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Callaway launches Rogue, Rogue Pro and Rogue X irons and hybrids

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With its new line of Rogue irons — consisting of Rogue, Rogue Pro and Rogue X models — Callaway continues its search to answer a conundrum that’s plagued game-improvement irons for years; how do you make an iron that produces great ball speed without sacrificing sound and feel. The dilemma is that in order to increase ball speeds, engineers must make the faces of the irons thinner. The problem is, the thinner they make the faces, the more vibration is caused at impact, creating a longer-lasting, higher-pitched sound. Very few golfers want that off-putting, clicky sound, but they do want the ball speed and distance.

So, that’s why companies are experimenting with different materials and injections between the faces of game-improvement irons and their bodies. That buffer creates a dampening effect to reduce vibration, while still allowing faces to be constructed thinner to raise COR (coefficient of restitution, a measure of energy transfer) and ball speed. Companies such as PXG irons use TPE injections, and TaylorMade uses SpeedFoam in its new P-790 irons; Callaway says those constructions either constrict speed, or they don’t have a profound enough effect on vibrations.

For its Rogue irons that are made from 17-4 stainless steel, Callaway is using what it calls urethane microspheres, which are essentially little balls of urethane that it combines together, in the cavities of its irons. The difference between these spheres and other foams and materials on the market, according to Callaway, is that the material is porous. Callaway says the microspheres work to dampen sound without negatively effecting ball speed.

A look at the inside of a Rogue iron, via Callaway’s photography

The inner material in the cavity works in tandem with familiar technologies from previous iron releases such as Apex, Epic and Steelhead XR. Callaway says it has improved upon its VFT (variable face thickness) and Face Cup technologies, focusing on thinning out portions of the face where golfers tend to miss shots — low on the face, on the heel and on the toe. Each of the Rogue irons also uses Internal Standing Wave by way of Tungsten-infused weights that help control the center of gravity (CG) in the club heads; that means centering the overall weight between the scoring lines, and controlling where the CG is placed vertically throughout a given set (re: higher on the short irons for more control and spin, and lower on the long irons for more height).

For the consumer, all of this means getting performance-driven irons at a lower price compared to the Epic and Epic Pro irons. Each of the irons will be available for pre-sale on January 19, and come to retail on February 9. Read on for more info on each of the specific irons, and the Rogue and Rogue X hybrids that introduce Callaway’s Jailbreak technology into hybrids for the first time.

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the Rogue irons and hybrids in our forums.

Rogue irons ($899.99 steel, $999.99 graphite)

Callaway’s Rogue irons are the standard model in this line of irons, equipped with all of the technologies described above. According to Callaway, these are essentially Steelhead XR replacements, but have more compact shapes. In the Steelhead XR irons, Callaway used a wider profile in order to center CG between the scoring lines, but due to the inclusion of the Tungsten-infused weights in the Rogue irons, it was able to shape the irons more similar to XR and X-Hot irons of the past — more preferable shapes for GI irons, according to Callaway.

Stock shafts include True Temper’s XP105 steel shaft, and Aldila’s Synergy graphite shaft.

Rogue Pro irons ($999.99)

The Rogue Pro irons, as you may expect, have a more compact shape, thinner toplines and thinner soles than their standard-model-counterparts. Therefore, the Pro design will yield more control that better players will prefer, but they are still packed with all of the performance-enhancing technologies of the Rogue irons. They also have a chrome plating that better players may be drawn to.

Rogue X irons ($899.99 steel, $999.99 graphite)

Callaway described the Rogue X irons to me as “bomber irons.” They have lofts that are 3-to-4 degrees stronger than the standard Rogue irons, and they have longer lengths and lighter overall weights, but according to Callaway, they will still launch in the same window iron-for-iron (re: a 7-iron will launch like a 7-iron). Despite cranking down the lofts, they have bigger profiles, wider soles and more offset; those designs work to drag CG rearward, which helps to increase launch.

Combine that design with the Rogue’s VFT, Face Cups, Internal Standing Wave and urethane microspheres, and the result is an iron that’s “all about distance,” according to Callaway.

Rogue and Rogue X hybrids ($249.99 apiece)

As noted previously, the Rogue and Rogue X hybrids include Callaway’s Jailbreak technology. Like Callaway’s Rogue fairway woods, they use stainless steel bars behind the face instead of the titanium bars that are used in the Rogue drivers. Also, like all of the other Callaway clubs that use Jailbreak, the idea of the design is that two parallel bars inside the club head connect the sole with crown help to add strength to the body at impact, allowing the faces to be constructed thinner, thus, create more ball speed across the face. The Rogue and Rogue X hybrids also have Callaway’s familiar Face Cup technology.

The standard Rogue goes up to a 6-hybrid, while the oversized, Rogue X “super hybrid” goes up to an 8-hybrid. Similar to the Rogue X irons, the Rogue X hybrids have an oversized construction, a lighter overall weight, and longer lengths. The goal with these Rogue X hybrids is to create higher launching, more forgiving and longer hybrid options for golfers who need help getting the ball in the air.

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the Rogue irons and hybrids in our forums.

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He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team and earned a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

34 Comments

34 Comments

  1. JH

    May 6, 2018 at 1:45 am

    Not everyone can play to an 8 hcp or less in fact 95% of golfers are 15+;we hit 70 practice balls and play a round a week if that. With these new “gimmicky” clubs, one can have more fun, retain same distance and keep improving even as they age, one caveat you will have to have good fundamental swing mechanics for any club to work. Look at Gary Player you think he is still playing forged blades, 8 degree driver don’t think so, he is 82 and still shoots his age or lower.

  2. Mad-Mex

    Jan 20, 2018 at 7:15 pm

    Didn’t you get enough attention as a child Stan!?! Grow up,,,,,

  3. Jon

    Jan 20, 2018 at 3:17 pm

    Stan,

    I don’t respond to the back and forth very often but feel like I have to respond to the arrogance you throwing around. If you are such a great ball striker the how come you aren’t out the tour making big bucks competing with Jordan, Dustin and Rory? Get a life. I rarely strike the exact center of the club face either but ENJOY the game apparently more than you do. On top of that YOU need to figure out that you need all of us “hackers” or every golf course will close and all you pure ball strikers will have to find a different game (I’d suggest bowling….not wait, Polo for you). If your lucky you might be able to compete against the rest of your fellow pure ball strikers at your local Top Golf.

  4. Stan

    Jan 18, 2018 at 10:35 pm

    My boyfriend uses jelly to dampen the vibrations, if you know what I mean.

  5. stan

    Jan 18, 2018 at 5:46 pm

    FAKE-FORGED JELLO-FILLED GOLF CLUBS!!!
    😮 😛 😎 😉

    • Mikele

      Jan 18, 2018 at 8:18 pm

      No more fake than your lob and run comment.

      • stan

        Jan 18, 2018 at 11:49 pm

        At least I’m not a desperate gearhead who slobber and funner golf.

  6. Jgpl001

    Jan 18, 2018 at 3:49 pm

    The word “Pro” here is such a joke,

    How could anyone buy this stuff?

    If you need these, then give golf and take up stamp collecting

    • stan

      Jan 18, 2018 at 5:39 pm

      The ‘Pros’ who are playing these bloated clubs are paid to advertise them on the Tour. If one of those ‘bought’ pros wins with these clubs or even win, the gearheads will have a feeding frenzy on Monday… after the Sunday win.
      In any case, Ping can claim the G400s are “Tour Tested”…. and what’s good enough on the Tour is good enough for YOU!!! 😛

      • stan

        Jan 18, 2018 at 5:42 pm

        Ooops… correction …. “If one of those “bought” pros is on the leaderboard or even wins with these clubs….” …. now that’s better …;-)

    • JOEL GOODMAN

      Jan 18, 2018 at 7:20 pm

      THESE “CLUBS” AND THEY ARE CLUBS SUITABLE FOR KILLING SNAKES AND RATS AND MICE, I WOULDN’T HAVE THESE UGLY EXCUSE FOR GOLF CLUBS IN MY BAG FOR 10 SECONDS EVEN IF THEY GUARANTEED TO TAKE 50 SHOTS OFF MY GAME.

      • Mikele

        Jan 18, 2018 at 8:20 pm

        Full of dung much?

      • stan

        Jan 18, 2018 at 11:54 pm

        Hollow jello-filled irons are for those who miss-hit… and that is admitted by a club designer who says these abominations are for max forgiveness.
        All these hollow irons are for failures who can’t hit on center and want a mushy slushy feeeel from impact… it’s soooo pa thetic …. :-O

    • Mikele

      Jan 18, 2018 at 8:19 pm

      Do you have to work hard at being an arrogant twit or does it just come to you naturally?

  7. Golfraven

    Jan 18, 2018 at 2:33 pm

    Wow, is half an inch of topline now the new sexy? I think I need to clean my glasses. Callaway finally arrived back at the seniors market, where whey belonged all the time – and likely where they want to be because the old folks have all the cash now.

  8. HDTVMAN

    Jan 18, 2018 at 1:46 pm

    As a fitter, I would have like the price to stay at $799, as the majority of my customers are mid-range players. The Ping G400 have been a harder sale since they rose in price to $899 from the $799 G. However, that being said, having the Rogue and G400 at $899 will definitely put the “puck” in Ping’s corner…as the G400’s are excellent clubs. I have not see the price for the M4’s, and if they also rise $100 for a set of 8 irons.

    • stan

      Jan 18, 2018 at 5:34 pm

      The only golf club market that exists nowadays is the rich hacker and neurotic gearheads. It’s a shrinking market because all the old Baby Boomers are giving up on golf and the millennials can’t afford to golf.
      These grossly expensive clubs are for those who have more money than brains and talent. The desperate OEMs are now squeezing the last dollar from the shrinking market with overpriced clubs to stay alive.
      It’s a collapsing golf club market now … believe it.

  9. SUHDUDE

    Jan 18, 2018 at 1:12 pm

    yeah, shut up stan. Dilly dilly!

    • stan

      Jan 18, 2018 at 5:36 pm

      … and dilly dilly to you too …. because it’s all TRUE …!!!!

  10. mike

    Jan 18, 2018 at 12:56 pm

    shut up stan

    • stan

      Jan 18, 2018 at 5:48 pm

      …(mike obviously has these fake-forged jello-filled clubs in his WITB… ouch!!)

  11. TexasSnowman

    Jan 18, 2018 at 12:42 pm

    ugly. Unbelievable that calls would think these will sell….maybe I’m wrong but anyone with less than a 15 hdcp will not give these a 2nd look imo.

  12. stan

    Jan 18, 2018 at 12:36 pm

    PXG, TM and now Cally…. all jumping on the jello-filled clubheads for gearhead hackers …. soooo obvious …. 😉

  13. stan

    Jan 18, 2018 at 12:28 pm

    Mushy irons filled with jello to absorb the off-center hits by hacking gearheads who can’t stand the vibrations from their beloved WITB clubs! 😮

  14. Robert Parsons

    Jan 18, 2018 at 12:20 pm

    Tons of offset and a topline thick enough a skateboarder could grind.

    • stan

      Jan 18, 2018 at 12:34 pm

      …. and engorged with jello to deaden the off-center hit vibrations and twisting… lol

  15. alexdub

    Jan 18, 2018 at 10:16 am

    Look at those shovels!

    • stan

      Jan 18, 2018 at 12:32 pm

      They shovel-swing with no whipsnap in their release, so these are perfect clubs for gooney gearheads who can’t break 100 honestly …. lol

      • John B

        Jan 18, 2018 at 5:31 pm

        Stan’s a loser. Just because you don’t like them don’t complain. You’re probably a chop yourself.

        • stan

          Jan 18, 2018 at 7:04 pm

          Ooooh …. did I hit a nerve… a feeeel nerve? LOL

  16. C

    Jan 18, 2018 at 7:22 am

    I didn’t think it would be possible to beat Ping on amount of offset. Good lord.

  17. Tucci Gang

    Jan 18, 2018 at 3:38 am

    P790 all the way, baby!

    • stan

      Jan 18, 2018 at 12:30 pm

      P790s…. admission of failure to hit the ball on the center of the clubface.
      Oooooh but they feeeeel soooo gooood ….. 😛

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What GolfWRXers are saying about the best “5-woods under $125”

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@golfexchangeapp

In our forums, our members have been discussing 5-woods, with WRXer ‘gary3aces’ looking for a 5-wood for between $100 and $125. He’s looking to replace his current “M2 5 wood with something a little easier to hit”, and our members have been discussing the best options 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.

  • C6 Snowboarder: “Take a look at a used Callaway Heavenwood in the Epic Flash model = pretty Friggen sweet. It is Heaven!”
  • Golf64: “Bang for the buck, hard to beat Cobra, but find Ping one of the easiest to hit off the deck. Since you are limited in the funds dept., maybe an older model Ping 5W would do the trick?!”
  • tilasan1: “G400 7 wood turned down or just use it as is.”
  • jbandalo: “Fusion fairways. Highly underrated, cheap, easy to hit and go for miles.”
  • RyanBarathWRX: “PING G fairway would be hard to beat and easily in price range:
  • Nelson.br.1515: “Another vote for the Callaway Big Bertha Fusion. Great stick!”

Entire Thread: Best 5-woods under $125″

 

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What GolfWRXers are saying about “blending Ping i500 irons with Blueprints”

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In our forums, WRXer ‘ballywho27’ has asked for thoughts on combining his current Ping i500 irons with the brand’s Blueprint irons. ‘Ballywho27’ is considering going “i500 in 3-4 iron and blueprint 5-W” and has asked for fellow member’s thoughts on the idea – who have been sharing their takes 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.

  • jblough99: “I had a combo set for a minute, 3-5 I500 and 6-PW Blueprint. I could not get used to the transition, HUGE difference in looks at address. If I had it to do over I would just go 4-PW Blueprint and maybe a 3 I500 with graphite shaft as a driving, iron.”
  • animalgolfs: “iBlade{5i} – BP{6i-pw}. That’s my combo.”
  • Chunky: “I have i500 4-5 and Blueprints 6-PW. As mentioned above, there is a significantly different look at address. More importantly for me, the i500s are 1/2 to 1 club longer than the BPs (they fly much higher, too). Make sure you account for that added i500 distance when blending lofts or you’ll have a large gap.”
  • howeber: “I’ve done that exact set — 3 and 4 i500 and 5-PW Blueprint. It’s perfect for me since the 3 and 4 are more like a traditional 2 and 3.5. 4 is usually the longest iron I carry, so I like a little extra oomph out of it. At the end of the day though, when I finally tested them vs my MP4s, the Blueprints performed identically, while the i500 launched a little higher (same specs same shafts). Mizzys are still in the bag.”

Entire Thread: “Blending Ping i500 irons with Blueprints”

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GolfWRX Vault: Avoid these 5 club building disasters

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It’s never too late to go back to basics, especially when it comes to club building.

Even with modern new club release cycles the do’s and don’ts of building clubs haven’t changed much in the last few decades except for clubs with adapter sleeves and greater amounts of multi-materials incorporated into the design.

With that in mind its time to revisit an article from the GolfWRX Vault from June 2016.

——————

I’ve been fitting and building golf clubs for more than 15 years, and in that time I’ve seen a lot of really poor workmanship—stuff that would make most GolfWRXers cringe. But like anyone who ever did anything new, I didn’t start being naturally good at putting together clubs. It took a lot of time, ruined components, and trial and error to get where I am today.

I believe my attention to detail now stems from the fact that my dad was a machinist by trade, and anytime we ever worked on something together his attitude was to take your time and do it right the first time. My dad’s approach always had an impact on me, because I feel that if you do something right — even when it takes a bit longer — the job is not only more satisfying but also makes things work better and last longer.

The goal with this article is to help WRXers avoid the most common mistakes and assumptions in club building that lead to broken or ruined clubs, as well as real danger.

Over-prepping a graphite shaft

The shaft on the left has been prepped properly. The one of the right, which has noticeable taper, shows signs that layers of graphite have been removed.

This happens far more than it should, and can ruin an expensive new shaft purchase. To prepare a shaft properly for installation, you only need to remove enough of the paint to make sure that the epoxy adheres to the graphite. This is also true for the inside of the hosel.

Be careful to remove residual epoxy, dirt or rust (common with forged carbon steel club heads that have been sitting around for a while), or some type or solvent like the one used to put on grips, as it can cause of bond to break down very quickly. A proper reaming tool, a wire brush and some compressed air (either a small can or a large air compressor) can make cleaning simple, and prevent a golf club from falling apart.

UPDATE: Over prepping specifically applies to shafts that are designed to go into parallel heads and is especially important for 335 shafts with less material at the tip going into drivers and fairway woods. For information on how to properly taper a shaft to go into a tapered head, check out the video below:

Overheating a Shaft When Pulling it

This is what happens to a graphite shaft when overheated.

This is what happens to a graphite shaft when overheated, and the resin holding the graphite sheets together breaks down. It’s not always as noticeable, but if the shaft starts to fray it means the bonds have been compromised and it’s more likely to fail. 

Overheating a shaft when pulling it is another common mistake that can result in ruining a golf shaft. It also highly increases the chance of breakage. There are quite a few methods I’ve learned over the years to remove a shaft from a club head, from heat guns to large propane torches, but personally I find that using a small butane torch with a regulator for graphite offers the best results. It allows a club builder to easily control and focus the heat only where it’s needed. Bigger torches are fine for iron heads, as long as you don’t damage any plastic badges in the cavity or materials in slots around the head.

One of the best advances in club technology has been the invention and mass adoption of adjustable hosels. They not only help golfers adjust the loft, lie and face angle of club heads, but have also greatly decreased the need to pull shafts. So as long as a golfer is staying with the same metal wood manufacturer, they can usually test several different clubs heads with the same shaft, or vice versa — several different shafts with the same clubhead.

That being said, one of the most important tools that any hobbyist club builder should have or have access to is a high-quality shaft puller. It’s a necessary tool for anyone who wants to do repairs and helps prevent damage to a shaft while pulling it. The more linear pressure that can be applied to the clubhead, and the less heat used to break down the epoxy, the better. It makes sure both the shaft and the head are reusable in the future. For steel shafts, you can use a bit more heat, and twisting isn’t a problem. Again, with increased heat, be careful not to damage any of the badging, or permanently discolor an iron head.

Botching a Grip Installation

Using calipers and two-sided tape, you can replicate the taper of shafts to makes every grip feel exactly the same size in your set.

Using calipers and two-sided tape, you can replicate the taper of shafts to makes every grip feel exactly the same size in your set.

This one seems simple, but when really getting down to professional level detail, it is quite important. We ALL have a preference and different opinion of what feels good in a golf grip, as well as different sensitivities. For example, we all have the ability to figure out what apple is bigger, even if blindfolded because over time we all develop brain function to understand shapes and sizes. This also applies to grips. If you use the same grips on your 13 clubs, you could potentially have 4-5 different final sizes depending on how many different types of shafts you use, because many shafts have different butt diameters.

Some shafts have larger butt diameters, while others taper faster than others. That’s why it’s very important to own a quality set of vernier calipers, and know how to properly use them. It’s also the same for putters, since many putter shafts are smaller in diameter. I have lost count of how many times I’ve had people bring me, putters, where the bottom half of the grip is twisting and turning because the installer never paid attention to the interior diameter of the grip, the exterior diameter of the shaft, and how it changed from top to bottom.

Using epoxy that’s doomed to fail

An example of epoxy that although not completely set, is no longer safe for assembling clubs.

An example of epoxy that although not completely set, is no longer safe for assembling clubs.

I’m a bit of a physics nerd and garage engineer, so this is one of those topics that goes beyond just the physical aspects of club building and into the realm of chemistry.

Here comes my nerd-out moment: In the simplest of explanations for a 0.335-inch driver hosel with an insertion depth of 1.25 inches, the amount of calculated surface area the epoxy can bond between the shaft and the head using the internal dimensions of the head is 1.49 square inches. That’s not a whole lot of area when you consider the centrifugal force being applied to a driver head traveling at 100 mph, and then the forces of torque that also come into play when a shot is struck.

In a PERFECT world, almost zero torque is applied to a shaft when a shot is hit on the center of gravity (CG) of the club head, perfectly aligned with the center mass of the ball, while traveling in the intended direction. This is vectors 101 of physics. Unfortunately, almost every single shot is NOT hit like that, and this is where the epoxy bond is put under the most amount of stress. Lap shear strength of epoxy goes beyond me, but it proves that building a golf club is not just cut and glue after all.

Note: For those of you curious, the most popular epoxies are rated for 4500 psi. 

As far are actually working with epoxy, first things first. Always check to see if the epoxy has a best-before date (yep, just like milk). Also, never store epoxy in direct sunlight. If you are using epoxy from a tube in a dispensing gun, you are using what is an almost foolproof method. Plunge out the necessary amount, mix for about a minute (mix! don’t whip), and remember, the less air that gets into the epoxy the better. If air gets in and the epoxy cures with bubbles in it, then you end up with a club that will often “creak.”

For those using two parts in larger bottles, the best way to ensure proper ratios is to pay attention to the weight ratio rather than volume. This isn’t arts and crafts; it’s chemistry, so by using the weight to calculate the ratio you will get the right amount of each part every time, and help decrease the risk of failure down the road. If you have mixed a larger batch and plan on building quite a few clubs at a time, you really have to pay attention to the consistency and viscosity as time goes on. You don’t want to glue a club head with epoxy that has started to set.

Turning an Extension into a Shank

The difference between a good shaft extension (bottom) and a bad one.

The difference between a good shaft extension (bottom) and a bad one.

This is one of those subjects I don’t even like to talk about. I very much dislike using extensions when building clubs, especially clubs with graphite shafts. Going back to my “do-it-right-the-first-time” mentality, extensions are a Band-Aid fix to a problem that requires surgery. They also counter-balance the club, and by their very nature create a weak point because of the small wall thickness at the butt end of a shaft. The only clubs I don’t mind extending on a regular basis are putters since they are never put under the same level of stress as a club being swung at full speed. I also never extend a club more than 1 inch, because I have been witness to horror stories of clubs that have been overextended that not only break but rip through the grip and cut people’s hands very badly.

If you are going to extend a club, it’s important to make sure the fit is very snug and doesn’t cause the extension to lean in any direction. It’s also best to have the epoxied extension cure with the club on its side to avoid an excess epoxy from running down the shaft and breaking off and causing a rattle.

 

 

 

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