The Launcher HB irons mark a return to the super game improvement category for Cleveland with a set that launches it high for mid to low swing speed players.
The Launcher HB is effectively a set of hybrids masquerading as a set of irons and the look at address helps this illusion.
Each club has the same top line thickness in a chrome finish and if you then imagine you are playing on a sunny day, you can focus on that and imagine the black rear of the head is just a shadow.
This hollow crown that slopes back from the leading edge is what gives the Launcher HB that high launch as the weight is pulled low and back in the head.
The sole shows where this and the raised centre section helps the club through the grass from the fairway and the rough with ease.
This is nothing new particularly as the Launcher HB is an updated version of the Cleveland 588 Altitude irons that also sent the ball into orbit with the minimum of fuss.
The difference is a thinner face from the HT 1770 steel that is stabilised on the inside of the head by ribs that also modify the sound.
Compared to the Launcher CBX irons on GC2, the Launcher HB created significantly more spin and as a result did not go as far.
However distance is not what the Launcher HB is about, because it is designed to be a light club for moderate to slow swing speeds who need to get the elevation on their shots so that they land steep enough to stop on the green.
This they do very well and they are effortless to hit with the excellent Miyazaki C.Kua graphite shaft providing all the stability you need in an iron shaft.
As you go down the set the 'shadow' of the hollow head reduces and disappears from view around the 9-iron and by the time you get to the wedge it's hard to believe that you are playing a hollow headed club.
Many brands have tried to create a set of woods that are irons but Cleveland lead the way with the Launcher HB as they have managed to make it look like a set of irons if you can focus on that leading edge.
The feel and sound has enough elements of being an iron to pass muster and the ease of use and high flight gives those who need it a great alternative to game improvement irons.