As the game of golf has continued to evolve over the past decade so has the popular long iron replacement that have made their way into the majority of amateur’s bags and a growing number of PGA Tour players as well. Whether you call them hybrids or rescues, it makes no difference because they have transformed the way the modern game is played. I can speak from personal experience that after adding a 3 and a 4-hybrid to my golf bag to replace my 3 and 4-iron over seven years ago, my confidence improved and as a direct result, so did my scores. I used to dread pulling a club out of my bag from 190-220 yards. I never knew what I was going to get from either of those irons.
Even as a very good player, looking down at that thin, small-faced blade made me cringe before and during impact! I’ve played several brands of over the past few years, but last year, I settled on the Callaway X2 Hot hybrid as up until that date, I hadn’t seen performance like that before. Bringing fairway wood technology to the hybrid was a new venture at the time. From first-hand experience, the Callaway X2 Hot hybrid was about as good as it gets. I was longer from everywhere regardless of the lie or where I hit the ball on the face and also launched the ball higher for more control coming into the smaller greens with trouble surrounding the flag.
Many proponents, including myself, wondered how Callaway could possibly make a hybrid better than what they packed the X2 Hot with in 2014. Once again, Callaway has used their world-class research and development team to create a new hybrid that will usher us into this year’s golf season, one that provides all players alike with more speed, distance, and forgiveness. And who doesn’t want that? So step aside X2 Hot, there’s a new sheriff in town and his name is XR.
So How Did They Do It?
Expanding on the face cup technology that debuted in their X2 Hot hybrids, Callaway has produced a new generation of face technology in the XR called Forged Hyper Speed Face Cup. This latest improvement increases the flexibility of the face and will increase ball speeds regardless of where you hit the ball on the club face. What this means to you is that not only is the Callaway XR hybrid going to be longer than what you’ve got in your bag now if struck squarely in the center of the face but also longer and more forgiving on those common mishits.
What you will also notice with the Callaway XR hybrid is a more aggressive head shape construction than the previous collection of hybrids. The traditional low toe and low heel height has been enlarged more than ever before, creating a bigger face area for more confidence when you set the club behind the ball at address. Because the shape of the head has been intensely redesigned, it has allowed Callaway to position their largest and heaviest internal standing wave to date inside the club head all the way from the heel to the toe. The result of this is a center of gravity that is now 46% lower and an MOI (a measure of forgiveness) higher than the X2 Hot. The combination of the new head shape and the revised standing wave has produced a hybrid that launches higher, spins less, and is up to 13 yards longer than its predecessor in recent testing.
Isn’t It Time That You Fly It Higher, Straighter, And Farther From Everywhere?
Two Callaway XR hybrid models are available. The first is the standard XR hybrid which is available in both men’s and women’s, right and left-hand, and have choices from 3 – 6 hybrid (the 6-hybrid will be made for RH only). The men’s standard XR hybrid will feature a True Temper Project X SD shaft, weighing between 55 and 58 grams and producing a higher launch, and will come in Light (Senior), Regular, and Stiff flex. The women’s XR will have a 47-gram Project X SD shaft. The XR hybrid is targeted to the larger majority of golfers as it has a bigger body profile for more distance and forgiveness in conjunction with Project X SD shaft to increase launch angle.
The Callaway XR Pro hybrid has all of the same technological advancements of the standard XR hybrid but has a more compact head profile for the stronger players and more consistent ball strikers. The Pro hybrid is available in 16 (1-hybrid), 18 (2-hybrid), 20 (3-hybrid), and 23 degree (4 hybrid) lofts for both right-handed and left-handed players. It features a Project X LZ Pro shaft in Regular, Stiff, and X-stiff options, weighing between 73 grams (in Regular) and 76 grams (in Stiff and X-Stiff), with a higher kick point for a lower, more penetrating ball flight that the best players desire.
As always, if you have any technical questions about these Callaway XR hybrids or any other golf clubs, feel free to contact a PGA Professional at GlobalGolf!