50 Words or Less
The Callaway XR 16 Pro driver is a low-spinning beast with great feel and distance made alongside aeronautics expert, Boeing, to create one of Callaway’s strongest drivers yet.
Callaway Golf has been turning a lot of heads over the past five years with their reemergence as one of the leaders in the equipment industry. A critical component to Callaway’s recent evolution has been their ability to build on successes from previous products to make even better clubs, and the new Callaway XR 16 Pro driver is no exception. The X drivers have been a fan favorite since the introduction of the original X-Hot, but Callaway’s side-by-side work with Boeing has taken the XR 16 drivers to a whole new level and will be tough to top with their future product lines.
From address, the Callaway XR 16 Pro driver is fairly minimalist aside from the chevron alignment aid the and the two aerodynamic accents along the front of the head. Admittedly, the head shape is somewhat bulbous even at 450cc, but the size and shape of the head was meticulously designed alongside Boeing to be as aerodynamic as possible for greater speeds and more forgiveness. When setting up behind the ball, the toe is in the air a bit which is common with a deep-faced club.
Flip the club over and you will see the familiar blue, red, and silver XR branding. The biggest difference in the XR 16 Pro from the previous XR line is also immediately noticeable: the distinct “channels” in the sole of the club that Boeing helped Callaway implement in order to improve the aerodynamics of the club. Do they work? I’ll take Callaway’s and Boeing’s word for it, but they certainly look cool.
Sound & Feel
I’ve felt previous versions of Callaway drivers have tended to feel a little too firm or too muted and solid. Last year’s Great Big Bertha had one of the better sounds and feels I’ve ever gotten from a driver, but still had just a bit of that “rockiness” that Callaway drivers are known for. The Callaway XR 16 Pro takes a giant step and greatly improves on that sound and feel from previous generations. The feel has more pop to it than previous Callaway drivers, but still feels strong and responsive rather than like a springy trampoline. As far as sound, if you took that typical gun shot sound that screams out on the driving range and brought it down to the appropriate decibel level, that’s the exact sound you get out of the XR 16 Pro driver. The sound is a quiet and precise crack.
The performance for the Callaway XR 16 Pro was interesting to me. The numbers come from using the stock Fuji shaft, and generally, they aren’t bad. What the numbers told me was that I was not realizing the full potential of this driver which makes me super excited, a little frustrated, and very curious. 161 mph ball speed off of a 110 mph swing speed is not too shabby at all, I really like the looks of that 12.3º launch angle, but that 267.7 yards of carry with those speeds and that launch angle is quite a bit lower than I’ve seen from other drivers. Clearly that 1520 spin is causing the ball to drop out of the air a bit quicker and costing me some carry yards. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll definitely take that 40 yards of roll, but if I can get a bit more spin with similar speed and launch numbers, this is going to be one super-long driver for me. Whether it’s all marketing gimmicks or not, I’m willing to buy that engineering the XR 16 woods with Boeing is creating a hotter face, faster speeds, and greater distances. It’s just important to make sure you get your driver setup precisely dialed.
The Callaway XR 16 Pro driver is certainly one of the contenders this season for top driver, simple as that. Callaway set out to build a fast, forgiving driver for the 2016 season, and with Boeing’s help, it’s safe to say they accomplished that goal. As always, make sure you get fit for the XR 16 Pro in order to make sure you don’t leave any extra yardage behind.