New launch

If your wal­let won’t stretch to a Rogue, here’s a good op­tion

Today's Golfer (UK) - - Contents -

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.

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