Do you want to hit more fairways and lose less golf balls off the tee? Well you're in luck, Callaway is saying they have a driver that is perfect for you.
Once again Callaway have gone back to an old faithful, last year it was the 2021 Epic range, this year see's the return of the Rogue family.
Rogue is often seen as the more forgiving, dare I say, game-improvement sibling of the Epic and as ever Callaway aren’t holding back in their bold claims that this is their fastest, most stable driver ever.
What's It All About?
Taking inspiration from Formula One teams and not reinventing the wheel year on year, Callaway are fine tuning what they already have. Marginal gains is the key to improvement in golf, we all know that.
Four pieces of core-technology combine to create the Callaway Rogue ST Max Driver:
Tungsten Speed Cartridge is the main piece of new tech in the Rogue ST which places 26 grams low and deep in the driver head. This is the large orange you can see on the sole of the club and is said to increase the speed in off centre strikes and offer high MOI which will aid forgiveness.
Jailbreak Speed Frame - Callaway's patented A.I. designed Jailbreak Speed Frame provides stability in the horizontal and torsional direction, as advancement from last year's Epic, Callaway claim they have speed tuned the construction by adding a slightly thicker bar across the bottom of Jailbreak to deliver even more speed across the face.
A.I. Speed Tuned Face - A new A.I. optimisation formula now includes speed, launch, & spin. Callaway claim the result is supposed to be the perfect combination of lowering spin whilst adding forgiveness.
Unibody Construction - Rogue ST Max is made with a titanium unibody for stability and lower CG, whilst saving weight through their Triaxial Carbon crown and sole - this weight is redistributed to increase forgiveness, launch and a slight draw bias.
The new Rogue ST Drivers are available in four different models aimed at different types of golfer:
- Rogue ST MAX D (High launch, draw bias)
- Rogue ST Max (Standard model, high launch and slight draw bias)
- Rogue ST Max LS (Low spin model)
- Rogue ST Max Triple Diamond (Smaller, tour-preferred low spin model)
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Callaway Rogue ST Max Driver Review
I took the Callaway Rogue ST Max driver for a spin at Stockport GC, armed with my Flightscope Mevo+ Launch Monitor to play a few holes and spend some time on the range.
I also wanted to see how it compared to the Epic Speed driver which is still available to buy, and the benchmark of forgiveness the Ping G425 Max driver.
The Rogue ST has a matte black crown which is new for the Rogue range and rarely seen in Callaway driver heads. There is also a dash of gold/orange in the new tungsten cartridge weight which makes it stand out a little more.
In my opinion, it looks like a Ping G400 in colour and finish with a nod to the Ping G425 on the sole as you have a similar weighting design at the back of the head.
The face is grey which I thought helped with alignment and centring of the ball at address, but I have to say, the head does look toed in. It looks more like a draw biased driver than a standard driver set up to me.
The grey face has a painted grid-like design which reminds me of the Titleist TSi drivers. It isn’t unusual for companies to have similar looking heads and Callaway in my opinion has picked the best looks from all of the different heads in the last few years and put them together with Rogue ST.
It's a great looking driver.
This section is one of the easiest for me to answer. The Rogue ST Max at impact felt thick, strong, and stable. There was fullness to the strike and therefore I felt safe whilst swinging it.
It my time testing golf equipment with Golfalot, this is possibly the most complimentary I have been about a driver in every strike I have hit - it was steady and reliable throughout testing.
As I mentioned, I tested Callaway Rogue ST Max against, Callaway Epic Speed, and the Ping G425.
It was a small sample size but the conditions were the same and the swing speed was the same.
The Rogue ST Max flew further, straighter and higher than the other two drivers. The scary-good number was that it was only 2.7 yards left on average compared to the others which were 7 yards offline. This data is incredible and I hit more shots with the Rogue than any other club.
Callaway Rogue ST Max Driver Review
In terms of deviance, it compared very-well with the Ping:
- Deviance on the Rogue ST Max was as follows: Carry 2.7, Ball speed 1.4, Spin 521
- Deviance on the Epic Speed was as follows: Carry 3.9, Ball speed 1.4, Spin 1155
- Deviance on the Ping G425 Max was as follows: Carry 1.4, Ball speed 0.5, Spin 597
The Epic Speed showed signs of a faster ball speed when I hit it good but the variation of good and bad brought the average down.
On the course, I felt confident with the Rogue ST Max. I played a few holes and noticed that I needed to change my line off the tee when there was trouble down the right of a hole. However I was over doing it and the ball was finishing left, I could aim straighter and trust the draw biased would bring the ball away from the hazard on the right.
My confidence to hit fairways was high with this club and when I hit two off the tee on the 4th they finished within 10 feet of each other and exactly the same distance. What more can I say?
Callaway Rogue ST Max Driver Verdict
I think it's an interesting idea from Callaway to make their standard driver slightly draw biased. They’ve obviously done their research and found a lot of golfers need more left in their lives, but these golfers don’t want 'draw' written on the bottom of their clubs as it looks like the club is doing it all for them.
Let's be fair, the weights and the face angle do help unless you're a seriously aggressive slicer or cutter of the golf ball. On that note, I didn’t hit one right during my testing they were all straight or left but I didn’t have the raking left shots that I can have with the over the top left biased Big Berta BB21 driver Callaway have.
It was as good as the Ping G425 Max but without the high pitch sound and ugly turbulators on the crown. Callaway needed to up their game in looks, shelf appeal and they have. It’s way better than a Mavrik, not as boring as Epic, and looks very high end.
The driver is £479 which is high end too, but the driver performs and looks like a £479 driver should. Middle of the fairways will be more achievable with this club, if it can make me straighter off the tee then I am sure it’ll help you also.
Overall, I was incredibly confident with this driver from the first strike, and the ball didn’t go a left as I thought it would.
Who should play it?
Golfers who value accuracy over ball speed and therefore hit it further due to this, more fairways often means more distance.
If you are all about speed then keep the Epic, I don't think the Rogue ST Max will do as well on tour as Epic Speed as tour pros won't like the draw bias - they’d hate a club which encourages it.
If you have plenty of trouble down the right hand side of your golf course or play a narrow tree line track then this is for you. Handicap-wise it's tough as this driver will help a lot of golfers. I'm guessing most players using this will be 10 or above or single figure golfers who need more accuracy.
Would I Use It?
I could certainly play it but would need to be careful of the higher launch and left shot. I look forward to trying out the low spin versions - Max LS and Triple Diamond.
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