Cleveland Launcher DST Driver Review

Cleveland Launcher DST Driver – Review

A few weeks back I received the new Cleveland Launcher DST Driver to put through the paces and review. After logging four rounds of golf and just as many trips to the range, I’m ready to make my report.

I’ve had a lot of fun with this bad boy and it’s going to be a sad sad day when I’ve finally got to send ‘em back.

To reiterate my previous post, the Cleveland Launcher DST Driver comes packed with quite a few cool new features. It was designed with this philosophy:

“The lighter you can make the club, the more clubhead speed a golfer will be able to generate, thus increasing the distance the golf ball will travel.”

This philosophy leads to the first feature in the Cleveland Launcher DST Driver, the Sub 300G Ultralight. The entire club weights 292 grams making it 25 grams lighter than the average driver and making it the lightest driver on the PGA Tour.

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The Cleveland Launcher DST Driver features the new MaxCOR Face Technology. COR is the Coefficient of Restitution and Max means.. the most..  Basically, COR is a measurement of how “trampoline like” your clubface is, and more is better. This “trampoline like” effect puts a little extra oomph in the ball to get a couple extra yards. The Cleveland Launcher DST Driver has a higher COR on off center impact because of the variable clubface thickness and even mishits will benefit from the MaxCOR resulting in greater ball speed and distance.

Nine grams of weight were removed from the face and repositioned low and deep into clubhead to create a deeper center of gravity for higher MOI (Moment of Inertia) and reduced side spin on drives.

The stock shaft in the Cleveland Launcher DST Driver is the Mitsubishi Diamana Red series which is 3/4-inch longer than standard shafts and weighs just 47 grams.

Because of the Sub 300g technology and the increase clubhead speed, Cleveland Golf states that the Launcher DST will increase your distance off the tee between three to ten yards.

In my experience, that increased distance is an under exaggeration. Before hitting the Cleveland Launcher DST Driver, I was wielding a 10.5 degree Nike Str8-fit Driver. It has the adjustable clubhead technology, and for the majority of the time I’ve had it, it’s been two degrees closed to help offset my slice and I’ve been cranking drives around 240-250 yards. If I was having a bad driver day, my slice could be pretty ugly, to the point where you’d want to put the driver away.

For the review I figured I’d be a bit ballzy and requested a nine degree Cleveland Launcher DST Driver. I was a bit apprehensive about hitting it, us higher handicappers have an aversion to hitting lower lofted clubs, we’re always told those are for the big boys and we need to steer clear. After hitting the Cleveland Launcher DST, I now understand why they’re telling us to stay away, it’s like some highly guarded secret they don’t want us to know. Hitting a nine degree driver is just as easy as hitting the 10.5 and guess what, you’ll get an extra 20-60 yards off the tee. Or at least is the case with the Launcher DST.

It took me very little time to get in the “swing of things” (lolz) with the new driver and not long after I hit my first ever 300 yard drive (I have credible witnesses and no, no cartpath bounce!) . It came flying off the tee like a rocket, started on the right side of the fairway and faded slightly left, ending up smack dab in the center of the fairway about 70 yards from the pin.

Impressive right? What’s even more impressive is that it wasn’t my longest drive. Exactly one week later, on a Par Five I hit a 308 yard drive and was on in two hitting my second shot with the Cleveland Launcher DST Fairway Wood (which I’ll review soon, also awesome.. fyi). Ok, well.. I didn’t STAY on in two.. it hit the green and trickled off the back.. but I reached it at least!

It has a pretty sweet sound too. Of course, I’m coming off the chunky sound of the Str8-Fit and the Sumo before that.. it’s that higher pitched *tink* that makes you involuntarily shiver with sheer delight because if you hear that, there’s no need to watch where your ball is going to land, you KNOW it’s fairway bound.

I really wish I had something negative to add about the Cleveland Launcher DST Driver, you know, something to help balance the review, but I can’t think of anything I don’t like about it. Even the mishits with this club are good, I’ve yet to lose a ball off the tee with this club. I topped the crap out of one of my tee shots and it still managed to find the fairway right next to the 150 mark.. now that’s what I’m talking about! :)

The club received a gold rating on the 2010 Golf Digest Hotlist and it’s well deserved.

The Cleveland Launcher DST Driver is available in 9.0°, 10.5° & 12.0° with an MSRP of $299.99 and it’s  also available in a Draw and Tour model. You can purchase this club at GolfSmith as well as many other club retail locations.

If you’ve hit this club I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.

For a review on the Cleveland Launcher DST Driver from a scratch golfer, check out Club Review – Cleveland Launcher DST Driver

Also, check out Cleveland CG15 Wedges Review

  18 comments for “Cleveland Launcher DST Driver Review

  1. Lawrence
    at

    I’m also a lefty golfer……I too normally hit 10.5* but you said the 9* gives you plenty of launch? Does it launch as high as your 10.5* drivers? thanks

  2. at

    Hey Lawrence,

    Thanks for reading the blog and commenting! To answer your question, no, it’s been my experience that the 9 degree doesn’t launch as high as the 10.5. The lower launch is what allows the ball to travel greater distances than the 10.5. Like I mentioned in the review, I’ve had no problem whatsoever hitting the lower lofted club and I like it better than the 10.5. Head out to a golf shop with a launch monitor and compare the Launcher DST 9 degree to your current 10.5, I think you’ll be impressed.

  3. at

    Dave – quick question. Did you go with the regular or draw version in 9 degrees? I’m asking because you mentioned you were playing the Nike Dymo in the 2 degree closed setting (exactly where I play it BTW).

    Also, can you divulge your swing speed? I found the Cleveland to be extremely low spin and I had trouble getting it in the air, but I also think I might have been demoing it with too stiff of a shaft.

    Thanks in advance for your reply!

  4. at

    Hey Blane Sir! Good to hear from you and sorry for the delay! :) I’m using the regular version, I think I’ve been able to work the slice (for the most part) out of my swing, and I was blocking more and more of my drives.

    Regarding my swing speed.. I believe last check it was 103, not 100% on that, but it seems right. the driver I got from Cleveland was regular flex shaft, still lovin it.. (tune :) )

  5. at

    Dave, thanks for the info. I just got my DST from Cleveland. I opted for the 10.5 degree in regular flex. I will be doing a review on A2G once I’ve had enough time in the bag with it. I’d imagine my experience will be similar to yours.

    BTW, nice review on the CG15 wedges. Those have been in the bag for a couple of weeks now. Best wedges I’ve ever played. Never thought I’d say this, but Cleveland is my one of my favorite OEM’s right now. They’ve come out with some great product in the past year.

  6. at

    Funny you mention that, I’ve been thinking the same about Cleveland, just wait for the CG7 Review! :) Looking forward to checking your review out.

  7. at

    Your a bad man Dave. The irons currently in my bag are very scared right now. The last thing I need is additional incentive to be an “equipment ho”.

  8. at

    Man Blaine, you’re preaching to the choir.. I just purchase a new set of irons last year.. but (spoiler alert!) I’m getting at least a club extra out of these CG7′s. I’ve been doing some serious research as to why.. but everything I’m learning says they should perform contrary to what they are.. it’s bizarre.. Sigh… might be in the “equipment ho” category with ya man! :)

  9. Bill
    at

    I tried my buddy’s new 9.0 degree/stiff shaft DST and really liked it. I ended up buying a new DST, but in 10.5 loft with the Regular shaft.

    I’m 64 yrs old, 6 ft tall, 183 lbs, and in good shape. I picked up a SOLID 10 to 12 yds with the DST over my 3 yr old COBRA F-Speed, 10.5 loft, regular shaft, driver. My current handicap is 8.6 and I play from the tips. A good drive with the DST will go about 250 yrds for me. Not sure what my swingspeed is.

    The only negative I can say about the DST is that I don’t hit it as straight as my old COBRA. But then that’s true with any other driver I’ve tried that has a shaft almost an inch longer than the COBRA F-Speed.

    This DST is a terrific golf club. It’s the only one that actually delivers MORE than is advertised! It ain’t goin’ nowhere until something better comes along!

  10. Joe
    at

    Oh my god, this club is for real and I am not hallucinting. Excellent review! It is great to hear other people having the same “religious like” experience. After hitting this club for the first time, my ball disappeared ABOVE the 250 yard marker. At first, I thought I lost my ball in the clouds because I never saw it land. Strange I thought, so I hit it again and was blown away! I was driving the ball 20 to 30 yards longer AND my miss hits were straighter. My Nike SUMO 5900 is history!

  11. Nate
    at

    I hit this driver at a demo day last June, I didn’t even want to. I thought I wouldn’t like how light it was, but I tried the the 9.5 tour diamana white after I hit the Ping i15 and the Callaway tour models. The DST was so awesome, head and shoulders above the others. I finally went up to second swing to get a new driver, again it came out ahead and now it’s in my bag. The funny thing is my brother was with me and he’s a Callaway guy. He was pretty much set on the HT Tour and I told him to just try the DST. One hit and all he could say was WOW, two more hits and he went home with one too! I don’t see myself getting a new driver for a LONG time.

  12. at

    Cleveland only gets better. I have the new CG 10.5 SL290 reg flex. I hit the ball farther and shots are down the middle now. My old CG driver was just as good however this newer lighter club now resides in my bag.

  13. at

    Hi Victor,

    Thanks for the comment. I’m trying to get a hold of an XL270, It’s more fitted towards my game and I’m pretty pumped about it.

  14. Scott
    at

    Great Article! I was also hitting a 10.5 degree driver (2009 Burner) and a golf fitting pro suggested a 9 degree DST. What a difference! 20 yards more easily. This is the lightest driver i have ever hit, and it added 5 mph to my swing speed, from 107 to 112 mph. Definitely worth the money, best driver i have ever hit by far

  15. Mlynne
    at

    I purchased a 9 degree dst draw. It was the best slicing club I ever hit. Regular shaft or whatever, check the torque before you get drawn in with this new light technology.

  16. at

    I have the Cleveland Launcher, 9 degree with an Aldila VS Proto 70-X 350 shaft. The very first time that I hit it was straight and low. Teed low. Next drive, I teed it higher and it went straight and higher and further. After that I was not hitting so good. I found out that the shaft is longer and a slower swing will get you straight down the middle. In other words, I hit so good before so I cranked it up. Not a good idea. I am sixty years old and I usually hit about 260. This one will give me about 15 to 20 more yards. Plus a good golf ball will definitily help.
    I am planning on cutting about 1 inch from the shaft since I am more used to a 44 inch shaft. I have long arms anyway.

  17. stevo
    at

    I agree with Mlynne so as to say if you have a fade this driver will surely turn it into a slice.. just horrible

  18. scott
    at

    this club will get you incredible distance; period. The head cover seems to weigh more than the club! Swing speed is greatly increased, dilivering a distance increase of several yards. Its the sweetest club I have placed in my hands.

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