"Our fastest fairway wood ever." Big claims from Callaway as they have a reputation for making very quick fairway woods. Time to find out whether it's true or not.
This year Callaway have released a very comprehensive range of Rogue ST fairway woods and the Callaway Rogue ST LS is the low-spin offering of the three models, featuring a more compact head than the Rogue ST Max fairway wood.
It is aimed at faster swinging golfers to do a number of things: encourage a fade, and give them more control, accuracy and precision. True to form in recent years since the Callaway Epic Flash, they have used artificial intelligence (A.I) to design it.
This is Callaway, so obviously there is a plenty of other pieces of technology packed into this compact head.
The new A.I.-designed Jailbreak ST system has been redesigned from the one we saw in 2021's Epic Speed fairway woods to more promote speed and stability. Basically the two jailbreak batwings have been pushed to the perimeter of the face, providing stiffness while allowing the face to flex more in the hope of higher ball speeds.
As seen as the stand out feature in the Rogue ST Max driver the Tungsten Speed Cartridge has been introduced for the first time in a fairway wood. Unlike the driver where it is positioned right at the back of the head, the Rogue ST LS fairway incorporates 28g of high-density tungsten, which is positioned low and forward - with the result being lower spin with more speed.
The aforementioned A.I. face optimisation has once again been adopted by Callaway to include speed, launch and spin. The creation is a unique face pattern which is customised for each model and loft in the fairway lineup.
A C300 maraging steel is specially treated through a proprietary process for high strength and flexibility, while the Flash Face Cup is said to provide speed and spin consistency across the face.
Finally, the Rogue ST LS is designed with a compact shape that’s especially suited for a better player's eye. There is also an additional forward weight screw just behind the tungsten speed cartridge which provides a low, forward CG.
Callaway Rogue ST LS Fairway Wood Review
I took the Callaway Rogue ST LS Fairway to Prestbury Golf Club to first of all have a range session comparison test against my current Callaway Epic Speed fairway, analysing the data using the FlightScope Mevo+ Launch Monitor.
I then took to the course and played 18 holes with the Rogue ST LS using it both off the tee and and from different lies.
There is no doubt that this is one of the best looking fairway woods on the market in 2022. I think it looks brilliant.
In recent years, Callaway fairway woods have always suited my eye at address - I just really like the shaping of them and how they frame the ball. But I think it would be fair to say that on the sole, and on the shelf, Callaway's Mavrik and Epic Speed woods didn't really pop like the offerings of other manufacturers have. Rogue ST has come along and changed that.
The Rogue ST LS boasts a contemporary matte finish on the crown with a slight carbon effect towards the back of the head. There is some Speedometer-esc detailing towards the back of the crown which some golfers may find unnecessary however I didn't mind it. Again, I found it in fact helped to frame the ball and make it look a little bigger.
The face design differs slightly from the Rogue ST Max fairway as it isn't broken up into three sections. There is just six bright white grooves across the face - a very traditional look. I think I would prefer it if the face has the same design as the Max model - just to help the face look a little more inviting.
I also liked how neutral this club sits, compared to the Max version it looks open. But to me, it looked exactly like a fairway wood should as I am golfer who can hold on to fairway woods too much and lose shots left (double bogey here we come). The face and head may seem a little shallow to some golfers that like a deeper face however.
Again this is an area in which the Rogue ST LS excels. When hitting balls on the range I was immediately aware how different this club felt to the Epic Speed, it also sounded much different.
Out of the screws it sounded, thick, muted and just powerful. It didn't sound in any way hollow at all, the sort of sound you would relate to that of Ping fairway or a Callaway wood of the past.
One thing I was surprised about was how forgiving it was on off-centre strikes. With this being the LS offering, I expected low strikes to feel weak and dissatisfying, which I have to say wasn't really the case.
Forgiveness and decent feel on mis-hits but power and low spin out of the middle? Sign me up.
When it comes to the data, I compared the Rogue ST LS directly to last year's Callaway Epic Speed Fairway wood, which is the current fairway wood in my bag that I have been using for the past year.
There was a couple of things that stood out most for me when looking at the Flightscope Mevo+ data.
Firstly, I was surprised to see my average spin still at 3992 rpm with the Rogue ST LS, with one shot spinning at 4817 rpm, which is a number way too high for me - ok it was toe strike, but still this number is a little worrying. This is also obviously down to how I deliver the club and I have always been a high spin player anyway, but when compared to the Callaway Epic Speed, where my average spin was 3954rpm, I found this quite interesting.
Secondly, my average carry with Rogue ST LS was 214.9 yards where as with the Epic Speed I was able to achieve an average of 218.4yards. Yes this is a very small difference but I difference all the same.
However once again this could be explained by the fact that I was swinging the Epic Speed slightly faster than the Rogue ST. The reason for this could be that mentally, knowing I needed to strike the Rogue well to get the most out of it, I was swinging slightly smoother, whereas with the Epic Speed I was confident in knowledge that there is plenty of forgiveness in the head should I need it. Therefore I swung it a little quicker.
On the course, the Rogue ST LS performed really well. I liked the sound, feel and looks and therefore enjoyed using it from both a tee and the fairway. I suppose that's the main thing with a new golf club, if you enjoy playing with it, the chances are you're going to hit better shots with it.
A couple of notable shots were my first tee shot that I hit out of the heel and pushed right. It wasn't the greatest strike in the world and therefore I was expecting less performance, but still I felt I achieved a good ball flight and I certainly didn't lose too much carry.
Secondly off the tee on the 3rd I struck my tee shot really well and it flew exactly like I would expect a normal fairway wood to do - no lower, no more penetrating and no less forgiving. This could be seen as both good and bad depending on the type of golfer you are. Good as it was more forgiving than I expected, bad because if you really are looking for seriously low spin and swing the club fast - this club may not fit the bill.
On different lies I felt the Rogue ST LS had great turf interaction and just felt quick across the top of the turf.
Callaway Rogue ST LS Fairway Wood Verdict
As I said previously, I really enjoyed testing this fairway wood, it made me want to hit good shots with it. It made me concentrate on my ball striking.
I think the Callaway Rogue ST range of woods as a whole has impressed me this year, having tested the Rogue ST driver also, I think the improvements they have made from Epic in 2021 have been subtle but effective.
This will be a great performing fairway wood for a lot of better players but my main finding was that it wasn't as low-spinning as anticipated. There is definitely still some forgiveness in there which is welcome news to many good players who may not be the most confident with their fairway woods.
So is it Callaway's fastest fairway wood ever? Going off my Flightscope data, you'd have to say no. But given more time in the session and if I wasn't wearing four layers of clothing to help swing it a little faster - this thing could be a bit of a beast and I'm sure there will be golfers out there that will go that most out of this accurate, great-looking, consistent performing fairway wood.
Who Is it Aimed At?
There is no doubting that you have to be a decent ball-striker to consider using a fairway wood like this. If you swing it over the 100mph mark and you're the type of golfer that prefers to see a fade rather than a draw, then this could be the fairway wood for you. Bear in mind though that if you're looking for a super-low spinning fairway, look elsewhere.
Would I Use It?
Yes, I think this club will be a a strong contender for my bag this year.
If you enjoyed this, you may also like:
Callaway Rogue ST Driver Review
TaylorMade Spider GT Putter Review