After a tremendously successful year in the driver category in 2017, it was hard to imagine what Callaway might do, if anything, in 2018.
But progress being what it is, their wood designers went back to work in an attempt to advance an already great product in the Big Bertha Epic. Were they successful in the creation of the follow-up, the Rogue? Consumers will ultimately determine that from a financial sense but from our short time examining the drivers (yes, there are three of them) we think they have managed a very fine second act
Rogue – Jailbreak, With Juice
I have to say, when I heard that the new Rogue drivers were coming I was pretty much expecting a GBB Epic with a new graphics package and maybe a couple small changes. With my first look at address position, it was more like “aha, they went there.”
While last year’s product was more than pleasing when it came to ball speed and even sound, the compact body reminded me of some past Callaway drivers and what I felt was a slight weakness in off-centre hits. That does not include the Fusion, of course, which offered plenty of assistance away from centre contact, but it just did not have the horsepower of its counterpart.
In the Rogue it seems the advantages of the GBB Epic have been married with the stability that the Fusion served up, with ball speed protected across a wider area of the face.
That’s the sense you get when you set the Rogue drivers (all three – Rogue, Rogue Sub Zero, and Rogue Draw) down behind the ball. A wider, flatter profile gives an assurance that there is more club to work with, and a little more “help” if you will.
According to the company that is exactly the case with a higher Moment of Inertia (MOI) built into a 460cc head.
To create the new shape, mass was extracted from other parts of the face, including the “Jailbreak” bars located just behind the face that were a signature feature of the GBB Epic.
The titanium bars are now hourglass shaped, shaving weight from the area directly behind the centre of the face, to use elsewhere. Extra mass was pulled from the carbon crown, what the company is calling their largest one they have used in a driver design.
Adding to the package is a new “X-Face” architecture to vary the face thickness as needed for each particular area.
As in the past, a Boeing co-engineered Speed Step has been used to streamline the crown aerodynamics.
Sub Zero – Taking The Spin Down A Notch
Like in the EPIC, the Sub Zero is designed for the golfer seeking more spin control. At the same time it still retains the high MOI characteristic of the standard model. Sure it might appeal to pros, but it is good fit for some amateurs as well. A fitting will determine that.
For players who fight a draw shape, this head is a little more neutrally biased.
Within the design are two interchangeable weights (2 and 14 grams), one near the rear of the head and one located closer to the face. These can be used to further refine spin rates by another 200 rpms.
A Little Extra Shaping Help – The Rogue Draw
For the golfer who fights a slice tendency (that’s a lot of you), then the Rogue Draw model might be a better fit. With significant weighting towards the heel, it promotes a faster face closure rate and also moves the centre of gravity heelward to promote more gear effect on a center face contact.
Like the other Rogue drivers, it still includes all the performance features – Jailbreak, X-Face VFT, and the Boeing aerodynamics.
Lofts available are 9°, 10.5° and 13°HT.
For more info on all three drivers see www.callawaygolf.ca