Callaway Steelhead XR Irons Review

Callaway Steelhead XR Irons

Get an inside look at design and features of the Callaway Steelhead XR irons. Learn how this revamped take on the classic club will help you hit better shots.

Editorial Score:
Based on 5 categories.

Callaway Steelhead XR Irons

The Callaway Steelhead XR irons provide a strong performance for golfers looking for forgiveness and distance. The clubs are especially suitable for players with slower swing speeds, providing the necessary support for better results. The irons offer a solid upgrade for golfers looking to improve their game.

Callaway Steelhead XR Irons
Distance 9
Forgiveness 10
Playability 8
Looks 8
Sound & Feel 7


  • Excellent forgiveness
  • Higher launch
  • Long carry distance
  • Easy to hit for those slower swing speeds


  • Some may not like the feel at impact
  • Tends to scuff

I. Is the Callaway Steelhead XR Irons worth it?

The Callaway Steelhead XR irons are designed to provide added distance and forgiveness for players seeking high-performance game improvement irons. 

Steelhead XR long irons offer an easy and high launch, while the shorter irons offer a lower launch with a high spin. Overall, the Callaway Steelhead XR irons are worth considering for golfers looking for added distance and forgiveness in their game improvement irons.

II. My experience review with Callaway Steelhead XR Irons

I took the Callaway Steelhead XR irons out for a spin to test them thoroughly. The first thing that caught my eye was the mid-sized width of the club head and the long head, which ain’t usually my cup of tea. But, I thought I’d give them a whirl anyway.

Let me tell you, these Steelhead XR irons are mighty forgiving. They got the mojo to produce some downright straight shots that stay locked on target, even when you don’t quite catch them square.

It’s a sight to behold, especially when you’re swinging a bit off-center. These irons still deliver some solid accuracy and distance.

Callaway Steelhead XR Irons Head

Now, during my test drive, these clubs consistently outperformed my previous set. They really know how to crank out some extra yardage, especially when you’re looking to reach those long shots. 

All in all, I reckon the Callaway Steelhead XR irons are a reliable choice for golfers who want forgiveness and distance in their game.

Test stats

ParameterTest Stats 
Ball speed127 mph
Launch angle18.2 degrees 
Back spin4072 rpm
Side angle 0.7 degrees 
Peak height37 yards 
Carry distance193 yards 

To further note down the stats of Callaway Steelhead XR irons, I tested them in a simulator room with a launch monitor. 

My ball speed averaged 127 mph, which was consistent with my usual swing speed, and the launch angle of 18.2 degrees helped me achieve a high, towering ball flight. 

One thing that stood out to me was the low amount of side angle at only 0.7 degrees. This indicated that the clubs were very forgiving on off-center hits, which was confirmed by the carry distance of 193 yards and a peak height of 37 yards. The ball stayed in line and carried a respectable distance, even on slight mishits.

The backspin rate of 4072 rpm was a bit higher than I was used to, but it did help the ball hold its line in the air and stop quickly on the green.

I was able to hit a variety of shots with relative ease and would recommend them to any golfer looking to improve their game. It is worth noting that these clubs may be particularly suitable for those with slower swing speeds.

III. In terms of performance factors

If you’re in the market for a golf club, it’s important to prioritize performance factors like distance, forgiveness, and playability. To help you make an informed decision, here’s a rundown of the test results highlighting the key performance factors to consider.

1. Distance (Score – 9/10) 

The Steelhead XR irons are one of the longest irons I’ve tested. The carry distance is particularly noteworthy, providing greater control on greens by allowing for a higher ball trajectory and softer landing

I also found that these irons consistently deliver predictable distances, even on mishits, with only a slight loss in ball speed.

2. Forgiveness (Score – 10/10) 

The Steelhead XR irons are known as one of the most forgiving irons. Compared to the previous year’s XR iron, the sweet spot is slightly larger, providing more support for golfers who may experience mis-hits.

During testing, my mis-hits only deviated a few yards from my intended target, thanks to the offset design of the club. Overall, the Steelhead XR irons offer a forgiving option for golfers looking for extra assistance on the course.

3. Playability (Score – 8/10) 

The Steelhead XR irons are ideal for higher handicappers, as they are very forgiving towards slower swingers and make it easy to get out of trouble lies. They easily handle fairway bunkers, and light rough and are also relatively easy to hit straight from heavier rough.

However, the trade-off is a reduction in workability, which means shot shaping requires more effort to achieve the desired results. Nonetheless, with practice, golfers can manage to work with these irons.

4. Look (Score – 8/10) 

I found that the Callaway Steelhead XR iron has a functional design with a standard offset, making it a good game-improvement club.

Callaway Steelhead XR Irons Clubhead

The cavity badge design is typical of Callaway, with minimal use of bright colors and branding, and the Steelhead logo has a cool holographic sheen that adds a touch of fun to the design. 

5. Sound and feel (Score – 7/10) 

The Steelhead XR irons sound and feel the same all over the face, except where the ball hits the toe or heel. This is probably because the face is hollow, and there is a layer of polyurethane with steel that dampens vibrations. 

When you hit the center, the sound is crisp and explosive, but severe mis-hits feel hollow and disturbing.

However, unless the contact is truly terrible, players should be content with the sound and feel of their shots. It’s worth noting that there’s limited feedback, making it challenging to assess the quality of the shot without observing the ball’s flight.

IV. Features and benefits of Steelhead XR Irons

The Callaway Steelhead XR Irons boasts a range of features designed to improve performance for golfers of all skill levels. Let’s take a closer look at how incorporating these features can make a difference in this Callaway iron model.

1. Face Cup Technology

The Steelhead XR irons incorporate Callaway’s advanced 360 Face Cup technology, which is known for its ability to boost ball speed and distance by broadening the clubface’s sweet spot.

Callaway Steelhead XR Irons Face

This feature is a signature of Callaway clubs and is key to the Steelhead XR irons’ design.

2. Steel-Infused Polyurethane Layer

The Steelhead XR irons have a steel-infused polyurethane layer that dampens vibrations and noise while providing feedback to the player. This feature has helped me improve my accuracy and maintain better control over the ball. The bar of steel-infused soft urethane behind the lower face adds weight, leading to a lower CG and faster ball speed on lower-face impacts.

3. Hollow Bore Thru Hosel Design

The Steelhead XR Irons also feature a hollow bore-thru hosel design that reduces significant weight in steelhead irons, allowing it to be redistributed strategically throughout the head. This results in improved forgiveness and a more effortless launch.

4. Progressive Center Gravity Positioning

The Steelhead XR Irons are designed with a strategically-positioned center of gravity (CG) to achieve different launch and spin characteristics across the set. This leads to

  • Easy launch and long carry in the long irons
  • Easy launch and control in the middle irons
  • Lower launch and higher spin in the short irons.

5. Stock information

The Callaway Steelhead XR irons are available with two stock shaft options: the True Temper XP 95 Stepless in steel and the Matrix F15 in graphite. Both options are available in men’s and women’s Steelhead XR irons. The swing weight of the men’s Steelhead XR irons ranges from D0 to D2, while the swing weight of the women’s Steelhead XR irons ranges between C2 to C3. 

V. Alternatives

While Callaway Steelhead  XR Irons are a good choice, they aren’t the only option. If you want to try other game-improvement irons, here are some alternatives to consider:

1. Callaway Rogue Irons ST Max

Another alternative to the Callaway Steelhead XR irons is the Callaway Rogue ST Max irons. These irons are part of Callaway’s super game improvement lineup, designed for golfers who need maximum forgiveness and distance. 

With a larger clubhead and deeper cavity, these irons offer a high launch and great forgiveness on off-center hits.

The Rogue ST Max irons also feature Callaway’s Jailbreak technology, which helps transfer more energy to the ball on impact for increased ball speed and distance.

2. TaylorMade P790 Irons

The TaylorMade P790 irons also feature a patented SpeedFoam technology that enhances the sound, feel, and feedback on each shot, ensuring that players get the necessary feedback to improve their game. 

The hollow body construction combined with tungsten weighting in the sole lowers the center of gravity and increases launch angle, providing greater control and precision. Overall, the TaylorMade P790 irons are a top-tier alternative to the Callaway Steelhead XR irons.

3. PING g425 Irons

The PING G425 irons are a great alternative to the Callaway Steelhead XR irons, particularly for golfers who value forgiveness and consistency. 

Additionally, the PING G425 irons offer a softer feel at impact thanks to their elastomer insert, which helps absorb vibrations and enhances feel and feedback. 

Overall, the PING G425 irons are a great choice for golfers looking to improve their game with a set of forgiving, versatile, and customizable irons that deliver consistent performance on every shot.

My Take

The Callaway Steelhead XR Irons offer golfers of all skill levels the finest combination of power, forgiveness, and versatility. With its hollow bore-thru hosel design and progressive center gravity positioning, the Steelhead XR irons offer a higher launch for longer carry and greater control and precision.

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