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Callaway XR 16 Pro Driver Review

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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.

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Introduction

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.

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Looks

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.

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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.

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Performance

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.

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Conclusion

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.

Bill Bush
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10 Comments

  1. Do these have any no-charge shaft options like The Big Bertha and Alpha?

  2. OK, but is the sole weight changeable for those of us who prefer shorter and/or lighter shafts? Thanks

    • The short answer is yes, I believe so. In reality though, I can’t say I’m 100% certain. I’ll see if I can get a better, more accurate answer. Of course, if someone loves this club and needs a bit more weight, there’s always the option to hot melt.

  3. What is the difference between XR 16 from 2015 to 2016

  4. I love this Driver! At my age of 72, I still hit it very well! It is forgiving and I would buy another one if I ever need to!

  5. I love my XRPro Driver. Since this the Rogue, GBB and Epic have all done well, but I say if it ain’t broke it don’t need fixin!!
    #SecretGiveaway

  6. Oddly enough, I am generally a high spin driver guy. Hit this club 6 months ago and it was great. Went to buy it a few days later and it was sold out. Stumbled across one yesterday and it performed perfectly again.

    Played the Fly-Z+ for years. Matrix White Tie 55X4 stiff. Launch numbers were around 3500-3800 spin. 4500 on really bad strikes.
    Was hitting the new Srixon and had low 3000 spin numbers. Sales rep handed me the G400, HZRDUS Yellow (Lowest spinning upgrade shaft offered by Ping). Was still seeing spin between 2500-3000 with the odd perfect 2200 strike. But $780 with taxes and upgraded shafts, I wasn’t convinced. Best shot at 2200 RPM got me 255 total yards down the middle.

    The Epic was on sale for $489 with the same shaft, so I gave it a go. Grabbed the XR 16 Pro too because of how it performed in the past. It was on sale for $279.

    Epic still spun high/similar to the Ping. The XR 16 Pro was as long as the Epic, consistently longer overall because the spin was always low.
    I mean, from spinning in the mid 3000’s to dropping below 2000, it was nuts. My lowest spin was at 1250. Hovered around 1800. For me, I fade the ball and slice when it’s really bad. The low launch wasn’t an issue. I found bad shots were landing sooner, not ballooning out of play. Miss hits were carrying 220 yards, in the fairway/first cut (99MPH swing). The shaft really helped keep my ball in play. I may have given up 5 yards in carry compared to the Fly-Z+ but with the added control and roll. Best drive netted me 278 yards down the middle. 23 yards more than the Ping G400. Love the forgiveness of the G400 Max I hit last week but had no issues with forgiveness with this club. Was as good as the Ping for my swing. G400 Max also topped out around 255 yards last week with the stock Alta CB shaft in stiff flex. Don’t recall the spin numbers though. 3k range.

    Any advice on an after market shaft that can raise the spin a little? Hit at 9*, will see what 10* does.

    • Matt Saternus

      Brandon,

      There’s no way I could say for certain what shaft would raise spin for you. The best thing to do is work with a qualified fitter.

      Best,

      Matt

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