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
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.
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.
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.
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.
X2 Hot Pro irons
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.
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.
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.
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.