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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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He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team and earned 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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Whats in the Bag

Rory McIlroy WITB (2020 ZOZO Championship)

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Driver: TaylorMade SIM (10.5 @8 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Black 6X (45.5 inches, 59.25 lie, D4)

rory-mcilroy-witb-2020

3-wood: TaylorMade SIM Titanium (15 @13.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 80 TX (43.25 inches, 58 lie, D4)

5-wood: TaylorMade SIM Max (19 @ 18.25 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 90 TX

Irons: TaylorMade P7MB (3-PW)
Shaft: Project X Rifle 7.0 (6.5 in PW) 

Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 (54-10SB, 60-08LB)
Shaft: Project X Rifle 6.5

rory-mcilroy-witb-2020

Putter: TaylorMade Spider X Copper (34.25, 2.5 loft, 70 lie)

Ball: 2019 TaylorMade TP5 (#22)

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord (58R 1+1, logo down)

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Equipment

GolfWRX Spotted: 2021 Mizuno ST-Z and ST-X drivers on USGA Conforming List

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When it comes to drivers, Mizuno isn’t usually the company that comes to the top of mind for many golfers, but starting with the ST-190, and then the ST-200 series in 2020, they have quickly changed the perception of their metal woods thanks to wins on tour and more players choosing to put them in play—most recently Brandt Snedeker as a non-contracted player.

This morning, with the update of the USGA and R&A conforming equipment lists, we are getting a sneak peek at what Mizuno will have in store for 2021 with the release of the ST-Z and ST-X drivers.

What we know

Based on the information provided in the USGA submission by Mizuno, the ST-X will only be available in right-handed (10.5 and 12-degree lofts), while the ST-Z will be available in both right (9.5  and 10.5 degrees) and left-handed (9.5 degrees only).

ST-Z

Based on the images from the USGA list and our experience with the Mizuno product line, it appears that the ST-Z is the next step in the evolution of the standard ST200 with no adjustable CG but with a customizable weight in the back of the head.

We haven’t seen any images of a moveable weight driver in this new ST series, so it could be that the G-woods are getting phased out in favor of more internally biased weighting, but since those types of drivers often take a bit more time to get just right, it could be a matter of time before a “G” type driver hits the list.

As for technology, it has Mizuno’s standard wave to create flexibility behind the face, an adjustable hosel, and based on the images, more carbon fiber used around the head compared to previous generations, especially on the sole. I would also expect to hear a new face material or design story to complete the package and to boost MOI and ball speed.

ST-X

Based on the image from the USGA list and our experience, it appears that the ST-X is the next step in the evolution of the ST200-X driver, which is the lighter weight, more upright, and draw-biased driver from Mizuno. Don’t think draw bias always means it’s for higher handicaps either, because Mizuno staff player Chris Kirk got along very nicely with his out on the Korn Ferry and PGA Tours in 2020, including a win.

The tell-tale sign is the more heel biased weight in the back of the driver and what looks to be some sort of textured area to create “visible technology” towards the heel of the clubhead.

Beyond being draw-biased, when it comes to technology, it shares a lot of similarities to the ST-Z with Mizuno’s standing wave to create flexibility behind the face, an adjustable hosel, and more carbon fiber used around the head compared to previous generations, especially on the sole, and in the case of the ST-X, on the sole.

We don’t have any information on the release of these new drivers, but considering Mizuno didn’t adjust product release schedules in 2020, I would imagine it will be doing the same in 2021, and we can expect to hear more about these ST drivers either late 2020 or early into 2021.

To see what other golfers are saying about the newly spotted Mizuno ST-Z and ST-X drivers, check out the GolfWRX forums and join the discussion: GolfWRX – New Mizuno drivers spotted on USGA Conforming List

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Equipment

5 hybrid vs 5 iron – GolfWRXers discuss

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In our forums, our members have been discussing the logic behind removing their 5 iron from their bag. WRXer ‘rwl’ asks whether any fellow members have experiences doing so, and WRXers have been sharing their thoughts and experiences in our forum.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • RobertL.: “I replaced my 5 iron with a 5 hybrid. I find it far easier to hit than my 5 iron. I also took my 6 iron out of the bag, so now my longest iron is a 7. I now carry a 3, 4, and 5 hybrid since they’re so much easier to hit than long irons. Makes a big difference for this senior golfer.”
  • JohnKHawk: “For last 2 seasons I’ve played with a Cobra F9 5 hybrid. It’s 24 degrees & gaps perfectly between Cobra OS 3-4 hybrid at 20.5 degrees & Apex19 6 iron which is 26.5 degrees. The 5 iron was just getting to be to undependable. Misses with the 5 hybrid were more playable than the 5 iron. Use what works best for your game.”
  • Abe21599: “Never a bad idea to have both a 5i and 5h options in the trunk, just gotta watch lofts.”
  • nitram: “I know it sounds so “old man” but if you want to make a change in your 5-iron slot and can’t seem to get along with a hybrid, give the 9-wood a try. You may be pleasantly surprised.”

Entire Thread: “5 hybrid vs 5 iron”

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