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Callaway Steelhead XR and Steelhead XR Pro Irons Review

It’s fair to say when I first saw these irons as a sample I couldn’t help but start to feel nostalgic. Callaway produced a number of Steelhead models in the early ‘00s and many were as great performing as they were popular. The X-12 and X-14 models were in the bags (and maybe still are in rare cases) of club golfers and tour professionals alike and it’s this design that these irons are a clear throwback to but with a modern twist.

Unlike remakes in other parts of life (I’m thinking of ‘The Italian Job’) these are a great modern reimagination that appeal to a number of golfers. Looking down on clubs the first thing you’ll notice is the midsize topline and a relatively minimal offset given that these fall under the game improvement section of the iron market which mean they are forgiving to a great extent but also suitable for the mid handicapper. The main thing I do, however, need to get across is that these are not simply a throwback but a seriously good set of golf clubs. Callaway have integrated their incredibly fast 360 Face Cup into these irons which allows the COR to move to 0.825 (the R&A limit is 0.83 for woods). Ultimately these irons are long and look great. They sound solid with a big sound which the more I coach and fit is appearing to be as popular as the buttery softer sound. The fact Callaway have also reintroduced the S2H2 hosel has also allowed an improved MOI which makes them more forgiving than the originals.

So there you have it. Long, forgiving and fantastically familiar.

As with the Steelhead X-12 and X-14, Callaway have produced a pro model to complement the range. First thing you’ll notice is the finish of these beasts. They have a black finish that is a hell of a lot duller than the Steelheads which I for one love as it reduces glare. This also gives the illusion of a narrower top edge and makes them look a little more of a player’s iron. The reduced cavity combined with strong lofts give a lower ball flight than the standard Steelhead iron which will appeal to better players. All in all, an iron with packaged forgiveness and great workability.

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