Callaway XR Irons Review: Is Speed the Only Thing They Have?
Callaway is obsessed with speed, that’s no secret. Speed has been their primary concern, at least from a marketing standpoint, since the company released the X Hot irons. The emphasis on moving the ball even faster continued with the Callaway X2 Hot irons, and it is no different with the Callaway XR irons. But does the increased speed translate into performance? Consistent, reliable performance?
Callaway XR Irons Review: Looks
Game improvement clubs historically have not been sought after for their looks. They’re utilitarian. They’re made to get the job done. They’re not going to be sitting on anyone’s mantle and stared at in adoration of their looks. However, that is becoming less of the case. As technology and efficiency improves, GI clubs are becoming, well, prettier. The Callaway XR irons are a shining example of that in the most literal sense. The chrome all over this club makes it an absolute stunner. It’s tasteful, not gaudy. And, unlike the X2 Hot irons with their pumpkin orange toe-stamp on the back, the Callaway XR irons’ badging is fresh and clean. Outkast would be proud. PUNS FOR DAYZ!
Stuff That Matters: Sound & Feel
The line between game improvement irons and otherwise is beginning to blur. In the past, hitting a GI iron felt lifeless, like there was nothing at the end of the shaft. Only very, very good players would be able to tell where they placed the ball on the face, but it wasn’t at all responsive to placement, nor was that the point of the clubs. The point was to simply move the ball forward for players who couldn’t strike the ball where they wanted to on the face. Now better players are able to work game improvement irons, and with the added distance GI clubs provide, they’re becoming an increasingly attractive option for a wider range of players.
Thanks to the CUP 360 face, the sound of the Callaway XR irons has a very distinct click to it. It isn’t as obnoxious as some game improvement irons, but they, throughout the entire range, sound closer to utility irons.
Callaway XR Irons: Ball Flight & Performance
Despite looking very sleek for game improvement irons, they have the forgiveness indicative of older, clunkier GI’s. They do not penalize you significantly for any miss-hits. There are more forgiving improvement irons out there; however, the Callaway XR irons do feel more responsive, and they are more workable than average GI irons. They definitely are helping blur the lines between game improvement and players clubs. Speed was achieved by Callaway. The ball feels very hot off the face, launches quickly, and climbs high. There isn’t any ballooning, something that used to be very typical in a GI club, but it does have a very high trajectory which means more distance — there’s something about carrying a 6-iron in the 190-yard range on flush shots every now and then . . . it’s ego-padding!
Callaway XR Irons Review: Final Verdict
If you need a massive amount of help advancing the ball, there are better, more forgiving options out there. But if you do have solid strikes from time to time, you just struggle with consistency, it’s hard to think of more than a couple of other options that will match the Callaway XR irons. They have distance down to a science but not at the cost of feel or workability. Some have said that they don’t feel different enough from the X Hot and X2 Hot irons . . . I could not disagree more. There is a noticeable feeling and visual confirmation of increased control over the previous generation of Callaway GI irons.