Lamkin Grips

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Last year during the 2009 THP Hybrid Shoot Out, THP got their hands on the Launcher hybrid from Cleveland Golf and came away pretty impressed. The 2009 Launcher offered great distance and good control, but for many of our testers, it was lacking something. Nobody could quite put their finger on it, but it just felt as though it was missing one little piece to the puzzle. It was still a top notch piece of equipment, we just felt as though Cleveland left a little something on the table with this one and could not wait to see what they put out for 2010. While at the 2010 PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, FL THP got a 1st look at the 2010 Cleveland Launcher DST Hybrid and could not wait to get our hands on them for review.

Cleveland Golf has been calling 2010 the Year Of The Wedge, and with our recent review of the CG15 line of wedges, we certainly know why. However what we found out in this testing, is that Cleveland should definitely be known for more than just their wedges.

Click On Each Image For Larger Hi-Res Picture

What is DST?
From the Company
The major theme of the Launcher DST series is a design variable that is seldom discussed in the North American golf market, but shows a very strong correlation to clubhead speed. This variable is Total weight, which is quite simply the sum weight of all of the components of a built golf club. In fact, much of the recent research and testing that has been done by our RND teams here in Huntington Beach, CA and by our sister team in Kobe City Japan suggests that this variable may be as powerful of a performance variable as C.O.R., MOI, aerodynamics, shaft length, or other widely discussed design themes.

Our parent company SRI Sports has lead the Japanese Metalwood market for several years with their XXIO brand of metalwoods, and they arguably have more detailed knowledge and experience than any other R&D group with regard to ultra-lightweight designs. What our joint research has demonstrated is that in creating a lightweight design, the balance of the club must be maintained relative to a club of standard weight for the target player type. The most common way to measure and state the balance properties of a club is swingweight. Our research shows that generally speaking, golfers feel swingweight and launch monitors notice total weight. What this means is that if we can design a lighter total weight golf club while maintaining swingweight, the lighter total weight will create more swingspeed without feeling abnormal to the golfer.

Perfect Clothing For This Equipment

Looks
The first thing you notice about the Launcher DST hybrid is the white headcover that matches up with the rest of the line of woods and hybrids. It features the classic “CG” logo in red and outlined in blue and “Launcher DST” on both sides. Bad headcovers are far too common in todays clubs, so to find one that works well and looks good right from the get go was a definite plus. Once the club is “undressed” you see a very traditional look and that is something that most of the testers here really liked. More iron shaped than that of a fairway wood and crown of the club is a solid glossy black with a thin strip of silver from the face showing (more on this later). The sole of the hybrid is also very subdued with a chrome finish and just the name “Cleveland Launcher DST” done in white, black, and gold. Both the heel and the toe have recessed areas in black and blue to add some color. The sole also shows off the “Dual Rail Sole Design” that is in place to assist in turf interaction. Cleveland continues to give us all of the information on each club which is something we just love as they not only have the “3i” but also the loft which comes in at “20.5*” written on the hosel.

Diamana Red For Cleveland

Shaft
When buying drivers, most golfers pay very close attention to the shaft that is in their club of choice. Unfortunately what we see is that it is not always the same case when choosing hybrids. Well, Cleveland has taken the guess work out of the equation for you and partnered up with Mitsubishi Rayon for the stock shafts in the DST line of clubs. The result in the DST hybrid we reviewed is a perfect combination of shaft and club head technology that really help the ball get up in the air, stay up in the air, and come down for a soft landing and incredible distance. The shaft tested in this club was the Diamana Red 74v SL Hybrid shaft. We could not be happier with the result and did not even think once about making a shaft change.

The Look At Setup

Performance
This club has been thoroughly tested and put in play for 15 rounds of golf and countless range sessions. It was also featured as a Demo Product in our last FL Golf Outing, where another 20-30 golfers had a chance to try it out and see what their thoughts were. It seems that every tester that has tried the DST Launcher hybrid from Cleveland Golf has come away with the same thoughts and feelings. Incredible Distance, Perfect Ball Flight, Maximum Forgiveness, and Wonderful Overall Performance. What THP thought was missing from the 2009 version was definitely found for the new DST version because this club is an incredible package of everything you should look for in a hybrid.

Dual Rail Technology

As mentioned before the crown of the club has a small amount of the metal showing from the face and many of our testers at first said “I prefer the top of the club to be all black”. Yet after spending time with the Cleveland DST Launcher hybrid they changed their tune for one reason. Unlike drivers, many still struggle with hitting hybrids “fat” or “heavy” once or twice a round, because they are more iron like and get hit from more troublesome places than off the tee or a tight lie in the case of FW woods. Well with this thin line of silver here, you have no worries about damaging the overall looks of the club with a “sky mark” or scratching that glossy black paint at all. Something that by the time testing was done, everybody was very much glad about. The leading edge of the club has been changed as well, and now has a slight bevel that adds forgiveness by allowing clubhead to slide across the turf instead of digging into the ground. Between the two features, the club should look and perform great for quite some time.

Outside of the range, the DST Launcher hybrid was put in play by myself and 5 other golfers for actual rounds of golf. THP does their testing in real golf environments and not into a net, simulator, or other areas where you will not get to experience real life lies and trouble shots. So we handed off the club to some testers for actual rounds and the results did not lie. Each tester raved about it more than the last and not a single person was not finding a combination of more distance and more forgiveness compared to the 2009 Launcher that we were testing it against.

Leading Edge Technology

Negatives
During the testing we finally found a negative about this club. It took a while, but there is one there. With the lofts set at what they are and the distances that all the testers were achieving, we found that the DST Launcher hybrid could in fact bring some gap issues to one’s golf bag. So make sure when testing this one, you find the right lofts for your game that match up with the rest of your golf bag.

Overall
Cleveland Golf has something special in the DST Launcher line of hybrids and woods. As mentioned before, this hybrid has everything you should look for in this type of club; Incredible Distance, Perfect Ball Flight, Maximum Forgiveness, and Wonderful Overall Performance! The new technology that has gone into this club is both noticeable and appreciated by everybody that was able to test it out. The rail technology used on the sole and the slight bevel in the leading edge both made the club more enjoyable for all handicap levels that came into contact with this one. For more information on this hybrid or any other Cleveland Golf products, check out their website at www.clevelandgolf.com.

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Category: Equipment, Headlines & News, Hybrids

About the Author ()

Josh is the Publisher of The Hackers Paradise and co-founder of THP Media with his wife Morgan Babbitt. Together they share a passion for golf, and they travel the country along with their two dogs in the THP Tour Van bringing their love and knowledge of the game to golfers everywhere.

Comments (8)

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  1. thanks1974 says:

    Great review! I’ve always liked Cleveland’s hybrids and this is no exception

  2. tcalloway1 says:

    Nice review JB! cleveland has a winner with the DST line and you are spot on about the headcovers, not only are they good looking, but they are the most functional headcovers on the market.

  3. Osahar says:

    Good review JB! I haven’t been a big fan of the Cleveland hybrids that I’ve tried previously, but these sound like they’re worth giving Cleveland another try.

  4. heather says:

    i recently brought one of these 3i-20.5 rescue clubs and its been fantastic, very easy to hit and goes a mile straight as i had trouble with my fade, but with these i can aim right at the target of on a line and its stays there, brilliant. i’ve now ordered the 2i so i don’t need my 5 wood either.

  5. DSN says:

    Have the 4i – love it! looking for a lefty 2i

  6. keith says:

    Excellent review. I’m still playing with the Cleveland
    dST. I have the 2, 3 and 4. The 2 at 18 degrees replaced my 5 wood. I do have a distance gap between the 4 and my 5 iron. The weight of the heads allows for more options due to lies. The 4 is very good out of the rough.

  7. nijjkamp ben says:

    I want to buy a clevelan launcher dst 2 i shaft diamana
    mens right flex a

  8. nijjkamp ben says:

    I want to buy cleveland launcher 2 i .

    Where can I buy this club?

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