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New 2020 Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo driver

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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

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 driver face

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.

2020 cleveland launcher hb turbo crown

  • 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.

cleveland-launcher-hb-turbo-driver-specs

The suggested retail price of both models will be $349.99, and the drivers will be available starting October 4.

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Ryan Barath is a writer & the Digital Content Creation Lead for GolfWRX. He also hosts the "On Spec" Podcast on GolfWRX Radio discussing everything golf, including gear, technology, fitting, and course architecture. He is a club fitter & master club builder who has more than 16 years experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour professionals. He studied business and marketing at the Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and is the former Build Shop Manager & Social Media Coordinator for Modern Golf. He now works independently from his home shop in Hamilton and is a member of advisory panels to a select number of golf equipment manufacturers, including True Temper. You can find Ryan on Twitter and Instagram where he's always willing to chat golf, from course architecture to physics, and share his passion for club building, and wedge grinding.

14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Carolina Golfer

    Sep 10, 2019 at 7:54 am

    Another WRX article with negative replies. Do you guys like anything or just like to complain?

    • JP

      Sep 11, 2019 at 3:16 am

      I like to complain about poor golf design ideas.

  2. SV

    Sep 9, 2019 at 4:51 pm

    I don’t see the lack of adjustability as a problem. As a whole most people are probably better off without it. Find the right loft and leave it alone (says the guy always adjusting). But come on Cleveland, only one option for lefties? At least give us two (9* & 12* or 10.5* & 12*).

  3. George Steer

    Sep 9, 2019 at 2:52 pm

    All of the writing on the clubhead comes off as cheap. If they feel the need to explain the features, utilize peel of stickers.

    • Donn

      Sep 14, 2019 at 7:27 pm

      peel off stickers seem cheapo to me. I prefer them writing on the clubhead. a few years down the line and you are shopping used, the info written on the clubhead helps you to know what’s the important design stuff.

  4. JP

    Sep 9, 2019 at 2:10 pm

    Turbo? Why? Why? Why?

    Do they actually know what a turbo is?

  5. DukeOfChinoHills

    Sep 9, 2019 at 12:32 pm

    I had a Launcher back around 2004-05ish and really liked it. This new one looks cool, but I’m not in the market now.

  6. Getemgoose

    Sep 9, 2019 at 12:24 pm

    So the Cleveland Turbo threw on some Ping turbulators. Cool story.

  7. Jarnio Bubly

    Sep 9, 2019 at 11:49 am

    It’s always faster than last year! The faster we say it is the more consumers will get over how hideous it looks. Get out your pocket book! ????

  8. 15th Club

    Sep 9, 2019 at 11:21 am

    Wait just a minute. Is this a non-adjustable hosel? If so; uh, yeah it will be lighter. A lot lighter. At the cost of any adjustability. If I am wrong about this, somebody please correct me ASAP.

    Also; this is just me talking but how many players who are GolfWRX readers want and need a higher-launching driver? For my part, a driver head that launches LOWER is usually better, all other things being equal. I would love to own a driver with 10.5 degrees of loft. But I would hit it way too high. More static loft = more control and more straight. Like a 7-iron. But that kind of loft produces balloon drives. I want the highest loft possible, in the lowest-hitting driver possible.

  9. PI

    Sep 9, 2019 at 10:05 am

    I’ve been testing this driver out for the last year or so and I have to say it is right up there with the best drivers. I have the TS3 in play now and this club in testing was just as good if not better than the TS3.

  10. JP

    Sep 9, 2019 at 9:47 am

    Seriously?!? Writing on the crown?!? And why do they all have to copy each other with raised fins on top? It’s busy and ugly.

    • Angus

      Sep 9, 2019 at 3:11 pm

      What on earth has the writing got to do with anything, you can’t even see it when using the club, how it performs is what is important

      • JP

        Sep 12, 2019 at 3:55 am

        You’re blind if you can’t read all about the hibore tech on the crown at address…

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Equipment

Forum Thread of the Day: “Best players iron on the market now?”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from drvrwdge and delves into the subject of 2019 players irons. Drvrwdge asks fellow members which players iron they rate as the best of this year, with Srixon’s Z785 proving to be very popular amongst WRXers.

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.

  • swoooshlt: “I’m nowhere near the player I once was, but the Z785 is giving back some of that confidence……, and the feel is BRILLIANT!”
  • KC13: “MP-20 MMC all day.”
  • hypergolf: “I tried all the new iron releases as I am in the market to replace my Mizuno MP60s (TT DG S300). After hours of search, different shaft and head combinations I am going to go with Titleist T100 with Project X 6.0. Historically I never liked Titleist irons and was always a Mizuno iron player, but this year the feel and performance in T100 won me over…”
  • dalillama47: “Z785’s are my vote. Yes, I do play them. I can play anything I want. Between feel, forgiveness and the way they go through the turf, all a tough combo to beat. I’m not saying they are the best, but hard to believe there is anything much better.”

Entire Thread: “Best players iron of 2019?”

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Whats in the Bag

Lanto Griffin’s winning WITB: 2019 Houston Open

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Driver: Titleist 917 D2 (10.5 degrees @ 9.75)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Kuro Kage TiNi 70 TX

3-wood: Titleist TS2 (16 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Blue 80 X

Irons: Titleist U510 (2), Titleist T100 (4-9)
Shafts: Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 Tour 105 X (2), Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 Tour 130 X (4-9)

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM7 (46 10F, 50 12F bent to 51, 54 10S bent to 55, 60 08M)
Shafts: Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 Tour 120 X

Putter: Sik Flo
Grip: SuperStroke Slim 3.0

Ball: Titleist Pro V1

Grips: Golf Pride tour Velvet

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Whats in the Bag

Cole Hammer WITB 2019

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*Equipment accurate as of the 2019 Houston Open

Driver: Ping G400 LST (8.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Kuro Kage XT 70 TX

cole-hammer-witb-2019-driver

3-wood: Ping G410 LST (14.5 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD-IZ 7X

cole-hammer-witb-3-wood

Irons: Ping i210 (3, 4), Ping iBlade (5-PW)
Shafts: True Temper XP 115

cole-hammer-witb-irons

Wedges: Ping Glide 2.0 (50/12, 54/12, 58/10)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

cole-hammer-witb-wedges

Putter: Ping PLD Anser 2

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

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