We all want to hit our drives far, but we also need to hit them straight. Most golfers do not consistently strike the ball in the dead center of the face. So while distance is essential for a good driver, it still must be forgiving.
The Callaway XR 16 Driver is supposed to be forgiving AND fast. Is it? And is it right for your game?
In our Callaway XR 16 Driver Review, you’ll learn everything you need to know before adding this one to your bag. Or choose one of the alternatives below.
Callaway XR 16 Driver Review
- Excellent aerodynamics
- Good ball speed and distance
- Highly forgiving
- Great adjustability
- Powerful and pleasing acoustics
- Value for money
- Some players would prefer less spin
- Not as workable as other leading drivers
- Less response and feedback than some other drivers in this category
While Callaway is probably most famous for the legendary Big Bertha, it is not their only or even their best driver to date. The XR15 was a phenomenal success, and Callaway has built on that to create the XR16.
The XR16 packs a serious punch for mid to low handicappers.
“Forgiveness Meets Fast” is the tagline for this driver, and Callaway has every right to say this. It meets the bill on both accounts. The face is strong and thin for faster ball speeds and resulting distance.
It has a low center of gravity for low spin and an easy launch. The internal ribs stabilize the thin face, and the driver is extremely aerodynamic.
The XR16 will work well for a wide range of golfers. It is probably not ideal for absolute beginners, and better players might want to opt for the XR16 Pro. For everyone in between, it has a lot to offer.
Understanding the Callaway XR16 driver specs can be helpful. Here are the Callaway XR 16 driver specs:
|Hand Orientation||Left or right|
|Shaft Name||Fujikura Speeder Evolution 565|
|Shaft Flex||Light, Regular, Stiff, X Stiff|
|Head Volume||460 cc|
|Left Handed Lofts||9°, 10.5°|
|Right Handed Lofts||9°, 10.5°, 13.5°|
|Adjustability||Loft, Face Angle|
|Club Length||45.75 inches|
Features and Benefits
In our Callaway XR 16 Driver review, aerodynamics deserves to be mentioned first as Callaway has invested heavily in research and development. They went as far as using Boeing engineers to help with the Callaway XR 16 driver head design. They did the same with the XR 15, but Boeing was more involved and committed to the development of the XR16. This shows in the aerodynamics of the head and other aspects of the driver.
Part of the improvements includes a raised area on the crown for optimal airflow and improved aerodynamics. This titanium-raised area allows for optimal airflow on the surface.
The result is a driver with a low drag that allows for higher swing speeds. This will naturally translate to a greater distance.
The encounter with the brains at Boeing drove Callaway to raise the speed step slightly. The front-to-back length was also increased, allowing the center of gravity (CG) to be positioned further back and low, which makes the driver more forgiving.
The collaboration with Boeing certainly paid dividends, and the XR16 is fast and hits far without sacrificing forgiveness.
R-Moto Head and Face
The face is large, and so is the sweet spot. It is also light and super-strong. It is made from 8-1-1 Titanium. This makes it highly forgiving and faster. Callaway tells us it is 19% thinner than previous iterations making it lighter but faster. It has great energy transfer for exceptional ball speeds and good distance.
The MOI, moment of inertia, is great across the face. This is partly what makes the XR 16 highly forgiving. Should you not strike the ball dead center, it will stay fairly well on track and still travel a good distance.
R-Moto technology was first used in the legendary Callaway Big Bertha Alpha 815 drivers. It consists of internal ribs that give strength and support. It allows for the use of thinner materials while maintaining strength. Again, this promotes ball speeds, forgiveness and helps with the launch.
You can select the loft, and the options are 9°, 10.5°, and 12°. The Callaway Optifit adjustable hosel allows for a complete range of loft positions. Depending on your desired loft, you may have to play around a bit to get the loft you want. The XR 16 can be adjusted 1 degree lower or 2 degrees higher.
Keep in mind that you will open the clubface somewhat when adjusting lower, and when adjusting higher, the clubface will close a bit. In addition, there is a draw setting to help the player get the club closed at impact.
Callaway kept the crown design simple and understated, making it look more sleek and stylish. It is finished in matte black. The sole, however, have rather busy graphics. The wavey lines on the sole are purely cosmetic and do not affect performance.
The head design is relatively wide and long. Most people appreciate the looks of the XR 16, but they do not work for everyone.
At address, the clubface is wide, which should inspire confidence.
Apart from the improved aerodynamic design, the head is lighter. 8-1-1 Titanium and aluminum have been used, making it significantly lighter without compromising strength. The R-MOTO face is also light and strong. The ribs allow the thin face to flex, increasing energy transfer for greater ball speeds and distance.
Sound and Feel
The face is responsive, and the sound is powerful and appealing. Most golfers enjoy the feel of the XR 16. You will have an idea when you mishit the ball. Although it will still sound pretty good, travel a decent distance and not stray too far off course. It has a very slight draw bias.
We would say that the XR 16 offers exceptional quality. Callaway built a good all-around golf driver. The lower price on this one offers you an outstanding value.
You see exceptional performance from the Callaway XR16 Driver. The performance improvements happen almost immediately. The X 16 gets incredible distance on it, making it a good choice for those who want the extra distance.
For a faster swinger, we might recommend you to buy the XR 16 Pro instead since it has less spin and a heavier shaft.
Because of its conical shape, the XR 16 slices through the air with ease. This driver provides golfers with one of the better-looking clubs around.
The Callaway XR 16 shaft comes standard with a Fujikura Speeder Evolution 565 shaft in red. The Speeder shafts offer a distinctive feel, and you will feel the smooth energy transfer on the swing.
There are a few options you could choose from at no additional cost. Another option is the Mitsubishi Bassara 52 graphite, available for men and women. You could also choose the Matrix Red Tie/White Tie or the Damiana Blueboard/s+ series.
Both choices offer better stability than you might receive from the Speeder series. This shows you some of your Callaway XR 16 driver shaft options.
Who We Recommend It For
This golf driver takes forgiveness to the next level and stands out as one of the most forgiving. However, they made the XR 16, particularly for golfers who want to elevate their game. It has some tough workability, making it less-than-ideal for the absolute beginner.
This golf driver performs well even if you hit it slightly off center, making it a good choice for medium to low handicappers. Overall, a wide range of golfers could see fantastic results, but we wouldn’t recommend it for the absolute beginner.
We recommend the XR 16 for slow swingers, and for those who swing more quickly, you’d want to go with the XR 16 Pro.
Callaway XR 16 Driver Alternatives
Here are a few other worthy options you could also consider after reading our Callaway XR 16 Driver review.
Considered the fastest and most stable driver, the Rogue ST Max Driver. Here, you will see a harmonious combination of distance with forgiveness. Even mishits go far with the Rogue ST Max Driver, and you will see improvements to your regular distance as well.
The only downside is that when you pay so much for a club like this, you’d expect an adjustment wrench included. This driver doesn’t include the adjustment wrench.
Glancing at this one, you will see a great looking driver that was well built. The pleasing sound at the moment of striking the ball only furthers the appeal. Having a high launch and mid-spin makes it a great choice for the everyday golfer.
Consistency, forgiveness, and distance—you will get all three of those things with the Mavrik 22. You will especially notice how it sounds better than the Callaway XR 16.
Many golfers report improved distances with it. We consider this one of the best alternatives for those who want good distance from their golf drivers. It’s easy to hit the sweet spot and forgiving on the course. The accuracy of this one will blow you away.
Most consider it a great alternative because it feels good in your hands, and the weight distribution makes it light and well placed on the bottom of the club head.
The adjustment tool on this one can sometimes be a bit confusing, but it does well overall.
This driver has a range of technologies and design features to make it forgiving while offering great distance. The speed channel works well for Cobra, and they removed weight from the crown to optimize CG.
This low CG allows for greater distance, an easy launch, lower spin, and greater forgiveness. It also works well for players with a lower than average swing speed.
What Year Did Callaway XR 16 Driver Come Out?
Callaway released the Callaway XR 16 Driver on January 29, 2016. The release quickly shot up to success as it became one of the most successful drivers of that year. They launched it as one of its premier drivers.
Is the Callaway XR 16 Driver Forgiving?
Most consider the Callaway XR 16 one of the most forgiving drivers in the market today. You see them combine a fast shape with forgiveness and low spin. The forgiveness on the XR 16 stands out as one of the strongest features of this model.
What Is the Difference Between Callaway XR 16 and XR 16 Pro?
The XR 16 was made for slower golf swingers, and they made the XR 16 Pro for the faster golf swinger. On the clubhead, you will see a deeper face on the Pro, giving you lower ball speeds than the standard model.
Is the Callaway XR 16 Driver Good for Beginners?”
While this driver offers excellent forgiveness, you may not want it for the absolute beginner since you can choose from better choices. Still, a beginner with some experience may want to check it out, and a better player might choose the XR 16 Pro as a better choice.
What Are the Loft Options for the Callaway XR 16 Driver?
You can choose from a couple of different loft options that include the 9.5°, 10.5°, 12°, and 13.5°. Because of an adjustable hosel, you have a diverse range of loft positons.
What Else if Anything Comes With the Callaway XR 16 Driver?
The Callaway XR 16 driver includes things with this model, such as a Red Callaway head cover and a wrench. Outside of that, they do not include anything else with this driver.
There is no doubt that Callaway has gone to great lengths to ensure this driver has both distance and forgiveness in abundance. Given that these are the two most important aspects of a driver, most players agree that the Callaway XR 16 works for them. This XR16 driver review agrees with them.
The combination of advanced aerodynamics, the R-Moto technology, thin face, optimized weight, and adjustability deliver a driver that hits fast and far with plenty of forgiveness.
If you want to up your game off the tee, check out the Callaway XR 16 here.
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Nick Lomas is the founder of GolfSpan, an avid golfer, not quite a pro but has over 15-years of experience playing and coaching golfers from all over the world. His mission is to bring the golfing community a better experience then it comes to choosing the right golf gear, and finding the right set up for your game.