You would think it's the holiday season as golf equipment manufacturers are busy getting their latest and greatest out a bit early in an attempt to entice you spend some of your hard-earned money (and provide a boost to their revenue) on the promise of straighter and of course, longer shots from the tee box, fairways and well, for me anyway, the rough.
The folks at Callaway Golf think they have a few products that might tickle your fancy, including some new game-improvement irons and an updated version of their squarish driver which looks like it could put a serious hurt on a golf ball (besides looking quite sinister as well).
The only question for you is will one or the other (or perhaps both) end up in your golf bag this fall? Join me as we take a look at the X-22 irons and the FT-iQ driver.
Callaway had continued its popular X series irons by coming out with a brand spanking new game-improvement version, the X-22 (not to be confused with this X-22) just in time for an early jump into the holiday shopping season.
Built from 17-4 stainless steel for softness and durability and employing something called "Precision Notch Weighting," more weight is positioned closer to the perimeter which increases the moment-of-inertia (MOI) for more forgiveness and increased stability while at the same time keeping the center of gravity at an optimal position for that "ideal" trajectory as well as providing added feel.
One thing that I have not liked about Callaway irons in the past is the "clunky" look at address. The X-22 irons were designed with some "tour" features in mind such as a thinner topline and sole which is nicer in my opinion to look at while still maintaining the forgiveness of a "larger" looking iron. Kudos to Callaway for working on that.
Packed into the X-22 irons is some fancy technology that you've come to expect from Callaway Golf such as VHT, which is the variable face technology that allows more weighting on the perimeter of the club for more forgiveness, S2H2 which allows for weight to be removed from the hosel to be used elsewhere, and Modified Tru-Bore, which allows the shaft tip to extend through the hosel and clubhead to the sole of the iron and improves feel and control by moving the tip of the shaft closer to the center of the clubface. If you've played Callaway irons in the past, it's something you are certainly familiar with.
Toss in the 360-Degree undercut channel which moves the center-of-gravity lower and farther back in the clubhead and you have a large sweetspot, which for those of us who's swings don't always repeat, is a very good thing.
The X-22 irons run from 3-iron through lob wedge with complete sets running either in a 3-PW or 4-SW. The 3-PW set will run you about $700 for True Temper uniflex steel shafts and about $200 bucks more for graphite. The 4-PW comes in graphite and will run about $900. The individual wedges (and individual clubs) run about $113 for graphite and $88 for steel. If none of those options works, then custom order a set right from the folks at Callaway in whatever suits your fancy. Righties and lefties can both try all what the X-22 irons have to offer today at your local Callaway authorized retailer.
The square FT-series evolves into what Callaway claims to be their "longest, straightest driver weâ€™ve ever created." Pretty bold words. Using technology from stealth bombers and Formula 1 racing cars, the FT-iQ sounds likes a club techies dream.
While still boasting a "squarish" head, the FT-iQ looks much better in my opinion compared to previous FT versions. Maybe it's the sleek black look. It might be the closest I get to actually liking a high-MOI, funky geometric driver.
Besides the space-age technology, the FT-iQ as a few other things under it's hood such as Hyperbolic Face technology, which is hyperbolic shaping of the face thickness that dramatically improves impact efficiency and produces a larger effective hitting area." Meaning for you, more forgiveness and more distance on those pesky off-center hits.
The Fusion technology is the marriage of the carbon composite body with a titanium face cup which allows for more weight to be moved to the perimeter and the Complete Inertial Design ensures all aspects of the club design (MOI, CG, etc.) "perform at their peak levels."
The coolest looking aspect (when looking at the club from behind) is the visible weighting in the rear corners that allow for a Draw weighting for the standard model or a neutral weighting for the Tour model.
Standard shaft for the FT-iQ is the Mitsubishi Rayon Fubuki and comes in two versions, one for the regular FT-iQ and one for the Tour version which is a little heavier. The regular FT-iQ has a 1° closed face and comes in 9°, 10°, 11°, and 13° while the Tour version has a 0.5° open face and comes in either 8.5° and 9.5° lofts. Fancy technology doesn't come cheap as these will start at about $500 and go up depending on any shaft upgrades you fancy. Start saving your pennies now as these become available starting on November 15th for both men and women.
Overall, I think both products look quite nice and should be good additions to the Callaway line. A $500 driver though might be a bit hard to showcase no matter the technology with the economy seemingly on the edge of a cliff (depending on who you read) but as we all very well know, the promise of longer and straighter drives will cause us to sell all we own in order to add the latest technology to our bag.