Club Reviews Driver Reviews

2016 Callaway XR 16 Driver Review

Callaway XR Driver

$349
Callaway XR Driver
9.58

Look/Design

9/10

    Feel and Sound

    10/10

      Technology / Customization

      10/10

        Accuracy and Consistency

        10/10

          Distance

          10/10

            Pros

            • Top of class distance
            • Great feel and sound
            • Great look from approach
            • Top of class club head and ball speed
            • Absolutely Insane 10% Lower CG and 15% Higher MOI than XR

            Cons

            • Although new lines are sexy, the XR still isn't at the top of the class in appearance.

            Callaway Teams with Boeing on new XR 16 Driver

            Golfers often struggle with a lot of apprehension when deciding to change drivers. This is one of the most important clubs in your set and can really influence your performances on the course. The right driver will offer power and precision, complete with a smooth swing and satisfying impact. The wrong driver can send your ball spinning off wildly and feel bizarre in your hands. Today, we will review the new Callaway XR 16 driver to help you decide whether this could be the club for you.

            The History of the Callaway XR 16 Driver

            First, let’s give you a brief introduction of the history behind this club. As drivers are all about smashing the ball with accuracy and power, these clubs need to be developed with a huge amount of care to provide the best results. The slightest change in the shape or style or material used in the construction of the club’s head can have huge differences on the resulting shot. For years now, manufacturers have been making dozens of adjustments to make their club heads more aerodynamic.

            The idea behind this is that if the club can swing through the air more quickly then it will provide a stronger impact. When we talk about aerodynamics, one of the first things that comes to mind is the airplane. That’s clearly what happened in the Callaway development labs, because the company decided to join forces with Boeing to get some expert advice on making an object that can glide effortlessly through the air. The discussions must have been fruitful, because the resulting club offers a remarkable level of performance.

            callaway-driver-review

            Callaway Efforts to Develop a Faster Club Head

            In talking with Boeing, Callaway wanted to find out the best ways to reduce air resistance as the driver is swung. The company has been investigating this matter for quite some time now, inventing its famous Speed Step technology on the original XR. Strange as it may sound, the company learned that the Speed Step would be more effective placed on the front edge of the crown. On the fact of it, this would seem to provide more air resistance and reduce the speed of the swing, but Boeing’s physicians helped Callaway’s team to see that that wasn’t the case.

            In actual fact, the new driver offers much less drag than its predecessor. Put in simple terms, that means that your swing will be faster and the impact on the ball will be stronger. The company also decided to make the new club’s head larger than the last. Again, this would seem to be a counterintuitive measure, but somehow it works. The CG has been moved lower to make every shot, even a mishit, more accurate, and the larger head also helps you to line up your shots more easily. Despite being bigger than before, the head is very light when compared to the competition. This helps it to glide through the air with a real sense of smoothness.

            callaway-xr-driver-design-review

            Changes to Callaway XR 16 Appearance

            On the face of it, the new driver looks very similar to the old one. The aesthetic design worked well before, so we don’t really see why Callaway would need to make any dramatic changes. The club looks really nice, with the ridged head being particularly attractive.

            There are no unnecessarily garish decals or patterns plastered all over the club either, which many golfers will certainly appreciate. From a looks point of view, if you liked the original XR then you’ll certainly appreciate the new XR 16.

            What’s really impressive though is how the club looks so similar, despite having such a lot of ‘under-the-hood’ technical changes. The new driver is lighter, faster and stronger than its predecessor, but has kept the same style. This is a nice feature, as it allows people who are familiar with the old driver to make the transition more easily. Picking up the new driver feels like saying hello to an old friend.

            Then, once you get out onto the course and give it a few swings, you realize just how much better this old friend has become. The new club offers incredible launch and a great level of forgiveness to compensate for any mishits or bad swings.

            On the PGA tour, Henrik Stenson is already hitting the Callaway XR 16 driver, and has been raving about it. Stenson is one of the better ball strikers on the PGA tour, so when he says that a club makes the difference, you know it’s true because he’s bringing an elite level of feel.

            Callaway XR 16 Feel and Sound

            We have to briefly mention the sound this driver produces, too. A lot of golfers love to hear that satisfying thwack as the club strikes the ball. If you’re one of those people, the new Callaway XR will appeal to you. This company simply knows how to make great-sounding clubs and the new XR 16is no different. When you hit that sweet spot of the face, the sound is absolutely perfect, but the club still produces a resonant and powerful thud even on mishits.

            If you do choose to go ahead and buy your own Callaway XR driver, you’ll be given the choice between a varied set of lofts. This way, you can spend time working with a professional fitter to really make this club suit your swing. Would we recommend that you test this club out? Absolutely.

            From the outside, the new driver looks really familiar, but the changes that have been made are numerous and really improve the overall feel and power of the club. The original driver was a great product, but the new one manages to surpass it in every single way.

            About the author

            Paul De Jong

            Paul De Jong

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            New Callaway and Boeing Golf Clubs