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Callaway X2 Hot and X2 Hot Pro drivers, fairway woods and hybrids



Callaway’s X Hot driver was one of the top-performing drivers in 2013 for golfers with slow-to-moderate swing speeds, and those who miss the sweet spot as often as they hit it. But it had an innate problem; the rounded shape that allowed the driver to be so forgiving caused it to look overly bulbous at address.


Photo Above: The crown of Callaway’s X2 Hot driver has graphics to help golfers with alignment, including a Callaway Chevron to denote the center of the club face, while the Pro version does not.

That’s why this year’s X2 Hot driver has a more traditional pear-shaped head, which will resonate with golfers who value the aesthetics of a golf club as much as its performance.

The X2 Hot driver also has Callaway’s new Hyper Speed Face Technology, which allows the face of the 460-cubic-centimeter driver to be 4 percent larger than the previous version without adding any extra weight. The larger face helps the X2 Hot driver retain all the forgiveness of the X Hot, but it adds about 1.5 mph of ball speed on average, according to Callaway testing.

callaway x2 hot

Photo above: The larger, light face more forgiving face of Callaway’s X2 Hot driver.

The X2 Hot driver is available in three different lofts: 9, 10.5 and 13.5 degrees. Like the 2013 X Hot drivers, the X2 Hot models have what Callaway calls “Progressive Draw Bias, which means that higher-lofted models have more draw bias than lower-lofted models. But the draw bias is less than last year’s drivers, a change that was made possible by Callaway’s new Advanced OptiFit adjustable hosel.


The OptiFit hosel gives golfers four different loft settings; for example, the 9-degree driver can be lofted 1-degree lower to 8 degrees, but also 1- or 2-degrees higher than standard to 10 or 11 degrees. It also gives golfers two independent lie settings — standard (S) and draw (D), which makes the club more upright. According to Evan Gibbs, manager of performance analysis for Callaway, putting the X2 Hot driver in the draw setting will give it the same amount of draw bias as last year’s X Hot driver in its standard setting.

The X2 Hot driver hits stores Jan. 17 and will sell for $349 with a 46-inch Aldila Tour Blue 55 shaft in light, regular and stiff flexes. The head weight will be about 194 grams, while the total weight will be about 303 grams. The stock swing weight is D3.

Click here to see what GolfWRX Members are saying about Callaway’s X2 Hot line in the forums.

X2 Hot Pro Driver

The X2 Hot Pro driver has a deeper face and more compact 440-cubic-centimeter head than the X2 Hot driver, as well as a lower CG made possible by the 7.3 grams of weight saved by the club’s new Hyper Speed Face.

callaway x2 hot pro driver

Photo above: The X2 Hot Pro driver has a 7-gram adjustable weight screw in the rear portion of the sole. Callaway’s Custom department can dial in a golfer’s ideal swing weight by changing the weight of the screw.

According to Gibbs, its lower CG, which is 37 percent lower than the X2 Hot driver, gives the X2 Hot Pro a lower-spinning trajectory than the company’s similar-sized  FT OptiForce 440 driver, which launched in July and quickly became Callaway’s most popular driver on the PGA Tour.


Photo above: Callaway’s X2 Hot Pr driver has no markings on its crown. 

The X2 Hot Pro is only available in one loft, 8.5 degrees. Despite its low loft, Gibbs predicted that the X2 Hot Pro will meet the needs of about 95 percent of interested golfers. That’s because it has the same OptiFit hosel as the X2 Hot, which means that it can be lofted as low as 7.5 degrees or as high as 10.5 degrees. And Callaway engineers were careful to design the sole of the club to adapt to those different lofts without a significant change in face angle.


Photo above: The taller, or deeper, face of an X2 Hot Pro driver. 

The driver has an “opened” face angle in the 8.5 setting, which won’t look too much more opened in the 7.5 setting or too much more closed in the 9.5 or 10.5 settings, even to the most discerning golfers. In the back of the club is a removable 7-gram weight screw, which gives it a stock swing weight of D3. And the club can be ordered through Callaway’s custom department with a different weight screw to make the swing weight heavier or lighter.


The X2 Hot Pro driver will hit stores on Jan. 17 and sell for $349 with a 45.5-inch aftermarket version of Aldila’s Tour Green 65 shaft in regular, stiff and x-stiff flexes. The head weight is about 197 grams, with a total weight hovering around 321 grams.

X2 Hot and X2 Hot Pro Fairway Woods

The centerpiece of Callaway’s 2013 equipment launch was its X Hot fairway woods, which helped double Callaway’s market share in the fairway woods category last year. This year, the company is promising even better performance from its X2 Hot and X2 Hot Pro fairway woods, which are longer and more forgiving than last year’s models.

Photos above are the new Callaway X2 Hot fairway woods (left) and X2 Hot Pro fairway woods with no crown graphics.

Both models are made with Callaway’s high-strength 455-carpenter-stainless-steel cup faces that fueled last year’s distance gains, but they use the company’s Hyper Speed Face Technology to make the forged cup faces even thinner and more forgiving on mishits. They also have an improved “internal standing wave,” an internal shelf located on the front of the sole that leans toward the club face, pushing the CG of the clubs lower and more forward.


This year’s internal standing wave is an impressive 13.5-grams heavier than it was in the X Hot models, and it juts 0.06 inches closer to the face, giving the club a noticeable performance boost on shots struck on the bottom of the face.

Screen Shot 2013-11-07 at 9.17.09 PM

Callaway engineers were also able to trim weight from the crown and center of the sole on new fairway woods. Some of that weight went into the heavier internal standing wave, while the rest went into the perimeter of the club heads, giving them a higher moment of inertia than their predecessors.

callaway x2 hot fairway

The X2 Hot fairway woods are available in lofts of 15, 17, 19, 21, 23 and 25 degrees. They come stock with a Aldila Tour Blue 60 shaft in light, regular and stiff flexes.

The X2 Hot Pro fairway woods will be offered in lofts of 13.5, 15, 17 and 19 degrees, with an aftermarket version of Aldila’s Tour Green 75 shaft (R, S and X flexes). Both fairway woods will be available in stores Jan. 17 and sell for $239.

X2 Hot “Deep”

One of the most talked about equipment releases in 2013 was Callaway’s 3Deep, a deep-faced fairway wood that Phil Mickelson used as a driver for his wins at the Scottish Open and Open Championship. Last year, the club was released in a 13-degree version (used by Mickelson), as well as a 14.5-degree model.

This year, the lineup has been tweaked to include a new 12.5-degree “2Deep,” which like the rest of the line has all the benefits of the X2 Hot fairway woods. But it has a robust 210-cubic-centimeter head that was inspired by Mickelson’s famed “Phrankenwood,” a small-headed driver that Mickelson debuted at the Masters. A 14.5-degree model remains in the lineup, but it’s now 190 cubic centimeters, 10 more than last year’s model. And new for this year is a 165-cubic-centimeter 5Deep, which has a loft of 18.5 degrees.

The “Deep” fairway woods fill a void for Callaway, as its X2 Hot and X2 Hot Pro have extremely shallow faces. That make the clubs playable from a variety of surfaces: from the tee, the fairway and even the rough in certain situations. But some golfers, particularly those with steep angles of attacks, have trouble with shallow-faced fairway woods because they tend to contact them too high on the face.

Shots that are hit too high on the face often launch the ball with too little spin, limiting carry distance. That’s where’s the “Deep” fairway woods come into the picture. Their deeper, or taller faces help give golfers who tend to contact the ball on the upper portion of the face more consistent spin rates. So while their larger size can make the Deep fairway woods less versatile from different lies, they offer better overall performance for certain golfers, particularly those who use their fairway woods mostly from the tee.

Like the X2 Hot Pro fairway woods, the X2 Hot Deep fairway woods come stock with an aftermarket version of Aldila’s Tour Green 75 shaft in R, S and X flexes. They will be available in stores on Jan. 17 and cost $239.

X2 Hot and X2 Hot Pro Hybrids

Last year, Callaway added its high-strength forged 455-carpenter-steel cup faces to its X Hot fairway woods, which allowed the faces to be lighter and more responsive than previous models. That, in conjunction with the clubs’ internal standing wave gave many golfers 5, 10, 20 and sometimes as much as 30 yards of extra distance from the clubs, making the X Hot fairway woods Callaway’s most successful product launch of 2013.

x2 hot hybrid

The leap the company took in fairway woods last year is the same leap the company took in hybrids this year, said Evan Gibbs, manager of performance analysis for Callaway.

x2 hot hybridpro01698681d4d3d81090fdfc13c494a53dpro2

Photos above: Callaway X2 Hot hybrid (left) and Callaway X2 Hot Pro hybrid. 

The new X2 Hot hybrids have a much more iron-like look, with a boxier overall shape, straighter leading edge and less offset than the X Hot hybrids. And unlike last year’s model, which had 17-4 stainless steel cup faces, the new hybrids have the same 455 carpenter-stainless-steel cup faces as the company’s fairway woods, which allowed their faces to be made 28 percent thinner with a sweet spot that’s a whopping 13 times larger than their predecessors.


At address: Callaway’s X2 Hot hybrid (left) and the more compact X2 Hot Pro hybrid. 

Those changes makes the X2 Hot hybrids about 11 yards longer than the X Hot hybrids, according to Callaway testing.

Screen Shot 2013-11-08 at 5.09.23 PM

The X2 Hot and X2 Hot hybrids also have substantially less camber (pictured above), the curvature of the sole from heel to toe. And while they’re slightly larger than the X Hot models, they don’t look it at address; particularly the Pro model, which is noticeably shorter from front to back than the X Hot Pro hybrid.

According to Gibbs, both models will offer less spin than their predecessors, especially the Pro, which has a 40 percent lower CG than the X Hot Pro hybrid.


The X2 Hot hybrids are available in lofts of 19, 22, 25 and 28 degrees. They come stock with Aldila’s Tour Blue 65 hybrid shaft in light, regular and stiff flexes. Stock swingweight is D1.


The X2 Hot Pro hybrids come in lofts of 16, 18, 20 and 23 with an aftermarket version of Aldila’s Tour Green 75 hybrid shaft in R, S and X flexes. Stock swing weight is D2. Both hybrids will be available in stores Jan. 17 and sell for $199.

Click here to see what GolfWRX Members are saying about Callaway’s X2 Hot line in the forums.

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  1. glenn kirk

    Feb 11, 2014 at 2:09 am

    had x hot pro driver love the feel and goes straight but to much spin and short, bought a sldr YUK worse feel ever, just hit x hot 2 pro deeper face = less spin went awesome long sounds great ordered one on the spot can’t wait to get it .

  2. paul

    Jan 8, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    I want to know what the heck a 5 deep is for. where is that supposed to fit in a set? Is it just taller to be easier off the tee and for people that hit down on it?

  3. gary rosenthal

    Nov 30, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    Just demo-d the Cally pro hybrid. OMG! I’m 64, and my first 6 swings on the launch monitor were all between 217 and 225 yards (carry and roll) with very tight shot dispersion, and a uniform 16 degree launch angle. I was looking for something to fit between my 5 iron and my 3 wood, and this was going as far, or farther than my 3 wood, yet with much better accuracy and repeat-ability. I asked the Golfsmith salesman to please double-check to make sure this was actually a 20 degree club, as that’s what I was wanting to demo, thinking to get distances in the 180 to 190 yard range–and I had left my reading glasses in the car. As it turned out, the salesguy had been as blind as I, and what I’d been swinging was the 16 degree. Amazing how easy it was to hit, how effortless, how accurate, how thoroughly satisfying at impact. Decided to buy the club, and use it to replace my 3 wood. Tried to get a pro hybrid that wouldn’t fly more than ten or fifteen yards farther than my 5 iron. A Mission Impossible. Even the 23 degree was bombing over 200 yards–at least 30 yards farther than I hit my 5 iron. Then thought, well maybe if I buy a hot pro 3 wood, that could work too. But I only got another 6 yards of distance on my best swings, with otherwise more unpredictable results. By the way, the stock shaft in the pro 16 degree was different than listed above–a white Project X, 5.5 (Stiff)–a really fine shaft. Was amazed how much better hybrids have become in the past few years, since I last demo-d any. Liked the new Ping hybrid, and the Titleist as well (which seemed to set up the most square at address, something I like, as nothing else in my bag has any draw bias). Just didn’t hit anything else as consistently well as the Cally Pro. Am really thrilled by this club, it’s way better than I expected, and can’t wait to hit it tomorrow on my home course.

    • Walker

      Dec 1, 2013 at 10:01 pm

      you must of bought this years X hot pro model. They are great Hybrids. But these in the article are the new X2 that will be out in January. They sound like they will be even better. But I have the 18* in the model you bought and they are awesome. Enjoy!

  4. nick

    Nov 20, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    Hit the hybrids the other day. What a world of a difference from last years to these. Havent liked callaways hybrids for years but these might make their way into the bag

  5. Perry

    Nov 19, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    Their new line looks even better..cant wait for the new driver it looks so sick. Surprised it hasn’t been leaked on here yet.. Great Job Callaway they hit a home run this year

  6. froneputt

    Nov 19, 2013 at 10:01 am

    Congratz to Callaway – as a long-time follower and owner of “Cally” clubs, I like the “return” of Callaway and the fresh and open approach to technology, and their upbeat banter with the golfing public. I would brand “Callaway” as a technology-driven, charismatic company that appeals to all golfers.

    I like the new Driver – the deep face is needed. Would have like to see a little more aerodynamics in the design and the option of a 45 inch shaft in the X2Hot (other than the Pro version). The fairways look great – wouldn’t mind seeing them more playable (slightly smaller head even for normal Joes) and a more traditional shaft length – it’s not always about distance, it is about consistency and accuracy.

    As to the hybrids, after demoing the XHot, I agree that the heel and toe needed work to expand the sweetspot. I don’t know if going “Adams” in face style is the correct approach – it evolves away from your roots – but through the years, I’ve always demoed but have not purchased a Callaway hybrid – I think this is an area of uncertainty for Callaway. If Callaway wants to take a cue – I’d look at what Jesse Ortiz is doing with his hybrid line – a nicely rounded sole – ala the XHot, but a slightly more forgiving heel/toe area – I’m not sold on the “iron-like” face look of the X2Hot – I understand the beefed up toe area because it’s possible that is the “miss” area and you’ve got more forgiveness “pushed” into that area. I just think Callaway can do better with hybrids.

    • Socalpro517

      Nov 20, 2013 at 12:41 am

      Why wouldn’t they go with a more Adams style face and head shape? Look at how wildly successful, popular and high performance Adams has been (had been before the TMAG buy out)with their hybrids. IMOP these are a HUGE step in the right direction. I think the face looks a lot like the Titleist 910H which is one of the best hybrids I’ve ever hit. Seeing them perform live and the reaction from the players they are 100 times better than the xhotpro model from last year.

  7. bellsy13

    Nov 19, 2013 at 9:16 am

    Why do people care about how many different clubs a company puts out? It gives you more options and it also lowers the price quicker on last year models. If you don’t want to spend $449 @ golftown on a SLDR then don’t. Wait a year until its down to $249. And if you do want to spend the ludicrous price on one then go right ahead.

  8. Max

    Nov 13, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    5 Deep will be interesting. Take the place of my 3 wood and 17* hybrid maybe?

  9. Matt

    Nov 13, 2013 at 11:51 am

    Like the look of the fairways and hybrids. Although they should’ve named the hybrid the Peanut 3 (Adams).

    Basically a new sole plate and pint job from the 1st version. Last years’s X Hot were really good clubs, so Cally didn’t need to mess with them too much.

  10. christian

    Nov 13, 2013 at 4:43 am

    Odd that the pro model driver has LOWER CoG then the standard model. Normally it would be the other way around, pro models have higher CoG to give a flatter lower spin ball flight for high SS players?

  11. tyler

    Nov 13, 2013 at 12:47 am

    I really like the pro versions that Callaway is coming out with. The pro heads look awesome and I like the swing weight adjustability. My question is just how “real deal” are the after market shafts in the pro versions?

    • Chris

      Nov 19, 2013 at 1:55 pm

      The Aldila Tour Green shaft in the Pro models are untouched After Market shafts. The Tour Blue in the non Pro heads have a slightly softer tip to make it more playable for the general public.

  12. Paul

    Nov 13, 2013 at 12:24 am

    i would like to hear more about this “whopping 13 times bigger sweet spot”. Was the previous sweet spot the size of a pin head? Im sure its only 1.3x bigger. if the previous sweet spot was the size of a dime, the new sweet spot would cover the whole face… and then some… Or was the last hybrid a piece of crap?

  13. dsw

    Nov 12, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    HORRIBLE. Absolutely horrible. Well, at least the X Hot line will be discounted just in time for the holidays! Love the X Hot clubs.

  14. Shawn

    Nov 12, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    I think they did a good job with the hybrid on the new X Hot lineup. The Pro model looks similar to the Ping I20 hybrid.

  15. John

    Nov 12, 2013 at 11:43 am

    Gee ……. TaylorMade announces a new club so Harry has to answer with their announcement hours later ……. Couldn’t wait a day …….. Bush league …….. Callaway = second fiddle

    • Jerry Noble

      Nov 13, 2013 at 12:45 pm

      The new Taylor Made Drivers are terrible. I might add that they really can’t improve the drivers from where they were 5 years ago. They can come out with these gimmicks and color them (I hate the white drivers) but most of us would be much better of to stay with something we like instead of jumping to something different every year.

  16. John

    Nov 12, 2013 at 11:40 am

    Gee ……. TaylorMade releases something and Callaway answers with something ……. Always second fiddle !!!

  17. Tyler

    Nov 12, 2013 at 11:15 am

    Last years 3 wood pro went farther than than any 3 wood I’ve ever hit. I’m glad these are coming out. I’ll probably be able to get last years model for 85 bucks now ????

    • Craig

      Nov 12, 2013 at 7:42 pm

      Have you ever tried the Tour Edge Exotics fairway wood? They are the longest woods on the market. You really should try them out if you haven’t. The price is a little up there but well worth it.

      • Johnny

        Nov 13, 2013 at 12:10 pm

        Absolutely agree! I hesitantly put the XCG6 in the bag, but couldn’t be more pleased… (I did throw in a speeder 757 though)

  18. Ben

    Nov 12, 2013 at 10:13 am

    looking strong!

  19. Rich

    Nov 12, 2013 at 10:10 am

    Now Callaway can’t maintain their look changing colors and little in design to stay in tune with TM on the “Club Of the Month Design”.
    Orange and Black was last month.
    Which will go “Edwin Watts UP” first ?

    • Craig

      Nov 12, 2013 at 7:43 pm

      To me the colors look alot like the JPX EX line

  20. Swoosh

    Nov 12, 2013 at 6:19 am

    OHHHH my goood why are they coming out with new clubs already????
    Like oh my god!!!

    Why aren’t there the same comments on this posting as the new Taylormade stuff?

    • John

      Nov 12, 2013 at 11:38 am

      I know …….. Where are all the cries of ” oh my God those graphics are WAY too busy ” !!!!

      • Steve Barry

        Nov 12, 2013 at 1:34 pm

        If they were, there would be, but they’re not, so there’s not.

  21. froneputt

    Nov 12, 2013 at 2:14 am

    I like the sole shape of the XHot Hybrid over the XHot 2 – agree that the XHot 2 is similar to Adams or RBZ Stage 2 — that’s a step backwards for Callaway.

  22. EM

    Nov 12, 2013 at 1:18 am

    Errrrrr I think you got the prices wrong on the X2Hot driver, no? $349 for the standard version and $349 for the X2Hot Pro too? That must be a mistake. You must mean $249 for the X2Hot, right? If the X2Hot is $349, it won’t sell. It has be below the $300 mark.

    • Reid

      Nov 12, 2013 at 9:31 am

      Callaway doesn’t upcharge from standard to pro on the x hot lines.

  23. Paul

    Nov 12, 2013 at 1:13 am

    hybrid shape now more closely matches what adams uses.

    • EM

      Nov 12, 2013 at 1:19 am

      No, they don’t.

      • Tyler

        Nov 12, 2013 at 1:58 am

        yes they do… in the pro version its the same rectangle shape with rounded edges as the Adams a7 hybrid

    • Desmond

      Nov 12, 2013 at 6:13 pm

      Agree – I like the rounded shape of the XHot – it’s more playable from a diversity of lies.

    • Chris

      Nov 19, 2013 at 1:59 pm

      The hybrids are designed by a guy who used to work for Adams and obviously Chip Brewer used to be CEO of Adams so that’s why there are similarities that you can see.

  24. Jon

    Nov 12, 2013 at 1:01 am

    why do the jetfuels and these look so much alike?

    • EM

      Nov 12, 2013 at 1:20 am

      No, they don’t. Don’t try to stir anything up.

  25. Mut

    Nov 12, 2013 at 12:43 am

    XHot 2 looks like a 2012 Rocketballz (now black/orange rather than white/green) and 2013 Jetspeed looks like a repackaged 2013 Optiforce. Did Callaway and Taylormade swap employees?

    • EM

      Nov 12, 2013 at 1:20 am

      None of them look anything like each other in person.

  26. Max

    Nov 12, 2013 at 12:22 am

    Putting the Pro hybrid on my wish list. Putting the Pro fairway and “deep” on my watch list.

    • Kyle

      Nov 12, 2013 at 12:29 am

      This stuff looks so good. Kudos to Callaway for killing it again this year.

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Spotted: Luke Donald’s new Odyssey Versa 12 CS putter



Luke Donald has been using a center-shafted Odyssey #7 putter for a very, very long time. Recently Luke decided that he wanted to change it up and try some new putters, according to Joe Toulon, Callaway’s PGA Tour manager.

The new putter is an Odyssey Versa Twelve CS mallet, center-shafted, of course. Odyssey’s Versa high contrast alignment system debuted in 2013 and brought back this year with a full line of head shapes. The Twelve CS is a high MOI mallet with a  raised center section and “wings” on the sides. The head is finished in black and then a large white rectangle runs down the center of the putter to aid in aligning the putter towards the target. There is also a short site line on the top, right next to where the shaft attached to the head.

Odyssey’s famous White Hot insert is a two-part urethane formula that offers a soft feel and consistent distance control. The sole features two weights that are interchangeable to dial in the desired head weight and feel. The Versa Twelve CS usually comes with Odyssey’s Stroke Lab counterbalanced graphite shaft but Luke looks to have gone with a traditional steel shaft and a Super Stroke Claw 2.0 Zenergy grip in Red and White.

Our own Andrew Tursky asked Joe Toulon about the type of player who gravitates towards a center-shafted putter:

“Since it’s easy to manipulate the face angle with something center shafted, probably someone with good hands. If you’re a good chipper you may like the face control that a center shafted putter offers.”

Check out more photos of the Odyssey Versa Twelve CS Putter.

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7 takeaways from an AWESOME equipment talk with Padraig Harrington



Fans of golf equipment have long known that Padraig Harrington is one of us. Throughout his career, Harrington has been willing to test new products, make changes from week to week, and play with a bag of mixed equipment brands.

What equipment fans may not know, however, is just how brilliant of an equipment mind Harrington truly has.

Ahead of the 2023 Valero Texas Open, I caught up with Harrington to pick his brain about what clubs are currently in his bag, and why. The conversation turned into Harrington discussing topics such as the broader equipment landscape, brand deals in 2023, his driver testing process, why he still uses a TaylorMade ZTP wedge from 2008, square grooves vs. V-grooves, and using a knockoff set of Ping Eye 1 irons as a junior.

Padraig Harrington’s 2023 WITB

Below are my 7 major takeaways from the extensive gear talk with Harrington.

1) Padraig’s stance on equipment contracts, and why he prefers Wilson

Harrington is a longtime Wilson staffer, and although he supports the brand and uses their equipment, he doesn’t use a full bag of Wilson clubs. He finds Wilson’s understanding of a player’s need for flexibility to be beneficial to the player, and it’s attracting more and more professional players to the company (such as Kevin Kisner and Trey Mullinax).

“Wilson wants me to play whatever I’m comfortable with. It’s very important. They’re not a manufacturer that says, ‘We want you to play 14 clubs.’ There’s always a club you don’t like. That’s just the way it is. So Wilson is like, ‘We want you playing well and playing the best clubs for you.’

“I am very comfortable with their irons. I’m very comfortable with their wedges, as you can see. They have an old hybrid 4 iron that I love. They have a new hybrid 4-iron that is too powerful. I put it in the bag last week and I had to take it out. The thing is, I use a 4-iron and a 5-wood. My 4-iron has to go somewhat relative to my 5-iron, and then I have to bridge that gap between 4-iron and 5-wood, so it has to do both. The new 4-iron was going 230 yards. My 4-iron goes about 215-235, maybe 240 on a warm day. And my 5-wood is like a warm-day 265 in the air, but I have no problem hitting it 235, so I can cross it over. But this 4-iron, the new version, it just went. I couldn’t hit the 215 shot with it; it’s just too powerful. That’s why I have the old 4-iron in the bag, but it does the job to bridge the gap…

“As players get more money, they’re less dependent on manufacturers. They need the service of a manufacturer – because, like I need to be on that truck and get things checked. But you’re seeing more players see Wilson as an attractive option because you don’t have to use 14 clubs. If you’re not happy this week with the putter; you know, Wilson has the putters, they have everything, but if you want to chase something else for a moment…remember, there’s two things you’re chasing. If you’re a free agent, it’s not good to be changing a lot. That is a distraction. But it’s nice to have the option that if somebody…like I feel Titleist has come out with a great driver. And I’m able to work my way straight into Titleist and say, ‘Hey, gimmie a go with that. Oh, this is a great driver, I’m going to use this.’ Wilson is aware of that. They want their players to be happy and playing well. Like it’s still 10 clubs, but it’s just not 14 and the ball.

“The irons are great, there’s no doubt about that. They’ve won the most majors. They make a gambit of irons. If you want to use a blade, they have the blade. If you want to use my iron, which is just a good tour composite, it has a bit of a cavity-back, you can do that. If you want to use the D irons that have rockets going off there, you can have them. Like the 4 iron, the one they gave me, it was a rocket! And guys are happy to carry driving irons like that, but mine has to match in with the 5-iron. It was just too high and too fast.

“So yeah, I think you’re going to see manufacturers go more of that way. Our players want to be independent, but the problem is that full independence is not great. You don’t want a situation where you’re turning up – as you see kids who make it into their first tournament, and the manufacturers start giving them stuff, and they’re changing. You don’t want to be the guy changing too much.”

2) The dangers of a 64-degree wedge

Although Harrington himself uses a Wilson Staff High Toe 64-degree wedge, he seldom practices with it. Here’s why he warns against it:

“The big key with a 64 wedge is DO NOT use it. No, seriously, do not use it. It’s a terrible wedge for your technique. That club is in the bag and it gets used on the golf course, and it gets used when it’s needed, but you don’t practice with it, because it’s awful. So much loft will get you leading too much, and you’re going to deloft it. Hit one or two shots with it, then put it away. You’re better off practicing with a pitching wedge and adding loft to be a good chipper instead of practicing with a lob wedge and taking loft off. A 64-degree wedge is accentuating that problem. It’s a dangerous club. It does a great job at times, but it certainly can do harm.

“It’s not bad having it in the bag for a certain shot, but it’s a terrible club to practice with. I literally hit one or two full shots with it, a couple chips with it, and that’s it. I know if I spend too long with it, I’ll start de-lofting.”

3) The interchangeable faces on TaylorMade’s ZTP wedges from 2008 were Padraig’s idea?!

I couldn’t believe it myself, but Harrington says that the idea for TaylorMade to offer interchangeable face technology on its ZTP wedges in 2008 was originally his idea…

“The TaylorMade is obviously attracting a lot of attention, but that was my idea! Myself and a consultant for Wilson, I got him to build changeable faces and he sold that to TaylorMade…that’s fully my idea. He sold that then to TaylorMade, and TaylorMade produced them, which I was happy about. But TaylorMade couldn’t sell them. You can’t get people to clean the grooves, so they weren’t going to buy a new face. Why have 400 faces at home? So I went out and bought these faces to make sure I had them for life. And I was home chipping a while ago, and I have a nice 58. I like the grind on that wedge, and the fact I can just replace the face and have a fresh face every three weeks, it’s just easy, so that’s why that’s in there.”

4) Driver testing isn’t all about speed

“The driver companies know I’m a free agent when it comes to drivers, so every time a new driver comes out, they’ll come to me and say, ‘Hey, would you have a look at this?’

“I will test everything, yeah, but it has to beat what I have in the bag. And Wilson’s new driver is the same. They brought out a new driver and it’s great, but I love the driver I’m using. So I say, ‘Look, guys, not only do you have to be as good as the incumbent, you have to be better, because I already know this and I’m familiar with it.’

“Wilson has built a very, very good driver. There’s know doubt about it. But I love the driver I’m using. And none of these manufacturers can build me a driver that’s better.

“Ball speed gets a driver into the conversation, and then you bring it to the golf course. So the driver has to be going as good as my current driver, and then I bring it to the course and see if I can hit the thing straight. I have gone down the road [of prioritizing speed]…I used a driver in 2014, and it never worked weekends. But it was fast. I used it for about six weeks I’d say – six tournaments – and I missed six straight cuts. It never worked the weekend. It was really fast on the range, but it just wasn’t good on the course.”


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5) Playing with knockoff irons as a junior

“I played as a junior for Ireland, under 18’s, and I owned half a set of golf clubs, and they were imitation Ping Eye 1’s. I borrowed the other half set off my brother. We had a half set each. I had the evens, he had the odds. In that tournament, there was a guy playing with Ping Berylliums with graphite shafts. They cost 1,900 pounds. Mine cost 100 pounds, and they were knockoffs. So I played, for my country, with a set of knockoffs. Before I used those knockoff clubs, I used a mixed bag of clubs. As in, I picked up whatever club they had. The 6-iron might go farther than the 5-iron. The 5-iron might go with a fade and the 7-iron might go with a hook, but I knew what my clubs did. Each club had a purpose.”

6) Using square grooves and V-grooves simultaneously

Square grooves – or “box grooves” – were outlawed by the USGA in 2010 because they were said to help golfers spin the ball too much. V grooves are said to provide less of an advantage because they restrict the sharp edges of the grooves, thus reducing the amount of friction imparted on the golf ball. Prior to the rule change, however, Harrington actually used both V grooves and box grooves, and he’d adjust his setup depending on the golf course.

“What’s interesting is, when the box grooves were around – very few people know this – I carried two sets of clubs at all times. I carried a V groove and a box groove.

“Yeah, see, the box grooves were unbelievable out of the rough, spin wise, but if the rough got to a certain level, the ball would come out so low and with spin that it wouldn’t go very far. Your 7-iron coming out of this rough would only go like 140 yards and it wouldn’t get over any trees because it would come out so low. What I was doing was, if I got to a golf course with this sort of a rough, I’d put in a box groove 7-iron and a V-groove 8-iron. If I got in the rough and I had 170 yards, I’d hit an 8 iron and get a flyer, because the 7 iron wouldn’t get there depending on the lie. And I couldn’t get it over things. So if there were trees, you needed the V groove to get over the trees. A box groove wouldn’t get up in the air.

“No one else was doing it. I played with the box groove for a couple years before I realized that in certain rough, you need the V groove to get there. Hale Irwin played a U.S. Open seemingly with no grooves. Off the fairway it’s meant to make no difference. I would disagree, but that’s what the officials would say. But out of the rough you needed the flyers to get to the green. The V grooves were doing that for me. You get your flyer to get of the rough to get the ball there, but then if it was the first cut of rough, or light rough, or Bermuda rough, or chip shots, it would come out so low and spinny that you’d have no problem.

“I can’t believe that people didn’t realize that I was doing this two-groove thing all the time. I swear to you, you could stand here, you would not launch a 7-iron over that fence there if it was box grooves out of light rough, and V groove would launch over it. The launch characteristics were massively different.”

7) Blame the person, not the putter

Interestingly, Harrington, for all his tinkering, has only used a handful of putters. It turns out, there’s a good reason for that — although he’d like his current model to be a few millimeters taller.

“I used a 2-ball when it came out. Then I used a 2-ball blade, which I won my majors with. I always had a hook in my putts, so not long after I won my majors, I went to face-balanced putter because it helps reduce the left-to-right spin. I started putting really badly in 2013 and 2014 – I had some issues. And then come 2016-2017, I just said, look, I putted well with this putter. If I use this putter, I can’t go back and say it’s the putter’s problem. It’s gotta be me. So I went back to the face-balanced 2-ball blade because I’ve had good times with it. I may have only used 5 or 6 putters in my career.

“I’m really happy that I’ve got a putter that I know I’ve putted well with, and I don’t blame the putter. I can’t say that anymore. I don’t blame my tools, I blame myself if I miss a putt. So it comes down to…I know the putter works, then it’s me. Me, me, me.

“You know, I’ve toyed with using other shafts in the putter, and I will look at other putters, but things are askew to me when I look down. So I can’t have a putter with a line on it. It doesn’t look square to the face. I’ve never putted with a putter that has a line on it for that reason. I line up by feel. I know that putter works, I know it suits me, so that’s why I go with that…

“I prefer a deeper putter (a taller face). The one issue I have is I hit the ball too high on the face, but they won’t remodel the whole system to make me a deeper putter. I’ve tried some optical illusions to try and get it where I hit the ball more in the center, but I hit it high. It seems to be going in the hole so I’m not going to worry about it too much. But in an ideal world, if someone came along and said they could make the putter 3-4 millimeters higher, I’d be happy with that.”

See more photos of Padraig Harrington’s 2023 WITB here

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TaylorMade survey on ball rollback finds everyday golfers massively against introduction of Model Local Rule



In response to the USGA and R&A’s recent announcement that they plan on rolling back the golf ball for the professional game, TaylorMade Golf issued a survey asking everyday golfers to voice their opinion regarding the topic of golf ball bifurcation. Today, they are sharing the results.

Almost 45,000 golfers across more than 100 countries spanning a variety of ages, abilities and participation levels took the time to complete the survey and have their voice heard, with some of the major findings shown below:

  • To the best of your knowledge, do you agree with the proposed golf ball rule?
    • 81% No
    • 19% Yes
  • Do you think average hitting distances in professional golf need to be reduced?
    • 77% No
    • 23% Yes
  • Are you for or against bifurcation in the game of golf (i.e., different rule(s) for professional golfers versus amateurs)?
    • 81% Against
    • 19% For
  • How important is it for you to play with the same equipment professional golfers use?
    • 48% Extremely important
    • 35% Moderately important
    • 17% Not important
  • If the proposed golf ball rule were to go into effect, would it have an impact on your interest in professional golf?
    • 45% Less interested
    • 49% No impact
    • 6% More Interested

The results also show that 57 percent of golfers aged 18-34 years old would be less interested in the pro game should the rule come into effect, while five percent said they would be more interested.

“The goal of our survey was to give golfers the opportunity to voice their opinion on this proposed ruling as we absorb the MLR and its potential effects on the everyday golfer. We are grateful that nearly 45,000 golfers across the world felt the need for their voice to be heard. The overwhelming amount of responses show the passion, knowledge and care for the game our audience possesses. Each response and data point is being reviewed as we will utilize this feedback in our preparation to provide a response to the USGA and R&A.” – David Abeles, TaylorMade Golf President & CEO

You can check out the survey results in full here.

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