Can Cleveland’s Newest Driver Compete In The 2022 Driver Wars?
The start of 2022 saw two new drivers go head to head for our attention in the form of the TaylorMade Stealth and Callaway Rogue ST, and there has been a lot of talk as to which of these two drivers has garnered the most interest so far.
With all this noise dominating two major releases, it’s important we don’t take our eyes off the other best golf drivers being launched 2022. One that has particularly caught my eye is the new Cleveland Launcher XL driver which was officially announced today and will be available in the UK and across Europe on February 18th 2022. Cleveland has announced four driver heads as part of the Launcher XL family, with the standard Launcher XL head arriving alongside a Launcher XL Lite, Launcher XL Lite Draw and Women’s Launcher XL.
Continuing on from the success of the previous range, the new Launcher XL range lives up to its name with the driver head increasing by 6.7% in length from front to back and has a 11% increase in MOI compared to the previous generation – this is the most in any Cleveland driver ever made. Cleveland is claiming that this provides a 27% tighter dispersion when compared against the previous generation.
Exciting numbers, right? Our full review will be posted soon, where we’ll see if these claims stack up against the previous generation model.
Whereas TaylorMade and Callaway have gone down the route of speed and distance, it’s clear that forgiveness is the key trait of the Launcher XL. The most exciting addition to the new driver is Cleveland’s Action Mass technology – an 8g weight that has been placed inside the end of the grip. Action Mass comes as standard in all four heads and is key to delivering better balance with the driver without the user having to put in any more effort to the swing. In theory, this should help with accuracy and it’s a piece of technology that stands out versus the Launcher XL’s competitors.
It’s also good to see Cleveland has included an adjustable hosel on the new driver. It’s a fairly extensive one too, with 12 different potential loft positions. I think this is a ‘must-have’ on a new driver that wants to compete in this market as adjustability has become something golfers expect as a minimum from a modern driver.
It’s worth discussing where the Launcher XL will sit in the market in 2022, and which drivers it will stack up against. With forgiveness at its heart, it’s likely the Launcher XL won’t compete directly against the more compact, lower spinning Stealth Plus or Callaway Rogue ST LS drivers. The fight for the Launcher XL range in 2022 will be with the standard Stealth and Rogue ST Max drivers, where mid to high handicap golfers will be looking to upgrade.
One concern I have with how the Launcher XL will fare in the 2022 drivers wars is that it carries the name from the last generation over. We’ve seen how Callaway’s new Rogue ST driver has struggled to garner as much excitement while using the same name as the 2018 Rogue driver, so it will be interesting to see if Cleveland’s decision to carry the Launcher moniker over has the same effect. Alongside the driver, Cleveland has announced an accompanying fairway wood, hybrid and iron range of the same name and I can see plenty of scope for golfers filling the top end of their bag with these forgiving woods.
Our full review of the Cleveland Launcher XL driver will be coming to the Golf Monthly website soon and we’re expecting announcements very soon on new Cobra and Mizuno drivers too. So, keep an eye out on our website and social channels as some new contenders enter the 2022 driver war.
When will the Cleveland Launcher XL driver be launched?
It will be launched on February 18th 2022
How much will the Cleveland Launcher XL driver cost?
The standard model will cost £379 while then Launcher XL Lite and Launcher XL Lite Draw will cost £309.