Designed with a focus on speed, Callaway’s XR Driver features a slew of technologies that promote longer distance off the tee. One of the biggest innovations you’ll see on the Callaway XR Driver is the new Speed Step Crown, which creates less drag by holding air closer to the club head through the down swing. Callaway claims that the Speed Step can deliver up to 5mph faster ball speed. We’d love to take their word for it, but you know how we roll… with a driver this cool, we must go hands-on!

Recently the nice folks over at Callaway Golf hooked us up with an XR Driver for us to test and review on our home course. The job was daunting – warm up on the simulator, hit the driving range, play golf and repeat. As you may have guessed we were up to the task. Now, nearly 2 months later we’re happy to share our thoughts and opinions on this stealthy driver with you. But before we get too far, let’s dive into some of the features and specs that make this driver what it is…

Key Features:

  • callaway xr driverSpeed From Speed Step Crown: To reduce drag and maximize speed through the swing, Callaway put in a Speed Step Crown and combined it with an optimized aerodynamic head shape.
  • Speed From R•MOTO Face Technology:  R•MOTO leads to more energy efficient energy transfer all over the face, allows us to put the CG 17% lower where most golfers want it, and delivers higher MOI.
  • Speed From Maximum Shaft: XR comes stock with the new Project X LZ shaft. It produces maximum shaft load during the downswing loading zone for greater energy transfer to the ball.
  • OptiFit Adjustability: Choose from 8 different loft and lie configurations to find the perfect launch for your ball flight.

Specs:

  • Lofts: 9°, 10.5°, 12°, 13.5°
  • Shaft: True Tember
  • Shaft Length: 46″
  • Shaft Flex / Weight: Light (53g), Regular (54g) and Stiff (56g)
  • Cubic Capacity: 460cc
  • Swing Weight: D3
Callaway XR Review Breakdown

Design:

At first glance you’ll notice the underside has a flashy “XR” logo and patriotic paint job. Though when you flip the club over and get setup on the tee box, at address the XR look very stealthy. The all black crown and face give the driver a very nice look that is easy on the eyes. No racing stripes or distracting logos. The flat black paint job on the crown is a perfect – no glare! Our crew overwhelmingly enjoyed the overall look and aesthetics of this driver.

Beyond its understated good looks, the XR is has a lot going on under the hood and on top of the crown. The Speed Step is designed to hold air closer to the crown, which in effect makes the club slice through the air more effectively. This promotes faster club head speed and in return helps put your ball further down the fairway. Combine that with Callway’s R•MOTO Face that is engineered to increase MOI and position the center of gravity lower and you’ve got yourself very fast driver.

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You’ll also notice there are no weights to move or screws to tinker with. We like this! The only adjustments that can be made to the XR are in the shaft. You can choose from 8 different loft and lie configurations. The driver comes with a wrench and adjustments are easy to make. Take some time to read the included directions and you’ll be hitting the ball flush in no time.

Distance:

With added speed comes added distance and the XR did not let us down in this category. Throughout our testing session the XR Driver proved to be one of the longest drivers we’ve hit this season. So what does that mean? Well, when compared to the Nike Vapor, Cobra Fly-Z and Taylormade R15, the XR topped them all. On average we experienced a +6 yard gain to the closest competitor – the R15.

We haven’t seen a Speed Step utilized by any other manufactures just yet, but it appears to work. By creating less drag we were able to increase our club head speed by 3 mph on average.  During our time on the simulator the higher club head speed directly correlated with longer distance. The proof is in the pudding as they say and the XR did not disappoint.

10915196_10155072018100640_2715226835962225454_nAccuracy:

On well stuck drives the XR is downright flawless. The sweet spot is large which is helpful too. On mishits or poorly struck drives the ball does what you might imagine… strays from target line. The accuracy of a driver is highly dependent on the golfer swinging the club, we recognize this, but after testing the XR for two months now we confident in saying this driver is above average in the accuracy department.

Feel:

How a driver feels in your hand and through the golf swing is a uniquely personal experience. As with any golf club, we encourage you to get your hands on this driver before you buy it. That being said, our crew fell in love with the balance, weight and sound the XR delivers. The grip is slightly tacky which we like. The weighting is wonderfully balanced throughout the golf swing, and the sound… oh the sound. The XR doesn’t sound “tinny” at all, but when you hit the ball your playing partners pay attention.

I don’t hit the ball particularity far these days, but with the XR, it sounds like I just hit the ball 320 yards! Even if it only went 250, I still like the charge the sound of the ball coming off Callway’s R•MOTO Face gives me.

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I don’t hit the ball particularity far these days, but with the XR, it sounds like I just hit the ball 320 yards! Even if it only went 250, I still like the charge the sound of the ball coming off Callway’s R•MOTO Face gives me.

Value:

Among the top in its class, the Callaway XR driver is well worth the $299.99 retail asking price. When you consider Taylormade and Nike are selling drivers for $100 higher, you’d be out of your mind not to take the XR for a test drive. Seriously, go to your local pro shop or sporting goods store and get your hands on the XR. Shag a few balls and make your own decision. You’ll likely walk away $300 poorer, but you’ll be happy knowing you have a big stick that can deliver speed and distance as well as accuracy. It’s not every season we’re wow’d by a specific driver, but right now, today, the Callaway XR is at the top of our list.

Buy Now: $299.99 or to learn more, go to: CallawayGolf.com

Callaway XR Driver - Range Review
If you're in the market for a new driver this season do yourself a favor and check out the Callaway XR. This driver is truly impressive. We test a lot of golf clubs each year and the XR is a stand out for 2015.
Design9.1
Distance9.5
Accuracy8
Feel9
Value8.8
The Good:
  • Wonderful Balance
  • Sizable Sweet Spot
  • Simple Shaft Adjustment
The Not so Good:
  • As expected, off center drives are off target and short
8.9Overall Score
Reader Rating: (67 Votes)
4.1

About The Author

Editor-in-Chief

Busted Wallet’s resident testing and review specialist, Josh has a keen eye for all things tech, booze, and sports-related. After working closely with brands such as Nike, The North Face, EA Sports, Burton, HP, Oakley, Sony, Cannondale, Taylormade Golf and many others over the past decade he’s grown to become one of the most reliable reviewers in the business.

One Response

  1. Desmond

    It is an attractive looking driver for Callaway, but the shaft length is too long at 46 inches (you can order it at 45-45.5 but you will need more weight in the head for balance), the head is too light for consistency (smooth swingers only need apply), and it lacks adjustability in the head (weights or a sliding perimeter weight). It does have the Optifit hosel, which allows you to adjust loft -1 to +1 and +2 degrees, the feel/sound off the face is excellent, forgiveness is above average, and the price is right. But the price comes at the price of adjustability in the head. If you want a driver that has more adjustability, forgiveness, and a better stock shaft and more shaft options, the new Callaway Great Big Bertha is the ticket. It costs more, but you will love this driver.

    Reply

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