How in the world do you follow up the epic year that the Callaway Epic driver had? That is the question that we have heard for several months now in anticipation for the new Rogue driver. Callaway Golf President and CEO Chip Brewer knew that would be something that he would have to answer. He challenged his design team to not only match the performance of Epic, but to flat out beat it. To say that we were excited and maybe… a little nervous… to test the Rogue would be an understatement.
Last year, Jailbreak stood out as the breakthrough technology of the year. This year, Callaway has improved this technology and loaded up the Rogue with some of its best stuff. Some of the highlights are:
New Jailbreak Effect:
Rogue employs improved Jailbreak Technology with new, hourglass-shaped titanium bars that are 25% lighter, while fulfilling their function to stiffen the crown and sole. The stiffer body allows the face to take on more impact-load to promote faster ball speed, and makes possible our new X-Face VFT face architecture, which promotes fast ball speed across an expansive area of the face. Together, Jailbreak and X-Face VFT work together to create what we call the Jailbreak Effect, which promotes a remarkable boost in ball speed and distance.
Triaxial Carbon Crown:
Callaway is the leader at using carbon composite materials to enhance metalwood performance. Our proprietary triaxial carbon composite is extraordinarily light and strong, saving substantial weight. We’ve redistributed that weight into the head’s perimeter to significantly increase MOI and forgiveness, which helps preserve distance and direction on off-center hits. Rogue has the largest triaxial carbon crown of any Callaway driver ever.
Upgraded Boeing Aero Package:
Boeing and Callaway collaborated to develop the Speed Step technology used in past Callaway metalwoods. In Rogue, we worked with Boeing to redefine the geometry of the leading edge to improve airflow to promote faster head speed.
Weight Track Removal:
Arguably the most noticeable difference versus the Epic is the lack of a movable weight track. By removing this feature Callaway was able to relocate the weight previous dedicated to the track and movable weight. This change leads to a significantly more stable driver and less twisting at impact (greater MOI). What does this mean to you? The Rogue is significantly easier to hit than the Epic…and to be honest we thought the Epic was easy to hit too! But don’t worry about the ability to correct your ball flight, Callaway has made the Rogue in three versions: Sub Zero, Standard, and Draw. Each has a distinct ball flight that intended to enhance your performance regardless of your current tendencies.
We invited an 11 handicap to put his beloved Epic driver up against the new Rogue. He has moderate to high club head speed and has a natural draw that quickly turns into a hook. We tested his 10.5 Epic with a Hzrdus Stiff shaft versus a 10.5 Rogue with the exact same shaft. To stay consistent we used a Callaway Chrome Soft X ball. Take a look at the results below:
The design changes led us to expect a more forgiving driver and that proved to be true. We not only saw a much straighter ball flight, but we saw the smash factor moved up from 1.48 to 1.50. This number is a ratio of ball speed as compared to club head speed and an increase is a telltale sign of a more forgiving driver.
What we didn’t expect was the gain in ball speed. The Epic was just such a leap forward in production of ball speed. As you might assume, ball speed is one of the primary factors in determining how long you will hit a driver. The increase in average ball speed for our tester was 1.4 MPH. Furthermore the increase from his fastest drive with Epic vs. his fastest with Rogue was 2 MPH. That may or may not sound like much to you, but 2 MPH faster than an already really, really, really fast driver? That’s fast. This produced as much as 12 yards more distance. Also of note, our player increased his launch angle by 1.2 degrees while his spin reduced by nearly 100 RPM’s. In the past an increase in forgiveness almost never lead to a decrease in spin. Likewise, an increase in height typically meant more spin as well. With Rogue that simply isn’t the case. Mis-hits and middle-hits alike, the Rogue produces very consistent launch and spin. This means you should notice more consistent trajectory and distance.
Callaway Rogue is available February 9, 2018 at all Golf Exchange locations.
A quick look at the Rogue Iron direct from Callaway Golf…
Infusing Soft Feel into Fast-faced Irons
ROGUE, ROGUE PRO & ROGUE X
Club designers have long been confronted with a particular “can’t-have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too” conundrum in regard to fast-faced, distance-enhancing irons. For the face to be fast it has to be thin, yet a thin face is prone to excessive vibration at impact, resulting in harsh sound and feel. You can quiet or minimize the vibration by positioning a soft material behind and in contact with the face, but that slows the face down, stealing distance.
“The qualities of really long distance and really great feel have never co-existed in an iron, in our opinion,” said Dr. Alan Hocknell, head of Callaway R&D. “We wanted to solve that problem with our new Rogue iron series.”
The iron development team embarked on a broad search for a compound that could e ectively quiet the face’s
vibration without interfering with the speed at which the face exes – if such a material existed. That led to the discovery of a specially formulated urethane material infused with thousands of miniscule “microspheres.” Developed by 3M, the microspheres atten under pressure, allowing the urethane to behave in a porous manner, allowing it to compress and “give” with relative ease. That quality allowed the material to both quiet unwanted vibration without slowing the face.
Finding a material with promise was the rst step. The next was determining how to shape it and position it within each iron’s head to provide maximum bene t. That led to a lot of experimentation and computer modeling.
“Finding the right material is part of the process. The other part was determining the precise shape that would most e ectively quiet vibration without intruding on the action of the face, or negatively a ecting performance in any other way,” said Hocknell.
The team arrived at a unique shape that’s long and slender and positioned within the head, covering the lower 1/5 (approximately) of the face on the inner side, and spanning the length of the face.
MIM’D TUNGSTEN-INFUSED STANDING WAVE
360 FACE CUP
Becausethe urethane is lighter than the steel area it supplants, it had to be balanced with a piece of MIM’d tungsten in order to achieve the proper weight and CG location necessary to the iron’s performance goals. MIM stands for “metal-injected molding,” a process that allows us to form highly dense alloys into sophisticated shapes.
(MIM’ing is a process of creating an exceedingly dense and heavy part). Again, arriving at the size, shape, weight and position of the tungsten, in relation to the urethane, was of utmost important and took a great deal of time and testing.
“The result is that on the inside, the internal workings of our new Rogue irons is unlike anything we’ve ever o ered,” said Hocknell, “and what’s on the inside is what drives their unique combination of long distance and soft feel.”