On the face of it the Callaway XR fairway does not look very different to the Callaway X2 Hot fairway that it succeeds. Apart from a different name and colour scheme, visually not much has changed, because most of the changes are under the hood.
The improvements are to the Internal Standing Wave, which is a ridge of metal that is on the sole inside the club and looks like a wave about to break. This lowers and moves the Centre of Gravity (CG) forward to help increase the ball speed for more distance.
Callaway say the Internal Standing Wave in the XR fairway is 20% lower than before, which reduces spin by around 200 rpm. However this needs the cooperation of the face to turn this into more distance and Callaway has also improved the Face Cup design further.
The Face Cup wraps around the front of the club and the XR has a revised version that is up to 36% thinner in certain places and also 9% lighter. All this combines to increase the CT or speed of the face from 240 to 246, which is as hot as most drivers.
The face is taller at 3.15 cm and comes with a flatter leading edge and a higher toe than the X2 Hot. There are also Pro and Deep versions where the face gets progressively taller, but the XR is perfectly playable for most golfers.
When you take the headcover off you will notice that whilst the sole has a gloss finish the crown is a dark matt finish that feels rough to the touch. This is by design and like the XR is there to improve the airflow over the club during the swing to get it to move more quickly.
I think it looks good at address and the other thing you will notice is the slim hosel as there is no adjustability on this fairway. I don't think it really needs it, so it will just be important to pick the right loft from the of six on offer from 15° to 25° when you buy.
On the course it felt and sounded great and the trajectory and distance were all first class. This is a fairway that can suit all levels of players from low single figures upwards as the club is just so easy to hit. It also feels nice and light and the whole package is simple, clean and understated, which is something I really like.
Callaway XR Pro Fairway Review
If you are a high swing speed player who finds the standard XR fairway a little spinny, then there is also a XR Pro fairway.
Like before, this has a much more compact head and a longer fixed hosel to deliver the required launch conditions.
Even though the head is more compact, the face is 1.5mm taller than the standard version and that helps bring the CG forward to reduce the spin.
I would have to say that the sound from this was possibly even better than the standard version, but I think we should leave the XR Pro for the big boys as the head really is on the small side and the XR is flexible enough to cover a lot of bases.