While many other manufacturers have been looking toward the surrounding areas of the clubhead to influence the way the face flexes at impact, Callaway is focusing on the face itself. That's the hallmark technology behind two of the company's latest introductions, the X Hot series of drivers and the X Hot family of fairway woods.
X Hot driver
Callaway has engineered a new cupface design on the X Hot drivers that combines the technologies of its VFT and Hyperbolic to optimize the stress and stiffness distribution across the face to improve ballspeed. According to Callaway's engineers, face thicknesses have been modeled to the ten-thousandth of an inch to assess the ideal variation of face thickness.
The X Hot drivers, which come in four lofts (9.5, 10.5, 11.5 and 13) in the standard version and three lofts in the Pro version (8.5, 9.5, 10.5), also look to boost speed in other ways. The X Hot utilizes a longer, lighter shaft (46 inches and sub-60 grams), while the X Hot Pro features a more compact 440 cubic centimeter size to better match the playability preferences of better players. Both models also specifically tailor face curvature changes to better match the typical impacts for players typically using a certain loft. For instance, the bulge radius increases on both the X Hot and X Hot Pro by a half-inch as the lofts increase. In addition, the degree of draw bias on the X Hot increases as the loft increases.
Both the X Hot and X Hot Pro also feature the three-way, face angle adjustability introduced last year in Callaway's RAZR Fit driver (Open, Square and Closed). The X Hot Pro's three face angles are a half-degree more open than those settings on the X Hot.
Available in stores by mid-February, both drivers will sell for $300.
X Hot fairway wood
Although Callaway has been standing on the sideline in the race toward more driver like face flexibility in fairway woods, it is looking to get back in the game with a new high-strength steel alloy cupface on its fairway woods that according to Callaway testing is at the U.S. Golf Association limit for spring-like effect.
The Carpenter 455 forged cupface design is 40 percent thinner than Callaway's RAZR X Black fairway design from last year. According to Callaway, the new face measures as thin as less than .047 inches, or about as thin as a dime.
In addition to the face design, Callaway engineers reconfigured the internal weighting of the sole through a wave-shaped pad that projects one-quarter inch closer to the face to push the center of gravity slightly forward and low for lower spin.
The X Hot comes in 3-wood through 11-wood lofts (15, 17, 19, 21, 23 and 25 degrees) with a 55-58-gram Project X Velocity shaft, while the X Hot Pro is available in four lofts (13.5, 15, 17 and 19 degrees) with a 70-75-gram Project X Velocity shaft. The X Hot shaft lengths are a half-inch longer than the corresponding loft in the X Hot Pro, and the X Hot Pro's lie angles are two degrees flatter than the corresponding loft in the X Hot. Both clubs will be available at retail in mid-February at a price of $230.