Ready to start converting those massive drives to birdies?
You have to find an iron game to compliment that big driver in your bag. That all starts with finding irons that are capable of getting the job done.
In our review of the Callaway Rogue Irons, we have found a set of irons ready for the task.
Since introducing the golf world to the oversized 190 cc head of the Big Bertha in 1991, and then the even larger 290 cc in 1997, Callaway has strived to help players, on every level, improve their scores, and pursue their passion for the game of golf.
Callaway continues their efforts for 2018 with the release of the Rogue line which includes the standard Rogue Irons, Rogue Pro Irons, and Rogue X Irons.
While the three share the same name, and many of the same features, each set has a distinct personality and will appeal to a distinct level of player.
Callaway Rogue Irons Review
For distance, Rogue designers employed “Face Cup” and VFT technologies. Face Cup refers to a shallow and flexible rim around the edge of the face.
Callaway claims that VFT improves ball speed even on off-center hits and helps with overall forgiveness as well.
Bottom line, these irons are longer than most in the game improvement category.
Callaway uses “Tungsten Weighting” for exceptional forgiveness on the Rogue irons. The use of tungsten allows them to precisely place a Center of Gravity weight in each of the long irons.
No other iron in the game improvement class is more forgiving than the Rogues.
For the most part, all three of the Rogue iron models have a similar look. Which is basically the same look Callaway has used on "non-blade" irons for a long time. Overall, this is a decent looking iron but it will not be winning a beauty contest against a set of blades.
Callaway promotes 3 big new features for the Rogue Irons:
1. 360 Face Cup and VFT – The combination of Callaway’s “360 Face Cup technology” with “Variable Face Thickness” (VFT) technology expands the area of the clubface that’s able to deliver fast ball speed.
Face Cup uses a flexible and shallow rim around the edge of the face. This allows the face to flex and releases on impact and increases ball speed.
Variable Face Thickness also affects how the face flexes. VFT makes the clubface more forgiving and creates good ball speed even on off-center hits. Together, they add up to improved forgiveness and more distance.
2. Tungsten Weighting – According to Callaway, Tungsten Weighting allows them to precisely place a Center of Gravity weight in each of the long irons.
Twice as dense as steel, the tungsten concentrates a considerable amount of weight into a small and intricately shaped space. This design promotes optimum launch angles and better control for each club.
3. Urethane Microspheres for Phenomenal Sound and Feel - While a thin clubface increases ball speed and distance, it also leads to excessive vibration which usually means unpleasant sound and feel on contact.
Some manufacturers use Urethane to dampen vibration but, Urethane can also substantially reduce the club face’s ability to flex, which decreases ball speed and distance.
To get around that problem, Callaway uses a badge made of what they call “elastic-urethane microspheres.” It provides the “sound and feel” benefits of a traditional urethane badge but, without compromising distance or forgiveness.
Callaway Rogue Pro Irons Review
This is the strongest asset this iron has. For a player's iron, these have the distance of game improvement irons.
The Pro version looks more compact than the standard and X versions, thanks to a thinner topline and a shallower cavity. These definitely have the smallest heads of all the Rogue Iron models.
However, these have a phenomenal amount of forgiveness for a player's iron. Again, these irons have a lot of game improvement characteristics.
You're a grown up, you understand that everything in life is about tradeoffs. Since these irons have some features of game improvement irons, you will pay for that in the workability department. These clubs are workable, but just not like other irons in the better player's irons classification.
The Rogue Pro irons feature the same technology as the standard Rogue Irons; 360 Face Cup and VFT, Tungsten Weighting, and Urethane Microspheres.
In addition to those, the Pro Irons have a little extra:
The Rogue Pro Performance Package – A little more of a redesign than just a key feature, the Rogue Pro Irons have a more compact head, a thinner sole, a thinner topline, a shallower cavity, and less offset than the standard Rogue Irons.
These design changes increase workability, trajectory control, and feedback on impact. The Rogue Pro Irons also have slightly weaker lofts than the Rogue Standard Irons.
Callaway Rogue X Irons Review
These are designed for maximum distance. As promised, the six iron “X” model added about five yards to the already long Rogue standard.
For the Rogue X, the larger club head made good-contact easy, and the deeper CG weight location worked to provide good launch angles, despite the stronger lofts.
The downside is that longer shafts do make these a little harder to hit for some players.
Because of the strengthened lofts on the X line, the cavity starts to peak out one club sooner than the standard and pro lines.
What sets the X apart is:
Radical Distance Tech Package – To increase distance, Callaway took the Rouge Standard Irons and added longer shafts, lowered the weight, and strengthened the lofts.
They also widened the sole and placed the center-of-gravity low and deep to compensate for the decrease in the loft.
According to Callaway, this created a set of irons that launch high and easy, with plenty of carry.
How do the Rogue Irons compare to Other Callaway Irons?
The natural comparison would be to their other game improvement irons the Great Big Bertha and Epic lines. All three use Face Cup Technology and tungsten weighting for improved forgiveness and launch.
For the Rogues though, Callaway replaced the Exo-Cage - featured on the GBBs and Epics - with Variable Face Technology. The Big Berthas also use a progressive center of gravity that Callaway claims improves control, especially in the longer irons.
For the most part, though, the Rogues match up well with both the Epics and Big Berthas in the two categories that buyer’s care most about – performance and price.
How to the Rogue Irons perform against other Irons on the market?
With so many similar game improvement irons out there, buyers often have a hard time deciding not only who makes the best clubs but also, who makes the best clubs for them.
When it comes to distance, forgiveness, and ball flight, the Rogue, and Rogue X, match up well against the TaylorMade M4s and M3s respectively.
Ping also makes one of the best game improvement lines out there, the Ping G series. Along with their face-flex and sound dampening technologies, Ping offers a standard game improvement model (the G400), and a super game improvement model (the G700).
Titleist jumps into the ring with three offerings that give the Rogue, Rogue Pro, and Rogue X a run for their money – the Titleist AP1, the AP2, and the AP3.
Cobra introduced an interesting concept in their King F8 line, “One length” shafts (the length of every club shaft matches the length of a seven iron). The Cobra King F8 Irons should be considered comparable to the standard Rogue in the game improvement category.
The different Rogue Models are excellent irons for many different skill levels. The standard Rogue model is our choice for best game improvement iron of the year.
To see where the other Rogue models stack up, head over to our review of the best irons of 2018.
If you are a beginning golfer or high handicapper it would be worth your time to read our guide to the best irons for beginners and high handicappers.
Which version of the Rogue Irons Work Best for Me?
Of the three models, the Rogue irons offer mid to high handicappers, and occasional players, the best combination of distance, forgiveness and feel.
The “Pro” in the Rogue Pro Irons pretty much says it all. Callaway designed these clubs for better players that can genuinely work the ball and don’t require any help in getting where they're going.
The longer shafts and stronger lofts of the Rogue X Irons work best for golfers with low to mid swing speeds who need more distance.
The Bottom Line
Once again Callaway proved that they not only know how to make great clubs but, they know who to make great clubs for.
Almost every level of golfer will appreciate the Rogue –a game improvement iron that looks and swings more like a players club. Anyone, using clubs more than just a few years old, will see a considerable boost in distance, feel, and forgiveness, over their current set, with the standard Rogues.
Professional golfers, under the Callaway label, will enjoy the playability, exceptional distance, and forgiveness of the Rogue Pro – a tour-level iron with game improvement features.
With the Rogue X, Callaway created a club for the golfer looking for extreme distance. While these clubs may not offer as much feel as the standard Rogue, many of you will happily take that tradeoff for the extra distance.
Overall, The Rogue, Rogue Pro, and Rogue X offer exceptional performance at a great price, and the Callaway name to boot.