Callaway XR 16 Driver Review

Callaway XR 16 Driver_0130

50 Words or Less

The Callaway XR 16 driver combines a fast shape with forgiveness and low spin.  Very draw biased.

Introduction

When it comes to drivers, a lot of time is spent talking about forgiveness, low spin, and high launch, but the biggest factor in distance is speed.  That’s why Callaway reached out to Boeing to make their new XR 16 driver more aerodynamic and faster.

Callaway XR 16 Driver_0126

Looks

In profile, the Callaway XR 16 driver looks fast.  The streamlined, conical shape makes it look like it will slice through the air with ease.

At address, however, the XR 16 looks big.  Callaway designed this driver to have a big footprint so it could have maximum forgiveness.  You’ll also notice that the driver has a reverse-pear shape with more bulk in the heel than the toe.  This is a big hint about how the driver will perform.  One other thing stands out at address: the Speed Step.  The Speed Step is a set of ridges along the leading edge of the crown that are designed to enhance the aerodynamics.  Like PING’s Turbulators, they’re matte black and thus not distracting.

Callaway XR 16 Driver_0123Callaway XR 16 Driver_0127

Sound & Feel

The sound of the Callaway XR 16 driver is a “crack” that’s bit on the loud side.  What’s interesting – and very good, in my opinion – for a game improvement driver is how much auditory feedback there is.  When you hit the ball flush, the sound is very solid and satisfying.  Wander more than a little bit from the center and the sound becomes significantly more hollow.
Callaway XR 16

Performance

In testing the Callaway XR 16 driver, three things stood out to me.  First, this driver is fast.  I was swinging without great effort and still getting very solid club and ball speed numbers.  I attribute this to both the aerodynamic head and the club’s excellent balance.  With the stock shaft, there’s ample feel for the head and some weight in your hands, but the total package feels light.

Second, the launch monitor numbers were impressive in terms of forgiveness and low spin.  The XR 16 isn’t advertised as the lowest spinning driver of the year, and it’s not, but the spin was plenty low to produce long, penetrating shots with good roll.  Forgiveness is a major part of Callaway’s push with the XR 16, and that was shown in my testing.  The loss of ball speed when you leave the center of the face is minimal.

Third, this club is as draw biased as it looks.  In simplest terms, if you’re a slicer (or if you just like seeing the ball draw), you will dig this club.  To get a little deeper into it: the bulge in the heel tells you that there’s more weight there.  This shifts the center of gravity towards the heel and makes more of the club face behave like the toe, meaning gear effect draws.  Players who already hit draws and hooks will want to check out the XR 16 Pro.

As has become their standard, Callaway is offering numerous shafts from five different manufacturers at no up charge.  If you decide to purchase the Callaway XR 16 driver, you should absolutely take advantage of this option.

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Conclusion

No matter who you are, more club head speed is probably on your wish list.  With the Callaway XR 16 driver, you can have that without working out or practicing more.  Thrown into that package are big time forgiveness and a lot of help for the slicer.

Buy the Callaway XR 16 driver HERE

Matt Saternus

15 Comments

  1. do you guys have a review of the XR 16 Pro coming up anytime soon?

  2. Dale Hillman

    What is the primary difference between the XR-16 and the Great Big Bertha?

    • Matt Saternus

      Dale,

      The Big Bertha line is all about adjustable weight and geared toward better player. The XR 16 is a “simpler” driver that’s focused on forgiveness.

      Best,

      Matt

  3. What is the weight of the xr 16 driver head, shaft and grip?

  4. What is the difference between XR16 and XR16 pro? How good is the stock shaft in the XR16? And what are good upgrade shafts?

  5. Mate, will this thing spin too high for a guy with swing speeds of 115?

  6. Mike Payne

    So is the XR 16 more forgiving, which is longer for you? (reference to the above post)

  7. Mike Payne

    Trying to compare the XR 16 to Great Big Bertha, how close or how far apart on your swing?

  8. 56 year old male with a 13 hdcp. Gave in and was fitted and this was the club that gave me the best results. I swing at 80-85 percent to avoid back injury. Play a couple times a week and even though its a big stick enjoy hitting it 245-260 yds regularly. Even though adjustable it’s set a neutral. Look at approach builds confidence and the sound at impact tells the rest of the story.

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