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.

Titleist Forged 775.CB Irons Review

The 775.CB irons may have “Titleist” and “forged” stamped on each clubhead, but they also have “game improvement” written all over them.

Titleist 775 HeroTitleist is undeniably one of the leaders in irons for better players. Since going to an all-forged irons lineup a couple years ago, the company introduced several blade, muscle-back, and cavity-forged irons that have devoted followers.

But the better-player irons market is relatively small, and the big money is in the bigger game-improvement irons. Titleist’s latest attempt to muscle in on the Callaways and TaylorMades in the game-improvement iron category is with the Forged 775.CB iron, which hit golf shops this spring. I had the chance to try a set to see how these new irons stack up against other irons for higher handicappers.

Seeing Titleist irons in my golf bag gives me a warm feeling, even if it’s the glow of nostalgia. After playing tiny forged blades while learning the game, my first cavity back irons were a great set of Titleist DCI Golds that I played for several years. Those cast stainless steel irons were plenty forgiving, but still had a crisp design that said “I’m a serious golfer.” After the follow up to the DCI Black (less offset) and Gold irons, the DCI Oversize, Titleist ceded the high-handicapper iron market to sister brand Cobra.

Nike Slingshot OSS Irons Review

The Nike Slingshot OSS irons were on the Golf Digest 2006 Hot List, but do they really belong?

Nike Slingshot OSS HeroGood iron play is often overlooked, but other than putting, it could very well be the most important part of a golfer’s game. I’ve only had two sets of irons since I started playing golf in the summer of 1997. I had a set of knock-off Cobra clubs called “King Snake” irons that got me through my first seven or eight years of golf. They were all I could afford, and I was happy with them.

Last year, I started playing with the big boys. I got a set of Titleist Forged 804.0S irons, and I’ve been a new golfer ever since. The move to brand-name irons has improved my play and outlook, and needless to say, it will be tough to find a set of irons worthy of replacing the 804.0S.

That’s where the Nike Slingshot OSS irons come into play. I’ve been playing with these irons for the past few months, and I’m definitely happy with what I’ve seen so far. The Slingshot OSS irons were on the Golf Digest 2006 Hot List, so they were very heralded from the start. Let’s take a look at what they have to offer.

Callaway HX Pearl Balls Review

The HX Pearl is Callaway Golf’s first ball designed for women, though it may end up being a favorite among distance-minded men as well.

Callaway Hx Pearl Ball“Strong enough for a man. But made for a woman.” The classic slogan for Secret deodorant may also apply to the new HX Pearl golf balls from Callaway Golf. The company has a long history of making clubs for women under the Ladies’ Gems umbrella, and recently marketed the ultra-game improvement GES set toward women.

Now Callaway is turning their design attention toward what women want in a golf ball. I’m certainly no expert on what women want (I still can’t believe my wife didn’t like the table saw I bought her for Mother’s Day), but I’m pretty sure they’re looking for more distance off the tee just like us fellas are. Is the HX Pearl going to be a gem for ladies who dig the longball?

Nickent 3DX Ironwood DC Review

Nickent, a major player in the hybrid market, recently released an upgrade to their popular Ironwood series clubs. The 3DX Ironwood DC is a reliable and high-performance club that you’re sure to enjoy.

Nickent 3DX Ironwood DC SoleLet’s face it: we are the beneficiaries of significant advances in club technology. No longer does one need to fear the 1-iron, the 2-iron, the 3-iron, or even the 4-iron. Sweet-spots the size of neutrons are but a vague and unpleasant memory. Thanks to companies like Nickent, a recent and significant manufacturer of hybrid clubs, our confidence from about 170 to 230 yards has been restored.

Nickent released the 3DX Ironwood DC earlier this year along with the 3DX Utility DC. The 3DX Ironwood DC is an upgrade to the popular 3DX Ironwood. I’ve wanted to put one of these hybrids through its paces for some time and recently picked one up to see what all the buzz was about. I wasn’t disappointed.