By Alex Gallemore
2017 was the year of the Callaway Epic driver. It’s ‘Jailbreak’ technology was an ‘epic’ step forward in head performance and it quickly became the hottest selling driver on the market. But how do you make something even more epic?
Well, Callaway haven’t reinvented the wheel with their latest Rogue model, but rather tweaked their winning formula. Slightly enhanced aerodynamics paired with evolved ‘Jailbreak’ bars means the Rogue is going to take no prisoners in 2018. Using the same stock shaft and loft setting, we put the Epic up against the Rogue on the TrackMan with Brenden O’Leary from GolfHouse to find out if the changes make a real difference.
Alex: The new Rogue driver certainly delivers a punch, what did you make of the numbers from the Trackman?
Brendan: When you were catching the miss-strikes off the heel and toe, the spin rate never went below 2000rpm and never went above 2700, which is what we want to see as it’s keeping the ball in the air and on line.
Alex: What surprised me was that my swing speed was up. I managed to get one up to 112mph and I was around 108-109 consistently, which is top end for me.
Brendan: Your swing was very consistent. When we changed clubs from the Epic to the Rogue the swing speed dropped slightly, so the balance in the clubs seems to suit you.
Alex: The first thing I found out with the Rogue is that I can’t spin it over 3000rpm, why is this?
Brendan: What Callaway have done is they have improved on last year’s ‘Jailbreak’ technology. They’ve basically made the club lighter by taking 25% of the weight away. They’ve done this by changing the cylindrical shape into an hourglass shape which has improved the stiffness in the face and reduce spin.
Alex: This club is really going to appeal to amateurs as I sprayed it all over the face and my spin didn’t deviate greatly. I hit a shocker yet still carried it 250 yards.
Brendan: It’s certainly going to be a big plus-point for amateurs. Callaway have combined the ‘Jailbreak’ technology that they used in the Epic last year and taken some technology from other drivers they’ve previously used, such as the Fusion, to give that ultimate forgiveness. By combining power and forgiveness it gives the golfer lower spin and more carry – the perfect combination for overall distance.
The Rogue comes in three heads. I opted for the Sub Zero as I need help to reduce my spin rate and it certainly delivered. The most encouarging finding was the standard head also matched the Sub Zero for increased swing speed. I was picking up on average 3 mph over the Epic in swing speed and ball speed was up to 162mph, compared with 158mph from the Epic. The Epic delivered my highest ball and swing speed over any other driver in 2017, so to find that bit more with the Rogue was a surpise, as I’m not getting any younger or fitter! For those who struggle with a slice the Rogue head is available with a draw bias. With Aldila Synergy, Project X EvenFlow and HZRDUS Yellow shafts as stock options, expect to pick up some strong yardage gains, regardless of your swing speed.
WWG: You’re not known for hitting the driver too often but will you be tempted to use the Rogue and why?
Stenson: The Rogue Driver is already in my bag. I liked it the first time i tried it so it moved in straight away.
WWG: Several golfers have launched their own apparel line but not many have created an eyewear line – why did you want to create Henrik Stenson EyeWear glasses?
Stenson: I just felt that it was a natural thing for me to do. I have always been known for wearing glasses on the course, and the performance glasses I wear are understandably called- Iceman. I have played with sunglasses my whole career and I believe it’s very important to protect your eyes from the sun and it’s harmful rays. I am also sensitive to light, so the glasses help my eyes to retain their energy while playing. My eyewear is an essential part of my performance on the golf course. I am closely involved in the choice of materials,lens development and frame design and I know what’s required for protection and performance.
“Happy 200th edition to Worldwide Golf! Thanks for having me back on the cover for this special edition. Here’s to 200 more.”