Cleveland Launcher Ultralite XL 270, Ultralite SL 290 and Ultralite TL 310 Drivers
From Golf Magazine (March, 2011)
Ultralite XL 270
Category: Max Game-Improvement Drivers
We tested: 9°, 10.5°, 12° with Miyazaki C. Kua 39 graphite shaft
Key Technologies: Club weighs 270 grams (192 grams in the head, 26 in the grip), which produces ball speeds 4 to 5 mph faster than some traditional 315-gram drivers. XL 270 has an extra-long shaft (46.25") and features a Draw version (2° closed face) as well.
OUR TESTERS SAY: Among the most preferred drivers in max game-improvement category. High ratings across the board.
DISTANCE: Many testers see positive results on the course with this light club.
ACCURACY/FORGIVENESS: Lots of directional help; XL 270 Draw greatly minimizes damage on poor swings.
FEEL: Solid feel, flush sound on center hits, nothing too distracting; ball jumps on well-struck shots.
PLAYABILITY: Medium to high trajectory, penetrating ball flight; XL 270 Draw delivers the goods for those who need help taming a banana ball.
LOOK: Thumbs up to classic shape, black crown and gold shaft; no distractions on the crown.
Minimal feedback on offcenter hits; super lightweight design and long shaft contribute to a lack of control for a few faster swingers.
Ultralite SL 290
Category: Game-Improvement Drivers
We tested: 9°, 10.5°, 12° with Miyazaki C. Kua 43 graphite shaft
Key Technologies: Longer (45.75" shaft), lighter (290 grams) club with square face should deliver 2 to 3 mph more ball speed than traditional 315-gram drivers. Clubface is four grams lighter, and maximum COR area (0.800 or higher) is 22 percent larger than Launcher DST for faster ball speed across the face.
OUR TESTERS SAY: Extremely light driver that's best for smooth-tempo swingers.
DISTANCE: Good results but not the longest in the test.
ACCURACY/FORGIVENESS: Don't try to do too much and it'll behave with accurate results; some testers get a controlled, predictable outcome by taking a little off the swing.
FEEL: Very light and easy to swing, which is particularly nice for senior players; balanced club provides satisfying feedback to hands.
PLAYABILITY: Repeatable, straight, high flight; one Launcher DST owner finds similar performance.
LOOK: Clean, classy-looking head with no alignment aid and striking gold shaft make an impression.
Relatively light head isn't the easiest to locate and can affect timing and lead to inconsistent results; some faster swingers feel they need to dial down their swing.
Ultralite TL 310
Category: Tour Drivers
We tested: 8.5°, 9.5°, 10.5° with Miyazaki C. Kua 59 graphite shaft
Key Technologies: The TL 310 is lighter than typical Tour drivers. The premise is to increase swing speed and, naturally, total distance. The club's compact, 440cc head promotes workability.
OUR TESTERS SAY: Strong, lightweight driver provides above-average forgiveness.
DISTANCE: Not the longest of the bunch, but it offers adequate length, even on off-center hits.
ACCURACY/FORGIVENESS: A forgiving club that's kind on mis-hits; consistent ball flight contributes to very good accuracy.
FEEL: Powerful, balanced feel with little twisting through impact; a few testers note a hot or explosive sensation off the face.
PLAYABILITY: Repeatable flight with mid-high trajectory; many testers find it easier to draw than to fade.
LOOK: Cleveland trademark gold shaft and dark clubhead look tasteful; smaller head provides a satisfying appearance at address.
Light shaft and head are difficult to feel during swing for some aggressive swingers; club delivers average length for a few testers.
From Golf Magazine (January, 2011)
Longer shafts and lighter overall weight are two design characteristics that tend to get a lot of play these days. Cleveland's entire 2011 driver platform, for instance, is built on the principle that "longer and lighter" can help you capture more distance. The firm's tests reveal that a 10-gram reduction in total club weight increases ball speed by 1 mph. The Launcher Ultralite series features three distinct models—XL 270, SL 290 and TL 310—for specific swing types. The XL 270 (460cc) and XL 270 Draw (460cc) weigh just 270 grams and work best for those with smooth swing tempos (XL 270 delivers 4 to 5 mph more ball speed than traditional 315-gram drivers). The SL 290 (460cc) is for players who make a more aggressive transition from backswing to downswing, while TL 310 (440cc) targets those guys who prefer to "work" the ball and seek a penetrating ball flight. The overall club weight varies due to differences in head and grip mass. Specifically, the XL 270 has the lightest head (192 grams) and grip (26 grams), while TL 310 has the heaviest head (200 grams) and grip (46 grams).