Callaway X Hot Fairway Woods: Editor Review

by   |   May 15, 2013
callaway xhot fairway
Callaway X Hot Fairway Woods: Editor Review GolfWRX Staff
Performance
Look and Feel

Summary: These just might be the most versatile and best performing fairway woods of 2013.

5

Complete package


Pros: The X Hot fairway woods are longer and more versatile than Callaway’s past models. The stock shafts are solid, and the matte grey finish and muted sound have been well received by most golfers.

Cons: No adjustability, but there are three different models — X Hot, X Hot Pro and 3 Deep.

Bottom Line: It’s good to have one of the longest fairway woods on the market. It’s even better to have one of the most playable.These are both, making them a “must hit” for golfers in the market for a new fairway wood this year.

Overview

Callaway’s X Hot and X Hot Pro fairway woods look much like the company’s previous fairway woods, but changes to their materials and construction make them top-tier performers.

The new fairway woods borrow the forged cup face design from Callaway drivers, which moves the weld line away from the face to allow Callaway more control over face thickness and tolerances. They also employ 455 Carpenter steel faces, which paved the way for faces to be constructed as thin as 0.047 inches in certain areas, 40 percent thinner than the previous RAZR X Black fairway woods.
EditorsChoice_132

These changes give the X Hot and X Hot Pro fairway woods performance that is near the USGA limit without having to increase the size of the clubhead or add a slot to the sole or crown of the club.

Both fairway woods have what Callaway calls internal standing wave, a structure with a “weight” that hangs over the cup face (shown in the video above) and moves the CG in the fairway woods lower and further forward, optimizing launch angle and spin.

The X Hot Pro has a more forward CG than the standard model, giving it a flatter trajectory with less spin. It also has more camber and less offset for more versitility. Both models feature a modern version of Callaway’s warbird sole for enhanced turf interaction from less-than desirable lies.

Callaway’s X Hot fairway woods are available in lofts of 15, 17, 19, 21, 23 and 25 with a True Temper Project X Velocity proprietary shaft in light, regular and stiff flexes. The X Hot Pro version is available in lofts of 13.5, 15, 16.5 and 18 with a “real deal” version of the Project X Velocity shaft in 5.5, 6.0 and 6.5. Both models sell for around $230.

Performance

Traditionally, golfers have had to choose between a fairway wood that goes a long way off the tee and one that’s good off the ground. Thanks to their smaller size and low center of gravity, the X Hot fairway woods deliver in both places.

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Face image: X-Hot Pro

The X Hot has the most shallow face in the line, making it good for golfers with a shallow angle of attack or those who need more spin. The X Hot Pro has a deeper, or taller face, but at only 155 cubic centimeters in the 15-degree model it’s one of the most versatile low-spin fairway woods we’ve ever encountered.

xhot fariway head cover

Headcover for the X-Hot Fairway Metal

Like the TaylorMade RBZ Stage 2 Tour fairway woods, the X Hot Pro can be slightly too low spinning or go too far for some golfers because of the club’s huge ball speeds. That means some golfers will need to go to a higher loft to get the spin or trajectory they prefer. That’s certainly not a bad thing, but something for golfers to be aware of.

A small percentage of golfers with Tour-like swing speeds could potentially struggle with the X Hot Pro’s smaller size. Phil Mickelson, for example, hit too many shots high on the face with the X Hot Pro. That resulted in a vertical gear effect that made his shots too low spinning, which is why engineers built him a larger, deeper-faced model called 3 Deep that had more consistent spin rates. But not all pros are gaming the 3 Deep and X Hot Pro — both Jim Furyk and Tianlang Guan are users of the X Hot fairway woods.

Looks and Feel

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From address: The X Hot

The X Hot fairway woods have faces that push the USGA limits on COR (coefficient of restitution), which means shots across the face are coming off with a lot of speed. But Callaway engineers designed the X Hot fairway woods to be quieter than most high-COR fairway woods, giving them a “thwack” that sounds and feels very solid.

Visually, both the X Hot and X Hot Pro have classic shapes at address. The X Hot has decals and an alignment Chevron on the head, as well as a marking on the center of the face. The markings frame the ball nicely and don’t overtake the shape of the head thanks matte grey finish on the crown.

callaway x-hot 3 wood

From address: The X Hot Pro

The X Hot Pro has a slightly opened at address. It has no alignment aids, and grooves that extend across the entirety of the face, giving it a throwback look that many better players have liked.

callaway X-hot fairway

Sole photo of the XHot Pro

The Takeaway

No other club in a golfer’s bag needs to be as versatile as 3 wood, which is why there are so many Tour players using fairway woods that are several years old. It’s a club that is hard to replace until a golfer finds something better.

We can say with confidence that these are the best fairway woods Callaway has ever produced, which is one of the reasons the clubs have caught on with tour players. They’re long, forgiving and playable from lies we didn’t think they could handle.

We’d love to see adjustability in the X Hot line, and we’ll probably get it next year. But for now, we’re enjoying these fairway woods, because they’re exactly what modern-day fairway wood should be — classic in sound and feel, and totally non-traditional in the crazy distance they fly.

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20 Comments

  1. Pingback: Tour Edge Exotics CG7 Fairway wood line given 5 Star Ranking - "Driver Like Ball Speed" | Hodson Golf

  2. Pingback: Callaway Razr X Black Ti Fairway Wood

  3. bellsy13

    September 27, 2013 at 10:48 am

    I just purchased the Xhot 3Deep 13 deg 3 wood with the 6.0 Stiff shaft after using the R9 TP 3 wood for years. First swing it was very heavy, very stiff shaft and not much flight. S.S. about 105mph but unless I’m agressively swinging, the lower loft doesn’t allow the ball to get more than 10 yds off the fwy. Out of 15 drives, two barely reached 200, but the rest were 270-290. If you’re a 105mph+ this club is a fantastic substitute for a driver. Couldn’t be happier with the 3Deep.

  4. Dan

    September 6, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    I think the versatility point is spot on. These woods are as long off the deck as they are off the tee – and just as easy to hit. There have been a handful of FW woods that are cannons off the tee (see: TMAG Stage 2 and every Exotics FW) but these aren’t nearly as easy to hit off the deck as the x-hot is. Great feel, great sound and unmatched performance from all lies.

  5. Jules

    July 3, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    Been gaming my X Hot Pro 13.5* for about 3 months now. One of the best fairway woods I have ever played. Funny because the last time I was this happy with a 3 wood was a Callaway Steelhead Plus.

    This club is easy to hit and is a bomber. It also is amazing on mishits… What a club.

    I also though the PXi Velocity shafts were going to be a noodle, but man was I wrong. Lots of feel yet fairly stable.

  6. Lucas

    June 22, 2013 at 10:39 am

    I never enjoy (well, almost never, some are funny) negative posts on FB and/or political ones and love to read about great customer service so if I ever purchase a product I know where to start looking. Here’s my latest story of customer service taken to the extreme.

    Callaway golf was not my brand of choice. They simply put out a great club this year in the x-hot 3 and 5 woods. I purchased these clubs on eBay – where I get all my clubs – and they arrived quickly. During my 3rd round with them, the head of the 3 wood went flying with the ball. I never touched the ground with the club, but it happened. I was really bummed but took it to golfsmith where they suggested I call Callaway Golf? . Stephen picked up the phone and I gave him the serial number on the club. “Looks like these are some pretty custom clubs. Where did you get them?” “I bought them off eBay because they fit me perfectly” “Well, put the manager of the store on the phone”. I walked over, got the manager and he spoke to Stephen for a few minutes, then handed me back the phone. Stephen says “We’re going to ship the club back to us, we’ll replace the club for free and then ship it back to Golfsmith where you can pick it up.” After profusely thanking the man – this was a $350 custom club mind you – he said “we just want to ensure that you’re happy and you play better.” Ladies and gentleman, I now have 4 Callaway clubs in my back and I have a funny feeling that number will grow over time as I upgrade.

    Great work Callaway. Keep it up.

    • chris

      June 25, 2013 at 12:53 am

      yep their customer service is great. i dented a diablo 3 wood face a couple yrs ago they sent me the newer yr model club back..Then i broke a shaft on a razerhawk 5 wood which was my fault but they emailed me a prepaid shipping label to send my club to them.. which they re-
      shafted for no charge.. cant beat it.

    • Mike Y

      August 23, 2013 at 3:58 pm

      You can not buy authentic callaway merchandise on eBay that is listed as new…. You might find a used version but it is against their sales policy’s and business are phrohibbited from selling new clubs on eBay….. So go ahead.. Take that 3 wood that you got for $50 less than your local golf shop , and stick it in the dumpster and stop buying counterfeit steel clubs

      They fixed it for you so they could get ahold of the counterfeit.

      • Gazza

        September 28, 2013 at 4:46 pm

        I had a fake Callaway driver a few years ago and they replaced it with the real deal when I sent it to them ….. Great customer service but I have and will never buy a ‘new’ driver from ebay again !!

  7. Mac

    June 17, 2013 at 7:26 am

    what exactly does versatility mean in this context?

  8. Pingback: Callaway Golf X Hot Pro Fairway

  9. Desmond

    May 16, 2013 at 2:03 am

    Nice clubs, but like most OEMs, the shafts are too long.

    And ahem, check the specs, but Callaway Drivers do NOT have a Cup Face. The fairways, however, Do.

  10. Tom

    May 15, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    I realize the review is for the X Hot, but does anyone have any feedback on the RAZR Fit Xtreme fairway wood? It seems all of Callaway’s promotions center around the X Hot.

  11. Mike

    May 15, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    Can anyone tell me if the xhot fairway is closed at address? The standard model that is….don’t have the luxury of seeing these and was contemplating the pro vs. std model.

    • Zak Kozuchowski

      May 15, 2013 at 2:35 pm

      Mike,

      The standard model is dead square at address by Callaway’s measurements. The Pro model sits 1-degree open .

      - Zak

  12. Al

    May 15, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    I hit that 3 deep and what a sweet club, I’m getting almost 60 more yards out of it.

  13. Ryan

    May 15, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    Huge fan of the X Hot Pro. I used to own a Steelhead Plus and this club reminds me of it. I was gaming a 909F3 for awhile and wanted a new 3 wood this year. 913F vs X Hot Pro, so glad I chose the X Hot. Totally agree with “The Takeaway” here.

    These clubs are not only forgiving but working the ball both ways were a breeze. Distance was pretty effortless. Very impressive with the Project X Velocity shaft, afraid it was going to be a noodle but its pretty stable even for how high the torque is. I now know what all the hype is about.

    • Marc

      October 6, 2013 at 9:35 am

      beware of the wimpy shaft. I bought a 9 wood with project x regular shaft and knew it was wimpy out of the box. Had it checked and its really an A flex!

      • JCorona

        January 3, 2014 at 3:48 pm

        was it the shaft or the fact you bought a 9 wood? ;)

        • Martin V.

          January 15, 2014 at 1:45 pm

          yeah man, what are you? a woman? jesus, 9 wood :) ))))))

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