Callaway golf has fallen on some hard times lately. With the announcement of its intention to cut 12% of its workforce, it is obvious that things are not really going according to plan. I have to say some of Callaway's offerings in the past few years have left a little something to be desired in my opinion. The Callaway FT-iQ looked more like a spaceship than a golf club, the FT- i wasn't much better and the FT-9 looked like it was made from used parts the developers found lying around.
I long for the days of the Big Bertha. I remember when I first started playing golf, Callaway's Big Bertha line of drivers and fairway woods were by far the industry leaders. No other manufacturer was close in those days, Callaway reigned supreme. But a lot has changed since then, Callaway got a little weird, someone at TaylorMade thought painting a driver head white would be cool; and the rest they say…is history.
The good news is Callaway looks to be putting out quality golf clubs again. This years RAZR Fit line of drivers and fairway woods is a step in the right direction. Callaway did its homework and developed a club that has all the bells and whistles that your modern day golfer desires, without all the aesthetic problems that plagued its passed lines.
I had a chance recently to try out a Callaway RAZR Fit fairway wood for a few weeks and put it through its paces; lets take a look at how it went.
Technology and Design
The RAZR Fit line of fairway woods all feature three basic technologies. First, RAZR fit fairway woods feature all stainless steel construction. This is a big thing for a company who has uses alternative materials in several of its past and present driver models. Callaway says, "The stainless steel is heat treated for enhanced strength, enabling the aggressive VFT pattern."
Speaking of VFT we come to the second feature found in the fairway wood line. Callaway's new aggressive VFT (Variable Face Thickness) technology is precision shaping of the face in order to increase the size of the sweet spot. Callaway claims larger sweet spots generate higher ball speeds for longer distance. Makes sense to me.
While stainless steel construction and VFT are all well and good, the big new exciting feature in the RAZR Fit line is the company's new OptiFit Technology. OptiFit is Callaway's official entry into the growing arena of adjustable clubs. The new OptiFit hosel on the RAZR Fit is adjustable to three positions, open, square, and closed. OptiFit works similar to other adjustable hosels on the market. The Club comes with a wrench that is used to loosen a screw in the bottom of the club. The players then lines up the desired face angle and reattaches the head to the shaft. There are no adjustable weights on the fairway woods as there are on the RAZR Fit driver, as weights in such a small head would be useless.
I received a RAZR Fit 3-wood for this review. The 3-wood is a standard 15° and it came with an Aldila NV extra-stiff shaft. It should be noted that stock RAZR Fit fairway woods come with a shaft made by Callaway. Personally, if I am not a fan of manufacturers putting their own shafts in their golf clubs. There are too many good shafts available today, and to me it just looks like they are trying to save some money in an area that should not be skimped on.
The club-head itself is very plain. That is not a complaint by any means, in a time where too many club manufacturers think its cool to decorate the crown of a golf club, I find the plain black head of the RAZR Fit to be just what the doctor ordered. Although the head is on the small side at 155cc at address it does not look small. I put the RAZR Fit next to my TaylorMade R11s 3-wood which is also a 155cc head, and the Callaway appeared larger to me. I can only see this as a bonus as the small head should help with playability while its larger appearance gives the player confidence at address.
The sole of the club is again understated. It is silver and black with a thin red line and a Callaway symbol right in the middle. There is absolutely nothing about this club that can disturb even the pickiest of golf's traditionalists.
The OptiFit hosel is again very clean, in fact without close inspection you would not even notice that the club is adjustable. The components that make up OptiFit fit together very nicely and the three positions are marked with simple muted letters.
Overall, I cannot give anything but positive marks for the way Callaway designed this club from an esthetic point of view. But again the proof of a club is what it does on the course.
Anytime I review an adjustable club I always begin by playing around with it from different positions. As stated above the Callaway OptiFit has three different positions a player can choose to adjust the face angle. The nice thing about the OptiFit feature is the simplicity of its design. Anyone who has tried to adjust the hosel in a Titleist or TaylorMade club has found out you need a set of directions and a degree in physics in order to get everything set the way you like. The OptiFit technology is much more straight forward with less moving parts and a simple O, S, and C etched on the hosel to signify open, square, and closed.
The RAZR Fit comes from the factory in the default square position and that is where I left it when I began hitting balls. I naturally play a pretty straight or slight cut ball flight. I found it very difficult to hit a fade of any sort with the club in the square position. I hit 10-15 balls in a row with a slight to significant draw. I thought perhaps it was my swing so I switched to my own 3-wood and was able to hit several nice fades in a row. This made me believe it was not just me.
With that I changed the OptiFit hosel to the open position to see if that would help me move the ball from left to right. Even with the hosel in the open position I still found it difficult to hit fades, but I did see a decrease in the draw I had been experiencing in the square position. In the open position I found the club to be extremely straight. In addition, the ball seemed to rocket off the face on a terrific trajectory. Shot after shot was the same no matter if it was off a tee or the turf. It was pretty automatic just make a decent swing and it produced a very good straight shot. For the fact that I could not hit a fade, I can only hypothesize that the weighting in the RAZR Fit head is so that it makes it easier to close the club face, but that is only a guess.
It should be noted that I did try the club in the closed position and found it not only unpleasant at address; it produced nothing but big draws.
I believe it is a good thing that the different positions on the OptiFit system produce such different balls flights. This is an adjustable club for a reason. I have hit several other adjustable fairway wood offerings from other companies that I didn't feel made much of a difference from one position to another. Perhaps only having three settings makes it much easier to see a difference than when they're 6 or more.
After the range session, I took the RAZR Fit on the course to see it perform where it counts most. With the hosel set in the open position I hit it from many different types of lies. As expected for a club head on the smaller side it did very well from all types of thick lies, extricating balls very well even when they were pushed down into some pretty long rough. The RAZR Fit also did very well off the tee. Although I still found it hard to work the ball much from left to right it produced nice straight shots that ended up 5-10 yards longer than my current 3-wood.
Where to club really shined was on tight lies. I hit several balls from tight dirt hardpan lies that really exploded off the face on good trajectories. This can be very nice if you play golf in the southwest where any shot off the fairway often lands you well clear of any living plant life.
Off center hits were readily forgiven with little loss of distance or direction. I was actually quite surprised, as were several other people I let hit the RAZR Fit, on just how forgiving it really is. I suspect this added forgiveness also has something to do with the fact that the club is somewhat difficult to work the ball with.
No club review would be complete without talking about the sound the head makes at contact. I am happy to say that the Callaway's slight metallic sound at contact is not hard on the ears at all, and it is nearly inaudible compared to the horrible sound that comes from my TaylorMade RBZ driver.
Specs and Extras
The Callaway RAZR Fit comes in two lofts, a 15° 3-wood and an 18° 5-wood. Like I mentioned before the standard shaft is made by Callaway and comes in light, regular, and stiff flex. I would make the suggestion to anyone looking to buy a RAZR Fit that they stay away from the standard Callaway shaft and order it with one of the other custom shafts that are available for little or no upcharge. The standard grip on the RAZR Fit is a red Golf Pride Multi-Compound.
To tune the RAZR Fit to your exact specifications, it comes with the OptiFit wrench. I wish that the wrenches from other companies were compatible with each other, but they are not. If someone finds himself playing clubs from several different manufacturers like I do you have to dedicate an entire pocket to haul around all the different wrenches.
Lastly, I like to mention the headcover that comes with the club. Callaway again gets high marks for being simple and effective. The RAZR Fit comes with a basic sock style headcover that is easy to get on and off and stays in place once it ‘s put on. Maybe its just me but I hate to wrestle with a headcover eight times a round and its even worse when you have to hike back 100 yards to pick up one that fell off.
After my initial session with the RAZR Fit I put it in my bag for a couple weeks. After seven rounds using the Callaway I am happy to say my initial findings were confirmed. I really like the Callaway RAZR Fit 3-wood, it is a solid well designed golf club. In my opinion this is a step in the right direction for a company looking to again solidify its place among the big time club manufacturers.
The RAZR Fit has all the technology packed into it any golfer would want. It is as long as any 3-wood I have ever hit, and its forgiveness makes it a good club for players of any handicap. The only knock I have against the RAZR Fit is the problem I found in hitting any type of fade. Again, it is only a guess about the head being weighted to aid in closing the face, but if there is any truth in it Callaway should consider making a neutral head for the better player.
In closing, I would recommend the Callaway RAZR Fit to anyone looking to find an adjustable, forgiving fairway wood. It will make a nice addition to anyone's bag, especially any player still shying away from the white headed fairway woods that are dominating the market today. But don't just take my word for it go hit one at a local demo day today.