Callaway X Hot & X Hot Pro fairway woods

Callaway is planning a comeback in the fairway woods category with its X Hot line, available in standard and Pro versions.

Red-lining, or pushing boundaries to the max, isn’t just a practice in auto racing. Club designers live it every day, and there has been a concerted effort among them to make fairway woods as “hot” as possible within USGA limits.

So hot, claims Callaway CEO Chip Brewer, that “anybody who doesn’t have them will be at a substantial disadvantage.”

Equipment makers attribute the bold talk to a series of recent developments: New metal alloys have resulted in thinner, stronger faces. Better casting and welding techniques mean more consistent golf clubs. Engineers have produced more efficient designs.

The standard X Hot 3-wood is 15 degree, while Pro 3-woods are 13.5 degree and 15 degree.

All contain an updated version of the famous Warbird cambered sole; the Pro model has an open face. MSRPs are $229.99 for the standard version, $249.99 for the Pro.

“We owned the fairway wood market, and we lost that position,” concedes Alan Hocknell, Callaway’s senior vice president of research and development. Brewer, who assumed Callaway leadership last year, gave Hocknell a direct order to create a best-in-class product. Hocknell responded with the new X Hot fairway woods.

“We decided to use our cup-face technology,” Hocknell says, “because we knew we could get really high COR (spring-like effect in the face). Then we took Carpenter 455 material (metal alloy) and forged it into this cup shape. In the forging process, we put in our Speed Frame technology.”

The X Hot woods have a speed channel, or slot, inside the clubhead rather than outside.

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