We review the new Callaway XR driver to see if it can better the X2 Hot model from last year
While the return of Big Bertha woods has gained many of the headlines recently when it comes to Callaway clubs, the Callaway X Hot followed by the X2 Hot models have offered impressive performance and proved a major success for the brand. The performance combined with the price points have made the X Hot and X2 Hot drivers particularly excellent options for many. They have been followed up by the Callaway XR driver for 2015.
While the X2 Hot driver performed well it wasn’t a leap forward compared to the original model. Small tweaks meant it was a very good driver but those who had purchased the original certainly wouldn’t have seen major performance improvements. The new Callaway XR driver is a different beast though with a number of technological advancements you can read about in our launch story.
On testing it is clear that the XR driver is long. Compared to the X2 Hot it offered extra distance on shots from the middle of the face and on shots that miss the centre. I found that the optimum performance came from more loft compared to the X2 Hot. The Callaway XR driver doesn’t have the vast adjustability of the Big Bertha Alpha models but the ability to change loft, lie and shaft does affect performance and will provide fitters with plenty of ammo to dial in the best setup for your needs. Those after a more balanced combination of forgiveness and distance are likely to find it in one of the Big Bertha 815 Alpha models but there is still plenty to impress here, particularly if you are looking to add yards to your drives. My worst shots with the XR driver were further offline compared to the Big Bertha Alpha 815 driver but that is comparing it to one of the most forgiving models for 2015. Forgiveness levels are still decent given the impressive distance on offer.
Looks and sound
The looks at address are excellent for me. The Speed Step Crown, designed to improve aerodynamics and increase swing speeds, doesn’t help quite as much with alignment as the G30 turbulator design but is by no means intrusive behind the ball. The impact sound also impresses, it is solid without being intrusive.
Following the impressive X Hot and X2 Hot offerings was tough but there is plenty on offer here to make adding the XR driver to your test list.