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Review: Callaway X2 Hot, X2 Hot Pro Fairway Woods

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Pros: Two different options, a Pro version with a slightly smaller head, lower launch and spin, and flatter sole, and a standard version offering maximum forgiveness and an easier launch. Lighter and thinner forged Hyper Speed Face Cup continues to produce great feel and more ball speed across the face.

Cons: Similar to the X2 Hot Pro hybrid, the Pro fairway wood looks beautiful, but even better players might find it takes a lot of work to hit great shots. No adjustability, but numerous loft options to choose from should work for most golfers.

Bottom line: These clubs are seriously long and look really good at the same time. The X2 Hot Pro is designed for the better player and offers good performance from virtually any lie as well as greater workability to hit a variety of shots. All golfers can benefit from the slightly higher-launching and more-forgiving X2 Hot fairway wood.

Overview

Callaway made a major statement in 2013 with the X Hot fairway woods. Callaway went from having a second-tier wood product line to dominating the fairway wood category, doubling its market share. This year it is continuing to offer two versions of its fairway woods — a Pro version for better players and a standard version designed for everyone. The X2 Hot Pro fairway wood has a slightly smaller head, flatter sole and Aldila Tour Green shaft. The X2 Hot fairway wood, which is really designed for every golfer, has a larger head, more forgiveness and Aldila Tour Blue shaft that makes it easier to launch the ball in the air and generate good distance across more of the face.

Both fairway woods have a high-strength forged 455-carpenter steel cup face like last year’s X Hot fairway woods. This year, through Callaway’s precision forging, the company was able to make the face of the X2 Hot fairway woods lighter and thinner, which maximizes the spring-like effect of a greater area of the face, generating increased ball speed on mishits. The Internal Standing Wave, technology that also debuted on last’s year’s X Hot fairway woods, is lower and more forward to increase performance of the clubs on shots hit low on the face.

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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 swingweight is D3.The X2 Hot Pro fairway woods are available in lofts of 13.5, 15, 17 and 19 degrees, with an aftermarket version of Aldila’s Tour Green 75 shaft in R, S and X flexes. The swingweight is D3. Both fairway woods will be available in stores Jan. 17 and sell for $239.

Performance

Depending on the player, the fairway wood plays the role of driver, lay-up club, go-for-it club, approach club or all of the above. Golfers use fairway woods from a variety of lies, and expect them to perform equally well off the tee and off the deck. I tested the X2 Hot 3 Wood and 15-degree X2 Hot Pro fairway woods over multiple sessions both on the course during rounds and on a Flightscope launch monitor on the driving range. My goal was to simply see if the ball flight and performance matched Callaway’s claims.

My first few shots with both fairway woods were on the driving range prior to a round. It was a windy day and a great opportunity to see how each club handles conditions that are not ideal. Both fairway woods produced really nice trajectories and neither one ballooned up in the air. My typical ball flight with a fairway wood is straight to a slight cut, but both clubs on the range and on the course produced straight shots and draws. Working the ball in both directions was still possible, as was the occasional fade with the X2 Hot Pro, but these clubs have some draw bias to them.

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Similar to my initial thoughts about the X2 Hot Pro hybrid, I really wanted to love the X2 Hot Pro fairway wood. At address, the head looks almost like a large hybrid, very compact and powerful. I could instantly feel the difference in weight, too, with the X2 Hot Pro feeling heavier at address. However, just like the Pro hybrid, I was working hard on every shot.

Over the course of four rounds, I played the X2 Hot and X2 Hot Pro fairway woods off the tee and from the fairway and rough. Each club continued to produce the ball flight and distance I expected. I was really impressed with the clubs’ Warbird soles and how they interacted with the turf from a variety of lies. I was seeing as much distance, if not more, than I was seeing with my current gamer, and I had a chance to go at a couple par 5s that I ordinarily wouldn’t go for. From the fairway, I felt like it was easier to get the ball up in the air with the X2 Hot. Off the tee, both fairway woods produced some good shots keeping my tee balls on the fairway on tight driving holes.

Performance: Standard X2 Hot Fairway Wood

Over the course of an hour-long session on Flightscope, I rotated between both fairway woods and threw out true mishits and outliers from the data presented below. I tested shots off the heel and toe as well as high and low on the face.

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Above: The X2 Hot fairway woods have crown graphics and a graphic over the center of their faces to help golfers with alignment. 

Both fairway woods are designed to launch the ball easier and produce higher ball speeds across a wider portion of the face. On average, when compared to the X2 Hot Pro, the standard fairway wood generated 2 mph more club head speed, but only a yard more total distance. The launch angle was only a half-degree higher than the X2 Hot Pro, but generated slightly more spin. That said, the spin numbers were very low. Almost 600 rpm less on average than my current gamer.

Almost every shot I hit with the X2 Hot fairway wood had a draw ball flight and a very nice trajectory. Callaway moved weight to the perimeter, which helps to stabilize the club on mishits and I was curious how off-center hits would perform. Mishits off the heel resulted in less loss of ball speed and distance than shots off the toe. In my testing, the X2 Hot hybrids and drivers actually produced better performance on mishits, but overall, the X2 Hot fairway wood was still very forgiving during testing.

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Performance: X2 Hot Pro Fairway Wood

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The X2 Hot Pro produced some of the longest fairway wood shots I’ve hit on a launch monitor. While my swing speed was 2 mph slower than with the X2 Hot, primarily the result of the different shaft, I was still generating the same ball speed with 1-to-2 yards more carry and total distance. The spin numbers were slightly lower as well, which worked well for me outside in the windy test conditions. My overall dispersion was about 8 yards tighter on average with the X2 Hot Pro, but my misses were much more exaggerated.

I expected that my ball flight with the X2 Hot Pro would favor more of a straight shot or slight cut, but I found the majority of my shots produced draws. Mishits off the heel and toe still generated good ball speed, but it was much easier to mishit the Pro version. The more forward-jetting Internal Standing Wave appears to have worked well, as shots low on the face produced good ball speed without adding too much spin.

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Both clubs outperform my current gamer in every category, and generated average distance gains of 3 to 5 yards. If we look at the most well-struck shots off the center of the face, the X2 Hot Pro was 12 yards longer than my current fairway wood and the X2 Hot was 5 yards longer. My longest shot with the X2 Hot Pro fairway wood was as long as some of my shortest, slightly mishit drives with the X2 Hot drivers. These fairway woods are crazy long when you hit them on the sweet spot and still produce great ball speeds on mishits.

The X2 Hot and X2 Hot Pro produced results I expected based on Callaway’s claims. If you checked out the review of the X2 Hot hybrids, there is a pattern here. For the better player, the Pro version should be very enticing and has everything you would want. But even if you favor pro models, I would recommend also testing the standard version to compare the forgiveness and overall performance. The Tour Green shaft was the No. 1 shaft on the PGA Tour last year for a reason, but some golfers might find it a little too much to handle. For the golfer looking for help getting the ball into the air and greater forgiveness on mishits, the standard version should go on the list of fairway woods to test this year.

Looks and Feel

These fairway woods are incredibly good looking. The blend of the darker grey crown and darker grey Aldila shafts look like they were made for each other. The X2 Hot have simplistic crown markings on the head, but they aren’t distracting, if anything they tie the graphics from the sole to the crown together. Similar to the X2 Hot driver, the X2 Hot fairway wood also has a chevron alignment mark, while the X2 Hot Pro is completely clean on the crown. The shape and look of the face of the fairway woods are slightly different as well with the X2 Hot Pro having less scroll lines than the X2 Hot. Overall, the X2 Hot Pro is a fairway wood designed for the purist and the X2 Hot is designed for pretty much anyone else.

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Both versions offer a distinctly different look at address. Even though the X2 Hot isn’t an oversized fairway wood, when placed side by side, the X2 Hot Pro looks almost like a hybrid by comparison. I felt confident at address with both clubs, but for different reasons. With the X2 Hot fairway wood, I felt like I could hit the ball anywhere on the larger face and end up somewhere near where I was aiming. Looking down at address with the X2 Hot Pro, I felt like I had a mallet in my hands and if I hit the ball anywhere near the sweet spot, it would fire out like a low, penetrating rocket.

The forged face feels pure at impact, especially shots off the sweet spot. Plenty of feedback is also available on both heel/toe and high/low hits. As expected, impact with the X2 Hot Pro, with its hybrid-like smaller head, felt more firm and iron-like and the X2 Hot felt more, well, hot off the face. At times, the X2 Hot Pro felt very rigid, which aided in the feeling that it was more work to hit great shots.

Bottom Line

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Improving on an already good product is tough to do. Callaway engineers didn’t simply slap a new coat of paint on old technology; they set out to continue to push the limit in fairway woods and managed to design a line with more robust faces that generates higher ball speeds, more forgiveness and works from a variety of lies.

With numerous loft options and premium stock shafts, the X2 Hot and X2 Hot fairway woods should be on your list of clubs to test this year if you’re in the market for a new fairway wood.

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When he is not obsessing about his golf game, Kane heads up an innovation lab responsible for driving innovative digital product development for Fortune 500 companies. He is also the co-founder of RoundShout and creator of Ranger GPS, the free iOS GPS app for the driving range. On a quest to become a scratch golfer, Kane writes about his progress (for better or worse) at kanecochran.com and contributes golf technology-focused articles on GolfWRX.com.

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Carl Barrett

    Nov 25, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    I tested and bought the X2 Hot Pro today. I am a single figure golfer with a natural draw. this club gave me a very slight fade with a dispersion of 5 yards over 240. This was consistent over 30 strikes.I bought it for this reason hoping to land softly on or around greens from distance. I totally disagree with the draw bias explained. such a set up would have me duck hooking..!

  2. jc

    Jan 22, 2014 at 6:21 pm

    A GUY AT THE CLUB bought the new x2 driver…hit ONE longer than what he was using….I will keep my G25 and live in the middle of the fairway…I don’t like clubs than do draws because I don’t need it..

  3. Paul

    Jan 13, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    Deep models? That is the one we really want to know about. With launch monitor numbers compared to regular woods would be nice.

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Equipment

Best golf gifts on Amazon

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To supplement our holiday gift guides, we thought we’d give our readers some of our best picks for best golf gifts on Amazon. We’ve included 12 items to help you in your holiday gift selections, with a bonus extra for our friends in the UK!

So whether you’re looking for ideas for gifts you want to give, or even better receive, we have you covered!

Best golf gifts on Amazon

The Golf Father Gift Ceramic Coffee Mug

From the listing: “Do you need a gift idea for Christmas, Valentine’s day, anniversary, birthday, family occasion, or father’s day? This novelty mug will make a great gift for your husband, boyfriend, brother, uncle, grandparents, co-worker or friend.”

Price: $8.45

Buy here.

Titleist Pro V1 Christmas Golf Balls – 3 Pack (Amazon UK)

From the listing:Titleist Pro V1 Golf Balls – 3 Pack – Printed with christmas motifs. Total performance for all golfers with the combination of exceptional distance, the best short game spin and control, and very soft feel. Exceptional Distance | Drop-and-Stop Short Game Control. Very Soft Feel.”

Price: $22.50

Buy here.

Nike Men’s Academy 18 Drill Top

From the listing:Sweat-wicking Nike Dry-FIT Technology. Half-zip design. 100% Polyester. Machine Wash. Fastening: Zipper. Academy 18 Drill.”

Price: $49

Buy here.

GoSports CHIPSTER Range

From the listing:Includes 3 Chipping Targets (12 inches, 18 inches, 24 inches) for practicing at varying distances and directions. Targets setup in seconds and neatly store in the included carrying case. Use outdoors with real golf balls or indoor with foam balls.”

Price: $29.99

Buy here. 

Titleist Players Men’s Golf Glove

From the listing:Ultra-thin, for maximum feel and lasting performance. Premium, quality fit means a seamless connection to your club. Utilizes proprietary breathable fabric for comfort and support. Satin reinforcement at cuff and thumb for strength and durability.”

Price: $30

Buy here.

2020 Callaway Chrome Soft Golf Balls

From the listing:Chrome Soft takes Tour performance to another level; We’ve reengineered every aspect and element in the ball for more speed off the tee, and longer distance off of every club in the bag. A faster, larger Graphene-infused Dual SoftFast Core is designed for increased distance; The significantly larger inner core creates higher launch and lower spin. And the thinner, firmer outer core is reinforced with Graphene for better durability.”

Price: $39.99 (down from $47.99)

Buy here.

TaylorMade TP5 Pix 2.0 Golf Ball

From the listing:Better visibility: Multi-Color, high contrast graphics. Better alignment: Unique clear path alignments.”

Price: $39.99 (down from $44.99)

Buy here.

Titleist Golf Warmer 

From the listing:Mitten style with micro fleece lining and cinch opening for comfort. Water resistant shell for performance in all weather conditions. Internal hand warmer compartment.”

Price: $44.99

Buy here.

TaylorMade Pro Stand 6.0 Golf Bag

From the listing:9″ Top stand bag. 7-Way top with a front integrated grab handle and two side grab handles with color co-ordinated air mesh. Light weight high-mount automatic stand system. 4-Point adjustable backpack strap for maximum balance and comfort. Towel loop and umbrella holder.”

Price: $79.99 (down from $129.99)

Buy here.

Garmin Approach S10

From the listing:Simple, easy-to-use golf watch. Sleek, lightweight and comfortable with a high-resolution, Sunlight-readable display. Provides yardages to the front, back and middle of the Green -as well as Hazards and doglegs -on more than 41, 000 preloaded courses worldwide. Keep Score on the watch for a summary of your round, total distance played and total time.”

Price: $99 (down from $149.99)

Buy here.

Under Armour Men’s Spieth 3 Golf Shoe

From the listing:Textile and Synthetic. Imported. Synthetic sole. Shaft measures approximately low-top from arch. Breathable, Clarino microfiber upper & a lightweight waterproof membrane keep you cool & dry. Smart woven forefoot panel & heel counter for biomechanically correct foot support & lightweight comfort. Integrated lacing system for a locked in fit.”

Price: $117.21 (down from $200)

Buy here.

Puma Men’s Ignite Pwradapt Caged Stars and Stripes Golf Shoe

From the listing: 100% Synthetic. Synthetic sole. Adaptive Fit System. Ignite Foam. Power cage. Power frame. Power adapt.”

Price: $169.99

Buy here.

Callaway Golf 2020 Mavrik Fairway Wood

From the listing:MAVRIK is the longest fairway wood that Callaway has ever made. The new A. I. -optimized Flash Face SS20 is forged from exotic materials, which are uniquely designed for each model and loft to maximize ball speed and performance. We’ve combined our industry-leading technologies to deliver distance, forgiveness and performance from every club.”

Price: $249.99 (down from $299.99)

Buy here.

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Whats in the Bag

Steph Curry WITB (The Match 3)

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Driver: Callaway Mavrik Sub Zero Single Diamond (9 degrees, -1/N)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Blue 7 X (45 inches, D3)

3-wood: Callaway Mavrik Sub Zero (13.5 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Blue 8 X (43 inches, D3)

Utility: Callaway Apex UT ‘21 (18 degrees)
Shaft: KBS Tour 130X

steph curry witb the match 3

Irons: Callaway Apex Pro Double Dot (4-PW)
Shafts: Project X 6.5

Wedges: Callaway Jaws MD5 (50-10S, 56-10S, 60-10S)
Shafts: Project X 6.0

Putter: Odyssey Toulon Atlanta

Ball: Chrome Soft X

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet MidSize

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Equipment

‘My brief blade experience’ – GolfWRXers react

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In our forums, our members have been reacting to an interesting experience WRXer ‘LongJohnPeter’ had when testing out blades for the first time. ‘LongJohnPeter’ writes:

“For reasons unbeknownst to myself, I have been obsessed with playing blades lately. So I took a trip to my local range today and picked out an old Lynx USA 7 iron blade from the rental rack (I don’t own a blade and had never hit one previously). While I did see a reduction in distance (more of a result of EXTREMELY crappy range balls and a 50 degree day), I couldn’t believe how much more consistent my face contact was, compared with my Ping Zing’s I currently use. And even on the few mishits, they weren’t punished nearly as bad as everyone and their mother said they would be, and I knew exactly what had happened and could adjust accordingly.

Anyone have a similar experience? Is this just a honeymoon phase? Or is the golfing elite trying to preserve the sanctity of blade irons?”

And our members have been reacting to the post and sharing their thoughts in our forum.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • uglande: “I switched back to blades this year (had not played them in decades), and I will never give them up. They are so pure and consistent and easy to maneuver. I prefer the thinner soles, which give me better turf interaction. Blades will never produce those nuclear shots that go 15 yards longer than you expected. And, yes, GI clubs help retain ball speed on mishits, but I would rather be 10 yards short of the green than in the bunkers or other garbage on either side of the green. And I certainly don’t want to torpedo one (happened frequently with my P790s) that goes over the green, which is always where the worst hazards lie.”
  • NotTheGuyOrAmi: “I ’m far from a technical expert, but I have concluded that increased MOI may give some incremental benefit, and of course less loft means clubs with a particular loft might hit father, but the point of most of the “improvement” in-game improvement irons is to allow people who hit the ground before the ball with a slow swing speed to get a better result from a lower center of gravity. This, by the way, is not a good thing.”
  • CCTXgolf: “For some people a smaller club makes them concentrate a little harder, and that extra little bit of concentration can certainly help you find the center of the club face more often. Problem is it’s tough to keep that going for 18 holes. Much less day to day. I just went to blades in my short irons (8-P) and don’t really find that much difference in those shorter irons. They sure are pretty though.”

Entire Thread: “My brief blade experience”

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