Cleveland Golf had been sitting on the sidelines of making full sets of golf equipment, and they wanted back in the game instead of trying to own inside of 125 yards. So, they set out to introduce new equipment that solves a common problem for a lot of amateur golfers -- particularly those with slower swing speeds and higher handicaps -- is getting the golf ball in the air as high as they would like, much less as high as would be ideal to land the ball softly near their target.
Cleveland's solution? Their new Launcher line of woods, hybrids and irons.
The Launcher HB woods are an interesting play, choosing to eschew the customization that can come from adjustable hosels and settings (most of which amateurs never touch) in exchange for better performance with a bonded head-shaft connection. The weight is positioned low and back with the idea of getting the ball higher with less spin to go farther, while the HiBore crown flexes at impact to deliver energy back to the ball at impact.
The driver, fairway woods and hybrids all sport a very lightweight hosel, a Launcher cup face and Flex-Fin technology -- which is a canal running the length of the driver to flex for forgiveness -- to deliver results for players who could benefit most from these launch-friendly traits.
The Launcher HB irons are fully hollow on each iron, a play at super game improvement that is meant to put the ease of hitting a hybrid into every iron. The shapes change throughout the bag, looking like an iron with the shorter sticks to looking more like a meaty iron (or a hybrid on a diet) in the longer clubs. With a high-strength steel face and a HiBore crown, the weight profile is designed to get the ball up high quickly, land softly and go farther wherever you make contact on the face.
Alternative to the HB irons, the Launcher CBX irons take technology found in Cleveland's new CBX wedges and brings that into a full set of irons. Progressive shaping on the heads (including a cup face on the longer irons), a V-shaped sole and the Feel Balancing center-of-gravity placement work to increase forgiveness. Aiming to increase spin from all lies, Tour Zip Grooves and laser milling on the face deliver more control.
The Cleveland Golf Launcher line is available for pre-order at some retailers on Aug. 28 and will launch throughout North America on Sept. 15. The Launcher HB driver runs for $300, with the fairway woods at $220 each and hybrids at $200 each. The HB and CBX irons go for $700 in a seven-piece set with a steel shaft, with the men's and women's graphite seven-piece sets going for $800.