Callaway's X Hot 3Deep hits the Tour

Callaway's new X Hot 3Deep fairway wood

Callaway's new X Hot 3Deep fairway wood

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Callaway's new X Hot 3Deep fairway wood

HOUSTON –- This morning at the Shell Houston Open, a special FedEx package was delivered to the Callaway Tour van. Inside, safely packed in bubble wrap and cellophane were the first X Hot 3Deep fairway wood heads to arrive on the PGA Tour.

"When we designed the X Hot fairway woods, we really wanted it to perform well in all conditions," says Luke Williams, Callaway's senior global director of woods and irons. "So we wanted it to be good off the tee, but also a strong performer in the fairway and even a fairway wood that you could hit out of the rough."

However, Williams says that some golfers are not looking for versatility when it comes to their 3-wood.

"We found over the years that many longer players tend to use their 3-wood almost exclusively off the tee, almost as a second driving club on holes where there might be trouble where they'd hit their driver or on short par 4s where they are playing for position," he says. "Those types of players tend to prefer a face that is a little bit deeper because they use it primarily off the tee."

With those players in mind, Callaway developed the X Hot 3Deep, a 43 1/2-inch 3-wood that will be in stores starting April 19 for $229. The X Hot 3Deep is an extension of X Hot line of fairway woods – it has the same steel face design and comes standard with the same Project X Velocity shaft.

However, because it is designed to shine off the tee, Callaway stretched the X Hot's face height from 1.3 inches to 1.45 inches for the X Hot 3Deep and designed a sole with less camber. Making the face deeper broadens the club's sweet spot and increases the face's spring-like effect for more ball speed. In other words, this fairway wood behaves more like a driver for golfers who generate high clubhead speeds.

According to Williams, Phil Mickelson has been using this fairway wood.

Williams says Mickelson's adjustable RAZR Fit Xtreme driver is configured to hit what Phil calls his, "big, high, nasty bombs." With his new 13-degree X Hot 3Deep, Mickelson is still long – Williams says that Mickelson has hit several 300-yard shots with the club – but he can control the flight a little more easily, choosing to keep the ball down or curl the ball to the left or the right.

The Masters is just two weeks away and length off the tee will be important if Mickelson wants to win a fourth a green jacket. But at Merion, where U.S. Open rough gobbles up stray drives, and Muirfield, where Open Championship hopefuls will need to keep the ball below the Scottish winds and stay out of the fescue, don't be surprised if Mickelson reaches for his X Hot 3Deep early and often.

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