To design Callaway’s latest driver, the 2013 Razr Fit Xtreme, company engineers broke down the key ingredients of its most successful drivers models, realigning them with new technology that makes the Razr Fit Xtreme lower spinning, more forgiving and deliver more ball speed than its predecessor, the 2012 Razr Fit driver.
The Razr Fit Xtreme is also Callaway’s widest ranging driver offering according to Evan Gibbs, manager of performance analysis and club configuration for Callaway. This is because the lower-lofted Razr Fit Xtreme drivers (8.5 degrees, 9.5 degrees and 10.5 degrees) have different performance characteristics than the higher-lofted drivers (11.5 degrees and 13 degrees).
The OptiFit Hosel adjusts the face angle to an Open, Square, or Closed position at address and the OptiFit Weights (13 grams and 1 gram) also shift the clubhead’s CG to help you play a Draw or Neutral ball flight off the tee.
The lower-lofted Razr Fit Xtreme drivers are modeled after Callaway’s FT Tour drivers, which were extremely popular on the PGA Tour. While the Razr Fit found its way into the bags of many better players and tour players, Callaway received feedback that many preferred the lower-spinning FT Tour drivers to the higher-spinning Razr Fit.
“We took a step back and looked at how each loft was going to be played,” Gibbs said. “We saw that better players wanted a smaller footprint and a more penetrating trajectory, while higher-handicappers wanted larger, more forgiving footprint and more spin for optimum distance.”
In order to lower the spin rate of the Razr Fit Xtreme, Callaway engineers needed to lower the driver’s center of gravity (CG), which they did by removing weight from the driver’s “Forged Composite” crown. Engineers also thinned the perimeter of the “Speed Frame Face” that was used on the Razr Fit driver.
This Speed Frame Face creates incredibly fast ball speeds all across the face for longer, more consistent distance.
The thinner face, combined with Callaway’s updated “VFT” and “Hyperbolic Face Technology,” adds more speed to mishits according to Gibbs. The face also has more curvature than in previous Callaway drivers, which helps straighten out off-center strikes.
The weight saved from the face (about 3 grams) was moved to more optimal positions such as the rear toe section of the sole, where it deepens the center of gravity and makes the Razr Fit Xtreme’s adjustable weights more symmetrical, adding stability to the head.
These changes have resulted in more distance and less spin for Callaway Staffers like Luke List, who led all tours in driving distance in 2012. Gibbs said that during testing List picked up 16.6 yards with the new driver compared to his Razr Fit, adding 0.6 mph of ball speed and reducing his spin rate by almost 500 rpms.
Like the Razr Fit, the Razr Fit Xtreme driver allows golfers to adjust the face angle to one of three settings: neutral, open and closed. But the lower-lofted and higher-lofted models have two very different appearances at address.
The lower-lofted models measure 440cc and have a 1-degree open face angle at the neutral setting. Changing the Opti-Fit Hosel to the open setting on these drivers will open the face another 1.5 degrees, resulting in a face that is 2.5 degrees open at address. If they are adjusted to the closed setting, the face will rest 0.5 degrees closed.
The higher-lofted drivers measure 460cc and are longer heel-to-toe than the lower-lofted versions. This places the sweetspot of the club closer to the hosel, which increases draw bias. The higher-lofted models also sit in a square position when set in neutral, meaning they can be adjusted to either 1.5 degrees open or closed.
On both the lower-lofted and higher lofted drivers, changing to the face angle will also change the loft of the club. The closed setting adds 1 degree of loft to the neutral setting (a 9.5-degree driver becomes a 10.5-degree) while the open setting subtracts 1 degree (a 9.5-degree driver becomes an 8.5-degree). According to Gibbs, Callaway’s testing showed that better players had a tendency to use the Opti-Fit Hosel to adjust loft, while higher handicap players used it to correct a hook or slice.
One of the most important features of the Razr Fit Xtreme drivers to consumers could potentially be the stock shaft offerings. Many OEMs install stripped-down versions of popular shafts in their drivers that have altered characteristics. For Callaway’s newest lineup, the company decided to use an unmodified Aldila Trinity shaft, as well as unmodified Matrix Black Tie7M3 shaft. The Matrix shaft alone carries a $300-plus price tag at retail, making the retail price of the Razr Fit Xtreme, $399, all the more impressive. The Callaway Razr Fit Xtreme drivers will be available at retail on Jan. 18, 2013.
[colored_box color=”grey”]Additional Tech Specs and info:
- Composite materials such as the Forged Composite that the Razr Fit Xtreme driver uses in its crown have a tendency to mute a driver’s sound and cause a “thud” feeling at impact. According to Gibbs, Callaway engineers worked hard on the acoustics of the Razr Fit Xtreme, making sure it had a “loud and metallic” sound.
- Callaway received feedback that the 2012 Razr Fit’s swingweight of D6 was too heavy, so the 2013 Razr Fit Xtreme drivers will have a D4 swingweight, which was accomplished by reducing the head weight 5 grams. Standard shaft lengths with be 45.5 inches.
- The tip diameter of the Opti-Fit Hosel has been changed from 0.350 to 0.335 to match industry trends. Previous Opti-Fit Hosels will fit in the Razr Fit Xtreme drivers, but their 0.350 shafts will not fit in the new Opti-Fit sleeves.
- A weight kit of 4, 6, 8 and 10 grams will be available to adjust CG and swingweight. No Tour Authentic model is planned at this time, nor is there an Opti-Fit Hosel with more options in the works according to Gibbs.
- The green color of the Razr Fit was inspired by the popularity of the 2012 Razr Fit Tour Authentic driver, which also has a green color scheme. It also matches the color of the most playable shaft option, the Aldila Trinity.
- Callaway’s UDesign for the Razr Fit Xtreme driver will launch on Jan. 18 with the driver. Consumers will be able to choose from eight different color options — black, white, blue, red, orange, green, purple and yellow — which can be placed on the sole, crown, or both. Laser etching on the sole will also be available, although pricing is still undetermined. Expect for it to be around $50.[/colored_box]
Check out the shaft specs and photos below, and and click here for more discussion in the “Tour/Pre-release equipment” forum.
Unmodified Aldila Trinity
X Flex 68g, 280cpm, 3.9deg torque, 104mm tip flex. .335″ tip diameter
S Flex 67 g, 269 cpm, 4.5 deg torque, 112mm tip flex, .335″ tip diameter
R Flex 64 g, 247 cpm, 5.4 deg torque, 124mm tip flex, .335″ tip diameter
L Flex 63g, 229cpm, 6.3 deg torque, 129mm tip flex, .335″ tip diameter
Unmodified Matrix Black Tie 7M3
X flex 74g, 265cpm, 4.1deg torque, 85mm tip flex, .335″ tip diameter
S Flex 71g, 253cpm, 4.2 deg torque, 90mm tip flex, .335″ tip diameter
R Flex 69g, 243cpm, 4.4 deg torque, 93mm tip flex, .335″ tip diameter