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Callaway upgrades a classic, introduces Steelhead XR fairway woods

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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.

CallawaySteelheadStory

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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30 Comments

30 Comments

  1. Hap

    Jun 23, 2017 at 10:12 am

    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. Mr Poopoo

    Jun 21, 2017 at 7:34 pm

    I like that they are using the classic groove pattern.

  3. Me

    Jun 21, 2017 at 8:46 am

    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

    • Americans Ruin Everything by Talking

      Jun 21, 2017 at 10:56 am

      You just compared cars to golf clubs lol

      • Ude

        Jun 21, 2017 at 12:23 pm

        love affair with cars and golf clubs same sxual thing

  4. Was

    Jun 21, 2017 at 2:31 am

    Nope

  5. Minnesota golfer

    Jun 20, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    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.

    • Minnesota golfer

      Jun 20, 2017 at 5:15 pm

      Oops… it’s not hybrid. Never mind.

  6. Was

    Jun 20, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    Why are they releasing the woods separate from the irons and not at the same time? Makes no sense

  7. Howard

    Jun 20, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    The Steelhead III 3 Wood nostalgia is flowing through me right now.

    • Ude

      Jun 21, 2017 at 12:21 pm

      release yer pent up nostalgia juices flowing through you right now abuse yerself

  8. Chris

    Jun 20, 2017 at 10:58 am

    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.

    • TR1PTIK

      Jun 20, 2017 at 12:46 pm

      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?

  9. Csmit82

    Jun 20, 2017 at 10:57 am

    Can’t wait for the release of the Epic Apex Steelhead XR hybrids and woods in 3 months.

    • JimmySmits

      Jun 20, 2017 at 4:51 pm

      I’m gonna hold out for the Epic Apex Steelhead XR BigBertha CF16 SubZero Fusion GreatBigBertha woods.

      • Robert Parsons

        Jun 21, 2017 at 12:14 pm

        The pro version of that will be even better.

  10. Ude

    Jun 20, 2017 at 9:47 am

    I want those beauties in my bag fast.

    • Tom1

      Jun 20, 2017 at 11:54 am

      I loved the original, I’m sure these are good if not better.

      • Ude

        Jun 20, 2017 at 1:51 pm

        new is fresh, old is stale. i want new new new

  11. AceW7Iron

    Jun 20, 2017 at 9:26 am

    Got the Epic driver last month….Real deal

    Like the look of the Steelhead line so maybe upgrade to them from my XR’s in 2018.

    • Ude

      Jun 21, 2017 at 12:15 pm

      you are one wicked gearhead golf hound — arf

  12. Dat

    Jun 20, 2017 at 9:01 am

    Another release? Callaway seems determined to go the way of Taylormade.

    • Timmy

      Jun 20, 2017 at 4:54 pm

      Callaway is Taylormade………Taylormade is Callaway. These companies are the same. Have been for a very long time.

  13. Johnnythunders

    Jun 20, 2017 at 8:22 am

    The faster they launch products, the faster the last generation gets reduced in price. Since performc is
    Pretty much the same we win.

  14. rebfan73

    Jun 20, 2017 at 7:29 am

    Like ’em………but Callaway is turning into the new TaylorMade with constant product launches.

    • Beefhouse

      Jun 21, 2017 at 4:35 am

      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.

      • Dave2017

        Jun 21, 2017 at 8:21 am

        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.

        • Ude

          Jun 21, 2017 at 12:18 pm

          new clubs, new BMWs and Rolexes = status bling = sxual impotence

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Whats in the Bag

Rory McIlroy WITB (2020 ZOZO Championship)

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Driver: TaylorMade SIM (10.5 @8 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Black 6X (45.5 inches, 59.25 lie, D4)

rory-mcilroy-witb-2020

3-wood: TaylorMade SIM Titanium (15 @13.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 80 TX (43.25 inches, 58 lie, D4)

5-wood: TaylorMade SIM Max (19 @ 18.25 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 90 TX

Irons: TaylorMade P7MB (3-PW)
Shaft: Project X Rifle 7.0 (6.5 in PW) 

Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 (54-10SB, 60-08LB)
Shaft: Project X Rifle 6.5

rory-mcilroy-witb-2020

Putter: TaylorMade Spider X Copper (34.25, 2.5 loft, 70 lie)

Ball: 2019 TaylorMade TP5 (#22)

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord (58R 1+1, logo down)

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GolfWRX Spotted: 2021 Mizuno ST-Z and ST-X drivers on USGA Conforming List

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When it comes to drivers, Mizuno isn’t usually the company that comes to the top of mind for many golfers, but starting with the ST-190, and then the ST-200 series in 2020, they have quickly changed the perception of their metal woods thanks to wins on tour and more players choosing to put them in play—most recently Brandt Snedeker as a non-contracted player.

This morning, with the update of the USGA and R&A conforming equipment lists, we are getting a sneak peek at what Mizuno will have in store for 2021 with the release of the ST-Z and ST-X drivers.

What we know

Based on the information provided in the USGA submission by Mizuno, the ST-X will only be available in right-handed (10.5 and 12-degree lofts), while the ST-Z will be available in both right (9.5  and 10.5 degrees) and left-handed (9.5 degrees only).

ST-Z

Based on the images from the USGA list and our experience with the Mizuno product line, it appears that the ST-Z is the next step in the evolution of the standard ST200 with no adjustable CG but with a customizable weight in the back of the head.

We haven’t seen any images of a moveable weight driver in this new ST series, so it could be that the G-woods are getting phased out in favor of more internally biased weighting, but since those types of drivers often take a bit more time to get just right, it could be a matter of time before a “G” type driver hits the list.

As for technology, it has Mizuno’s standard wave to create flexibility behind the face, an adjustable hosel, and based on the images, more carbon fiber used around the head compared to previous generations, especially on the sole. I would also expect to hear a new face material or design story to complete the package and to boost MOI and ball speed.

ST-X

Based on the image from the USGA list and our experience, it appears that the ST-X is the next step in the evolution of the ST200-X driver, which is the lighter weight, more upright, and draw-biased driver from Mizuno. Don’t think draw bias always means it’s for higher handicaps either, because Mizuno staff player Chris Kirk got along very nicely with his out on the Korn Ferry and PGA Tours in 2020, including a win.

The tell-tale sign is the more heel biased weight in the back of the driver and what looks to be some sort of textured area to create “visible technology” towards the heel of the clubhead.

Beyond being draw-biased, when it comes to technology, it shares a lot of similarities to the ST-Z with Mizuno’s standing wave to create flexibility behind the face, an adjustable hosel, and more carbon fiber used around the head compared to previous generations, especially on the sole, and in the case of the ST-X, on the sole.

We don’t have any information on the release of these new drivers, but considering Mizuno didn’t adjust product release schedules in 2020, I would imagine it will be doing the same in 2021, and we can expect to hear more about these ST drivers either late 2020 or early into 2021.

To see what other golfers are saying about the newly spotted Mizuno ST-Z and ST-X drivers, check out the GolfWRX forums and join the discussion: GolfWRX – New Mizuno drivers spotted on USGA Conforming List

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Equipment

5 hybrid vs 5 iron – GolfWRXers discuss

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In our forums, our members have been discussing the logic behind removing their 5 iron from their bag. WRXer ‘rwl’ asks whether any fellow members have experiences doing so, and WRXers have been sharing their thoughts and experiences in our forum.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • RobertL.: “I replaced my 5 iron with a 5 hybrid. I find it far easier to hit than my 5 iron. I also took my 6 iron out of the bag, so now my longest iron is a 7. I now carry a 3, 4, and 5 hybrid since they’re so much easier to hit than long irons. Makes a big difference for this senior golfer.”
  • JohnKHawk: “For last 2 seasons I’ve played with a Cobra F9 5 hybrid. It’s 24 degrees & gaps perfectly between Cobra OS 3-4 hybrid at 20.5 degrees & Apex19 6 iron which is 26.5 degrees. The 5 iron was just getting to be to undependable. Misses with the 5 hybrid were more playable than the 5 iron. Use what works best for your game.”
  • Abe21599: “Never a bad idea to have both a 5i and 5h options in the trunk, just gotta watch lofts.”
  • nitram: “I know it sounds so “old man” but if you want to make a change in your 5-iron slot and can’t seem to get along with a hybrid, give the 9-wood a try. You may be pleasantly surprised.”

Entire Thread: “5 hybrid vs 5 iron”

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