Cleveland Launcher XL Driver Review – Forgiving & Good For High Handicappers?

When lining up a tee shot, casual golfers are looking for their driver to not only provide them with excellent driving distance but with some forgiveness factor built in for times when they don’t make the best of connections.

That’s exactly what the marketing speak around Cleveland’s Launcher XL Driver promises.

But does it deliver?

Let’s find out.

Is It Good For High Handicappers?

Well, let’s just cut right to the chase!

Yes, this is the kind of driver that a high handicapper should be contemplating adding to their bag.

There are several reasons why this is the case.

One of the first things you will notice about the Launcher XL is its oversized head.

That means a couple of things, but most notably, the XL will give you extra distance off the tee, and the hitting area, because it’s so large, is relatively forgiving.

That’s two advantages that even the most casual of golfers want to bring to their game, right?

The launch characteristics of the XL must be noted too.

This is a driver that will help you get the ball up in the air quickly, as well as keeping it straight and true.

If tinkering with your clubs and setting it up just as you prefer is your thing, the Launcher XL has an adjustable hosel that you are going to love.

You can choose one of 12 different loft settings to find your perfect sweet spot.

So to sum up, yes, this is the type of driver a mid-to-high handicapper could consider.

Is It Forgiving?

It certainly is thanks to the reasons we have already touched upon, namely the oversized head coupled with the large face.

Even if you don’t middle the ball each time, the Launcher XL won’t punish you as other drivers might.

Out on the course, many of our rookie golfers who still haven’t developed a regular, consistent swing found the Launcher XL extremely forgiving when poor connections were made.

Thanks to the Cleveland Action CB, an 8 g counterbalance, it also helps those of us who naturally slice our drives.

Should you not want the counterbalance option added to the shaft club, there is a version of the Launcher XL that comes without it.

Available Shafts

The Launcher XL comes with Project X’s Cypher regular flex shaft with the counterbalance mentioned above.

Golfers who prefer not to have the counterbalance can find versions of the Launcher XL without it, although the shaft is 1 inch shorter in this case.

While this driver generally comes with a regular flex shaft, you can also find models with both stiff and amateur flex setups.

Is the Cleveland Launcher XL Driver Worth It?

Well, let’s ask a few questions first.

Do you want to hit the ball consistently off the tee?

Do you want to add a few yards to your drives?

If you answered yes to both of those, the Launcher XL might just be the driver you’ve been looking for.

For the more casual golfer looking to elevate their long game and make it more consistent, the XL could make the difference in helping to lower your scores.

Cleveland Launcher XL Driver First Impressions

The Launcher XL makes an impression first up, and that’s thanks to how it looks.

You’ll immediately notice the oversized head on this driver, and for some, it’s a bit of a love/hate relationship because, while they love how the driver performs, they don’t always like how it looks.

For me, that’s not a problem; in fact, I love how the Launcher XL stands up from an aesthetic standpoint.

It looks like it’s going to blast the ball straight and true, and from the moment I swung it for the first time, that’s exactly what it did.

Studying it face-on, you can see exactly why this is the case.

The face of this driver is huge, and that plays into its forgiving nature off the tee when you aren’t making the best possible connection with the ball.

It also features two rebound frames, which generate ball speed as they flex on impact.

Stats showed around an average 15-degree launch from the XL, which makes sure the ball gets up in the air pretty quickly and offers mid-spin characteristics once it lands thanks to the low centre of gravity of the head.

There’s a solidity to the XL that you will feel with every clean strike you make as your ball flies away down the fairway.

Other than the straight flight path, we immediately noticed that the XL also provided consistent carry.

Consistency is the word to highlight here because that’s what the Launcher XL can bring to your long game.

While it’s not something that I tinkered with too much, other testers were most impressed with the adjustable hosel that allows you to setup the club exactly how you’d prefer in terms of loft angle.

Cleveland Launcher XL Driver Selling Points

  • The extra large head and face make this a driver that not only hits far but doesn’t punish you when you don’t strike the ball as cleanly as you would like
  • Adjustable hosel with 12 different loft settings
  • Low centre of gravity
  • Rebound frames within the face help generate extra ball speed

Who Is The Cleveland Launcher XL Driver For?

Anyone who wants to improve their accuracy off the tee and some added distance too.

This is an excellent driver, one that’s going to find its way into the bag of many high-handicappers for the reasons mentioned above.

Cleveland has produced a well-priced alternative to other drivers that offer much the same performance but will set your bank balance back quite a bit more.

There’s a lot of bang for your buck here, that’s for sure.

Distance: 94/100

Accuracy: 98/100

Forgiveness: 98/100

Feel & Control: 96/100

Overall score: 97

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