Pros: Forgiving, long, and will get the ball off the ground.
Cons: Not much control.
The latest version in the Callaway X Series irons is the X20. As with all X series irons, it is available in the standard version and the tour version, this review is going to focus on the standard version (tour version is reveiwed separately). This set offers many of the things that have made Callaway famous and was awarded with the Editors' Choice label in the Golf Digest 2007 Hot List.
The X20 irons feature a progressive wall reduction system, this enables the engineers to move the center of gravity six percent lower than the X18 irons. Doing so will not only add forgiveness and stability, it helps to launch the ball higher for increased distance. Variable Face Thickness, made famous in the old Hawkeye Irons, maximizes ball speed over the entire face of the club for added distance and forgiveness. The extreme notch weighting combined with a 360* undercut channel move the center of gravity lower and deeper in the club head for increased forgiveness and stability. Patented S2H2 and Tru Bore technologies round out the technological features of the X20 irons. The Short Straight Hollow Hosel (S2H2) moves more weight from the hosel to the perimeter of the club to add forgiveness and stability at impact. The Tru Bore hosel allows the shaft to pass closer to the impact area for improved feel.
The X20 iron has a very traditional Callaway look, the short hosel is an unmistakable aspect of Callaway design. The thicker top line and moderate offset put forgiveness into the mind of the player. The graphics inserted into the back of the club help to dampen vibrations and give the X20 a much softer feel than any previous X series irons. The slightly thicker sole prevents digging for added forgiveness when you hit slightly behind the ball. With the focus on making these clubs more forgiving, you will sacrifice some control over trajectory and ball flight. The ball launches higher and will fly straighter which is a very good option for most players. With slightly stronger lofts, I noticed that these clubs played about a half a club longer than my Nike CCI Forged irons.
Out on the course I did get a little frustrated at not being able to control the ball flight and trajectory as easily as I could with more of a blade style iron. However, this is the point of these clubs, to hit the ball hgih, long, and straight...they do this. I noticed that I was taking a swing that would have hit the ball about five yards short of my target with these clubs, they go a long way. The higher ball flight does make it easier to go at the pin with these irons, the ball will stop even if you do not put a great deal of spin on the ball.
I would recommend these irons to the mid to high handicap player. Someone who is looking to hit the ball long and straight. If you want to shape the ball, the X20 Tour or X Forged may be a better option.