Callaway Golf had a big year in 2017 with the Epic driver.
Jailbreak technology, which connects the crown and sole of the driver for improved performance at impact, clearly resonated with a lot of golfers. It's a technology Callaway wasn't going to suddenly leave out of future drivers, provided they hadn't found something better to replace it. So, with the new Rogue driver, Callaway has refined Jailbreak in a way they say improves the crown-sole connection.
The Jailbreak refinement takes the original pair of titanium bars and changes the shape from cylindrical to hourglass, making them 25 percent lighter without affecting performance. Why do that? Engineers could then offer a thinner face for improved energy transfer and higher ball speeds. That face has what's dubbed X-Face shaping, basically meaning the design of the face has variable widths at specific sections on the face for maximum forgiveness and ball-speed protection.
Rogue is a 460cc driver with a larger profile than Epic, designed to offer more moment of inertia protection. Of course, triaxial carbon fiber is used in the crown, saving weight to be distributed elsewhere on the head for that MOI.
Speed Step shaping remains, and the adjustability component is baked in as well.
Aftermarket shaft choices are the pick of the litter here, available in a variety of makes and models at 40-, 50-, 60-, 70 and 80-gram weights from Aldila and Project X.
In addition to the standard Rogue driver, Callaway has a pair of other models we've come to expect from their top-line products.
The Rogue Sub Zero driver is designed to deliver low spin off the tee while maintaining a high MOI design for that combination of launch and roll a lot of golfers crave. The head shape and construction positions the center of gravity low and deep with a more neutral bias. With its positioning, the launch characteristics remain ideal, the head is forgiving, but the spin-killing design gives golfer that maximum distance.
The Rogue Sub Zero has two interchangeable weights (2 grams and 14 grams) in the front and back of the sole allow you to adjust spin rate up or down 200 rpm, with the heavier weight forward to lower spin and the heavier weight back for higher launch and longer carry.
The Rogue Draw driver is designed to, well, promote as much of a draw as possible. This one is designed for golfers who hit a nasty slice and struggle to find the fairway. With a 5-gram screw in sole near the heel and internal weighting favoring the heel, the club promotes a draw by moving the center of gravity inward and using gear effect to promote less of a slice.
The Rogue driver is $500 and available Feb. 9 at retail, with pre-orders starting on Jan. 19.
The Rogue drivers sound lovely. They do. They're an improvement on the Epic, and that has done tremendously well. However, gearheads in particular might be more enthused about the early buzz around the Rogue fairway woods. That's because Rogue fairway woods are the first Callaway offering with Jailbreak. It's been miniaturized to fit the compact shaping of these clubs, and it's been combined with a Carpenter 455 steel cup face to deliver maximum distance.
The Jailbreak bars in the fairway woods are made from steel, not the titanium found in the drivers. The company has also imported internal standing wave designs from their irons into these fairways to position center of gravity low and forward for less spin. The leading edge has been refined for more ideal aerodynamics at contact.
There is no adjustable hosel with the Rogue fairways, but that's really not a bother. Excluding it saves weight that can be used elsewhere.
The Rouge fairway woods are available in 3+ (13.5 degrees), 3 (15 degrees), 4 (17 degrees), 5 (19 degrees), Heaven Wood (20 degrees), 7 (21 degrees), 9 (23 degrees) and 11 (25 degrees)-wood models.
There's a Sub Zero family of fairway woods, too. Think of them at the Pro or Tour model, offering more compact shape and more spin-killing design for the better player. A 5-gram weight screw in the front sole of the club does a lot of the design work here, reducing spin by moving the center of gravity forward.
The Rogue fairway woods -- standard or Sub Zero -- go for $300 each.