Callaway's new Rogue ST Max Hybrids again see AI used to help in the design of the face and Jailbreak system, and is said to be the brand's longest model in the range.
Whilst the Rogue ST Pro is designed for workability and versatility for better players, the Max model is meant to be more of an all-rounder with slightly stronger lofts and plenty of speed and forgiveness.
Callaway are likening their process in developing the new Rogue ST line to a Formula One Team, so rather than making wholesale changes they are looking for small areas of refinement and improvement to maximise performance.
A prime example of this would be the Jailbreak system, deployed in Callaway woods for a number of years now, which has been 'speed tuned' thanks to the help of AI.
The two frames are pushed to the perimeter of the head, providing more stiffness so that the face can flex more and promote higher ball speeds.
The high-strength 455 Face Cup features a new AI face optimisation, producing a unique pattern to achieve the best results in every single model and loft in the hybrid range.
The addition of up to 24g of tungsten allows Callaway to precisely place the centre of gravity within the head, making this club easy to launch and with added ball speed.
The Max model features a slightly oversized iron-like shape with a refined sole that makes turf interaction easier, so that this hybrid can be used from a variety of different lies and scenarios.
The Rogue ST Max is available from 3H (18°) to 6H (26°) and comes complete with a Mitsubishi Tensei AV Blue shaft and Callaway Universal grip.
Callaway Rogue ST Max Hybrid Review
Looks and Feel
The Rogue ST Max carries on the same black and burnt orange colour scheme as the rest of the range and I'd describe the looks as perfectly smart without being particularly innovative.
Down by the ball, it is iron like although I'd describe the head size as generous, which should fill high-handicappers with plenty of confidence.
The club is slightly offset which may worry those golfers who struggle with over-draws, although for those who struggle with a slice it can be a real help. If you're someone who is already using game improvement irons with a little bit of offset, then it might provide a nice transition for you.
The Max instantly felt hot and powerful off the face, probably helped by the fact that it produces a pretty loud, satisfying ting at impact which lets you know when you've hit the ball.
I found the club was easy to swing and felt nicely balanced, which helps me because I sometimes have a tendency to try and hit hybrids too hard which causes them to spin up and produce a weaker flight.
The numbers were relatively similar between both the Rogue ST Max and the Rogue ST Pro, which I tested on the same day, although I felt like the Max had more potential to go further if I really pushed it. This was proven by the fact that I had a shot carrying over 207 yards, almost 10 yards more than the average, on one shot that I really struck well.
The spin rates were slightly higher than with the Pro model, and the peak height was averaging 10ft more despite the added loft in the Max (18 degrees rather than 20).
So if you're somebody who is looking for a club which launches the ball nice and easily, the weight and CG setup of the Max will probably suit you better.
Like when collecting data on the Flightscope, out on the course the Max felt like it had more potential for distance and I saw a couple of shots which backed that up too as they immediately came out hot and travelled further.
I was a little wary of the draw-bias that this hybrid promoted thanks to the offset, as this made me fear that I was going to lose shots to the left. I felt like the stock shape was going to be a draw with this club and I had to work a little harder to try and produce a fade, even though it was doable.
Having said that, I really enjoyed the forgiveness it offered as it felt like you didn't have to work very hard to get it up in the air or make the required distance.
Callaway don't include any particular technology on the sole of the club to improve turf interaction like TaylorMade or Cobra, but I did still find it wasn't too difficult to strike the ball consistently.
In some ways, the iron-like shape also made things a bit easier when hitting from trickier lies and out of light rough, because it felt like I could swing a little steeper and hit down on the ball to ensure a better strike whist still being confident that it was going to pop up into the air.
Callaway Rogue ST Max Hybrid Verdict
Callaway are one of those brands who bring out a lot of equipment year on year, so sometimes it can be hard to know exactly which product is going to be aimed at a golfer like you.
On the face of it the Rogue ST range looked like it could be similar because there are four different hybrids available, but having tested two of the models I think it's actually relatively clear.
The Rogue ST Pro is the better-player hybrid which provides you with plenty of workability in an iron-like shape. The Rogue ST Max OS is oversized and offset for ultimate forgiveness and draw-bias, and the Max OS Lite is for golfers who need help generating more swing speed and launch.
I enjoyed testing it and I felt like it made things easier, which is a very valuable asset from any golf club and makes this well worth trying for anyone who is thinking of putting a new hybrid into the bag.
Who Is It Aimed At?
The Rogue ST Max is the all-rounder club which will appeal to the widest range of golfers and provides a bit of everything - it's forgiving, easy to hit, the distance is impressive and it should help to calm down your fade without feeling too much like it is a 'draw bias club'.
Would I Use It?
I think I'd use something with a little less draw-bias as my bad shot with a hybrid would be to miss left, but the Rogue ST Pro was impressive.
If you enjoyed this, you may also like:
Callaway Rogue ST Pro Hybrid Review
Callaway Rogue ST Driver Review