Pros: Exceptional Distance, Great Balance, Extreme Forgiveness
Cons: No feel of cling at impact, $280 for a snot coloured club
There's no question that the new RAZR Driver is one of the hottest drivers to come out this year. It's long, forgiving, and just plain easy to hit. SO what's up with its younger little sibling in The Fairway Department?--The word that comes to mind is--"Plenty!" It too is "Plenty Long", "Plenty Forgiving", "Plenty Balanced", etc. Unfortunately, as with its bigger sibling, the driver, it is also "Plenty Ugly." I guess the choice of snot green can be forgiven, as it's been used on plenty of good shafts and clubs before. The entire last generation of Nickent Clubs before the big bankruptcy, The Aldila NV Shaft, and even the new Aldila Trinity shaft alll sport this rather odd choice of colours. Oh well, at least on the driver you can pick a different colour for a $50 upcharge. Oh yeah, despite the booger on a stick look, this club doesn’t have any real sense of "Cling" at impact.
So what else is up with this puppy? Read on and find out.
As with the driver, this club simply knocks hell out of the ball, and with the low level of spin it imparts on the ball, ball flight is not only long, but predictable as well. Once a club gives you that kind of confidence, deciding you can really lay into it helps produce even more distance. It is that type of consistency which I have learned to treasure, as consistency of direction leads to consistency of distance, which breeds more confidence, which breeds more distance. I know that last line may sound a little too hard to swallow, but the clubs I've had in my bag this season are prime examples of how that works. I expect to pick up at least one more club length (10 yards per club average) this year alone because of it. These Callaways have proven their ability to pull off the same sort of magic as my Mizuno IPX Woods and Adams Redline Irons.
Feel and Balance-- 4 1/2 Stars
These clubs get this high of a rating more for their balance than for their feel. These clubs are exceptionally well balanced, and I could sense the club head's location throughout my entire swing. From the moment my left shoulder began to push the club back, till the moment the shaft brushed the back of my neck, I knew exactly where the club head was at all times. That's usually good for 5 stars plus in my book.
Feel on this club isn't bad, but again, feel is subjective. The moment of impact is very important to me, as I am trying desperately to get my swing into the 100% repeatable department, and I am slowly learning to work the ball more left and right and well beyond the basic high draws and power fades. To this end, I need to feel a little bit of ball cling at impact before I here and feel the "POP" of the ball launching forward.
To that end this club comes up just a little short. The "POP" is there in every sense of the word, feel, sound, distance, etc.....Sadly, however, there is no sense of cling before the ball rockets forward. It’s simply "POP" and the ball flies. Admittedly it flies at an excellent mid/high trajectory, and it flies a long way, oh yeah, and did I mention it flies straight…..but I’d simply like to feel exactly where on the face I am striking it so that I can make minor swing tweaks throughout the round.—Call me picky.
This club is extremely forgiving, yet fairly workable too. The low spin off the club’s face makes for a club that does not re-emphasize any side or top spin that your swing may have already put on the ball. For folks who like to work the ball that makes over-cooking it left or right a little bit less of a disastrous possibility. For those trying to kill a slice it is a major blessing. I realize I sounded gripey about the lack of ball cling in the previous paragraph, but that is because I am spoiled by a club that has that. Still, for all intents and purposes, I was able to do the usual Power Fade, High Draw, Held Off for a Hard Right turn type of shots with ease. It’s a nice, takes a way over the top move to get a major miss hit with this club.
Techs and Specs—4 ½ Stars
This club, as with the driver has the Opti-Fit hosel for adjusting face angle. I guess if you’re into that sort of thing, that’s cool. It’s a great piece of techno-kitsch. As with my car transmissions, however, I prefer the manual shift over the automatic. None the less, if you want to claim state of the art, and sell a lot of clubs in today’s market, you have to offer the automatic as well. Wait till they come out with clus that offer air-conditioning.
The optional lofts are nowhere near as numerous as those found in the X-Hot Line. You can choose from:
At least one is offered the option of buying a 4 Wood and/or a 7Wood. There was a time when hybrid mania struck so hard that most companies simply offered a 3Wood and/ or a 5 Wood—take it or leave it. Considering the cost of manufacture, and the $280 ticket to the dance the customer is going to be forced to fork over, this is actually a fairly generous set of loft offerings.
Overall—4 ½ Stars
These clubs deserve a full bore 5 stars I the performance rating, and that is nothing to sneeze at. But speaking of sneezing, I simply have a hard time forking over $280 for a snot green coloured club. On top of that, I would like just the ever so slightest communication of “Cling” at impact, so that I can better judge my ball striking that day, and make minor tweaks accordingly. Again, you might take me with a grain of salt here. Feel and looks are extremely subjective categories. But the darned near $300 price tag is what really cost them. O could have overlooked both the colour and the feel if this club were more reasonably priced. I also could have overlooked price if the club’s looks and feel appealed to me. SO there you have it—6 of one and ½ dozen of the other factors as per the 4 ½ vs. 5 Star rating.