Rick Shiels tests the CALLAWAY STEELHEAD XR IRONS at Quest Golf Studio in Lytham using GC2 and FSX software


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Shawn Berry says:

I was able to hit these at the Callaway performance center this week in Carlsbad, and did like the club over all others I tested. My spin rate was similar to Rick’s, around 4600 with the 7 iron. I’m not sure if this is enough to stop the ball, but it went plenty high and tight during the many shots during the test. I’m replacing 15 year old Hawkeye’s and around a 17 HC.

Philip Bennett says:

Ive just ordered a set of these with graphite shafts, as I need all the help I can get, should be here in a couple of days, looking forward to using them on the course.

Stephen Pruszenski says:


Philip Jeffery says:

I’ve been playing golf for nine months now. Bought the Xhot iron set 5- PW. As my game has improved the problem I have is that I’m hitting too long. The lofts and lengths are nearly identical on XR, Steelhead, Xhot, etc. Last night I hit the green off the tee with my 6 iron 197 yards. Great. But when I have 150 or less I go too long. FWIW. I now play 150 with my 9 iron.

James McGill says:

Just got fitted for these irons today! Looking forward to them arriving and improving my game

Cameron Halkett says:

Humbling to see that even you make mistakes like not keeping your head down, a great review. Looking forward to whats coming!

My OpenMind says:

Low spin for a 7I.

Guy Davey says:

I have got a set of X14’s, and still use them… Let me know if needed….

Station 2Station says:

regarding lofts, if a company has to make a club stronger lofted to knock down flight because the weight is low and far back, thats one thing; an engineering modification to maintain forward flight. But when they go 6-7* strong, that’s transparently MARKETING. And I’ve heard guys ordering these based on “dude they go so far”. All I can say is “bring your wallet to the first tee”

Gazzi Slaihem says:

You should buy an old set of x -14s and do a comparison

Michael Harrison says:

Just ordered these irons, as they speak directly to my game. I’m a mid-single digit handicap, with a very good short game and I drive the ball well. What I don’t do however, is hit my irons worth a crap. For years I’ve been trying to play “players” irons, and my iron play gets worse every season. I just don’t have the time to practice & grind to hit those clubs consistently. I want something I can hit all over the face, and still be in play (for my once weekly rounds of golf). And that’s where these irons come in. Are the lofts jacked? Yes, but who cares? If I’m hitting a high 7 iron at a pin 165-170 yds out, and using a tour caliber ball (Pro V1, Callaway Chrome Soft), the shot will hold the green due to the height and angle of descent. Should I strive for better ball striking, and keep my JPX 900 forged irons? Should I be embarrassed to play big, game improvement irons? Maybe. But all I care about is scoring, and these irons will help keep me consistently scoring in the 70s. You go with what works, it’s that simple.

Nici G says:

These new steelhead irons and hybrids don’t seem to be impressive compared to xr

uppercaset12345 says:

I currently play with my original X14s but it is time to upgrade. Was looking at the apex 16s but now that I saw these I am wondering if I should upgrade to them. Anybody know which is better. I am looking to add about 10 yards to my irons.

Alan DLC says:

rick, do you hit of the turf when you practice or of real grass? you hit them great of the turf.

Chris Devlin says:

Hey could you do a head to head with the steelhead xr vs normal epic?

bob j says:

Who needs a driver, hit every fairway with a 7 iron. Easy game.

tim collins says:

Best irons i have ever used. High ball flight, soft landing and my accuracy is better than ever. Love the way they sound and miss hits still perform well. Put my pride aside and went for the hybrid set and now i can carry a five hybrid 180 yards with height and very little roll out compared to my old blades.

Game-Changer says:

Amazing video as always. 5 stars for honesty keeping the poor shots in. Gives people a better idea of what it can help with.: )

Adam Flynn says:

too jacked up – manufacturers need to stop this no spin all distance crap

Brandon Dornan says:

Rick, could you please test out the Callaway Apex MBs?!

Michael Pope says:

Would love to see the Steel Heads XRs up against the Taylormade M2, Ping G, Callaway XR, XR OS, and JPX.

Jake Weaver says:

I just ordered a set of these. I’m a 5.0 Index (up from 3.1 over the course of the season. I have seen my distance fall off this season as I’ve started to have back and knee issues. I’m not that old.

I hit the Ping I, Ping G, TM PSI, Callaway Apex, Mizuno MP-25, Mizuno JPX-900, Wilson C200 and the Steelhead XRs. Steelhead XR and Apex were by far the longest. The Pings were excellent but 15 yards shorter than the Callaway Clubs. The MP-25s were the best feeling, but even shorter than the Pings.

At the end of the day, I went with these because of the length, look and price point compared to the Apex. As this is my first foray into GI irons, I won’t be getting rid of my Mizuno MP-53s until I’ve gamed the Steelheads for a while, but I have high hopes. I hit it high enough that spin won’t be an issue. I can use height to stop the ball.

Mike B says:

I dunno Rick. Sounds to me like you gave them a pass on poor performance. Low spin and jacked up lofts spell uncontrollable for weekend duffers. When testing the wedge you said you were manipulating the spin to keep it on the green. So then, Mr. 20 Handicap can’t expect to hold the green on approach shots with the 7 iron or the wedge. The hybrid you did for this line of clubs was also all over the range. When people are dropping over $1,000 on a set of clubs, maybe they should have a fighting chance with them? Maybe returning to saner lofts and proper 4 degree gaps between irons would be a place to start? I would suggest manufacturers maybe try to get distance from better stock shaft choices. We’ve seen a move towards higher end shafts as stock on drivers the last couple years. TM had about 30 ‘free’ shaft upgrades for R15/M1/M2 models. Even ‘off’ brands like Tour Edge have Fujikura shafts as stock now. Maybe someone can convince Tour AD, Matrix, Aerotech or Nippon to offer decent wholesale pricing on a million iron shafts? That’s 125,000 sets of clubs. Since there are usually game improvement, better player, and elite player sets for big manufacturers, I can’t see there being a problem in selling them all.

Sodthong says:

Just added the 5 iron of this to my JPX900 6-PW set, using the 5i on long par 3’s on my local course. Prefer the Mizuno’s but the XR gets me home with ease…

GTFAN 99 says:

jeeez rick bar those last two with the 4 your ball flight looks a lot more consistant since you have been getting lessons keep up the good work mate. . . and get rob to have a wack with these

Michael Pope says:

I tried these clubs out yesterday and they were very nice. The offset is better for me than my G15s and XR OS. The XR OS offset made my misses a hook. A bad hook!!! The Speedheads XR have a nice flight and feels good coming off the face.

GTV Arthur says:

I wanna try them out.

minercreation says:

I’ve got a set of x12’s

Matthew Jacob says:

I’m currently playing X-14 Steelhead 3-PW (non pro version). The only issue is they are lengthened +1in. I’m currently in the market for a new set of irons since my handicap has dropped from a +14 to a +7 this season. Shoot me a message if interested in the X-14 set. Would give me a good reason to purchase a new set.

Kevin Fitzgerald says:

Love the way you test the club’s but. I have a set in mind and then you do your test and all of a sudden there is several sets that suit me. Carry on mate…..

Malte Brask Nielsen says:

I love these irons! And I have saved up the last few months so I will go out and get them on monday the 2. th january! Can’t wait! I have tested every set of irons imagined! even those that arent GI Irons and the Steelhead are the most perfect for me! I had and actually still haas but very small tiny itsy bitscy tumor now but a big one in my lowest part of the back and therefore it has crushed the nerves to the mucles on the back of my legs and they are dead.. So I am limping and I have been though some enormus surgery on my lower back which have given me a huge scar and NO MOBILITY WHAT SO EVER! And becuase of that I am playing with graphite shafts! And the shafts and the steelheds are actually the irons that are the lightest! I thought I should be getting the TM RSI 1 but no. the Callaway Steelhead XR won every time!
My Big Pro shop has a Trackman and Every brand and every new set of irons but they has a demo 7 iron from TM RSI 1 so I could test them against them also. But the M2 are just to weird for my liking. The best part of my game is from 120 metres and in the the green and with the M2 irons you lose control. With the steelheads they are more playable than other irons in this category.


Joe Dubiel says:

Have never used steelheads. Great looking clubs, forgiveness and power. Good job Rick. Thank you. Spider Dubiel

Ryan O'Malley says:

Great video. Thanks for the tips.

Ian Shepherd says:

My buddy has X 16’s and wants new clubs bad lol so maybe you could convince him. Great video as always

L Brandon says:

Thanks for the reviews Rick. I love these irons. I’m missing less and hitting more greens in regulation. Fantastic irons.

ashton shaw says:

Can we see these in Rob’s hands?

Chad Sugden says:

with weight moved higher on the face with the shorter irons, did u find spin numbers improved over last years model? it defiantly seems like there going higher!

Scott Dreyfus says:

long cause they’re strong. 44 is my 9 iron. 30 is 6 iron , and 3 iron is 20. callaway made another launch monitor queen. to be fair the original X14 pro people was 45*

R Williams says:

sounds like callaway do good 6 /7 irons…what most people hit on the range before they buy them..

camaroboi13 says:

Great looking clubs, but not enough to convince me to leave my X20s. I have the PX 5.5 soft stepped and the high launch gives me great control on the greens. A small known fact , Callaway made a set of X24 hot (orange x on cavity back) that were incredible to look at. Phil Mickelson had em in his bag and being a lefty, I wanted them bad! Then I found out Callaway never made them in left handed to the public! I never bought another Callaway club again after that. Keep up the good work Rick!

Gary Hummel says:

What shaft & Flex, Rich
look like nice cubs

Ian Shepherd says:

I used X 20’s they were good but got fit for G25’s a year later

Marcel Volz says:

Would be nice to see the smash factor. I thought Callaway said they’re on the COR Limit with these irons.

Robert King says:

you didn’t hit the four iron very well, so why do you like these irons?

bob j says:

still playing x14s and are dream club. long, high and easy to hit, spin on mot needed in Scotland.

Stephen Jordan says:

Just bought a set of these. After spending a couple of hours hitting them it was impossible not too. I was not getting that low spin but my ball speeds compared to my Apex Pros was 7mph faster. They peaked 2yds higher and carried 12yds further. Super easy to hit and not nearly as chunky and offset as I thought they would by. Do yourself a favor and st the very least try them. You might be as surprised as I was.

Brian Binnie says:

These clubs offend me as a vegan transgender atheist German engineer who vapes organic decaffeinated compressed soy breast milk on the regular and a person who does Indian naked crossfit yoga 5 times per week. I’m also a male feminist and identify myself as a pastafarian Apache helicopter dog who serves only to one master: my chihuahua which i helped cross the border because i hate Donald Trump. My dog also walks me, if you find that weird, you’re an arrogant, ignorant, homophobic, globaphobic sexist!

Chris Jackson says:

Hey Rick, I actually still play the x-12’s. It isn’t the steelhead it just says Big Bertha. I’ll post a pic in the comments.

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