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Callaway X2 Hot and X2 Hot Pro drivers, fairway woods and hybrids

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Callaway’s X Hot driver was one of the top-performing drivers in 2013 for golfers with slow-to-moderate swing speeds, and those who miss the sweet spot as often as they hit it. But it had an innate problem; the rounded shape that allowed the driver to be so forgiving caused it to look overly bulbous at address.

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Photo Above: The crown of Callaway’s X2 Hot driver has graphics to help golfers with alignment, including a Callaway Chevron to denote the center of the club face, while the Pro version does not.

That’s why this year’s X2 Hot driver has a more traditional pear-shaped head, which will resonate with golfers who value the aesthetics of a golf club as much as its performance.

The X2 Hot driver also has Callaway’s new Hyper Speed Face Technology, which allows the face of the 460-cubic-centimeter driver to be 4 percent larger than the previous version without adding any extra weight. The larger face helps the X2 Hot driver retain all the forgiveness of the X Hot, but it adds about 1.5 mph of ball speed on average, according to Callaway testing.

callaway x2 hot

Photo above: The larger, light face more forgiving face of Callaway’s X2 Hot driver.

The X2 Hot driver is available in three different lofts: 9, 10.5 and 13.5 degrees. Like the 2013 X Hot drivers, the X2 Hot models have what Callaway calls “Progressive Draw Bias, which means that higher-lofted models have more draw bias than lower-lofted models. But the draw bias is less than last year’s drivers, a change that was made possible by Callaway’s new Advanced OptiFit adjustable hosel.

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The OptiFit hosel gives golfers four different loft settings; for example, the 9-degree driver can be lofted 1-degree lower to 8 degrees, but also 1- or 2-degrees higher than standard to 10 or 11 degrees. It also gives golfers two independent lie settings — standard (S) and draw (D), which makes the club more upright. According to Evan Gibbs, manager of performance analysis for Callaway, putting the X2 Hot driver in the draw setting will give it the same amount of draw bias as last year’s X Hot driver in its standard setting.

The X2 Hot driver hits stores Jan. 17 and will sell for $349 with a 46-inch Aldila Tour Blue 55 shaft in light, regular and stiff flexes. The head weight will be about 194 grams, while the total weight will be about 303 grams. The stock swing weight is D3.

Click here to see what GolfWRX Members are saying about Callaway’s X2 Hot line in the forums.

X2 Hot Pro Driver

The X2 Hot Pro driver has a deeper face and more compact 440-cubic-centimeter head than the X2 Hot driver, as well as a lower CG made possible by the 7.3 grams of weight saved by the club’s new Hyper Speed Face.

callaway x2 hot pro driver

Photo above: The X2 Hot Pro driver has a 7-gram adjustable weight screw in the rear portion of the sole. Callaway’s Custom department can dial in a golfer’s ideal swing weight by changing the weight of the screw.

According to Gibbs, its lower CG, which is 37 percent lower than the X2 Hot driver, gives the X2 Hot Pro a lower-spinning trajectory than the company’s similar-sized  FT OptiForce 440 driver, which launched in July and quickly became Callaway’s most popular driver on the PGA Tour.

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Photo above: Callaway’s X2 Hot Pr driver has no markings on its crown. 

The X2 Hot Pro is only available in one loft, 8.5 degrees. Despite its low loft, Gibbs predicted that the X2 Hot Pro will meet the needs of about 95 percent of interested golfers. That’s because it has the same OptiFit hosel as the X2 Hot, which means that it can be lofted as low as 7.5 degrees or as high as 10.5 degrees. And Callaway engineers were careful to design the sole of the club to adapt to those different lofts without a significant change in face angle.

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Photo above: The taller, or deeper, face of an X2 Hot Pro driver. 

The driver has an “opened” face angle in the 8.5 setting, which won’t look too much more opened in the 7.5 setting or too much more closed in the 9.5 or 10.5 settings, even to the most discerning golfers. In the back of the club is a removable 7-gram weight screw, which gives it a stock swing weight of D3. And the club can be ordered through Callaway’s custom department with a different weight screw to make the swing weight heavier or lighter.

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The X2 Hot Pro driver will hit stores on Jan. 17 and sell for $349 with a 45.5-inch aftermarket version of Aldila’s Tour Green 65 shaft in regular, stiff and x-stiff flexes. The head weight is about 197 grams, with a total weight hovering around 321 grams.

X2 Hot and X2 Hot Pro Fairway Woods

The centerpiece of Callaway’s 2013 equipment launch was its X Hot fairway woods, which helped double Callaway’s market share in the fairway woods category last year. This year, the company is promising even better performance from its X2 Hot and X2 Hot Pro fairway woods, which are longer and more forgiving than last year’s models.

Photos above are the new Callaway X2 Hot fairway woods (left) and X2 Hot Pro fairway woods with no crown graphics.

Both models are made with Callaway’s high-strength 455-carpenter-stainless-steel cup faces that fueled last year’s distance gains, but they use the company’s Hyper Speed Face Technology to make the forged cup faces even thinner and more forgiving on mishits. They also have an improved “internal standing wave,” an internal shelf located on the front of the sole that leans toward the club face, pushing the CG of the clubs lower and more forward.

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This year’s internal standing wave is an impressive 13.5-grams heavier than it was in the X Hot models, and it juts 0.06 inches closer to the face, giving the club a noticeable performance boost on shots struck on the bottom of the face.

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Callaway engineers were also able to trim weight from the crown and center of the sole on new fairway woods. Some of that weight went into the heavier internal standing wave, while the rest went into the perimeter of the club heads, giving them a higher moment of inertia than their predecessors.

callaway x2 hot fairway

The X2 Hot fairway woods are available in lofts of 15, 17, 19, 21, 23 and 25 degrees. They come stock with a Aldila Tour Blue 60 shaft in light, regular and stiff flexes.

The X2 Hot Pro fairway woods will be offered in lofts of 13.5, 15, 17 and 19 degrees, with an aftermarket version of Aldila’s Tour Green 75 shaft (R, S and X flexes). Both fairway woods will be available in stores Jan. 17 and sell for $239.

X2 Hot “Deep”

One of the most talked about equipment releases in 2013 was Callaway’s 3Deep, a deep-faced fairway wood that Phil Mickelson used as a driver for his wins at the Scottish Open and Open Championship. Last year, the club was released in a 13-degree version (used by Mickelson), as well as a 14.5-degree model.

This year, the lineup has been tweaked to include a new 12.5-degree “2Deep,” which like the rest of the line has all the benefits of the X2 Hot fairway woods. But it has a robust 210-cubic-centimeter head that was inspired by Mickelson’s famed “Phrankenwood,” a small-headed driver that Mickelson debuted at the Masters. A 14.5-degree model remains in the lineup, but it’s now 190 cubic centimeters, 10 more than last year’s model. And new for this year is a 165-cubic-centimeter 5Deep, which has a loft of 18.5 degrees.

The “Deep” fairway woods fill a void for Callaway, as its X2 Hot and X2 Hot Pro have extremely shallow faces. That make the clubs playable from a variety of surfaces: from the tee, the fairway and even the rough in certain situations. But some golfers, particularly those with steep angles of attacks, have trouble with shallow-faced fairway woods because they tend to contact them too high on the face.

Shots that are hit too high on the face often launch the ball with too little spin, limiting carry distance. That’s where’s the “Deep” fairway woods come into the picture. Their deeper, or taller faces help give golfers who tend to contact the ball on the upper portion of the face more consistent spin rates. So while their larger size can make the Deep fairway woods less versatile from different lies, they offer better overall performance for certain golfers, particularly those who use their fairway woods mostly from the tee.

Like the X2 Hot Pro fairway woods, the X2 Hot Deep fairway woods come stock with an aftermarket version of Aldila’s Tour Green 75 shaft in R, S and X flexes. They will be available in stores on Jan. 17 and cost $239.

X2 Hot and X2 Hot Pro Hybrids

Last year, Callaway added its high-strength forged 455-carpenter-steel cup faces to its X Hot fairway woods, which allowed the faces to be lighter and more responsive than previous models. That, in conjunction with the clubs’ internal standing wave gave many golfers 5, 10, 20 and sometimes as much as 30 yards of extra distance from the clubs, making the X Hot fairway woods Callaway’s most successful product launch of 2013.

x2 hot hybrid

The leap the company took in fairway woods last year is the same leap the company took in hybrids this year, said Evan Gibbs, manager of performance analysis for Callaway.

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Photos above: Callaway X2 Hot hybrid (left) and Callaway X2 Hot Pro hybrid. 

The new X2 Hot hybrids have a much more iron-like look, with a boxier overall shape, straighter leading edge and less offset than the X Hot hybrids. And unlike last year’s model, which had 17-4 stainless steel cup faces, the new hybrids have the same 455 carpenter-stainless-steel cup faces as the company’s fairway woods, which allowed their faces to be made 28 percent thinner with a sweet spot that’s a whopping 13 times larger than their predecessors.

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At address: Callaway’s X2 Hot hybrid (left) and the more compact X2 Hot Pro hybrid. 

Those changes makes the X2 Hot hybrids about 11 yards longer than the X Hot hybrids, according to Callaway testing.

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The X2 Hot and X2 Hot hybrids also have substantially less camber (pictured above), the curvature of the sole from heel to toe. And while they’re slightly larger than the X Hot models, they don’t look it at address; particularly the Pro model, which is noticeably shorter from front to back than the X Hot Pro hybrid.

According to Gibbs, both models will offer less spin than their predecessors, especially the Pro, which has a 40 percent lower CG than the X Hot Pro hybrid.

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The X2 Hot hybrids are available in lofts of 19, 22, 25 and 28 degrees. They come stock with Aldila’s Tour Blue 65 hybrid shaft in light, regular and stiff flexes. Stock swingweight is D1.

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The X2 Hot Pro hybrids come in lofts of 16, 18, 20 and 23 with an aftermarket version of Aldila’s Tour Green 75 hybrid shaft in R, S and X flexes. Stock swing weight is D2. Both hybrids will be available in stores Jan. 17 and sell for $199.

Click here to see what GolfWRX Members are saying about Callaway’s X2 Hot line in the forums.

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Zak is the Editor-in-Chief of GolfWRX.com. He's been a part of the company since 2011, when he was hired to lead GolfWRX's Editorial Department. Zak developed GolfWRX's Featured Writer Program, which supports aspiring writers and golf industry professionals. He played college golf at the University of Richmond (Go Spiders!) and still likes to compete in tournaments. You can follow Zak on Twitter @ZakKoz, where he's happy to discuss his game and all the cool stuff that's part of his job.

46 Comments

46 Comments

  1. glenn kirk

    Feb 11, 2014 at 2:09 am

    had x hot pro driver love the feel and goes straight but to much spin and short, bought a sldr YUK worse feel ever, just hit x hot 2 pro deeper face = less spin went awesome long sounds great ordered one on the spot can’t wait to get it .

  2. paul

    Jan 8, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    I want to know what the heck a 5 deep is for. where is that supposed to fit in a set? Is it just taller to be easier off the tee and for people that hit down on it?

  3. gary rosenthal

    Nov 30, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    Just demo-d the Cally pro hybrid. OMG! I’m 64, and my first 6 swings on the launch monitor were all between 217 and 225 yards (carry and roll) with very tight shot dispersion, and a uniform 16 degree launch angle. I was looking for something to fit between my 5 iron and my 3 wood, and this was going as far, or farther than my 3 wood, yet with much better accuracy and repeat-ability. I asked the Golfsmith salesman to please double-check to make sure this was actually a 20 degree club, as that’s what I was wanting to demo, thinking to get distances in the 180 to 190 yard range–and I had left my reading glasses in the car. As it turned out, the salesguy had been as blind as I, and what I’d been swinging was the 16 degree. Amazing how easy it was to hit, how effortless, how accurate, how thoroughly satisfying at impact. Decided to buy the club, and use it to replace my 3 wood. Tried to get a pro hybrid that wouldn’t fly more than ten or fifteen yards farther than my 5 iron. A Mission Impossible. Even the 23 degree was bombing over 200 yards–at least 30 yards farther than I hit my 5 iron. Then thought, well maybe if I buy a hot pro 3 wood, that could work too. But I only got another 6 yards of distance on my best swings, with otherwise more unpredictable results. By the way, the stock shaft in the pro 16 degree was different than listed above–a white Project X, 5.5 (Stiff)–a really fine shaft. Was amazed how much better hybrids have become in the past few years, since I last demo-d any. Liked the new Ping hybrid, and the Titleist as well (which seemed to set up the most square at address, something I like, as nothing else in my bag has any draw bias). Just didn’t hit anything else as consistently well as the Cally Pro. Am really thrilled by this club, it’s way better than I expected, and can’t wait to hit it tomorrow on my home course.

    • Walker

      Dec 1, 2013 at 10:01 pm

      you must of bought this years X hot pro model. They are great Hybrids. But these in the article are the new X2 that will be out in January. They sound like they will be even better. But I have the 18* in the model you bought and they are awesome. Enjoy!

  4. nick

    Nov 20, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    Hit the hybrids the other day. What a world of a difference from last years to these. Havent liked callaways hybrids for years but these might make their way into the bag

  5. Perry

    Nov 19, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    Their new line looks even better..cant wait for the new driver it looks so sick. Surprised it hasn’t been leaked on here yet.. Great Job Callaway they hit a home run this year

  6. froneputt

    Nov 19, 2013 at 10:01 am

    Congratz to Callaway – as a long-time follower and owner of “Cally” clubs, I like the “return” of Callaway and the fresh and open approach to technology, and their upbeat banter with the golfing public. I would brand “Callaway” as a technology-driven, charismatic company that appeals to all golfers.

    I like the new Driver – the deep face is needed. Would have like to see a little more aerodynamics in the design and the option of a 45 inch shaft in the X2Hot (other than the Pro version). The fairways look great – wouldn’t mind seeing them more playable (slightly smaller head even for normal Joes) and a more traditional shaft length – it’s not always about distance, it is about consistency and accuracy.

    As to the hybrids, after demoing the XHot, I agree that the heel and toe needed work to expand the sweetspot. I don’t know if going “Adams” in face style is the correct approach – it evolves away from your roots – but through the years, I’ve always demoed but have not purchased a Callaway hybrid – I think this is an area of uncertainty for Callaway. If Callaway wants to take a cue – I’d look at what Jesse Ortiz is doing with his hybrid line – a nicely rounded sole – ala the XHot, but a slightly more forgiving heel/toe area – I’m not sold on the “iron-like” face look of the X2Hot – I understand the beefed up toe area because it’s possible that is the “miss” area and you’ve got more forgiveness “pushed” into that area. I just think Callaway can do better with hybrids.

    • Socalpro517

      Nov 20, 2013 at 12:41 am

      Why wouldn’t they go with a more Adams style face and head shape? Look at how wildly successful, popular and high performance Adams has been (had been before the TMAG buy out)with their hybrids. IMOP these are a HUGE step in the right direction. I think the face looks a lot like the Titleist 910H which is one of the best hybrids I’ve ever hit. Seeing them perform live and the reaction from the players they are 100 times better than the xhotpro model from last year.

  7. bellsy13

    Nov 19, 2013 at 9:16 am

    Why do people care about how many different clubs a company puts out? It gives you more options and it also lowers the price quicker on last year models. If you don’t want to spend $449 @ golftown on a SLDR then don’t. Wait a year until its down to $249. And if you do want to spend the ludicrous price on one then go right ahead.

  8. Max

    Nov 13, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    5 Deep will be interesting. Take the place of my 3 wood and 17* hybrid maybe?

  9. Matt

    Nov 13, 2013 at 11:51 am

    Like the look of the fairways and hybrids. Although they should’ve named the hybrid the Peanut 3 (Adams).

    Basically a new sole plate and pint job from the 1st version. Last years’s X Hot were really good clubs, so Cally didn’t need to mess with them too much.

  10. christian

    Nov 13, 2013 at 4:43 am

    Odd that the pro model driver has LOWER CoG then the standard model. Normally it would be the other way around, pro models have higher CoG to give a flatter lower spin ball flight for high SS players?

  11. tyler

    Nov 13, 2013 at 12:47 am

    I really like the pro versions that Callaway is coming out with. The pro heads look awesome and I like the swing weight adjustability. My question is just how “real deal” are the after market shafts in the pro versions?

    • Chris

      Nov 19, 2013 at 1:55 pm

      The Aldila Tour Green shaft in the Pro models are untouched After Market shafts. The Tour Blue in the non Pro heads have a slightly softer tip to make it more playable for the general public.

  12. Paul

    Nov 13, 2013 at 12:24 am

    i would like to hear more about this “whopping 13 times bigger sweet spot”. Was the previous sweet spot the size of a pin head? Im sure its only 1.3x bigger. if the previous sweet spot was the size of a dime, the new sweet spot would cover the whole face… and then some… Or was the last hybrid a piece of crap?

  13. dsw

    Nov 12, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    HORRIBLE. Absolutely horrible. Well, at least the X Hot line will be discounted just in time for the holidays! Love the X Hot clubs.

  14. Shawn

    Nov 12, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    I think they did a good job with the hybrid on the new X Hot lineup. The Pro model looks similar to the Ping I20 hybrid.

  15. John

    Nov 12, 2013 at 11:43 am

    Gee ……. TaylorMade announces a new club so Harry has to answer with their announcement hours later ……. Couldn’t wait a day …….. Bush league …….. Callaway = second fiddle

    • Jerry Noble

      Nov 13, 2013 at 12:45 pm

      The new Taylor Made Drivers are terrible. I might add that they really can’t improve the drivers from where they were 5 years ago. They can come out with these gimmicks and color them (I hate the white drivers) but most of us would be much better of to stay with something we like instead of jumping to something different every year.

  16. John

    Nov 12, 2013 at 11:40 am

    Gee ……. TaylorMade releases something and Callaway answers with something ……. Always second fiddle !!!

  17. Tyler

    Nov 12, 2013 at 11:15 am

    Last years 3 wood pro went farther than than any 3 wood I’ve ever hit. I’m glad these are coming out. I’ll probably be able to get last years model for 85 bucks now ????

    • Craig

      Nov 12, 2013 at 7:42 pm

      Have you ever tried the Tour Edge Exotics fairway wood? They are the longest woods on the market. You really should try them out if you haven’t. The price is a little up there but well worth it.

      • Johnny

        Nov 13, 2013 at 12:10 pm

        Absolutely agree! I hesitantly put the XCG6 in the bag, but couldn’t be more pleased… (I did throw in a speeder 757 though)

  18. Ben

    Nov 12, 2013 at 10:13 am

    looking strong!

  19. Rich

    Nov 12, 2013 at 10:10 am

    Now Callaway can’t maintain their look changing colors and little in design to stay in tune with TM on the “Club Of the Month Design”.
    Orange and Black was last month.
    Which will go “Edwin Watts UP” first ?

    • Craig

      Nov 12, 2013 at 7:43 pm

      To me the colors look alot like the JPX EX line

  20. Swoosh

    Nov 12, 2013 at 6:19 am

    OHHHH my goood why are they coming out with new clubs already????
    Why??
    Like oh my god!!!

    Why aren’t there the same comments on this posting as the new Taylormade stuff?

    • John

      Nov 12, 2013 at 11:38 am

      I know …….. Where are all the cries of ” oh my God those graphics are WAY too busy ” !!!!

      • Steve Barry

        Nov 12, 2013 at 1:34 pm

        If they were, there would be, but they’re not, so there’s not.

  21. froneputt

    Nov 12, 2013 at 2:14 am

    I like the sole shape of the XHot Hybrid over the XHot 2 – agree that the XHot 2 is similar to Adams or RBZ Stage 2 — that’s a step backwards for Callaway.

  22. EM

    Nov 12, 2013 at 1:18 am

    Errrrrr I think you got the prices wrong on the X2Hot driver, no? $349 for the standard version and $349 for the X2Hot Pro too? That must be a mistake. You must mean $249 for the X2Hot, right? If the X2Hot is $349, it won’t sell. It has be below the $300 mark.

    • Reid

      Nov 12, 2013 at 9:31 am

      Callaway doesn’t upcharge from standard to pro on the x hot lines.

  23. Paul

    Nov 12, 2013 at 1:13 am

    hybrid shape now more closely matches what adams uses.

    • EM

      Nov 12, 2013 at 1:19 am

      No, they don’t.

      • Tyler

        Nov 12, 2013 at 1:58 am

        yes they do… in the pro version its the same rectangle shape with rounded edges as the Adams a7 hybrid

    • Desmond

      Nov 12, 2013 at 6:13 pm

      Agree – I like the rounded shape of the XHot – it’s more playable from a diversity of lies.

    • Chris

      Nov 19, 2013 at 1:59 pm

      The hybrids are designed by a guy who used to work for Adams and obviously Chip Brewer used to be CEO of Adams so that’s why there are similarities that you can see.

  24. Jon

    Nov 12, 2013 at 1:01 am

    why do the jetfuels and these look so much alike?

    • EM

      Nov 12, 2013 at 1:20 am

      No, they don’t. Don’t try to stir anything up.

  25. Mut

    Nov 12, 2013 at 12:43 am

    XHot 2 looks like a 2012 Rocketballz (now black/orange rather than white/green) and 2013 Jetspeed looks like a repackaged 2013 Optiforce. Did Callaway and Taylormade swap employees?

    • EM

      Nov 12, 2013 at 1:20 am

      None of them look anything like each other in person.

  26. Max

    Nov 12, 2013 at 12:22 am

    Putting the Pro hybrid on my wish list. Putting the Pro fairway and “deep” on my watch list.

    • Kyle

      Nov 12, 2013 at 12:29 am

      This stuff looks so good. Kudos to Callaway for killing it again this year.

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Equipment

Members’ Choice: The top-5 drivers that golfers want to test in 2018

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Golf’s “off-season” is upon us and the PGAM Show in Orlando is quickly approaching in January, which means it’s time to start thinking about the upcoming driver releases.

We’ve seen a few companies launch their “2018” lines already — such as Cobra with its new King F8 and F8+ — while speculation swirls around the companies who have yet to announce their newest products. For instance, we’ve spotted a new “TaylorMade M4″ driver, and a new “Rogue” driver from Callaway. If history repeats itself and Titleist remains on a two-year product cycle, then we’ll see a replacement for the 917 line sometime in 2018, as well.

The question we posed to our GolfWRX Members recently was, which new or unreleased driver has you most excited heading into 2018? Below are the results and a selection of comments about each driver.

Click here to join the discussion!

Note: The comments below have been minimally edited for brevity and grammar. 

Titleist (7.39 percent of votes)

BDoubleG: I know it’s well down the road, but the Titleist 919 is what I’m most looking forward to. I played the 910 until this year and loved it, but I realized that I wasn’t getting much in the way of distance gains with the 915/917, and I was just leaving too many yards on the table. I know it’s a cliche, but I was seeing considerable gains with my G400LS, then my M2 I have now.

I feel like Titleist has been hurting in the driver market share category (and probably elsewhere), as I think a lot of people think that the 913, 915 and 917 have been minor refreshes in a world where almost everyone else has been experimenting with structure (jailbreak, turbulators) or with COG (spaceports, SLDR, G-series extreme back CG). I think if Titleist is going to recapture some of their market share, they will need to start taking an interest in stepping outside of their comfort zone to catch up with everyone else. Maybe I’m hoping for too much, but a D2-style head with ample forgiveness and low-spin (maybe a back-front weight), with the same great sound of the 917, and hopefully getting rid of the “battery taped to the sole” look would be a huge hit in my book.

I’m really looking forward to seeing what they come up with…and I hope I’m not disappointed.

Mizuno GT-180 or otherwise (8.87 percent of votes)

mrmikeac: After thoroughly testing the Mizuno ST-180 and seeing the distance gains I was getting from my Epic, I can’t wait for the GT to get here. Cobra would be next in line for me, but Mizzy really did something special with that JPX-900 and it seems to look like they’re going the same route with these drivers. Excellent feel, forgiveness and simple but effective tech. 

Callaway Rogue, Rogue Sub Zero or otherwise (17.73 percent of votes)

cvhookem63: It seems like we’re not getting a lot of “NEW” this time — just some same lines “improved” on a little. I’m interested to try the Rogue line and M3/M4 line to see if they improved on their previous models. The Cobra F8+ is intriguing to me, as well. I’d like to compare those three to see how they stack up. 

tj7644: Callaway Rogue. It’s gotta make me hit straighter drives right? It sure can’t be my swing…

Equipto: Callaway Rogue Sub Zero, and that’s about it. Most of my testing will be with shafts I presume. 

bangabain: Excited to give the Rogue a shot, although with the hope that there’s a little more fade bias despite the lack of sliding weight.

TaylorMade M3, M4 or otherwise (27.09 percent of votes)

DeCuchi: TaylorMade M3 of course, and the F8+. I’m more interested in the fairways this year though. TaylorMade M4 fairways and Rogue fairways are top of my list. 

elwhippy: TaylorMade M3 and M4. Not owned a TM driver for several seasons and want something with a bit more power than the Ping G Series…

cradd10: M3. Still rocking an OG M1. Super solid driver. Curious to see if the updated version can beat it. 

Cobra F8/F8+ (33.66 percent of votes)

WAxORxDCxSC: I sure want to like the F8 based on looks (I understand I’m possibly in the minority on that one at GolfWRX).

TWshoot67: For me, it’s three drivers: the Cobra F8, F8+ and TM M4. 

The General: Cobra F8 is going to dominate everything, just wait, on the F8

Ace2000: Definitely F8/F8+. Love my Bio Cell+ and can’t help but wonder if these perform as good as they look. 

Click here to join the discussion!

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Equipment

True Linkswear goes back to its spikeless roots

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True Linkswear is getting back to its roots, while expanding the singular golf shoe brand’s reach at the same time.

The Tacoma, Washington, company’s Director/Partner, Justin Turner, told us that with the release of the two new models, the company is course-correcting from a move toward the mainstream, spiked golf shoes, and a loss of identity.

In addition to durability issues, Turner said the core True Linkswear customer didn’t appreciate the shift — or the deluge of models that followed.

So, in a sense, the two-model lineup both throws a bone to True devotees and casts a wider net.

Turner and company asked: “If we wanted to restart the brand….what would we value?” A commitment to the brand’s core outsider identity, style as articulated in early models, and an emphasis on quality led Turner on multiple trips to China to survey suppliers in early 2017. Eventually, the company settled on a manufacturing partner with a background in outdoor gear and hiking shoes.

“We’ve spent the last few years scouring the globe for the best material sourcing, reputable factories, advanced construction techniques, and time-tested fundamentals to build our best shoes yet. No cheap synthetics, no corners cut.”

Eventually, True settled on two designs: The Original, which, not surprisingly, has much in common with the zero-drop 2009 industry disrupting model, and the Outsider: a more athletic-style shoe positioned to attract a broader audience.

True Linkswear Original: $149

The company emphasizes the similarity in feel between the Original and early True Linkswear models, suggesting that players will feel and connect to the course “in a whole new way.”

  • Gray, White, Black colorways
  • Waterproof full grain leather
  • Thin sole with classic True zero-drop heel
  • 12.1 oz
  • Sockfit liner for comfort
  • Natural width box toe

True Linkswear Outsider: $169

With the Outsider, True Linkswear asked: “What if a golf shoe could be more? Look natural in more environments?”

  • Grey/navy, black, white colorways
  • EVA midsole for lightweight cushioning
  • Full grain waterproof leather
  • 13.1 oz (thicker midsole than the Original)

The company envisions both shoes being worn on course and off.

True Linkswear introduced the more durable and better-performing Cross Life Tread with both models. Turner says the tread is so good, you can wear the shoes hiking.

Both models are available now through the company website only. True Linkswear plans to enter retail shops slowly and selectively.

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Equipment

Sean O’Hair and Steve Stricker’s Winning WITBs from the 2017 QBE Shootout

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The team of Steve Stricker and Sean O’Hair closed the QBE Shootout with an 8-under 64 for a two-shot win over Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. O’Hair made a timely eagle on the par-5 17th hole at Tiburon Golf Club to lock up the first place prize of $820,000 ($410,000 each).

Here’s a look at their bags.

Sean O’Hair

Driver: Titleist 917D2 (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White Prototype 60TX

3 Wood: Titleist 917F2 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana S+ Limited Edition 70TX

5 Wood: Titleist 915F (18 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana S+ Limited Edition 80TX

Irons: Titleist 716 T-MB (4-iron), Titleist 718 AP2 (5-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM7 prototype (50, 54 and 58 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Scotty Cameron prototype

Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1

Related: Sean O’Hair WITB

Steve Stricker

Driver: Titleist 913D3 (8.5 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Motore Speeder VC 8.2X

3 Wood: Titleist 915F (13.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Rayon Tensei CK Pro White 80TX Prototype

Hybrid: Titleist 816H1 (17.0 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Motore Speeder VC 9.2X

Irons: Titleist 718 CB (3-9)
Shafts: KBS Tour Prototype

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM6 (46, 54 and 60 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 w/ Sensicore

Putter: Odyssey White Hot 2

Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

Related: Steve Stricker WITB 2017

Note: We originally reported Stricker had a Scotty Cameron putter in the bag, per Titleist’s equipment report. Stricker did, however, have a Odyssey White Hot putter in play during the final round of the QBE Shootout.

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