Callaway XR Driver Review

Callaway XR Driver_0122

50 Words or Less

The Callaway XR driver is a forgiving, light weight driver geared towards creating lots of ball speed and promoting a draw.

Callaway XR Driver_0138

Introduction

While the Big Bertha drivers are the flagships of the Callaway line, the X series has always been the workhorse.  At a mid-level price, they’ve delivered forgiveness and distance to golfers for years.  With this year’s Callaway XR driver, the focus is on speed – specifically a promise of up to 5 MPH more ball speed, compared to a 2012 Callaway driver.  I put this driver through the paces to see if you can expect that kind of boost for your tee shots.

Callaway XR Driver_0134

Looks

The XR driver has an average-sized footprint for a 460 cc driver, and it has a very pleasing, rounded shape.  The “Speed Step Crown” is matte black with a chevron alignment aid.

While the driver sets up square in the neutral position, one thing I found disconcerting was the imbalance of the lines that make up the Speed Step Crown.  You can see that the line on the heel side is much shorter than the line on the toe side, and this makes the chevron look off-center towards the heel.  Based on my testing, the chevron does align with the actual sweet spot, but whether this heel-side CoG is good or not is going to be up to the individual golfer.

Callaway XR Driver_0129

Sound & Feel

The sound this driver produces is a clean, medium volume pop.  I like the sound because it enhances the hot feel without being too loud or sounding shrill or metallic.

The Callaway XR driver is fitted with a very lightweight version of the Project X LZ shaft.  Depending on the flex you choose, the shaft weighs between 53 and 56 grams.  This light weight shaft can certainly be part of the high speed equation, but some players may find it a little too light to control.

Callaway XR Driver LM Data

SkyTrak Banner Ad

Performance

There are a lot of pieces to the XR’s high speed equation: an aerodynamic head shape, the Speed Step Crown, the faster R-MOTO face, a longer shaft (46″), and the light weight of the shaft.  Some of these parts will benefit for all golfers, but others – namely the lighter, longer shaft – will help some but hurt others.  I found that while the head was very forgiving, I had a hard time controlling the shaft and making consistent, center-face contact.  To make sure that the XR driver can work for everyone, Callaway does offer a number of premium shaft options at no up-charge.  This allows players who prefer a heavier shaft to use this excellent, forgiving head to its best effect.

As I mentioned earlier, the sweet spot of the XR driver is slightly towards the heel.  This makes it a good fit for players who tend to hit the the ball off the heel of the club and those who fight a slice.  Combined with the very active stock shaft, I think the XR is a great choice for those striving to get their drives to draw.

Callaway XR Driver_0118

Conclusion

For players looking to add ball speed through a lighter club and a little more snap in the shaft, the Callaway XR driver is one that’s worth checking out.  It also does a good job promoting a right-to-left ball flight, but it has enough adjustability to allow a wide range of players to use it effectively .  This is a solid offering from Callaway and a very different driver than last year’s X2 Hot.

The following two tabs change content below.

Matt Saternus

Founder, Editor In Chief at PluggedInGolf.com
Matt is the Founder and Editor in Chief of Plugged In Golf. He's worked in nearly every job in the golf industry from club fitting to instruction to writing and speaking. Matt lives in the northwest suburbs of Chicago with his wife and two daughters.

Latest posts by Matt Saternus (see all)

5 Comments

  1. John Pock

    Great Review, Matt. I have the XR and I am struggling with a pull on the course. This was not present during the fitting. Do you think I should go one shaft flex stronger or just return and start over. Thanks.

    John

    • Matt Saternus

      John,

      There are a lot of things I would do before starting over, assuming you like the club. First, I’d want to make sure it was something that was happening over an extended period and not just a bad day. I’d also make sure it’s not something related to alignment or a swing change. You can also change the face angle and see how that works. If none of that worked, then I’d go to shaft or club changes.

      Best,

      Matt

  2. Cole shouldis

    I am looking for a light driver and having troubles picking the best for me right now it’s between the r15 the xr and the aeroburner which one do you think will be best for me if I want the lightest driver I can get?

    • Matt Saternus

      Cole,

      As I recall, the R15 isn’t that light. If you just want the lightest driver, weigh an Aeroburner against an XR. If you want the best driver for you, get a fitting.

      -Matt

  3. The XR 12 degree is one bad ass drive, I bought the TM Aeroburner and it was long off the tee but was never sure what side of the fairway it would land. Bought a use but still brand new XR with a Kuro Kage shaft holy ship just as long as the TM plus aim, point and swing away right down the middle or if I want it right of middle it’s there. The Aeroburner shaft might have been the problem but TM should use better shafts. 8 hdc and going down

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*