The story of the Rogue fairway is simple.
For the first time ever…
Jailbreak technology is available in a fairway wood.
The clock on ever hasn’t been ticking particularly long in this case, but nevertheless, whatever the intensity of your wait, it’s over.
We’ll cover some of the technical details in a bit, but Jailbreak is the thing, and based on the feedback from several of the brand-agnostic fitters I know, that may be all the story you need. To a man, I’m being told the Rogue fairway is special. If you’re looking for a point of comparison, Rogue may prove to be the biggest breakthrough in the fairway wood category since RocketBallz.
Yes, that is a big deal, and no, I will not be getting my head shaved this time around.
Jailbreak… In a Fairway Wood
As you would expect, Jailbreak in fairway wood does the same thing it does in a driver. It directly connects the crown to the sole, reducing body deflection and putting more of the impact force back on the face. That gets you more ball speed over a greater portion of that face, and that’s why Callaway’s Director of R&D for Metalwoods, Evan Gibbs says of the Sub Zero model in particular, “we [Callaway] haven’t seen gains like this in the fairway category in quite some time.”
Before we move on to the other tech, I wanted to mention two small details about Jailbreak - fairway edition: the Jailbreak bars are steel, not titanium, and they’re straight, not hourglass-shaped like they are in the driver. It’s not a significant point, but it might be on the quiz later.
While Jailbreak is the story, plenty of signature Callaway technology sits alongside, or more accurately, all around it inside of the Rogue Fairway chassis. It’s got an Internal Standing Wave structure to help optimize CG placement. It’s got Callaway’s speed preserving Face Cup technology, and, compliments of Boeing, it has enhanced Speed Step Aerodynamics in its Triaxial Carbon crown for less drag and more clubhead speed.
This is the part where we remind you that, in terms of raw MPH, faster swingers see more benefit from aerodynamic improvements, and that the advantages aren’t as significant with the smaller fairway as they are with the driver. Sorry. I don’t make the rules, that’s just how the physics work… and you can’t argue with physics.
Now that we’ve covered what Callaway put into Rogue Fairway, let’s talk about what it took out.
Adjustability – She Gone
- OptiFit Adjustable Hosel: Gone
- Sub Zero Movable Weights: Gone
The Standard model offers a single rear-placed weight, while the Sub Zero offers a single forwardly-placed weight. In both cases, the intent isn’t swappability, but rather swing weight management.
Neither model offers hosel adjustability either, and while that may sound like a step backward, Callaway’s OptiFit adapter is on the heavier side, and by freeing mass from what is generally an undesirable location, Callaway says it was able to make a better fairway wood.
“By not having this weight constrained in the hosel, it really allowed us to push the boundaries of performance and get launch and spin numbers that haven’t been seen before.” – Evan Gibbs, Callaway Golf
Look – here’s what’s real. Some of us like to tinker with adjustability, it helps fitters get golfers dialed-in, and we’ve become accustomed to having it at our disposals (even if we seldom take advantage of it), but like nearly everything else in club design, adjustability comes with a cost. Most tip adapters raise the CG while shifting mass towards the hosel. The structures to support adjustability (weight ports and housings) consume mass too. The more gadgetry designers can take out of a club, the more freedom they have to make the performance exactly what they want it to be.
So, while the loss of adjustability may sting a bit, chances are you’re probably getting a better performing product because of it, even if it costs you some fitting versatility.
Callaway will again offer its flagship fairway wood in two models, but as with the driver, the line of demarcation between the two may not be what you expect.
If you take only one thing away from this story, make it this: Sub Zero is NOT an Epic Pro. It's not some undersized, uber-workable (except when it’s fore right!), unforgiving, low handicap/better player fairway.
The models are similar in both size and shape. Loft for loft Sub Zero is no more than 3cc smaller than the Standard model. Callaway says both Rogue models are easy to hit (easy to get in the air). The difference in MOI between the models isn’t huge and so the which one is for me? decision really boils down to your desired trajectory.
Allow me to rephrase... the choice between Standard and Sub Zero isn’t about your handicap or you clubhead speed, it’s about your desired ball flight.
The standard model is your control story. That means a higher trajectory and higher spin.
The Sub Zero is being billed as a distance fairway. It still launches high, says Callaway, but it offers lower spin and a flatter trajectory.
In both models, Callaway has pushed the CG a bit farther forward than in previous designs. As long as it didn’t overcook it (push it too far forward), and particularly if it pushed the CG low, the recipe is there for a fairway wood that lives up to the advanced billing.
If you’re reading this thinking of pairing a Sub Zero 3-Wood with Standard 5-Wood, I’m right there with you.
Your only limitation in choosing between models is loft. The Standard model is available in eight discrete lofts, while Sub Zero is available in just three.
The Rogue Fairway lineup features the same stock shafts as the Rogue driver lineup. Stock weights for fairway wood shafts are 10g heavier.
Aldila Quaranta - The replacement for Epic’s Diamana Green. It’s the lightweight, highest launch offering in the Rogue stock lineup. It’s suitable for slower, less aggressive swingers.
Aldila Synergy – Taking the place of the HZRDUS T800. Synergy is the primary stock offering in the Standard Rogue. It’s your requisite mid-launch profile.
Project X EvenFlow Blue - The primary stock offering in the Rogue Sub Zero. It’s a mid-low launch offering within the Callaway lineup.
Project X HZRDUS Yellow – The lowest spin profile in the lineup, the HZRDUS Yellow is counterbalanced, low torque, and offers a unique bend profile, which I can assure you isn’t for everyone.
According to Callaway, none of the shafts in the Rogue lineup are made for in the conventional sense. While we should be clear that the Synergy shaft won’t be available in TX, it does contain graphene and specs will be available on the Aldila website alongside those of the Quaranta.
Retail price for the Callaway Rogue Fairway is $299. Pre-Sale starts 1/19/2018, with full retail availability beginning 2/9/2018.
To see more photos, visit the Callaway Rogue Fairway Gratuitous Picture Thread in the MyGolfSpy Forum.