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This is a full review of the Callaway XR 16 Pro driver, similar in a lot of ways to its sibling XR 16 but featuring a deeper face and capabilities better suited for lower handicaps.
Like with the standard XR 16, Callaway worked with experts at Boeing to minimize aerodynamic drag and hence maximize clubhead speed through the ball.
So, is the XR 16 Pro a marked improvement over the previous model XR Pro? Is it worth its price tag? What are its strengths and weaknesses?
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.
Rating: 4.8/5 (highly recommended)
- improves on the previous model XR Pro in many ways including speed and feel
- forgiveness is impressive for a players driver this effective
- workability is great
- impact sound and feel are top notch
- very long if you have your ball flight optimized
- on the expensive side
- can be tricky to dial in your ball flight without a custom fitting
- golfers looking to challenge themselves to improve their driving game without totally sacrificing distance and forgiveness
Best Places To Buy Online
The XR 16 Pro driver is now more than a few seasons old, and you can no longer order it custom-made directly from the official Callaway website.
CGPO has a fairly large selection of sets with a 90-day buy-back policy, 12-month warranty, and free headcover included. You can find some really good deals on the XR 16 Pro driver on this eBay page.
Want a high-resolution look at the XR 16 Pro driver? Click on the composite image at the top of the page and navigate the photos on the left-hand side of the screen!
What are the reviews like?
Overall reception for the XR 16 Pro driver has been very positive, with average user ratings of 4.9/5 (95% recommended) on the CGPO website, 4.8/5 on Global Golf, as well as generally positive verdicts from critics.
What People Like
- excellent unmatched impact feel and sound
- sweet look
- high control
- good workability and length
What People Don’t Like
It seems like if you don’t have the XR 16 Pro properly dialed in with suitable loft/lie settings or a good shaft, you’ll be leaving a lot on the table in terms of results.
What are the features?
The XR 16 Pro predictably shares many (if not most) of the same features and technologies of the XR 16, which are described in considerable detail in the features section of the XR 16 review.
There are a few notable differences in design, however. These include a deeper face and a smaller, more workable 450cc head with lower spin and a more neutral center of gravity (CG) bias.
The XR 16 Pro is essentially a more workable and slightly less forgiving variant of the XR 16, intended for professionals and low-handicaps.
For more information on the Speed Step, adjustable hosel and R•MOTO Face Technology, see the relevant section of the XR 16 review linked above.
The available stock shaft is the Tour Proven Fujikura Evolution II TS 665 graphite. A large selection of premium shafts are also available to accommodate different swing speeds.
The specs of the stock XR 16 Pro driver and stock shaft are below:
How does the driver perform?
Over the course of my testing with the XR 16 Pro driver and stock Fujikura shaft, I found the spin rate to be quite a bit on the low side.
This can be fantastic for strong swingers who naturally hit their driver high, but not so much for slower swingers who need a little help getting the ball up in the air.
This is not really a surprising discovery given the fact it’s marketed as a players driver, but nonetheless, I would suggest that golfers with swing speeds of 90 mph or less try the 10.5 driver with a regular flex shaft. Do remember that the OptiFit hosel is always available to you to adjust loft and lie if desired.
Exact distance and ball flight results will depend on configuration, shaft, swing type and swing speed, but generally, solid strikes produce a straight, low-mid penetrating ball flight that carries and rolls a long way.
Workability is very good; capable golfers should have little problem shaping shots at will.
Mis-hit forgiveness is acceptable but not a marked improvement over the previous model XR Pro.
What about look, sound & feel?
The XR 16 Pro driver has a streamlined, bulbous 450cc head. Compared with the XR 16, the face of the XR 16 Pro is taller and the footprint is less elongated (obviously).
Unlike the original XR Pro which had no markings on the crown, the matte black crown of the XR 16 Pro features a drag-reducing Speed Step and standard chevron alignment aid for easy setup over the ball.
The sole features multiple channels and pits that are supposed to help maximize aerodynamic efficiency for faster clubhead speed.
The sole design is, of course, very similar to that of the XR 16; some will love it and others won’t. I’m not exactly in love with the aesthetic myself, but to each their own.
The Sound & Feel
Both are fantastic; this is definitely one of Callaway’s best-feeling and best-sounding drivers available right now.
Center strikes with the XR 16 Pro feel extremely solid (not hollow) with a touch of explosiveness and pop.
The sound can be described as a concentrated “crack” or pop. It’s difficult to describe the sound/feel in words, but I’m confident that it will meet and exceed your expectations for a quality players driver.
As for hit feedback, golfers should have no problems at all isolating their misses.
Moderate mis-hits do not feel disastrous, but in my testing I knew pretty much right away whether I hit towards the heel or toe and how much in either direction. Of course, there is good incentive to try and hit the sweet spot each and every time.
The XR 16 Pro driver is without question one of Callaway’s best better-player offerings available.
It improves upon the previous model XR Pro in most respects, and it serves as a great option for skilled XR users who are looking for more clubhead speed, premium feel and high-calibre workability without sacrificing forgiveness.
If you have any thoughts or questions about Callaway’s XR 16 Pro driver, be sure to leave a comment below!