Pros: Like last year’s X Hot, the X2 Hot drivers come in two different options, a Pro version with a slightly smaller head, lower launch and spin, and a standard version with more forgiveness and an easier launch. New Hyper Speed Face produces a 10 percent larger sweet spot for more forgiveness.

Cons: The Pro version has a beautifully clean crown, but some players might wish they had kept a simple chevron alignment mark. No moveable weights.

Bottom line: Both drivers are impressive pieces of equipment, delivering higher ball speeds and more distance from almost every part of the new Hyper Speed face. The X2 Hot Pro is designed for the better player and creates lower-launching, more-penetrating flight while still offering decent forgiveness on mishits. The X2 Hot driver, with a slightly larger, more-forgiving face and higher-launching ball flight, is a total performance driver that can really fit in the bag of any player.


To say last year’s X Hot line of drivers was successful for Callaway would be an understatement. Tour pros had them in their bags and amateur players were hitting the ball farther than ever before with them. The X2 Hot drivers have some big shoes to fill and they are filling them very well. True to recent form, Callaway is offering golfers two different versions to chose from — a 440cc Pro version for better players and a 460cc version designed for virtually every golfer. Callaway also redesigned the look of the heads this year and both drivers have a much more traditional looking pear-shaped head design. The X2 Hot Pro driver is designed for the better player looking for a penetrating ball flight and a more neutral bias allowing for greater workability. The X2 Hot driver on the other hand, with a larger face, larger sweet spot and progressive draw bias is designed for any golfer looking to launch the ball in the air and maximize distance.


Both drivers have Callaway’s Advanced OptiFit hosel, first available on last year’s FT Optiforce drivers, allowing golfers to optimize their launch conditions by adjusting the loft and lie independently. The loft of each driver can be adjusted up 2 degrees or down 1 degree. You can also set the drivers to neutral or draw, which makes the lie angle more upright and encourages a more leftward starting trajectory (for right-handed golfers). Changing the driver’s loft will change the face angle slightly, but most golfers will not notice a difference at address.

The X2 Hot driver is available in three different lofts: 9, 10.5 and 13.5 degrees, and comes stock with a 46-inch Aldila Tour Blue 55 shaft in light, regular and stiff flexes. Just like the 2013 X Hot models, these drivers have “Progressive Draw Bias,” which means that higher-lofted models have more draw bias than lower-lofted models. The head weight will be about 194 grams, while the total weight will be about 303 grams. The stock swing weight is D3.

The X2 Hot Pro driver is available in only one loft, 8.5 degrees, but it can still be adjusted up 2 degrees or down 1 degree with the Optifit advanced hosel. It comes stock with a 45.5-inch aftermarket version of Aldila’s Tour Green 65 shaft in regular, stiff and x-stiff flexes. The Pro driver also contains a removable 7-gram weight screw in the back of the club, which gives it a stock swing weight of D3. Different weight screws can be ordered through Callaway’s custom department to make the swing weight heavier or lighter. Both drivers will be available in stores Jan. 17 and sell for $349.


When I picked up last year’s FT Optiforce, I instantly fell in love with the 440cc version and it has been performing very well for me ever since. But when I pulled the headcover off the new X2 Hot drivers, I was impressed and really wanted these clubs to deliver. I tested the X2 Hot and X2 Hot Pro drivers over multiple sessions both on the course during rounds and on a Flightscope launch monitor on the driving range. My goal was to simply see if the ball flight and performance matched Callaway’s claims.


My first shot with the X2 Hot driver was pounded and set a good tone. The shot was right off the center of the face with a great launch angle, carry time and overall distance. It felt really solid off the face with a good sound. Each shot had a solid draw ball flight, even into a left-to-right wind, and it was clear there is a decent amount of draw bias in this club.

Because I’m playing the FT Optiforce 440cc version, I was really interested to see how the 440cc X2 Hot Pro driver would perform for me. My first three shots on the driving range were noticeably more penetrating than the X2 Hot, but also had a slightly firmer feel at impact. The flight of each shot was more straight to a slight cut, which is what I play normally. I could tell the spin numbers were going to be lower with the X2 Hot Pro and the overall distance would likely be slightly more than the X2 Hot.


Over the course of four rounds, I alternated between each of the two drivers, playing with only one driver during any given round. As expected, my launch conditions with the X2 Hot Pro were slightly better, generating more overall distance. However, my mishits were more penalizing and I wasn’t hitting as many fairways. The X2 Hot driver performed very well for me in general, even though I wasn’t getting as much distance, I also was hitting slightly more fairways.

The next step was to get on a launch monitor and see if these clubs really live up to their marketing claims and confirm what I was seeing in my testing.

Performance: Standard X2 Hot Driver

To keep it simple and consistent with my testing of the other clubs in the X2 Hot line, I tested the drivers during an hour-long session on Flightscope, with both drivers at 9.5 degrees of loft and in neutral lie setting. I rotated between both drivers and threw out mishits and outliers from the data presented below. I tested shots hit off the sweet spot, heel and toe, as well as high and low.


The X2 Hot Pro driver (bottom photo) has a taller face than the X2 Hot driver, giving it a more robust appearance at address. 

When compared to the X2 Hot Pro, the X2 Hot driver has more draw bias to minimize the slice tendency of average golfers and is designed to help golfers launch the ball higher. On average, when compared to the X2 Hot Pro, the standard driver generated 2 mph more ball speed, 2 more yards of carry and 3 more yards of total distance. The launch angle, surprisingly, was not much higher than the X2 Hot Pro and only generated 200 more rpm of spin on average. Almost every shot with the X2 Hot driver produced a draw flight and 250 rpm more spin than the X2 Hot Pro.

Callaway looked at data from its performance bays on where most golfers impact the face and what it found is that golfers with a greater than 10 handicap miss the sweet spot 65 percent of the time. Callaway focused on a new pattern for face thickness designed to create a larger sweet spot to cover more of the area golfers actually hit. It worked in both drivers, but even more so in the X2 Hot. The X2 Hot driver is very forgiving and it is more difficult to hit wildly offline. Shots impacted off the heel only drop, on average, 1 mph of ball speed. Shots off the toe resulted in a loss of 2 to 3 mph of ball speed during testing.

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Performance: X2 Hot Pro Driver

The X2 Hot Pro driver is aimed squarely at the better player looking for workability, lower spin and a penetrating ball flight. The X2 Hot Pro has a much more neutral bias than the X2 Hot and that was clear during testing. The Aldila Tour Green shaft, which became the No. 1 shaft on the PGA Tour in 2013, was paired with the X2 Hot Pro to optimize the launch conditions. It is a legit shaft, but some players will find it is too much to handle and requires a lot of extra work to generate good results. All the more reason to get properly fit for your driver.


On average, my shots with the X2 Hot Pro driver launched a half-degree lower with a peak height of 2 yards lower than the X2 Hot driver. To the naked eye, you could tell the trajectory was more penetrating overall and the numbers support that conclusion. My spin numbers were lower, the trajectory was lower and the club could be worked in any direction more easily. Mishits however, were more costly. While ball speed dropped only an extra 1 mph off the toe and heel than the X2 Hot driver, they ended up being farther offline. I felt my worst mishits with the Pro driver would be more penalizing than my worst mishits with the standard driver. In fact, my two worst mishits of the day came with the X2 Hot Pro driver. But my two longest drives of the day also were with the X2 Hot Pro driver.


My current gamer is the 440cc FT Optiforce, which became one of Callaway’s most popular drivers on tour late last year. I wasn’t expecting massive distance or forgiveness gains in such a short development cycle, but both X2 Hot drivers did slightly outperform the FT Optiforce. More importantly, both clubs produced results I expected based on Callaway’s claims.

Learn more from CallawayBuy Now on Amazon

Looks and Feel

X2 Hot brushed logo

Starting with the headcover and working all the way down to the sole, the design of both of these drivers is leaps and bounds ahead of last year’s X Hot drivers. The design is a mix of refinement and performance, kind of like looking at an Audi R18 e-tron quattro at Le Mans. The darker grey color looks much more premium and Callaway added extra touches like brushing its logo into the titanium. Both clubs have very clean, minimalistic crowns. The X2 Hot driver has a chevron alignment mark, while the Pro version is completely clean on the crown. Both clubs look great at address, but I especially like the look of the X2 Hot Pro. The smaller head is begging to be hit, and while the the face angle is slightly more open at address, it is virtually unnoticeable.


Just like the X2 Hot hybrids and fairway woods, the overall graphics package, from the darker, clean crowns to the Aldila shafts, really give these clubs a killer look.

The face of both drivers feels really nice at impact, especially the X2 Hot driver. It feels very springy off the sweet spot and offers good feedback on mishits. Many golfers will appreciate how easy the club “feels” to hit. I prefer the sound of the FT Optiforce to the sound of the X2 Hot; it doesn’t quite have the same powerful reverberation and instead is more crisp and muted. As expected, the smaller head of the X2 Hot Pro driver has an ever firmer feel in my opinion.


These two clubs have distinctively different feels at impact and since feel is subjective, it is another good reason to test both clubs before making a decision.

Bottom Line

Callaway had the unenviable task of releasing an upgrade to a wildly successful product and it did a great job. The look of the new X2 Hot drivers is hands-down more appealing and sexier than last year’s X Hot. The new Hyper Speed face is more forgiving, and the addition of the Optifit hosel and premium stock shafts offer all players a high level of adjustability and performance.

Unlike the X2 Hot Pro hybrids, which I would recommend only for the best of players, the X2 Hot Pro version should be enticing even for mid-handicap players. For the golfer looking for a total performance driver, the standard version should be at the top of the list of drivers to test.

Click here to read Kane’s review of the X2 Hot and X2 Hot Pro fairway woods, and click here to read his review of the X2 Hot and X2 Hot Pro hybrids.

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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


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  1. I have the X Hot Pro 9.5 degree with the project X PV shaft. I have enjoyed the club however I have found the shaft to light and it does not load well. Today at the course I had the intention to go on the launch minor to check numbers. The Pro was at the other corse they own so that was a no go. i instead took a new X2 Hot Pro with the Tour Green shaft to the range. I set the loft neutral and the face open. All I can say is wow. Without a monitor I could tell this set up layed waste to my existing X Hot Pro. The shaft loaded perfectly and I could feel where the clubhead was. Exact opposite of what I was getting. The shots flew and flew. At our range there is a slit rail fence at the end and typically my best will land about 20 yards short of the fence and roll up to it. With the new X2 Hot set up I had several that cleared the fence with most one hopping over. My accuracy pattern was much much tighter and had zero balloons. All in all a far superior club. Feel and performance much improved.
    My club was willing to sell it to me for $399 +tax….sorry but no. So when I get home I have the hunch to check the Cally site just because. To my surprise they have a special going on. I have a new driver on the way for $234.99! delivered!

  2. I don’t get the way drivers are compared these days. Surely the way to compare is to optimise both drivers for maximum distance and them compare them. It might require different setting for each driver but isn’t that’s a more fair comparison. Setting them at the same specs doesn’t mean you are getting the most out of either. They are built to perform differently so why wouldn’t you compare them set up to maximise distance for each?

  3. I have x hot and just purchased x2hot pro new model is way better deeper face =lower spin love the look & it is at least 20 metres longer than original x hot pro, atx shaft is an up grade but not a patch on the tour atx which I have in mine, club is a beast loving it.

  4. I compared all the new Callaway drivers on Trackman with a number of shafts. My SS is 103-105mph so not slow, but certainly not as fast as some. I found that the regular X2 Hot head with the Aldila Tour Green shaft was the best combo for me. I agree with the blue shaft it launched a little too high and spun a little much. I tried Alpha and regular Big Bertha as well. The ball speeds were highest with X2 Hot regular head consistently. Actually they were the highest I tested with all drivers. About the same as SLDR and higher ball speed than Adams XTD, but much, much more forgiving. And with the Green shaft the spin rates and launch angle were improved overall. Same launch angle as pro with about equal spin, but higher ball speeds AND more forgiveness. I would recommend this combo for anyone with 98+ mph ss. The green shaft really brings it to life. AND no upcharge for green shaft. It will be my gamer for the year for sure.

    • I also picked up an X2 Hot with the Tour Green X-Stiff shaft. My swing speed is 108-110 mph, and I have much more control then I have with previous drivers. Definitely 5 stars!

  5. Have to agree with these two comments and disagree with the review: X2 looks pretty bad compared to X-hot thanks to the weird colours that makes the head look unmanageably large on the non-pro model; moreover that shafts don’t seem as well connected as last year’s Project X through the swing and feel is not as pleasing in my view. I’m a hcp 8 and am gaming the Optiforce 440.

    • Disagree — having owned an XHot, the X2Hot has a good look at address. Large? Yes, but it is on a tee. The face feels like one large sweet zone, and the Tour Blue has a pleasant kick to it, although it seems a tad soft to flex.

  6. Having used the original X HOT from midway through last year and being extremely delighted with it, have to say how disappointed I was today at a demo.
    The new club looks slightly different but not enough to get excited about. I prefer the original only because the lighter coloured head is a good fit for me. Performance wise it beggars belief how these companies con the public with their ‘upgraded’ design that is hotter,longer better spin etc. I found the x2 was almost as good as the original CERTAINLY not any better. I feel that is down to the shaft. The original Project X shaft is excellent and a much better profile and fit for me.
    Sadly this is another example change for change sake.
    My advice is to buy last years better performing club for £99 than the £279 for this years non-upgrade.
    FYI I am 11 h/c with 92 SSR and used identical 10.5 reg clubs: performance observed both visually and via trackman.

  7. I haven’t tried it yet but one thing I disagree with you totally is that the look of this current model is no where near as nice as last years red/black/grey colorway. The orange that they used here is just…bleh…very unappealing.