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Light and Long - the Cleveland Launcher DST driver
January, 2010

Ultra-light drivers, with total club weights breaking the 300g barrier, have been a feature of the Japanese market in recent years, with brands like Srixon offering maximum distance for the typically slower-swinging Japanese golfers.

Now European manufacturers are steadily joining the bandwagon with the rationale that lighter clubs can be swung faster, with precious extra yards on offer for any additional clubhead speed you can generate.

The Clevleand Launcher DST driver

Of course, we’ve moved towards ever lighter graphite shafts over the years for precisely this effect, but the new Cleveland Launcher DST driver enjoys a quantum drop in total club weight to just 292g – that’s 25g lighter than the average driver and well below the comparatively heavyweight rivals who weigh-in at 335g.

Callaway Diablo Forged iron

The DST achieves this with a classic, pear-shaped head of 199g fitted with a ultra-light Diamana shaft of just 47g (despite its generous 45.75-inch length) whose wide butt accommodates the 40g Lamkin Ultralite grip (itself 20% lighter than average).

Cleveland claims the potential for an estimated 3-5 mph of extra of swingspeed, equating to an extra 4-10 yards of distance, with the benefit not limited purely to moderate swingers as might be expected.

Indeed, an entertaining YouTube clip finds Rob Waters, Cleveland’s Golf Director of Tour Operations raving about the first day of DST tests with various US Tour players (watch video below).

"It’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen. Normally with tour pros we’re just trying to tighten up dispersion and gain perhaps 1-2 yards distance, at best. But Kent Jones immediately increased his ballspeed from 159 mph [with his old driver] to 165 mph with the DST, and his distance from 279 to 296 yards. That’s stuff that just does not happen out here on tour,” says Waters, adding that all tests involved the exact same head, shaft and grip that will be sold at retail for £229.

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