Released in 2009, the Cleveland Launcher Driver DST is a fairly nice looking golf club, that is designed to be just about the most light-weight Driver around.
The DST Head looks much more traditional than other recent models from Cleveland, and although still being very large at 460cc, it doesn't look quite as big as the head on the HiBore XLS Driver from Cleveland.
One of the main shafts on offer, the ultralite, is longer and lighter than most others, as is the overall weight of the club head. With the intention from Cleveland that this combination will create a Driver that will increase a golfers overall swing speed, thus resulting in consistently longer drives.
The lofts available are 9, 10.5 and 12 degrees. All are available in right hand but only the 9 and 10.5 degree versions are in left hand as well as right.
The shaft options available with this Driver are a Diamana Ultralite Red graphite shaft at 44g in weight, and a heavier and slightly stronger alternative in the Diamana white shaft at 64g.
We tested the 10.5 degree model of the Cleveland Launcher Driver DST, equipped with the Ultralite 44g shaft mentioned above, in regular flex.
As mentioned, the driver was made to be light-weight and it certainly is that. It's meant to be around 20-30 grams lighter than most other Drivers, but in fact when you hold the Cleveland Launcher DST in your hands, it can seem even lighter than that.
Sometimes this would be something that could put some players off, but we found that the overall feel off the club still felt ok. Obviously there is the heavier shaft that is available, for the golfers who may find this club just too light in weight with the 44g shaft fitted.
But definitely almost every player who uses this club should see an increase in swing speed with the Launcher DST Driver. Generally tests show that you can expect to see an increase of around 5-7mph.
Also the nasty sound at impact that you get with the Cleveland HiBore XLS Driver isn't present in this club. The sound with the Launcher DST is still nice and powerful, but without ever being too loud.
The ball flight the Cleveland Launcher Driver DST produces is very penetrating. Not only do you get a lot of carry, but the golf ball regularly runs a good few extra yards on landing as well.
However although this Launcher DST was still an impressively long Driver, the Cleveland HiBore XLS did still hit the ball a bit further in our tests. So if it's solely distance you're after in a Driver, then there are some better alternatives to this one on the market.
In terms of accuracy, we found this was a very forgiving Driver. Even hits that were quite a bit off-centre still went pretty straight, and also still produced a reasonably penetrating ball flight. There didn't seem to be much of a loss of distance on miss-hits.
A consequence though of the impressive forgiveness is that this isn't really a Driver you're going to be looking to work the ball a lot with. It really doesn't appear to be a Driver that was made for that.
In our view it's definitely a golf club that will benefit a mid to higher handicapper more than perhaps a better single figure player. It's a Driver that is light weight, nice looking, long, and forgiving.
The price just now is also very reasonable. You can expect to pay around £95 or $151 for a brand new Cleveland Launcher Driver DST in 2012.
|Easy To Hit||8/10|
|Value For Money||9/10|