Monday, January 10, 2011

Callaway RAZR X_600x450 For more than a decade, Callaway's signature line of irons, the X Series, has made the company one of the dominant forces in the category. From the X-12 to the X-24 Hot, they blended forgiveness and power in game-improvement models, while better-player models incorporated more shot-shaping feel.
You can now say goodbye to the X Series and hello to three models of new RAZR irons. Yes, there's an X on the back of the club, but these irons are built on a different foundation from their predecessors.
The RAZR X (above) is a game-improvement iron that has a huge hitting area. Replacing the X-22 and X-24 Hot in Callaway's line, each of the eight irons in the standard RAZR X set is made using a new variable face thickness technology, which makes the hitting area thinner as you move away from the center. This feature broadens the sweet spot and maintains ball speed on off-center hits.
The weight shaved from the face, as well as other non-critical areas, has been placed in a new waffle-patterned, 30-gram weight in the back of the club.
Luke Williams, Callaway's director of product design, says, "We added the extension to the back, so it's not a part of the sole. It's relieved from the sole so it won't interfere with the way the club goes through the turf." It's also not visible to the golfer at address.
The center of gravity (CG) in the new RAZR X is 12% lower and 15% deeper than the X-22, so shots hit lower in the face should fly higher. And because the CG is so low, Callaway designers were able to strengthen the lofts of the RAZR X irons to give you more distance. Callaway RAZR X Tour_600x450 The same RAZR weight system can also be found in the new RAZR Tour irons (right), designed for better players and mid-handicappers.
"What we've done [with the RAZR X Tour] is maintain the narrower sole width, which better players tend to prefer." Williams says. "But by repositioning the weight in the cavity lower and deeper in the iron we've been able to drive the center of gravity lower and deeper." However, in the Tour model, the re-positioned RAZR weight is smaller.
There's less offset in the RAZR X Tour irons when compared with the RAZR X, but once again, because the CG has been driven so low and deep, Callaway strengthened the lofts of the RAZR X Tours. Callaway RAZR X Forged_600x450 Potential club champs, tour pros and low-handicap players won't find much offset at all in the RAZR X Forged irons. But they should get lots of feel because these clubs are forged from 1020 carbon steel.
The waffle pattern on the back of these clubs is purely cosmetic—the RAZR weighting system found in the RAZR X and RAZR X Tour is not a part of the RAZR X Forged irons.
With a narrow sole and thin topline, the RAZR X Forged irons have a classic look at address.
"This is the only iron in our line that's forged," Williams says. "So it's got the feel of a forged iron [which many Tour pros prefer], and it's got our new Competition grooves, which in this club we can forge into the faces. We can control the grooves much more effectively in a forging than in a casting."
All three RAZR irons should start arriving in pro shops in mid-February. The RAZR X will start at $699 for eight steel-shafted clubs, but combo sets featuring two hybrids in place of the 3- and 4-irons will also be available ($799 steel/$899 graphite). The RAZR X Tour will sell for about $799 for eight irons, $899 for a two-hybrid combo set. Look for the RAZR X Forged to come in around $899 dollars. See-Try-Buy: Learn more about Callaway and schedule your fitting with GolfTEC or Golfsmith. Related: Follow David Dusek on Twitter | Facebook

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