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This is a comprehensive review of the Callaway Rogue ST MAX fairway wood.
The Rogue ST is the successor to the MAVRIK line of fairway woods. Packing the latest cutting-edge features such as A.I. Jailbreak with Batwing Technology, Tungsten Speed Cartridge, and A.I. Flash Face, the MAX model is designed for speed, forgiveness, and superb all-around performance.
How does the Rogue ST MAX fairway wood actually perform? How does it compare to the previous Epic line? Who is it best suited for? Is it worth putting in the bag?
Read on to get the answers to these questions and learn what you need to know to make an informed purchase.
What are the reviews like?
Ratings for the Rogue ST MAX fairway wood are absolutely stellar.
In addition to being a gold-medal winner on the 2022 Golf Digest Hot List, it boasts positive critic reviews and average customer scores of 5/5 (100% recommended) on the Callaway store, 5/5 on Global Golf, and 5/5 on Rock Bottom Golf.
What People Like
- easy to hit and easy to launch
- awesome distance
- superb forgiveness with draw bias
- fantastic looks
- low profile
What People Don’t Like
Callaway asserts that the Rogue ST MAX is their longest fairway wood ever, with a distance advantage of around 10 yards compared to the Epic MAX.
Jailbreak A.I. Batwing Technology
The Rogue ST MAX offers a new, redesigned take on the Jailbreak concept used in previous Callaway fairway woods.
In this case, the two Jailbreak blades (designed with artificial intelligence) have a “batwing” shape and are pushed to the perimeter. This has the result of providing stiffness, stability, and allowing the face to flex for unprecedented ball speeds.
Tungsten Speed Cartridge
The Rogue ST MAX is the first fairway wood to incorporate Callaway’s Tungsten Speed Cartridge in the 3W-7W.
This sits behind the face and consists of up to 27 grams of high-density tungsten. It shifts the center of gravity (CG) low and forward for reduced spin and higher ball speed.
A.I. Optimized Face & C300 Face Cup
The face architecture of the Rogue ST MAX fairway wood is uniquely designed by A.I. for each loft and model in order to optimize speed, launch and spin across the entire face.
The A.I. Face works in tandem with Callaway’s tried-and-true Face Cup. The wraparound cup face is made of an extremely strong and flexible C300 maraging steel that is treated through a proprietary process. The end result is enhanced speed and spin consistency across the face.
The Rogue ST MAX fairway wood is available in 3W, 3 HL, 5W, Heavenwood, 7W, 9W and 11W at lofts 15°, 16.5°, 18°, 20°, 21°, 24° and 27° respectively.
Also available is the women’s Rogue ST MAX fairway wood. It’s basically the same as the men’s Rogue ST MAX, but the stock shaft, grip, swing weights, length, lie and CC are tailored to women to maximize their performance.
The stock graphite shafts are the Mitsubishi TENSEI AV Blue (55/65), Project X CYPHER Black (40/50), Mitsubishi TENSEI AV White (65/75), and Fujikura Ventus Blue (6/7, non-VeloCore). The stock grip is the Golf Pride Tour Velvet 360. Custom shafts are available.
If you’re interested, full information on the fairway wood, shafts, grips and their specs can be found on the Callaway website.
Below are the specs of the Rogue ST MAX fairway wood. Click or zoom to enlarge.
There’s no doubt that the Rogue ST MAX produces some of the highest ball speeds ever in a fairway wood. They are certainly on par with the Epic Speed, and moreover, they seem to hold up better towards the heel and toe.
If you normally have trouble getting your woods up in the air and your length suffers because of that, you could potentially see big distance gains with the Rogue ST MAX, simply because it’s so easy to launch. The slight draw bias of the fairway wood also helps to squeeze out some extra yards.
However, because of the comparatively higher launch and spin, carry and total distance may be shorter in many cases, but still longer than the Epic MAX.
In my view, the Rogue ST MAX fairway wood hits the sweet spot when it comes to forgiveness. It leans towards “very forgiving”, but at the same time, it doesn’t come with all the baggage that max game-improvement fairway woods suffer from.
At the end of the day, dispersions and mis-hit forgiveness are marginally worse than the Epic MAX, and this is honestly not a surprise given the fact that the CG is in a low and forward position. If you make poor ball contact, you’ll know it to some degree.
In addition to having a positive effect on distance, the slight draw bias of the Rogue ST MAX also helps take the edge off slices so you can hit more fairways and greens.
The standard trajectory produced by the Rogue ST MAX is mid-high with a slight draw bias.
Despite Callaway classifying the spin as “low”, it actually produces a moderate level of spin in my experience. This is to be expected because the Rogue ST LS is meant to serve the low-spin niche.
Workability is quite decent, although there is really no room for adjustability on the sole or anywhere else. The club slides across and interacts with the turf very well from a variety of different lies.
When it comes to shape, the Rogue ST MAX is more elongated from front to back compared to the Epic Speed, but a little bit less so compared to the Epic MAX.
What really stands out to me is how wide and shallow the face is, the purpose of which is to make the Rogue ST MAX as easy to hit and easy to launch as possible.
The 3-wood is 174 CC, which suggests that it enters pretty nicely into the game improvement category but not too much in the oversized direction. The ball appears to set up more or less in the center of the face at address.
I think the sole aesthetic is fantastic. The gold accents are consistent with the Rogue ST theme, and the lines are all super appealing. I really liked the design of Callaway’s Epic line of fairway woods, but I think this actually manages to top it.
The Sound & Feel
Compared to the Epic MAX, the Rogue ST MAX produces a higher-pitched, tighter, quieter “crack” at impact, but you still wouldn’t mistake it for anything but a metal wood. And it’s exactly the kind of sound I prefer in a fairway wood. The feel is very Callaway-esque: solid and explosive.
The sound & feel are also very consistent across the face. This didn’t come as a surprise to me considering all of the ball speed-maximizing technologies that are packed into the head.
At the same time, you can still diagnose your misses to an extent. I did feel during my testing that the feel through the hands was much more informative about the location of the strike than the sound.
Where To Buy This Fairway Wood Online
For a limited time, you can order a Rogue ST MAX fairway wood with custom specifications (loft, length, shaft, grip, etc.) on this page on the official Callaway website. Women’s Rogue ST MAX fairway woods can be ordered here.
The Rogue ST MAX is expensive, for sure. If you want to save some money, you can find discounts on eBay.
Callaway claims that the Rogue ST MAX is their “fastest fairway wood ever”, but I think that the previous model Epic Speed still has a bit of an edge in most cases.
Overall, though, the Rogue ST MAX is a terrific all-around performer, excelling in speed, forgiveness, feel and playability. It’s also one of the best-looking fairway woods I’ve ever seen.
It’s best suited for the mid or high-handicap player focused on forgiveness, but it can be used successfully by golfers of any skill level.
Having said that, the price tag is really steep, costing as much as you might pay for a driver just a few seasons ago. Many people just won’t be able to afford a couple of these straight out, but there are options for financing and club trade-ins that can soften the blow considerably.
Have any thoughts or opinions about the Rogue ST MAX fairway wood? Go ahead and leave a comment below.