Callaway are proud of the Callaway X Hot fairway wood and rightly so. Faster fairway woods are the latest category to benefit from advances in technology and manufacturing and Callaway claim that this is the fastest fairway in the market.
The gains have come from a 40% thinner forged Speed Frame Cup Face design where the face and the front of the crown and sole are all one piece and welded to the body of the clubhead, like the old Callaway ERC woods. Compared to welding the face on the front of the clubhead, this increases the forgiveness of the face by 90%. This design is used in the 3,4 and 5 woods, with the 7, 9 and 11 woods using the welded faces
Where the face joins the head there is a channel on the sole that uses the same principle as slots to allow the whole front section to flex more for greater ball speed. This has increased so much that some of the initial prototypes sent for approval to the R&A were too fast and they had to tone down the face to stay within the rules.
What you can’t see is that inside the club head there is a ‘Standing Wave’ that is a weight shaped like a breaking wave placed on the sole of the club to lower the centre of gravity for forgiveness and move it forward for more ball speed. Callaway say that compared to the RAZR Fit fairway wood the X Hot fairway will go 18 yards further from the fairway, 21 from the tee and 24 from the rough.
Certainly compared to recent Callaway fairways the X Hot did seem to create more ball speed and sounded very good at impact. The feel right across the face was very good and it was so easy to hit. The flight was a little on the high side but it was effortless to swing and the oversized 180cc head was a joy to play with.
Callaway have made a lot of the cambered sole, calling it a ‘modern warbird’ design. That might be stretching it a little, but the sole does make the X Hot a very versatile club from all types of lie.
The standard version is also quite light and this helps to increase the clubhead speed. The Project X Velocity shaft contributes to this as well as being a very good quality stock shaft.
Overall the Callaway X Hot fairway is one of the best they have done for a while and with the extra forgiveness and ball speed this could be the club to challenge TaylorMade’s distance fairways this year