Rebirth of a Callaway Classic
Callaway describes its new Steelhead XR fairway metal as a ‘super-charged’ version of the original club.
The new Callaway Steelhead XR is a modern take on a Callaway favorite, featuring many of the old club’s characteristics but with new technology – a vintage Porsche 911 with a Carrera 4’s engine if you will.
The first Callaway Steelhead fairway metal was introduced in 1998 and evolved into three versions – the original Steelhead, the Steelhead Plus, and Steelhead III. Over 2.3million of them were sold making it the company’s most successful fairway metal by far, and a major part of Callaway’s boom years that were born of a ground-breaking driver – the 190cc Big Bertha which began life with a steel head but grew ever larger as the steel was replaced with titanium.
The new version of the Steelhead fairway metal – this is the first time Callaway has introduced a fairway metal by itself, with no corresponding driver – will be in shops on July 14th. It retains the popular pear-shape and steel face. Elsewhere through, the XR is very different.
For starters, the club is no longer constructed solely with steel. The XR possesses a carbon crown that weighs just six grams – 20g less than the steel crown on the old club. That obviously enables Callaway’s Director of R&D, Woods – Evan Gibbs, and his team to relocate the weight lowering the Center of Gravity (CG) and pushing it forward slightly to facilitate getting the ball in the air with less spin.
The steel in the face has changed too. The face on the original was a cast 17-4 alloy, while the new club’s face is a high-strength forged face cup made from Carpenter 455.
Speed Step Technology, which Callaway created alongside aerospace professionals from Boeing, improves the clubhead’s aerodynamics creating faster head speed, and Hyper Speed Face Cup Technology (an extremely thin and flexible boundary area) generates considerably faster ball speeds than the old Steelhead could ever muster.
There’s more – the new Hawkeye sole and cambered leading edge reduce friction with the ground, and stock shaft – the Mitsubishi Tensei CK, has been specifically engineered to create the ideal balance of power and control.
Gibbs says the new Steelhead XR combines ‘iconic versatility with modern power’. We think it a fair description.
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