Wilson Launch Pad Driver Review
Whether you’re Bubba, Rory, or Tiger on the Tour or just someone who likes to play your local nine-hole course, slices can be an annoying imperfection against which every golfer struggles. With many ways to improve your swing, there's no denying the appeal of a club that helps solve the problem. Enter the Wilson Launch Pad Driver. It bills itself as a driver that can launch your shot without launching it into the drink due to a nasty slice. Lets see what’s really behind it, and how well can it work for you?
One of the most important things this driver does to try and address the problem of slices is adding extra weight to the heel of the club. How your driver is weighted has a massive impact on your swing motion as well as how the ball actually makes contact with the club. This model is slightly offset at the hosel, which affords a tad more time for squaring up your shot.
The extra weight in the wheel also makes it that much easier to shut the face and hit the ball straight on.
The clubhead itself is pretty light, weighing in at a lithe 272 g. Its unique shape allows for a higher launch angle, which in turn can help you get the ball higher into the air and thus further down the fairway.
Look and Feel
The Wilson Launch Pad Driver makes use of the Wilson Staff MicroLite Lamkin grip, which gives the driver a lightweight, traditional feel that’s easy to grasp and swing.
As for the actual appearance of the driver itself, that’s easily one of its best attributes. It has an incredibly sleek chic white-grey-black color scheme that is as minimalistic as it is masterful. Too often golf drivers feel the need to try and turn their drivers into technicolor eyesores. Sure, it’s important for drivers to have a sense of personality, but there’s a big difference between elegance and gaucheness, and this driver straddles that line masterfully with its sleek chic design.
Launch Pad: Performance Evaluation
On the one hand, balls hit by this driver have shown consistently higher spin rates. That’s great if your game is predicated on mastering backspin, forward spin, and getting the ball to roll your way. On the other hand, if you’re someone who prefers straightforward shots, this driver allows you to do that as well. That feat may just take a bit of practice to get used to its natural predilection for spin.
This driver hits the ball a few yards less than some of the similarly-priced options set against it. However, given the mentioned spin rate, this may not be much of a problem. The few yards you lose on distance you may make up on spin – again, if you’re good enough at it and that’s a big part of your game. Either way, a few yards here or there probably won’t make much difference on most shots. Still, every golfer knows there are certainly a few shots where every yard counts, so this is worth taking into account here.
The flip side of this is that this driver allows for a greater degree of control than you might find with other models. That’s all the more true if you choose not to embrace the spin-happy nature of its shots. Even if you do try and work the spin your way, however, this driver still has a good reputation for control, which is yet another reason why the loss of a few raw yards off the point of contact likely isn’t too big of a deal. It’s far better to hit the ball a few yards shy but well on target than to blast the ball 20 yards off line and right into the rough or waterway.
Part of this is due to that fact that, unlike some of the other drivers on the market, this one doesn’t embrace amping up ball speed as much. At a time when so many other options are about getting the ball down to the green as quickly as possible, this driver plays far more like a more controlled, deliberate option. If you’re less about speed and power and more about precision and planning, this driver may be a title-happy fit for your style. Given how many drivers are moving away from that style of play, it also makes this an even rarer and thus potentially more precious option for golfers looking to play that way.
With a sleek new look and old-school approach, the Wilson Launch Pad Driver has certainly carved out a nice niche for itself. If you’re all about spin and accuracy, this driver should launch itself to the forefront of your recommendations.