50 Words or Less
Long. Hot face. Two very different stock shafts. Great looking clubs.
I’m a fairly recent Callaway convert when it comes to anything beyond Odyssey putters. To say that I’ve been excited for this year’s new Callaway releases would be the understatement of the century, so I was more than excited to get the opportunity to review the new X2 Hot and X2 Hot Pro drivers. When they showed up to my doorstep and I first saw them in hand, the excitement only grew and I couldn’t wait to see if these drivers lived up to all the hype I had been reading.
Callaway Golf always seems to do a great job of blending modern and classic looks to give you an updated vibe without taking it so far over the edge that the traditionalist will shy away from the club. The two X2 Hot drivers are no exception. The dark matte grey crowns are a nice contrast to the black, orange, and white paint scheme seen on the sole of the clubs.
At address, the X2 Hot driver definitely looks all of 460cc and gives you the feeling that you can’t possibly miss the sweet spot on the face. The X2 Hot Pro has a more compact look and will meet the aesthetic desires of those looking for more of a “player’s” look at address.
Sound & Feel
I remember the first time I hit my dad’s Callaway Big Bertha driver back around 1994 or 1995 (I can’t remember exactly, I was just a wee lad). It was an 8.5º head, light weight, solid, and sounded like a hammer hitting concrete. It was awesome.
As clubs evolved, many of those characteristics improved, but Callaway always maintained a solid, muted sound and feel that I found to be synonymous with the brand. No other driver ever quite has the feeling of a Callaway.
Much to my surprise, the X2 Hot driver felt a lot different than I’m used to from Callaway. It felt like the face had a little more spring to it and the sound was a little more “springy” than I’m used to from them. This is not say that it isn’t nice, just a different feel and sound than I have come to expect. Actually, I think this is a great thing because these characteristics may be more appealing to the average player which is who Callaway is trying to target with the X2 Hot. Contact in the center of the face feels like the ball is going a mile.
I hit the X2 Hot Pro and immediately experienced what I’m used to from Callaway drivers. It had that same solid and muted sound with the matching solid face. It feels like you must have completely disintegrated the ball at impact. The mishits are more responsive in the X2 Hot Pro, and you definitely get more feedback from the club. All in all, I would definitely consider this club geared toward the better player that has an easier time finding the center of the face.
Both the Callaway X2 Hot and X2 Hot Pro drivers performed well for me. The stock shaft in the X2 Hot is a bit more tip soft and the stock shaft in the X2 Hot Pro was more tip stiff. The shaft in the X2 Hot Pro was a better fit for me and I was able to get a little more aggressive with it and maintain a lower spin.
The X2 Hot was a bit more forgiving across the face and had more of a “trampoline effect” for me. When hitting the X2 Hot Pro, I felt the club was much more responsive, had a more distinct sweet spot, and more explosion off of the face at impact. If you are fairly comfortable hitting the ball near the sweet spot every time, the X2 Hot Pro is a great option for you. If you are a higher handicapper and you’re looking for an extremely long club with plenty of forgiveness, the X2 Hot driver will more than get the job done for you.
Callaway built upon the foundation of last year’s successful X Hot and X Hot Pro by bringing us two more drivers that have the same feeling and performance that was so great in the original but with more distance, better performance, and a cooler look. The X2 Hot and X2 Hot Pro should be able to fit the bill for any golfer whether they are looking for a driver to make long, reliable, straight shots or for a shotmaker’s driver where the ball explodes off the face and the player can drop bombs anywhere on the course…all for a fraction of the cost of most of the other major companies. Once again, Callaway proves why they continue to be one of the best major manufacturers in the game.
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Impressive launch monitor numbers! 109mph swingspeed, 302 carry, wow.
The hockey career didn’t really pan out for me…so now I golf.
I feel like I should add, I didn’t have 302 carry. That was my total yardage. I wish I was carrying 302 as an average!
Ahhh hockey, I had some friends who played hockey in high school that could bomb the driver. I suppose there’s some truth to Happy Gilmore after all.
How do these fit into the lineup compared to Bertha and Optiforce?
I can’t comment on the Alpha yet, and never got to hit the Optiforces that Matt reviewed (that some say is Callaway’s best driver yet), but the X2 is a different beast than the Big Bertha. The X2 doesn’t have the same level of adjustability as the Bertha and the regular X2 has a little more forgiveness on the face. The X2 Pro is probably a little closer in feel but still lacks the Bertha’s adjustability.
Out of the two X2’s and the Bertha, I prefer the stock shaft in the X2 Pro the most.
I read that the X2 hot is considered a great game improvement driver. What about the X2 pro? Is it fair to call it a game improvement driver?
It’s true, the X2 Hot could probably be considered more of a GI driver, but as mentioned in the review, I wouldn’t call the X2 Hot Pro game improvement. It’s definitely a little more catered toward the single digit (give or take) handicaps.
looking at getting one of these drivers, do you think using the tour green in the X2hot would lower the spin?
On paper it should certainly help. My numbers above show that I had significantly less spin, but it was also with two different heads. Ultimately, the best to find out is to test them on the monitor and see. I have hit combinations that are billed as lower spinning plenty of times, and for whatever reason, they did not perform as advertised. So I would suggest go get on a monitor if possible and see if that change does the trick!
I just bought the callaway X hot 2, but was mistakenly given the Pro model by the sales person. I am having a hard time deciding to stick with the pro version or wait for the standard one to be shipped to me. I loved the feel of both when I hit in the store. Your review is dead on when you talk about the feel at launch, it is great. I am a 14 handicap with a fairly high swing speed who is not lights out with the driver, but its one of the better clubs in my bag. Will hitting the pro version force me to focus on contact more until I improve, or will I be better off swinging a club with a bit more forgiveness? Thanks
Based on what I have seen from others with these drivers, at a 14 handicap, you would probably be better off with the standard model. That said, if you feel you comfortable with the Pro and it’s a club you can “harness,” then there’s no reason you couldn’t stick with it. Just understand that you aren’t going to get the same results out of mishits. At the end of the day, you have to go with whichever driver gives you the best results and the most confidence.
HOW DOES THE X2 HOT DRIVER COMPARE TO THE TM STAGE 2 DRIVER ? I USE REGULAR SHAFTS. THANKS JOE
Obviously, it depends on the individual and their specific swing. The X2 Hot is a newer driver and a little more advanced in its adjustability. The TM Stage 2 is an alright driver as well. Grab a look at our review of it here:
i am currently using a taylormade burner super fast driver with a steel shaft. i am interested in buying the callaway x2 hot driver but not sure what to expect from the graphite shaft. i would appreciate your input.
Honestly, that’s a pretty hard question to answer as everyone is different and has different feel. Generally speaking, I think you’re going to have better feel and quicker swing speeds, but that’s being said without knowing what steel shaft you’re using. The graphite shaft is likely to be significantly lighter and have a totally different flex profile.
I presently use the Taylor made R9 , 9.5 loft/stiff OEM graphite shaft driver. If I purchase the Callaway XHOT 2, 9.0 loft, stiff shaft driver…..will I see much of a change in my game? I shoot from an 85-100 on any given round. Presently a 16 HCP…used to be a 14 HCP. Thanks Bill McC
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I’d highly recommend testing the club out and getting fit. Considering these two clubs wouldn’t be “apples to apples” and everyone swings completely different, it’s hard for me to accurately comment or make a suggestion for you with this information.