Cleveland Launcher HB Irons Review – Mid-handicap Testing

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If you're someone who struggles to get the ball in the air with your irons – go and give these a try immediately. That's an order from equipment editor James Savage

Review: Cleveland Launcher HB irons
Our Cleveland Launcher HB irons review took place at the Golf Shack at Moor Allerton in Leeds.

We first saw these irons at the brand’s launch event in the summer but were keen to get them on a launch monitor and have a look at the numbers.

Thanks to PGA Professional James Whitaker for letting us use his Foresight GC Quad launch monitor to capture the data.

Cleveland Launcher HB irons review – First impressions

This isn’t the first range of Launcher irons from Cleveland. And we had been told by the brand they they were focussing on short game with wedges and putters only.

But they are back in the woods and irons game, claiming that too few companies are offering truly helpful clubs.

Cleveland Launcher HB irons review

These don’t really look like irons – they are more like hybrids or chippers. And they will put some people off from the outset.

People will be put off by these because they think they are too good to be playing something which offers this much help.

Cleveland Launcher HB irons review

The truth is that a lot of people could really benefit from using these but their egos won’t let them admit it.

Cleveland Launcher HB irons review – The technology

There’s a fully hollow construction with a high-strength steel face, something Cleveland call a HiBore Crown – this allows weight to be pulled low and back into the head.

Cleveland Launcher HB irons review

So overall it’s a hybrid-like design to help golfers launch the ball higher and farther than typical cavity back irons.

Cleveland Launcher HB irons review – The results

Yes, they do look a bit weird as you address the ball but they are incredibly easy to use.

Cleveland Launcher HB irons review

They are fun to use too – you almost feel yourself relaxing in a way that you wouldn’t when normally trying to crunch a crisp iron shot.

These clubs are all about getting the ball in the air easily – and they certainly do that.

From a numbers point of view I wasn’t quite seeing the distance I would normally expect with a 6-iron. With a Ping G400 or a Titleist 718 AP1 6-iron I’d be looking for at least 160 yards of carry.

Cleveland Launcher HB irons review

And I didn’t quite get that with the Launcher HB. Probably because they were flying higher with a bit more spin.

But as I said, that’s exactly what some players need. Launching a 6-iron two feet off the ground with no spin is not going to work out on the course – especially if there is water which needs carrying in front of the green.

Cleveland Launcher HB irons review – NCG verdict

These clubs make me think about the 27th hole at Moor Allerton. Bear with me.

It’s a par-5 where the approach to the green normally requires a shot with at least 130 yards of carry to avoid the water hazard and treacherous bunkers on the bank of a steep slope.

Moor Allerton, EuroPro Tour

I’ve lost count of times I’ve seen players – normally seniors and ladies – unable to get the ball in the air sufficiently to make it on to the green.

Or they hit a fairway wood which makes the required distance but flies so flat it embeds straight into the bank or worse – the bunker.

These are the players I think about when I think about the Launcher HB irons.

So if you’re someone who struggles to get the ball in the air with your irons – go and give these a try immediately. Trust me, you’ll get so much more enjoyment out of the game.


Men’s steel Set (5-PW): £570 (single iron: £95)
Men’s graphite set (5-PW): £648 (single iron: £108)
Women’s graphite set (5-PW): £648 (single iron: £108)

More information is available on the Cleveland website.

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mjes51 says:

How do these irons (or hybrids) perform in regards to taking a divot in the fairway? I am a digger but working on correcting this with a better downswing. What would clubs like these do for me? Would they help me by providing more of a bounce on impact instead of taking the normal divot ahead of the ball? I am 66 and looking for more consistency and accuracy over distance. If I have to take one or two clubs more, so be it as long as I can hit it straighter with repeatable distance.

Chris I says:

I'd like to see a side by side test of these against my TM #6 and #4 hybrids. Do you think the Launcher style offers any great advantage over a hybrid of similar loft? Thanks.

Corynsboy says:

Aimed at a particular market but I do think we could all benefit with a club or two like this in our bags. My Cleveland Halo 3-hybrid has been in my bag for seven years or more. I've replaced all my clubs twice in that time. It won't be that long before I'm looking for more helpful clubs. PRO TIP:Don't get old!

Little Venice123 says:

Do the full set look like hybrids? Or just the long irons?

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