If your wallet won’t stretch to a Rogue, here’s a good option
First look at Callaway’s new XR Speed driver and fairways.
When the boss of R&D at Callaway says driver performance has moved on more in the last three years than at any point in the last 20, you sort of understand why the cost of new drivers has shot up.
Technology like Jailbreak, carbon crowns and aerodynamics developed with Boeing, plus a choice of premium shaft options, all come at a price. If, like us you took a sharp intake of breath when you heard Callaway’s new Rogue driver (and last year’s Epic) would set you back £469 in 2018, they’ve got a new proposition just for you.
How does a fast and forgiving new Callaway XR Speed big dog sound for £ 339 (which means in the real world it will retail for around £ 299)? According to Callaway’s engineers, the new XR Speed is capable of over- powering the previous XR 16 (which both Danny Willett and Henrik Stenson won Majors with) by six yards, and while it may not be quite as powerful as a Rogue ( ball speed is about 1mph slower), Callaway says XR outperforms every competitor driver they’ve seen.
How have they done it? Through a combination of a variable thickness X- structure face, a carbon crown (45% lighter than the XR 16’s titanium crown) and an aerodynamic head shape and speed step, just like you’ll find in a Rogue driver.
XR Speed comes decked out with a premium Project X HZRDUS shaft, and compared to Rogue (standard head) there’s a slight increase in draw bias, and a fraction more backspin which Callaway says makes it a little easier to launch higher and straighter.
THE DETAILS Price: £ 339 Lofts: 9°, 10.5°, 13.5° Stock shafts: Project X HZRDUS Adjustable hosel: Yes How much loft change: -1°/+ 2°
No driver launch is complete without fairways to match, and the XR Speed comes in 3-7-woods, too. It has a new forged Face Cup which helps optimise ball speed across the face, while a new Speed Step generates faster clubhead speeds. A shallow face combines with a modern Hawkeye sole to help the woods launch easily from tee or turf. Like the driver the woods come with the premium Project X HZRDUS shaft.