With apologies to Ernie Els, Callaway is replacing its Razr Fit driver with a new Razr Fit Xtreme driver for 2013.
It was Els who used the Razr Fit driver so effectively in winning the Open Championship in July for his fourth major.
Regardless, Callaway is introducing a driver and preaching a club-fitting philosophy that is different than driver developments from several other companies.
For next year, TaylorMade, Cobra and Nike are introducing drivers with huge loft adjustability: 3 degrees for TaylorMade and Cobra, 4 degrees for Nike. It's up to the golfer and the fitter to find the proper loft setting.
Callaway, meanwhile, is "trying to optimize each loft based on the player we anticipate using them."
Those are the words of Evan Gibbs, manager of performance and analysis at Callaway. Gibbs says the lower lofts have slightly smaller heads (440cc for 8.5, 9.5, and 10.5 degrees) with more workability and a penetrating trajectory. The higher lofts, meanwhile, have larger heads (460cc for 11.5 and 13.5 degrees) With more forgiveness and the ability to help golfers get the ball in the air.
In addition, the performance of each loft is optimized through specific center-of-gravity locations and variable bulge-and-roll face designs. The lower lofts have slightly more fade bias, while the higher lofts provide more draw bias.
"Getting the proper loft is crucial to the whole process," says Gibbs, affirming that the center-of-gravity is lower on low-lofted drivers and slightly higher on high-lofted drivers. Callaway claims that the Razr Fit Xtreme has a lower CG than any other adjustable driver.
How did Callaway lower the CG? Primarily through the evolution of the forged composite crown, which weighs only 12.1 grams. What does this mean for consumers? In Callaway's view, modern construction coupled with better fitting will provide a benefit for any golfer.
The Razor Fit Xtreme is intended to play much like Callaway's popular, low-spinning FT Tour driver. The FT Tour has been widely used on the PGA Tour. With the new driver, there is the added benefit of different design schemes for different lofts.
The $399.99 driver, available January 18, comes with the OptiFit hosel (so that different shafts can be used) along with the adjustable OptiFit weights (the two weights are 13 grams and 1 gram). Two stock shafts are available – the Aldila Trinity and Matrix Black Tie. The Black Tie is a tip – stiff shaft intended primarily for stronger players.
Standard length is 45.5 inches. Head weight is down 5 grams, to 202 grams, from the Razr Fit, and swingweight is D4.