I have to confess that I have a soft spot for Cleveland hybrids as they have always been a generous size, easy to hit and competitively priced, so when the Launch HB hybrid turned up I was interested in seeing what they had done as it has been 3 years since the Cleveland 588 Hybrid
The Launcher HB name goes back to the 2009 Cleveland Launcher, but the look is slightly different as the toe is longer and more pointy than the squarer, taller toe I was used to from previous Cleveland hybrids.
The head now features the HiBore Crown that first appeared on the HiBore XLS hybrid of 2008 and aims to lower the crown so that the CG is lower in the head for a higher launch and more forgiveness.
The 2017 version has a better looking, less severe step than before and the silver paint fill looks a bit more subtle than on the driver and fairway as there is less of a flat area at the back of the step.
The silver line still sweeps away a little too much around the toe for my liking as it gives the impression that the face is open when it isn't and something more balanced might help more with alignment.
The head is quiet long for a hybrid which I like as it gives a feeling of confidence that I think mid to high handicappers will prefer.
The Launcher HB hybrid sole has the same Flex-Fin design that is on the driver and fairway to aid ball speed and launch.
The sound and feel at impact was good and the flight was about right for a forgiving hybrid and it was one of those clubs which is just good fun to hit, which was what I remember from Cleveland hybrids of the past.
The C.Kua shaft from sister company Miyazaki is very good and really adds to the overall package, with a light feel combined with good stability.
The Launcher HB maybe does not have the pizazz of the top selling hybrids in the market, but like the fairway, it does have a similar price. If it ends up a bit below average then that would make it stand out more, as forgiveness and value for money is what Cleveland are saying that the Launcher HB range is about.
It is an enjoyable club to use and if you like a simple, clean hybrid with a generous head size then the Launcher HB is worth considering.