Callaway: Rogue or Rogue X irons?

By Alex Gallemore

For Callaway, 2018 is all about going Rogue. I got on well with the Rogue driver and now it’s time to see how the irons perform. The performance or ‘game improvement’ iron is a huge sector of irons sales worldwide and one that has advanced the most over recent years. Today, it’s all about high launch and low spin with tremendous distance gains. For this test it was pointless trying to see how far I could slug a 7-iron. I wanted to see how the Rogue and Rogue X performed with a reduced swing speed and strikes across the face, as, to be honest, that’s how we would normally play. Keeping the swing speed around 85mph and with the assistance of Brendan O’Leary from Golf House and TrackMan we hit the range at Arabian Ranches to see how the two stood up against each other.


The Rogue

Like most clubs of this nature the lofts are strong. The 7-iron is 30 degrees, that’s a 6-iron loft in a regular iron. So you would expect it to launch like a 6-iron but that’s not the case. The Tungsten weighting in the head has adjusted the centre of gravity and really gets the ball up into the air quickly. The offset head also saves those leaked shots both left and right of the target line. I tried to carve a few and they didn’t stray from being more than a slight fade or draw. With an 85mph swing speed I averaged a carry of 153.6 yards and a total of 162.4 yards.


The Rogue X

As the name suggests, this has a slightly larger profile and is geared for outright performance and forgiveness. The loft of the 7-iron is 27 degrees which is the strongest loft I’ve come across as a factory setting, plus it’s a quarter of an inch longer than the standard Rogue. So, as you would expect, it’s longer, but the ball still kicks high and due to the strength of the loft, the ball flight is strong. With a swing speed of 84.7mph the Rogue X carried 158.1 yards and rolled out to 168.5 yards. I know 27 degrees is really a weak 5-iron but don’t tell your friends. The flight wouldn’t suggest it’s that strong. Just say you’ve been working out at little more!


Verdict

Both pack a punch but the X, due to the larger head and containing more Urethane Microspheres behind the face, felt better off the face. You could work the ball slightly better with the Rogue but if you are a player who looks at shot-shaping, these are not for you. They are ideal ‘get out of jail card free’ performance irons. The difference between the two is down to personal preference. It was interesting when I upped the swing speed to 92mph the X was fun to hit as we were knocking on the 200-yard door. If I was sensible and ditched the ego of using a ‘players’ club and put a X100 shaft in the Rogue X, my scorecard would look a whole lot better. So I’d recommend giving them both a try before committing to buying one. There is also a Pro model in the Rogue range but I would prefer to test that against Callaway’s X Forged, as the two are better aligned for a comparison.

 

360 Face Cup and VFT – Rogue irons combine Callaway’s 360 Face Cup technology with Variable Face Thickness (VFT) technology to increase ball speed. Face Cup employs a shallow, flexible rim around the perimeter of the face that flexes and releases at impact release more energy. VFT assists in increasing speed across the face, even from mis-strike areas such as the toe and heel.
Boosting Sound and Feel – The upside of a thin clubface is faster ball speed and more distance, the downside is excessive vibration that generates an unpleasant sound and feel. Urethane can be used to dampen vibration to improve sound and feel, but it can also greatly reduce the face’s ability to flex, lowering COR and ball speed. Callaway’s elastic-urethane microspheres provide the sound and feel benefits of urethane without compromising COR or ball speed.