Callaway X Hot Fairway Woods
Category: Game-Improvement Fairway Woods
WE TESTED: 3 (15°) and 5 (19°) with Project X Velocity graphite shaft
KEY TECHNOLOGIES: The updated Warbird sole plate is styled after popular Big Bertha woods of the early 1990s for playability from a variety of lies. Internal weighting pushes mass forward in the head to lower the CG and reduce spin.
PLAYABILITY: One of the club's greatest assets; the X Hot requires little effort to move the ball left or right; most testers find it quite easy to hit from the fairway or the rough.
ACCURACY/FORGIVENESS: It does a nice job of reducing sidespin and keeping you in the hunt; several testers find it to be a real straight shooter.
DISTANCE: It shines on mishits -- distance holds up well even on the poorest swings; a few testers find the 3-wood to be almost as long as a driver off the tee.
FEEL: Better shots deliver a springy, lively feel off the face; great trampoline effect -- the ball rebounds effortlessly off the face with almost no feedback to the hands.
LOOK: Very pleasing graphics on the sole and crown look like they belong on a high-performance car; the club displays some heft behind the ball and isn't as shallow-faced as some other fairway woods.
A few testers find that misses feel too similar to center hits; a small minority of guys struggle to achieve a useful, repeatable trajectory.
BOTTOM LINE: One of the top-rated fairway woods. It's a real bomber off the tee.
NEXT REVIEW: Cleveland Classic XL Fairway Woods