Prototype Callaway driver and irons spotted at the Deutsche Bank Championship

by   |   August 28, 2013
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Check out the photos we shot of a prototype Callaway driver with a sliding weight track that wraps around the perimeter of the driver head.

The weight appears smaller than the one in TaylorMade’s SLDR driver, but its rearward positioning is sure to stir healthy (and unhealthy) debate about the best place to position the center of gravity in a driver head.

For years, TaylorMade has been touting the benefits of a low-and-forward CG for a higher launch and lower spin with its drivers. Company officials say that the CG positioning increases ball speed and forgiveness on shots hit low on the face.

Companies like Titleist, Callaway and Ping have preferred more rearward weighting strategies, which according to Ping’s Marty Jertson, a senior design engineer for the company, improves clubhead stability and allows golfers to achieve more efficient launch conditions (a.k.a. a lower spin loft).

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The driver also includes a removable weight at the end of the weight track on the heel portion of the driver and a dual-cog adjustable hosel, but don’t count on this driver coming to retail exactly as is — Callaway officials declined comment on the unfinished prototype, which doesn’t have scoring lines on the face or markings on the sole.

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We also spotted two prototype Callaway forged irons on the range at the Deutsche Bank Championshp. One of the irons looks to be in line with Callaway’s 2013 X Forged iron model, but unlike the X Forged it has a multi-material construction that we can only assume adds to the iron’s forgiveness and functionality.

The other model has a deep undercut cavity, which makes an iron higher launching, more forgiving and generally provides faster ball speeds.

Check out more photos of the driver and irons below, and make sure to click here to see what members are saying about the prototype clubs in the forums.

 

Click here to see the buzz about the prototype Callaway driver and irons in the forums.

 

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64 Comments

  1. Rwhfinancial.Com

    December 8, 2013 at 8:18 pm

    She beverages her coffee. Two months ago a next-door neighbor told her about your page, and she asked me to purchase her one of those thingummyjigs. She and I are extremely happy her friend happened over to your blog.

  2. Rich

    September 11, 2013 at 10:32 pm

    One of the irons looks very much like the R9 TM.

  3. glenn kirk

    September 1, 2013 at 2:29 am

    its all about the shaft people, stock shafts are junk full stop. get a decent after market shaft and you will hit most brands sweet.

  4. roche

    August 31, 2013 at 11:04 am

    If Barnum and Bailey were alive today they would bi in the golf business.

  5. Kevin burke

    August 31, 2013 at 11:01 am

    Ever wonder why they say a pro lost his game from switching equipment (Mclroy) and yet we amatuers are supposed to switch every 6 months or be left in the dust?

  6. Jordan

    August 30, 2013 at 11:37 am

    Another callaway driver… Whats that, the 7th driver they’ve released this year? Ridiculous.

  7. Matt

    August 30, 2013 at 2:04 am

    I don’t know why everyone is complaining about the OEM’s putting out new stuff every few months. Hell it’s saved me a bunch of money. I bought a brand new Nike Vr Pro limited for $150.00, a brand new Adams A12 for $85 and a brand new Pro Black for $75 all because the big OEM’s said they’re outdated and enough people out there believe it. Hell I got all three for less than I paid for my last driver 8 years ago and this new one is the best driver I’ve ever had plus the hybrids are awesome too. Keep it up OEM’s I’ll keep buying that 6 month old outdated equipment!

    • Jordan

      August 30, 2013 at 11:37 am

      Good point!

    • benseattle

      August 30, 2013 at 2:51 pm

      Finally: Golfwrx reveals a man with a brain who knows how to play this “new introduction” game. Rather than buy brand-new, not-really-revolutionary-technology and a few months later griping about “depreciation” and “diminished re-sale value,” Matt here is smartly buying six months or so after the latest introduction and saving BUNDLE$ in the process for technology that’s virtually identical to the new stuff.

      Matt, you’re a smartie and probably not the only one here. (Sadly, however, there are many Golfwrxers who actualy buy into the advertising, the hype and the so-called “prestige” of the latest gear, pathetically believing that new gear — with it’s minute advancements — will actually allow them to Score Better. I kid you not.)

      • Matt

        September 2, 2013 at 9:51 pm

        Yeah benseattle so many people want to try and buy a game believing its the arrow and not the indian. My philosophy is stick with what works until it stops working and that’s why I had my last driver 8 years. Think about that how many new drivers came out in that time claiming to be longer than the previous model. I put that old driver a Titleist 905T up against every new driver I tested on the simulator and it consistently put up higher ball speed numbers by a couple miles an hour than the new stuff I tested it against with equally good spin and launch. Some of those drivers I tested, Taylor made Rll, Taylor made Rocketballz, Ping i20 and g20, Cleveland classic, Callaway Rzr and diablo etc. Only the Nike impressed me enough to put it in the bag and it was more for accuracy, feel and the way it looked in the address position than distance.

  8. Leftright

    August 29, 2013 at 8:16 am

    Golf is now nothing more than a rehash of old technology, hence forward or backward weighting. The new Titleist 714 I sadly say is nothing more than the first AP2 iron put out by Titleist. I play AP2′s and the 913 but the new Titleist and Ping S55, look closely, pretty much the same design. Golf balls, the same way. The first generation ProV1 is just as long and straight as the current. I have a storage for some old equipment and will safe a couple of sleeves of prior generation balls just for comparison. Marketing, Marketing, Marketing boys.

  9. Courtoni20

    August 29, 2013 at 7:49 am

    If manufacturers would keep the same club at the same price as their latest and greatest, they would still hit all of the markets y’all described except us idiots who do want that extra edge, the ones that see all the guys on TV with it and say if they need it to make millions then I need it to hit fairways, sink putts etc. The problem is in the idea that they “need” it; they are employees of whoever they wear on their clothes and bags and thus have to say,”I play something longer than R11″ when they don’t actually except in a simulator. Can anyone who has switched from R9 to R1 over the years and had their balls rocketier boosted twice say that they hit it longer or straighter or more importantly both? We used to call it the TP model because the charateristics of the head, now they do it for the shafts, it will never end until we allow clubs to fail when marketed.

    • MorikawaTMaG

      August 30, 2013 at 3:44 am

      I actually just tested my R9 Supertri to my R1 with same shaft and i find that the R1 spins less and goes 7 yards further on average

  10. Ed

    August 29, 2013 at 6:59 am

    I have no prob with my ‘old’ Callaway irons or Razr-fit driver – especially after trying out the latest Callaway and TM models. What I find annoying is that the big Co’s have gone to all out war with each other and jumped into instant disposable/obsolete club mentality like never before. It’s not comforting to think that a driver I laid out €360 for is now on sale for €179 and has been superceded by no less than THREE more models within the space of just over 12 months. And who’s to prove that each new model is actually longer and better? Despite many Club golfers claiming they now hit the latest drivers 20, 30 or even 50yds more, I’d like to see the stats. There are strict R&A/PGA rules governing the materials and technology that can be used so all things being equal you might get a 10/15 yard gain – presuming you swing with the consistency of a Pro to begin with. Also, the norm for irons now seems to be to deloft the clubhead. This creates the illusion that you are gaining extra yardage on each of your older irons. But in reality all this means is that your new 5 iron has the loft of your old 4 iron. A Marketing gem maybe, but as the manufacturers don’t reveal this fact openly this is disingenuous to say the least. That said, Callaway still rule. #endofrant

  11. MorikawaTMaG

    August 29, 2013 at 1:53 am

    when you guys said taylormade copied the mp-600 at least they made the design diffrent….

  12. BigBoy

    August 28, 2013 at 11:32 pm

    Not one “modern” driver or iron has any engineering logic in the design…total hack clubs by hack engineers at hack manufacturers…actually Callaway have disappointed me with this driver…i thought they were better than trying to imitate others for the $$$$$

  13. KCCO

    August 28, 2013 at 10:50 pm

    Let the OEM’S do as they please…. There’s a sucker born everyday, and they end up buying into this crap. Must say mizzy and titleist do what they are known for the best, and i feel confident buying their products knowing its not gonna be replaced next week or have some goofy name on it, just feel like those few other companies push a lot of disposable gear that is played, gone, and forgotten within weeks/months….it’s sad to see people get beat, but they get sucked in, and within a short amount of time, you say why am I hitting a shaft with a tribal logo?!? Few weeks later there’s a ton of TMAG, Callaway, etc on BST for a fraction of the price…or in some cases, the stuff actually played by pros for astronomical prices as one company is famous for….

  14. matt

    August 28, 2013 at 8:56 pm

    What I don’t understand is why anyone cares if cares if the OEM’s do market their clubs the way they do. I get it that its dumb, but for the people who don’t troll golf sites bashing every new club they see because it resembles another club its a great way to get their product out there. Callaway makes great clubs so quit whining and buy what you like and leave the rest alone.

  15. Ed

    August 28, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    I’m a Callaway fan. I use their FT irons and Razr-fit driver. I decided to get fitted for a new set of irons a couple of months ago by a leading Euro club fitter. I tried out TM’s pocket irons and Callaway’s X-Hot irons. The fitter informed me that I was hitting my FT 6 iron as long, and with tighter dispersion, than the TM and despite trying out a number of different shafts couldn’t improve anything. I did manage to hit the X-Hot about 10 yards longer and the Callaway did feel much better but, when you consider that both the TM Pockets and Callaway X-Hot’s are all set a full club stronger than my old FT’s I decided not to change. My Razr-fit driver was bought just over a year ago. During this past 14 months Callaway launched THREE new drivers: The Razr-fit Extreme, the X-Hot and the Optiforce. Note to all the big Club manufacturers: Call a truce and spare some consideration for all the golfers who spend serious money on new equipment. My state of the art Razr-fit driver is now worth substantially less and considered all but obsolete after only 14 months. That’s insane and obscene.

    • TheHeez

      August 28, 2013 at 6:53 pm

      But if you like your driver and if you hit it well, isn’t its worth based on your performance with it? Why does its trade-in value have any significance? Is it ego that dictates one must have the latest & greatest? Golf mfgs make money by constantly offering newer/longer/better. You are essentially asking them to make less money so you can feel better about your purchase. Not sound business. Plus, if they have a better product (arguable), do you prefer they not release it?

    • Tot

      August 29, 2013 at 2:30 am

      But Ed – you do realize you are not the only people who may be buying new equipment, that there are new golfers out there in the world? Oh yes, believe it or not, there are still plenty of new people picking up the game, and are being invited to pick up the game by the industry. And those new people want new stuff too. So it’s always going to be like that. And we need those new people to spend money on golf so that golf can stay at the high peak we experienced before 2008.

    • benseattle

      August 30, 2013 at 2:40 pm

      <>

      I want to sympathize, but I really can’t. Golf clubs are like cars: they’re a depreciating asset. You yourself proclaim that your driver is “state of the art” so the introduction of new clubs shouldn’t affect you one iota. Since your current “last year” bag is yet on a par with the latest and greatest, you’re not going to buy new or trade anything in. Anyone hoping to buy golf equipment hoping for great resale value in a couple of years is simply buying for the wrong reasons. My advice is, buy your favorite clubs, use them for years and only when you see something else that you MUST have, that will actually make you Play Better do you even THINK about a change. And don’t worry your little head one bit about “depreciation” or diminished resale value. It’s golf, man…. it’s SUPPOSED to be painful!

      (Oh and for the record: an item can’t be State of the Art and both “obsolete” at the same time.)

  16. HAK

    August 28, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    Thats a lot of heads overs to be in a ‘players’ bag, must be a demo bag properly placed so that everyone with a lens can zoom in…

  17. Zach

    August 28, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    I still love my razr x musclebacks.

  18. Dave

    August 28, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    It’s funny how this stuff just leaks… **Prototype Spotted** OMG!! Everyone look, ooo ahhhh…. create buzz, create more buzz..
    Product name revealed, Product released… 15 yards longer promises… Product disappointment… new driver only hit 10 times on BST.

    Who’s bag was it seen in? Or was it just a bag of clubs that happened to be sitting around and got it’s photo taken?

  19. Rich

    August 28, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    Yep, copy of the MP600 (I have one) and the irons are much like Mizunos and Macgregor!!!!

    Try me I’m the latest junk so I must be better!
    Sooner or later club mfg’s will discover the equipment should go back to a 2 year rotation not 6 months..Some are moving to that now .

  20. Peter

    August 28, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    Is anyone else sick of all the gimmicks?! What ever happened to getting fit for a club and learning to hit the shots you want? Tiger had his prototype driver shown at the open and his was bonded and no frills, so why do all of the manufacturers feel the need to add bulk and clutter to a club? Especially if they can’t even decide on what will work better, front or back weighting. Finally please tell me the difference between the sldr, this club, and the original design from mizuno? This is why tour shafts and fittings are more expensive , they know the driver heads with all their added toys aren’t worth kindling a fire with if you don’t have the rest! Just my 2¢ rant for the day.

    • Matt

      August 29, 2013 at 11:50 am

      I’m with you 100% Peter I’ve always preferred a traditional set up to all this gimmicky crap, no adjustable clubs in my bag. However I will admit the 2 and 3 irons have both been replaced with hybrids. I’d be ashamed if it wasn’t for all the awesome shots I hit with them!

  21. OS

    August 28, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    Way too much off-set on them irons

  22. The Real James

    August 28, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    There’s nothing new in the world of club design.

  23. benseattle

    August 28, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    “Spotted at the Barclay’s.” What exactly does this phrase mean?

    Were the clubs actually being bagged for tournament play by a Callaway staff player?

    Were company reps merely showing them around, knowing that retail versions were perhaps two full years away? What gives?

    • Zak Kozuchowski

      August 28, 2013 at 1:34 pm

      Equipment companies bring out new equipment at certain times during the PGA Tour season for their staff players to see/test and get their feedback. Usually, this is restricted to the range, although in certain circumstances the clubs can make it in to play.

      In the past, it was easy for OEM’s to do this without causing a stir, but then GolfWRX came around ;)

      - Zak

      • OhioGolfDude

        September 4, 2013 at 3:41 pm

        Haha, so true Zak. I love everyone’s opinions on what companies do it right vs. doing it wrong.

  24. Joel

    August 28, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    I have played pretty well with callaway stuff for a long time, my biggest complaint though is sole width and top line. Even callaways “players” irons seem so clunky to me at address.

  25. Roger

    August 28, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    The Iron with the Tourstage look is great.

    The Driver definitely has that Trick look to it, happy to buy
    one in 4 years! Had the MP 001, and the Slider MP, just bought
    MP 630 (no slider).

  26. joe

    August 28, 2013 at 11:40 am

    WOW! another Mizuno knock off and even more like the Mizuno than the SLDR.
    History repeats itself but man this is fast.

    as for the irons… they look legit. cant wait to see the finished product

  27. Rob

    August 28, 2013 at 11:07 am

    I think I’ll stick to my Cobras. No need to fall for the gimmicks every couple months.

    • Matt

      August 28, 2013 at 1:07 pm

      I am with you Rob, I love my Amp Cell driver and 3 wood, nothing else can touch its performance in my hands especially the over priced Titleist and Ping although Titleist does make my favorite ball lol..

      • chris

        August 28, 2013 at 4:30 pm

        Lol you must not have hit the xhot 3 wood

  28. Mike

    August 28, 2013 at 11:04 am

    Paul…if you look carefully, Callaway owns the patents to SLDR. Thus TMaG is actually using Callaway technology. TMaG’s run as #1 could be coming to an end.

    • HackerDav

      August 28, 2013 at 11:17 am

      Could you show us that? Not sure I buy that. From what I’ve read from WRX site editors, the TMaG patents for sliding weights pre-date Mizuno. Would love to see any of the patent info you mention. Looks like the “War” Cally declared is heating up…

      • spazo

        August 28, 2013 at 1:19 pm

        Patent #7,775,905 was filed in 2006 by TMaG–which means they were at least working on development before that date, likely a few years before. Mizuno’s came out in 2008. Callaway has nothing that old.

  29. Ben

    August 28, 2013 at 10:55 am

    Please bring the Legacy Black offerings stateside.

    Sincerely,

    Everyone

    • 4rheel

      August 28, 2013 at 12:06 pm

      Agreed, they need to start selling the premo stuff here in the States.

      Maybe these are going to be the new Legacy Blacks in Japan?

    • HAK

      August 28, 2013 at 4:00 pm

      I play a Legacy Aero 8.5(japan edition) and it’s stupid GOOD!!! The funny part is I’m a Taylor STAFF Pro(Crusader)… The SLDR is a good head, just not as good Japanese products

  30. Nick

    August 28, 2013 at 10:43 am

    Am I the only one who thinks the weight tracks are fugly and gimmicky looking? Whatever happened to something looking classic. I love my Xhot 3 wood but the tribal tattoo on the shaft is embarassing. Obviously performance comes first but is it really too much to ask that club aesthetics not have a MTV Jersey Shore look to them.

    • benseattle

      August 30, 2013 at 2:29 pm

      Trust me, buddy…. nobody and I mean NOBODY, is looking at your shaft.

      • pablo

        August 31, 2013 at 12:42 pm

        cleva!

      • DB

        September 2, 2013 at 5:40 pm

        Best comment ever on a golfwrx article!

  31. Baba Booey

    August 28, 2013 at 10:40 am

    Seriously, these OEMs are out of control. It’s just a marketing machine at this point throwing clubs out every month.

    Stick with Titleist. They don’t do this garbage.

    • wcavanau

      August 28, 2013 at 11:30 am

      It all started when the golf companies were bought up by larger, public companies. When you are public you have stockholders which means you need to keeping producing cash!! You have Ping at one end of the spectrum and Taylor Made at the other. Even Titleist is moving away from what they used to be with hardgoods.

      • Freddy v

        August 28, 2013 at 11:46 am

        That’s because Titleist is a ball company…they have no chance to compete with any of the companies in the iron and wood category. The ball is the only reason they are profitable…

      • Pancho Golfer

        August 28, 2013 at 12:55 pm

        So true. and add the biggest 24/7 marketing machine invention of he past decade, Golf Channel!

    • Dennis

      August 28, 2013 at 11:52 am

      I’m with Baba Booey….Stick with Titleist

    • rtylerg

      August 28, 2013 at 9:12 pm

      Brand loyalty in today’s world is just foolish if you ask me. Are they loyal back? Do they offer a “rewards card” for past purchases? They’re not interested in keeping loyal customers, it’s all about the bottom line. Why do you think Titleist can get away with charging people twice as much for their equipment and never mark down the price? Because they’ve got the “players” hooked on “in Titleist we trust”. Don’t get me wrong, Titleist makes some of the best equipment, but the point is: find the equipment that works for you. Brand is irrelevant these days because the technology and quality are all about the same from one to the next.

      • Matt

        August 29, 2013 at 11:42 am

        Actually Titleist equipment tends to cost more because they don’t putt out new crap every 6 months like Taylormade and now Callaway. Its the law of supply and demand fewer options means higher prices. However I agree with you in trying different brands, all these companies make good products these days.

  32. OhioGolfDude

    August 28, 2013 at 10:26 am

    Love the look of the cavity back forged iron…reminiscent of the Diablo Forged! If they are that forgiving, may be looking into that one!

    • Tyler

      August 28, 2013 at 12:41 pm

      I thought the same thing when i saw the cavity back. looks like the diablo

  33. Paul

    August 28, 2013 at 9:58 am

    So callaway wants to copy both the mp-600 and the sldr? Fail

    • Mike Leether

      August 28, 2013 at 11:03 am

      …Don’t forget the s55. Triple fail!

      • Kenny nakato

        August 28, 2013 at 12:17 pm

        Although this will most likely be softer. And take a closer look guys. I think this is a solid construction, not a weight badge or feel insert

        • Blanco

          August 28, 2013 at 5:35 pm

          Cast crew represent. Give us our 55′s!

    • Dave

      August 28, 2013 at 3:08 pm

      It’s funny how this stuff just leaks… **Prototype Spotted** OMG!! Everyone look, ooo ahhhh…. create buzz, create more buzz..
      Product name revealed, Product released… 15 yards longer promises… Product disappointment… new driver only hit 10 times on BST.

      Who’s bag was it seen in? Or was it just a bag of clubs that happened to be sitting around and got it’s photo taken?

      • MorikawaTMaG

        August 29, 2013 at 1:55 am

        i think its just one of the bags that are just on the range

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