Martin Hopley

Now that you can't rely on a Volkswagen anymore I have been looking around for an alternative metal based source of emotional comfort and one of the contenders is Callaway fairway woods.

By and large they are historically very good and with the introduction of the Face Cup to recent designs they are back to their very best and the XR 16 fairway combines this with what was once a Callaway strength of a contoured sole.

Callaway XR 16 Fairway

The Warbird sole on the original Big Bertha fairways was the daddy of all fairway soles over 20 years ago. With the exception of the short lived V-Series woods that brought back a toned down Warbird, Callaway's promotion of recent fairway soles as a 'modern Warbird' were pushing it a little.

Callaway has not alluded to this, it's just my feeling, but the larger contour on the sole from heel to toe combines with another one from front to back to make the XR 16 feel more like the true heir to Warbird, even if it does not look the same.

Callaway XR 16 Fairway

It provides all the same benefits of creating a beautiful lie angle and address position together with playability from all types of lie and slopes. The lower central point on the sole also reduces the contact points in longer grass and therefore makes it more playable from the semi-rough too.

Callaway XR 16 Fairway

The contoured lines on the side of the head are more for style than aerodynamic effect and they give the XR 16 a dramatic look.

Callaway XR 16 Fairway

What is not for effect is the revised R Moto face ribs that are longer as they extend back from the Hyper Speed Face Cup.

Callaway XR 16 Fairway

These provide the strength whilst enabling weight to be removed and placed lower and further back in the sole to improve the forgiveness and launch conditions.

At address, the mid-sized head is a lovely shape and frames the ball very well, with the Callaway chevron in relief on the matte black crown as an alignment aid.

Callaway XR 16 Fairway

The sound and feel at impact were excellent and classic Callaway with just a little hint of a 'zing' when you get it right.

Apparently woods sell better with a red shaft, so the XR 16 fairway is going for it with a red Fujikura Speeder Evolution 565 fairway shaft that looks as good as it plays.

Whether you are hitting it from the tee or fairway, the XR 16 offers excellent all round performance from a 3+ head at 14° right through the seven different head lofts up to the 25° 11 wood.

Callaway XR 16 Fairway

Callaway XR Pro 16 Fairway Wood Review

As before there is also a Pro version on the XR 16 fairway that features a more compact head that sits a little squarer at address.

Callaway XR Pro 16  Fairway

It has a shallower head front to back and the toe of the club also looks a little squarer and unlike the XR 16 driver, I prefer the look of the standard version of the fairway to the Pro.

Callaway XR Pro 16  Fairway

As with the driver though, this is not a visual choice as the Pro version generate less spin and therefore is better suited to high swing speed players who want a more penetrating flight.

Callaway XR Pro 16  Fairway

Not that there is anything really wrong with the flight of the standard version for better players, as if you get the right loft the standard XR 16 gives you everything you need.

The more compact head also has more aggressive lines on the side of the head that give it that powerful feeling and helps with the contouring of the sole.

Callaway XR Pro 16  Fairway

The XR Pro 16 is a little less forgiving and a bit harder to get going from the turf. Tee up the 14° or 16° version and you have an ideal driving fairway as the lower spin with a higher launch will get it out there.

The sound and feel are a little more muted and solid than the livelier standard version and some may prefer the 18° model as an alternative to a hybrid.

Callaway XR Pro 16  Fairway

The XR Pro 16 is a good club too, but unless you have a specific need for the benefits that it can offer, most levels of player from low single figured upwards would probably benefit more from the standard Callaway XR 16 fairway.

Golfalot Rating: 5 stars
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Callaway XR 16 Fairway Wood - Product Details

UK Launch29 January 2016
UK Launch RRP£189
USA Launch29 January 2016
Handicap Range
Hand AvailabilityLeft, Right
Left Handed Lofts15°, 19°
Right Handed Lofts14°, 15°, 17°, 19.5°, 21°, 23°, 25°
Head Volume175 cc
Club Length43.25 inches
Swing WeightD3
Shaft NameFukikura Speeder Evolution 565 FW
Shaft FlexLight, Regular, Stiff, X Stiff
Number/Loft3+/14°, 3/15°, 4/17°, 5/19°, 7/21°, 9/23°, 11/25°
Manufacturer's WebsiteCallaway Website

User Reviews

July 2017

I picked up the 5 and 7 wood, and the 7 is flat out amazing. My first hot was straight, high, and on the green. The sound at impact is some thing else, great! I got the 5 wood with a stiffer flex, so I may need to add some weight to loosen it up some.

August 2016

A few months back I had an awful lie next to some trees and took out my 5 iron hoping to punch the ball out and stop my follow through quick enough to avoid hitting anything. Long story short my club is now in two and sitting in the pro shop, unfortunately our club pro is having difficulties acquiring a new shaft for my 5i. I decided to gear up and replace the 5i ready for the winter and invest in a high lofted wood. I ended up getting the XR 16 9 wood (23 degrees) after chatting with the club pro and letting him know I wanted something with the same sort of distance as my 5I (180 yards). I took it over to the range to test it out and was shocked with how easy this club was to hit. Each shot was perfect, straight as an arrow, high ball flight and the distance was perfect.

I only recently took up golf and have a solid 28 handicap. I'm not really writing this review for anyone who plays golf to a high standard but would love to direct it to someone like myself. If your mid/long irons are nothing but 80 yards forward and 100 yards right or you cant quite keep that long shot on the line you want then this club would be ideal. I used it a fair few times on the first round and yes I topped one, I over estimated the loft and nicked the top of a tree line but when I focused and used the club at the right time it was 190 yards down the middle exactly where I aimed.

March 2016

Only had 3 rounds with my new "Strong" 14deg 3 wood. After the first hole I decided to leave the driver in the bag except for par 5's as I was getting almost the same distance as my Ping G25 but arrow straight. Whether I play it off the deck or off a short tee the thing just drills the ball so I'm super confident walking up to the tee now! I'm a 60yo 12 handicapper who has lost some flexibility but still get it out there ok. Average driving distance is around the 230-240 metre mark (255-265 yds). With the Callaway I am so far averaging around the 225-230 metre mark (240-250 yds) but have yet to miss a fairway - actually have yet to miss the central strip of the fairway on most occasions. Grip it and rip it! Who needs a driver??

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