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.
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.
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.
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.
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.