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In this review, I’ll take a look at the Callaway Rogue ST MAX irons.
The Rogue ST MAX iron is engineered for maximum speed with game-improvement forgiveness. It contains Callaway’s most cutting-edge technologies including an optimized A.I. Flash Face Cup with high-strength 450 steel, high-density tungsten weighting, and urethane microspheres.
How does the Rogue ST MAX iron perform at the end of the day? How does it compare to previous Callaway game improvement offerings like the MAVRIK? Is it worth putting a set in the bag?
Read on to find out what you need to know to make an informed decision.
What are the reviews like?
Ratings for the Rogue ST MAX irons are positive on the whole. In addition to earning a gold medal on the 2022 Golf Digest Hot list, they have average scores of 4.8/5 (94% recommended) on the Callaway store and 5/5 on Global Golf.
The main criticism levied against these irons by critics and consumers are the strong lofts, which aren’t for everyone.
What People Like
- crazy long distance
- superb forgiveness across the face
- short irons have surprisingly good stopping power
- comfortable feel
What People Don’t Like
- strong lofts aren’t for everyone
What are the features?
They are engineered to deliver extreme speed and distance, a high amount of forgiveness, and refined game-improvement performance.
450 Steel & A.I. Flash Face
The Rogue STs are the first irons to combine the A.I. Flash Face Cup with high-strength 450 steel that works to further increase ball speeds across the face.
The Flash Face Cup consists of a complex face architecture that is unique for every iron in the set. The latest iteration is designed to increase launch, improve spin consistency, optimize landing angles, and boost ball speeds (COR) to unprecedented levels.
Precision Tungsten Weighting
Callaway precisely locates the center of gravity (CG) by using as much as 62g of high-density tungsten — this is 260% more tungsten than in the MAVRIK irons.
Tungsten is twice as heavy as steel and allows for a lot of mass to be concentrated in a small area. The end result is improved launch conditions and speed across the entire face.
Urethane microspheres are a proprietary creation of Callaway that provide the benefits of urethane (absorbing unwanted vibrations and improving sound & feel) while still retaining the very high COR of the Flash Face Cup.
With the Rogue ST MAX irons, the microspheres are shifted farther up the face to the sixth groove, delivering pure feel and enhancing sound.
There are many set configurations to choose from, from the 4-iron all the way to the sand wedge. The stock set is 4-PW, and of course, individual irons are available.
The stock steel shaft is the True Temper Elevate MPH 95, and the stock graphite shafts are the Mitsubishi TENSEI AV Blue (65 and 75) and Project X Cypher Black 50 HB/IR. The stock grip is the Golf Pride Tour Velvet 360.
There are over 100 different grips to choose from and many custom shafts. You can also customize your lie angles and lofts.
If you’re interested, more information on shafts, grips and other customizations can be found on the Callaway website.
Below are the specs of the Rogue ST MAX irons. Click or zoom to enlarge.
How do the irons perform?
When you combine strong iron lofts with ball speed-maximizing technologies, you can pretty much guarantee big distance. And that’s exactly what you get with the Rogue ST MAX irons.
These irons are crazy long. For example, it was easy for me to hit a 7-iron upwards of 200 yards, which is typical on the PGA Tour.
With the MAVRIK irons, this came with the added benefit of good launch and a higher ball flight for impressive stopping power into the greens. However, I can’t say that the Rogue ST MAX irons have improved in this regard.
What I mean is: there’s still (understandably) a bit of a tradeoff between distance and stopping power, so if you’re a player who normally struggles to get your iron shots up in the air, you’ll probably do better with the Rogue ST MAX OS or even the Rogue ST MAX OS Lite.
The same technologies that make the Rogue ST MAX irons extremely long also make them very forgiving. In fact, they have an edge in forgiveness compared to the MAVRIK irons.
One of the things I noticed is how extremely stable the Rogue ST MAX irons are in mis-hit areas. This is certainly a consequence of the large amount of tungsten behind the face, and also, Callaway is now using 450 steel with their A.I. Flash Face which adds even more stability.
These may not be the highest-launching irons out there, but when it comes to dispersions (only a few yards in either direction) and ball speed preservation, you can’t do better.
Trajectories with the Rogue ST MAX irons tend to be mid-to-low with no discernable flight bias. Launch is decent, while shots tend to be very penetrating and hold up well in the wind.
You might think that the strong lofts would mean that the short irons wouldn’t be very controllable or spinnable. However, I didn’t find this to be the case — they feel surprisingly good to swing and it’s easy to stop shots on a dime near the flagstick.
The Rogue ST MAX irons don’t have an excessively wide sole, so your chances of digging into the turf are slightly higher. However, the sole width along with the moderately sized head give them a fairly generous amount of workability for a game-improvement iron.
What about look, sound & feel?
The Rogue ST MAX irons have a classic game-improvement look, with thick top lines and a decent amount of offset.
The size and shaping is, in fact, very similar to that of the original MAVRIK, but the badge design is quite different and the cavity is more apparent.
It’s interesting to note that while the aesthetic is different, Callaway carried over the yellow/orange accents and same general colour palette of the MAVRIK as a nod to those irons.
I don’t have a strong opinion about the looks one way or the other, but many golfers will certainly love it.
The Sound & Feel
As I noted in my review of the MAVRIK irons, the urethane microspheres really seem to make a difference in terms of minimizing vibrations and dampening the impact without making it feel dull.
The Rogue ST MAX irons feel very solid and pure at impact, and there is also an element of hotness there, particularly on sweet spot strikes. The sound at impact is quite muted.
During my tests, I also felt an improvement in feel towards the top of the face, which is consistent with the microspheres being shifted up. This should improve feel on thin shots.
There’s enough feedback to discern the general area of the strike, but at the same time, the sound & feel of mis-hits aren’t very punishing. I think this is what all great game-improvement irons should strive to achieve.
Where should you buy these irons online?
If you want a brand new set of (or individual) Rogue ST MAX irons with custom shafts, grips, lengths, lofts, etc., definitely head over to this page on the official Callaway website before it gets removed.
You can also get the Rogue ST MAX irons in a combo set with the Rogue ST MAX hybrids (3H, 4H or 5H) right here. If you do well with hybrids, this could be a great choice, but it will be a little more expensive than a set consisting of only irons.
If you want to find good savings on these irons, definitely check on eBay.
If you’re looking for maximum distance, great forgiveness, and exceptional feel in your irons, the Callaway Rogue ST MAX is for you. It either matches or outclasses the performance of its predecessor, the original MAVRIK.
The Rogue ST MAX irons are strong performers, but the main thing to watch out for is the strong lofts and launch trajectories which are on the low side. If you’re more concerned about getting height on your shots and having ample spin into the greens, there are better options out there.
Personally, irons that have extra strong lofts and focus on maximum distance aren’t my cup of tea. But I can definitely see the Rogue ST MAX selling fantastically well for the 2022 season and beyond, especially considering they’re not overly expensive.
Are you interested in the Rogue ST MAX irons? Have you tried them yet? What’s your experience? Let us know by leaving a comment below.