Next week, Callaway Golf will be releasing its newest driver, the XR16 on 1/29. This driver follows up on last year’s popular XR model. I was able to get my hands on the XR16 today, and compared it to the XR.
Under the hood of the XR was the stock Blue Project X LZ shaft, with 9 degrees of loft. I have hit this driver A LOT, and was easily my favorite driver of 2015. After warming up, I took 5 swings and you can see the numbers I pumped out on the left.
Average Drive: 295 YDS
Carry Distance: 272 YDS
Ball Speed: 159.1 MPH
Launch Angle: 9.7 degrees
Spin Rate: 2536 RPM
Those are pretty decent numbers for me. You can see the dispersion of the shots as well. I hit one that was off the heel and pulled a bit, but still went 282 yds, and would have been in the fairway. Since I have hit this driver a lot, I know that it’s very forgiving and has an extremely “hot” face. Super thin and very flexible, the face gives maximum distance and forgiveness.
Now let’s take a look at the XR16. This driver has the new Speeder 565 stiff shaft in it, with 9 degrees of loft as well.
Average Drive: 304 YDS
Carry Distance: 272 YDS
Ball Speed: 160.6 MPH
Launch Angle: 8.3 degrees
Spin Rate: 2069 RPM
On the screen, you can see that the yellow lines are from the XR and the red lines are from the XR16. I was a little surprised to see that I was hitting the XR16 lower than the XR. The Speeder shaft is a few grams heavier than the Project X in the XR, which probably translated to a few extra MPH of ball speed for me. The last ball that I hit, I completely squared it up, hit it dead center on the face, and it felt great. My shot dispersion was also a little tighter, which is always nice to see.
The biggest difference that I can see between the two clubs is that my spin rate was much lower on the XR16. That is the key element in gaining distance with your driver. The lower the spin, the further it will go. I may have been catching the drives on the XR16 a tad low on the face compared to the XR, but either way, I will take those numbers any day.
The XR16 will have the same introductory price ($350) that the XR had when it came out last February. Like the XR, the XR16 has the 8-way adjustable hosel that can help you customize your club to obtain the right ball flight for you.
So, what is new about the XR16 vs the XR? The new crown on the driver features raised portions of titanium just behind the top line that help keep airflow tight to the surface, thus reducing drag and allowing golfers to swing the club head faster on the downswing into impact. With better aerodynamics on the club (thanks to Callaway’s partnership with Boeing), this allowed Callaway to stretch the crown of the club, raising the MOI (Moment of Inertia), aka forgiveness. This combo makes this XR16 faster and more forgiving. Changes inside the head include improvement to Callaway’s R-Moto technology. R-Moto is basically like the steel frame of a car, but with super strong ridges in specific places to strengthen that frame. This allowed for the XR16 driver faces to be 9 grams lighter and 19 percent thinner than the XR.
The XR16 comes in 9 degrees, 10.5, and 13.5 HT as well. Callaway is also offering a slew of premium shaft upgrades for no additional charge. This is where getting a proper fitting comes into play. Get the right shaft in your club to maximize distance and accuracy. Considering that many of these shafts go for over $300 by themselves, get it done!
I hope this review has helped you out a little bit. More of these types of reviews will be coming as new products start to roll out. Look for the results of my next test drive later this week or early next week, when I compare my shots with Callaway’s XR irons and the new XR OS irons.