Review: Callaway Men’s XR Iron Set
This set is designed for golfers looking for an iron that can provide a platform to build confidence and improve their skills. The key feature of the XR Irons is the Cup 360 system, which allows its face to flex on impact with the ball and provides a unique feel and the kind of assistance that those struggling with their iron game truly need.
The rounded shape and thicker top edge may be the first things you spot when looking at the XR Irons. Nonetheless, it is the way that they hide their size that is the most impressive. Despite a larger head than average, the overall appearance is not intimidating. The thicker topline hides the technology that drives the performance of these irons well, giving it a very traditional appearance when looking down at the ball. The graphic treatment in the cavity back adds a touch of color that enhances the overall look.
The XRs are lightweight irons that, thanks to its Cup 360 technology and 2-piece construction, provides plenty of shock absorption for a soft feel. The clubs offer excellent stability, even in the rough, while the graphite shaft delivers impressive responsiveness and clear feedback. At impact, the sound is a sharp click, and although different, it is a pleasing sound when you get your swing right. Hitting the middle also means the ball takes off with great height, and there is a nice, solid feel that lets you know that you get it right.
The clubs offer excellent forgiveness, thanks to the Cup 360 technology. They have a thin, flexible metal cover for the face that acts much like a spring, launching the ball off with high ball speed and distance, right across the face. Off-center hits maintain good direction and distance, which means a real user-friendly experience. The spring effect, in particular, offers great ball speed without much effort, and there is minimal twisting on heel or toe strikes.
Right across the face, wherever you hit the ball, it will go straight, long and high. That is due to a combination of the Cup 360 technology, the carefully shaped head and weight distribution. However, while the springy face means high ball speed, distance, and forgiveness, it makes any maneuverability of the ball a challenge. The FXs are not finesse clubs. They are most suitable for easy swings and long distances, even for off-center hits.
The flexible Cup 360 technology that the XR Iron Set employs gives them a flexible face that acts as a spring upon impact, which means significant distance whenever you want it. The result can be fantastic, adding over a half-club to distance with relative ease, something many golfers will find to be a real game changer. The beauty of these clubs, for those looking to improve their game, is that even off-center hits will fly off the face, delivering distance and height while maintaining direction.
Geared for distance, the XRs are relatively lacking in adaptability and finesse, which some golfers may find too limiting for their game. The clubs work best with a smoother swing and can underperform, even lose a bit of directional stability, if you favor a faster tempo. The combination of a large head and carbon shafts can lead to feedback loss for some players. Plus, the focus on ball speed and distance is not always the best when faced with greenside shots.
As distance specialists, the XR irons deliver a genuinely forgiving experience for those looking for maximum distance and ball speed from their irons. They bring about consistent results right across the face. They provide an excellent option for a slow swinger who wants to make a switch from hybrids or game-improvement solutions. They are best suited for a simple game and do not respond well to finesse. However, with their great looks and performance that puts them in the leading pack, there is much to like about the XR Irons.