Callaway is opening the new year by reaching deep into the periodic table of elements to elevate its clubs further, incorporating tungsten, the 74th element, into its 2022 Rogue ST line of fairway woods for the first time and in its hybrids as well. While an excellent answer to know for those aspiring to be on "Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader?" it's also a significant component of how Callaway is delivering new levels of consistency to its customers.
ROGUE ST FAIRWAY WOODS
One of the most common mishits on fairway woods is hitting the ball low on the face, and the design decision of the tungsten's placement addresses this miss.
"You can't really get any more down on the sole than [the tungsten plate] being in contact on the ground right on the bottom there," Dr. Alan Hocknell, Callaway's Senior Vice President of Research and Development, said on an introductory press call for the Rogue ST Fairway woods.
"This is extreme perimeter weighting for fairway woods if you want the center of gravity to be low and forward in the head, and that's what we want."
By lowering the center of gravity on the club, hits on the lower part of the face go higher. True to Callaway's claims our misses on the lower part of the face consistently got into the air, despite lacking the solid feel of a center-struck shot.
Callaway is releasing a ton of fairway wood options, with their A.I. face optimization uniquely designed for each model and loft. Right-handed players can select from three through No. 11 fairway-woods in the Rogue ST Max model. The 11-wood has 27 degrees of loft, similar to a standard five iron.
The Rogue ST Max D is pushing the limits of draw assistance in a club, utilizing face angle, lie angle, and loft to help a player struggling to hit a draw to accomplish that. The Rogue ST LS, the third and final fairway wood design of the Rogue ST family, is for players aiming to utilize their fairway woods off the tee. It's the only model with an additional screw in the sole, giving more optionality to players with how much weight is in the club, to help get less spin on the ball off the face.
Callaway has done extensive testing across all categories of players; feedback on the new Rogue ST fairways has the engineering and product marketing teams in Carlsbad beeming. They truly believe they have the best-performing fairways woods in the industry.
ROGUE ST HYBRIDS
Tungsten plays a significant role in the Rogue ST hybrid, just like the fairway woods. But unlike the woods, the element sits on the club's perimeter inside the clubface instead of the sole.
The Rogue ST Hybrid
"We want a similar effect to the fairway wood," said Callaway's SR VP of Research and Development Alan Hocknell. "We want to bring the center of gravity down lower and closer to the face. That's one of the things that this location of the tungsten weight helps us do, versus a design that doesn't have tungsten."
Callaway added a larger jailbreak batwing in the toe of the hybrid versus the heel, a difference immediately felt when picking the club up, to counterbalance the extra weight in the hosel. The Rogue ST hybrid's design finds a nice midway point between the 2020 Mavrik model and 2021 Epic Super Hybrid. The look at address is very appealing.
The grooves across the face remain consistent from recent years, not extending all the way across and retaining an iron-like feel, with the toe standing taller than the heel. And the A.I.-powered flash face technology moved from SS21 to SS22 designation this year, marked on the upper left part of the club. Each of Callaway's four hybrid models and lofts has its own unique, optimized face. Along with the Rogue ST Max, Callaway is rolling out the Rogue ST Pro. The Pro model is closer to a fairway wood design than an iron, with the shorter toe height countering the tendency to hit the ball left at higher club speeds.
The Rogue ST OS, and Rogue ST OS Lite are for game improvement players. The oversized models range from three to eight hybrids, with the ST OS eight hybrid sitting at 33 degrees, equivalent to a seven iron, and the ST OS Lite's eight hybrid sitting at 36 degrees, comparable to an eight iron. Both models are for players looking for more forgiveness, with the Lite weighing less, aiming for players with slower ball speeds.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
Both the Rogue ST fairways and hybrids will be available for pre-order on January 22nd, with the fairway woods priced at $349.99 and the hybrids at $279.99. They'll be in retailers on February 18th.