Callaway Rogue Fairway Review – As hinted in the review of the Callaway Epic fairway, one year on it is no surprise to see the Jailbreak bars appear in the Callaway Rogue fairway.
The two 3mm titanium bars connect the crown to the sole of the head to stop them separating at impact and return more energy to the ball.
Previously it was the smaller head size that meant Jailbreak did not escape into the fairways last time round, but now with lighter bars in the Callaway Rogue driver it has freed up the necessary space and weight to make it into the Rogue.
Callaway Rogue Fairway Review
The SpeedStep crown is carried over and is a smaller design than before and unless you have an above average swing speed it is probably not going to have anything more than a marginal gain in this size of head.
Hopefully given the smaller size of head and bars with the Jailbreak in the fairway that it will have a discernable benefit.
The sole still has the internal standing wave which is a line of metal on the inside that is there to bring the CG lower and in the correct position to get the ideal launch conditions.
Assisting with the weight lowering is the same Triaxial carbon crown as the Epic which is lighter than titanium and gives the head a techy look in the right lift.
At address the head shape is classic Callaway with a clean looking rounded head that is a good size to give you confidence and forgiveness.
The feel at impact was very good with a solid sound that belies the carbon in the head.
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Taking it on GC2 against the Epic and you can see the difference in the style of performance. From the grass whilst there was not much in it for distance, each club got there in two very different ways.
The Epic was higher launch with less spin, but the Rogue was lower launch with higher spin combined with a much higher ball speed and a tighter dispersion.
This makes the Rogue easier to get up in the air and therefore for more average swing speed players, the Rogue is going to be a much better option than the Epic.
There is a wide range of lofts from a 3+ at 13.5° up to an 11-wood at 25°, which is two more heads than were in the Epic range.
One of the reasons for this is that the adjustable hosel of the Epic is now a fixed hosel in the Roque so you need more heads to cover the gaps, which are generally 2° rather than the previous 3°.
This has other technical benefits in that brings weight from higher up in the club from the adjustable set up to lower down to help the forgiveness.
The fixed hosel also gives a cleaner look and usually a more solid feel so I think this is a good change and if you still need the adjustability then the Epic is still going to be available.
There is also a good choice of shafts from the lightest Aldila Quaranta at 40g, through the Aldila Synergy, Project X EvenFlow to the heaviest Project X Hzrdus at 70g, all of which are pretty good
However, if you want the Rogue, but need to drop the spin then the Sub Zero version could be an option.
Callaway Rogue Sub Zero Fairway Review
As before with the Epic there is a Sub Zero version of the Rogue fairway that has 3cc smaller head in the 3-wood, but it looks more than that.
Instead of the 2g weight screw being at the back of the sole, it is now at the front to move the CG forward which will reduce the spin.
The only other difference is that the shallower face of the Sub Zero has full width grooves instead of the smooth VFT face.
Taking the Sub Zero on GC2 against the standard version from the grass and you can see how the front weight drops the spin by around 400 rpm for me, but the distance was pretty similar. My driver swing speed is just over 100 mph so at this level I am probably able to use either model if I get the right loft and shaft.
The Sub Zero Rogue fairway is only available in 3 lofts of 13.5°, 15° and 18° so as you can see this is going to be that driving fairway that high speed better players will go for and off the tee it certainly gave good distance.
That lower spinning Sub Zero head with the higher launch really comes into its own from the tee and beats the standard Rogue as both models gain on the Epic in this scenario.
Overall it was again a lovely sounding and feeling fairway and probably has a wider appeal up the handicap range than the Epic Sub Zero fairway, provided you have the swing speed.
Overall it is good to see the Jailbreak technology make it into a fairway as it provides an alternative solution to faster faces to the slots and channels that have been favoured by most other manufacturers.
The fixed hosel and other weight saving changes have helped make this a more forgiving and easy to hit fairway than the Epic, which didn’t really set the heart racing and was harder work than the easier to hit XR 16 fairway.
The elephant in the room here is the TaylorMade M4 fairway which can hold its own for distance and has a slight price advantage so the Rogue is going to have to win minds as well as hearts to be successful.
However the Callaway Rogue fairway delivers well in all areas with good distance and therefore the stage is set for a real epic power battle of the fairway woods this year.
Reviewed By Martin Hopley – Golfalot.com