Cleveland may be known for its wedges, but how much do you know about its drivers?
It has provided some pretty good and effective drivers in the past for those with a higher handicap.
But for now, let’s go back to the beginning. After Roger Cleveland founded Cleveland Classics in 1979, many of the original products were replica clubs from the ’40s and ’50s.
More than a decade later, ski equipment manufacturer Skis Rossignol bought the company and changed the name to Cleveland Golf.
Since then, woods and irons have been offered, with Cleveland’s first driver in 1996.
Fast forward 27 years and there have been 47 riders since then. so, Let’s take a look at each of Cleveland’s drivers by year, and whether there will be more in the future.
Complete list of Cleveland drivers by year
Take a trip down memory lane with this complete list of Cleveland drivers:
|cleveland driver||Release year|
|VAS titanium diamond||1996|
|VAS titanium square||1996|
|Quad Pro Ti||2000|
|Kickstarter 460 Comp||year 2004|
|Motion Operating Systems 410||year 2004|
|Transmitter Ti460 Offset||2005|
|hi hole||year 2006|
|Hi Caliber XL||year 2006|
|Hi Bore XL tour||year 2006|
|Hi Caliber XLS||Year 2008|
|Hi Bore XLS Drawing||Year 2008|
|Hi Bore XLS Tour||Year 2008|
|Hi Bore Monster XLS||2009|
|Hi Bore Monster XLS draw||2009|
|Hi Bore Monster XLS Tour||2009|
|Transmitter Daylight Saving Time||2010|
|Launcher Daylight Savings Sweepstakes||2010|
|Kickstarter Daylight Saving Time Tour||2010|
|cg black||year 2011|
|Transmitter XL270||year 2011|
|Transmitter XL270 Draw||year 2011|
|Transmitter SL290||year 2011|
|Transmitter TL310||year 2011|
|CG black 215||2015|
|Launcher HB Turbo||2019|
|Launcher XL Lite Sweepstakes||2022|
|Launcher XL Lite||2022|
Will there be a new Cleveland driver for 2023?
No, it doesn’t look like there will be new Cleveland Launcher drivers for 2023, but you can still find them in their popular Launcher XL line. They have the same great MOI and offer a lot of emission through their weights.
The brand will instead focus on wedges and niche segments of the metalwoods and irons market.
top driver in cleveland over the years
Cleveland Drivers of the 2000s
It was a unique club at the time. No other brand brought 460cc club heads to the market at the time, and the Launcher got the job done. It adds 20-30 yards to the ball thanks to its large head and sweet spot.
Hi Bore Monster XLS
In 2009, the Hi Bore Monster XLS was released, the largest and longest driver in Cleveland at the time. It might not have the best sound or look in town, but if you’re not bothered by club aesthetics and just want a big driver with distance and forgiveness, then this is for you.
Cleveland Drivers of the 2010s
Due to its size, the Classic XL is a very forgiving club. Long, nice clubs with a huge sweet spot are a great choice for hitting fairways more often.
In addition to forgiveness and distance, the 588 Custom driver also features adjustability. An adjustable hosel means there are 12 different lofts to choose from, and there’s an adjustable weight screw on the rear of the head.
Cleveland Drivers of the 2020s
The XL drive released in 2021 was, and still is, massive. The MOI is the most ever by a Cleveland driver. Low and deep weights also help with the priming aspect. This is an entertainment club.
Launcher XL Lite
A year later, a Lite version was introduced to help those with slower swing speeds and to make those with moderate swing speeds faster. Bonded hosel and ultra-light shaft help create a longer, lighter club for faster swing speeds.
Learn how the Cleveland irons have evolved over the years
While not quite the household names in the driver game like Callaway, Titleist or PING, Cleveland has actually produced some very good and efficient drivers.
how it started
It all started in 1996 with the 3 VAS driver, which was a huge favorite in Japan.
Cleveland followed with Launchers in 2002, starting with 360cc and 400cc club heads. Then there’s the Cleveland Launcher 460 driver with a 2003 release date.
The idea of this set is self-explanatory – take your game further. The 330cc clubhead has a thin, light titanium face that achieves the maximum legal COR for more carry and roll.
The 400cc club head is bigger, and the Cleveland Launcher 460 driver takes it up a notch again. In fact, Cleveland Golf Company was the first to bring the 460cc clubhead to market as a complete product. It can add over 20 yards to the tee, so it’s definitely a game changer.
Two years later came the Cleveland Ti460 driver—an upgrade to the original 460. It uses thin crown technology so it’s longer and straighter, and even offers a version with an offset to further improve accuracy.
hi boring time
Another notable collection in Cleveland throughout the 2000s was Hi Bore. It is tailor-made for those who want a high shot with very little spin. Extra-large sizes followed, and then, for the first time, XLS. It has a 17 percent larger face than the XL and a larger thermal zone. The Hi Bore Monster XLS raises the bar again.
The returning Launcher version comes with an Ultralite driver and a Cleveland Launcher DST drawbar driver—once the lightest driver on the PGA Tour. It features a lightweight shaft, maximizes distance, and also increases swing speed. It’s also very forgiving.
More launchers and CG drives continue the trend of distance-driven clubs with penetrating shots. This is because they are very light and easy to hit.
launcher is king
Fast forward to today, and Cleveland now has a set of launchers — including an HB and HB Turbo driver — for intermediate to high handicap players. Launcher HB is an endorsement of the Hi Bore technology used. This has a crown lowered to the rear of the club and a lowered center of gravity. It also features turbo cup tops that expand the sweet spot on the crown and sole.
The recently launched Launcher XL also does what it says on the can very effectively. It might be one of the best Cleveland drivers around. Cleveland has already settled on the lightweight, high MOI, easy-to-hit drive scenario, so there’s nothing it can do in that category.
read more: Cobra Drivers by Year: Over 40 Years of History
Tips for Choosing the Right Cleveland Drivers for Your Game
be aware of your obstacles
It’s worth keeping in mind that Cleveland drivers tend to target mid-to-high handicap riders. So if you’re a better player, it might be worth looking elsewhere to get the most bang for your game.
These drivers are ideal for high handicap players because of the larger head, larger sweet spot and lighter feel. Golfers can swing faster and more accurately.
don’t go over budget
You need to consider how much you are willing to spend on a new driver. It’s usually the most expensive single club you own, as it’s likely to be the centerpiece of your golf bag. It needs to be reliable and effective to get you off the tee.
Cleveland drivers may not be as expensive as others, but they’re still over $300. So know your budget and stick to it in the face of temptation.
Even if it looks and feels right for you, don’t force it if it’s too expensive. There are cheaper alternatives you can buy, which are likely to be very similar.
they need to see the character in your eyes
If your new driver looks alike, you probably feel it too. If you enjoy it, it will inspire confidence in your abilities and commitment to the game.
For example, if you are a high handicap player and you have a larger club head at address, it should offer more forgiveness than other clubs and you will likely hit the ball consistently.
Or, if your driver head is small and the design you don’t like, you may lack confidence in hitting the ball. This can cause you to lose your swing and connection with the ball. A good kick off is important, if something goes wrong it can be detrimental for the rest of the game.
Let’s just hope the Cleveland drivers make a round at your next quiz and you’ll go home with your prize!
Hope you now know all about the year of the Cleveland riders and the future of the brand.
While no new drivers are ready to hit the market as a whole, some of the current game-improving drivers are definitely worth checking out if you’re a mid-to-high handicap player and want to try something new.
Any pros using Cleveland drivers?
Professionals tend not to use Cleveland drivers, as the more recent drivers are more game-improving drivers. They prefer Srixon drivers — because they have the same owners, so fall under the same umbrella as Cleveland.
Is the Cleveland driver forgiving?
Yes, Cleveland drivers, especially the newest ones, are very forgiving. This is thanks to a very large club with a large sweet spot, so it caters to those with higher handicaps. Additionally, the Launcher XL is MOI loaded and lightweight for those with slower swing speeds.
In what year did the Cleveland Launcher come out?
The original Launcher (330) driver came out in 2002, the same year as the Launcher 400. Since then, there have been Launcher (460) (2003), Cleveland Launcher 460 Comp Driver (2004) and 13 other Launcher drivers up to the latest Launcher XL Lite (2022).
Jack was inspired by his grandpa Ron’s golf game and grew up playing the great game. Now, he enjoys both playing and writing about it. He is also an avid sports fan. Jack has been trying to find ways to find the advantages of the course to share with his readers.