What’s Hot In 2010

An insider’s look at some of the hot new stuff for 2010

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The Goods: Cleveland Launcher DST driver

The Skinny: A sub-300-gram driver, some 25 grams less than a “standard” thunderstick, designed to increase swing speed, which as everyone knows, means more downrange firepower.

The WORD from Nate Radcliffe, metalwoods development manager in Cleveland’s R&D division: The rules of the modern game govern energy transfer, stability and other key design variables, but historically the weight and balance point of the golf club have been governed more by available technologies than by the rule books. Co-research with our parent company (SRI-Sports) has proven that lighter total weight and longer golf clubs show a measurable potential to increase swing speed, ball speed and distance. Additionally, today’s lightweight offerings are far more playable than designs in the past, due to the improved CG/MOI properties of modern clubheads. We recently proved this when four “stock” ultralight S-flex prototypes went into play on the PGA Tour in the first week [following the club’s introduction].

In the Launcher DST, most of the weight is removed from the shaft and grip of the club while maintaining a head weight that’s very close to the industry standard (198g). The Launcher DST is less than 300 grams in total weight, which makes it the lightest club in the North American market heading into 2010. The trick to designing an effective lightweight golf club is to preserve the preferred swing weight so that the user maintains feel, but to decrease the total weight so that the launch monitor measures greater speed and distance. Simply stated, remove the weight but preserve the balance of the club, and players will see added distance without adversely affecting feel. $299


Cleveland CG7 BP Irons
Cleveland claims its new CG7 BP (Black Pearl) irons ($699) were built for mid- to high-handicappers, but after the single-digit handicap GT staff put them to the test, we see no reason why better players shouldn’t play with them.

Not only are they some of the most beautiful-looking irons we’ve ever seen (note the gunmetal finish), but they’re some of the best-sounding ones we’ve ever hit. Perhaps that’s because they were designed with 360 Gelback Technology and a Dynamic Microcavity for unparalleled feel and forgiveness. For players who dig a thinner top line, there’s a Tour version, too.


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