Whenever Callaway designs a club, they always go all-in with it. With the XR Driver, Callaway went for the maximum speed in a driver. It works as a replacement for the golf course hit, X2 Hot, and according to many a Callaway XR driver review, it does a good job of following the same path.
The XR has no moveable weights or any center of gravity moving technology, an apparent shift from the few previous designs from Callaway. Even the graphics on the XR are from the raceway, showing that the club was mainly built to be fast.
The 2015 success of the XR is still very real, and it remains one of the best-priced drivers on the market. Callaway’s idea to collaborate with Boeing to get a light package that gives more speed and forgiveness paid off.
In short, Callaway made a driver that is supposed to help you hit long drives with a faster swing while generating more ball speed. In this article, we look at all the features on the XR and see if Callaway achieved what they set out to with this driver.
The XR driver’s main selling point is its speed. It is designed and made to travel fast over the fairways while still delivering a lot of forgiveness.
- A Speed Step Crown helps reduce the drag on the downswing. This increases the club head speed.
- Ball speed is maximized by the R-Moto Face technology that helps transfer the club’s energy across the entire face.
- The Callaway XR driver has OptiFit Adjustability that allows you to choose from eight different loft and lie configurations to find the perfect launch angle. More speed and distance on drives is created when you can find the best launch configuration.
- The XR driver has 9.5 degrees, 10.5 degrees, 12 degrees, and 13.5-degree lofts paired with a very lightweight Project X LZ shaft.
Design and Technology
The graphics design on the XR bears a strong resemblance to the BMW M sports model, which is not all that surprising since its strongest trait is speed.
Callaway combined Speed Step Crown, R-Moto Face technology, maximum shift load, and OptiFit Adjustability to produce a lightweight and forgiving driver that generates a high amount of ball speed.
In reducing 10% of the face weight and making it a little thinner, R-Moto Face technology allows a lot more energy to be transferred across the whole clubface. The center of gravity is lower, creating a higher moment of inertia while increasing ball speed.
The aerodynamic clubhead shape with a Speed Step Crown is designed to reduce the drag on the downswing, increasing clubhead speed. With OptiFit Adjustability, the XR driver hosel is fully adjustable thanks to eight different configurations.
Shaft: Project XL 2 Shaft
The XR driver comes with the lightweight Project X LZ 2 shaft that has the ability to produce maximum shaft load during the downswing, creating a much greater energy transfer to the ball. Light, regular, and stiff flexes are available with this shaft.
A center strike with the XR driver makes a sharp, medium to loud sound that is not metallic or hollow. It feels clean, solid, and stable. You can hear the sound become softer as the strike moves away from the sweet spot, giving a good indication of where impact is made on the face. The XR absorbs impact, so feedback from feel is likely to be distorted.
Spin and Head Profile
The Callaway XR driver appears to have a simple matte crown with a traditional head design. But upon closer analysis, you will find that the XR driver has one of the most aerodynamic head shapes on the market. Callaway made it to frame the head well around the golf ball at impact.
In designing the XR, Callaway tried to keep the air as close to the crown as possible during the downswing. The XR sits right in the middle of the spin spectrum with a lightweight profile that allows you to take faster strikes at golf balls.
The XR reduces sidespin to alleviate the effects of severe slices and hooks. The large sweet spot on this 460cc gives great forgiveness, ensuring that your minor misses will land on the fairways more often than not. Substantial misses will still land in the rough, and your swing game will not be cured, but this driver is still a great game-improvement club.
Pros and Cons
Brutal speed is what the XR is all about, and it delivers this speed in abundance.
- It explodes off the tee with great speed.
- Gets good distances even on mis-hits.
- Exceptional forgiveness while reducing sidespin.
- A large sweet spot that helps alleviate hooks and slices.
- A bit difficult to control with the lightweight shaft.
- The feedback is not distinct.
Callaway XR Driver vs. XR16
The XR16 driver was released after the XR, and as expected, it came with more Callaway tweaks to make it even faster and more forgiving.
The driver face of the XR16 is about 9 grams lighter and almost 20% thinner than the XR because of R-Moto technology improvements. The aerodynamics on the XR16 stretched the crown, raising the moment of inertia for more forgiveness than what is found with XR. The XR16 features raised titanium portions behind the topline on the crown that helps keep the airflow tight. This reduces drag, allowing you to swing the clubhead faster on the downswing into impact. So the XR16 is generally faster and more forgiving than the XR.
Golfers who used both the XR16 and the XR have found the XR16 shaft to be more stable than the XR, which tends to be hard to control. The ball flight of the XR16 driver is higher than that of the XR. Callaway addressed the flaws of the XR driver on the XR16.
Callaway models’ new releases and launches always come with great expectations to see what more they can improve on from the last model. The company always shoots for the very best with every design. Let us look at some frequently asked questions about the Callaway XR driver.
Is the Callaway XR good for beginners?
The Callaway XR driver is a great option for beginners and high handicappers. The internal wave technology places the center of gravity back and low, giving a high moment of inertia which translates to a more forgiving club. The XR is a game-improvement club, giving the beginners’ game a positive boost.
Is the Callaway XR driver forgiving?
The XR driver is very forgiving because it has a high moment of inertia brought about by the center of gravity that is set back and low. The mis-hits will still land in a good place with the Callaway XR driver.
Is the Callaway XR driver draw bias?
A draw-biased clubhead is where the center of gravity is shifted towards the heel. Draw biased clubs help battle slices. The center of gravity on the XR is positioned back and low, improving on severe slices and hooks.
How to adjust the Callaway XR driver
Follow these steps to adjust the loft and lie angle settings on the XR driver.
- Insert the Callaway wrench into the screw at the rear of the clubhead and turn the wrench a few times until the clubhead is loose.
- Gently remove the clubhead from its position over the club shaft.
- On the lower cog, set the +1 marking in line with the white dash on the hosel adapter. On the upper cop, set the -1 or the +2 marking in line with the white dash on the hosel adapter.
- Set the lie angle to D if you want the Draw setting or N for the Neutral setting.
- Put the clubhead back, ensuring the white dash remains in line with the markings made in step 3.
- Turn the screw once more until you hear a double-click sound.
The Callaway XR driver works for beginners and high handicappers. When you get the rift and swing, the XR does the rest like a plug-and-play because of all the technology Callaway put into the design. The large face gives plenty of forgiveness, and the flight is a cut above the rest. You lose some control with the lightweight shaft, but you still get good distance, and those minor mis-hits will land on the fairways enough times to keep that score down.
The XR is a game-improvement shaft that is well priced for the quality it brings to your game. The club has good raceway looks, and the feel is not bad. The XR has poor feedback because it absorbs too much of the impact, so you cannot tell too much from the sound as you strike the golf ball.
Callaway promised that the XR driver would bring incredible speed, and without a doubt, the company delivered thanks to a collaboration with Boeing and some ingenious technological additions again. If you’re looking for a forgiving driver with plenty of speed and distance, then you are well-advised to try the Callaway XR driver.