Cleveland Launcher XL Driver Review

In this Cleveland Launcher XL driver review, Neil Tappin puts it through its paces and reveals what sort of performance you can expect out on course

Cleveland Launcher XL Driver review
(Image credit: Future)
Golf Monthly Verdict

A driver that stands out for its feel, the Launcher XL will suit a wide range of golfers looking for pa combination of forgiveness and carry distance off the tee. While the high pitched noise won't suit everyone, the Launcher XL has the capabilities to mix it with the best drivers of 2022.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Very generous head size inspires confidence

  • +

    Modern, premium finish

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Quite high pitched through impact

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Cleveland Launcher XL Driver Review 

Amid the noise of the big driver releases like the TaylorMade Stealth, Callaway Rogue ST and Cobra LTDx ranges so far this year, it can be easy to forget that manufacturers like Cleveland have been consistently producing high quality drivers for golfers across the handicap spectrum. Cleveland has now debuted the Launcher XL driver for 2022, one that's aimed at providing high levels of all round performance  - did it live up to this billing? 

At address we loved the aesthetics of this driver. It looks really big - particularly in length from front to back - and the matte black crown looks modern and premium. This finish also contrasts nicely with the face, meaning you can see all the loft as you look over the ball. This certainly inspires confidence when stood at address. We think the size of the head and face provide a neat contrast to many of the popular but possibly more compact-looking drivers we have tested this year. 

Cleveland Launcher XL driver at address

(Image credit: Future)

The feel of the Launcher XL was also somewhat different. The sound was quite high pitched and loud through impact which will suit golfers who want to feel they can swing the club easily but still get the ball up and away. Whilst we tend to prefer the more muted sounding drivers that deliver a more powerful feel through impact, this high pitched sound suits the generous look of the Launcher XL. 

Now to the all important performance statistics. We tested the Cleveland Launcher XL driver on a SkyTrak launch monitor using Titleist Pro V1x golf balls with a 60g stiff shaft and the loft set at 9.5°. Throughout the testing we got a consistent 15° launch from the driver, which is on the higher side but nothing drastically different to other premium drivers we've tested at this loft. 

Cleveland Launcher Xl driver view from the sole of the club

(Image credit: Future)

We were pleased to see mid-spin performance from the Launcher XL. Average spin numbers were 2354rpm which might be on the higher side for our game but the ball flight never ballooned. For the wide range of players this driver is aimed at, this spin will help keep the ball in the air and provide good carry distance. It is worth noting there is an adjustable loft sleeve too which will allow you to fine tune the launch.

With a recommended retail price of $399/£379, the Cleveland Launcher XL offers a significant saving over what you’ll find from the likes of Callaway, TaylorMade and Titleist this year. But it still has plenty of competition from the likes of Cobra with its LTDx range of drivers. However, this is an option that stands out for its look and feel - the large footprint at address and higher pitched impact sound offers golfers something a little different. 

While the Launcher XL won't be looking to compete with the lower spinning models from the Stealth, Rogue ST and LTDx ranges, it can certainly be put alongside the standard heads in those respective ranges and would be contender within the best golf drivers for mid handicappers category. With a Lite and Lite Draw model also available in this range, the Launcher XL range has impressive scope to suit a wide range of the playing population.

Neil Tappin

In July 2023, Neil became just the 9th editor in Golf Monthly's 112-year history. Originally working with the best coaches in the UK to produce instruction content, he has also presented many Golf Monthly videos looking at all areas of the game from Tour player interviews to the rules of golf. 

Throughout his time with the brand he has also covered equipment launches that date back well over a decade. He clearly remembers the launch of the Callaway and Nike square drivers as well as the white TaylorMade driver families, such as the RocketBallz! If you take a look at the Golf Monthly YouTube channel, you'll see his equipment videos dating back over a decade! He has also conducted 'What's In The Bag' interviews with many of the game's best players like Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm. Over the years, Neil has tested a vast array of products in each category and at drastically different price-points. 

Neil is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus Fairway Wood: Titleist TSR2 Hybrid: Titleist TS3 Irons (4-9): Mizuno JPX 919 Forged Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 46˚, 50˚, 54˚, 60˚ Putter: Odyssey Triple Track Ten Ball: Titleist Pro V1X