Callaway is bringing back the Steelhead name that is already responsible for selling more than 2.3 million fairway woods; that includes the original Steelhead, Steelhead Plus and Steelhead III woods. As its most popular fairway wood line ever, the modern version of the clubs, which Callaway is calling the Steelhead XR, are packed with distance-enhancing technologies to go along with the classic shapes that Steelhead fans have come to adore.

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Related: Callway’s Steelhead XR irons and hybrids

Steelhead woods had a cult-like following since their initial release in 1998, and GolfWRX members say they had the fairway wood in the bag well over a decade later. The steelhead designs were defined by a Hawkeye Sole that was rounded for versatility, a compact pear shape, a deep face, a light crown and low center of gravity for high launch and low spin. Also, according to Evan Gibbs, the Director of R&D for Metalwoods at Callaway, the Steelhead 4+ fairway wood — which was geared toward better players who wanted a slightly lower ball flight with lower spin than the standard models — was the most iconic fairway wood in the company’s history because it ushered in the new low-spin, high-launch philosophy.

“It was one of the first clubs that got people comfortable with launching the ball high with very little spin,” said Evan Gibbs, Callaway’s Director of R&D for Metalwoods. “When people were using low-lofted drivers, [Steelhead 4+ fairway woods] went as far as drivers for some people.”

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While every equipment company has now embraced the low-spin, high-launch philosophy, the 2017 Steelhead XR fairway woods will be a welcome re-release for those who are nostalgic about the Steelhead shaping, and for those never played the woods, they may find versatility in the Hawkeye sole. Callaway also loaded the Steelhead XR fairway woods with its modern designs to help golfers produce more distance.

While the fairway woods will still have a club face made of steel for that familiar Steelhead-feel, the crowns are made from J-36 carbon to lower center of gravity and move it more forward; that will help it produce lower spin like the original designs. According to Callaway, the crowns weigh just 6 grams — that’s 20 grams lighter than Callaway’s XR crowns.

The Steelhead XR fairways will also have a Hyper Speed Face Cup that produces more ball speed across the face, and Speed Step technology, or the raised portions on the crown that was first introduced Callaway XR ’16 metalwoods, which improves aerodynamics to produce higher club head speeds.

The fairway woods are available in 3+ wood (13.5 degrees), 3-wood (15 degrees) , 4+wood (16 degrees), 5-wood (18 degrees), 7-wood (21 degrees), 9-wood (24 degrees) and the company’s “Heavenwood,” which will measure 20.5 degrees. They will be in stores July 14 and sell for $229.99. The stock shaft is Mitsubishi’s Tensei CK.

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the Steelhead XR woods

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31 COMMENTS

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  1. I love cheap trailing edge technology. it also lets you find out what is staying in players bags and whats not from the previous versions. I’m still playing Mizuno 800 pros which I got for a song. Upgraded to a Cally 815 with a Matrix Black Tie from Cally pre-owned this year for around $180 I think.

  2. All the bitterness towards TM with their product release cycles 5 years ago, well now Callaway, Cobra and to some extent Ping are releasing product at quicker intervals than Taylormade ever did. Cobra is the worse, every 6-nine months- now being forced to give away free fairwaywoods to sell last March’s release.

    My local retail golf shop has a ton of 1-2 year old Callaway that is collecting dust …Interesting also is the amount of Callaway Epic drivers on their trade in rack.

    The automobile industry got caught up in this mess decades ago, constantly manufacturing and re-badging old as new

  3. The old model Steelheads had bore-thru shafts… but not for the new models.

    I have a set of 3- 4- 5- 7-fairways with bore-thru steel shafts and it makes a difference in control.

    Cally Steelhead SNAFU ?!!

  4. Anyone know if this is a replacement of the XR Hybrid which was first released in 2014? I am an all-Callaway-in-the-bag person but have found it harder to keep up with constant new releases.

  5. You guys have to remember that the XR ’16 product cycle is coming to an end and this is what is going to take its place. It may be weird for a mid-season launch but better now when people can use the clubs rather than at the end of the season.

    • It’s also important to remember that these are part of a completely different line than Epic. I think people want to see release cycles like that of Titleist or Ping, but it’s honestly a smart move by Callaway IMO. Spreading the release of each line across the calendar year keeps Callaway in the news. Months ago it was the Epic drivers, weeks ago it was the Epic hybrids and iron. Now, it’s the XR fairway woods, and in a few weeks/months time I’m sure we’ll see something else. If you look at Callaway’s product portfolio, you’ll realize they aren’t much different than Titleist. The only real difference is how they release products. For that matter though, Titleist staggers their woods, irons, and golf balls for what I’m sure is the same reason. How relevant would a company be if they released all of their product updates once every 2 years?

    • Not turning, turned. Pro shops are flooded with Callaway stuff. They’ll struggle to shift the models from 6 months ago. Supply and demand is key. Not sure the demand will keep up with the supply.

      • If only the older models were reduced. Not in the NY Metro region. they still want high prices for stuff released almost 2 years ago. If they were to blow out the old stuff when new stuff comes in, I would be very happy. The places here are greedy and the golfers have to show off their new clubs along with their new BMWs and Rolexes.

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