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Golf-club manufacturers have long struggled to get both maximum distance and feel from the same club. It has long been understood to get longer distance, you need faster club-head speed. To get that speed means a thin club face.
That thin face leads to a problem, though. The thinner the face gets the more vibration you have on impact. That vibration leads to loss of feel. To get more feel, you could add softer materials behind the face. That extra material slows down the speed of the swing, and that means a loss of distance.
Callaway’s engineers set out to solve that conundrum by finding a material that could soften the impact without losing distance. In early 2018, Callaway announced it had found this magical material with the release of its Rogue brand of irons. The company followed that up with Rogue X irons, which were designed to go even farther.
Let’s compare both sets, which share a lot of the same qualities but have a couple of key differences.
Callaway Rogue X
Comparing Callaway Rogue and Rogue X
Both sets of the Callaway Rogue irons share what they call the 360 Face Cup and Variable Face Thickness technologies. The face has a rim around the perimeter of the face that flexes on impact. That gives a bit of a spring effect, increasing distance. The VFT is designed to minimize the loss of distance on off-center hits.
The Rogue and the Rogue X share the same club-face technologies. This design can take some getting used to but delivers on its promise of greater distance.
The Rogue and Rogue X also share a commonality when it comes to the weighting of the club, which affects the center of gravity. A lower center of gravity in a club head promotes the correct launch angle for a perfect ball flight for each club.
Callaway makes this happen with the use of tungsten, a metal that is twice as heavy as steel. That allows for the same weight in a smaller space. The Rogue and Rogue X irons use this tungsten in an intricate shape the company claims will give precision control over center of gravity.
Urethane is the mystery material Callaway says will reduce vibration in the club face without sacrificing distance. This urethane comes in the form of microspheres that dampen both the vibration and sound when the club face strikes the ball.
According to Callaway, these spheres “flatten 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.”
Discovering the right material was not the end of the process. Callaway then had to figure out the best positioning within the club face for the urethane microspheres. After much testing and computer modeling, the development team came up with a long and thin shape that covers the lower 20 percent of the club face.
Callaway maintains that these urethane microspheres will accomplish this dampening without affecting the coefficient of restitution (COR) and ball speed.
You may have heard the term COR before, as it is commonly used in golf circles. If you do not know exactly what it means, it is a fancy term with a relatively simple meaning.
The coefficient of restitution is merely the transfer of energy from one object to another. In this case, the energy you impart to a golf club is transferred to the ball. Which ultimate affects ball speed as you can imagine.
So if the standard Rogue and the Rogue X sets share all of the above, you may be wondering where they differ. The answer is in the specifications, namely loft and length.
Callaway Rogue X
Final Thoughts on
the CALLAWAY ROGUE vs Rogue X Irons
As evidenced by the above charts, there is a notable difference in length of the clubs and a quite dramatic difference in lofts. The result of this is added distance. It is fairly straightforward to see why.
Adding length to a club increases the arc of the swing. In simple terms, the club head has farther to travel in the same length of time. This means an increase in both club-head speed and distance.
Less loft also means greater distance. Consider that the Rogue X set does not include a 3-iron. However, its 4-iron has the same loft as Rogue’s 3-iron, with a shaft that is a half-inch shorter.
Lowering of the lofts on clubs has been going on in professional golf. If you ever see a pro golfer pull out a 9-iron for a 170-yard shot, know that part of the reason is his 9-iron almost certainly has less loft than yours. He also has greater club-head speed than amateurs. That makes one wonder, are these clubs good for any amateurs, or just for scratch golfers and professionals?
There is no question Callaway is playing on any golfer’s desire for greater distance. Go to your local driving range and ask any golfer whether they would have greater control or greater distance. Great distance would likely be the winner, perhaps by a great deal.
And it is true that an increase in distance will translate into lower scores.
The Rogue set is likely fine for anyone up to mid-handicappers and even high handicappers who have a decent amount of swing speed. The Rogue X set may not be the right choice for anyone who has difficulty getting the ball airborne.
Despite the high-tech advances in the club face, the Rogue X’s lower lofts make it not ideal for most high handicappers.