Replacing the popular X2 Hot product line comes Callaway’s XR range, which comprises woods and irons in both standard and more compact Pro versions. The ‘R’ stands for race inspired and the XR driver in particular embodies this concept of speed. It features a Speed Step crown (standard driver only) that reduces the vacuum effect, and therefore the aerodynamic drag, over the clubhead during the swing.
This is combined with a host of other speed-enhancing technologies, including an optimized aerodynamic head shape and the same R-Moto face technology. As featured in the Big Bertha Alpha 815 driver, the R-Moto face saves weight, lowers the CG yet raises the MOI by nine per cent, making the sweetspot 16 per cent larger and increasing ball speeds across the face.
“The XR driver design and technology is focused on speed and we have seen players get up to 5mph more ball speed over our 2012 driver models,” Alan Hocknell, Senior Vice President of Callaway’s R&D, told TG. “We think the overall configuration of this club will fit a very wide range of player types and will appeal particularly to those golfers who don’t want to invest the additional time and money in the higher level of optimisation available from our more fully adjustable Big Bertha drivers.”
Both the standard XR and XR Pro drivers feature Callaway’s OptiFit adjustability, where users can choose from eight different loft and lie configurations to fine tune their ball flight. To help create even more speed, a new stock Project X LZ shaft produces maximum shaft load during the downswing loading zone for greater energy transfer to the ball.
Details: XR Driver RRP £279 in lofts 9°, 10.5°, 12° and 13.5°. Available February 20th. www.callawaygolf.com
XR Pro driver
Offering low spin and workability in a smaller shape preferred by better players, the XR Pro driver (£299) doesn’t feature the Speed Step crown but does boast an R-Moto face and a forged composite crown.
This weight-saving crown makes the CG 53 per cent lower and creates 300rpm less spin that the X2 Hot Pro driver. It’s also more forgiving thanks to the increased ball speeds on off-centre hits and a shaft 0.5 inches shorter than the standard XR driver.
XR Fairway woods and hybrids
The shape of the XR fairway wood (£189) has changed slightly, featuring a higher toe, a flatter leading edge and shallower face to improve playability from the fairway. It’s 10 yards longer than X2 Hot too thanks to a 36 per cent thinner Forged Hyper Speed Face Cup raising the spring-like effect close to that of modern-day drivers, increasing the sweet spot size by 16 per cent. A lower CG and the addition of an Internal Standing Wave lowers the spin by 200rpm and boosts ball speed. The XR fairway comes in a standard, Pro and Deep model with the CG location progressing lower and further forward through the models.
Callaway have taken influence from market leader Adams in creating the fixed hosel XR hybrids (£169). Similar in shape, they also feature a thinner, forged Hyper Speed face cup that is heat treated to increase its strength. The Internal Standing Wave has been made bigger, raising the MOI and lowering the CG. The result is a hybrid that is 13 yards longer than X2 Hot. It’s also more forgiving, yet has a CG that’s 46 per cent lower. The standard XR hybrid has more draw bias than the more compact Pro version.
Fitting in between Big Bertha and Apex, the lofts and shaft lengths on the XR irons haven't changed from X2 Hot, yet internal testing has shown they’re 12 yards longer. How? Through Callaway’s 360 Cup Face technology pioneered on the Big Bertha irons that increases ball speed but saves weight. This enabled the entire face to flex more at impact, increasing the spring-like effect. The faces on the standard XR irons are heated treated to boost their strength, which has allowed Callaway to make them thinner and therefore more flexible.
Variable face thickness and Internal Standing Wave technology through the set controls the CG and creates space for the face to flex. There’s also a vibration dampener toward the toe to improve the feel. The XR Pro iron features the same ball-speed enhancing technology in a more compact head shape, with a thinner topline and narrower sole width. Speed in a refined iron shape preferred by better players
Details: XR irons RRP £549 steel, £699 graphite. XR Pro irons £599. All prices for 7-piece sets. www.callawaygolf.com