Callaway's New XR16 Fairway Woods Offer More Speed and Forgiveness
05 Jan 2016
by Rusty Cage

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Callaway XR16 Fairway Woods are built for distance and forgiveness
Callaway XR16 Fairway Woods are built for distance and forgiveness

When it comes to fairway woods, equipment companies often face a perplexing design challenge: the need to combine the right amount of speed, forgiveness while maintaining maximum versatility. But where there’s challenge, there’s also opportunity, and Callaway believes they’ve made huge leaps in fairway wood design with their new XR16 and XR16 Pro models.

The new woods from Callaway offer an improved head design and an even hotter face cup that delivers more consistent speed and exceptional forgiveness.

In updating the XR line of fairway woods, Callaway engineers sought to preserve the high ball speeds and low spin characteristics of last year’s models while making the new clubs much more forgiving and versatile. It’s anything but a simple task when you consider the fact that most golfers use their fairway woods in a variety of ways all over the course.

“Fairway woods are some of the most challenging clubs to design because they have to do so many things for so many different types of golfers,” said Evan Gibbs, Senior R&D Manager of Woods at Callaway. “You want them to launch high and be easy to hit off the fairway; you want them to be accurate and consistent off the tee as a secondary driving club. They also need to be long enough to help you reach those long par fives in two. Yet they also need to land softly enough into longer par threes.”

Callaway's high tech 
Forged Face Cup
Callaway's high tech Forged Face Cup

Although the first generation XR fairways were already long and low-spinning, Callaway felt they still had room to refine their industry- leading Forged Hyper Speed Face Cup technology. The face, which extends slightly over the top of the crown and just below the leading edge of the sole, is made from a high- strength carpenter 455 stainless steel alloy and is forged using a 120-ton press which Gibbs says gives Callaway exceptional control over the thickness of the face. Unlike traditional face inserts, Callaway’s face cups vary in thickness over a significantly larger percentage of the face helping golfers to reach greater ball speeds, even on less than perfectly-centered strikes.

“The face cup is really the engine of the club and it helps us generate such high ball speed,” said Gibbs. “This is our fourth generation of having a face cup in our woods and we continue to fine tune and improve this technology each year in order to maintain our industry-leading position in fairway-wood design.”

To help maximize the performance of the face cup while improving the MOI on all XR16 fairway models, Callaway reconfigured the head shape to give it an aerodynamic lift. They also reduced the thickness of the crown and added an eight-gram weight pad in the back for greater forgiveness.

The XR16 fairways feature 
a cambered sole
The XR16 fairways feature a cambered sole

The new woods saw some outstanding results during internal player testing. The XR16 models were able to maintain a very similar trajectory and spin ratio to their predecessors while dramatically increasing the MOI. That means the XR16 fairways will be more reliable performers for all golfers - offering up to 30 percent more consistent carry distance, 19 percent more consistent backspin and 8 percent more ball speed.

But they’re not just long and forgiving off the tee. Callaway also recognized an opportunity to improve the turf interaction of the new clubs. They designed the XR16 fairways with a cambered sole with additional relief where golfers need it.

Lightweight crown 
increases MOI & lowers CG
Lightweight crown increases MOI & lowers CG

“The added camber along the leading edge and along the bottom of the sole provides a lot of versatility from a variety of lie angles and playing conditions,” said Gibbs. “The relieved sections on the heal and toe help improve the turf interaction and contribute to the overall versatility of these clubs, making them effective from all areas of the golf course.”

Features at a glance:

  • Aerodynamic head shape and lighter crown that increases the club’s MOI and lowers the center of gravity.
  • Faster ball speeds across the face from a fourth-generation Forged Hyper Speed Face Cup made from a high-strength stainless steel alloy.
  • Improved Internal Standing Wave pad that projects out toward the face helping to maintain the flexibility of the Face Cup while reducing spin.
  • Cambered sole, along with relieved sections on the heal and toe, make the XR16 fairway woods effective from a variety of lies.

The XR16 fairway woods (MSRP $229.99 each) will be offered in seven different lofts including a brand new 3+ model that plays similarly to Callaway’s 3-Wood Deep. The XR16 Pro (MSRP $249.99 each) is offered in lofts of 14, 16 and 18 degrees.

The XR16 Pro features a more compact head shape and is slightly more open at address for a more neutral shot shape when compared to the standard model. It comes stock with a Fujikura Evolution Speeder Tour Spec 765 FW shaft while the standard fairway wood is paired with a Fujikura Evolution Speeder 565 FW. The entire XR16 line will be available for retail on January 29th.

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