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Equipment Report
  • EQUIPMENT

    Jon Rahm, Xander Schauffele switch into Callaway’s new driver

  • A look at Callaway's new Rogue ST driver. (Courtesy of GolfWRX)A look at Callaway's new Rogue ST driver. (Courtesy of GolfWRX)

There will be plenty of new hardware on display when the 38-man field kicks off the calendar year Thursday at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, especially at the top end of the bag.

Callaway’s TOUR staff will be worth keeping an eye on. Sources indicate that at least 10 players will put a version of the new Rogue ST driver in play in Hawaii. Jon Rahm, Xander Schauffele, Phil Mickelson and new signee Abraham Ancer are all confirmed to have a Rogue in the bag this week.

Released this week, the Rogue ST features a Tungsten Speed Cartridge that positions up to 26 grams low and deep in the head for increased speed, stability, MOI, and better performance on off-center hits. It also features a new iteration of Callaway’s Jailbreak Speed Frame for additional speed and stability. Complementing the Speed Frame is an artificial intelligence-optimized Flash Face for lower spin and greater forgiveness.

Both Rahm and Schauffele will play the Rogue ST Triple Diamond LS. That is the lowest-spinning driver in the four-club line, which also includes the Rogue ST Max D, Rogue ST Max and Rogue ST Max LS. At 450cc, the Rogue ST Triple Diamond LS is a more compact neutral-to-fade biased offering that features a shape TOUR players gravitate toward.

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Jon Rahm hits the new Callaway driver. (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

While performance trumps aesthetics when you play golf for a living, it’s a plus to be looking down at something you like, as Rahm said about his new driver. The driver even matches Rahm’s preferred color for his cars.

“I like the look of it, having a matte-black driver. I'm a very big fan of matte colors. I always try to have a matte-black car and it's something that I love,” the World No. 1 said in his pre-tournament press conference. “Plus being able to see the carbon fiber throughout it, as a Formula 1 fan it's something that I really enjoy. It looks really slick. It looks good.”

He also spoke to the consistency of his spin rate on mishits, saying “the better the miss can be, obviously the better it's going to be for me.”

Rahm said at the launch event for the Rogue ST line that he prefers his drives to have a spin rate between 2,200 and 2,500 rpms and a launch angle of 10-12 degrees. He also has played the same driver shaft since arriving on the PGA TOUR: an Aldila Tour Green 75 TX.

“I haven’t changed my shaft in so long, I can feel right away on the very first swing if it’s wrong,” Rahm said. “If it’s a good one, I’ll be hitting a few more. In the first few swings, if I hit the shot I want, make the swing I would like to make, and the ball comes out of the window I’d like to see with the shape I’d like to see, then I’ll go on to try to hit different shots. The most important thing is (for) your stock shot to be there first.”

Schauffele, the Olympic gold medalist, said that he quickly fell in love with the new club.

“I hit my little draw and I hit my little fade and I looked at the fitter and said, ‘This one will do,’” he said.

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A look at the face of the new Callaway driver. (Courtesy of GolfWRX)

Schauffele said his fitting took just 20-30 swings because “there’s so many different options on the head,” presumably a reference to the OptiFit hosel configurations.

Meeting with the media earlier this week, Schauffele, “If I hit three drives and two of them are good and I kind of make one weird swing, I know the driver's good. All the guys at Callaway know I'll hit one drive and if I hit it kind of squirrely, they take it out of my hands because I won't even go beyond one or two shots with it because they know I'll start compensating.”

Overall, Schauffele called the switch “a seemingly effortless change.”

Needing a shaft with greater tip stability and more stiffness through the mid-section, Schauffele switched into the Mitsubishi Kai’li White 70 shaft at the Hero World Challege. He’ll continue to use it in his Triple Diamond.

Mickelson, who called the Rogue “a game changer” in an Instagram comment will be playing the Rogue Max LS this week with a Fujikura Ventus Red shaft.