At times it can be a little daunting to look at new golf equipment and be confident in making the right decision on what is best for you, because there is just so much gear out there these days.
A prime example of this would be Callaway’s new Rogue ST line which was released at the start of the year, and gives golfers the option of four different hybrids to choose from.
The Rogue ST Pro is said to be aimed at better players with more compact shaping and neutral CG for added workability.
The AI designed Jailbreak bars have been modified this year to promote even more speed and stability. The two frames are pushed further out to the perimeter, providing more stiffness while still allowing the face to flex to generate higher ball speeds.
The high strength 455 face cup sees a new AI face optimisation to include speed, launch and spin. This face pattern has been optimised for every model and loft across the four hybrids on offer.
Adding up to 24g of ‘precision tungsten’ allows Callaway to situate the CG exactly where they want it in the head, to provide optimal launch with even more ball speed.
Callaway have also enhanced the sole camber to promote better turf interaction and versatility, allowing you to hit this club from a range of different lies and scenarios out on the course.
Giving this hybrid fairway-like shaping with a shallower face and neutral CG is designed to give more workability to better players.
The hybrid is available in 2H (18°), 3H (20°) and 4H (23°) configurations and fitted with a Mitsubishi Tensei shaft.
Callaway Rogue ST Pro Hybrid Review
Looks and Feel
The Rogue ST Pro looks more like a compact fairway than a traditional ‘players’ hybrid. You can see this clearly when you compare it to the look of the Apex and Apex Pro Hybrids from last year, which are both aimed at lower handicappers.
Down by the ball, I actually preferred this look compared to the squared, high toe profile of other better player models, and I felt that it still inspired confidence whilst remaining nicely compact.
The whole Rogue ST range this year has been well-received in terms of looks, and the hybrids continue on a similar theme.
There’s nothing particularly standout, especially when you consider the efforts that TaylorMade have gone to with their Stealth range, but they just look smart and appealing.
At impact, the Rogue ST Pro produces a good feel and a ‘solid’ sound at impact, which is not as loud as the Rogue ST Max and probably fits in with the ‘better player’ story.
I tested both the Rogue ST Pro and Max Hybrids together on the FlightScope Mevo+ Launch Monitor to see how they performed and whether the differences in design correlated to different numbers.
With an average carry distance of just under 200 yards, the Rogue ST Pro fitted in exactly where I was expecting for a 20 degree hybrid. It’s not all about distance with clubs like these, you want them to bridge the gap between your longest iron and then your woods, and this was exactly where it sat.
I was impressed with the consistency of the numbers for the Pro, as nearly all shots hovered around the 200 yard mark whilst the consistency in the spin rate was particularly impressive.
Even on a mishit (shot 7) a carry distance of 191 yards is still pretty good and would probably sneak on to the front edge of the green, proving that there is still a bit of forgiveness there despite the fact that it is the ‘Pro’ model.
Compared to the Rogue ST Max the numbers were very similar, although the Max is a couple of degrees stronger in loft which perhaps suggests why a couple of the shots produced slightly longer carry distances.
The Max was also a little more consistent in its ball flight, particularly when looking at height, which suggested to me that I found it a little easier to hit consistently.
Out on the course, the Pro tended to favour more of a fade shape which I actually like from a hybrid, because my usual miss with this club would be an over-draw. Being confident that you’re not as likely to miss the ball left is a nice mindset to have when standing over the ball.
I actually found that on the golf course there wasn’t a great deal of difference between the Max and the Pro hybrids in terms of forgiveness, probably thanks to the fact that the Pro had the fairway-like design which I found gave a little more assistance in strike and turf interaction.
It wasn’t the hottest hybrid I’ve used, in contrast to other Callaway hybrids I have tested in the past and compared to the TaylorMade Stealth Plus which I tested recently, but I found it easy to hit and I loved the look down by the ball.
Callaway claim that this is their more workable hybrid and I certainly felt that too, as I was able to shape the ball both ways without too much stress.
The duller sound and feel did make it a little harder for me to get that instant feedback on strike at times, and the Max certainly felt a little ‘hotter’ in my hands when I struck it, but the performance was reliable and consistent throughout my testing.
Callaway Rogue ST Pro Hybrid Verdict
Callaway just don’t seem to make bad metals these days and the Rogue ST Pro is another impressive product to add to the collection.
I think it’s fair to say that the Rogue ST probably isn’t the most game-changing product line that they have ever produced, but I feel as if every single product has performed well and done as Callaway claim.
I was pleasantly surprised by how easy the Rogue ST Pro was to use, and I think the shallow shaping will be a big hit with golfers whilst also widening its appeal to more than just the better players as it’s forgiving enough for lots of people to use too.
Who Is It Aimed At?
Anyone from elite players to single figure golfers and perhaps in to the teens too, if you’re a relatively consistent ball striker and you don’t like looking down on hybrids that appear draw-biased.
Would I Use It?
Definitely, the performance was pretty much right where I’d want it for a hybrid like this, and I was a big fan of the looks too.
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TaylorMade Stealth Plus+ Rescue Review
Callaway Rogue ST Max Fairway Wood Review