November 13 2013
By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM Equipment Insider
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The old adage "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" would be the perfect motto for Callaway's latest line of metalwoods. Last year, Callaway released X Hot and X Hot Pro metal woods to rave reviews from amateurs and professionals alike, including 42-time PGA TOUR winner Phil Mickelson, who used a variation of X Hot products -- X Hot Prankenwood and X Hot 3Deep -- for most of the season en route to his first British Open victory.
Instead of messing with success, Callaway opted to continue the name with X2 Hot -- the new lineup of drivers, fairway woods, hybrids and irons, scheduled to be available Jan. 17.
While the X Hot name still exists, the technology in X2 Hot is an upgrade from its predecessor. The driver features a more traditional pear-shaped head that's 4 percent larger than the original X Hot.
"It has a very different thickness profile through face," Dr. Alan Hocknell, Callaway's SVP of R&D, said in a recent episode of Callaway Talks. "It was powered by a lot of insight we got through our performance phase, where we look to the statistics on how golfers actually hit the face, and where they hit it on the face. It showed us that if you're not better than a 10 handicap, you're not hitting the center of the face."
After analyzing where golfers hit the ball on the face, Hocknell and his team went about designing a new Hyper Speed Face Cup -- made from high-strength 455 Carpenter steel -- that increased the sweet spot on the face and added 1.5 mph more ball speed on average, which equates to about 5-6 additional yards on off-center hits.
Available in three lofts (9.5, 10.5, 13.5 degrees), the X2 Hot driver features the OptiFit adjustable hosel -- the loft can be moved up as much as 2 degrees or down 1 degree -- and two independent lie settings, standard and draw.
The X2 Hot driver also has Callaway's “Progressive Draw Bias," which gives higher lofted heads more draw bias than lower lofted versions.
X2 Hot Pro has a deeper face and lower CG than standard X2 Hot, allowing the driver to have produce a lower trajectory with less spin. The Pro version will only come in 8.5 degrees, but with the OptiFit adjutable hosel, golfers will have the option of moving the loft as high as 10.5 or as low as 7.5 degrees.
The standard 460cc X2 Hot comes stock with a 46-inch shaft Aldila Tour Blue shaft for $350. The 440cc X2 Hot Pro retails for $350 and has a 45.5-inch Aldila Tour Green 65 shaft.
X2 Hot and X2 Hot Pro fairway woods
Phil Mickelson turned Callaway X Hot fairway woods into the talk of the TOUR in 2013, using his X Hot 3Deep twice on the par-5 17th at Muirfield to win his first British Open title.
Building on the success of the X Hot platform, Callaway added a high-strength 455 Carpenter steel face to the fairway woods that helps maintain ball speeds on shots hit low on the face.
While the face is a new addition to the Hot fairway wood line, Callaway decided to add the same Internal Standing Wave found in X Hot to X2 Hot. The pieces of metal are located near the front of the sole and lean toward the face, giving the club a center of gravity (CG) that's low and forward.
The difference between the two Internal Standing Waves is that this year's version is 13.5-grams heavier than X Hot and sits closer to the face. The addition of more weight and the new position improves shots hit low on the face.
Engineers also added more face camber and heel and toe relief, in an effort to improve the sole's versatility.
X2 Hot fairway woods will be available Jan. 17 with an Aldila Tour Blue shaft in six lofts (15, 17, 19, 21, 23, 25 degrees) for $240. The X2 Hot Pro has four loft options (13.5, 15, 17 and 19 degrees) comes stock with Aldila's Tour Green shaft for $240.
Even though X2 Hot and X2 Hot Pro are the most prominent versions in the new fairway wood line, Callaway confirmed an X2 Hot 3Deep will be available for players that prefer a deeper faced 3-wood that can be used off the tee.
X2 Hot 3Deep (available Jan. 17) retails for $240 and comes in three different lofts (12.5, 14.5 and 18.5 degrees) with Aldila's Tour Green shaft.
X2 Hot and X2 Hot hybrids
With a thinner Hyper Speed Face Cup than last year's X Hot hybrid line, Callaway was able to make the face on X2 Hot 28 percent thinner and the sweet spot an eye-popping 13 times larger than its predecessor -- thanks in large part to the new 455 Carpenter steel face the company added to all X2 Hot metalwoods.
The thinner face and larger sweet spot makes X2 Hot more than 10 yards longer than the previous version. The compact head also has less camber, offset and features an Internal Standing Wave inside the head that's lower and more towards the face.
X2 Hot will be available Jan. 17 in four lofts (19, 22, 25 and 29 degrees) with Aldila's Tour Blue shaft for $200. The X2 Hot Pro version comes in four lofts (16, 18, 20 and 23 degrees) with Aldila's Tour Green shaft for $200.
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