Pros: Two different head options, a 440cc version and 460cc version, allow golfers to choose between a lower-launching, more penetrating flight, and a higher-launching, more forgiving option respectively. New aerodynamically efficient heads and light premium shaft offerings create the lightest drivers Callaway has ever released. The Advanced OptiFit hosel allows golfers to adjust the loft and lie of the driver.

Cons: Similar to Callaway’s X Hot line, neither OptiForce driver contains adjustable weights. While both drivers have subtle graphics, the 440 doesn’t have any marks on the crown. That could bother some golfers who prefer an alignment mark.

Bottom line: Both drivers live up to the marketing promise. With two premium stock shafts to choose from, both drivers are lighter and offer more adjustability than previous Callaway models. Most golfers will find the 460 launches higher with more forgiveness and has more consistent ball speeds across the face. Better players will favor the lower, more penetrating trajectory offered by the 440.


Mid-season product launches seem to be all the rage right now, and Callaway became part of it with the OptiForce. The current strategy at Callaway is to focus on new innovation, not just iterative products, and the company has been willing to release new clubs more often this year. Even though the X Hot line is still dominating commercials during tournaments, Callaway is moving full-steam ahead to bring golfers more speed (and hopefully more distance) with its lightest drivers yet, the OptiForce.


Callaway engineers understand that trying to be everything to everyone in one driver head is almost impossible. With that in mind, the FT OptiForce driver comes in two different head sizes — a 440 cubic centimeter head designed for better players interested in a more penetrating ball flight and a 460 cubic centimter head for players looking for more forgiveness and a higher launch. This allowed Callaway to modify everything from the head size, moment of inertia, center of gravity position, weight and even bulge radius to produce optimal conditions across the loft options in each head.

EditorsChoice_131Both drivers feature Callaway’s Speed Optimized Technology, which is a combination of a lightweight aerodynamic head, light shaft and grip, designed to produce more ball speed and distance.

Speed Optimized Technology is combined with Callaway’s Speed Frame Face technology that creates a larger sweet spot and maximizes ball speeds across the face, even on mishits.

The stock shaft offerings should be considered premium shafts. The extremely light Project X PXV shaft only weighs 43 grams at the stock length of 46 inches. A more standard shaft, usually paired with the 440 head, is the Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana S+, and weighs just 64 grams. Both shafts are available as stock options with either head in several flexes — 5.0, 5.5, 6.0 and 6.5 in the PXV 43, and R, S and X in the Diamana S+.


With the OptiForce drivers, Callaway also introduced a new Advanced OptiFit hosel that expands the ability of golfers to adjust loft and lie. All a golfer has to do is line up the desired setting with the white tick marks on the hosel and they’re set.

When I was looking for a new driver last year, I was disappointed that Callaway didn’t offer more adjustable loft and lie modifications. The company’s Razr Fit Extreme and X Hot drivers, which were released in early 2013, came in several different lofts and had a three-way adjustable hosel: neutral (N), opened (O) or closed (C). Those settings corresponded to a driver’s face angle — opening the face lowered loft, while closing the face added loft.

Each OptiForce head comes in one loft — the 460 is stamped at 10.5 degrees and can be adjusted down 1 degree or up 2 degrees in one degree increments. The 440 head is stamped at 9.5 degrees and also can be adjusted down one degree or up two degrees in one degree increments. The driver can also be set to neutral or draw, which makes the lie angle of the driver more upright and encourages a more leftward starting trajectory (for right-handed golfers).

Changing the driver’s loft will change the face angle slightly (more loft closes the face, less loft opens the face), but the Advanced OptiFit hosel was designed to minimize those changes, which to many golfers may not even be noticeable at address.

Both FT OptiForce drivers are available now for $399.


Optiforce testingSince we all have different current drivers, different swing speeds and different needs, I wanted to test the performance of the stock options you’ll find sitting on the rack at your local golf store. The 440 head with the Diamana S+ and the 460 head with the Project X PXV.

I tested the clubs over multiple sessions outdoor at a driving range during calm conditions. My playing swing speed averages around 105 mph and I can max out at around 110 mph, but for the testing I was swinging with my normal playing speed. My first test was at the range without a launch monitor. My goal was to simply see if the ball flight matched Callaway’s claims.

I started with the 460 head in the stock 10.5 degree loft and neutral position. After just the first swing — and over the course of about 20 swings — it was evident that the 460 was launching higher, and although it had a tendency to balloon up, still traveled a bit further on average than my gamer. The dispersion of the shots was pretty tight, even when hit off the heel or toe.

When I started hitting the 440, it was instantly apparent that even though these clubs are made of the same material, they are not the same. The ball flight was noticeably more penetrating, and unfortunately for me, the mishits weren’t quite as forgiving. Not bad, but I could tell we’re dealing with a smaller, better players head. Based simply on my own eyes, these clubs are doing exactly what Callaway claims.

I wanted to get on a FlightScope launch monitor and run a series of tests with multiple different settings. The Nike Golf 360 Fitting Center at Bentwater Golf Course in Acworth, Ga., was the closest option, and the teaching pro Justin Tackett was nice enough to let me take over the center for a few hours.

Most golfers know that so much goes into a proper fitting and the shaft plays a very large role. Since we’re all different, I decided to test four different configurations in each of the two clubs, throwing out mishits or misreads and looking at the averages. I also dialed in my launch conditions, but wanted to be able to report on results in multiple configurations. I tested both heads in the Neutral and Draw positions with 9.5 degree and 10.5 degree lofts.

Performance: FT OptiForce 460


I wasn’t surprised by what I found. FlightScope confirmed that the 460 head (which is 3 grams lighter than the 440 head) launched 1 degree higher on average, generated 1.5 mph more club-head speed and 1.1 mph more ball speed. Mishits off the toe and heel still resulted in really good ball speed. Hits off the toe only lost 1-to-2 mph of ball speed and the heel averaged a drop of 1 mph.

That sounds great, until we factor in spin and carry numbers. For my swing, the 460 was generating a whopping 600 rpm more spin on average, which resulted in some serious balloons, less roll and 2 yards less carry. Those don’t sound like big numbers, but it was a completely calm day. Put this driver in my hands with any wind, and I’m in trouble. Sure, the shaft plays a role, but the head is playing its part, too. To get closer to optimized launch conditions with the 460, I needed to adjust the loft down 1 degree to 9.5 and keep the lie adjustment in the neutral setting.

Performance: FT OptiForce 440


Unlike the 460, the 440 head performed very well across a wider range of settings. The launch angle was more consistent and the spin numbers were much more acceptable. Although the 460 head and shaft combo generated more speed, I was actually generating a more consistent and higher smash factor throughout the test. While that number isn’t always the best indicator, it is a good data point to reference. Mishits with the 440 resulted in slightly worse shots than the 460, which was expected, but it still generated good speeds. The 440 head will perform better for me in any condition and the optimal configuration is the stock setting of 9.5 degrees and neutral lie setting.

Both clubs, once I dialed in the launch conditions, outperform my current gamer in total carry. Golfers of all skill levels can find something good in both options, especially golfers looking for a higher launching more forgiving club. The 440, with its more penetrating flight, will be going straight into my bag.

Looks and Feel

Looks are subjective, but the FT OptiForce drivers are sexy.

On the 460 head, the black and red graphics on the crown, primary and secondary surfaces all tie together to create a sense of motion even when the driver is just sitting in your bag. The large, aerodynamic head shape sits nicely behind the ball and gives you a confident feeling that you’re not going to miss the sweet spot. The subtle graphics on the perimeter of the crown aren’t a distraction and the alignment mark creates symmetry as a clever representation of the design on the bottom of the club.

The 440 head is more traditional in shape and markings and should appeal to the purists. At address, the solid black head has a more traditional shape and although it is smaller than the 460, doesn’t look like a tiny driver.

d86a7eee5f21a1fe9751cc711f6a3095-600x399 915b165493793a31e6d33e9aaba088aa-600x399

In fact, the shape and size gave me the feeling that I would actually have more control over my shots and be able to launch my drives down the fairway and get them to roll for days. The stock blue Diamana S+ shaft caught my attention immediately as well the attention of a few other golfers on the range. Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing the alignment mark on the top of the 440 head, too. But if you’re used to having an alignment mark, not having it there isn’t a reason to write this club off. The club sits nice at address and still inspires a lot of confidence.

Looks aside, the first thing you’ll feel when picking up both clubs is the weight. Especially with the 460, the driver almost felt too light until I actually took my first swing. If speed is what you are after, you’ll start to believe this club will produce. The lighter weight on the 440 is still noticeable, but it wasn’t as stark as the 460.

It took me one hit to get excited about the OptiForce. The ball seems to jump off the face and the sound at impact is among the best out there right now. I recorded audio at the range of the OptiForce and a couple other drivers around me, and the sound of the OptiForce, even on mishits, was crisp and powerful. While the sound was consistent even on mishits, you can still feel exactly where you’re making contact, especially with the 440 head. The sweet spot feels like butter, but you know when you’ve mishit a ball, which is what I would want and expect in a good driver.

Bottom Line


Callaway set out to create faster swing speeds and transfer that speed into faster ball speeds and more distance. We can debate whether lighter truly equals faster – and there are good debates on both sides – but there is no denying that the stock OptiForce offerings live up to the claims.

Instead of trying to offer a one-size-fits-all approach, golfers have two heads to choose from, both with different MOI and CG to optimize performance. Combined with the advanced OptiFit hosel, golfers of all skill levels can fine-tune their trajectory and maximize their distance off the tee. I suggest adding the FT OptiForce to the test list the next time you get fit for a new driver.

Your Reaction?
  • 48
  • LEGIT8
  • WOW4
  • LOL9
  • IDHT12
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

Previous articleJonas Blixt WITB 2013
Next articlePGA Championship: Round 3 Recap
When he is not obsessing about his golf game, Kane heads up an innovation lab responsible for driving innovative digital product development for Fortune 500 companies. He is also the co-founder of RoundShout and creator of Ranger GPS, the free iOS GPS app for the driving range.

On a quest to become a scratch golfer, Kane writes about his progress (for better or worse) at and contributes golf technology-focused articles on


Not seeing your comment? Read our rules and regulations. Click "Report comment" to alert GolfWRX moderators to offensive or inappropriate comments.
  1. I have the OptiForce 10.5 degree 460 with the stock Project X PLV x43 5.0 shaft. I set it to +2 degrees and draw. I have hit many drivers in the past few years, Taylor Made Burner, Tour Burner, SLDR, Callaway X2Hot, Cleveland Classic 270, and many more. Nothing comes close to the OptiForce 460 in distance, accuracy, ball flight and sound. Simply love it!

  2. My 11 year old son purchased the FT Optiforce 460 driver using his birthday money. After using it 4 times on the driving range the golf ball struck the top of the club and a golf ball sized hole formed at the top side of the head of the club. We called Callaway and your representative told us this constitutes miss use of the golf club and it will not be covered under warranty. We showed it to the golf club pro and he said this should not have happened and that the club must be defective. My son is so upset he no longer wants to play golf. I am very disappointed at Callaway Golf customer service and that they do not stand behind their product.

  3. Very good review. I just trialed a bunch of Callaway drivers, and finally chose the Opti-Fit 460. Longer and consistently straighter than the rest. Only balloons if I tee to high, and could set it to 9.5* if needed. It worked best for me with the Mitsubishi Diamana S+ 62 shaft, less spin, lower ball flight. Great sounding club, easy to groove into the sweet spot. Also seem to hit it better later in the round than other clubs, maybe it’s the lighter weight. RFE in 10.5* was second, Opti-Fit 440 3rd, RFE 460 last. I liked the sound of the Opti-Fit 440 best, but it was much worse on mis-hits off the toe due to the smaller face.

  4. After reading all the varying comments here, I had to chime in, since my tests with the OptiForce 460 and 440 were completely different, and just to make sure, I ran the test twice to make sure. Our local Edwin Watts has recently installed a new simulator that actually provides some good data, and in the end, it’s all relative anyway when hitting into a simulator.

    I’m 67, play to a 6.7 index, have a driver swing speed of around 93-95 M.P.H and I currently play a Titleist 910 D2 9.5 degree set at 10.25 degrees, with two notches of draw bias to help compensate for a slight over-the-top move I’m not going to get rid of at my age.

    Hitting my own Titleist in the same simulator, and then the 460 followed by the 440 and taking the average of 10 (good) drives…threw out the bad ones. Then the same test with the 460 and 440. The 440 was significantly longer (10-12 yards with my measly swing speed). And it had tighter dispersion!

    I did not like the feel of the 460, I had worse dispersion and overall I preferred the 440. I finally configured the 440 at 10.5 degrees with draw bias and achieved the best performance (for me)…about 14 degrees launch angle with minimum spin. I’m happy!

    So no matter what the two drivers are “supposed” to do…there will always be some exception cases. Try them both…you might be surprised. The ONLY thing I don’t like about the 440 (the author mentioned this) is no top mark for alignment. Hey, you can’t have everything :-)

    FWIW, I also tried the SLDR and for my swing speed, it was a dog. I think for someone around 105-115 M.P.H. it would be a lot better.

    • I heard at my Edwin Watts shop today that the Optiforce is already a DEAD product, (production supposedly ceased, soon to be replaced by Callaway’s 2014 Slider). That’s too bad because after a year-long comprehensive test in which I put the SAME SHAFT cut to the SAME LENGTH in all the 2013 adjustable head drivers and tested them on the range and course over many buckets and rounds, the Callaway Optiforce 460 proved to be the longest and straightest driver for me.

      I’m 55, a 3 handicap, with a low ball flight and a swing speed between 95 and 100 mph. Last year I found that the old low-torque Fujikura Zcom TW74 regular had just the right kick and was super straight so I put it in my Cally Razr Fit, which I cut long to 47 3/4 inches. (I’m 6’3″ and play 1″ long irons.) Then I bought a bunch more of these same shafts and put them in the Razr Xtreme, the RBZ stage 1, the R1, the RBZ 2 Tour, the SLDR, the 913d2, the G25, the Amp Cell, the Covert Vr S Tour, and finally the Opti 440 and 460. Lest you think me a spendthrift, I bought them all one at a time on Ebay, sold off their stock shafts, played each contender against the reigning champion for about 2 weeks, then sold off the loser (usually at a profit).

      Took me all year to get through all the clubs but at the end of the year the Cally Opti 460 is my undefeated champion. It’s just unquestionably longer and straighter than the others for me , adding a good 15 yards over last year’s average.

      I agree, the 10.5 degree stock setting is probably too high for most folks and it will balloon a ball if you’re not careful. But the 460 has so much more spring to its face than the 440 that I prefer to deal with the loft. I set the 460 as low as it will go and tee the ball up about 1/2 inch lower than I did with my deep face RBZ Tour. Now I’m dialed in and have no fear of a face wind. Low tee stingers with this club are still better than with the other sticks.

      I read that some of you guys are skeered of the stock Optiforce’s 46″ length. I don’t know why. Since the Opti’s hosel sticks so far out of the neck of the club, any shaft that goes in it will have to be cut about 1/2″ SHORTER to achieve the same overall length of club. I noticed this when the cut points for my Taylormades and my Opti were radically different, yet all clubs measured 47 3/4 overall.

      And I also don’t know what the quibble about “liteweight” is all about. I weighed all these competing clubs and except for the superlite Clevelands, the heads all clock in at about 200 grams. Add a fairly standard 60 gram shaft, 50 gram grip and adapter and you’ll tip the scales around 320. My Zcom adds 10 to that, so most of you would call my set-up heavy. So it’s long and heavy and a regular shaft, that still averages 285-290 for a slow swinging senior citizen. How could that be?

      The reason is the TW74 has 2.9 degrees of torque to go with its regular flex. I think the reason most of you think superlite = uncontrollable is the fact that most 40 gram shafts huge torque. No one can control a lite shaft with a measured 7.5 degrees of torque! That’s a out-of-your-control variance of 50 yards at a distance of 275 yards. The answer to control is to add 10 grams of weight and cut your torque in half.

      In summary, I don’t think the Opti is so good because of its light weight or its faster swing speed. For me its the face. This face simply trampolines the ball on good hits. It makes me doubt if its COR is conforming. The 440 and Razr Xtreme do this somewhat too, but they punish you more on the mishits. The 460 does not.

  5. 440 Optiforce with Di7 stiff 45″……it’s the bomb! There’s a reason that this driver is cally’s #1 on tour in less than a month. Stronger players will need the Diamana S+ in X or some other aftermarket shaft to really get the performance out of this club.

  6. tried a calllway x hot tour with oban black whew wat a driver awesome straight and long used to hit callaway been off them for a while ,but am keen to hit optiforce,had r1 but don’t like at all titleist 910 is great, butits all about after market shafts

  7. I just can;t hack all the new super lite drivers with ultra light shafts

    I know its all about the correct fitting, but in gereral these thing balloon, dispersion is all over the place and you just can;t feel where the head is in the swing

    On the counter I can’t hack some macho tour wannabe’s scattered throughout threads on this site with 7.5 deg ultra low spin tour heads fitted wtih x flex Black Ties tipped ………..that carry it 300 yds with 50 yds roll out…………

  8. Im glad to read that the shafts are 46. I thought I was crazy when holding the 440 in the store. I was choking up on it just to get a feel for the club. I get that the bigger game improvement head of the 460 would have a longer shaft but why would someone who would typically play a smaller head, penetrating ball flight, better golfer, etc…want a 46 shaft? Its stupid. We dont want a club that goes an extra 7 yds if we cant keep it within 40 yds of the fairway.

  9. I had been looking for a new driver this season to replace a 3-year old G15, and I had found the Cally x-hot was performing best of the bunch earlier this year until the Optiforce which I have demoed twice in the last month. In the review above it mentions the PLVx43 is available from 5.0-6.5. However, 5.5 was the only version I have seen in outlets and I believe is considered the regular flex, but feels more comparable to the stiff from the x-hot. It performs superbly and is not at all whippy as a few commentators seem to have had concerns with. Additionally, although the 460 is obviously the same volume head as the x-hot, the face is noticeably smaller if you hold them up to each other, but at the same time I have found the Optiforce inspires great confidence of a center strike. My usual fault had been considerable heel hits, whereas for some (unknown) reason, pure centre or slight toe mishits are all I can get with this. Really superb sound as has been said, and certainly 10+ yards gain given 46-inch. But, and of course critically, this is straight and forgiving for me, and no ballooning from the 10.5 degree set at neutral. So, I would recommend people concerned that light and fast means out of control, should give it a demo first. At least if they are a mid-handicapper with 90mph-ish swings like me. That said, it needs to fall about £150 in price before I can justify it.

  10. I tried both the Optiforce Drivers and had similar results with the 460CC driver, It ballooned like crazy since it was fairly windy. I tried the 440CC and I kept hitting it poorly since I have a tendency to hit closer to the heel of the driver, the feel was good, but I was just not consistent with it. The callaway guys doing the fittings had me hit the XHOT Driver set to 8.5 and I was hitting it great, except that when we compared the numbers on trackman device it was no better than my old beat up Taylor Made Burner Tour that I bought on the bay for 60$. No mention of the 3Wood? It was okay, it sounded like a bell when you struck it though which was strange. It was also no better than my razr hawk 3wood.

  11. I have the OptiForce 460 driver and find it to be a great driver. It is by far very long and forgiving. Callaways latest offerings are much better than the TaylorMade offerings. I have tried both and will stick with my Optiforce driver. I rate it a solid 5 star driver.

  12. Sold the 290 Cleveland classic..REALLLLY wanted it to work 4 me!
    Added 4 grams lead, big difference with 43 gram shaft.
    Bought Razr Hawk Tour for a punt! 10.5 RIP 60 regular.
    Love it. Cut 3/4 inches so 44.75 and 48 gram grip, D 1.5 for now.
    Now at 313 grams. Smooth ezy to launch, Acccccurate, lite draw!
    Happy Callaway Owner

  13. Did I read correctly that the shaft is 46″ long ? Surely that’s very long and it must make this one the harder clubs out there to keep straight.?

    I’m also in agreement that 43g sounds incredibly light for a shaft (let alone a 46″ one). Again I wonder how this effects consistancy.

    Get one right though and it must go a mile.

  14. It’s a shame that this “lightweight” fad is coming around again.
    It requires longer length clubs again. Just ask Cobra how successful the “Long Tom” driver was.
    Cleveland had the same lightweight fad a couple of years back, introducing the same model but with different overall weights of 270, 290, and 310 grams.
    This may turn out to be a great driver, but I really don’t think I need a shaft that weighs 43 grams. Whenever I play a shaft that is below 60 grams, it seems like the flex is much whippier than it should be.

  15. Nice looking drivers but the stock R1 beat both the 440 and 460 on the same LM by 25 yards. My guess is the liteweight doesn’t work for me or it was the lite shaft.

  16. All this releases of new clubs every other month is a little bit confusing to me and its even more confusing that every reviewer “loves” the new driver. I sometimes post a question on the forum about a club that might be a year old. I think that now a lot of players have tested the club over a longer period and that might bring some interesting information that I can use. Its not that I am looking for cheap equipment its more that I want something thats really good and not good just because its new and it felt good the first time i hit it or that it looks good. I mean that the Callaway FT-9 Tour is a brilliant club (even if it feels like it was released ten years ago…)but it takes time to find out which drivers are really great and which is just good or ok. One fitting doesnt give all the answers. Its a long process that involves finding the right loft, lie and shaft. Smash factor, launch angles and ballspeed can not replace the “Feelfactor”.

  17. Funny thing is that when I checked the Callaway website, the 440 is advertised / marketed as the “lady” version… Also, various posts about the release of the driver seems like Callaway really messed up on this launch. I’d like to see and try for myself. Hope Callaway gets things fixed with the image and message they’re trying to communicate.

  18. Figures it only gets the rating it did, Taylor Made is not stamped on it so it is only a so so driver. And the new driver TM has coming out already garnished a 5 star rating from this sight and the public has not even seen it yet. Guess we all know who is paying who to say what.

    • If you we’re actually a golfer and not an Internet troll, you would know that then opti force is about impossible to hit straight, unless cut shorter with weight added to the head, and the sldr actually does perform.
      But then again, that is if you we’re an actual golfer rather than an Internet junky and not not being to evaluate the performance of a club off your own experience.
      And I like callaway and not so much taylormade, but I don’t give a d@mn who makes the club when it impacts my game.

        • +1 on your statement Ola, very conssitent for me, but length was bad factor. I had to cut to 45 and add lead taope to head to keep at my swingweight. Overall though, great driver, but for same price as Titleist with this shaft, that 440 gets beat in every way to me. Just my input. I own a SLDR, Tlist 913 D2, and this club all with same shaft. Performance order goes:
          Distance: Opti 440, SLDR, Tlist
          Shot Shape: Opti 440, Tlist, SLDR
          Forgivehness: SLDR/Tlist, Opti 440
          Dispersion: Tlist, SLDR, Opti 440

      • I hit the slider and it had no punch at all for me. The most solid club out there is the Callaway Octane. Yet, I see very few using it, the xhot and all the Taylor Made drivers just do not go as far or as straight. (at least for me)