The all-new-for-2020 Cleveland Launcher driver has been designed to hit the ball higher, straighter, and—thanks to a redesigned cup face, and higher balance point shaft—faster, too.
The Cleveland Launcher name is synonymous with distance. Multiple versions of the flagship Launcher driver found their way into players bags dating back to pre-400cc drivers, through composite products (Cleveland Comp, anyone?). It’s not an understatement to say the club transformed Cleveland’s metal wood segment.
2020 Cleveland Launcher crown detail.
After a bit of a hiatus, the Launcher name was relaunched (sorry, had to do it) two years ago to glowing reviews and positive player feedback. The engineers at Cleveland decided 2020 was the time to turbocharge the new Cleveland driver.
“(With the Launcher HB Turbo) We’ve squeezed discretionary weight out of every corner of the head in order to produce one of the most forgiving drivers we’ve ever made.”
-Vice President of Research and Development at Cleveland Golf Jeff Brunski
2020 Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo: Details
When talking about discretionary mass, every single gram matters. In a 200g driver head, every two grams saved is one percent more mass to move around. When talking about a driver head and collisions taking place at over 100 mph, every percentage point matters. One of the most wasteful parts of any clubhead is the hosel—whether it be because of adjustability or just a traditional glue in a non-adjustable head.
The original Cleveland Launcher HB was not adjustable, which meant it was already saving some mass, but the engineers at Cleveland went a step further with the new HB Turbo and implemented more than just one technology beyond the hosel to make this new Cleveland driver even faster.
- Ultralight hosel: By redesigning the hosel both inside and outside of the head, more mass was able to be distributed low and further away from the face to increase forgiveness.
- Turbocharged CupFace: OEMs cant make the center of the head faster— it’s the rules—but it doesn’t mean they cant speed up more of the face. The new Turbocharged CupFace, has been enhanced with a new variable face thickness to provide higher CT (characteristic time) over a larger area for increased ball speeds and more distance—because nobody hits the middle every time.
- HiBore Crown: The newly shaped crown on the Launcher HB Turbo lowers the CG (center of gravity) by a full 2.2mm when compared to the Launcher HB. This improves overall forgiveness and helps to better optimize launch parameters for shots hit all over the face.
When it comes to improvements, Cleveland isn’t stopping with the clubhead either. The new Launcher HB Turbo is being paired with a new proprietary high-balance point Miyazaki C. Kua shaft. By raising the center of gravity closer to the grip end of the club, players have the ability to swing the driver faster, even though more mass has been added to the head to give the Launcher HB Turbo an MOI boost.
This is where club designers are looking beyond just the driver head and analyzing the club as a whole system. The better the whole system works together, the better you are going to hit the ball. It’s also beneficial that Cleveland is under the SRI Sports Umbrella, which also includes Srixon and Miyazaki. Miyazaki shafts are extremely high quality and are all proprietary to SRI products.
New Cleveland driver: Options and availability
The Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo driver is available in two different models
Standard/neutral weighting will be available in lofts of 9, 10.5, and 12 degrees.
There will also be a Launcher HB Turbo Draw model with more discretionary weight placed towards the heel. It will come in a 10.5-degree loft.
The suggested retail price of both models will be $349.99, and the drivers will be available starting October 4.