The “comp” craze in golf has really hit a fever pitch. Comp this, comp that… when will it end? More and more companies have been adding a comp driver to their line up and the Launcher 460 Comp is Cleveland’s entry into the comp frenzy. Before we get to the Launcher… let’s take a moment and review what exactly this whole comp thing is all about.
It boils down to the redistribution of weight inside the clubhead. Think of a driver head as a combination of 3 pieces… the face, the crown and the rest of the body. The focus used to be (and still is to a degree) on the clubface… companies tried to make it as thin as possible to increase distance and forgiveness. Remember the big debate over “COR” a few years ago? That was about face thickness and the “trampoline effect” of the face… a thinner face had more “spring” to it and therefore it hit the ball further. Companies then shifted their focus to the crown and body of the club. They wanted to find different ways of making these thinner and lighter. If they could make these lighter (while keeping them strong), they could then move more weight around inside the head. Why would they want to move weight around in the head? If they could add weight to the heel and toe it would keep the club more stable on miss hits. Companies could add weight to the back of the club and increase launch angle. The more weight available to be moved, the more options you have when building a club. We all knew that titanium was light but companies wanted something lighter… and they started fooling around with various composites. Why not make the crown out of a lightweight composite and use the weight that you save from the crown and redistribute it to other areas of the head? Companies liked this idea and the “comp” craze was born.
The Cleveland Launcher 460 Comp is a spinoff of the successful Cleveland Launcher Titanium line. The 460CC clubhead is a combination of fiber composite and titanium. The composite crown is much lighter than a traditional titanium one and this allows Cleveland to redistribute 25 grams of weight to other areas of the head. This weight has been placed in three areas… the heel, the toe and the back. Extra weight on the heel and toe increase the MOI of the club and makes it more stable on miss hits. The extra weight in the back (along the sole) increases the launch angle and decreases spin. This redistribution of weight is designed to help the average golfer. The face of the Launcher 460 Comp is very thin and very forgiving. This driver is only available with graphite shafts and the stock Fujikura shaft is good for a mid to high handicapper. The Aldila NV and Grafalloy ProLaunch Blue are considered upgrades but I have had no problem getting them at no extra charge. A mid to high handicapper would probably really like the Grafalloy ProLaunch Blue shaft in this club… it is a great combination.
Our testers loved the Launcher Comp. We had a lot of positive comments on the look of the club (the 460CC size is hidden very well) and the sound of the club (it does not sound like a tin can). This driver hits the ball a long ways and it is great on miss hits. Most of our testers agree that the Launcher Comp is the best composite driver on the market but also agree that the high price might scare away the weekend golfer. We had a few people mention that the ball flight (especially with the stock shaft) was very high but that’s easily fixed by changing the shaft or loft. Try the Cleveland Launcher 460 Comp… you’ll probably like it!
Overall Rating – 90%
Target Handicap: Anyone
Ball Flight: High
Lofts: 8.5, 9.5, 10.5 and 11.5 degrees
Shafts: Fujikura “Launcher Comp” graphite although the Grafalloy ProLaunch Blue and Aldila NV have been available at no charge