Callaway X Hot Pro Fairway Woods Review
16 Jul 2013
by Pete Wlodkowski of AmateurGolf.com

see also: Equipment Reviews


On my second outing with the Callaway X Hot 3-wood I caught a tee shot on a short, tight par 4 right in the middle of the clubface. The ball took off with a high, tight draw, and ran down the fairway nicely after it landed. It didn’t take long for the guy I was playing with to notice that I had “outdriven” him, as he stopped at his drive, a few yards short of mine.

“That’s a long 3 wood,” he admired.

It doesn’t matter if he was referring to the club in general, or the particular shot it struck. The point is, manufacturers like Callaway have moved their R&D efforts from the driver down the club “food chain” lately, and you see the result on Tour and increasingly among better amateurs.  When Phil Mickelson carried a “Phrankenwood” – a deep-faced version of the club I tested called the X Hot Pro 3Deep  – at the 2013 U.S. Open instead of a driver, people took notice.

Now that the last couple of iterations of drivers from the equipment majors have pushed up against the USGA imposed limit for “COR” (or the trampoline effect of the face of a club) it’s unlikely that we’ll see claims of “20 yards longer” for big sticks in the future. Fairways, hybrids, and irons have been the technology focus among the longer clubs lately.

So how do they get so much out of a club, which, even at its top size of 180cc is still less than half the size of a typical driver?

First off, X Hot Pro fairways like X Hot drivers implement Callaway’s “Forged Speed Frame Face Cup” to provide increased COR and a resulting high “smash factor.” But the fairways, in order to perform so well, required more than just a shrinking down of the X Hot driver design. The center-of-gravity (CG) was lowered, through under-the-hood technology called “Internal Standing Wave” that pushes the weight closer to the face (without touching it) and lower inside the club head.

And a feature I really like in the X Hot line is what Callaway calls the “modern Warbird Sole” which gives the X Hot line (especially the higher lofted fairways and hybrids) the ability to launch the ball easier from the rough, or when the ball is sitting down in the fairway. After all, you can have all the technology in the world but it doesn’t do you any good if you can’t do two things: make solid contact and get the ball airborne.


Callaway X Hot Pro Fairways come standard with a Lamkin Crossline grip and high performance Project X Velocity shaft (PXv) in a pearl white that looks great against the grey head and red accents. More important than how they look, Project X shafts provide spin and launch conditions preferred by strong ball strikers, without requiring a 115 mile swing speed. If you’re not familiar with Project X’s frequency flex system vs. the standard R-S-X you maybe used to, 6.0 generally fits a player who uses Stiff, 6.5 for X, and 5.5 for R. Your results may vary, which is why you should see a Callaway Club Fitter. Callaway’s website lists dozens of shaft options if the Project X isn’t right for you.


Pull the headcover off of the X Hot Pro fairway and you’ll be impressed by an attractive white and red paint job on the heal and toe areas that accenuates the v-shaped modern Warbird sole. Callaway chooses to leave the fancy part underneath. When you lay it on the ground, the crown and sides are finished an industrial-looking matte grey. The head itself has nice lines and a traditional shape that sets up square just by laying it on the ground. (The X Hot Pro comes standard 1 degree open, which many low handicap amateurs and pros prefer.)

Visit Worldwide Golf Shops, home of the 90 day playability guarantee, to view current pricing for Callaway X Hot and X Hot Pro fairways.

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