There are a couple of things that nearly every golfer, regardless of their ability, would take to add to their golf game; more distance (especially off the tee) and more control around the greens. With the release of two new product lines, Callaway golf is looking to help golfers in both of these areas. Later this month, the company will be releasing a new family of woods, the FT Optiforce, which includes two different drivers as well as fairway woods. In addition to that, they are releasing the Mack Daddy 2 wedges, which they claim have grooves that are even better than the original.
FT Optiforce Drivers and Woods
Earlier this year Callaway updated the RAZR Fit line of drivers and woods with the RAZR Fit Xtreme while also releasing a completely new family of woods, the X Hot, which included both standard and Pro models. With the new FT Optiforce, Callaway looks to fill the space between those two lines with a club that will help golfers increase both clubhead and ball speed and lead to more distance. The way that the company has done this is by concentrating on four primary areas which allow them to make the club more aerodynamic as well as lighter.
The first area Callaway focused on was the aerodynamic efficiency of the club. The head of the driver was born from an aggressively aerodynamic prototype that the company tested while looking at the aerodynamic flow during a drivers entire downswing. The result here is a clubhead that features a shape and construction that puts it at the top of the fastest and most aerodynamic drivers that Callaway as ever released. Going up agains the X Hot Pro, the company found that the new FT Optiforce created 23% less drag.
While the shape of the club is important, the materials that said club are made from might be even more key in the process of creating long and fast drivers. This is the reason why Callaway has chosen to make the crown of the new FT Optiforce from their lightweight Forged Composite. In addition to this, the FT Optiforce comes with two different, lightweight, shaft offerings. The first is a 43 gram Project X Velocity shaft, the lightest that Callaway has every included in a standard driver offering. Those who want a heavier shaft will have the option of the 62 gram Mitsubishi Diamana S+. Between the lightweight materials in the head and the lightweight shafts, the overall construction of the new driver comes in at under 300 grams.
While the new aerodynamic design and overall weight of the club helps the golfer swing faster and increase their clubhead speed, Callaway didn’t want to stop there. Another goal was to increase the ball speed and this has been done with Speed Frame Face Technology. While not exactly new to the Optiforce line (it is found on both the RAZR Fit Xtreme and X Hot line), the technology has seen much success by increasing the size of the sweet spot . The Speed Frame Face also allows for some weight to be redistributed to improve the CG of the club and maximize the MOI, giving the club more forgiveness and optimized ball flight.
Finally, the new clubs feature an updated Optifit Hosel. The new design allows players to decrease the loft by one degree or increase it by one or two degrees. The new hosel also allows for a separate adjustment to set the club in either a neutral or draw setting. Between the two, golfers will be able to adjust their launch angles and amount of backspin while also controlling the amount of side spin on the ball.
The new FT Optiforce fairway woods have a similar construction to the popular X Hot woods. The big difference between the two is that Callaway says that the FT Optiforce will launch the ball on a higher trajectory. Dr. Alan Hocknell, the SVP of R&D for Callaway, says that the new fairways are a “powerful mix of the ball speeds of our X Hot Fairway woods and the trajectory of our RAZR Fit Xtreme Fairway wood.”
The FT Optiforce fairway woods have similar shaft offerings to the drivers with either a 53 gram Project X Velocity or Mitsubishi Diamana S+.
The driver, which comes in both 440cc and 460cc models will retail for $399, while the fairway woods (available in 3, 4, 5, 7, and 9 models) will run at $229
Mack Daddy 2 Wedges
While the new drivers and woods should help get you further down the fairway and closer to the green, you have to have the right tools to take care of business from there and Callaway’s new Mack Daddy 2 wedges look to do just that.
Created by Chief Club Designer Roger Cleveland, the Mack Daddy 2 wedges are forged from soft carbon steel for better feel and come in a number of different sole grinds options to provide golfers with maximum versatility. The new wedges feature two different groove patterns depending on the loft. Models with 56° or more of loft feature the new 5V Groove Pattern. This new pattern provides wider, more aggressive grooves giving more spin in control around the green. In fact, these new grooves are 39% larger and produce 25% more spin than the 2011 Callaway Forged wedge. The lower lofted wedges also feature wider grooves but with a larger angled draft (20° vs 5°) making it easier to get at back pins or hit other shots one is likely to use those clubs for. All of the MD2 wedges feature a unique Lasered Micro Groove for added face roughness.
For the 58° and 60° models, there are three custom sole grinds available. The first is the standard or “S” Grind which is relieved int eh heel only and is best suited to be played in firmer conditions. This grind is good for golfers looking to play their wedges with square faces and not wanting to open the face up.
There is also the Phil Mickelson inspired U grind which has a concave sole and the tightest radius of the three options. This grind features significant relief in the heel and toe and allows for the leading edge to stay low and under the ball when the face is opened up. Callaway says that is club is good in both firm and soft conditions.
Finally there is the C grind which also has relief in the heel and toe, allowing players to open up the face of the club to add loft. The sole of the club is narrow and helps to promote proper contact and to perform in a variety of conditions.
The clubs are available in both chrome and slate finishes. At launch there will be 52°, 56°, 58° and 60° models available with 47°, 50°, 54° and 64° models to come in November. Additional grinds for the 56° model will also be available in November. Retail price for the new wedges is set at $119.