Callaway XR Irons Review

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  • At a glance

  • TG Rating 4 out of 5
  • Owner Rating 4 out of 5
  • Pros

    Easy to hit consistently well. Very long.

  • Cons

    Lots of offset with a slightly clicky sound.

  • RRP £699

What we say...

Fitting in between Big Bertha and Apex irons, the lofts and shaft lengths on the XRs haven’t changed from X2 Hot, yet they’re said to be 12 yards longer. How? Callaway says its 360 Cup Face technology increases ball speeds by allowing the entire face to flex more at impact, increasing the spring-like effect.

The faces are heat-treated to boost their strength, so Callaway could make them thinner and more flexible. Variable face thickness and Internal Standing Wave technology controls the CG and creates space for the face to flex. There’s also a vibration dampener in the toe to improve feel. The XR Pro iron features the same technology in a more compact head, with a thinner topline and narrower sole width.

See how the irons got on in our 2015 Game Improvement Irons Test!

Reviewed by: Joel Tadman, Equipment Editor

Tech: Despite having the same shaft length and loft of the outgoing X2 Hot irons, the XR irons are said to be 12 yards longer. How? Via Callaway’s 360 Cup Face technology, which allows the entire face to flex at impact.

Looks: Stand-out design features at address include a double white bottom groove for alignment, thick topline and shiny finish. The standard XR has a fair amount of offset, which reduces considerably in the Pro model.

Feel/Sound: The standard XR feels incredibly hot from the middle, creating a towering flight. The XR Pro feels solid, but some will find it a little firm and clicky for an iron they want to play. 

Forgiveness: Excels in this area. On both models there’s a lot of face area that produces good ball speed with what feels like minimal twisting on heel and toe strikes. 

Performance: These clubs are designed to slide in between the Apex and Big Bertha irons and they certainly appear to do this on distance. They're longer than most game-improver irons on the market and offer bundles of launch assistance for inconsistent strikers. The XR irons are about a degree stronger than the XR Pro model through the set, but match that of other brands’ game improver models. The stand out features of the XR irons is how easy they are to hit, the confidence they inspire at address and the distance they will achieve for a variety of swing speeds. Even fast swingers will enjoy the ball flight and help on offer. 

The main challenge for Callaway in the distance irons category over the past few years has been figuring out how to improve on the stellar X2 Hot irons, widely regarded as one of the best performing models for pure ball speed on the market. At the same time, the company’s über forgiving Big Bertha line, historically aimed at the higher handicap golfer but becoming increasingly mainstream with each passing year, also boasts some impressive distance stats of its own. In other words, simply being the flagship distance iron in its own company is quite an achievement for the XR.

However, when a company like Callaway tells you that its new XR iron is one of the top three products developed in its entire history, you have to sit up and take notice. For the first time ever, Callaway has been able to put the 360 Face Cup found in its drivers and fairway woods into the frame of a cavity-back iron. This has enabled the company’s engineers to better control the face thickness of the irons, which creates more ball speed on shots hit anywhere on the clubface. As with TaylorMade’s RSi1, the Callaway XR has been designed to perform especially well on mishit shots struck low on the face.

Product Information

Left Handed available  
Custom-Fit available Yes
Lofts  
Forgiveness level  
Graphite shafts available  
Iron type Cavity
Offset  

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Your Reviews

Callaway Irons User Reviews

  • 5 out of 5 Does what it says on the tin

    By Weeksy

    Just been fitted for XR Pro's and the flight scope system stated that i achieved on average 17-20 yards more distance. The dispersion was only 7 yards versus my very straight but shorted MX 200's at 9 yards. even if the lofts are different to standard i still achieved the same ball flight but just further. Very strong Irons that do the most important thing in golf.... GIVES YOU CONFIDENCE!

  • 2 out of 5 Callaway cons golfers with dreams of extra length

    By Golfing pete

    Nearly convinced to spend over £700 on new XR or Big Bertha Irons. Tried them at American golf and the machine said 'Yes' they did hit the ball one club further. Just had the thought to check the lofts!! Guess what the lofts are exactly one club less per club than my old X18's so my 4 iron has just become a 5 iron. I am sure they would say there are other benefits but their main claim is the extra length so it is just misleading customers!

  • 4 out of 5 TG Reader Review - David Fletcher

    By David Fletcher

    Loud and long! Lots to like here, quite chunky but doesn’t feel unwieldy during the swing. It went through the ball fast and hot off the face, quite firm but powerful, with above average distance. The only club to achieve a three-figure ball speed for me.

  • 4 out of 5 TG Reader Review - Alex Dalton

    By Alex Dalton

    It felt really solid with a high ball flight. Lots of forgiveness from slightly off-centre hits, backed up by tight dispersion. It feels firm but powerful; the rounded sole reduced the time it was in contact with the ground.

  • 5 out of 5 Callaway xr

    By Djsos

    I've just been fitted and bought the callaway xr and my first time out improved my handicap score.I find them very easy to hit and I'm very happy.

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