We’ve talked about the benefits of composite a million times but here is the quick overview… composite is light, which makes the crown of the club weigh next to nothing, which allows for more weight to be positioned towards the back and bottom of the club, which produces a higher launcher angle, which makes it easier to hit the fairway wood off of the ground. Weight can also be positioned around the perimeter of the club which adds forgiveness on miss hits. The Launcher Comp fairway is a fairly traditional looking club… stealing the traditional shape from the Launcher driver. The titanium body and composite crown have been combined in an appealing way and the club looks great at set up. The fairway isn’t as big as other titanium fairway woods but it’s big enough to provide more forgiveness than previous Cleveland fairway woods. The stock Launcher Comp Black graphite shaft is a decent choice for the average golfer and Cleveland offers a wide selection of custom shaft options too. The Grafalloy Blue and both of the Fujikura Vista Pro shafts seem to be the most popular upgrades with my customers.
I have found that most of our testers are pretty lukewarm with the whole composite craze. They like what composite can do but many can’t justify the additional cost that comes with a new technology. The Cleveland Launcher Comp fairway is different. Our testers all agreed that there was an advantage here. The club is a perfect mix of forgiveness and distance. The launch angle is high enough for the average player and even our good players said that the ball flight was still manageable. There aren’t too many fairway woods that we have tested that can match the distance of the Launcher Comp… the Tour Edge Exotics, Cleveland Titanium and Innovex RLS would be the three that may compare in this category. We noted a few downsides too… first being price. You have to pay the high price to get the new technology and the Launcher Comp fairway is more expensive than many fairway woods. Some of our testers also mentioned that the club was forgiving but maybe not as forgiving as say… the Big Bertha Fusion. I would say that this club is designed for the low to mid handicapper and a high handicapper may want to look elsewhere. We had a few complaints about the stock shaft… some of the better players thought that you should get more shaft for the money. The custom shaft options available from Cleveland are numerous and some dealers may be able to swing you an upgrade at no charge. We also had a few complaints about the lack of lofts offered. It’s not unusual for an expensive fairway wood to be available in only a few lofts though. We think the Cleveland Launcher Comp fairway is the best composite fairway wood on the market… you may find that it is money well spent.
Overall Rating – 80%
Target Handicap – 20 and below
Ball Flight – Mid to High
Lofts Available – 15, 19, 22 degrees
Stock Shafts – Cleveland Launcher Comp Black graphite