What we say...
With a head that’s longer from heel-to-toe and deeper from front-to-back Callaway reckon the Steelhead is more forgiving and easier to launch from the turf. There’s a Cup Face which allows the edges of the face to flex to raise ball speeds for on and off centre strikes. Speed step technology on the crown increases aerodynamic performance, and promotes faster club speeds.
The XR because of its big head size and highlighted speed step crown will no doubt get plenty of haters, we’d happily admit to being in that camp before testing begun. But the XR showed its real character and stepped up to the plate, confidently posting the longest single shot carry distance (255 yards for our test pro) of all of the hybrids tested. In truth none of the testers really fell for its wide boxy head shape. Feeling even though it was easy to launch off the deck, its speed step crown draws the eye, and because there’s a lot of face bulge, it’s got the tendency to look a fraction open. Giving the impression shots could go right which isn’t a great setup for lots of club golfers.
It’s testament to how far hybrids have come that we’ve got the audacity to question the XR’s credentials when it turned in such a strong performance. A few years ago we’d compare it to a 3 iron and declare how good it was at doing what a 3 iron can’t. Nowadays with so much competition we’re more picky over head shapes and cosmetics. But even we can’t question the XR’s ability to make the long game easier and more fun.