If a brand makes a good driver, then there's a fair chance the fairway woods will be good too, and this is precisely the case with Cleveland and their Launcher range of fairway woods. The famous HiBore crown design has filtered down from the driver to move the centre of gravity low and deep, promoting a high launch, a must in this category.
The name Launcher leads you to believe these fairway woods are going to be super easy to launch, and they are. Having solved this issue, Cleveland's engineers turned to maximise distance. The easiest way to do this is to lower spin by moving the CG location towards the face; however, in doing so, you make forgiveness sacrifices.
In their latest model, the Launcher HB, Cleveland has addressed this with two new technologies. A new streamlined hosel design frees up more mass for the engineers to locate low and back to increase the MOI. New Flex Fins behind the face launches the ball with more speed on off-centre impacts for better distance consistency.
Going back in time and taking a look through the second-hand Cleveland fairway wood archives, the Mashie and Mashie + fairway woods stand out. At launch, they caught the attention of golfers as they were fairway woods which were derived from hybrids rather than drivers. They instantly appealed to the golfing masses who found fairway woods challenging to hit off the deck, or rarely used them as an alternative to their driver.
The utility-inspired fairway wood was sold as 'longer from any lie' thanks to enhanced Gliderail technology on the sole measurably reduced drag through the turf for more speed at impact.
Cleveland is owned by the same parent company as Srixon and provides game improvement clubs for golfers, leaving Srixon to focus on better players and Tour Professionals. However, Russel Knox is still gaming a Cleveland hybrid on the PGA Tour - check out or Cleveland hybrids here.