An LS driver that combines traditional shaping with thoroughly modern ball speed. One of the fastest drivers we have tested this year, it’s long and feels very powerful through impact.
Consistently high ball speeds offer impressive distance
Attractive, compact shape at address
Improved sound and feel
Slightly higher spinning than we were expecting
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For those confident, fast-swinging golfers, Callaway has launched the Rogue ST Max LS driver in 2022. Designed to offer low spin within a high MOI head for greater forgiveness, it features many of the same technologies as the Callaway Rogue ST Max. We wanted to see how it performed so we tested the LS version on a Trackman launch monitor up against the Callaway Epic Flash driver from 2019. Take a look at our review of the Rogue ST Max model here.
One of the things we really liked about the Callaway Rogue ST range was that each head looked slightly different. The Max LS version is a fraction more compact to look down on. It has a classic shape which, combined with the modern matte black finish, creates a premium aesthetic that is among the best golf drivers of 2022. It might not have the stand-out shelf appeal of the TaylorMade Stealth driver but, in a slightly more understated way, is every bit as attractive down behind the ball.
It is also worth noting that the feel suits the premium look. The low-pitched acoustics from this driver create a powerful feel through impact. Where some of the previous drivers from Callaway have been slightly higher pitched, this one has a more muted ‘hit’ through the ball that we much preferred.
Onto the all important performance and we tested the Callaway Rogue ST Max LS at Kings Golf Studio on a Trackman launch monitor using Titleist Pro V1x golf balls. We also tested the Callaway Epic Flash driver from 2019 in the same shaft to compare the performance. Below is the launch monitor data.
The number that really stands out here is the raw ball speed from the new driver. At 168mph, it would be fair to say this was one of the fastest drivers we have ever hit. Interestingly, we did hit some shots off centre but they didn’t cause a huge drop-off in ball speed (our slowest ball speed was 165mph and our fastest was 171mph). Having said that, we did notice how those mishits spun up a fraction. This affected the overall spin rates which were not as low as we have seen from other corresponding low spin drivers on the market (such as the Cobra LTDx LS).
In comparison to the standard Epic Flash head that we used in this test (we didn’t have the Sub Zero version to try), the Rogue ST model offered a slightly better, more penetrating ball flight. That’s not to say the new Rogue ST Max LS is an ultra low spinning driver - Callaway has certainly left room in the range for the Triple Diamond LS version to fulfil that role.
All in all, we think this is a very playable but also very long driver. It offers hugely impressive distance and comes in a shape that will attract those in search of a classic, compact look down behind the ball.
In his current role, Neil is responsible for testing drivers and golf balls. Having been a part of the Golf Monthly team for over 15 years and playing off a handicap of 3, he has the experience to compare performance between models, brands and generations. For 2022 he thinks the main trend in drivers is: "In a word, consistency. Whilst all the brands are talking about ball speed (and the new drivers are certainly long), my biggest finding has been how much more consistent the ball flights are. Mishits don't seem to be causing the same level of drop-off or increase in the spin numbers. This means that more shots seem to be flying the way you want them to!" As far as golf balls are concerned the biggest development is in the, "three piece, non-Tour, urethane-covered section. For regular golfers, these models offer superb performance at both ends of the bag without denting your wallet quite as much as the premium Tour-played options."
Originally working with the best coaches in the UK to produce instruction content, he is now the brand's Digital Editor and covers everything from Tour player interviews to gear reviews. In his time at Golf Monthly, he has covered equipment launches that date back well over a decade. He clearly remembers the launch of the Callaway and Nike square drivers as well as the white TaylorMade driver families, such as the RocketBallz! If you take a look at the Golf Monthly YouTube channel, you'll see his equipment videos dating back over a decade! He has also conducted 'What's In The Bag' interviews with many of the game's best players like Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm. Over the years, Neil has tested a vast array of products in each category and at drastically different price-points.
Neil is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade Stealth Plus Fairway Wood: Titleist TSi2 Hybrid: Titleist TS3 Irons (4-9): Mizuno JPX 919 Forged Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 46˚, 50˚, 54˚, 60˚ Putter: Odyssey Triple Track Ten Ball: Titleist Pro V1X
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