Callaway X fairway woods have been out for a few years and they're not
being made anymore. But that doesn't mean they're not worth considering
if you're looking for new woods. These are high quality clubs made by
Callaway Golf, but because their design isn't the "latest and greatest,"
they can be picked up pretty cheaply. Discontinued doesn't necessarily
mean old and cold, at least not in the case of these fairway woods!
When they were first launched, they were an "Editor's Choice" on the Golf Digest Hot List. I decided to see if I could test at least one of them and then post a review here - I know some of our readers are looking for good clubs that are a few years old and can be purchased inexpensively.
After looking around, I found a Callaway X 15-degree 3-wood for sale locally. Although used, it was in like-new condition and I only paid $65. I've also seen brand new Callaway X fairway woods selling on ebay for less than $50. Mine came with a regular flex Fujikura graphite shaft, but they were also made with light (senior) and stiff graphite shafts as well as a Uniflex True Temper® steel shaft. Right-handed models included the 3-, 4-, 5-, 7- and 9-woods; 3-, 5- and 7-wood models were made for left-handed players. Having this many choices means if you decide you want some of your own, you'll probably be able to find the loft you want.
The X fairway woods by Callaway have a three-piece stainless steel head with an "X-Sole" that the company claims improves turf interaction off virtually any lie. Callaway also says the X-Sole helps square the face when the club comes into contact with the ground. In addition to the X-Sole, they incorporate Callaway's proven VFT (Variable Face Thickness technology), S2H2 design and signature Tru-Bore construction (the shaft extends through the hosel and club head all the way to the sole) to promote stability, control, forgiveness, and increased ball velocities for more distance and accuracy. The enhanced perimeter weighting of these clubs means they also have a high Moment of Inertia to resist twisting and increase forgiveness. Their internal weighting is intended to promote the optimum trajectory.
Okay, enough of the boring technical stuff. Let's see what happened when I took my 3-wood onto the course!
Based on the performance of my club, I rate these fairway woods as very solid, easy to hit, highly playable clubs on an overall basis. The X-Sole seemed to do what Callaway intended: I liked the way the club squared up at address, and hitting out of the spinach was easier than with many other fairway woods I've tested. Hitting off the fairway was a breeze, and hitting off the tee was a joy. In fact, off the tee it went almost as far as my driver, which is something all of us should remember. As a general rule, 3-woods are more accurate than drivers because their shafts are shorter and easier to control. So, if you're on the tee and the fairway is tight or has trouble on both sides, consider hitting your 3-wood instead of your driver. You might lose a few yards but this strategy could save you strokes.
When I made good contact the ball had a medium trajectory without any ballooning. Carry, roll and accuracy were all impressive for an older club.
Callaway X fairway woods also seem forgiving. When I missed the sweet spot, the distance loss just wasn't all that bad. Some people say they can work Callaway X fairway woods, but my 3-wood went dead straight.
At one time several Tour pros were playing Callaway X fairway woods, so you know their performance was up to the demands of highly skilled players. But, they're so forgiving that I don't think you need a low handicap to be able to play well with Callaway X fairway woods. These clubs are versatile and could be effective weapons for average amateurs just like they were for the pros.
The Bottom Line: If you want woods that have been made by a world-class club manufacturer but you don't want moveable weights, exotic shafts or composite heads, Callaway X fairway woods may be just what you're looking for. Even though they're a few years old, they incorporate many of the "core technologies" Callaway is still using today. Their quality and price make them a great value for golfers of all abilities.