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Equipment Review Callaway Rogue Hybrid.

The driver is the most technologically gifted golf club made today. Ultra-precise CG placement, variable face thickness, adjustable hosels, graphite shafts all got their start in drivers and tricked down to the rest of the clubs in the bag.

Callaway's tech star these last two years has been Jailbreak-two titanium rods placed behind the clubface. The rods tied the crown and the sole together to help keep the clubhead's integrity during the strike to return more energy to the golf ball than conventionally designed drivers. Golfers were impressed by the added ballspeed and distance it provided when combined with the company's face cup design.

It was introduced in the Epic drivers of last year and it was a runaway hit in the Epic driver and with the 2018 Rogue line, the fairway woods and hybrids now employ Jailbreak also. The challenge of applying jailbreak to smaller clubheads is weight management and CG location. The two bars, although light enough, do move some weight close to the clubface; not ideal for someone who has difficulty getting the ball airborne.

To get around this problem, the Rogue hybrid does away with the adjustable hosel that was found on its predecessor, the Epic hybrid. This could compromise fitting the club into your bag if the lofts aren't ideal relative to your irons and fairway woods. But for many, this won't be a problem.

The standard Rogue hybrid is aimed at players of all types, not only features the aforementioned distance and launch enhancing technologies, it's also built with an extremely thin Carpenter 455 steel face that flexes more across the entire face for enhanced forgiveness on off center hits. In addition, an Internal Standing Wave design locates the CG lower and forward in the clubhead for less spin, faster ballspeed, and even more distance. Available in 17 , 19, 21 , 24, 27 lofts, the Rogue comes standard with Aldila Synergy graphite shafts.

Also available are the Rogue X hybrids, which are aimed at players seeking the ultimate in distance and forgiveness. Combining all the same design features and technologies as the standard Rogue, the X hybrids also have a larger clubheads, lighter overall weights, and stronger lofts, making them the longest and most aggressive hybrids Callaway has ever produced. And for those who think the stronger lofts might yield lower launch and flight, an ultra-low CG location ensures just the opposite. Rogue X hybrids are available in 18, 20, 23 , 26, 29, 32 lofts and come standard with Aldila Synergy graphite shafts.

The jury is still out on the concept of an ultimate hybrid that hits the ball as far as possible. Hybrids bridge the yardage gap between your longest iron and shortest fairway wood. But that might be the ideal solution for distance challenged golfers.

At address, the Rogue hybrid sets up more like an iron than a fairway wood. For many this is a good thing. Most golfers hit their irons more consistently than their fairway woods anyway. The relatively high toe mimics the face of an iron. The offset while noticeable, isn't excessive and is functional. If you like to hit down on the golf ball with your irons, you'll be able to do the same with the Rogue. The height of the toe seems to have pushed more weight to that side of the clubface. The Rogue doesn't share the tendency that many hybrids have favoring the left side of the golf course. That turns into a hook for some golfers, so a straighter trajectory is a Godsend.

The Rogue will pretty much do what you ask of it. Draws and fades are there, if you have the capability. It's very easy to hit and its natural trajectory is on the high side. It plays wonderfully out of the junk; a huge benefit that will save strokes if you get into trouble from off the tee and on longer par 3s.

The Synergy shaft by Aldila is weighted progressively from 69-75-grams through its flex range. It's a solid shaft and flexes progressively through the flexes, making it the ideal shaft for a broad population of golfers.

All told, Callaway has another winner in the Rogue hybrid. It ticks all the boxes; it's good looking, has cool tech and flat out works. It fits a huge population of golfers. The one minus is the lack of an adjustable hosel, but when the club is so effective, that should be easily overlooked.

The Callaway Rogue hybrid is available at all three Transview concept stores; Podium, Solaire and the proshop at Wack Wack Golf and Country Club. It'll make a great stocking stuffer for the golfer in your family this Christmas.
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Publication:Business Mirror (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Dec 15, 2018
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