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In this review, I’ll take a look at the Callaway Rogue ST MAX driver.
The Rogue ST MAX has the highest MOI in the new Rogue ST line of drivers. The unprecedented stability and mis-hit forgiveness is made possible with a new Tungsten Speed Cartridge that concentrates weight low and deep in the head.
This driver is suitable for golfers of all skill levels and benefits from Callaway’s latest cutting-edge technologies.
How does the Rogue ST MAX actually perform on the course? How does it compare with previous Callaway offerings like the Epic MAX, and does it set a new bar in forgiveness? Is it worth putting in the bag?
Read on to find out what you need to know to make an informed purchase.
What are the reviews like?
At the time of writing, the Rogue ST MAX has excellent ratings of 4.9/5 (95% recommended) on the Callaway store and 4.75/5 on Global Golf. The driver earned a gold medal on the 2022 Golf Digest Hot List.
In addition, the general consensus from critics is highly positive, with perfect or near-perfect ratings from one publication to the next.
What People Like
- provides a ton of stability and oodles of forgiveness
- helps higher handicaps hit a lot more fairways
- strong, stable feel
- superior results to previous models like the MAVRIK MAX
What People Don’t Like
- not much appeal for skilled golfers compared to other models in the Rogue ST line
- new look isn’t for everyone
What are the features?
The signature feature of the Rogue ST MAX driver is the Tungsten Speed Cartridge. Callaway augments this with enhanced versions of the Jailbreak A.I. Speed Frame and A.I. Flash Face built into recent models like the Epic MAX.
Tungsten Speed Cartridge
This is essentially a tungsten bar placed in the club’s sole, with a mass of 26 grams, that shifts the center of gravity (CG) low and deep in the head.
The result is more stability at impact, high MOI, and much better forgiveness on mis-hits.
Jailbreak A.I. Speed Frame
This vertically and horizontally connects the crown and sole to produce more ball speed and torsional stability towards the heel and toe.
As the latest iteration of this technology, Callaway has fine-tuned the positioning, shaping and construction of the frame to optimize speed even more compared to its predecessor.
A.I. Flash Face
Designed through machine learning and made of high-strength titanium, the wave-like Flash Face produces faster ball speeds over a large area of the face and improves spin robustness as well.
With the latest iteration, Callaway has tweaked the formula to produce lower spin, higher launch, and more forgiveness.
Other features of the Rogue ST MAX driver are:
- Titanium Unibody Construction: lowers the CG for a higher launch and adds stability.
- Triaxial Carbon Crown: allows for weight savings that are redistributed low for more forgiveness, launch, and a slight draw bias.
The Rogue ST MAX driver is available in 9°, 10.5°, and 12° standard lofts at 460 CC.
Also available is the Rogue ST MAX driver for women, in 10.5° and 12° lofts. The women’s version has the same head technology but the lofts, swingweights, lies, lengths, shafts and grips that are tailored to women to maximize their performance.
The Rogue ST MAX comes with an Optifit hosel that allows you to adjust loft and lie. The loft settings are -1, +1, 0 and +2 (a range of 3°). The lie settings are N (neutral) and D (draw), giving a total of 8 possible configurations.
The stock graphite shafts are the Mitsubishi TENSEI AV Blue (55g and 65g), Mitsubishi TENSEI AV White (65g), and Project X Cypher Black (40g). The stock grip is the Golf Pride Tour Velvet 360. Custom options are available.
If you’re interested, full information on the driver, shafts, grips and their specs can be found here.
Below are the specs of the Rogue ST MAX driver for men and women. Click or zoom to enlarge.
How does the driver perform?
My thoughts here are similar to those that I had when I was testing the Epic MAX.
The Rogue ST MAX is built for maximum forgiveness, not speed, and when you consider the fact that the driver tends to generate a medium spin rate, the result is distance that is very good but not “insane good”.
This is completely expected because of the CG position. But most higher handicaps that need help staying in the fairway will probably find that they gain distance over their previous gamer because of the draw bias and because their drives are simply going straighter.
In a relative sense, I hit the Rogue ST MAX on average 5-10 yards farther than the MAVRIK MAX, and distance is about the same as the Epic MAX.
You’d have to think that it becomes more and more difficult for Callaway to one-up their latest game improvement offering with a driver that’s even more forgiving. I daresay that they have managed to pull it off yet again here.
When you play the Rogue ST MAX, you gain the confidence that you’ll never miss a fairway. Think of the Epic MAX but with a distinct edge in stability, MOI, dispersions, and ball speed on mis-hits.
This thing is rock solid and super consistent. If you want to see an ugly result, you’ll really have to make a poor swing.
The standard trajectory produced by the Rogue ST MAX is high (probably a little higher than the Epic MAX) with a draw bias. It’s very easy to get the ball up in the air, even when you deviate from the center of the face.
One major disadvantage of this driver is the lack of a sliding sole weight, which means you have less flexibility in finding a configuration that best suits your swing. There is an Optifit hosel, but it’s less convenient than a sliding weight.
The Rogue ST MAX driver seems to have a little more workability than the MAVRIK MAX, but the ability to shape shots is still limited which is typical for GI drivers. I can’t see it being an issue at all for most golfers who would benefit from the MAX.
What about look, sound & feel?
The Rogue ST MAX driver has quite a unique look compared to other Callaway drivers.
Previous models have soles that are more or less flat, while with the Rogue ST MAX, the raised region of the Tungsten Speed Cartridge appears to “stick out” the back of the club, bearing resemblance to what TaylorMade has been doing with the “Inertia Generator” on their drivers.
At address, the Rogue ST MAX has a long face from front to back and an elongated, nicely shaped crown. In contrast to previous Callaway drivers, the crown is matte black instead of glossy.
Overall, I love the shape of this driver at address and I think the focus on black with gold accents is very appealing. And when considering the look of all game improvement Callaway drivers over the past few years, I have to say that the Rogue ST MAX is my favourite.
Golfers who want a traditional-looking sole will be disappointed, but aside from that, I think Callaway has done a great job taking their aesthetic to the next level here.
The Sound & Feel
I find the sound & feel of the Rogue ST MAX driver to be very similar to the Epic MAX but even more solid.
The sound should be familiar to anyone who’s played a Callaway driver over the last few years: a nice “whoosh” with a satisfying crack at impact that is not too hard nor too dull.
Another important point is that the sound & feel consistency across the face is tremendous. I find it pretty tough to tell when you miss the center of the face unless you’re at the extreme ends of the heel or toe.
The Rogue ST MAX probably has some of the least distinct feedback I’ve ever experienced in a driver, which will be undesirable for many skilled players, but a price has to be paid for extreme mis-hit forgiveness no matter how small.
Where should you buy this driver online?
At this time, the best place to order a Rogue ST MAX driver with custom specifications (loft, length, shaft, grip, etc.) is this page on the Callaway store. If you’re interested in the women’s variant, go here.
Callaway is also allowing you to, for a limited time, order a special Rogue ST MAX driver with custom colours for the Speed Cartridge, Speed Frame medallions, sole channel and crown accents, as well as a clean crown option. You can do that here.
It’s not the fastest and longest in the Rogue ST line, but if you want the most forgiving, modern, high-MOI driver with solid feel that’s going to help you stay in the fairway and feel good while doing it, you can’t do any better right now than the Rogue ST MAX.
Having said that, the price tag starts at $550 which is really steep for a driver. It’s going to set you back considerably unless you can trade in your previous gamer or explore financing.
If you can get past the cost, however, you’ll be able to enjoy the best game improvement performance and consistency available anywhere. The slight draw bias is a nice touch that will help most amateurs hit it straighter and longer.
Are you interested in the Rogue ST MAX driver? Have you tried it yet? What’s your experience? Let us know in the comments below.
Callaway Rogue ST MAX Driver
- Extremely stable with consistently good performance across the face
- High launch and medium spin help keep distance competitive
- Very easy to get the ball up in the air even when mis-hit
- Modern, bold look
- Very solid Callaway feel
- Little to no adjustability
- There are probably better options for skilled players
- The aesthetic flare of the Speed Cartridge will put off some golfers