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Callaway offers BIG distance in a smaller package with Steelhead XR Pro irons



In August, Callaway launched a new set of irons called Steelhead XR that had many golfers feeling sentimental. The shaping of the irons was inspired by the company’s X-14 irons that were released in 2000, one of the most popular models in company history.

The Steelhead XR irons have proven to be a success, and are considered one of the longest-flying game-improvement irons currently available. They’ve done so well, in fact, that Callaway is introducing a new design called the XR Steelhead Pro. The new irons promise all the distance of the Steelhead XR irons, but have a “Pro” design that uses less offset.


Callaway Steelhead XR (silver) and Steelhead XR Pro (black) irons.

Like the Steelhead XR irons, the Pros use Callaway’s 360 Face Cup Technology, which allows the edges of the iron faces to flex more at impact to promote more ball speed and distance – particularly on off-center hits. They also have what Callaway calls a “modern Hollow Bore-Thru” hosel, which company engineers used to remove weight from the hosel of the irons and place it in different areas to fine tune the performance of each individual iron.


The Steelhead XR Pro irons (left) have thinner soles.

For example, the long and middle irons in the set have a low, rearward center of gravity (CG) that helps golfers launch shots higher and with more consistency. The short irons and wedges have a higher, more forward CG that promotes the lower-launching, higher-spinning shots golfers desire from short range.


The Steelhead XR Pro irons (right) also have thinner top lines.

To improve sound and feel, the XR Steelhead Pro irons use a steel-infused polyurethane layer that’s positioned behind the lower part of the club face. Deemed a “snubber” by the Callaway R&D team, the layer acts as a shock absorber to give the thin-faced cast irons a feel that rivals that of Callaway’s Apex CF ’16 irons, which are forged.

Along with their reduced offset, the Steelhead XR Pro irons have a Black PVD finish that makes them appear smaller than the Steelhead XR irons at address. They’ll be in stores February 17 and sell for $899 for eight irons (3-PW or 4-AW, steel shafts only).

Related: See more photos and what GolfWRX Members are saying about the Steelhead Pro irons in our forum. 

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  1. Mike

    Jan 25, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    Well with my 85 to 90 MPH swing speed, I play the game improvement standard XR Steelheads fitted for my swing, which are superb for my 12 handicap, I doubt I could hit these Pro irons with the same consistency of my Standard set, your correct in your assessment JD lol

  2. Cody

    Jan 24, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    Might want to update that release date. It is 3/3 per Callaway’s website

  3. Joshuaplaysgolf

    Jan 24, 2017 at 2:22 pm

    I would love to know where the BIG difference comes from. Is this the taylormade ‘label the loft of a 6 iron as an 8 iron and call it the longest 8 iron ever’ claim, or are there real technological advances here? Some actual specs on the clubs would be helpful.

  4. Mark

    Jan 24, 2017 at 2:44 am

    I can see the 50 degree going into my bag to augment the standard Steelhead irons. These look great and I like the darker finish as well. Callaway are on a roll.

  5. cgasucks

    Jan 23, 2017 at 9:00 pm

    15 years ago this model would’ve been their top of the line player’s club (except that the lofts are a few degrees stronger)..

  6. Rock Chalk JayHawk

    Jan 23, 2017 at 5:53 pm

    I like my standard Steelhead XR irons. I was hoping they had a pro version when I got them, but after seeing these, I’m not missing out on anything.

  7. TEX

    Jan 23, 2017 at 3:41 pm

    Yall realize these Pros are a hair more offset than the Apex pro ( .010 in s shorter irons and .025 in longer) Thats pretty dang good if you ask me.

  8. Hmm

    Jan 23, 2017 at 12:06 pm

    So the head isn’t smaller? It just “looks” smaller because of the black finish (granted there IS a thinner top line…) Meh.

  9. David Mcfarland

    Jan 23, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    Sorry pal if your an 11. You still need game improvement irons. Get off your high horse!

  10. James G

    Jan 23, 2017 at 9:41 am

    I think one reason they have a Pro version may have to do with price. Apex are over 1000 bucks. These aren’t

    • John

      Jan 23, 2017 at 10:17 am

      Exactly. $1000 seems to be a threshold that most people don’t like to go over.

  11. JGOLF

    Jan 23, 2017 at 9:14 am

    Why make a “Pro” iron within a game improvement line? If someone is “Pro” caliber, they probably want to be hitting something smaller, softer, and more expensive…….like the APEX line. I don’t get it. Maybe it’s just bad marketing by calling it a “Pro”.

    • LD

      Jan 23, 2017 at 9:44 am

      I would guess good ball-strikers who have lost some swing speed due to age or injury, and still want smaller heads with less offset.
      Also, why would anyone want to buy something just because it is more expensive?

      • JGOLF

        Jan 23, 2017 at 10:03 am

        Because usually there is value there to offer for the increase of price. I am not trash talking Callaway by any means……I just don’t get it. I play some Callaway clubs and like them a lot. I used to be a 20 handicapper and now an 11, and once I could get away from game improvement irons, I was really excited to buy players irons. I just figured that once someone’s ball striking was good enough, they would prefer players irons and not game improvement.

        • LD

          Jan 23, 2017 at 11:10 am

          I didn’t think you were trashing Callaway, I was just taking a guess at which golfers these irons are aimed at. I wouldn’t call them “game improvement” with the small heads and little offset. I would call them “hot players irons”. Someone who can consistently strike the center of the club face, but want a little help hitting longer shots with their slower swing speed.

          • Richard

            Jan 23, 2017 at 11:40 am

            Right on LD! Those clubs are a nice fit for me and will be in my bag!

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Modern Classics (Ep. 4): Testing a TaylorMade Burner SuperFast 3-wood



GolfWRX recently launched a new 8-part video series, called “The Modern Classics,” in partnership with 2nd Swing Golf. Throughout this video series, GolfWRX’s Head of Tour Content, Andrew Tursky, tests out 8 legendary used golf clubs that are still being played on Tour today. How do the older, less expensive products compare to modern technologies?

In the first three episodes, Tursky tested out TaylorMade’s Tour Preferred MC 2011 irons, Adams Idea Pro hybrids from 2006, and a TaylorMade Rocketballz RBZ fairway wood.

For episode 4, we highlight the TaylorMade Burner SuperFast fairway woods, which were released to the public in 2010. Although they’re more than a decade old, we spotted one in Richard Bland’s 2022 WITB.

The Burner SuperFast fairway woods are currently available for $76.99 on 2nd Swing’s website.

Check out the video at the top of the page for more on the product, design, and how it stands up in testing against a modern 3-wood.

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Whats in the Bag

Will Zalatoris WITB 2023 (February)



Driver: Titleist TSR3 (10 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus TR Black 7 X

3-wood: Titleist TSR2+ (14.5 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus TR Blue 8 X

Irons: Titleist T200 (3), Titleist T100
Shafts: Nippon N.S. Pro Prototype Graphite on Steel Technology Prototype Hybrid 10 ST X (3), True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM9 (50-08S, 54-10S),Titleist Vokey Design WedgeWorks Proto (60-T)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Putter: Scotty Cameron T-11 Proto
Grip: SuperStroke Traxion Tour 1.0PT

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

Grips: Golf Pride Z Grip Cord

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Best wedge for bad bunker players? – GolfWRXers discuss



In our forums, our members have been discussing wedges for poor bunker players. WRXer ‘gdb99’ kicks off the thread saying “I’m not good out of sand. I used to be, 35 years ago. I blade shots over the green. It’s all technique, and I need a lot of practice. I know that,” and reaches out to our members who have been sharing what they feel are the wedges that can help him the most.

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.

  • hammergolf: “Ping Eye2 is the best bunker club ever. If you’re blading it you’re not steep enough. Open the face and hit down on the sand. The bounce will stop it from digging too much.”
  • flubberlange: “Try a Vokey 60* in a K grind.”
  • Fwitz11: “I also struggle with the bunker and have found that an open 60 and hitting just behind the ball is the easiest out I have used. Has helped me a ton with not blading it over the green.”
  • lazyjc4: “I’ve hit the best bunker shots of my life with PM Grind wedges.  I look like I know what I’m doing almost all of the time.”

Entire Thread: “Best wedge for bad bunker players? – GolfWRXers discuss”

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