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Equipment

Iron Review: Callaway x-14 Irons

by John Kim

Callaway x-14 irons by John Kim - For a long time, Callaway was my least favorite iron. The heads looked so bulky, the offset was too big, there was only a single standard shaft for the clubs, (unlike the firm, regular, etc. models others carry) ….I had a zillion reasons why I would not join the Callaway bandwagon. Well now with the x-14 steelhead irons out, not only am I on the bandwagon, I am driving the dang thing.

After seeing a friend of mine rave about the x-12 series irons, I was sufficiently impressed enough to try the Callaways. They were good, but so was my old set. When these new x-14 irons came out, I decided to hit a few balls on the range with a demo 5 iron. The difference was substantial. The ball flew straighter, longer, and the club was tons more forgiving. I bit the bullet and purchased my own set. The range results were nice but nothing compared to the clubs performance on the course. I had two of my best rounds of the year in my first two rounds with these clubs. I even had a quick "tournament" round at Legacy, where I shot one over and missed one green the entire day. These clubs even made me feel a little guilty, as if I was somehow cheating by using such a great club. (okay, the ERCII driver by Callaway is cheating according to me (and the USGA) but these irons are legal and great!)

The Good: You don't have to make a perfect swing with these clubs to get the desired result. I have never hit a club that is as easy to hit as these. The offset will cure a lot of slices for higher handicappers, and yet not affect the ball flight too much for lower handicap golfers. I have always had a little draw on my shots, and these clubs do not bend the ball any further left than my old Titleist. Honestly folks, I really like these clubs!

The Bad: First of all, the price. You're not getting these clubs, new or used, for under $500. (not now anyways). Secondly, the clubs are almost too forgiving! I think you can get away with a few shots with these clubs that you could not with others…thus perhaps creating an over-reliance on the performance of the club as opposed to the mechanics of the swing. Finally, I've heard talk of "hot spots" on these clubs that may send the ball up to 10 or 15 yards further when hit flush…thus sailing your ball over the green or intended target. I have not seen this yet, but it seems to be too widespread reported for it to be unsubstantiated.

Overall: As I've said with other products, the greatest compliment I can give to a club is to put it in my bag. These are the irons I now play and anticipate playing for a long time to come. I think 90% of golfers out there would really appreciate the upgrade of their set to one of these beauts! (and NO, I'm not on their payroll.)

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