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Callaway X Hot Pro Irons Review
05 Jul 2013
by Pete Wlodkowski of AmateurGolf.com

see also: Equipment Reviews

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Callaway's X Hot Pro irons represent the middle of the three models in the X Hot iron family -- combining a size and shape low handicappers prefer with "distance iron" features.

So, you ask, what makes a distance iron?

First off, the heads are cast stainless steel, not forged. But forged iron fans take note -- these irons are anything but clunky. Buttery might be a better word. Behind the face is a bulging metal “X” surrounded by elastomer that Callaway calls “Feel Management Technology.” It serves the dual purpose of letting you really feel a solid strike while providing a crisp sound, even on slightly off center shots.

Feel and sound are important, but ball flight doesn’t lie. What really separates the X-Hot Pro from its forged counterpart is what Callaway calls “J-Face Dynamics” – a pocket cavity shaped like the letter J, if you cut a cross section – which puts the center of gravity low, without the huge flange that you see on some game improvement irons. You'll find this particularly effective if you play in firm conditions, where a large-soled iron tends to flip open at impact.

SETUP & ADDRESS

Players that like a slight offset will love the way the X Hot Pros look at address. The slight offset promotes a square clubface at impact, and I found it particularly effective at providing shot control with the mid and long irons, especially off a tee on par-3s. The finish is a non-reflective buffed stainless. At address, you see just what you want to see, nothing sticking out from the bottom and a "right sized" top line. It's perhaps this combination of looks and performance that won X Hot Pro a "Golf Digest" Gold Medal among Players Irons. They called it "a players iron that is very playable."

SPECS

X Hot Pro irons carry relatively strong lofts (45 degrees for the PW to 24 degrees for the 5-iron) but since they are slightly offset (which helps promote a higher ball flight), the loft progression is more about flighting your shots than it is about bragging that you hit an 8-iron where your friends hit 7-iron.

Standard shafts are Project X Flighted 95. (Read review and watch video here.)This lighter version of the shaft long preferred by strong ball strikers allows Callaway to put more weight in the clubhead. "Flighted" refers to the progressively higher launch characteristics of the shaft as you go from wedge through long irons. Matching up top grade shafts with their "Tour" or "Pro" model products is a trend that Callaway started when Chip Brewer took over as President and CEO. It's a message that shows Callaway is serious about getting into the bags of better players. Grips are solid black Lamkin Crossline; the classy Callaway "V" at the bottom adding an attractive and useful (for alignment) adornment.

Changing irons is an important decision for avid players, so I suggest that you get properly fitted (visit Callaway's website for a list of their fitting centers) before making the switch.

Visit Worldwide Golf Shops, home of the 90 day playability guarantee, to view current pricing and availability on Callaway X Hot Pro Irons. Their service, prices, and ship times are the best in the business!

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