When it comes to filling out their golf bag, many golfers face a conundrum trying to stay under the 14 club USGA limit. To cover the gap between their driver and long irons they can either carry a fairway wood, like a three or five, or opt for hybrids, which typically range in loft from 3-wood to five-iron.
The rebels with a cause at Cleveland Golf have challenged this limitation with the Launcher XL Halo Hy-Wood, which unabashedly offers the best of both worlds in terms of looks and performance. Engineered for golfers who struggle to hit their fairway woods off tight lies, or make clean contact with a ball snuggled down in the rough, the Launcher XL Halo Hy-Wood is quickly becoming the workhorse of many golf bags.
The 3+ Launcher XL Halo Hy-Wood features 18 degrees of loft, more than ample for settling comfortably into the role of a 5-wood. Its head is noticeably bigger than your typical hybrid, and its size creates a higher moment of inertia for more stability at impact, according to Cleveland. There are three guide rails along the sole of the club to help keep the face square during impact. They also have the added benefit of helping the clubhead run smoothly over any surface.
There are subtle and even hidden, design components that elevate the Launcher XL Halo Hy-Wood into rarified air. Unbeknownst to golfers wielding it, an 8-gram weight placed inside the end of the grip delivers better balance and control without the need for extra exertion. Cleveland also added two “rebound frames” with alternating zones of flexibility and rigidity that impart more energy into the golf ball when struck.
I’ve never been able to consistently hit fairways woods off the deck, despite various technological advances. And I’ve also struggled over the years to hit any 3-wood off a tee on short par 4s that call for less than driver. I was looking for the Launcher XL Halo Hy-Wood to fill both roles, a big ask considering it’s not necessarily designed to take the place of a 3-wood.
But I typically play from between 6,200 and 6,400 yards, hit my driver 240 yards on average according to my Arccos Caddie shot tracking app, and needed a forgiving club that gives me around 220 yards off the tee and 215 to 220 yards from the fairway. The Launcher XL Halo Hy-Wood has filled this role perfectly, and truth be told, it’s the single best hybrid I’ve ever used.
The feel is otherworldly, perhaps part of the inspiration for the Halo (High Angle Lift Off) name. The Launcher XL Halo Hy-Wood feels light in my hands, yet at address it’s stout, powerful and ready to spring into action. I play anything from slight draw to a hook and looking down at many draw-bias hybrid clubheads makes me want to snap a shot into the woods. Not the case with the Launcher XL Halo Hy-Wood, which has more of a neutral fitting.
The sound and feel off the clubface are unlike any others I’ve experienced, whether it be hybrids or fairway woods. In fact, it’s so noticeably pure that every playing partner I’ve had since putting it in my bag has commented on the pleasing “thwack” at impact. The black and turquoise color pattern is also an attention-getter, although it can clash with just about every other club cover in the bag save for other Cleveland clubs or the TaylorMade SIM series.
I’ve now used the Launcher XL Halo Hy-Wood over 10 rounds and 50 shots. According to Arccos’ Smart Distance feature, I average 217 yards and I’m hitting the fairway 62% of the time off the tee. These numbers are in-line with my objectives for the club, and the Launcher XL Halo Hy-Wood will be in my bag for the long haul.
The Launcher XL Halo Hy-Wood retails for $219.99, an amazing value considering most OEM’s price their hybrids in the high $200s, and Callaway has even rolled out an Epic Super Hybrid for $399.99. For more information, visit www.clevelandgolf.com.