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Callaway X2 Hot and X2 Hot Pro Irons

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The most important new feature of Callaway’s new X2 Hot and X2 Hot Pro irons is something that on first glance, golfers might not even notice: Chevron-shaped silver arches on the back of their cavities.

While they look like part of the badging, the arches are actually cast into the faces of the 17-4 stainless-steel irons and play a key role in stabilizing the upper portion of their face. That improves the sound and feel of the irons, and makes them more consistent.

X2 Hot irons

callaway x2 hot

Photo above: Callaway’s new X2 Hot iron are 40 percent more consistent than the X Hot irons. 

The X2 Hot irons don’t have the high-strength 455 carpenter stainless-steel faces of Callaway’s Apex irons, but their stabilizing arches allow the lower portion of their faces to flex more at impact. That moves their sweet spots lower, where most golfers contact their iron shots. It also helps shots hit below the sweet spot retain more ball speed and launch angle, a big part of the X2 Hot’s 40 percent improvement in consistency.

callaway x2 hot iron

Photo above: The X2 Hot irons have a deeper undercut behind the face, which helps make them about 2.5 yards longer than the X Hot irons.

The position of the mass in the X2 Hot iron heads was also changed to make them look less overtly like game-improvement irons. While the blade lengths, top lines and amount of offset remain very similar, the irons were slimmed substantially from front to back.

X2 Hot, X Hot comp

Designers were careful to keep the X2 Hot irons as forgiving as last year’s model, and at the same time move the center of gravity slightly lower and more forward. That, along with the deeper undercuts behind the faces of the irons, helps make them about 2.5 yards longer than their predecessors. The sole widths are also about the same size as they were on the X Hot irons, but 2-to-4-degrees more bounce was added to help golfers improve their turf interaction.

callaway x2

Photo above: A Callaway X2 Hot iron, viewed from address. Its toplines are thicker than those on Callaway’s X2 Hot Pro irons. 

Like Callaway’s Apex irons, the X2 Hot irons have Callaway’s 30-degree wide-spaced V grooves. They will be available Jan. 17 and cost $799 with True Temper’s Speed Step 85 steel shaft (regular and stiff flexes), $899 with Callaway’s X2 Hot 60-gram graphite shaft in lite, regular and stiff flexes.

Screen Shot 2013-11-11 at 10.42.56 AM

X2 Hot Pro irons

callaway x2 hot pro

The most important feature of Callaway’s X2 Hot Pro irons for many golfers has nothing to do with their performance. It’s their price, $899, which makes them the cheapest players iron in the company’s 2014 lineup.

The main reason the X2 Hot Pro irons are $200 cheaper than Callaway’s other new players iron for 2014, the Apex Pro, is their construction. The X2 Hot irons are cast, a more cost-efficient way to make irons than the forging process used to make the Apex Pro irons. But just because an iron is cast doesn’t mean it can’t offer premium performance.

Screen Shot 2013-11-11 at 7.54.36 PM

The new irons lose the undercut cavity that was used on last year’s X Hot Pro irons, giving them a much more compact look. And like the Apex Pro irons, their soles are inspired by the popular soles on Callaway’s 2013 X Forged irons, giving the X2 Hot irons soles that are thicker in the center and thinner in the heel and toe to help better players improve their turf interaction.

callaway x2 hot pro

The X2 Hot Pro irons also have a stabilizing arch cast into their cavity, which helps give the irons more consistent ball speeds than last year’s model and also removes unwanted flexure of the irons’ toplines, contributing to irons’ better sound and feel.

Included also is Callaway’s CG Height progression, which moves weight lower in the long and mid irons for a higher launch and less spin, and higher in the short irons for a lower launch with more spin. The short irons also have less offset than the X Hot Pro short irons, giving them the cleaner look that many better players like to see from their short irons.

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The X2 Hot Pro irons will be available Jan. 17. They have the same 37 wide-spaced V grooves as Callaway’s Apex Pro irons, and come stock with True Temper’s Project X 95 shaft, available in 5.5 (regular) and 6.0 (stiff) flexes.

Screen Shot 2013-11-11 at 8.02.12 PM

Click here to see what GolfWRX Members are saying about the X2 Hot and X2 Hot Pro irons, as well as the rest of the company’s X2 Hot lineup.

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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.

34 Comments

34 Comments

  1. steve parlak

    Apr 26, 2015 at 12:56 am

    where can i get a calloway x 2 hot 3 iron

  2. Jimbob

    Jul 10, 2014 at 12:19 am

    Little tip…It does not, repeat does not matter what an iron “looks” like or how low the lofts are. What does matter is how it performs for your swing PERIOD. Get off your high horses and come on out to the course where a 44* X2 Hot Pro PW will go further, and straighter than your super awesome, non-cheap looking, shiny, forever wearing, most workable, forged PGA tour only blades.

  3. Jeff

    Apr 16, 2014 at 8:51 pm

    I tried X Hot irons with graphite last fall and they weren’t enough to change. This Spring I traded my Razr X irons with Uniflex steel for X2 Hot irons with graphite to help with aging elbows. They are super hot, feel great on impact and their control beats my old Raz X irons. That’s hard to do! Over 50 years I have played my brands including Ping, Mizuno, Taylormade and Hogan. These remind me of my Hogan Edge irons I loved. Great club Callaway!

  4. Iron2850

    Feb 25, 2014 at 6:22 pm

    I hit these irons yesterday at a PGA Tour superstore. I hit both X2 Hot and the X2 Hot Pro’s vs. last years X Hot…last years clubs were lighter feeling, due the deep undercut cavity…this years model seems heavier in the head, easier to feel. I know the lofts are much different than what we are used to, but I hit these clubs much higher and longer than my Titleist AP1 712’s. I was hitting the X2 Hot 7 iron 170 and 26 yards high vs. the AP1 6 iron at 160 and 7 iron at 150, 18 yards high. I hit the X2 Hot 6 iron 180, 25 yards high. I am a notoriously low ball hitter which is why I am looking at these. Was hitting regular flex shafts in each club. Color doesn’t bother me much. Whether I hit them consistently (height and distance) are the most important variables to me. I would like to hear from anyone who has played these outdoors. AT $699 they allow Callaway to provide solid clubs at a lower price point than the Apex line. Thanks.

  5. Pingback: Callaway Golf Razr Xf Pitching Wedge

  6. marko

    Nov 16, 2013 at 2:20 am

    I dont get it? Forged clubs with a cast face. and clevelands cast clubs with a forged face. What is the difference in performance?

  7. Andrew

    Nov 13, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    This does not seem like Callaway’s best effort… very surprised.

    • Keith

      Mar 12, 2014 at 6:45 am

      Andrew I dont know why you would say that? The irons have a distinct look of the old X16-X18 irons from the top. After hitting the Apex Pro irons which I bought, I could not gedt them airborne. A mate of mine – a pro suggested to go back to a more cavity back Iron with a softer shaft. Which I did, the X Hot 2 irons with a regular shaft. And all I can say it was the best thing I ever did. Ball flight is sensational and easier an extra club longer. These things are great to hit, very easy. I am not a wood duck (4 marker) but im getting older so this has help slow my golf swing down, get into better positions at impact and boom.

  8. Joe

    Nov 13, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    I have played Callaway for more than a decade. I cannot believe the looks of the new irons! I wasn’t crazy about the new Apex/Apex Pro…but the new Hot line is terrible looking. Callaway has made such great improvements through the last 4 or 5 years…I am afraid that they have really gone backwards.

    Players won’t play ugly clubs…no matter how they perform.

  9. jgpl001

    Nov 13, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    These look cheap and Callaway have taken ten steps backwards

    Callaway you are going out of business if you keep this up – REALLY

    • marko

      Nov 16, 2013 at 2:15 am

      I have no idea what you guys are looking at? These irons look good and will sell like crazy.It’s all about performance. If they work they start to look good.

    • Keith

      Mar 12, 2014 at 6:49 am

      I could not care if they looked like shovels. They perform! They are long and the flight is high – amazing flight. Easily the most friendly set of clubs I have hit. Put them down and look at them. They look like the old Callaway’s which I loved. Once you see the flight, you would not care if they were pink.

  10. Jamie

    Nov 13, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    I hit the apex iron at the golf show in London, I have a set of Diablo forged with ozik had program shafts, they do not compare to the Diablo forged. The apex is just another offering to the market along with the x2 so callaway now mass produce products like taylormade, but if you hit the apex iron and have the chance to compar it to the legacy black, it’s night and day!!!
    The legacy black is a rolls Royce to the apex, x hot, x hot pro,
    Guess that’s why henrik stenson gamed them on route to the fed ex cup ,
    The apex and the x2 hot are just tweaked versions of the previous.

  11. Hiball

    Nov 13, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    Like every other club manufacturer, they tweak a iron from 6 months ago and everyone jumps on it. Think about it. Every driver is 5-10 yds longer than the previous model. Realty. I should be driving the ball 420. And the longer strong lofted irons? What a joke. You have such a huge gap from the pw to lw? But consumers buy into it. “I’m hitting my 6 iron 215” really? With a 4-5 length and loft. You all are suckers. And the manufactures thank you every year. What a joke.

    • KK

      Nov 13, 2013 at 11:39 pm

      So what irons do you play?? Wilson blades, Lynx Black Cats, Spalding, do your irons have wooden shafts? If by your theory, none of the latest iron offerings are improvements over their predecessors, no one should ever buy a new set of irons. If manufacturers never came out with new products, there wouldn’t be any reason for consumers to buy anything new. If all consumers thought like you, they wouldn’t ever buy anything new no matter how many different models manufacturers made. So who is right, you or the manufacturers?

  12. Ryan

    Nov 12, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    Nothing says “players iron” like a 45 degree pitching wedge.

  13. Santiago

    Nov 12, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    The problem with Callaway is Quality, I get why they are more profitable on their iron business, because they are cheap made. I bought the X Hot Pro and I can’t complain about their playability, they work great for me. But, i have owned them for 5 months and they wear so much, they already look worse than my 9 year old Taylormade RAC LT2 (My previous set) that I used a million times. The X-Hot Pro look like I have been hitting rocks every day since I got them. I clean my clubs after every round and I care about the way they look.
    I contacted them through Twitter and their answer was that this is perfectly normal. This is the first time I tried a Calaway product and for sure will be the last one, I will never waste my hard earned money on their cheap made products and their customer careless company.

    Some pics:
    2013 Callaway X-Hot Pro http://pic.twitter.com/rnkVFECQWQ
    2004 Taylormade RAC LT2 http://pic.twitter.com/5MdJSWpciM

    • Joe

      Nov 13, 2013 at 10:21 pm

      You’re probably a little misguided…basing everything on one experience. I have owned Callaways for years, and overall, have been very pleased, both with the high quality components and also design. I also own Titleist and TM stuff, and think they are all basically the same as far as quality.

    • Joe

      Nov 13, 2013 at 10:25 pm

      Also, I have RazrX forged that are 2 years old that don’t look nearly as aged as your XHots… I do understand your aggravation though.

    • james

      May 19, 2014 at 1:54 pm

      I have the exact same issue with Callaway XHot Pros series irons with one additional issue. The sole of my PW has cracked after only 6 months of play. No abuse, just golf. I’m 64 years old so I don’t slam my clubs into the ground, I don’t hit rocks etc. So, after very minimal use the PW has cracked and the clubs look 10 years old. I like the performance of the clubs but very poor quality club head material.

  14. Shawn

    Nov 12, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    My personal opinion is they hit it out of the park with the Apex line. I don’t see the reason for them to bring a competing club like the Xhot Pro to market? OEM needs to be careful with the iron lines and having to many products on the market.

    • Oldplayer

      Nov 13, 2013 at 2:34 pm

      Very different price point I imagine.

      • Shawn

        Nov 13, 2013 at 5:09 pm

        They said $200 dollar difference. I don’t think that substantial enough to buy a cast club over a forged product.

    • Keith

      Mar 12, 2014 at 6:53 am

      Shawn I hit both sets. The Apex and the X Hot 2 irons are completely different in feel. My honest opinion, the X Hot is better and a lot cheaper.

  15. Jon W

    Nov 12, 2013 at 11:57 am

    Copied Pings “Chevron”?

  16. Rich

    Nov 12, 2013 at 10:12 am

    Looks like the Wilson Staff M3 irons. Rather have the M3.

  17. B

    Nov 12, 2013 at 7:54 am

    Are Lefty’s going to miss out on the A Wedge again this Year!!!

  18. Jack

    Nov 12, 2013 at 2:19 am

    Interesting that they are not doing the cut cavity. Yet they are able to keep it just as forgiving.

  19. Paul

    Nov 12, 2013 at 1:17 am

    Pros look great, i sold my razr x tours and grabbed some titlesit CBs. Maybe should have waited for these…? Probably not.

  20. EM

    Nov 12, 2013 at 1:15 am

    X2Hot from the top line reminds me of Callaway clubs of old, like the X-series irons (12, 14, 16, etc) starting from more than a decade ago. Which is a good thing, as it will remind a lot of people of what they were using back in the day and bring them back to these clubs.

    The X2Hot Pros look awesome! They look really solid.

    • Keith

      Mar 12, 2014 at 6:55 am

      I Have a set, and could not agree with you more. Look like the X 16 but with longer and better flight. They are on a winner

  21. Soul

    Nov 12, 2013 at 1:11 am

    whoa the xhot pros are literally a club stronger than most players irons. I’m surprised they would do this with the xhot pros They sure look nice!!

    • Tyler

      Nov 12, 2013 at 11:18 am

      I think cuz they lowered the cg s much. Crazy though, 24 degree 5 iron.

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pga tour

K.J. Choi WITB 2018

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Equipment is accurate as of the 2018 Valero Texas Open (4/18/2018).

Driver: Ping G400 Max (9 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI-6x

Driver: Ping G400 Max (9 degrees)
Shaft: Ozik Matrix MFS M5 60X

3 Wood: Ping G400 (14.5 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI-7x

5 Wood: Ping G400 (17.5 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI-8x

Hybrid: Ping G400 (22 degrees)
Shaft: Atlus Tour H8

Irons: Ping G400 (4-PW)
Shaft: Nippon N.S. Pro Modus 3 Tour 120X

Wedges: Ping Glide 2.0 (50-12SS, 54-12SS, 58-10)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Ping Sigma G Wolverine T
Grip: Ping Pistol

Putter: Ping PLF ZB3
Grip: Super Stroke KJ

Putter: Ping Sigma Vault Anser 2
Grip: Ping Pistol

WITB Notes: We spotted Choi testing a number of clubs at the Valero Texas Open. We will update this post when we have his 14-club setup confirmed. 

Related:

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about Choi’s clubs. 

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Accessory Reviews

I tried the great Golfboarding experiment… here’s how it went

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Corica Park Golf Course is not exactly the first place you’d expect to find one of the most experimental sports movements sweeping the nation. Sitting on a pristine swath of land along the southern rim of Alameda Island, deep in the heart of the San Francisco Bay, the course’s municipal roots and no-frills clubhouse give it an unpretentious air that seems to fit better with Sam Snead’s style of play than, say, Rickie Fowler’s.

Yet here I am, one perfectly sunny morning on a recent Saturday in December planning to try something that is about as unconventional as it gets for a 90-year-old golf course.

It’s called Golfboarding, and it’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like: an amalgam of golf and skateboarding, or maybe surfing. The brainchild of surfing legend Laird Hamilton — who can be assumed to have mastered, and has clearly grown bored of, all normal sports — Golfboarding is catching on at courses throughout the country, from local municipal courses like Corica Park to luxury country clubs like Cog Hill and TPC Las Colinas. Since winning Innovation Of the Year at the PGA Merchandising Show in 2014, Golfboards can now be found at 250 courses and have powered nearly a million rounds of golf already. Corica Park currently owns eight of them.

The man in pro shop gets a twinkle in his eyes when our foursome tells him we’d like to take them out. “Have you ridden them before?” he asks. When we admit that we are uninitiated, he grins and tells us we’re in for a treat.

But first, we need to sign a waiver and watch a seven-minute instructional video. A slow, lawyerly voice reads off pedantic warnings like “Stepping on the golfboard should be done slowly and carefully” and “Always hold onto the handlebars when the board is in motion.” When it cautions us to “operate the board a safe distance from all…other golfboarders,” we exchange glances, knowing that one of us will more than likely break this rule later on.

Then we venture outside, where one of the clubhouse attendants shows us the ropes. The controls are pretty simple. One switch sends it forward or in reverse, another toggles between low and high gear. To make it go, there’s a throttle on the thumb of the handle. The attendant explains that the only thing we have to worry about is our clubs banging against our knuckles.

“Don’t be afraid to really lean into the turns,” he offers. “You pretty much can’t roll it over.”

“That sounds like a challenge,” I joke. No one laughs.

On a test spin through the parking lot, the Golfboard feels strong and sturdy, even when I shift around on it. It starts and stops smoothly with only the slightest of jerks. In low gear its top speed is about 5 mph, so even at full throttle it never feels out of control.

The only challenge, as far as I can tell, is getting it to turn. For some reason, I’d expected the handlebar to offer at least some degree of steering, but it is purely for balance. The thing has the Ackerman angle of a Mack Truck, and you really do have to lean into the turns to get it to respond. For someone who is not particularly adept at either surfing or skateboarding, this comes a little unnaturally. I have to do a number of three-point turns in order to get back to where I started and make my way over to the first tee box.

We tee off and climb on. The fairway is flat and wide, and we shift into high gear as we speed off toward our balls. The engine had produced just the faintest of whirrs as it accelerated, but it is practically soundless as the board rolls along at full speed. The motor nevertheless feels surprisingly powerful under my feet (the drivetrain is literally located directly underneath the deck) as the board maintains a smooth, steady pace of 10 mph — about the same as a golf cart. I try making a couple of S curves like I’d seen in the video and realize that high-speed turning will take a little practice for me to get right, but that it doesn’t seem overly difficult.

Indeed, within a few holes I might as well be Laird himself, “surfing the earth” from shot to shot. I am able to hold the handlebar and lean way out, getting the board to turn, if not quite sharply, then at least closer to that of a large moving van than a full-sized semi. I take the hills aggressively (although the automatic speed control on the drivetrain enables it to keep a steady pace both up and down any hills, so this isn’t exactly dangerous), and I speed throughout the course like Mario Andretti on the freeway (the company claims increased pace-of-play as one of the Golfboard’s primary benefits, but on a Saturday in the Bay Area, it is impossible avoid a five-hour round anyway.)

Gliding along, my feet a few inches above the grass, the wind in my face as the fairways unfurl below my feet, it is easy to see Golfboards as the next evolution in mankind’s mastery of wheels; the same instincts to overcome inertia that brought us bicycles, rollerblades, scooters, skateboards, and more recent inventions such as Segways, Hoverboards and Onewheels are clearly manifest in Golfboards as well. They might not offer quite the same thrill as storming down a snowy mountainside or catching a giant wave, but they are definitely more fun than your standard golf cart.

Yet, there are obvious downsides as well. The attendant’s warning notwithstanding, my knuckles are in fact battered and sore by the time we make the turn, and even though I rearrange all my clubs into the front slots of my bag, they still rap my knuckles every time I hit a bump. Speaking of which, the board’s shock absorber system leaves something to be desired, as the ride is so bumpy that near the end I start to feel as if I’ve had my insides rattled. Then there is the unforgivable fact of its missing a cup holder for my beer.

But these are mere design flaws that might easily be fixed in the next generation of Golfboards. (A knuckle shield is a must!) My larger problem with Golfboards is what they do to the game itself. When walking or riding a traditional cart, the moments in between shots are a time to plan your next shot, or to chat about your last shot, or to simply find your zen out there among the trees and the birds and the spaciousness of the course. Instead, my focus is on staying upright.

Down the stretch, I start to fade. The muscles in my core have endured a pretty serious workout, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to muster the strength for my golf swing. It is no coincidence that my game starts to unravel, and I am on the way to one of my worst rounds in recent memory.

Walking off the 18th green, our foursome agrees that the Golfboards were fun — definitely worth trying — but that we probably wouldn’t ride them again. Call me a purist, but as someone lacking Laird Hamilton’s physical gifts, I’m happy to stick to just one sport at a time.

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Equipment

Titleist AVX golf balls passed the test, are now available across the United States

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Titleist’s AVX golf balls first came to retail as an experiment in three markets — Arizona, California and Florida — from October 2017 to January 2018. AVX (which stands for “Alternative to the V and X”) are three-piece golf balls made with urethane covers, and they’re made with a softer feel for more distance than the Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls.

After proving their worth to consumers, Titleist’s AVX golf balls are now available across the U.S. as of April 23, and they will sell for 47.99 per dozen (the same as Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls) in both white and optic yellow.

According to Michael Mahoney, the Vice President of Golf Ball Marketing for Titleist, the AVX is a member of the Pro V1 family. Here’s a basic understanding of the lineup:

  • AVX: Softest, lowest trajectory, lowest spinning, less greenside spin and longest
  • Pro V1x: Firmer than the Pro V1, highest spinning and highest trajectory
  • Pro V1: Sits between the V1x and the AVX in terms of feel, spin and trajectory, and will appeal to most golfers

Different from the Pro V1 or Pro V1x, the AVX golf balls have a new GRN41 thermoset cast urethane cover to help the golf balls achieve the softer feel. Also, they have high speed, low compression cores, a new high-flex casing layer, and a new dimple design/pattern.

For in-depth tech info on the new AVX golf balls, how they performed in the test markets, and who should play the AVX golf balls, listen to our podcast below with Michael Mahoney, or click here to listen on iTunes.

See what GolfWRX Members are saying about the AVX golf balls

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