Callaway XR Driver Review

Callaway XR Driver Review
John Scott
4.5/5 stars

Pros and Cons of the Callaway XR Driver

Callaway’s XR driver is the club that replaces their X2 Hot which was a very popular driver. Although there is a trend towards adjustable sole weights and face bias, Callaway has chosen not to offer these things with the XR. The XR driver does offer loft adjustment in the way of the Callaway Optifit, but that is the only adjustment offered.

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Something worth mentioning is Callaway’s decision to buck the trend of moving the CG (Center of Gravity) lower and farther back in the clubhead. The weight is lower, but it is, in fact, moved closer to the front of the club face. This, in fact, helps to increase ball speed.

Callaway’s “Speed Step Crown” is a feature that has a dramatic effect on airflow. Callaway and Boeing collaborated on this feature with both parties learning a little bit more about aerodynamics. The Speed Step design shapes the airflow in a way that reduces turbulence and speeds up the clubhead on its journey to the ball.


The added distance that the Callaway XR offers comes from increased ball speed…period. Callaway claims that the average golfer could realize as much as 5 mph increase in ball speed. This translates to an extra 10 yards. The way it gets that is threefold. First is the Speed Step Crown that decreases turbulence and makes the clubhead speed up as it approaches the ball.

Secondly, the proprietary R MOTO face design creates more flex at impact. This design also allowed Callaway to move weight from the face to other areas elsewhere in the clubhead. Finally, the saved weight is placed in a ridge of metal on the inside of the sole. All of these things add up to increased ball speed, which interprets to more distance.


As far as forgiveness goes, the XR seems to be in the mid-range when tested and compared to other drivers. That’s not to say it’s not forgiving. Some consumer reports are indicating that the XR is very forgiving. What we are saying is that Callaway has offered nothing new to the XR that would suggest it’s any more forgiving than the X2 Hot.


The XR has no adjustability at all when it comes to face bias or sole weights. Hosel adjustments are still available through the Optifit system. It adjusts the loft down 1 degree and up as much as two degrees.

Custom Fitting Options and Dimensions

Outside of choosing a grip, shaft flex, and length, the only thing you need to get fit advice on is the loft. Keep in mind that this club performs best with a bit lower launch angle than some of the other drivers offered this year.

The standard shaft length is 46 inches. This is slightly longer than others. The reduced weight of the Callaway XR enables Callaway to suggest this. You can definitely order it shorter if you like.

The standard shaft is the Project X LZ 50 Blue. Other options are available. Check with your supplier for upcharges and availability. Shaft flexes available are light, regular and stiff. Ladies shaft is also the Project X LZ 50 in a ladies flex.

If the XR clubhead is too large for you, there is an XR Pro model that has a 440cc clubhead.

The XR comes with a standard swing weight of D3. This can be changed either in the factory or by your local golf shop.


  • Right hand/Left hand: 460cc head or 440cc head
  • Lofts available-9, 10.5, 12 and 13.5 degrees
  • Shaft is a Project X LZ 50
  • Ladies available

XR Pro Model

The XR Pro has a few differences from the XR version; forged composite crown for even lower CG and lower ball spin, smaller 440cc clubhead which is also taller, only available in RH and only available in 9 and 10.5 degree loft. This driver is better suited to a lower handicap player.


The sound produced by the XR is thankfully traditionally Callaway. I can remember it like it was yesterday, the first time I heard the distinctive sound of a Callaway when well struck. That “Zing” is something I will never tire of.


The Callaway XR has a matte black finish which seems to complement the Speed Step ridges and the Callaway ball alignment symbol on the crown. The sole finish, at first glance, gives the presentation of a Nascar image, which is different.


The wrench supplied is used for the Optifit hosel adjustment only.


There is no doubt that this driver enhances ball speed and therefore distance. It is light at every turn, which is either a good or bad thing. Every golfer wants to add an extra 10 yards to their drives. Callaway claims to do exactly this. It has been referred to as a “plug and play” club. This means you can buy it, take the stickers off and hit it. No fuss, no muss.


The features that make this a good choice could also be things that work against the appeal of the XR. Some people like to have a heavier driver. In this day and age, some want a more adjustable driver, although this often comes with a higher cost.

Consumer Ratings

Masters champion Danny Willett had the full set of XR woods in his bag when he won this year’s amazing Masters tournament.

Summary: Is This Club For You?

Callaway’s tag line for this driver is “Forgiveness Meets Fast” Although I am unable to confirm their claim of more forgiving, the XR is as forgiving as the X2 Hot. As far as the “Fast” is concerned, they are bang on. The added ball speed which translates to extra yardage is evident right from the first time you hit it. Therefore, if it is added distance you want…Callaway XR has it.

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About the author

John Scott

John Scott is a 3 hcp elite golfer and certified club fitter, with over 40 years of golf experience. He is a former Club Champion at Priddis Greens, 2 times Champion of Chinook Valley Mens Open, former Alberta Interclub Champion, and a professional golf writer.