Callaway Diablo Edge Driver Review
Feb 14, 2010 (Updated Feb 15, 2010)
Review by Bill Brott
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Distance, Feel, Balance, Innovation, Price.
Cons:Where has this kind of stuff been the past several years?
The Bottom Line: Callaway is obviously sinking big bucks into a serious attempt to re-assert their place in the market as purveyors of quality and innovation.
A CUT ABOVE
Recommend this product?
I was so impressed with the original Diablo Driver that I was almost afraid to try this one. After all, I had just started to be won over by Callaway's latest offerings. I was truly in fear that I was about to be rather underwhelmed by a second generation driver that represented change for change's sake. Instead, I was once again pleasantly surprised as Callaway continues to obviously be sinking lots of money into both research and development, as well as quality control. The Diablo Edge is indeed a cut above the original. There's a lot of technology in this one, so don't let that "Christmas Ornament On A Shaft" look of the original make you shy about trying this one. Whereas I called the first Diablo Driver--"Callaway's Tribute To The TaylorMade Burner", this one continues in that vein, however, there's more than just a slight tip of the hat to Cobra on this one. Lest that begins to sound too much like a messy hodge podge of wannabe compromises, follow me here on this one. Callaway continues to impress, and here's why.
Multi Material Madness
Whereas the original Diablo continued in the line of Callaway's All Titanium X-Face Drivers, leaving the world of Composites to the FT--Series, this one refines the all titanium driver series and brings it into the four-piece chemically bonded world, while also adding a dash of composite materials into the body and crown. The weight saved was not shaved as in competitor's models; in fact, this is no featherweight--she sports a swingweight of D4.The weight has, however, not only redistributed but re-balanced as well. This helps the driver score big points in Balance, Distance, and Forgiveness. The original bullet shape has been refined, and Callaway claims she has," 8% less drag than the previous model." After swinging it, I believe this claim. She does feel a touch faster.
This club is definitely a shade longer than the original. I believe there are several factors responsible for this. While the original sported the same hot "X-Face" technology that Callaway has been refining for several years, this newer model, similar to the new FT iZ Model, also features said an X-Face technology that has been "Chemically Milled." As I explained in the FT iZ review, this process is similar to the old "Acid Dipping" process we used to use to remove dead weight from the heavy gauge steel bodies of our old hot rods when we were kids. Similarly to the old GTO's and Plymouth Belvedere's of our generation, this newer "Chemically Milled Face" has had the dynamic spots made larger, and the deader spots made much smaller. Though all drivers max out at .830 COR by USGA Regulations, the entire face does feel more consistent. Hit one of these anywhere near the sweet spot--and that ball is going to fly.
More than anyone, I am certainly glad to see Callaway say goodbye to the practice of low bidders winning the rights to slapping an RHC Logo on shafts of cheap build quality that reflect their "Low Bidder Wins The Contract Heritage." Instead, these babies are sporting Aldila Shafts that are directly from the NV and NVS Bloodline. While there are certainly shafts out there that are hotter than the Habanero, there are darn few out there that sport this consistency and build quality. When one considers that the two diffrent versions of this shaft employed by Callaway are almost perfect fits in every way for both The Joe Six Pack Driver Head, as well as The Tour Version Head, this shaft, with its variations in kickpoint, is part and parcel of the whole package. Whether you are speaking Lite Flex, Regular Flex, or Stiff Flex, you are still only swinging 60 grams with a mid torque rating. The lower kickpoint version is a good fit for this Joe Six Pack version as the 9 and 10* versions sport neutral face settings, whereas the 11 and 13* versions are 1* Closed. Sadly lefties will only find 10 and 11* models as options.
FEEL and BALANCE
Callaway continues to show all the determination necessary to reclaim
her once proud place amongst the hand-crafted technological whizz bang clubs that helped change the game. I was truly impressed with the original Diablo Driver. This newer version is a further step in that direction. Rather than settling for their hard won status as just another wannabe, that has been consigned to the netherlands of "Clubs for old farts who have deep pockets and can't hit the ball anymore" , Callaway has officially served notice to TaylorMade and Cobra, that they are now back on the scene. These clubs feel phenomenal at impact, and convey every ounce of yardage gained with a smooth, ever so slightly clingy "POP!"
I found the balance to be better on these than the original model as well. Club head awareness actually was that subliminal zen-like awareness throughout the swing. I was always aware of the club head's location thoroughout the entirety of the swing. From a smooth full-shouldered takeaway to the shaft to the back of the neck follow through, this club head always made her whereabouts known. The location was never vague, but never overly obvious either. Just absolutely primo stuff here.
I continue to be impressed by Callaway. The Top Flite/Strata/Ben Hogan acquisition continues to pay dividends for them. The quality control is so obviously back on line after years of simply living off of their reputation. The fact that they actually made two very good versions of this club instead of making a "Tour Version" as some sort of afterthought, speaks very highly of the company as a whole. The tour version sports the Habanero Shaft with a higher kick point, tad less torque, and slightly lower flight angle. It is available in 8.5, 9.5 and 10.5* lofts. All Tour versions sport face angles of 1* open.
These clubs, in the old Ben Hogan Tradition, sport the latest technologies available, as well as the tightest quality control in the industry. This is the type of stuff that used to actually earn Callaway awards that they deserved, rather than the ones they simply bought with their advertising dollars. Kudos once again to Callaway for really trying to re-assert themselves in the market place through craftsmanship and innovation. I am impressed, and believe you will be too.
I would like to thank my CL Abraham for providing the link that made this review possible.
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