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In this review, I’ll be taking a look at the Callaway Rogue driver.
The Rogue uses Callaway’s latest club technologies such as Jailbreak and is claimed to deliver exceptional distance and forgiveness.
Is the Rogue driver a worthy successor to the Epic and previous Callaway offerings? Is it worth its price tag? What are its strengths and weaknesses?
Read on to find out what you need to know to make an informed purchase.
Note: Unless otherwise stated, stock shafts and stock grips are used when evaluating this club. In most cases, the golf clubs reviewed on Golfstead are acquired temporarily for testing purposes and are not purchased. The review that follows is based on the personal experience and research of the author. Because everyone’s swing and body are different, results with a particular club may differ from person to person.
What are the reviews like?
The Rogue driver has been received exceptionally well by both consumers and critics. In fact, it was a gold medal winner on the 2018 Golf Digest Hot List.
It currently has an average rating of 4.7/5 (91% recommended) on the official Callaway website, which, considering the number of reviews, is pretty impressive.
What People Like
- amazing forgiveness
- really great ball speeds and distance
- draw version helps to counteract slicing
- solid feel
What People Don’t Like
- a little pricey
- lacks adjustability in terms of a sliding weight
What are the features?
Jailbreak Technology & X-Face VFT
The Rogue driver features Jailbreak technology. This is essentially a series of hourglass-shaped titanium bars (now 25% lighter) that create a strong vertical connection between the crown and the sole.
This has the effect of stiffening the crown and sole, allowing the face to take on more impact load, producing faster ball speeds.
This works in tandem with X-Face Variable Face Thickness (VFT) architecture, which affects how the face flexes and increases ball speeds across a wide area of the face.
Jailbreak and VFT work together to produce unprecedented ball speeds and distance.
Triaxial Carbon Crown
Callaway uses their proprietary triaxial carbon composite material, which is extremely light and strong, to save a significant amount of weight.
The triaxial carbon crown is the largest of all models preceding the Rogue.
This saved weight has been redistributed into the perimeter of the head, increasing MOI (moment of inertia) substantially. A higher MOI helps the clubhead to resist twisting on off-center hits, preserving distance and direction (and hence increasing forgiveness).
Boeing Aero Package
Previous Callaway metalwoods featured the Speed Step technology, which Callaway worked with Boeing to develop.
With the Rogue, Callaway and Boeing worked together to redefine the geometry of the leading edge, resulting in improved airflow and faster clubhead speed.
The Rogue driver is available in 9°, 10.5°, and 13.5° standard lofts at 460 CC. Also available is the women’s Rogue driver at 10.5° and 13.5° standard lofts.
Every Rogue driver comes with an Optifit hosel that allows you to adjust loft and lie. The loft settings are -1, +1, 0 and +2. The lie settings are N (neutral) and D (draw), giving a total of 8 possible configurations.
To adjust the driver, just loosen the screw until the head comes off the hosel, adjust the settings, and screw the head back on.
You can choose from several premium aftermarket graphite shafts including Aldila Quaranta 40, Aldila Synergy 50/60, and Project X EvenFlow 65.
If you’re interested, full information on the driver, shafts, grips and their specs can be found on the Callaway website.
Below are the specs of the Rogue driver. Click or zoom to enlarge.
How does the Rogue driver perform?
The distance of the Rogue is very similar to the Epic, maybe even a touch longer. However, distance results will vary from golfer to golfer depending on the configuration of the club and the kind of swing you have.
Once you dial in a good ball flight though, you’ll be extremely happy. There’s plenty of carry and rollout. You’re not going to be left wanting, for sure.
What makes the Rogue really shine is that it produces the distance of Callaway’s longest drivers like the Epic while also offering amazing forgiveness.
It’s easy to see why: the Jailbreak technology, VFT, and triaxial carbon crown all work to preserve direction and ball speed away from the sweet spot. In fact, it’s a real contender as the most forgiving driver I’ve ever hit.
During my testing, many of my poor shots stayed in the fairway, and most of my really poor shots didn’t miss the fairway by much.
Even if your mis-hits tend to be in the same spot on the face, you can experiment with your loft and lie settings to produce even better results. Yes, there’s no sliding weight to change the CG, but it’s hardly even necessary.
The playability of the Rogue is very good, and I had a blast hitting it.
I found the ball flight to be straight and fairly high, and as I expected, the Rogue Draw did encourage a draw.
The driver with the stock shaft is a touch on the light side, so golfers who have a high swing speed may not see the best results. It’s definitely very friendly towards mid-to-high handicappers.
Naturally, it’s a little less workable than the Epic, but I think that most golfers who use the Rogue won’t mind much.
What about look, sound & feel?
The Rogue driver has a 460CC head that is triangular and fairly symmetrical.
Compared to the GBB Epic, the head seems to be a touch shorter from back to front, with a slightly shallower face. Like the Epic, it has a gloss back and carbon fiber crown.
I’ve said before that I’m not crazy about gloss finishes because they don’t hide smudges and marks, but aside from that, it’s an awesome look.
I really like the design on the sole: simple branding, and blue accents that aren’t too bold or distracting.
All in all, there’s not much negative I can say about the appearance of the Rogue driver; it certainly does a good job of inspiring confidence at address.
The Sound & Feel
One thing you expect is for game-improvement drivers to sacrifice some sound and feel in exchange for other desirable qualities like distance and forgiveness.
Well, the Rogue does lack in terms of tactile feedback, but other than that, the sound and feel are impressive. The best word I can use to describe the feel of the Rogue in the swing and through impact is “stable”. It’s just rock-solid.
Sweet spot strikes sound and feel so satisfying that you’ll want to keep hitting again and again until you wear yourself out.
You might be surprised to learn that mis-hits feel nearly the same as sweet spot hits; the difference comes in the sound, which gets more metallic and hollow as you move away from the center. This is all you can work with if you’re trying to discern where you made contact on the face.
Where should I buy the Rogue driver online?
The Rogue driver is now more than a season old, and you can no longer order it custom-made directly from the official Callaway website.
CGPO has a fairly large selection of sets with a 12-month warranty, 90-day buy-back policy, and free headcover included. You can find some incredible deals on the Rogue driver on this eBay page.
Callaway nailed it again with the Rogue driver. It’s undoubtedly a worthy successor to the original Epic, packing exceptional forgiveness that the Epic didn’t quite have.
It’s also very long, has a bold, sleek look, and has some of the most solid, stable feel I’ve ever experienced in a driver.
The Rogue driver should be a very attractive option to mid and high handicappers.
Just keep in mind that because of the light weight and higher spin as a result of the MOI, fast swingers who naturally hit it high might have some issues. For these players, I recommend trying the 9°.
Remember to dial in the loft and lie settings for your swing, and have fun!
Are you interested in the Rogue driver? Have you tried it yet? What have your results been? Let us know in the comments below.