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Callaway Golf Releases X-22 Irons and FT-iQ Drivers

Nov. 5, 2008     By     Comments (14)

What's your iQ?

Bag DropYou 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.

X-22 Irons
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.

Callaway X-22 Irons Hero

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.

FT-iQ Driver
The square FT-series evolves into what Callaway claims to be their "longest, straightest driver we’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.

Callaway Ft-iQ Sole

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.

Callaway FT-iQ Hero

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.

Final Thoughts
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.

Posted in: Bag Drop Comments (14)

Discussion

  1. Ernest Reed says:

    Great write up Alan, as always! Great observation and exactly what I too was thinking about (why always with Callaway?)...Price point for product. Should be interesting to see whether Callaway has appropriately priced their line or whether some "tweaking" will take place? No question, they produce solid clubs, but what they ask in return is always the greater point of interest when it comes to Callaway Golf.

  2. golfanatic says:

    Sorry you didn't have a pic of the top of the FT IQ from golfer's viewpoint. Guess I'll be on the watch for a Demo Day with Callaway.

  3. Robert Lawrence says:

    My Callaway rep told me the FT-IQ is 35% straighter than the old FT, which I find astonishingly hard to believe. How on earth do they come up with this as a realistic number? Be interesting to see if this is just another form of "guaranteed to hit 20 yards further" marketing.

  4. andy says:

    Interesting! As you pointed out their price points are quite high considering the economic climate we're in.

    Clearly, Callaway is not cutting their prices because they're worried about brand dillution. Instead, they're focusing their marketing efforts on value in that these clubs are "STRAIGHTER" and "LONGER" --- buzzwords that have been circulating this industry for quite some time.

  5. CJ says:

    WHY NO Lefty Love! :cry:

    I checked out the X22 irons and notiecd that they make 3-PW & SW.

    They do not make the Gap Wedge! This leaves a 11 degree gap between the PW & SW. WHY would they do this? They have no 50 degree wedge to fill the gap!
    If it's a matter of cost get rid of the 3 iron .

    My gap wedge is an important club. It's my 100 yard club.

    Not a good descision.

    Can you find out if they will make one?

    Thanks

    CJ

  6. Ernest Reed says:

    CJ, consider investing in a performance wedge instead of looking for an offspring to the existing set. Callaway makes a very nice gap wedge (X-Forged), if keeping it in-house is what you want. You want the technology of a performance wedge because that is what they specialize in. If you are serious about your game, you should consider looking at an actual wedge over an extension of the original set. Your game will benefit more than you know.

  7. Scott says:

    Great coverage on the new Callaway X-22s and FT-iQ. I've always liked the innovation and style of Callaway's products. It will be interesting to see if the FT-iQ can sustain the claims of "35% straighter" than its predecessor --- I agree with Robert that this is a lofty statement; how far off was the FT? Callaway Performance centers, if you're lucky to have one in your town, are great spots to go to test new Callaway products and figure out what's best for your game. There are not many in the US, but I know the guys over at TWOG have one in NYC --- it's sweet. They have a slew of new Callaway golf clubs and are really hands on with customers if you're looking for options.

  8. Justin says:

    The Callaway "Van" was at my club last weekend and I demoed the X22 irons. I ended up buying the set with uniflex shafts in 4-PW. I have played Ping irons for years, and finally Callaway made some irons that made me switch. The look at address has improved (as mentioned here) and the feel is exceptional for a cavity back iron. The X22s are some great new irons, especially if you're trying to improve your game and gain some confidence with your long irons. They are very forgiving and so far I am impressed with them.

  9. Randy says:

    FT-IQ is for real!! About a montha ago, switched from Ping Rapture with a performance shaft to the old FT-i, what a difference, much straighter than my Ping. Last week the new FT-IQ came out, so I traded in my old one for the new one. This new driver is almost impossible to hit foul. I am a 12 - 18 index and my biggest problem has been hitting fairways, not any more. Longer, straighter and more solid sounding than the old FT-i; 35% straighter sounds like a lot but even my mishits are laser straight.

  10. Doug F says:

    I recently hit both the x 22 and the tour x 22. If you are in the market for a game improvment iron I would purchase a cheaper set of irons and put your savings towards lessons. On the other hand the tour version is a great club. It provides great feel with the ability to work the ball. The part about the sound of the ft-IQ. . . I couldn't disagree more. The sound and feel are both awful in my opinion. The new diablo however is great club that actually looks, sounds, and feels like a golf club.

  11. Dan says:

    Very insightful review on the Callaway X-22 irons. I especially like the MOI and forgiveness on this iron. Great design/aesthetics as well!

    This is another good review of the Callaway X-22 Irons.

  12. sagar says:

    callaway x22 or titleist ap1? which one is better?

  13. john wasson says:

    I am a 15 hcp, I have been as low as a 10- I want new Callaways, My dad has the Stealhead x14's- I have 120 plus mph swing speed and hit my 5 iron 225 yards all day long. I want to buy a set of clubs that will enhance my game. I am looking at the x22 tour , the FT or just the x22's- I am confused, I don't want to waste my money- But I want to be the best player I can be. Thanks

  1. [... 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 ...]

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