Callaway Rogue Irons Review - Technical Editor Joel Tadman tests the new Callaway Rogue, Rogue Pro and Rogue X irons on the GC2 and delivers his verdict
The Rogue family is a new addition to what is a comprehensive iron range from Callaway in 2018 so we were keen to find out exactly where they all fitted in.
Limited samples were available, so we tested stock stiff shafted Rogue and Rogue Pro 6-iron (26˚ and 27˚ loft respectively) and the Rogue X 5-iron (21˚) at Foresight Sports HQ to gather data, as well as on the range at West Hill Golf Club to observe ball flight as well as sound and feel.
The lofting and general size of the Rogue iron suggests it is designed to offer distance and forgiveness to the mid-to-high handicapper and it certainly delivers on that.
It has a large profile at address with plenty of meat behind the ball without looking chunky, while the double white score lines at the bottom of the face assist with alignment.
This contrasts sharply with the Rogue Pro, which has a much lighter finish and is subtancially more compact in size and traditional in overall appearance, appealing to more competent ball strikers.
The Rogue X is the largest of the three irons we tested, in face the sole was so wide on the 5-iron that it was visible behind the topline at address. This is no bad thing, as it offers a performance benefit we’ll come on to later.
As expected, the Rogue produced more ball speed than the Pro model and carry distance to go with it, but it was interesting to see that the Pro model launched and flew lower than the standard model and spun less, despite its weaker lofts.
This suggests that the weight positioned low and back in the construction of Rogue assists with dynamic lofting and getting the ball up in the air easily, whereas the Pro produces a more penetrating flight preferred by better players.
The Rogue X is an out and out distance machine, our average carry with the 5-iron was a whopping 215 yards. With those lofts and longer shaft lengths, it was always going to be, but interestingly the launch angle was pretty high, perhaps partly down to that wide sole we talked about earlier, which also helps with forgiveness through the turf.
The feel and sound of these irons was good. The Rogue and Rogue X were powerful and explosive, and perhaps not as loud as distance irons from a few years ago, but were certainly louder than the Rogue Pro, which as a more subtle sensation at impact.
So other than the distance, who are they aimed at? Well, the standard Rogue irons are still built for maximum distance and forgiveness. There’s a hint of workability there, but those who like to shape the ball will gravitate towards the Rogue Pro. This iron is our favourite of the three in that it has a more classic look to it while still appearing to be forgiving, the distance is easier to manage, they were very consistent and the sound and feel is the best of the three too – soft with a hint of power with precision.
Rogue X feels like a rocket. I could genuinely see the 4-iron or even 5-iron going in the bag instead of my hybrid because of how fast and forgiving it is. For those who lack speed, or simply want to hit their irons further, the Rogue X is the obvious choice, although much of this comes down to having the strongest lofts on the market.
The Rogue iron range is long, forgiving and has enought different between the models to cater for different player types. Rogue X produces extremely long carries, Rogue Pro delivers more controlled, shorter distances with a soft feel and the standard Rogue sits somewhere in the middle. They're all very user-friendly and will be enjoyed by club golfers who would welcome a few extra yards on their iron shots.