CATEGORY: Better Player Drivers
WE TESTED: 9° (adjusts 8° to 11°) with Fujikura Evolution II TS 665 graphite shaft
KEY TECHNOLOGIES: The aerodynamic 450 cc head generates 300 to 400 rpm less spin than the new XR.
DISTANCE: The XR Pro offers good pop; slightly longer on solid strikes than many testers' current sticks; for some, it's not quite as long as the Alpha 816 DBD but still respectable.
ACCURACY/FORGIVENESS: Does a nice job minimizing distance loss on slight misses; no problem hitting fairways -- a straight shooter; shots off the heel and toe stay in play on par with what most guys expect.
FEEL: One of the best sticks in the better-player category; it has a light but satisfying sensation at impact; never jarring, even on relatively poor contact; stable and rock solid through the ball.
PLAYABILITY: It's fairly easy to move the ball in both directions on center hits; shots pierce through the wind while maintaining good carry; a mid-trajectory is the norm.
LOOK: An appearance any golfer should appreciate -- the compact clubhead has a classic shape with a matte black finish and a useful alignment aid.
A few testers need a bit more directional forgiveness; the raised areas on the crown don't appeal to all of the guys; one or two find that it's not quite as long as the biggest hitters.
BOTTOM LINE: The Callaway XR Pro driver is one of the stronger all-around performers. At $100 less than the Alpha 816 DBD, it'll get plenty of looks.
HOT STIX'S TAKE: This one's slightly more forgiving than last year's XR Pro. It has a deeper face, which improves performance on both high and low misses. Launch: Low-Mid; Spin: Low-Mid
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MORE INFO ON THE CALLAWAY XR PRO DRIVER
From GOLF.com, January 4, 2016:
The XR16 is also available in a Pro model ($399) in 9- and 10.5-degree lofts. The Pro features a slightly more compact 450cc clubhead and deeper face than the standard model as well as a more neutral CG bias. Though the Pro provides lower ballspeeds than the standard model it still features a low and deep CG for added forgiveness and stability. A Fujikura Evolution II TS 665 shaft comes standard. -- Michael Chwasky