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cksurfdude

UN-official Forum Member Mini-Review - Callaway Steelhead XR irons.

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Brief mini-review on my impressions hitting the (2017) Steelhead XR at a Callaway demo day.

 

Background:

I am solidly in the GI category; eg. a mid-/high-handicapper .. some good shots but then some mental lapses, tension/jitters, whatever .. but making incremental progress over time in producing more solid shots on-target coupled with more manageable misses.

 

Current irons:

2016 Cobra King F6 with FST steel shafts (regular). Prior to these I had Taylormade R9s with graphite shafts.

 

Story:

Earlier this year I did see a fitter who recommended changing the shafts to Recoil 460 ES. The 5 in my bag was a Ping G Crossover (5/24*) which was ok, but was not all that crazy about. I ordered a Cobra King OS 5i with a 460 ES in it as a replacement and am very (very!) happy with that choice - and definitely liking the lighter shaft and the, well, "recoil" ;-) feel of the Recoil. So now I'm ready to either change out the rest of the iron shafts or buy a new set of irons with Recoils in them.

 

 

Testing Impressions on the range.

Club tested was a 7i with the stock graphite Matrix Ozik Program 15; Recoils were N/A at this demo day. They were able to give me a shorter shaft and flatten the lie to match my current 7i. We were hitting range balls off of a good quality mat with a "rough" strip so could hit from that or the "fairway" lie.

 

I hit three balls with the Steelhead XR then with my F6; then hit three each off the "rough" strip; then flipped back-and-forth for a while so I felt like hit a number of shots, from each lie, with each club.

 

Results are eyeball observations only; no LM.

 

* Performance: 10

No kidding - first, and every, shot .. except for the ones I outright hacked .. flew high and straight. Easy, smooth launch. Very nice! Felt liked the clubhead really worked to help straighten out mis-hits.

 

* Looks - 6.25 (average of 5 + 7.5)

Can't decide whether these are ugly or "cool", so kinda 50-50 there. BUT.. as far as head shape, size, topline and offset these are appealing - on a GI scale - so better score there.

 

* Sound - 2.5

Yeah, maybe it was the range balls but there was a bit of a high, 'tinny' sound .. even on solid contact.....

 

* Feel: 7.5

Reasonably solid, but not "like, totally awesome, dude!". Maybe it was the sound that put me off a bit, but on the plus side like I said solid hits felt solid; off-center hits did give some feedback and still flew reasonably well.

 

* Overall Impression:

Based on the (range) performance alone, I would buy a set ... and very well may ... though with the Recoil 460 ES for a bit higher launch and presumably bit higher spin (the weights of that and the Program F15 are almost the same).

 

* Additional Testing Note:

Also grabbed a 2016 XR to compare - in every aspect outlined I felt the new Steelhead was better.

 

And, unrelated but as an aside - the demo reps were polite and helpful when asked, but .. probably needless to say .. all their time and attention went to the young studs smashing the Epic driver... :-)

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Good review! I know it's really tough to judge the sound and feel with range balls. That's why when I test clubs indoors at golf stores, I always grab one of gamer balls out of the bag so I'll know how the club really feels. You can't beat high and straight though. 

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Good review! I know it's really tough to judge the sound and feel with range balls. That's why when I test clubs indoors at golf stores, I always grab one of gamer balls out of the bag so I'll know how the club really feels. You can't beat high and straight though.

Thanks! And yeah .. didn't need an LM to tell me more shots we're better

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Got any pictures to go along?

Nice write up btw.

Oops - didn't even think of snapping pics at the time ... wasn't thinking of writing a review going in; later when I got home it popped into my head. Well, it was a gray, slightly drizzly (non-photogenic) day anyway.....

 

And thanks!!

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So... After an irons fitting this afternoon I've ended up with a mixed set of Cobras -- 5-8 are King OS and 9-PW are the King F6.

 

I already had the OS 5i and King F6 6i-PW so we're re-using the 5, 9 and PW heads. Shafts for all are Recoil 807 F3 (Pure'ed, 'standard' length and lie) and grips are GP CP2 Wrap.

 

Did test the Steelhead XR, amongst others, on the Recoil 807 shaft and even tho I was hitting them all pretty lousy indoors the Smash Factor on the King OS stood out for me.

 

---

*Update:

Had an email exchange with the fitter the next morning and I decided (that he was right, of course) so we're going with the new heads all the way through, including 9i and PW.

---

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