From Golf Magazine ClubTest 2013 (March 2013)
Callaway X Hot Driver
Category: Max Game-Improvement Drivers
WE TESTED: 9.5°, 10.5°, 11.5° with Project X Velocity graphite shaft
DISTANCE: It's lightweight (300 grams) yet powerful; it's long, too -- the longest driver of the week for several testers.
ACCURACY/FORGIVENESS: Rewards smooth swings with straight shots; helps control fades and prevents them from becoming big slices.
FEEL: A real strength -- testers embrace the sweet sensation at impact; ball hugs the face briefly before exploding off as though it had been shot out of a cannon; plenty of zip and life to center contact.
PLAYABILITY: Repeatable straight or slight draw pattern with penetrating trajectory -- shots with 46" shaft tend to hit then scamper along the ground; loft adjustability works wonders.
LOOK: Matte gray crown with a black face is very businesslike in appearance; large, deep profile instills confidence at address.
Some testers find the club too light, making it difficult to locate the head throughout the swing and to time the swing; a few guys say the dull matte gray crown looks relatively unexciting.
BOTTOM LINE: One of the highest-rated clubs in its class. Top marks for feel and playability. Progressive draw bias through the lofts helps slicers keep more drives in play.
HOT STIX'S TAKE
Spin: Low to mid
Easy face-angle adjustment from open to square to closed. Max forgiveness on off-center hits.
From Golf.com (December 2012) Callaway's RAZR Fit Xtreme will probably be the driver of choice in 2013 for many of the company's staff players, including Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els, but the new X Hot and X Hot Pro drivers offer a lot of performance features that should appeal to golfers looking for more distance off the tee.
The titanium face of the X Hot’s 460-cc head features an updated design that is thinner around the perimeter and thicker in the center. This expands the sweet spot and helps the club maintain ball speed on off-center hits more effectively.
That face is welded into a titanium body that is made with a new “thin-walled” casting process that helps Callaway keep the total weight of the club down. In fact, according to Dr. Alan Hocknell, Callaway's senior vice president of research and development, the X Hot is the lightest all-titanium driver Callaway has ever produced.
To make the X Hot more effective off the tee, the center of gravity (CG) shifts with the driver’s loft.
"We took a look at a lot of data we collected from our fitting bays around the world and realized that when it comes to draw bias, golfers often fit into groups based on their ideal loft," Hocknell says.
In other words, golfers who require less loft tend to slice the ball less frequently and prefer neutral-biased drivers. Golfers who require a higher-lofted driver tend to slice the ball more often. Therefore, the 8.5° head, the lowest-lofted X Hot driver offered, has a neutral CG that matches up well with the preferences of most fast-swinging players. The CG shifts towards the heel and the clubface becomes easier to close in higher-lofted heads, like the 13HT model, which is 13°.
While the 46-inch X Hot driver does not have adjustable weights like Callaway's RAZR Fit Xtreme, it does have an adjustable hosel that allows you to set the X Hot into one of three address positions: open, neutral or closed. According to Hocknell, the open setting reduces the effective loft by about one degree, while the closed position adds about one degree of effective loft.
The 45.75-inch, 440-cc X Hot Pro has the same features and hosel, but it is designed for faster-swinging players. With a lower center of gravity and a deeper face, it will be less forgiving than the standard X Hot driver, but it should be more appealing to players who frequently try to draw or cut the ball off the tee.
The X Hot will come standard with a lightweight Project X Velocity shaft while the X Hot Pro will come with a Project X 6.0 shaft. Both drivers will cost $299 and be available in February.