale now. Worth buying used and reselling for little loss. Or try the new ones out that are slightly different.

  11. Michael Scholz

    This club is fantastic as a 5 wood replacement. Loft 18, forging and distance. I prefer this mat black. I own 2. I have a shaft I like and installed it. Cleveland, use this cc, 143, make 16, 19, 22. It would sell to crummy golfers, 20 handicaps. MAYBE A 13 TOO!

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