50 Words or Less
The Callaway Rogue ST MAX fairway wood creates a ton of ball speed across the face. One of the hottest fairway woods available. Mid launch and low spin. Draw biased.
Everyone in golf has opinions, but there’s one group of people whose opinions I really value: fitters. My friends at Club Champion see everything, so it takes a lot to get them excited. That’s why, when their eyes get wide talking about a club, I pay attention. During a recent visit, I felt that kind of excitement when they talked about the Callaway Rogue ST MAX fairway wood, which pushed it to the top of my must-try list.
At address, the Callaway Rogue ST MAX fairway wood is a miniature version of the Rogue ST MAX driver [review HERE]. It has a matte black crown that fades into carbon fiber as it gets further from the ball. A small white chevron aids alignment. The face of the MAX fairway wood is slightly taller than average, and the footprint is similarly sized. It has a round, symmetrical shape and sits just a hair closed.
Flipping the club over, your eyes will immediately go to the golden tungsten weight near the face. One other point of interest, though it’s much less eye-catching, is the patch of carbon fiber toward the toe. Everything else about the sole is dialed down.
Sound & Feel
Like the drivers, the sound of the Rogue ST MAX fairway wood is quiet, but it effectively conveys how hot this face is. It sounds like a muted whip crack with a drawn out sizzle after the initial pop. The low volume meshes well with the solid feel of impact. Overall, every shot I hit decently felt like it was long gone.
Feedback on strike quality is delivered primarily through the hands. The sound isn’t quite as crisp when you mishit it, but I noticed the change more in the feel.
The headline feature of the Callaway Rogue ST MAX fairway wood is obvious: ball speed. Smash factors of 1.49 and 1.5 felt like a given if I kept the ball on the middle segment of the face. It’s easy to see why Callaway calls this their “fastest fairway wood ever.”
High ball speeds are not limited to the sweet spot. I hit a shot that felt like a shank, and it registered a ridiculous 1.43 smash factor. This high level of forgiveness comes from the combination of an AI-designed face and new Jailbreak batwings that give the head stiffness while still allowing the face to flex.
All of that ball speed is only useful, of course, with the right launch and spin to optimize distance. To that end, Callaway is using a Tungsten Speed Cartridge to push the CG low and forward for higher launch, lower spin, and more ball speed. I found the Rogue ST MAX to be mid launch, low spin, and very consistent. Even on thin or heel strikes, the spin never eclipsed 3,000 RPM. For me, the launch was never very high (which is on me, I’m a low launching player) but it was consistently within a 2 degree window on decent swings.
The one thing about the Rogue ST MAX that did not work well for me – but might make it a winner for others – is the draw bias. For me, the club’s tendency to start left and draw exacerbated my low launch problems. However, for players that hit their FWs too high or slice them, these features are going to help them hit longer, straighter shots.
The MAX sits in the middle of the Rogue ST fairway wood line up. As such, it’s likely to have the broadest appeal. It has the widest loft range – all the way to an 11W – where the LS stops at 5W and the MAX D at 7W. The Rogue ST MAX is billed as mid launch, low spin, semi-draw bias, and “highest” forgiveness. For comparison, Callaway bills the Rogue ST LS [review HERE] as having low launch, low spin, neutral flight, and “high” forgiveness. The Rogue ST MAX D claims to launch high with mid spin, have “highest forgiveness” and, of course, a draw bias.
Callaway has long been known for their excellent fairway woods, and the Rogue ST MAX deserves a spot among the company’s best. This mix of technologies produces amazing ball speed, which is something every golfer needs. If you want to hit longer FW shots and get a little help producing a draw, this is a club to check out immediately.