X Hot and X Hot Pro Drivers
Most major equipment companies offer at least two drivers in their new product lineups. There’s usually a larger, more forgiving model aimed at average golfers and a more compact model with lower-spin characteristics for players who have more swing speed.
Along with Callaway’s RAZR Fit Xtreme driver, Callaway is releasing its X Hot and X Hot Tour drivers for 2013, which take individualization a step further. Not only was each head made specifically for a certain type of player — each loft was engineered with a specific player in mind as well.
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The X Hot is the most forgiving driver of the pair. At 460cc, it is 20cc larger than the Pro version. It’s also 14 grams lighter than the Pro, which could allow slower swing-speed players to increase clubhead speed.
Dr. Alan Hocknell, vice president of R&D for Callaway, said data from Callaway’s fit bays across the country showed that most golfers who need more loft also need more draw bias, which is why the X Hot and X Hot Pro drivers have center of gravities that move toward the heel as the lofts increase, helping golfers square the club at impact. That draw bias is more severe in the X Hot driver line than it is in the X Hot Pro drivers, which are aimed at players who need less help squaring up the club face.
The X Hot Pro driver features a smaller head (440cc), with a deeper face that helps golfers reduce the spin on their tee shots. Unlike the X Hot, the X Hot Pro driver does not have any alignment markings on the crown, providing a clean at Callaway’s new dark grey matte finish.
Both all-titanium drivers use Callaway’s Forged Cup Face design, which Callaway says leads to high ball speeds across the face, and are adjustable with Callaway’s Opti-Fit Hosel System.
Face angle and loft
The X Hot driver is designed to have a square face angle in its neutral setting. Setting the face angle to the open (O) position on the Opti-Fit Hosel will open the face to 2.5 degrees and subtract 1 degree of loft. A change to the closed (C) setting will set the face 1.5-degrees closed and increase loft 1 degree.
The X Hot Pro driver is designed to have a face that is 0.5-degrees open in neutral. Setting the face angle to the open (O) position on the Opti-Fit Hosel will open the face to 3.5 degrees and subtract 1 degree of loft. A change to the closed (C) setting will set the face 1-degree closed and increase loft 1 degree.
The X Hot is available is lofts of 9.5, 10.5, 11.5 and 13 degrees. It comes stock with a proprietary True Temper Project X Velocity shaft in light, regular and stiff flexes. The standard length is 46 inches with a swing weight of D3.
The X Hot Pro is available in 9, 10.5 and 12 degree lofts, and comes stock with a “real deal” Project X Velocity shaft in the following flexes: 5.5 (64 grams — 4.6 degrees of torque), 6.0 (65.1 grams — 4.7 degrees of torque) and 6.5 (76 grams — 4.0 degrees of torque). The standard length is 45.75 with a swing weight of D3.
Callaway’s X Hot and X Hot Pro fairway woods look much like the company’s previous fairway woods, but changes to materials and construction make them top-tier performers.
The new fairway woods borrow the forged cup face design from Callaway drivers, which moved 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.
These changes give 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.
“The reason we didn’t want to add a slot to the front of the sole is because the weight we would be removing is in a pretty good place,” said Evan Gibbs, manager of performance analysis and club configuration for Callaway. “We also wanted to keep it small so it would have the versatility and functionality of a true fairway wood.”
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Both fairway woods have what Callaway calls dynamic weight projection, 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 and 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.
The X Hot comes in lofts of 15, 17, 19, 21, 23 and 25 degrees, and is available with a proprietary Project X Velocity shaft in light, regular and stiff flexes. The standard length is 43.5 inches (3 wood) with a standard swing weight of D3.
The X Hot Pro comes in lofts of 13.5, 15, 17 and 19 degrees, and is available with a “real deal” True Temper Project X Velocity shaft in the following flexes: 5.5 (70 grams — 5 degrees of torque), 6.0 (74 grams — 5 degrees of torque) and 6.5 (75 grams — 5 degrees of torque). The standard length is 43 inches (3 wood) with a swing weight of D3.
The X Hot fairway woods have a square face angle, while the X Hot Pro fairway woods will sit 1-degree open at address.
The uncommon club that led to Phil Mickelson’s opening 64 at Wells Fargo
Phil Mickelson is one of the most interesting players on tour, not just for his creative and exciting play but also his gear which he is very particular about depending on the event.
Lefty got off to a stunning start this week at Quail Hollow, firing a round of 64, all set up by his excellence off the tee, an area of the game that has sometimes hurt Mickelson.
On Thursday, the 50-year-old gained 1.5 strokes over the field off the tee, and the secret behind the success was down to a 2-wood he plays as a mini driver.
The 2-wood in question is a TaylorMade “Original One” Mini driver, and following his electric start at the Wells Fargo, Mickelson told reporters what he gains from playing the club off the tee and how he uses it:
“It’s just kind of a mini driver head that I use as a strong 3-wood, and out here, because the fairways are so firm if I hit it low enough, I’m able to get a lot of chase out of it, and I don’t feel like I’m sacrificing any distance. So that allows me to kind of keep my misses a lot tighter. Today I hit it very successful, I hit a lot of good shots with it.”
Mickelson ranked eight off the tee after round one, and following some fun banter on Twitter with playing partner Joel Dahmen before Thursday’s round, the club helped Lefty gain all the bragging rights heading into day two.
Lesson learned ? pic.twitter.com/WgjiWmB3hM
— Phil Mickelson (@PhilMickelson) May 6, 2021
Is a blade just a blade? – GolfWRXers discuss
In our forums, our members have been discussing blade irons and whether there are discernible difference in models or not.
WRXer ‘LowAndLeft32’ wants to know how fellow members decide on a particular blade to game, and WRXers have been sharing their thoughts and process in our forums.
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.
- benclab: “Look of top line, offset and how bounce acts at contact and through. All blades are not the same.”
- Yoshifan151: “Blade designs differ a lot from one manufacturer to another. Sole design is the biggest one that will have an impact IMO. But if you like your VR Pros I’d stick with them personally; those are one of the best blade sets ever in terms of a total package.”
- cgasucks: “The shape of the blade has virtually been changed for decades. You can only forge a billet of carbon steel into so many shapes. It is really up to the person to decide. You can’t go wrong with any of the blades you listed. Your current Nike Blades are can still perform up there with today’s blades. For me, I would choose one which is based on looks and feel and how it frames against the ball at address.”
- DaRiz: “Looks at address. Sound/feel. Looks in the bag. In that order, no other criteria need be analyzed.”
PXG expanding Battle Ready putter collection with Closer and Spitfire
PXG is expanding its Battle Ready Collection of putters with the all-new: Closer and Spitfire models which are 100 percent milled and have been engineered to combine high MOI with prominent alignment features to increase confidence on the greens.
“Golfers love options. And our new Battle Ready Closer and Spitfire are two of the very best putters you’ll ever use. Period. These putters are fully optimized, from CG and MOI to stability and alignment so that you can sink more putts” -PXG founder and CEO Bob Parsons
Battle Ready Closer
The Battle Ready Closer is a high MOI wide-body blade featuring high-density tungsten in the heel and toe to increase the putter’s stability compared to the previous model and optimize the center of gravity.
Beyond the flange sightline, the geometry of the head is intentionally built around parallel and perpendicular lines for easy alignment.
Battle Ready Spitfire
The Spitfire is a “wide-winged” mallet with the wings built using tungsten to create a very high-MOI and to also aid with alignment.
- Optimized face pattern – Like with previous PXG putters, the pyramid face pattern optimizes the ball speed across the putter face by reducing speed on center strikes while also retaining speed towards the heel and toe, all providing a soft feel. The face ensures consistency in all parameters that affect roll including; initial ball velocity, launch angle, spin rate, and skid.
- Tungsten weighting – For maximum stability, the putter has an added tungsten frame along the perimeter to boost MOI and create a deeper center of gravity. The Tungsten works alongside the lightweight aluminum frame to remove mass away from the center while still having ports for weight customization.
Price, specs, and availability
Both the Battle Ready series Closer and Spitfire putters will retail at $525 but are being introduced at a special introductory price of $295. For more information or book a putter fitting, visit PXG.com or call 844.PLAY.PXG.
Specs will vary based on putter configurations, but each putter will have the option for a plumber’s neck, Heel Shafted, Double Bend, or Armlock – provide additional customization based on a player’s unique stroke style.
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