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Callaway Razr XF Iron/Hybrid Review


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#1 tbowles411

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 09:37 PM

First, thank you GolfWrx and Callaway for allowing me to review one of golf's newest offerings.  As a guy who's been around for a long time, I really am glad to help out and to answer any questions I can from anyone on these clubs.

Background:

42 y/o balding male!  I've been able to get my handicap down to almost a 20, but short game holds me back from making a true breakthrough.  I've used Callaway products in the past starting with the Big Bertha's, but stopped after the X-20's but being a Wrx club "collector", I've dabbled every so often and used most of their items.  I played two rounds and had a range session with these.

What I tested:  Callaway Razr XF 3-4 hybrids, 5-PW Aldila VS Proto "By You", stiff flex, +1 inch, 2 degrees up

Pros:

Irons:  Definitely made for a 15+-handicap golfer, given their size.  Insanely forgiving, with great distance, and with a low profile to boot.  It bails you out on all but the most egregious swings.  It's "almost" virtually impossible to hit these fat.  Thinned shots may not get in the air much, but the distance you get on those shots are pretty amazing considering it was a mishit.  Offset literally removes "your" bad side of the fairway and straightens out almost every shot.  And they are surprisingly soft:  A very pleasant surprise.  It's a beautiful iron that's well made.  The profile and PVD finish do a pretty good job of hiding the help against the grass.

Hybrids:  They get the ball up in the air very easily.  Decent distance.

Cons:

Irons:  Almost a touch "too big."

Hybrids:  I found myself looking for more.  In my opinion, they're almost added as an afterthought.  They provided little feel and feedback.  It's almost like they went backwards from their previous offerings.  I found myself looking for 2008 version FT hybrids to replace them with on the Callaway Pre-Owned site.  The hybrids are almost unnecessary given the forgiveness of the irons and made me with there was a 4-iron.  I found myself hitting full and harder 5-iron shots instead of using the hybrids.

Overall:

Definitely worth a VERY serious look if you have the cash.  I was pleasantly surprised at the irons, and could definitely do without the hybrids.  Custom order the set without the hybrids and add the AW and beg for a 4-iron if they have the option for it.  You'll be able to hit it.  Trust me.  But this can even be for those that play lower than a 15 handicap, but just want superior forgiveness, because that's what these give you, without question.

Review:

These are made in a 2-piece 1025-forged body and a 455 carpenter steel face.  The forged body, mated with the medallion on the body makes the overall club feel soft and quiet, but the steel face makes the club very hot.  The ball comes off very quickly and gives a pretty high flight.  If you want the flight lowered, you can choose one of their other custom offerings.  But make no mistake:  This iron is all about forgiveness and distance.  "Workability" should not even be in your mind.

Performance/Playability: 4.5/5 stars

Being a former long-time Callaway user, I was anxious to head to the range with these.  You look at this iron in your hand and you immediately think that "How can I hit this big thing?"  But understand that the Razr HL's are even bigger, if you can believe it.  Then you set it down and the black PVD finish frames the ball nicely.  My first cut with the 7-iron in anger, produced a laser beam shot, high and straight.  I set down another ball.  Rinse, repeat.  Rinse, repeat.  Then I moved on to the 5 –iron, my nemesis.  I had the same results, just longer.  The performance made me forget the size altogether.  And I had no problem executing bump and run shots, which can be tricky with such a wide sole.

As I stated, I played two rounds with the irons and I was equally impressed each time.  The irons performed outstandingly.  I could literally hit the ball from tightly mown fairways and from the rough.  The iron literally cut away the grass and still produced a high flight.  I had gotten to a point where I didn't even think about the shot.  I just set up, turned and fired.  But off the tee on par 3's were better than I expected.  Think "laser."  My regular playing partners said throughout the day, "Whoa!  Are you sure those are Callaways?"  I know I hit it all over the face, a few on purpose to see what it did, a few "not" on purpose.  They performed much better than I thought they would.  A very nice offering, indeed.

DSCN0724.JPG DSCN0725.JPG DSCN0726.JPG DSCN0727.JPG DSCN0728.JPG DSCN0729.JPG DSCN0730.JPG DSCN0731.JPG DSCN0732.JPG DSCN0733.JPG
DSCN0743.JPG DSCN0744.JPG

Iron rating:  4.5/5 stars

Full disclosure:  I've used all hybrid sets in the past.  Needless to say, I'm a believer in them.

I moved on to the hybrids:  A somewhat different story.  The ball is again framed well, but I looked at the hybrid and saw a dramatic left hook.  Again, I know why it's there and it didn't bother me until I took my first cut.  It felt OK, but I was just left wanting more.  The ball sailed into the afternoon sun and it was easy to use, but wasn't enthralled with it.  To compare it, I brought my personal hybrids.  They were smaller, but just gave me the feel I thought I would get.  I went back to the 4-hybrid and just wasn't excited about them.  I thought of the best Callaway hybrids I ever used (the 2008 FT hybrids).  I consider those, the best they've ever done and wanted them to feel like that.  They weren't as forgiving as these are, but they felt what I came to expect from a hybrid:  That mini-fairway wood feel.  These could have been much better to further justify the expense of a great performing iron set.

Again, the hybrids were just average.  Not spectacular.  It was to the point I even put the headcovers back on the hybrids after a few holes of using them and didn't bother.  I just used my 5-iron for longer shots.  I was very happy to have the slightly stronger lofts because I could swing a little harder and get closer to what the 4-hybrid was giving me, and I was choking down on my 4-wood to get close to the 3-hybrid distance if I needed it.  They do remove trouble with the big hooking offset and are functional, and do what they're supposed to do, but the feel and feedback left me moderately unimpressed.  Although looking at the big hook, was a little disturbing.  Again, I get why it's there, but it's a little overdone.

DSCN0734.JPG DSCN0735.JPG DSCN0736.JPG DSCN0737.JPG DSCN0739.JPG DSCN0741.JPG

Hybrid rating:  3/5 stars

Feel:  4/5 stars

For the irons to be so large, I didn't expect them to be as soft as they were.  I was waiting for that harsh "cast-like" feel, but it didn't come.  Those who know me, I know I have to use graphite due to back issues.  But I did borrow a 6-iron steel demo from my local store.  (That's what I do for you!  LOL) But the feel was slightly harsher, but not harsh:  A winning combination.  But the sound was a solid "thwack."  Not muted, but not loud either.  It also gives you feedback when you don't strike it purely (another nice surprise).  Not as solid or crisp, but you still see the ball heading out, not as far, but straight as an arrow.

For the hybrids, no real feel or feedback.  Again, I was expecting much more out of them than I got.

Overall impressions: 4/5 stars

Callaway has a viable contender for your hard earned dollars this year.  As someone who used to use them, they got away from what they did very well in years past.  They're heading back to that now, with this iron set.  Yes, they're expensive, but there is so much going on with these technologically, and the amount of care put into the irons, they'll be hard to overlook.  As far as the irons go, they have a little "edgy" look to them, but in an attractive way, and feel great.  I know it's a bit cliché, but these should be on your short list.  Leave the hybrids alone, go with all irons (and the AW) or choose one of Callaway's other and better hybrid options.

Edited by tbowles411, 02 June 2012 - 12:06 AM.


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#2 The GreekGrind

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 09:51 AM

Super in depth review tbowles.  Thanks!  And great pics too.  Now you just gotta hit em like Monty :)


Colin Montgomerie Callaway Golf RAZR XF Irons TheGreekGrind.png

Edited by The GreekGrind, 02 June 2012 - 10:07 AM.


#3 tbowles411

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 08:22 AM

He's using graphite I see...

#4 Goldenhawk

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 07:48 PM

I'd game a set of the XFs.  No hybrids.  Just the 3 iron to PW.  Do you know if it's even possible to get the 3 and 4 irons?
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#5 tbowles411

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 12:25 PM

View PostGoldenhawk, on 07 June 2012 - 07:48 PM, said:

I'd game a set of the XFs.  No hybrids.  Just the 3 iron to PW.  Do you know if it's even possible to get the 3 and 4 irons?

I can call the rep and find out.


#6 tbowles411

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 12:32 PM

I decided to DVR the St. Jude and go out for 18 yesterday.  I took these with me again to see if they still did their thing for me.

Well, they did not disappoint.  Again, I said the same thing:  These are big.  But let me tell you, these are just as forgving as they were when I played them when I "had" to.  These are amazingly forgiving and pretty long.  They did a great job of digging the ball out of a couple inch deep rough, and off the tee, they just were spectacular.  High towering shots that landed pretty soft on the greens.  I had to work out yardages again, because these were a little hotter than what I normally use. I'm almost a full club longer with these.  I'm hitting almost 160 yard 7-irons.

I tell you, these may actually be keepers.  I'd order a AW and a 4-iron (if available).  I mean your swing needs to be BAD to not get anything out of these.  Really bad.  You have a winner here Callaway.  Just do something with those hybrids!!

#7 tbowles411

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 02:50 PM

Unless someone who has a tour contact knows differently, this isn't made with long irons.  But I have my doubts.  Someone knows something...

#8 tbowles411

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 01:40 PM

I called Cally.  They DO make a 4-iron in this.  I highly recommend it!

#9 tembolo1284

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 03:38 PM

View Posttbowles411, on 11 June 2012 - 12:25 PM, said:

View PostGoldenhawk, on 07 June 2012 - 07:48 PM, said:

I'd game a set of the XFs.  No hybrids.  Just the 3 iron to PW.  Do you know if it's even possible to get the 3 and 4 irons?

I can call the rep and find out.

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#10 tbowles411

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 06:15 PM

I'm watching an old Golf Channel Academy and lo and behold it's Colin Montgomerie using these very irons.  High handicappers, if you can still find them, the price has dropped.  Please, please, please do yourself a favor and seek out these irons.  These irons are automatic.  My God I miss these irons.  You just CAN'T mishit these!!!


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