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.
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.”
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.
GolfWRX Spotlight: Nikon Coolshot 20 GII and 20i GII
Every golfer should have an accurate, reliable, easy-to-use rangefinder. With the new Nikon Coolshot 20 GII and 20i GII, you get all of that and more in one of the smallest, lightest packages on the market.
Not only do you get a ton of features, but when you consider these devices start at only $199.99 for the 20 G II and then $229.99 for the 20i GII, you get one of the best values in a rangefinder from one of the most well-known consumer optics companies in the world.
Review: Nikon CoolShot 20 GII and 20i GII
First Target Priority and 8-Second Continuous Measurement: “First Target Priority” is Nikon’s way of making sure you are picking up the flag and not a tree behind your intended target. There is nothing worse than thinking you have your distance dialed in to then have a shot fly over the green. With how quickly it lets you know the ranger finder is locked, getting that distance and double-checking can happen remarkably fast.
In the eight-second continuous measurement setting, the rangefinder will continuously measure the field of view as you scan the target area for approximately eight seconds. This setting is great when playing unfamiliar courses or trying to figure out the exact spot to a dogleg, tree, or hazard on your intended line.
Bright, 6x Monocular: Nikon is known for its glass and multi-coating technology, from telephoto camera lenses to rifle scopes, if it’s Nikon glass, it’s going to be clear, fog-resistant, and high-contrast for easy viewing. From a viewing experience perspective, the Coolshot 20 GII’s 6x monocular has an adjustable diopter for sharp focusing, along with long eye relief—meaning you can keep your glasses (or sunglasses) on when acquiring your target.
The Nikon Coolshot 20 GII’s size and weight make it ideal for anyone who regularly carries and wants the benefit of knowing distances but without having to worry about weight—it weighs about the same as a sleeve of balls.
The size allows you to hold the units stable. However, I could see for those new to the rangefinder space, it could take some time getting used to when first getting acquainted with it. The best bet for this is to take it to a range or just step outside with it on your next walk and get used to hitting targets before you take it to the course—plus it makes for a fun game to see how good you really are at estimating distances.
Overall, for the price and size, it is one of the best rangefinders on the market. Plus, with a five-year warranty, you can be assured of years of use with the Nikon CoolShot 20 GII rangefinders.
Mark Leishman’s winning WITB: 2020 Farmers Insurance Open
Driver: Callaway Mavrik (9 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Speeder 757 Evolution IV TX (45 inches, tipped 1 inch, D2 swingweight)
3-wood: Callaway Epic Flash Sub Zero (16.5 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Atmos Black Tour Spec 9 X
5-wood: Callaway Rogue Sub Zero (18 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Motore Speeder VC Tour Spec 9.2 X
Irons: Callaway X-Forged UT (3), Callaway Apex Pro 19 (4-6), Callaway Apex MB (7-PW)
Shafts: Nippon N.S. Pro Modus 3 Tour 130 X (hard-stepped)
Wedges: Callaway Jaws MD5 Raw (54.10S @54.75, 60.08T @ 59.75 degrees)
Shafts: Nippon N.S. Pro Modus 3 Tour 130 X
Putter: Odyssey Versa #6 (Black/White/Black)
Ball: Callaway Chrome Soft X
Grips: Golf Pride MCC
- More photos of Marc Leishman’s WITB in the forums.
- Marc Leishman WITB 2018
- Marc Leishman WITB 2017
- Marc Leishman WITB 2016
- Marc Leishman WITB 2015
- Marc Leishman WITB 2014
Lucas Herbert’s winning WITB: 2020 Omega Dubai Desert Classic
Driver: TaylorMade SIM (9 degrees set at 8.75)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana DF 70TX
3-wood: TaylorMade SIM (15 degrees set at 15.5)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana DF 80TX
5-wood: TaylorMade M6 (19 degrees set at 19.5)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 90 TX
Irons: TaylorMade P7TW (4-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100
Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 (50.09, 54.11, 60.10)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 Black (50), KBS Hi-Rev 135X Black (54, 60)
Putter: TaylorMade Spider X Midnite
Ball: TaylorMade TP5
Grips: Gripmaster Roo
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