Callaway Iron Comparison: XR Pro vs X2 Hot Pro

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Another year of tremendous advancement in iron technologies has pushed Callaway back to the forefront of the iron set market. Previously Callaway’s X2 Hot irons pushed the envelope for performance to higher levels than the X Hot irons, which were extremely hard to beat considering the incredible results that it produced. Now the Callaway XR Pro irons have upped the ante, especially in the player’s iron category. Let’s take a look at what separates the XR Pro iron from the X2 Hot Pro iron.

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XR Pro

The Callaway XR Pro iron set is one sharp looking club. It features the same 360 face cup technology that began in the Callaway XR iron, which makes the clubface extremely flexible. The 360 face cup also produces faster ball speeds than you’ve ever seen from a player’s iron regardless of where you hit it on the face. This technology wasn’t easy to incorporate into a traditional player’s club as the face itself is supported by an extremely thin piece of steel which is bonded to the body through a special heat treating process during manufacturing. Thus, you have a player’s club with a 2-piece construction, something that is more commonly found in purely game improvement irons and not typical of an iron designed for the eyes of a better player.

Not to be forgotten is the introduction of the internal standing wave which has been the engine behind Callaway’s fairway wood technology. This material stretches from heel to toe and pushes the level of forgiveness, one that is thought to be un-achievable in clubs designed for better players.  Another byproduct of the wave is a lower center of gravity (CG) for improved launch conditions, especially for the long and mid-irons, thereby giving the player the ultimate in drop and stop control.

With these types of improvement, you’d think that you may lose some of the player’s iron appeal. However, Callaway used the X14 Pro Series iron as inspiration behind the shape and scope of the head design. So, despite its game improvement characteristics, the XR iron certainly presents itself as the traditional players iron featuring a smaller head with shorter blade length and thinner top line.

Essentially what they have done is create the most forgiving players iron ever engineered in their assortment without sacrificing the preferred softer feel and performance of a forged type club.

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X2 Hot Pro

The Callaway X2 Hot Pro iron has several enhancements incorporated into the iron to improve it’s performance over its predecessor. First off, the X2 Hot Pro iron features a new Central Mass Bar located behind the clubface and in the clubhead’s minimalistic cavity. This technology increases the iron’s forgiveness by placing weight lower in the club head for an easier launch and more consistent distance on center and off-center strikes.

Additionally, there is a stabilizing arch which improved the club’s overall stability and reliability with distance and keeps ball speeds up, especially seen on the mishits, and improves the club’s sound and feel across all contact points on the face. Finally, the clubhead features a thinner face that extends closer to the sole, which is thinner than any Callaway iron has featured before, and a progressive offset design through the set. Thus, by the time you get down to the short irons, it’s a similar design to Callaway’s wedges, providing you with more control and workability like a forged wedge but with a level of forgiveness more closely associated with a game improvement iron.

Which One Is For You

The Callawy XR Pro iron is for you if…

You’re looking to keep up with technology and play the most forgiving players iron design.

The Callaway X2 Hot Pro iron is for you if…

You’re looking for consistency and forgiveness in an iron set.

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30 Seconds To Master The Proper Ball Position

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The FedEx Cup Playoffs begins this week on the PGA Tour with The Barclays. To make it all the way to the Tour Championship, PGA Tour players will need to shoot low scores and do their best to minimize the bogeys. One easy way to hit great shots and shoot lower scores is making sure you have the proper ball position. Keep in mind the position of the golf ball will vary based upon the club you select.

Short Irons

Play your short irons (8-PW) in the center of your stance. These golf clubs have the most upright lie angles and they must be swung at the steepest angle, causing you to take a divot in front of the golf ball.

Middle Irons

Play your middle irons (7-5) one golf ball toward your target side foot, from center (one ball left of center for a right handed golfer). Your middle irons have a slightly flatter lie angle, and you should take a shallower divot than the short irons.

Long Irons, Hybrids, & Fairway Woods

Play your long irons, hybrids, and fairway woods two balls toward your target side foot, from center. With these golf clubs, the golf ball should be struck directly at the bottom of the swing arc with very little divot.

Driver

Play your driver three golf balls toward your target side foot, from center. Playing your driver the far forward will help you gain maximum distance by catching the golf ball on the up swing.

Bonus Tip

Correct balance at set up will help you swing the golf club on the correct angle during the back swing. Your weight should be balanced on the balls of your feet, not the heels or toes.

Short irons – weight should be 60% on the target side foot.

Long irons – weight should be 60% on the backside foot.

Great ball position will put you in the proper set up to make a good swing and lower your scores! These ball positions are a good rule to play by if you have a level lie. If you have an uneven lie, check out this tip. If you need more help, send me an email!
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Inside The Ropes: Wyndham Championship

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Having an opportunity to walk inside the ropes at a PGA Tour event, for many, is a once in a lifetime experience. One of the great things about the Wyndham Championship is the Ambassador Program initiated by the Carolinas PGA of America Section that seeks the help of local PGA Professionals to walk with the amateur teams and assigned PGA Tour player during the Monday and Wednesday Pro-Am times. For the third time in the last five years, I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to partake in the experience many dream of.

It’s an enjoyable experience to assist the amateurs reading PGA Tour caliber greens, getting yardages, pointing out where to and not to hit the ball, and even lending free advice on swing flaws and potential fixes right there while on the course. This tournament embodies the true mission of the PGA of America and our goal as PGA Professionals everyday: to grown the game.

With this year’s pairing, I had the pleasure of joining PGA Tour player, Scott Brown.  A native of Georgia and completing his fourth full year on tour, Brown is looking to expand on his current position of 99th on the FedEx Cup list entering this week’s tournament. The top 125 on the FedEx Cup list after this week will qualify for the playoffs starting next week at The Barclays, and he’s looking to further improve on his 88th and 85th finish the past two seasons respectively. Brown, the 2013 winner of the Puerto Rico Open on tour, was generous enough to share his thoughts about life on the road as a tour pro, how he’s adapted to an equipment manufacturer change, and his goals moving forward.

What’s Tour Life Like On A Daily Basis?

Brown: “Oh man, usually a grind for me. I’m like one of those guys that’s a workaholic. I like to show up in the morning, maybe play a few holes, work on a few things on the range and my short game, and then go put them in use on the golf course and maybe come back and do a little more, if I need it.”

How Do You Prepare For The Course While Also Getting Your Body Ready For 4 Rounds?

Brown: “Well, I pretty much work out quite often so my physical part is how I prepare and condition myself for a long week. In a pro-am, I think it’s great as it is sometimes the last time you see the golf course before the tournament starts. A lot of guys don’t have the advantage of playing the pro-am, so their last practice round is Tuesday and the golf course can change a lot from Tuesday to Thursday.  So really being able to see conditions and how the course is playing matters more than anything.

What’s Your Favorite Tournament?

Brown: “Outside of majors, if you throw those out, my favorite tournament has been Jack’s tournament at Muirfield (The Memorial Tournament). It just has that major feel, a big tournament that gets a lot of great players there.”

What’s Your Favorite Golf Course?

Brown: “That’s probably it (Muirfield Village). It’s such a great golf course.”

What’s Your Goal This Week Being Inside The Top 100?

Brown: “My goal pretty much every week is to try to win the golf tournament. I think when you’re trying to win things pretty much take care of itself. All of the other stuff that comes with it is what we’re all looking for to go as far as we can in the FedEx Cup, reach the Tour Championship, play in all the big events, like majors, and things like that. You know, it’s hard to get there unless you’re winning golf tournaments. I mean, playing good will only get you so far.”

What Do You Like To Do Off The Course?

Brown: “I’m doing some hunting, fishing, boating and water sports a little bit in the summertime. I like a lot of different things.”

How’s The Transition From Nike To Callaway?

Brown: “I think Callaway’s equipment is great. I’ve been pretty happy with the move. I’ve really been having success with it as of late so I’m looking forward to the future with them.”

What’s In The Bag?

Driver: Callaway XR Pro
Fairway: Callaway XR Pro (3 & 5)
Irons: Apex MB
Wedges: Callaway Mack Daddy 2 Slate
Golf Ball: Speed Regime 3

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