Callaway Rogue ST MAX Driver Review

50 Words or Less

The Callaway Rogue ST MAX driver delivers on two key performance features: distance and forgiveness.  Pleasing looks and sound add to the appeal.  Slight draw bias.   

Check out the new Callaway Paradym driver HERE

Introduction

It’s been a few years since the PIG crew has seen the name Rogue in the Callaway lineup, but it certainly conjured up positive memories.  And after reading Matt Saternus’s review of the Rogue ST MAX LS driver [check it out HERE], I looked forward to getting the more mainstream Rogue ST MAX into my hands.  Was it wrong to greet the delivery driver at his truck?  I didn’t think so either.

Looks

While the last Rogue release was accented with blues, the ST MAX integrates the deep orange of the MAVRIK line it replaces.  The driver head is primarily black, with a pop of color from the Tungsten Speed Cartridge in the rear and an eye-pleasing pinstripe on the trailing edge of the crown.  Also welcoming to my eyes is the sunshine friendly matte finish and beautiful round shape.

The sole of the Rogue ST MAX displays a lot of tech, but it’s presented in a cohesive manner.  The exposed carbon fiber weave is harmonious with the crown.  I’ve always been a fan of the visible ends of the Jailbreak Speed Frame.  There’s something appealing about a visual reminder of a key internal component that you would otherwise just read about.

The Flash Face SS22 lived up – literally – to its name as I attempted to take photos of it.  Challenging as it was to capture a decent photo, the process served as a great illustration of the multi-plane face.  The size and shape of the face is fairly nondescript – a positive in my book.

Sound & Feel

The contrast in sound between the Rogue ST MAX and the Callaway Epic Speed I’ve been gaming for a year was glaring.  The Epic produces a “staccato ‘ting’ at impact that reminded me of a blacksmith hammer striking an anvil.”  The Rogue ST MAX had a woodsier baritone sound that was pleasant to my ears.  I won’t go as far as Saternus to say it’s quiet, but the sound is certainly quieter than most drivers on the market.

In that sweet spot between firm and springy, there was a nice pop at contact with premium urethane golf balls.  Precise impact was hard for my hands to locate, but there was a distinct difference among the three zones of the face.  In the center zone, the feel was stable and gratifying.

Performance

In a true testament to the forgiveness of the Rogue ST MAX driver, my data set at Club Champion started with my very first swing.  Walking in cold, with a club I’ve never hit, I typically need a few swings to get to know the dynamics of the club.  However, the Rogue ST MAX was posting 1.49 and 1.50 smash factors right out of the gate along with great carry and plenty of roll out.  Instead of focusing on trying to make better contact, I found myself emphasizing better swings – a great place to be mentally.

It would be easy to attribute forgiveness to the Tungsten Speed Cartridge with its deep and low positioning, but performance seems linked to all the technology elements that Callaway engineers employed in the Rogue ST MAX driver.  Before exploring the other tech, it’s worth noting that the ST MAX has the heaviest Cartridge structure of the four Rogue ST models at 26 grams.  The weight and positioning not only add to the forgiveness but also to launch, speed and stability.

Overall head stability is achieved by a titanium unibody construction.  To further place weight where desired, Callaway utilized their proprietary Triaxial Carbon in the crown and sole.  Confirmed by my results, the Rogue ST MAX does have a slight draw bias – as designed.  If you prefer a straight ball flight, check out the LS version.  If you need help fighting a slice, the MAX D is designed for you [review HERE].  Callaway has a terrific chart on their website [see the link at the bottom of this review] displaying the differences in the four Rogue ST models.

At the front of the titanium frame, just behind the face, is the proven Jailbreak Speed Frame.  Beyond boosting horizontal and torsional stability, Jailbreak technology harnesses impact energy from, and for, the face.    And as we’ve come to expect from Callaway, they once again utilized artificial intelligence to optimize the face design.  Flash Face SS22 is built for maximum forgiveness and consistent spin across the face.  Spin rates from my testing hovered right around 2000 rpm, a good mid-spin zone for me.

Conclusion

Overall, I was impressed with the Callaway Rogue ST MAX driver.  Performance numbers across the board were good.  The look, feel and sound should be appealing to a wide swath of golfers – as will the slight draw bias.  For golfers with other needs, I’ll defer to Matt Saternus’s conclusion.  “With four distinct options, the Rogue ST driver family needs to be part of your fitting this year.”

Visit Callaway HERE

Callaway Rogue ST MAX Driver Price & Specs

Matt Meeker

20 Comments

  1. Great review, Matt. I’m curious about smash factor. With many PIG reviews mentioning smash factor as an indication of efficiency, would it be fair to wonder if the trackman set up is embellishing smash factor a bit? I have read / heard that trackman tends to under-measure clubhead speed (or perhaps more technically, measures a part of the head that is moving slower) compared to Foresight and other photo-based units so it tends to be more capable of producing the “magic” 1.50 number. Do you notice this in your many sessions on the unit? This is not a criticism, just a question as I have been fitted many times on both units and often see 1.5’s on trackman and rarely get that close with other units. Thoughts?

    • Matt Meeker

      One thing I can assure you Jim is that I do not get 1.5s all the time. I can’t speak to the accuracy or comparisons to other types of technology. But utilizing Trackman at Club Champion for all my data, I know the data is all relative which to me, makes for fair commentary on club efficiency.

      – Meeks

  2. Matt,
    Great review!! Did you test with the new Tensei AV shafts? If so, which one; blue or white? How did they feel and perform? Thanks in advance!

    • Matt Meeker

      Thanks Daniel. Yes – tested with Tensei AV Blue 55 regular flex. I wasn’t focused on specifics of the shaft, but I definitely came away liking both the feel and contribution to overall performance.

      – Meeks

  3. How did it perform compared to your Epic Speed Driver? Most importantly do you feel this new driver has more draw bias or less draw bias than the Speed? I also game the Speed but want to keep at least the same draw bias.

    • Matt Meeker

      For me, the Rogue ST MAX is more draw bias. If you get the opportunity to hit the Rogue, please chime back in and let everyone know your findings.

      – Meeks

  4. I don’t see a senior shaft for this club. Is that offered on other Rogue clubs. I’m 75 and 12 hdcp from the green tees and currently play a Callaway big Bertha set senior shafts which have too much draw bias especially on the hybrids. What Rogue set would replace that?
    Thanks

    • Rick – check out the Callaway website (link at the bottom of the review) and look over the shaft choices. They list a PROJECT X CYPHER BLACK 40 GRAPHITE in “light” flex which may be what you are seeking.

      – Meeks

  5. Matt, are you sticking with the epic speed or switching to the rogue st max?

  6. Charlie Rouse

    Great review as always. I do have one request for your driver reviews. Could you state which loft head you use when testing? Thanks!

    • Thanks Charlie. I always try to include the loft in a photo – but that didn’t happen in this review. It was 10.5.

      – Meeks

  7. Hi Matt
    Maybe you can answer this question that I’ve been trying to get an answer on the Rogue Max ST driver.
    If I have 10.5 Max & I lower the loft, which will open the face slightly, will it reduce or eliminate the draw bias?
    I’m thinking of putting a green dot optifit tip to lower loft to 8.5. Will that reduce or eliminate the draw bias. I can’t seem to get a straight answer to this question.
    What day you?
    Thanks
    BTW, Good review.

    • Matt Meeker

      Those are complex questions Angel. Opening the face can indeed lessen a draw, but that’s generally a swing related adjustment. The inherent draw bias of the driver has more to do with physical characteristics such as location of weighting. A clear example is the ST MAX D version where you can see a weight port in the heel. Adjusting the loft won’t move that weight much. And I have to ask the question/make the statement – if you are looking for lower loft and non-draw bias, why not go with one of the LS models?

      – Meeks

  8. I was recently fitted for the Rogue ST Max and compared it with my TSi1 driver. Both had stock senior shafts as I am 78 years old with a 78-80 mph driver speed. The Rogue performance was outstanding. It flow 15 feet higher than the Titleist with 12-15 yard of increased carry distance. When I tried the same shaft in both drivers the results were comparable.

  9. Joe Giamalva

    Hello Matt, my driver came with a VENTUS 5-R Fujikura shaft. Did you get a chance to try that! It worked well for me, but I couldn’t notice a draw bias. Mine is also a 10.5 ST MAX. I AM 78 and also have a 78 to 80 swing speed. I would like to have a slight draw if possible although I can definitely live with straight. Thanks, Joe Giamalva

  10. I’m a big fan of Callaway golf clubs. I own a few of their clubs and have never been disappointed. The Rogue ST MAX Driver is no exception. It’s a great club and I’m glad I got it.

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