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Member Reviews: Callaway Steelhead XR Fairway Woods

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One of the many benefits of being a GolfWRX Forum Member is exclusive access to Giveaways and Testing Threads. In this Testing Thread, we selected six members to test a Callaway Steelhead XR fairway wood built to their specs.

CallawaySteelheadXRwoods-1021x580

The Steelhead XR has a club face made of steel for that familiar Steelhead feel. The crowns are made from J-36 carbon fiber to lower center of gravity and move it more forward; that will help it produce lower spin like the original designs that sold 2.3 million units. According to Callaway, the crowns weigh just 6 grams — that’s 20 grams lighter than Callaway’s XR ’16 fairway wood crowns.

Full Tech Story: Callaway upgrades a classic, introduces Steelhead XR fairway woods

The Steelhead XR fairways 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 were first introduced in Callaway XR ’16 metalwoods. They improve aerodynamics to help golfers produce higher swing speeds.

Each member completed a detailed analysis and rating of the club. You can see the full reviews here. Below, we pull quotes from the reviews to give you a feel for what this choice group of WRXers had to say. The responses have been minimally edited for brevity and style. Thanks to all of those involved in the testing!

lutomrSC

  • Club Tested: Callaway Steelhead XR (13.5 degrees)
  • Shaft Tested: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Blue 65X

“I like almost everything about how this club looks. The color combination of the dark blue against the steel face gives a nice contract. I really like how the carbon fiber looks under the blue paint.”

“At times the ball appeared to have a little too much spin and would tend to climb to a height that would be above my current gamer off the tee. It would tend to go further because of the stronger loft, however, usually about 5-7 yards. Perhaps a different shaft could help the spin, but it would need testing. The Mitsubishi Tensei CK Blue 65 Graphite X-flex is a great stock option. It has a good feel and a weight that I prefer, and I think it can keep up with higher swing speeds without issue.”

SDickenson642

  • Club Tested: Callaway Steelhead XR 4+ (16 degrees)
  • Shaft Tested: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Blue 65X

“The appearance of the Steelhead is amazing. The shape is perfect for my eye, as I prefer a smaller profile down by the ball in fairway woods. The face is pretty deep compared to my [Cobra] Fly-Z+ I’ve been playing for three years now. The sound is amazing off the head. I never had the privilege of playing the original Steelhead fairways, but it does remind me of the original woods I played as a kid, which I think where Tommy Armour 845’s.”

“With the deeper face of the Steelhead XR, I thought I would have issues launching the ball from the deck on par 5s, but I did not see any issue. Turf interaction with the Steelhead was great. I was able to try multiple lies from the fairway, rough, and even a bunker. From the fairway I could easily control it and actually get the ball up in the air enough and with enough spin to hold greens.”

MillerLowLife

  • Club Tested: Callaway Steelhead XR 4+ (16 degrees)

“The top of this club looks awesome at address. I really liked the look of the crown that is a dark blue and shows the carbon fiber underneath. That, coupled with the silver steel face, makes it easy to frame the ball. This is a steel club so the sound and feel will be a sharper metal sound that’s accustomed to the old Steelheads. Has great swing weight and feel. Felt really easy to hit this in the tee box, fairway, or rough.”

“I really enjoyed the versatility of the 4+ with the shorter playing length, heavier swing weight, and flatter lie angle. For me, it felt like a bomber off the tee box, but it was still something I could use to get me out of less-than-ideal lies outside of the fairway —  something I wouldn’t think about with my current gamer.”

Hackster

  • Club Tested: Callaway Steelhead XR 4+ (16 degrees)

“This club is all business. Longer than my 3-wood, flies higher and able to work the ball left and right. On the tee, the ball jumps forward when it hits fairway. Does not lose much distance on off-center hits.”

“Long off the fairway, just put on cruise control and fire away. I struggle in the rough with any fairway wood, so not much to compare to — that’s what hybrids are for. Love this club. Had concerns where it would fit in the bag, but easily able to replace my 14.5-degree 3-wood with the 4+. Much more versatile than my current 3-wood and longer.”

drifliboy

  • Club Tested: Callaway Steelhead XR 3+ (13.5 degrees)

“This club with the lower loft of the 3+ worked well for me off the tee. It was close to my driver on distance. It seemed to launch quickly and then maintain its height. It did not balloon for me. It also really seemed to want to go straight, a couple of times shots almost seemed to correct a little in the air, particularly if I had pushed it. This club at this loft is pretty much a driver replacement for me.”

“If you are looking for a very classy fairway wood that is solid, long, with some forgiveness and doesn’t look like it was developed by a “mad” scientist, this club should be on your short list. It works well off the tee and turf. Please test and get fitted for the right loft and flex. I think this club provides most golfers with very good options that should be considered if they are looking to upgrade any of their woods.”

Discussion: Read the full responses here.

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22 Comments

22 Comments

  1. TG

    Sep 16, 2017 at 5:38 pm

    The X2 Hot pro 3 wood is still one of my favorites from cally. I’m too young to have played with the original steelheads but the X2 Hot still has a place in my bag!

    • Nick

      Sep 18, 2017 at 2:13 am

      Thanks for telling us the X2 Hot Pro is your “favorite from Cally”… and that you’re “young” and it’s “in my bag”. You must be a happy happy boy… now seek human contact.

  2. JJVas

    Sep 15, 2017 at 8:53 pm

    Bought the XR 4+ because I loved the old Steelheads, and I tried it with 3 different shafts, starting with the Tensei 65-X that was too light. This is THE BEST looking FW to my eyes because I have no trouble getting the ball up and hate shallow heads. I cannot remember wanting a club to work quite so badly, but it just didn’t for some reason, and I gave it every shot. I’m back to my Srixon F45 that I can set a bit open, but man… I’m still sad about this one. They look perfect.

    • Nick

      Sep 18, 2017 at 2:10 am

      So you just bought it because they “look perfect” and you “loved the old Steelheads”, and you are “getting the ball up”, and you “want it so badly”. Do you sleep with the club too?

  3. Keith

    Sep 15, 2017 at 2:20 pm

    I’ve had a 2014 SLDR 3-wood in the bag since, well, 2014. Wanted to give these steelhead’s a look so went to my local shop and got mine and the steelhead on the monitor. They only had a 3+ (13.5d) so I set my SLDR on the low setting of 13.5d as well. Steelhead had the stock X in it, my SLDR has the Speeder 77 X in it.

    Average on 5 balls was 268 with my SLDR, 255 for the Steelhead. Slightly higher launch with the steelhead and a bit more spin. After seeing the numbers, guy told me that even if I wanted it, he wouldn’t sell it to me.

    • BO

      Sep 15, 2017 at 8:36 pm

      Talk to Swingman/Jerry below who claims they’re the greatest he’s ever hit and they make him feel good all over.

  4. LLC

    Sep 14, 2017 at 1:21 am

    Isn’t “Steelhead” somewhat misleading given the carbon fiber construction?
    Perhaps a more accurate name would be “Compositehead”XR.

  5. OBSERVVANT

    Sep 13, 2017 at 8:03 pm

    I’M FLICKING TIRED OF LOOKING AT “NEW & IMPROVED & $$$$$” FLICKING GOLF CLUBS!!!!
    ShTFU ALREADY !!!!!!

    • Casa Nova

      Sep 13, 2017 at 8:18 pm

      Hey, it’s called progressive planned obsolescence as golf technology rapidly creates longer and better golf clubs for the grateful golfing public. What are you, some kind of luddite who can’t keep up with newer and better golf club developments?

      • BO

        Sep 14, 2017 at 5:25 pm

        It’s called scamming adult men with childish mentalities buying new toys.

  6. Swingman/Jerry

    Sep 13, 2017 at 6:10 pm

    I’ve played them since mid- July. Great fairways off the tee and deck. The rounded, cambered sole does help you out of difficult lies. Be aggressive and you will get distance and a mid to high flight. You ought to have at least the 5 wood in the bag – very long, and more consistent than the 3 wd, with almost as much distance. Give it a go.

    • BO

      Sep 14, 2017 at 5:27 pm

      No thanks, Cally/Jerry, now go back to work and stop promoting yer clubs.

      • Swingman/Jerry

        Sep 15, 2017 at 11:16 am

        Just a regular guy on golfwrx. Steelheads are versatile and long. Prefer them over Epic.

        • BO

          Sep 15, 2017 at 8:32 pm

          Yer an obvious shill for Callaway. Nobody believes your propaganda feelings.

          • Swingman/Jerry

            Sep 17, 2017 at 1:31 pm

            LOL! I only wish Callaway was paying me in Product or $$$

    • Jerry

      Nov 4, 2017 at 4:19 pm

      I like the feel of the Tensei – smooth and lively. At the same time, the 55 feels a bit whippy for the flex. If you are having issues and like the head, try another shaft, which is what I’m doing.

  7. OX

    Sep 13, 2017 at 4:31 pm

    Just kidding, I’ll take 3!

  8. OX

    Sep 13, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    Nice to read the comments from golf store and Cally employees. Sorry, boys, but I will not be buying those beautiful Steelheads because my 5 y.o. clubs are still working fine for me.

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pga tour

Andrew Landry’s Winning WITB: 2018 Valero Texas Open

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Driver: Ping G30 (9 degrees at 8.8 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Tour Blue ATX65 TX
Length: 45.25 inches, tipped at 1 inch
Swing Weight: D3

3 Wood: Ping G (14.5 degrees at 15.15 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Yellow 75
Length: 43 inches, tipped 1 inch
Swing Weight: D2

5 Wood: Ping G (17.5 degrees at 17.75 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Yellow 85
Length: 42 inches
Swing Weight: D2

Irons: Ping iBlade (3-PW)
Shafts: Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 105X
Swing Weight: D2

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 (52-12F and 60-10S)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 Tour Issue

Putter: Ping PLD ZB-S
Grip: Ping Pistol
Length, loft, lie: 33 inches, 3 degrees, 3 degrees flat

Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

WITB Notes: Landry tweaked his iron lofts before the Valero; 1 degree weak in his 4 and 5 iron, and 0.5 degrees weak in his 6-PW.

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Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about Landry’s clubs.

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Alexander Levy’s Winning WITB: 2018 Hassan Trophy

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Driver: TaylorMade M2 (8.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK 60TX

3 Wood: Titleist 915Fd (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK 70TX

Hybrid: Titleist 816 H1 (17 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI-95X Hybrid

Irons: Titleist 716 CB (3), Titleist 714 MB (4-PW)
Shafts: KBS Tour C-Taper 120S

Wedges: Titleist SM6 (52-08F),Titleist SM7 (58)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue

Putter: Odyssey O Works 7
Grip: Odyssey Pistol

Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about Levy’s clubs. 

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Joaquin Niemann WITB 2018

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Equipment is accurate as of the 2018 Valero Texas Open (4/16/2018).

Driver: Ping G400 LST (10 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI-7x

3 Wood: Ping G400 (14.5 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI-7x

Hybrid: Ping G400 (19 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI-95x Hybrid

Irons: Ping iBlade (4-9)
Shaft: Project X 6.0

Wedges: Ping Glide 2.0 (46-12SS, 52-12SS, 56-12SS, 60-06TS)
Shaft: Project X 6.5

Putter: Ping Anser 2
Grip: Ping Pistol

Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about Niemann’s clubs.

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