Perhaps two of the most underrated drivers on the marker, which one comes out on top?

Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo Driver v Wilson Staff D7 Driver

Joel Tadman puts two underrated drivers, the Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo and the Wilson Staff D7 up against one another.

Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo

RRP: £309
Loft: 9°
Shaft: Miyazaki C, Kua 57g stiff (45.5″)

We continually check thousands of prices to show you the best deals. If you buy a product through our site we will earn a small commission from the retailer – a sort of automated referral fee – but our reviewers are always kept separate from this process. You can read more about how we make money in our Ethics Policy.

Buy Now from EBay for €309.99

Wilson Staff D7

RRP: £269
Loft: 9°
Shaft: UST Mamiya Helix 59g stiff (45.25″)

We continually check thousands of prices to show you the best deals. If you buy a product through our site we will earn a small commission from the retailer – a sort of automated referral fee – but our reviewers are always kept separate from this process. You can read more about how we make money in our Ethics Policy.

Buy Now from EBay for €199

Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo Driver v Wilson Staff D7 Driver

Looks

The HB Turbo is quite stretched out from front to back and busy on top. The line where the crown drops down a level encourages a closed face. The raised lines behind make it look fast though and we like the matte finish.

The Wilson Staff D7 looks more lofted than it is, but has a more compact, traditional shape thanks to the taller face. The glossy finish with the carbon fibre weave pattern visible on the crown is pleasing on the eye.

Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo – 8/10
Wilson Staff D7 – 9/10

Feel/Sound

A louder, higher-pitched sound at impact is produced by the Cleveland driver, which contributes to a firmer feel than the Wilson D7, one you come to expect from game-improvement drivers. It perhaps feels a little more stable on off-centre hits.

The D7 on the other hand has a quieter, more muted sound thanks to the carbon fibre crown, similar to premium drivers. It provides a slightly more powerful sensation from the middle, but it drops off more on heel and toe hits.

Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo – 8/10
Wilson Staff D7 – 9/10

Distance

The Turbo provided similar ball speed from a lower club speed, so the efficiency of the face appears to be higher. A higher launch helped bolster carry distances and we hit our longest shot of all with it at 280 yards.

The lighter feel contributed to over 1mph more clubhead speeding the D7, helping produce more ball speed and longer average carries. They were also more consistent, the shorter shaft helping with strike.

Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo – 9/10
Wilson Staff D7 – 9/10

Performance Averages

Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo

  • Ball speed (mph): 155.9
  • Launch (degrees): 14.4
  • Spin (rpm): 2,348
  • Peak height (yards): 38
  • Carry (yards): 272

Wilson Staff D7

  • Ball speed (mph): 156.1
  • Launch (degrees): 13.9
  • Spin (rpm): 2,368
  • Peak height (yards): 38
  • Carry (yards): 273

Forgiveness

The direction seemed simple to manage despite the slightly longer shaft in the Cleveland. A draw shape was easy to produce shot after shot, and off-centre hits held their line well while also maintaining good distance.

There’s more margin for error on low and high face strikes in the D7, but lateral misses were punished more severely. That said, you may find the feel of the shaft means you miss the middle less than usual.

Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo – 9/10
Wilson Staff D7 – 8/10

Overall Appeal

The HB Turbo is a fast, solid driver that offers plenty of off-centre forgiveness, although the gains over the outgoing Launcher HB appear to be minimal. The new Draw model will help serial slicers find more fairways.

Seemingly not held back by the lack of adjustability, the Wilson D7 can comfortably compete with more premium models. The lower price versus the Cleveland enhances the appeal.

Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo – 8/10

We continually check thousands of prices to show you the best deals. If you buy a product through our site we will earn a small commission from the retailer – a sort of automated referral fee – but our reviewers are always kept separate from this process. You can read more about how we make money in our Ethics Policy.

Buy Now from EBay for €309.99

Wilson Staff D7 – 9/10

We continually check thousands of prices to show you the best deals. If you buy a product through our site we will earn a small commission from the retailer – a sort of automated referral fee – but our reviewers are always kept separate from this process. You can read more about how we make money in our Ethics Policy.

Buy Now from EBay for €199

TOTAL
Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo – 42/50
Wilson Staff D7 – 44/50

For more head-to-head tests follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. There is also a new comparison test each month in each new Golf Monthly issue.