Callaway Razr Hawk Driver

The Callaway Razr Hawk Driver, right for you?

You may have heard some of the buzz about Callaway Golf's new RAZR series of clubs. It wouldn't be surprising, because these clubs are finding themselves on a lot of magazine editors' and other reviewers' "hot lists."

Still, though, a driver is an expensive purchase. Before you buy, you'll want to make sure you've done what you can to ensure that a Callaway RAZR Hawk driver would be the right driver for you.

RAZR is one of Callaway's new lines of clubs, introduced in February 2011. It begins with the Callaway RAZR Hawk driver and includes fairway woods, hybrids, irons and wedges. These clubs are currently being marketed by Callaway Golf itself as well as a host of sporting goods stores, golf club retailers and pro shops, so they're easy to find. Callaway claims that its RAZR Hawk driver is more than six yards longer than the FT-9 driver it's replacing. It's priced at around $400, and I figure for that price, it had better deliver.

I don't know of any golfer who wouldn't love some additional distance off the tee, no matter how long they hit it. And accuracy and workability are important too. So, I went to a sporting goods store and hit one of these clubs in their simulator to see what the Callaway RAZR Hawk driver is capable of doing. I'll give you my personal impressions of this driver after sharing a few of its technical details with you.

Callaway Golf has a big marketing campaign emphasizing the "Forged Composite" technology used by the Callaway RAZR Hawk driver. This composite material, a forged carbon fiber developed by Callaway in partnership with "supercar" maker Lamborghini, enables the positioning of weight precisely where it's needed to enhance distance, accuracy and workability. Despite being one-third the density of titanium, Callaway says Forged Composite (also used in the Callaway Diablo Octane driver) is both lighter and stronger. The 460cc club head's aerodynamic design is intended to reduce drag and facilitate a faster swing speed. And, the thickness of the face (thicker in the center, thinner at the perimeter) is precisely controlled by Callaway's "Hyperbolic Face Technology."

The combination of these design elements results in increased club head speed, ball speed and distance. The RAZR Hawk's head also offers an extremely high moment of inertia to resist club head twisting, provide forgiveness and enhance accuracy.

Draw and Neutral configurations are available for the Callaway RAZR Hawk driver, so you can pick the one that's best suited to your swing and typical ball flight. Choose the draw model if you tend to fight a slice or want to eliminate a fade. The neutral version works better for golfers who hit it fairly straight or already have a draw. Several lofts are available, including 9.5, 10.5, 11.5 and 13.5 degrees. Some golfers like the 46" stock Aldila RIP graphite shaft, while others would prefer some additional shaft choices. A Tour model of the Callaway RAZR Hawk driver is also available, but I tested the version designed for us mere mortals.

Here are my impressions on the neutral version of the Callaway RAZR Hawk driver, based on hitting it for 30 minutes or so at the simulator.

Distance: It packs a punch, probably a good 10 yards longer than my TaylorMade driver. Some of that might be due to the longer-than-normal 46 inch shaft, some due to the innovative materials and design of the club.

Accuracy and Forgiveness: Pretty accurate, although the longer shaft might make it a little less accurate than it could be. Heel and toe shots don't lose much distance and are often quite playable - a big advantage for mid to high handicap players.

Workability: If you have the skill level, the Callaway RAZR Hawk driver will let you fade or draw the ball on command without much of a sacrifice in distance.

Feel at Impact: Very solid-feeling, especially for a composite driver. The ball almost seems to jump off the clubface with a hot flight.

Sound at Impact: A bit subdued for my taste - almost muffled. The muted sound is probably caused by the carbon composite.

Appearance: Black head with an attractive head shape and Callaway's red chevron alignment aid. I didn't love its looks, but I didn't hate them either.

The Bottom Line: If you want pure, unadulterated distance and more forgiveness, try the Callaway Diablo Octane driver instead. Although there's no doubt that the Callaway RAZR Hawk is long, it probably concedes a few yards in its quest to let players work the ball right or left instead of just hitting it dead straight. If you're a shot shaper, this one offers a lot of potential.

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