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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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Equipment

GolfWRX Classifieds (08/05/20): Titleist TS4, Byron putter, Nike tour driver

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At GolfWRX, we love golf equipment plain and simple.

We are a community of like-minded individuals that all experience and express our enjoyment for the game in many ways. It’s that sense of community that drives day-to-day interactions in the forums on topics that range from best driver to what marker you use to mark your ball, it even allows us to share another thing – the equipment itself.

One of the best ways to enjoy equipment is to experiment and whether you are looking to buy-sell-or trade (as the name suggests) you can find almost anything in the GolfWRX BST Forum. From one-off custom Scotty Cameron Circle T putters, to iron sets, wedges, and barely hit drivers, you can find it all in our constantly updated marketplace.

These are some of the latest cool finds from the GolfWRX BST, and if you are curious about the rules to participate in the BST Forum you can check them out here: GolfWRX BST Rules

Member Golfr19 – Titleist TS4 almost new

Low Spin bomber… It’s shafted with a HZRDUS T1100 Prototype/Handcrafted 6.5 75g shaft and a genuine Titleist SureFit adapter. If you play in a lot of wind, this might really help!

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Titleist TS4

Member ngjg21 – Byron Morgan DH89

Although he might not be a household name Byron Morgan has been producing great putters for a long time, and here is your chance to pick one up for a great price.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Byron DH89

Member joe2282 – Nike VR Tour driver head

One of the great classic fixed hosel Nike drivers, the VR Tour. This head is in great shape and ready for your mid-2000’s “retro” bag!

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Nike VR Tour head

Remember that you can always browse the GolfWRX Classifieds any time here in our forums: GolfWRX Classifieds

 

 

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All-new Titleist Tour Speed golf ball builds on EXP•01 lineage

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When you are the maker of the number 1 ball in golf, it could be easy to become complacent, but the engineers at Titleist aren’t known for resting on their laurels. Instead, they are constantly looking for ways to innovate and provide performance benefits to golfers across categories, and today Titleist introduces the all-new Titleist Tour Speed golf ball.

Titleist Tour Speed golf ball: The details

Although the Tour Speed is new, many golfers might be familiar with the prototype ball that lead to the Tour Speed becoming a full-blown release—the EXP•01. It was through that extensive testing process, conducted on a scale that Titleist had never done before, that the team—including designers and engineers—had the opportunity to get valuable feedback from golfers of all skill levels. It was that direct feedback, along with controlled player testing, conducted at Titleist’s Manchester Lane R&D facility that lead to the final product.

“Every new Titleist golf ball must exceed our stringent machine and player testing targets in order to advance from the R&D phase,”  -Scott Cooper, Titleist Golf Ball R&D’s lead implementation engineer for Tour Speed.

Although the EXP•01 was released only 10 months ago, the Tour Speed has been years on the making as Titleist worked on producing a new proprietary thermoplastic urethane cover to produce the fastest ball in its market segment.

Not only is the cover material different, but the process to create the new ball involved a 4,300 square foot expansion of the Titleist Ball Plant 2, which demonstrates a huge commitment to the new Retractable Pin injection molding process and a belief in the product.

“Our golf ball scientists and engineers have gone to extraordinary lengths in the development of Tour Speed – testing numerous core formulations and aerodynamic patterns, while formulating and analyzing hundreds of TPU cover blends – to deliver on that promise. We have made every investment necessary in these new technologies, including a significant expansion of our manufacturing facility and process.” – Michael Mahoney, Vice President, Titleist Golf Ball Marketing.

Let’s talk about that performance

The Titleist Tour Speed is a three-piece thermoplastic urethane (TPU) covered ball designed to deliver distance and greater green stopping power. Titleist still believes that a cast urethane cover like those found on the Pro-V1 series offers the absolute best short game control and performance, but TPU allows them to combine enhanced distance with precise scoring control. The TPU formula used in the cover is proprietary and was formulated from scratch by Titleist’s internal team of R&D chemists to enhance distance while still maintaining feel.

The last piece of the cover puzzle is the new 346 quadrilateral dipyramid dimple design that provides a lower, more penetrating flight, so the ball is less affected by the wind.

Underneath the TPU cover sits a what Titleist calls its fastest ionomer casing layer ever, designed to create maximum speed leading to more distance.

Availability and price

The Titleist Tour Speed will be available in the U.S. at Titleist accounts beginning Friday, August 7, and they will be priced at $39.99 a dozen.

 

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The Callaway ball plant: A legacy rooted in innovation

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A little over two years ago, I had the opportunity to visit the Callaway golf ball plant in Chicopee, Massachusetts (GolfWRX behind the scenes at the Callaway ball plant). It gave me the chance to take a deep dive into the history of not just the physical structure that is the plant but a look into the people and the machines that work to produce Callaway’s tour line of golf balls.

The one thing that stood out during that visit beyond the massive scale of the operation was the people and the pride they have in producing something in the United States for golfers to enjoy.

Chicopee & Spalding Manufacturing History

The ball plant and surrounding area where it is located is rich in manufacturing history dating back to the American revolutionary war, and the facade of the historical red brick building in Chicopee has remained mostly unchanged since it was the original Spalding manufacturing plant dating all the way back to the late 1800s. It was during this time in history when the plant produced baseballs, gloves, footballs, basketballs, tennis rackets, persimmon woods, irons—and of course golf balls, starting in 1896.

A lot of innovations relating to various sports have occurred inside of these walls and the funny thing is, Callaway’s marketing slogan for Chrome Soft— “The ball that changed the ball” could apply to a multitude of sports including:

  • Baseball – since Spalding developed the first Major League ball to become the official baseball of the National League in 1876.
  • Football – with Spalding creating the first American football with a material and workmanship guarantee in 1887.
  • Basketball – since Dr. James Naismith (Canadian—just wanted to get that in there—Go Raptors!) had the Spalding company develop the official basketball in 1894.

It is now 2020, and in the same building where all of these sporting innovations have taken place, an innovation of a new kind is underway because the ball plant has undergone multiple renovations and upgrades since 2018. Callaway has invested over $50 million in capital upgrades in order to increase quality control—and the ability to manufacture the newest Chrome Soft and Chrome Soft X balls to the highest level.

Investment in innovation

Although the plant has always operated to the highest possible level of quality control when it comes to balls, Callaway has admitted that, before 2018, there were some small holes in the production process that prevented them from reaching their potential as far as production standards go. The biggest consistency issues revolved around polymer compound mixing and the centeredness of the cores in dual-core golf balls. These weren’t wide-sweeping issues but they were enough of a problem, Callaway knew they needed to be addressed as quickly as possible, especially if they wanted to continue to innovate in the competitive golf ball market.

In an effort to not just be equal to the competition but to surpass them, the initial investment was in state-of-the-art machines that could take and process 3D X-Ray to measure ball construction and the core centeredness of every single ball. It is during this automated process, that if any ball shows an issue, then it is removed from the final stages of production and will never find its way into a golfer’s bag.

The biggest investment though came in the form of an all-new synthetic polymer mixer allowing Callaway engineers and plant staff to monitor parts of the process with a level of precision that they never could before. Now, if it wasn’t obvious by the pictures, this is not the type of machine that you can just pick up at a local “golf ball plant supply store”— these types of mixers are multiple stories high and offer the same type of precision you would find in the medical industry.

When it comes to the unassuming red brick building, it’s what’s inside that counts. And speaking of “inside,” Callaway engineers are now able to precisely control all of the compounds that go into producing golf ball cores. With the state-of-the-art mixer now in place on the factory floor, from the very start of production through to the final packaging, every Callaway ball is manufactured to the highest level of quality available in the industry.

The state of the art mixer now in place on the factory floor means that from the very start of production through to the final packaging, every Callaway ball is manufactured to the highest level of quality available in the industry.

Technology on the inside and outside

The other part of the plant that continues to see large investments is the Truvis and Triple Track printing area. As we touched on in the original piece, what was perceived by many to at first be a bit of a gimmick, including some of Callaway’s own employees, has proven to be an absolute slam dunk. The pentagon pattern provides a tangible benefit by creating an optical illusion that makes the ball look bigger and also gives visual feedback for short game shots and putting. If you haven’t tried chipping around a green with a Truvis ball, I highly suggest it—you can actually see how much difference in spin you create hitting various shots.

What started as a toe-dip with one machine has turned into an area of the plant with more than a dozen, with Callaway also producing Truvis balls with custom colors and logos.

What followed Truvis was the development of Callaway Triple Track, which is three high-resolution parallel lines printed onto the golf ball to help with alignment. It would not have been possible to print this alignment tool without the machines that were developed to precisely print the Truvis patterns. Triple Track has been so popular and effective for golfers that this year, Callaway even introduced the alignment tool onto a number of their Stroke Lab putter models.

Odyssey Stroke Lab 2-Ball with Triple Track

If history is any indication, this investment will continue to push golf ball innovation for Callaway, as well as continue to build on the strong legacy of proud American manufacturing in Chicopee, Massachusetts. To take an inside look inside of the newly renovated plant, as well as get a deeper understanding of the history and the people behind Callaway golf balls, check out their mini-documentary below.

The Ball that Changed a Town

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