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The Launcher is back! Cleveland’s new, full line of golf clubs

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What’s the first word that comes to your mind when I say “Cleveland?” For millennials who grew up with golf, it’s probably “Launcher.”

The Launcher name is synonymous with Cleveland Golf, and it still carries a cult-like enthusiasm despite the company not releasing a “Launcher” product in five years. This time around, golfers won’t find Launcher clubs in the bags of Tour pros as in year’s past. That’s because the new Cleveland Launcher line — which includes Launcher HB (HiBore) woods, CBX irons and Launcher HB (HiBore) — is filled with game-improvement clubs made for amateur golfers who need the ultimate in distance and forgiveness by offering the highest-launching clubs possible.

Here’s a brief gallery of popular Cleveland Launcher and HiBore designs from the company’s past.

We break down each of the new offerings below, which are each available starting September 15.

Launcher HB (HiBore) Woods

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Cleveland’s line of HiBore golf clubs have always been identified by a bowl-like, or concave construction on their crowns — at least on the drivers — that’s designed to launch the golf ball as high as possible. The idea behind HiBore has always been that golf clubs that produce higher-launch will be more forgiving, and ultimately help golfers hit longer and straighter shots.

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Cleveland is chasing even higher launch and more forgiveness with the new line of Launcher HiBore drivers, fairway woods and hybrids, as well as greater ball speeds. To achieve this, there are four key technologies in the new Launcher HB golf clubs:

  1. New Crown: While not the same cup-like design as HiBore drivers in the past, the new Launcher HB drivers have a HiBore crown designed to flex at impact to produce a high launch and low spin by lowering CG (center of gravity) in the club head.
  2. Flex Fin: Fin-like designs on the sole compress at impact to help transfer energy from the club head to the golf ball at impact for faster ball speeds, especially on mishits.
  3. Cup Face: Cleveland says the Cup Face is designed to produce a higher COR (coefficient of restitution, a measure of energy transfer), thus making the clubs produce more distance and forgiveness.
  4. Ultra-lightweight hosel: Cleveland designed the hosels to be lighter, therefore lowering overall CG in the club head, helping to make them higher launching and more forgiving.

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The Cleveland Launcher HB clubs will come stock with Miyazaki C. Kua shafts in the following lofts; Driver ($299.99): 9, 10.5 and 12 degrees, Fairway Woods ($219.99): 15 and 18 degrees, Hybrids ($199.99): 19, 22 and 25 degrees.

Full Specs (click to zoom)

ClevelandLauncherFullSpecs

CBX Irons

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While donning the Launcher name, Cleveland’s new CBX irons also use designs that you may recognize from its new CBX wedges.

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In order to create more spin, and therefore more control, Cleveland’s CBX irons have the company’s Tour Zip Grooves with double-laser milling between the grooves, just like you see on its CBX wedges. The irons also have a V-Sole that helps them more easily glide through the turf. The V-Sole is progressive throughout the set to optimize the turf interaction of each individual iron. Like the CBX wedges, the CBX irons have feel balancing technology, too, which means weight is moved toward the toe to center CG in the head for better distance control and feel, according to Cleveland.

ClevelandLauncherCBXirons

As you’d expect from an iron with the Launcher name, the irons are also built for distance. This is attributable to their cavity-back construction and a cup face that’s designed to increase ball speeds across the face.

Cleveland’s CBX irons come stock with True Temper Dynamic Gold DST 98 shafts, and will sell for $699.99 (4-PW).

Full Specs (Click to enlarge)

CBXironSpecsWRX

Launcher HB Irons

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Take one look at Cleveland’s new Launcher HB irons, and you can see why they have that name They have obvious influence from HiBore driver designs of the past, equipped with the concave, bowl-like shape on their cavities.

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The sets are progressively designed so the short irons look like traditional irons with the mid and long irons progressing to look more like hybrids. The hollow irons are said to provide “drastically more forgiveness,” according to Cleveland, and the HiBore crowns are designed to keep weight low and rearward in the clubhead for more forgiveness and higher launch. They’re also built with high-strength, HT1770 steel faces to raise COR and boost distance.

 

ClevelandLauncherHBirons

Cleveland’s Launcher HB irons will come stock with either Miyazaki C. Kua graphite shafts ($799.99: 4-PW) or True Temper Dynamic Gold 98 steel shafts ($699.99: 4-PW).

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the return of the Launcher in our forums.

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Andrew Tursky is the Editor-in-Chief of GolfWRX. He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team while earning a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. UnclePhil

    Nov 19, 2017 at 6:57 am

    What’s with the 50 gram plywood shafts? Come on guys, give us something in the 60gram neighborhood.

  2. tlmck

    Aug 7, 2017 at 9:15 pm

    Again with the stupid lofts on irons.

    • Ude

      Aug 8, 2017 at 2:32 am

      5 iron loft = 3 iron loft
      look my 5 iron goes farther than your 5 iron

  3. Robert Parsons

    Aug 7, 2017 at 2:15 pm

    I’m in board.

    Glued hosel. No adjustable gimmicks. Looks good. What’s not to like?

    If it performs well for my swing, I might pick one up.

  4. Dave R

    Aug 7, 2017 at 9:55 am

    Had a set of the older models . Perfect if your going fishing they dig up worms real easy. Probably their worst design to date. They look and are ugly. I like Cleveland clubs but these are not what will help anybody,just one person opinion . Good luck in selling them though and at least the price does reflect what they are worth.

  5. BallBuster

    Aug 7, 2017 at 9:45 am

    I’ve always like Cleveland clubs and think they’re highly underrated. I just bought a used Launcher driver with that little red and white logo by the R for $25 at Golf Galaxy and I’ve been blasting it such that I’ve benched a reliable Titleist 910 I’ve hit for years. Very straight and longer for me. Love the feel and that red shaft fits my swing. Still enjoy my DST hybrids, CG7 black pearl irons too and VP3 mallet putter as well.

  6. AceW7Iron

    Aug 7, 2017 at 7:35 am

    Looks like they took a big ol page out of Callaway’s book but who can blame them?
    Callaway has it going on and its no secret in 2017

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Equipment

Members’ Choice: The top-5 drivers that golfers want to test in 2018

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Golf’s “off-season” is upon us and the PGAM Show in Orlando is quickly approaching in January, which means it’s time to start thinking about the upcoming driver releases.

We’ve seen a few companies launch their “2018” lines already — such as Cobra with its new King F8 and F8+ — while speculation swirls around the companies who have yet to announce their newest products. For instance, we’ve spotted a new “TaylorMade M4″ driver, and a new “Rogue” driver from Callaway. If history repeats itself and Titleist remains on a two-year product cycle, then we’ll see a replacement for the 917 line sometime in 2018, as well.

The question we posed to our GolfWRX Members recently was, which new or unreleased driver has you most excited heading into 2018? Below are the results and a selection of comments about each driver.

Click here to join the discussion!

Note: The comments below have been minimally edited for brevity and grammar. 

Titleist (7.39 percent of votes)

BDoubleG: I know it’s well down the road, but the Titleist 919 is what I’m most looking forward to. I played the 910 until this year and loved it, but I realized that I wasn’t getting much in the way of distance gains with the 915/917, and I was just leaving too many yards on the table. I know it’s a cliche, but I was seeing considerable gains with my G400LS, then my M2 I have now.

I feel like Titleist has been hurting in the driver market share category (and probably elsewhere), as I think a lot of people think that the 913, 915 and 917 have been minor refreshes in a world where almost everyone else has been experimenting with structure (jailbreak, turbulators) or with COG (spaceports, SLDR, G-series extreme back CG). I think if Titleist is going to recapture some of their market share, they will need to start taking an interest in stepping outside of their comfort zone to catch up with everyone else. Maybe I’m hoping for too much, but a D2-style head with ample forgiveness and low-spin (maybe a back-front weight), with the same great sound of the 917, and hopefully getting rid of the “battery taped to the sole” look would be a huge hit in my book.

I’m really looking forward to seeing what they come up with…and I hope I’m not disappointed.

Mizuno GT-180 or otherwise (8.87 percent of votes)

mrmikeac: After thoroughly testing the Mizuno ST-180 and seeing the distance gains I was getting from my Epic, I can’t wait for the GT to get here. Cobra would be next in line for me, but Mizzy really did something special with that JPX-900 and it seems to look like they’re going the same route with these drivers. Excellent feel, forgiveness and simple but effective tech. 

Callaway Rogue, Rogue Sub Zero or otherwise (17.73 percent of votes)

cvhookem63: It seems like we’re not getting a lot of “NEW” this time — just some same lines “improved” on a little. I’m interested to try the Rogue line and M3/M4 line to see if they improved on their previous models. The Cobra F8+ is intriguing to me, as well. I’d like to compare those three to see how they stack up. 

tj7644: Callaway Rogue. It’s gotta make me hit straighter drives right? It sure can’t be my swing…

Equipto: Callaway Rogue Sub Zero, and that’s about it. Most of my testing will be with shafts I presume. 

bangabain: Excited to give the Rogue a shot, although with the hope that there’s a little more fade bias despite the lack of sliding weight.

TaylorMade M3, M4 or otherwise (27.09 percent of votes)

DeCuchi: TaylorMade M3 of course, and the F8+. I’m more interested in the fairways this year though. TaylorMade M4 fairways and Rogue fairways are top of my list. 

elwhippy: TaylorMade M3 and M4. Not owned a TM driver for several seasons and want something with a bit more power than the Ping G Series…

cradd10: M3. Still rocking an OG M1. Super solid driver. Curious to see if the updated version can beat it. 

Cobra F8/F8+ (33.66 percent of votes)

WAxORxDCxSC: I sure want to like the F8 based on looks (I understand I’m possibly in the minority on that one at GolfWRX).

TWshoot67: For me, it’s three drivers: the Cobra F8, F8+ and TM M4. 

The General: Cobra F8 is going to dominate everything, just wait, on the F8

Ace2000: Definitely F8/F8+. Love my Bio Cell+ and can’t help but wonder if these perform as good as they look. 

Click here to join the discussion!

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Equipment

True Linkswear goes back to its spikeless roots

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True Linkswear is getting back to its roots, while expanding the singular golf shoe brand’s reach at the same time.

The Tacoma, Washington, company’s Director/Partner, Justin Turner, told us that with the release of the two new models, the company is course-correcting from a move toward the mainstream, spiked golf shoes, and a loss of identity.

In addition to durability issues, Turner said the core True Linkswear customer didn’t appreciate the shift — or the deluge of models that followed.

So, in a sense, the two-model lineup both throws a bone to True devotees and casts a wider net.

Turner and company asked: “If we wanted to restart the brand….what would we value?” A commitment to the brand’s core outsider identity, style as articulated in early models, and an emphasis on quality led Turner on multiple trips to China to survey suppliers in early 2017. Eventually, the company settled on a manufacturing partner with a background in outdoor gear and hiking shoes.

“We’ve spent the last few years scouring the globe for the best material sourcing, reputable factories, advanced construction techniques, and time-tested fundamentals to build our best shoes yet. No cheap synthetics, no corners cut.”

Eventually, True settled on two designs: The Original, which, not surprisingly, has much in common with the zero-drop 2009 industry disrupting model, and the Outsider: a more athletic-style shoe positioned to attract a broader audience.

True Linkswear Original: $149

The company emphasizes the similarity in feel between the Original and early True Linkswear models, suggesting that players will feel and connect to the course “in a whole new way.”

  • Gray, White, Black colorways
  • Waterproof full grain leather
  • Thin sole with classic True zero-drop heel
  • 12.1 oz
  • Sockfit liner for comfort
  • Natural width box toe

True Linkswear Outsider: $169

With the Outsider, True Linkswear asked: “What if a golf shoe could be more? Look natural in more environments?”

  • Grey/navy, black, white colorways
  • EVA midsole for lightweight cushioning
  • Full grain waterproof leather
  • 13.1 oz (thicker midsole than the Original)

The company envisions both shoes being worn on course and off.

True Linkswear introduced the more durable and better-performing Cross Life Tread with both models. Turner says the tread is so good, you can wear the shoes hiking.

Both models are available now through the company website only. True Linkswear plans to enter retail shops slowly and selectively.

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Equipment

Sean O’Hair and Steve Stricker’s Winning WITBs from the 2017 QBE Shootout

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The team of Steve Stricker and Sean O’Hair closed the QBE Shootout with an 8-under 64 for a two-shot win over Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. O’Hair made a timely eagle on the par-5 17th hole at Tiburon Golf Club to lock up the first place prize of $820,000 ($410,000 each).

Here’s a look at their bags.

Sean O’Hair

Driver: Titleist 917D2 (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White Prototype 60TX

3 Wood: Titleist 917F2 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana S+ Limited Edition 70TX

5 Wood: Titleist 915F (18 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana S+ Limited Edition 80TX

Irons: Titleist 716 T-MB (4-iron), Titleist 718 AP2 (5-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM7 prototype (50, 54 and 58 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Scotty Cameron prototype

Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1

Related: Sean O’Hair WITB

Steve Stricker

Driver: Titleist 913D3 (8.5 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Motore Speeder VC 8.2X

3 Wood: Titleist 915F (13.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Rayon Tensei CK Pro White 80TX Prototype

Hybrid: Titleist 816H1 (17.0 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Motore Speeder VC 9.2X

Irons: Titleist 718 CB (3-9)
Shafts: KBS Tour Prototype

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM6 (46, 54 and 60 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 w/ Sensicore

Putter: Odyssey White Hot 2

Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

Related: Steve Stricker WITB 2017

Note: We originally reported Stricker had a Scotty Cameron putter in the bag, per Titleist’s equipment report. Stricker did, however, have a Odyssey White Hot putter in play during the final round of the QBE Shootout.

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