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In this review, I’ll take a look at the Callaway Rogue ST MAX LS driver.
The Rogue ST MAX LS has a high-MOI design similar to the Rogue ST MAX, but its weight characteristics are such that it produces lower spin, lower launch, and a neutral ball flight.
Callaway claims that this driver is ideal for many mid-to-low handicap players who don’t need so much help getting the ball up in the air.
How does the Rogue ST MAX LS actually perform on the course? How does its ball flight tendencies and forgiveness compare to the Rogue ST MAX? Who is it best suited for?
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 ST MAX LS has been received exceptionally well. It enjoys an outstanding rating of 4.9/5 (96% recommended) on the Callaway store.
Along with the other drivers in the Rogue ST line, it earned a gold medal on the 2022 Golf Digest Hot List. It’s also widely praised by critics.
What People Like
- exceptional ball speed across the face
- low spin yet consistent and forgiving
- tends to fly very straight
- sleek look
What People Don’t Like
- not quite as long as other low-spin drivers
What are the features?
The Rogue ST MAX LS driver has the same core technologies as the Rogue ST MAX, namely:
- Tungsten Speed Cartridge: a tungsten bar placed in the club’s sole shifts the center of gravity (CG) low and deep in the head.
- Jailbreak A.I. Speed Frame: vertically and horizontally connects the crown and sole to produce more ball speed and torsional stability towards the heel and toe. The latest iteration optimizes ball speed even further.
- A.I. Flash Face: produces faster ball speeds over a large area of the face and improves spin robustness as well. The latest iteration produces lower spin, higher launch, and more forgiveness.
- Titanium Unibody Construction: lowers the CG and adds stability.
- Triaxial Carbon Crown: allows for weight savings that are redistributed for more forgiveness.
The key differentiators of the Rogue ST MAX LS are:
- the Tungsten Speed Cartridge weighs 23g instead of 26g.
- weight is distributed to produce comparatively lower launch, lower spin, and a neutral flight bias rather than a draw bias.
The Rogue ST MAX LS driver is available in 9° and 10.5° lofts at 460 CC.
The driver 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 75g), and Fujikura Ventus Blue 5 (non-VeloCore). 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 LS driver. Click or zoom to enlarge.
How does the driver perform?
Intrinsically, the Rogue ST MAX LS driver tends to be longer than the standard Rogue ST MAX, but your mileage may vary.
To be more specific, if you’re a player who benefits from low-spin drivers because of a fast swing speed and naturally high trajectory, you’ll likely see substantial distance gains of 20+ yards.
On the other hand, if you’re a natural fader and typically need help getting the ball up in the air, your distance gains with the MAX LS may be minimal.
Spin is indeed reduced with the MAX LS: during my tests, RPMs were, on average, about 180-200 less than the MAX. Launch also tends to be slightly lower than the MAX, but perhaps not as much as many would expect.
I was particularly pleased with ball speed performance on mis-hits.
Low-spin drivers typically need to sacrifice some forgiveness, but Callaway has done a terrific job in the case of the Rogue ST MAX LS of keeping the forgiveness very competitive with its MAX counterpart. In fact, it’s tough to notice much of a difference at all in that regard.
However, it’s a little easier to miss fairways and the dispersions aren’t quite as tight. This can be a bit problematic for golfers who have a high swing speed and generally struggle with accuracy off the tee.
Having said that, the forgiveness of the Rogue ST MAX LS is great and goes above and beyond what you would expect for a low-spin driver.
You might expect the standard trajectory produced by the Rogue ST MAX LS to be lower than the Rogue ST MAX, and you’d be right, although the difference isn’t too great. I think it’s still quite easy to get the ball up in the air unless your swing speed is in the 90 mph range.
The Rogue ST MAX LS driver does have a neutral flight bias as is described in the marketing. But as with the other drivers in the Rogue ST family, it lacks a sliding sole weight, which means you only have access to the Optifit hosel for adjusting.
The Rogue ST MAX LS is inherently more workable than the Rogue ST MAX, and on top of that, the neutral flight bias is like a blank canvas for shot shapers. It’s obviously not the most workable option, but it can get the job done in the majority of situations on the course.
What about look, sound & feel?
Compared to the Rogue ST MAX, the Rogue ST MAX LS is less elongated from front to back, which lends itself to increased workability. The top line is also slightly flatter.
I find that this more compact appearance at address gives me more confidence when set up behind the ball.
Aside from that, the MAX LS looks more or less identical to the MAX, with the Tungsten Speed Cartridge that you can’t miss on the sole, the matte black crown, and black aesthetic with white and gold accents.
I love the aesthetic of the Rogue ST driver family, and the MAX LS is no exception.
The Sound & Feel
The feel of the Rogue ST MAX LS driver is solid but also has a crisp sensation to it, which in my opinion is immensely satisfying, especially when you hit the sweet spot.
The MAX LS produces a nice “whoosh” with a satisfying crack at impact, but I do find the sound to be lower-pitched and a little quieter than the MAX.
Sound & feel across the face is pretty consistent, but in terms of mis-hit feedback, it’s the feel that is much more informative. The distinctness of feedback through the hands is decent and about what you would expect for a low-spin driver.
Where should you buy this driver online?
At this time, the best place to order a Rogue ST MAX LS driver with custom specifications (loft, length, shaft, grip, etc.) is this page on the Callaway store.
When push comes to shove, the Callaway Rogue ST MAX LS driver delivers strong performance. It’s best suited for golfers who want forgiveness but have high swing speeds or struggle to get their spin rates down.
The Rogue ST MAX LS does a great job of filling the gaps that the MAX leaves in terms of workability, distance and flight penetration, even though it’s marginally less forgiving.
And because the driver is more than a season old, you can typically get your hands on it for significantly less than the $550+ it initially cost at release.
Are you interested in the Rogue ST MAX LS driver? Have you tried it yet? What’s your experience? Let us know in the comments below.