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This is a comprehensive review of the Callaway Rogue Sub Zero driver.
The Sub Zero is Callaway’s attempt to accommodate better players who would benefit from less spin.
It has all the features of the original Rogue including Jailbreak and VFT, but with a more compact head shape and altered weighting for lower spin.
So, how does the Rogue Sub Zero actually hold up on the course? Is it the driver of choice for better players? What are its strengths and weaknesses?
Read on to find out everything 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?
Like its sister Rogue driver, the Rogue Sub Zero was a gold medal winner on the 2018 Golf Digest Hot List.
The ratings have been quite good overall, with more positivity from critics than consumers.
The driver has an average rating of 4.7/5 (89% recommended) on the CGPO website with hundreds of reviews and a 4.6/5 on Global Golf. At the same time, most critics have given the driver a 5-star rating.
The slight discrepancy is probably because, as a players driver, the Rogue Sub Zero is suitable for a smaller subset of golfers; players who aren’t a good fit for the driver often give it a low rating even if it has little to nothing to do with the quality of the driver itself.
What People Like
- many feel that it’s a substantial improvement over the Epic Sub Zero
- once you’re dialed in, you can get amazing distance and a penetrating ball flight without losing much forgiveness
- exceptional feel
- sole weights allow you to change the launch and spin rate as desired
What People Don’t Like
- not very forgiving with the weight forward
- some don’t like the sound
- you can have bad results without the right shaft and configuration
What are the features?
The core features of the Rogue Sub Zero are the same as the Rogue, which I talk about in my review here.
To summarize the features:
Jailbreak & VFT
Jailbreak refers to the hourglass-shaped titanium bars that vertically connect the crown and sole. This allows the face to take on nearly double the impact load.
Combined with Variable Face Thickness, this produces unprecedented ball speeds and distance.
Triaxial Carbon Crown
The crown is made of a lightweight yet strong triaxial carbon composite material.
This enables weight savings that are redistributed in the head to accomplish two things: align the CG with the neutral axis to lower spin, and increase MOI.
Boeing Aero Package
Callaway worked with Boeing to redefine the geometry of the leading edge, resulting in improved airflow and faster clubhead speed.
The main difference in the Rogue Sub Zero lies in the head shape and CG. The head has a low-spin design and a highly forgiving shape.
More specifically, the head is less elongated, and the driver produces a stronger ball flight with less spin. This is ideal for better players with faster swing speeds.
In addition, the sole has two interchangeable weights (2g and 14g) for more spin and trajectory control. For example, you can put the 14g weight in the front to lower spin, or put it in the back to increase spin and MOI.
The Rogue Sub Zero driver is available in 9° and 10.5° standard lofts (no HL this time).
You can choose from several premium shafts: the Aldila Synergy (50 or 60), Project X EvenFlow (65 or 75) and Project X HZRDUS (75).
The Rogue Sub Zero 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.
If you’re interested, full information on the driver, shafts, grips and their specs can be found on the Callaway Golf Pre-Owned website.
Below are the specs of the Rogue Sub Zero driver. Click or zoom to enlarge.
How does the driver perform?
Distance with the Rogue Sub Zero can be fantastic or not so great depending on the configuration and the type of golfer you are.
If you’re someone with a high swing speed who tends to struggle with too much spin and height on your shots, chances are you’re going to realize substantial distance gains over your previous driver.
This is because the weighting and shape of the head is a little different than the original Rogue, producing lower spin and a stronger flight. This is especially true when you put the 14g weight in the front.
If you’re a slower swinger, however, you may not have great results with the Rogue Sub Zero. It all depends.
As for me, my swing speed is somewhere in the mid-high range, and I was hitting the Rogue Sub Zero farther than the Rogue, with a little more carry. I was also seeing very low spin numbers — lower than I expected.
When the weight is in the back, forgiveness with the Rogue Sub Zero is good.
When the weight is forward, however, there’s a lot less forgiveness; mis-hits lose more ball speed and are more liable to stray off line. During my testing, I found the loss of ball speed to be about 4-6 MPH less in this configuration.
This is why I would only recommend putting the weight forward if you need lower spin and/or you can make consistently solid contact with the ball. Results could be pretty bad otherwise.
If you want better forgiveness with a low-spin configuration, consider the newer Epic Flash Sub Zero.
The Rogue Sub Zero is workable regardless of where the sole weights are, so that’s a plus.
I found it quite easy to put shape on my shots, and depending on what course you’re playing, this can really benefit you.
Did you hit a pure strike with the 14g weight in the front? Expect a beautiful, penetrating, mid ball flight that pierces through the wind quite nicely and has a lot of carry and roll.
What about look, sound & feel?
I’ll start off with the head shape. It’s less elongated than the Rogue from back to front, and at address, the sweet spot appears to set up just a touch closer to the heel. I imagine that better players would like this setup.
The face is a little taller than the Rogue, and similar to the rounded shape of the Epic driver.
Aside from these differences, the Rogue Sub Zero looks the same as the Rogue. The alignment aid and crown design are pretty much the same, and the hosel has the Optifit attachment with loft and lie adjustability.
The design and geometry of the sole is quite similar to the Rogue; the main difference is the addition of a new interchangeable weight close to the face.
Everything is dialed in aesthetically, from the head all the way to the grip.
The Sound & Feel
Satisfying overall. The feel of the Rogue Sub Zero driver differs depending on where you have the weights.
I found that with the weight in the back, it feels very similar to the Rogue.
With the weight in the front, it feels quite different. I certainly wouldn’t say it’s a bad feel, but it will likely take some getting used to.
Mis-hits feel more hollow regardless of where the weight is, but with the weight forward, mis-hits do feel worse, as you might expect.
As for the sound, I found it to be a touch more muted than the Rogue — mis-hits sound a bit hollow, while sweet-spot strikes give off a nice solid “crack”.
Feedback is very helpful for isolating your misses. You’ll be able to feel it through your hands and hear the difference as well.
Where should you buy the Rogue Sub Zero driver online?
The Rogue SZ driver is now more than a season old, and you can no longer order it custom-made directly from the official Callaway website.
CGPO currently has a massive selection of these drivers with a 12-month warranty, 90-day buy-back policy, and free headcover included.
You can find some incredible deals on the Rogue SZ driver on this eBay page.
The Rogue Sub Zero driver packs the features and technologies that make the Rogue great, but with a slightly more compact shape and altered head weighting that promote lower spin.
Amazing distance, a modern look, adjustability, comfortable feel, and workability are all there.
If you’re a better player or have a faster swing speed and often struggle to get a lower ball flight with less spin, you should definitely give the Rogue Sub Zero driver a try.
Just keep in mind the lack of forgiveness when the weight is in the front.
Even mid or high handicappers can benefit greatly from this driver, especially since it performs very similarly to the Rogue when the weight is in the back.
Are you interested in the Rogue Sub Zero driver? Have you tried it yet? What have your results been? Let us know in the comments below.