The resurrection of the yesteryear brand!
The year was 2016. If someone felt that the ‘Steelhead’ brand of the Callaway had gone out of business, then that particular year straightened them out. 16 years after launching the Steelhead X-14, Callaway resurrected its brand and launched the XR irons to let high-handicappers and beginners feel at home with it.
The Steelhead XR was introduced as a ‘Game Improvement’ iron that promised high launch and good distance even for golfers with low swing speeds. While the launch was truly nostalgic, the XR came with a host of features that ensured it stands in the competitive world that it sees now. Reinventing legendary names with new technology is giving the perfect mileage to the brand.
Face Cup Technology
Callaway has proved the worth of its 360 Face Cup Technology in its woods. Its introduction to irons was a change that was easily embraced by all golfers. The next-generation technology ensures that you get a larger sweet spot all across the face giving you an overall distance increase. The technology has ensured that the edges of the thin face flexes upon impact and overall, increases the COR by 2.4%.
Steel-Infused Polyurethane Layer
A bar of soft urethane is infused behind the lower portion of the face to absorb unnecessary vibration coming upon impact. Since steel has been infused into the bar, the COG has been lowered in the head, thus increasing the ball speed. The elimination of unwanted vibration greatly improves the sound and feel upon impact.
Hollow Bore-Thru Hosel Design
The hosel has been designed by removing needless weight from that area and repositioning it on other areas of the head. This feature ensures that the golfer can launch his ball without much difficulty and get greater MOI even on his wrong strikes.
Let’s review the pros & cons
| Callaway has repositioned the COG in its entire set of clubs, including the long, short and middle irons to give the players a feel of their game.|
Steelhead XR has everything that a high-handicapper needs to improve confidence – good offset, thick topline and a large head.
The edges of the thin face can now flex easily for giving greater ball speed on impact.
Since it is one of the longest irons in the market, it delivers an excellent carry distance, even during mishits. In fact, your bad swings won’t end up too far from the green.
High-handicappers who face trouble on the rough can find the XR easier to hit even when their swing is slow.
As a game improvement iron, the club is long and thick at the sole, which gives confidence at address and a clean professional look.
Golfers, who stay away from bright colors, would love to use the iron due to its clean aesthetic look and the holographic ‘Steelhead’ logo on the badge.
Apart from the extreme end of the club face, the steel-infused polyurethane layer ensures that you get a consistent sound upon impact across the entire club face.
| While the XR promises great forgiveness, setting up or shaping your shot can be an issue for beginners and high-handicappers.|
Some pro-golfers feel that the sound on impact or the feedback isn’t that great from the XR and hence it would not be easy to say if the shot just hit was good.
Skilled golfers who look for feedback and workability would find the iron less appealing, in fact, clunkier at the greens.
The cavities are made of stainless steel (17-4), so the sound may not be as desirable as the other irons in the market.
With the Steelhead XR, golfers are not torn between nostalgia and technical innovation. They have both of them. Technological advances have unleashed possibilities that were once a golfer’s dream. With each new product, Callaway is letting golfers create memories while playing their game.