Callaway X-Tour Forged Wedge Review

Callaway’s X-Tour wedges are a mixture of old and new, especially the models with the PM grind and MD grooves.

Callaway X-Tour WedgeCallaway Golf built its position in the golf business on the strength of its Big Bertha woods. The company later became a force in the irons market, its Odyssey brand of putters is a top-seller, and its golf balls are gaining traction at retail.

Wedges, however, probably aren’t what you think of in conjunction with Callaway. But the company’s lead golf club designer is a fellow named Roger Cleveland – the founder of Cleveland Golf and designer of many classic wedges, like the enduring 588 line. The X-Tour wedges are the third line of forged wedges he has designed for Callaway. Is the third time the charm?

Roger Cleveland left his namesake company and joined Callaway Golf in 1996. He combined with Big Bertha inventor Richard C. Helmstetter on several designs, including the X-12 irons. The duo collaborated on the Big Bertha Tour Series wedges in 1997, which were cast from stainless steel and aluminum bronze, and the cult favorite X-14 Pro Series wedges in 2000.

Titleist Forged 695MB Irons Review

Titleist’s Forged 695MB is not for the weekend duffer, but for the golfer who takes tremendous pleasure in hitting a forged, muscleback iron on the button.

Titleist 695MB HeroLet’s cut to the chase: you’re either interested in Titleist’s 695MB irons or you’re not. If you’re looking for a forgiving iron with no feel, these aren’t the irons for you. But if you’re a single-digit handicapper with a penchant for the buttery sweet feel of a modern muscleback, read on.

Titleist’s Forged 695MB Irons are the successor to the previous model, the 690.MB (preceded themselves by the dotless 690MB). Sister set to the Forged 695CB, the 695MB offers an evolutionary, not revolutionary, step forward in the line.

If Titleist’s irons were placed on a scale with the more forgiving Forged 775.CB irons and the rare Forged 660 at the other, the 695MB would occupy just beside the 660 and a good bit away from the combo 735.CM.

But again, we already knew that. What’s new in these models and how well they work, why, that’s what the rest of the review will tell you. Read on, but bring your proof-of-handicap…

MacGregor MACTEC NVG2 Tour Driver Review

MacGregor’s new MACTEC NVG2 Tour driver is aimed at skilled golfers, but packs plenty of forgiveness.

MacGregor MACTEC NVG2 Tour HeroOne of the most impressive drivers I hit all of last year was the MacGregor MACTEC NVG. I played it for several weeks before writing a positive review of the driver. In short, I found it long, loud, and very straight.

A year later, you can add another adjective to my description of the MACTEC NVG: “discontinued.” That’s right. Thanks to the ever-decreasing length of the product cycle in the golf business, MacGregor launched two new versions of the driver this January. I’ve had the chance to play several rounds with the new MACTEC NVG2 Tour driver, giving me the chance to decide whether to add “improved” to the MACTEC adjective collection.

Grey Hawk Golf Club (LaGrange, OH) Review

Grey Hawk will drop the jaws of the higher handicapper, but it fails to appeal to better players and fans of architecture.

Grey Hawk LogoGrey Hawk Golf Club in LaGrange, OH is a residential golf course built in 2004. 45 minutes from Cleveland, the course is a bit out of the way, but worth the trip if only to see what warranted its inclusion in Golf Digest’s “Best New Affordable Public Courses” list. A friend and I visited the course in late June, 2006 to give the course a look. Measuring anywhere between 7079 and 5091 yards, Grey Hawk offers a linksy Florida blend at reasonable prices.

Before we begin, we’d like to thank forum member Mark (aka “ezmoney5150“) for the invitation. If I’ve ever played with a more gregarious fellow, I can’t remember it. Mark’s company made what could have been a very dull round much more interesting.

Callaway X460 Driver Review

Will a new sole and an extra six cubic centimeters make the X460 that much better than the Big Bertha 454?

Callaway X460 HeroStarting with the original Big Bertha, Callaway has always been associated with quality, high-performance drivers. Nearly every company has rushed to the 460cc limit, although Titleist took their time getting the 905R out. Callaway quickly released the Big Bertha Titanium 454 and came close to the limit but the Fusion
FT-3
was actually the first Callaway driver to reach 460cc. So what could Callaway possibly do to improve on the already popular 454 and, more importantly, does the X460 pass the grade?

Golfers all seemed to like and praise the 454, including David Mobley who used a 454 to blast a 377-yard drive to win the 2004 RE/MAX World Long Drive Championship. Callaway wanted a driver to not only replace the 454 but to also improve performance and provide an alternative to the FT-3. The FT-3 remains Callaway’s flagship driver, but not everyone can get used to the corked sound of the titanium-composite driver. So the engineers sought out to make not just a replacement to the 454 but a quality, tour-performing driver.

Callaway HX Tour Golf Balls

Callaway’s HX Tour ball has been slightly redesigned for 2006, with changes to the cover and the production process.

Callaway HX Tour BallCallaway Golf’s HX Tour golf balls are among the best-selling balls at retail and also enjoy strong usage numbers on tour. While the HX Tour and HX Tour 56 still look longingly up at Titleist’s Pro V1x and Pro V1, Callaway’s flagship balls have actually outpaced Titleist in major championship wins on the PGA and LPGA tours over the last two years (thanks to Annika Sorenstam, Phil Mickelson, Michael Campbell, and even Nike-using Tiger Woods).

This year sees the introduction of a revamped HX Tour ball, known as the “Improved” HX Tour. Callaway claims the balls are more durable and more consistent than the original model. We put them to the test to see how they compare to last year’s model.

Odyssey White Steel Tri-Ball SRT Putter Review

The Odyssey White Hot Tri-Ball SRT Putter is bigger than its older Two-Ball sibling, but is it better?

Odyssey Tri-BallOdyssey’s Two-Ball Putter is the world’s best-selling putter model over the last five years. While the unusual-looking putter has spawned scores of imitators and ignited the high-MOI, alignment-based putter craze, it takes an equipment nut with a sense of history to remember that it is a descendant of Dave Pelz’s 3-Ball putter from the 1980s.

Pelz couldn’t get the USGA to approve his odd-looking device (not “plain in shape” as the Rules of Golf require), but Odyssey was able to adapt his design into the more palatable Two-Ball. Flatstick fans who are looking to add the ball that fell off Pelz’s design in the Two-Ball evolution can now rejoice in the release of the Odyssey White Steel Tri-Ball SRT Putter. Is the Tri-Ball thrice as nice? Read on to find out what we discovered.

Titleist 905R Driver Review

Titleist was one of the last of the club manufacturers to move to the legal limit of 460cc. Was it worth the wait?

Titleist 905R GloryTitleist is a traditional company, and with tradition comes a somewhat slower, more calculated pace. Though drivers have been capped at 460cc for a few years now, Titleist has made due with drivers measuring less than 400cc – the 905S and the 905T.

Late last year, PGA Tour pros began playing the rumored “905R” in significant numbers. Ernie Els and Adam Scott were playing the driver as early as one year ago, and “spy shots” were showing up on Internet forums. Speculation ran rampant, as it is wont to do, and the public was interested, to say the least.

In March, Titleist formally introduced the 905R. Considered by many a “bigger” version of the 905T, nearly every Titleist staff member playing a 905T switched, as did some playing Titleist’s 905S.

Until earlier this year, I was one of those 905S users. I had a chance to give the 905R a spin, and here are my thoughts.

Cleveland CG11 Wedge Review

Cleveland Golf has always been at the forefront of wedges and wedge technology. So let’s see how the CG11s stack up to the rest.

Cleveland CG11 Wedge HeroIf someone were to play a name association game with me and said “wedges,” the first word I could think of would probably be “Cleveland.” Even before I actually started to play golf and take it seriously, I’d seen Cleveland wedges at my friends houses and in their bags. When I started to play golf, those same friends gave me their old Cleveland wedges only so they could have a reason to buy new ones.

The trend continues on the PGA Tour, even if it’s declined somewhat in recent months. In a super-competitive wedge market (with Titleist’s Vokey line, TaylorMade’s RAC line, and Callaway’s line by Roger Cleveland), Cleveland Golf has always remained at or near the top.

Wedges have followed an almost cookie cutter approach with the exceptionn of some companies that offer custom colors, custom grinds or some new approach to shanks. Cleveland took a somewhat safer approach: the tweaked the solid design of the CG10 wedges to create the CG11. Let’s see how they did.