Callaway Steelhead XR Pro Irons Review

50 Words or Less

The Callaway Steelhead XR Pro irons are slightly smaller than the Steelhead XR, but with similar forgiveness.  Solid irons for the mid-level player.

Introduction

Last year’s re-introduction of the Steelhead irons were a big part of what made Callaway the #1 selling iron brand in golf.  This year, the Steelhead family has expanded to include a Pro model.  We took a set for a test drive to see what makes them different.

Looks

The Callaway Steelhead XR Pro irons look similar to the standard Steelhead XR.  The most obvious difference is the finish – the Pro model has a dark finish that makes it look smaller, the standard has a matte chrome.  The Pro model is also smaller and more “player-ish” – shorter blade length, less offset, thinner top line – but the differences aren’t night and day.  For someone transitioning away from SGI clubs, the Steelhead XR Pro should look very comforting.

Sound & Feel

Just like the Steelhead XR, the Callaway Steelhead XR Pro irons use the company’s 360 Face Cup technology to maximize ball speed and forgiveness.  Also like the standard Steelhead XR, the Pro model uses a layer of polyurethane to absorb unwanted vibration.  These two things combine for a face that feels universally hot but minimizes feedback. 

Performance

One of the things that we’ve been observing in our reviews and Golf Myths Unplugged is that there have been huge strides made in players cavity back irons.  Larger SGI irons are still the apex of forgiveness, but better players can enjoy most of the benefits of those clubs in much smaller irons.  The Steelhead XR Pro irons are a prime example of this trend.

On the launch monitor, I observed that small to moderate mishits paid a minor price in terms of lost ball speed.  Similarly, these clubs launched thin shots on very playable trajectories.  All that translates to more approach shots landing on the green rather than in the front bunker.  These benefits comes without sacrificing the ability to work the ball and flight it down somewhat.

Conclusion

If you’re one of the many players who is planning to improve their game and wants to transition to players irons, the Callaway Steelhead XR Pro is a fine choice.  These irons have a slightly smaller profile without sacrificing much of the forgiveness that the Steelhead line is known for.

Buy the Callaway Steelhead XR Pro Irons HERE

Callaway Steelhead XR Pro Irons Specs & Price

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Matt Saternus

Co-Founder, Editor In Chief at PluggedInGolf.com
Matt is a golf instructor, club fitter, and writer living in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. Matt's work has been published in Mulligan Magazine, Chicagoland Golf, South Florida Golf, and other golf media outlets. He's also been a featured speaker in the Online Golf Summit and is a member of Ultimate Golf Advantage's Faculty of Experts.

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5 Comments

  1. bill kesel

    Matt, would U recommend the std Steelhead XR or XR Pro? My handicap is 10. I’ve hit both & don’t see much of a difference, but won’t the Pro allow me to work the ball a bit more? (seems equally forgiving too)

    thank You!

  2. Bill Kesel

    Matt, just read the article you recommended-very interesting! It just seemed to me that the std Steelhead XR had a natural draw making a fade more difficult. Not sure about the Pro but with less off-set it would seem to be more “workable” The Pros do cost $100 more so are they worth it? (I know, only I can tell…)

    thanks again Matt, you have great reviews & comments.

  3. Bill Kesel

    So Matt, bottom line: very little performance difference between the std Steelhead XR vs Pro?

    thanks!

    • Matt Saternus

      Bill,

      Yes. If I were fitting these two, it would be 100% what the player preferred the look and feel of.

      Best,

      Matt

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